Jitter Bug – Special Needs

Available

Jitter Bug is a special-needs kitty who is looking for her perfect home. Jitter Bug and her siblings came to us because their previous family was unable to accommodate their special needs.

Jitter Bug and her siblings have a condition called Cerebellar Hypoplasia (also known as CH.) CH is caused in kittens when their mother contracts Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV) while the babies are developing in-utero. FPV causes a stunting of the cerebellum, which leads to a lack or coordination and fine motor skills. This means that the kittens have a wobbly gait, are uncoordinated and lose their balance easily. This condition is congenital and remains with the pet for life, although sometimes as a kitten grows it does learn to compensate for its challenges a little and its wobbly gait may improve just a little bit. CH does not affect a cat’s life expectancy, it is not contagious to other pets or people, and they do not require medication. They are considered as special needs cats because they do require a few special considerations. You can learn more about this condition at https://kittycatchronicles.com/home/how-we-help-sophie-with-her-ch/. 

The most important considerations for cats with CH are:
1) Since they have trouble moving around, they do best in small, 1 bedroom apartments / suites where all of their amenities are fairly close at hand.
2) They really do best in home with carpet. Slippery floors make keeping their balance too difficult for them. 
3) They cannot have access to stairs. They will tumble down the stairs and hurt themselves. 
4) They should not have access to anything high/tall such as scratching posts or kitty condos. They can climb up but they cannot easy get down without falling. Therefore, cats with CH are often tricky to integrate into homes with existing cats because CH cat and non-CH cats can’t have the same home set-up.
5) They should have padding (such as foam mats or blankets around the base of anything they can climb onto (like the couch or a short kitty post) so that they don’t hurt themselves when falling off (since they can’t climb down normally.)
6) CH cats cannot retract their nails and they use their nails to help them balance. Therefore, they need to be trimmed regularly but not very short at all (cut less nail, more often.) 
7) CH cats can sometimes have trouble getting in / out of litter boxes if they are too high. It’s ideal to have a box with several high sides, and at least 1 low side. Homemade litter boxes are often best to customize appropriately. 
8) CH cats cannot jump so it’s important that their environment is completely safe and it would never be necessary for them to jump up on a counter or other furniture to get away from other pets or children. 

Jitter Bug is probably them most shy kitten in the litter, but she is very friendly and outgoing once she gets to know you. She loves to wrestle with her friends and enjoys running through kitty tunnels. She is climb up onto short things (like a couch or small scratching post) but she does tumble off so padding is necessary to help prevent injury. Jitter Bug will do best in a home with another cat and does get along quite well with her brother, Boogie (who also has CH.)

Jitter’s CH is moderate, which means that she walks with a wobbly gait and falls over often. She does not have any trouble using the litter box or eating, and she is able to get around pretty well. She does often run into things when she’s playing and can bonk her head so it’s a good idea to make sure her play area is CH kitty proofed. Visit https://www.petfinder.com/cat/jitter-bug-55447473/bc/saanichton/victoria-pet-adoption-society-bc144/ for a video of Jitter Bug walking.

If you are interested in Jitter Bug, please go to https://victoriapets.ca/adoption-process/ to learn about our adoption process and to submit an adoption application.