New “CH” Pet Parents

Being like me as a new “specially-abled” pet parent I was unsure what I was embarking on and had a plethora of emotions (mainly excitement! But of course there was a dash of fear in there also). Most of the things I have learned by “on-the-job” training as well as the love, support & guidance of other specially-abled pet parents. I highly suggest you join the many Facebook groups that are dedicated to cerebellar hypoplasia (and other specially-abled!) animals and never be afraid to reach out for questions or guidance! Blogs and forums such as Kitty Cat Chronicles also became my saving grace and honestly the gift that both Bifford and I needed to better understand one another. Learning and patience are the two most important points when adopting (or fostering!) a specially-abled pet!

Below is a list of items, tips, tricks & suggestions compiled by fellow CH-pet parents! Have anything to add to the list? E-mail us today and we will include it!

  1. If you notice your new special baby stressed or overly anxious try to utilize the Feliway spray as well as try to get your baby into a “routine”. I noticed that Bifford enjoyed having a semi-structured routine (we woke him up from his “big boy room” and fed him breakfast, then we would let him play the day away with his brother and sisters then “mommy” would be home from work so he got snuggle time then it was dinnertime and then lounging with “mom and dad” before bedtime). I found that if anything derailed his routine in such a dramatic way he would freak out (and eventually that turned into stress cystitis, but that is a topic for another post!
  2. Schedule regular dental cleanings/examinations! I cannot tell you how many times when I first brought Bifford home would he sneeze a little too aggressively or be playing and “biff” it a little to hard and hurt his mouth or even chip a tooth! By having regular dental cleanings done I was able to address any injured teeth (injured= extremely painful).
  3. Construct a first aid kit for cats! This will come in handy if your little angel stumbles and falls or gets a “booboo” that may need a little attention when your veterinarian is closed (or you need to address and stabilize while en route to the veterinarian!)
  4. Invest in a low lip litter box! We actually made “BHOP” (Bifford’s House of Poop” which was a 13 gallon Rubbermaid container that Bifford’s “dad” cut a hole out on the bottom of one side (always use caution when using power/sharp tools!) This way Bifford could easily bobble into BHOP and do his absolute worse inside and there was no spillage or issue! He could also fall in it (or sometimes, play) without him knocking the entire thing over or causing any damage/injury!
  5. COMMUNICATION! When you adopt one of these special babies call your regular veterinarian right away (or send them a letter/postcard!) letting them know you adopted a specially abled pet (e-mail us if you would like our informational packet for veterinarians/veterinary staff) and if they have any questions (or maybe concerns) about these special babies. (Check out our map of veterinarians that are aware and understand these special kiddos here)

First Aid Kit Suggestions/Inventory:

  1. Blood Clotting Powder (Styptic Powder)
  2. Saline Wound Flush (Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Wound Wash)
  3. Wound Disinfectant (e.g., Povidone Iodine or Chlorhexidine Diacetate)
  4. Cotton Balls/Swabs
  5. Gauze Pads (“sponges”)
  6. Non-Stick Bandage Pads 
  7. Gauze Roll
  8. Bandage Tape
  9. Blunt-Tip Bandage Scissors
  10. Splint(s) 
  11. 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  12.  Antibiotic Ointment 
  13. Eye Flush (saline) 
  14. Battery Powered Beard Trimmer/Hair Clippers (for trimming fur around wounds — it’s best to avoid using scissors for this purpose) & do not forget to get batteries!
  15. Digital Thermometer
  16. Lube (Surgilube Lube or Petroleum Jelly)
  17. Instant-Cold Packs
  18. Muzzle (pets in pain are more likely to bite — even their owner)
  19. Oral Syringes 
  20.  Pillowcase (Makes for a great and quick temporary transport “makeshift cat carrier” in a pinch!)
  21.  Exam Gloves
  22. Flashlight
  23. List of emergency veterinary facilities, regular veterinary physician, and other important numbers!
  24. Tweezers/Hemostats
  25. Antiseptic Spray/Wipes
  26. Towel/Blanket
  27. Nail Clippers (for animals)