All cats, no matter what shape, size, or breed they may be share the same capacity to give and be loved (even if this may look different from cat to cat). The same is true for cats who might need a little extra love and patience. That’s why special needs cats deserve to have just as much love as their fellow ‘normal’ cats!

What is a special needs cat?

A special needs cat, generally speaking, can include a wide range of cats who need a little extra love and attention. Some examples of what makes a cat special needs are:

  • Cerebellar Hypoplasia

  • Manx syndrome

  • Missing limbs

  • Blindness

  • Deafness

  • Incontinence issues

  • Special life-long dietary restrictions and allergies

  • Age-related medical issues

Of these, cerebellar hypoplasia is one of the most recognized special cat needs conditions. Cats who have cerebellar hypoplasia lack fine motor skills and balance due to their cerebellum not developing correctly. It is also referred to as “Wobbly Cat Syndrome” and can vary from mild to severe.

No matter what makes a cat special needs, the same rings true for all of them: they rock! We’re sharing just a few reasons why.


Why do special needs cats rock?

Special needs cats don’t know they’re any different

While you and I may see why a cat is considered special needs, they don’t! As far as they’re concerned, they’re as normal as any other kitty and will live their lives like it is, too. This means that finding a special needs cat that is just as playful, snuggly, or curious as another cat should be no problem.


It’s emotionally fulfilling and rewarding to care for a special needs cat

Needing extra care and attention just means more bonding time for you and your kitty. In fact, there have been numerous studies done over the years that show the positive affects that animals have on our mental health. That means caring for a special needs cat can be both emotionally fulfilling and rewarding for your overall well-being.


They are incredibly resilient

Cats as a species are resilient. From hiding pain to being magnificent athletes, they are not keen on showing when they’re feeling down. Despite the daily challenges special needs cats face, there is no argument that they are amongst the most resilient of their feline companions. From something as simple as grooming or as challenging as climbing a flight of stairs, special needs cats hardly let their disabilities get in the way of going about their day.


They’re often the most affectionate cats

While every cat is different, it’s no surprise that many special needs cats become extremely loving and affectionate companions. This may be due to the extra time needed to care for them and the reality that many special needs cats come from shelter or rescue settings and require time to build up a strong bond with their human family members. Once that trust is earned, though, get ready for the purrs and head butts!


They help teach empathy and compassion

Because special needs cats require a little more TLC, they can be true sources of inspiration, empathy, and compassion. Especially to children, bringing a special needs cat home to be a part of your family can help them learn patience and responsibility when taking care of a special needs cat.


With proper care, they can live full lives

Special needs cats can live out their days happily and fully, they just need the right care from you. By meeting their basic needs and ensuring they get routine vet visits, most special needs kitties can live long and fulfilling lives.


They’re often overlooked at shelters

Why does this rock? Well, at first glance, it might not. But because special needs cats are often overlooked at shelters, it means they are more affordable and, more importantly, waiting for you to bring them home! When you adopt a special needs cat, it means adopting a cat that may be at higher risk to stay in the shelter longer, or worse, euthanasia. So, because they are overlooked, bringing a special needs cat home means you’re saving a life.


Adopting or even fostering a special needs cat can be a truly unique and rewarding experience for you. The next time you go searching for a new kitty friend in your area, consider checking out the special needs cats that are available. Take some time and do your research on what owning a special needs cat is all about - you may just find your new best friend.


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