3 Amazing Reasons to Adopt a Special Needs Kitten or Cat

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
Special needs cats need love, too, but are commonly passed over for adoption. Here’s why you should bring one home.

Special needs cats are surprisingly common in shelters and foster networks, especially in those that follow a no-kill policy. But even though these cats are just a beautiful, loving, active, and deserving of adoption as any other kitty waiting for a forever home, they’re often looked over.

A special needs cat in a no-kill shelter could spend years there, watching adopters come and go without paying any attention to him because he’s different. So the next time that you’re ready to add a furry friend to your family, consider opening your heart and home to a special needs kitty of any age.

Related: 4 Purrfect Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat

“Special Needs” Is a Broad Term

First off, when discussing special needs cats, we aren’t just talking about those who are on long-term medications or who have chronic medical problems. And “special needs” doesn’t mean that you’ll constantly have to hover over your pet to make sure he’s okay. Blind cats and those who are missing a leg, for example, can get around much like any able-bodied feline, and they show affection just like other cats, too.

Special needs might refer to a kitty who requires a little extra care because he was abused by a previous owner and is uneasy when he’s around people he doesn’t know too well. Or a special needs cat might be missing one eye or a paw, or maybe he’s older and starting to show the usual signs of aging. Other special needs cats might have conditions like cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), making them uncoordinated when they walk.

Related: 6 Gratifying Reasons To Adopt A Senior Cat

The point is that “special needs” is a broad term for any animal who will need extra care and attention after being adopted. It doesn’t mean that the animal is unadoptable or unfit to be a part of the family. Instead, the opposite is true.

Reason You’ll Be Saving Lives!

One of the biggest reasons to adopt a special needs kitten or cat is because you’ll be saving their life, as well as helping to save the lives of other kitties in need. Shelters that can’t accommodate special needs animals may just end up euthanizing them. And no-kill rescues that adopt out special needs cats will have even more room to save even more animals. So, by adopting a special needs cat, you could be pulling him from death row, or you could be giving him the chance to live a normal, happy, and comfortable life in a home rather than in a no-kill shelter.

Reason Special Needs Cats Are Spectacular!

Special needs cats can teach you a lot, especially when it comes to overcoming obstacles and remaining positive. Oftentimes, they don’t let whatever makes them different from other cats get in their way. So it’s no surprise that so many inspirational special needs cats have been showcased on social media by their owners and have acquired a huge following, proving that they’re just like other cats.

Reason Senior Cats Deserve Love, Too!

Many people shy away from adopting a senior cat, but these animals are some of the best candidates for adoption. They’re calm, they already have an established personality, and they’re perfectly content just spending time with you in their golden years. Rather than forcing a senior cat to spend his last good years in a cage, why not adopt him and let him know unconditional love to the very end?

Things to Consider Before Adopting a Special Needs Pet

Before you head off in search of a special needs kitten or adult cat, there are a few things to consider:

  • Are you financially able to take care of your pet, especially if he requires extra veterinary care, special food or medications, etc.? And if your cat does need to see the vet more frequently, do you have a form of reliable transportation to make those trips?
  • Can your living arrangements accommodate a special needs cat, and will the animal be able to get around the house safely, especially if he has mobility issues or a condition like CH? If not, are you willing to make changes so that you can accommodate your new pet?
  • Do you and your family members have the time and energy to devote to a special needs pet that requires more attention? Is your lifestyle suitable to taking care of a special needs cat?

Like other cats that are rescued, special needs kitties know that you’re their hero, and they’ll gladly fill your days with love. Every moment with your special needs pet will prove that you made the right choice, and you may be surprised by the strong bond that you develop with your new companion.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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