Thursday, September 24, 2020

4 Reasons to Consider Adopting a Special Needs Cat #RememberMeThursday


Carmine in his heated bed with a sign that says, "I Creaste to Save Lives."

Today is Remember Me Thursday - a day we shine a light on all the animals in rescues and shelters still waiting for their forever homes. We want to talk to you specifically about special needs kitties today. 

Did you know that special needs pets are considered "less adoptable?" That means that special needs cats usually spend much longer in shelters waiting for forever homes than healthy kitties. 

That's right, some people still look at special needs pets as "broken" or "less than." But anyone who has ever had the privilege of caring for a special needs cat can tell you that they make wonderful companions. 

Personally, I tend to find myself drawn to special needs pets. Maybe it's because I feel like I can understand them since I have a disability myself.  I do understand others' hesitation to adopt a special needs cat, though.

I hope that learning more about special needs cats will help ease some of the concerns some people have about adopting special needs kitties. 

So, why should you consider adopting a special needs cat?

Tylan with his #RememberMeThursday catnip toy.

Special Needs Cats Have Just as Much Love to Give

Special needs cats have just as much love to give as healthy kitties. My special needs cat, Tylan, has severe refractory stomatitis, and he is one of the most loving cats I've ever met! Tylan adores people. Not only does he love his friends, but he loves making friends with strangers. Tylan enjoys sleeping with me at least part of each night, following me around and supervising me during the day, and telling me exactly what he thinks about everything. He has always had an abundance of love to offer despite how crummy his mouth condition has made him feel in the past. 

Our friend Logan had this to say about his special needs cats, Sadie and Amber - "They both loved their dad very much. They knew when I was having a hard time and insisted on snuggling meThat's all they wanted were snuggles all the time." 

Logan's cat, Sadie.
Logan's cat, Sadie.
*Photo used with permission. 

Special needs kitties just want to be loved as much as healthy cats do. They need and deserve forever homes just as much. 

Special Needs Cats Adapt Well

Cats are great at adapting to challenges. In fact, many people who have special needs cats forget their kitties even have challenges! My special needs cat, Carmine, is almost completely blind now due to cataracts in both his eyes. Despite his inability to see much, he still does everything he did when he had good sight. He still jumps up into the window, gets in his cat tree, maneuvers his environment well, and even gets on top of the kitchen cabinets! He does so well that I sometimes forget that he cannot see. 

Our friend, Mom Emily from Kitty Cat Chronicles, says, "My cat Sophie has cerebellar hypoplasia. I love watching her adapt and figure out how to do things her own way. Seeing her accomplish something she couldn't do before, like climbing up onto the cat tree, is incredibly rewarding." 

Our friend, Mom Lorianne from Four Legged Furballs says this about her special needs cat Evan - "And then there's the fact that Evan just really truly inspires me. He may be hind limb paralyzed, but he acts in such a determined and brave way that I often forget that he's, 'different.' All in all, Evan runs, plays, climbs, cuddles, purrs, and just overall loves life. If anyone or anything has taught me that obstacles in life can be overcome, it's Evan."

Carmine on top of the refrigerator.
Carmine: Mine's eyes might not work so well anymores, but mes still gets around!

Some special needs kitties may need you to make a few accommodations to your home to help them live quality lives; however, these modifications are usually minimal. For instance, if you adopt an arthritic cat, he may need pet stairs to help him get onto his cat tree or onto your bed. A kitty with vision problems may benefit from toys that are color-contrasting. 

Special Needs Cats Need Homes

Special needs kitties need homes just like healthy cats do. Kitties with physical, mental, or behavioral issues didn't ask for their challenges. They just want a safe home and humans to love them. They don't know that they're any different than a healthy kitty. Sadly, special needs kitties tend to stay in rescues and shelters much longer than healthy kitties waiting for forever homes. By adopting a special needs cat, you're giving a kitty a chance at having a loving forever home, a chance he may not otherwise get. 

Many People Develop Unique Bonds with Their Special Needs Cats

When I adopted Carmine as a 14-week-old kitten, he was perfectly healthy. At the age of 4, he developed crystals in his urine and had to begin eating a prescription diet. He was diagnosed with arthritis when he was only 6 years old. 

Carmine and I had a unique and strong bond from the day I first met him, but when he became a special needs kitty, our bond only got deeper and stronger. 

Carmine lights a #rememberMeThursday candle for all the animals still needing forever homes.
Carmine lights a #RememberMeThursday candle for all the animals still waiting for forever homes.

Others say they also feel a special bond with their special needs kitties.

Our friend Lorianne says, "My orange tabby boy Evan is hind limb paralyzed. In some ways he does depend on me more than my other cats do, and I think that is just one reason why he and I share an extra special bond." 

Our friend Joan expresses a similar sentiment, "I love special needs cat. My forever foster Tiger is diabetic and has kidney disease. The connection with a special needs cat is like no other. There seems to be a heightened sense of trust. Tiger, like my other special needs cats, may not be happy when he gets poked, injected, or gets fluids, but he is never afraid of me in spite of the fact that I do all this stuff to him. Maybe I'm projecting, but I think he knows that everything I do is with love and good intentions." 

Now that you know how awesome special needs cats are, I hope you'll consider adopting one from a rescue or shelter the next time you are ready to add to your family. There are so many wonderful special needs kitties waiting for forever homes. When you adopt a special needs kitty, I believe that not only will you change the cat's life for the better, you'll be improving your own life as well. 

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  1. What a wonderful post, Special Needs cats are wonderful and your post shows that.

  2. Such a sweet post, and it's true, special needs critters need love and they so appreciate it and return the love back to you many times over. Adoptions are just the best and here's to many, many more...and then some!

  3. Terrific post!
    I forget that Sweetie is deaf, or at least mostly she is special needs but oh! What a lover she is, and each day that we spend together is a joy.
    Adopt, Don't Shop!
    Rescued is our favorite breed!

  4. Great post. Thanks for spreading the word to help special needs cats. XO

  5. Great post! Special needs cats are special in so many ways.

  6. What a beautiful post for this special day! Special needs kitties really give joy to their families. Thanks for hopping with us today!

  7. What a wonderful post for Remember Me Thursday.

  8. Great post! Thank you for spreading the light about special needs cats!

  9. Huh. I don't even consider my cats "special needs" because they have health issues or a disability. Referring to them as such kind of makes it seem like they are somehow less or set apart from "normal" cats - when both my cats ARE normal and perfectly wonderful in every way.

  10. Brilliant post guys, thanks so much for sharing and highlighting special needs kitties <3 <3 <3

  11. We really love this post of all the #RememberMeThursday posts. Really wonderful and we feel the same. Our Rumpy needs a lot of extra due to his endless back end problems and now his asthma. Of course he is a troublemaker but I love him dearly. Purrs friends and Carmine extra for you my friend!

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