Meet Boogie Woogie! He is a special-needs kitty who is looking for just the right home. Boogie and his siblings came to us because their previous family was unable to accommodate their special needs.
Boogie and his 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.
Boogie is definitely the most laid back kitten in his litter. He is very friendly and likes to cuddle. He certainly loves to wrestle and play with his friends and enjoys running around, but he also likes to be around his people. He can climb up onto short things (like a couch or small scratching post) but tumbles off when it’s time to get down so padding is necessary to help prevent injury.
Boogie’s CH is moderate, which means that he walks with a wobbly gait and falls over often. He is able to get around pretty well, but does often run into things when he’s playing and can bonk his head so it’s a good idea to make sure his play area is CH kitty proofed. Visit https://www.petfinder.com/cat/boogie-woogie-55447489/bc/saanichton/victoria-pet-adoption-society-bc144/ for a video of Boogie Woogie walking.
It will be important that Boogie has the right type of set-up for his litter box. He has no problem peeing in the box, but when he poops, he has temporarily loss of control of his hind legs. Sometimes he can poop standing up like a normal cat. However, if he loses his balance while defecating he is unable to right himself until he is done. This means that sometimes he poops while laying on his side. If he has too small a litter box he could actually topple out of the box and poop on the floor beside it. If his litter box has one low side so that he can get into it, but has 3 high sides (or a large, low box) then even if he falls over he will still be inside the box. This makes it extra important that his litter box is scooped daily to be kept clean.
If you are interested in Boogie Woogie, please go to https://victoriapets.ca/adoption-process/ to learn about our adoption process and to submit an adoption application.