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The Specials: Adopting A Wobbly Cat

Wobbles first caught Katherine’s attention because she was making a funny, honking sound. At four months old, Wobbles found herself abandoned and alone at Chicago’s Animal Care and Control (CACC). Her cage card labeled her as a suspected Cerebellar Hypoplasia cat. Katherine knew a CH kitty would not survive long at CACC so she brought her home to foster, but within three days she knew Wobbles would stay with her forever.

Adopting a Cerebellar Hypoplasia cat

What is Cerebellar Hypoplasia?

Cerebellar Hypoplasia is a disorder in which the cerebellum doesn’t develop completely before birth. The cerebellum region of the brain controls balance and coordination and thus, cats with CH have mild to severe motor control issues as well as tremors. CH kitties are generally wobbly and unsteady and sometimes topple over when walking – hence the nickname “Wobbly Cat Syndrome”. CH kitties do not experience any pain or long term health concerns as a result of their condition. Like other cats, they can live long, happy lives and develop strong bonds with their human and furry families. You can learn more about Cerebellar Hypoplasia here.

Wobbly cat adoption rescuing a cat with wobbly cat syndrome

Adopting A Wobbly Cat with Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Wobbles has mild CH. She pulls herself up on the bed and couch using her nails. Sometimes when she tries to jump, she just bounces in place. She occasionally runs into things and falls over, but quickly picks herself up and goes about her business. Wobbles loves people and other cats and is pretty much the resident therapy cat for anyone in need. Most importantly, she never lets anything hold her back and doesn’t realize or care that she is different.

Wobbles shares her home with another wobbly cat named Fawkes. Fawkes is not a CH kitty. Tragically, his issues are the result of human cruelty. When he was a year old, he was turned into DuPage County Animal Control after being found buried under cinder blocks. He suffered a broken femur and his hip joints were shattered. Like Wobbles, Fawkes is a little unsteady on his feet and his tail and hips remain slightly crooked and off-kilter.

Fawkes is a rescuing and adopting a Cerebellar Hypoplasia cat

In addition to his coordination issues, Fawkes has a history of pancreatitis. He also started off as a foster cat, but after seeing him through several bouts of pancreatitis, Katherine made things permanent and adopted him. Although Fawkes has suffered unimaginable pain, he remains gentle and loving. Because pancreatitis can appear without warning, Katherine says she has learned to be sensitive and tuned in to his needs on a much deeper level and as a result, their bond is incredibly strong.

Katherine says both Wobbles and Fawkes have taught her to live in the moment. Neither cat lets their issues hold them back and both seem comfortable with their strengths and limitations. Their confidence, courage, independence, and, in Fawkes’ case, forgiveness, is truly inspiring. Katherine wishes others would open their hearts and homes to special needs cats like Wobbles and Fawkes.

Wobbly cats make the best companions, please rescue a CH kitty today

You can learn more about Fawkes and Wobbles by following them on Instagram. Please also check out Grassroots Animal Rescue, the wonderful organization for which Katherine fosters. For more information on Cerebellar Hypoplasia, please visit our friends at The Kitty Cat Chronicles.

Please consider fostering or adopting a special needs animal because different is beautiful and second chances are amazing. If you enjoyed this post, please check out my posts on adopting a deaf dog and adopting a survivor of abuse.

Wobbles and Fawkes are part of The Specials, an award-winning blog series focusing on special needs pet adoption. Senior pets, those with chronic medical issues, behavioral or temperament concerns as well as overlooked or misunderstood breeds like Pits and black cats. If not for the courage and compassion of their adopters, many of these animals might have been euthanized in shelters or died alone and hungry on the streets. You can read more special needs adoption posts here

Adopting a cat with Cerebellar Hypoplasia AKA wobbly cat





  1. Marie Symeou
    February 15, 2016 / 6:52 am

    They are both so beautiful and we are so glad they have a wonderful home with Katherine. Purrs xxAthena and Marie

  2. Gattina
    February 15, 2016 / 8:20 am

    Who could resist such a cutie ! She has such a beautiful face and on top a good character so such a disease is bearable ! My old Pookie has arthritis and doesn't jump anymore neither she helps herself also with her claws !

  3. Mitch and Molly
    February 15, 2016 / 10:34 am

    We are so happy for Wobbles and Fawkes! Bless you Miss Katherine!

  4. Sometimes, Cats Herd You
    February 15, 2016 / 11:16 am

    CH pets can make such good pets! Paws way up to Katherine to seeing past the wobbles to the wonderful companion kitty. She sounds like a really special human.

  5. Julie
    February 15, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    What a wonderful lady Katherine is looking after these extra special Push-T-Cats, luffs you KatherineLoves and licky kissesPrincess Leah xxx

  6. Mark Muller
    February 15, 2016 / 12:17 pm

    I'm so glad they found a human with a golden heart…. hugs to Katherine!

  7. Yamini MacLean
    February 15, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    Hari OMTwo more winners in the hi-stakes game of life!!! YAM xx

  8. Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady
    February 15, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    I had never heard of CH. Katherine is wonderful. My hat off to her this morning for helping two beautiful cats!

  9. Oz theTerrier
    February 15, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    What a beautiful story! Katherine is an amazing person to adopt these two amazing kitties. Both are just so precious.

  10. Kitty Cat Chronicles
    February 15, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    Wobbles and Fawkes are both adorable! Thank you for sharing their story and for helping to spread the word about CH. Thanks also for linking to us! 🙂 Love this series you are doing!!!

  11. The Menagerie Mom
    February 15, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    Wobbles and Fawkes are both beautiful, and they are so lucky to have Katherine. Brave kitties like Wobbles and Fawkes inspire me so much. And, stories like this and people like Katherine give me hope in humanity. Thank you for yet another wonderful story about the amazing special animals in this world.

  12. Madi and Mom
    February 15, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    Ohhhh we have several kitty friends with CH…one at Kitty Chronicles even goes out walking about on a leash. Nuttin' stops Sophie. We love visiting here and reading your inspiring stories of love and devotion. You write them just like they are your stories….so caringDang old blogger is not showing my post today but we did do a post!Hugs madi your bfff

  13. Murphy
    February 15, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    What great photos! Always like a story that ends in a furever home!Keep Calm & Bark On!Murphy & Stanley

  14. Random Felines
    February 15, 2016 / 4:11 pm

    thanks for featuring these two kitties….both special in their own ways

  15. Frankie Furter and Ernie
    February 15, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    They are BOTH Beautiful and we are so happy that they have found the PURRRRRfect home to be in.

  16. Sketching with Dogs
    February 15, 2016 / 6:05 pm

    Awww, that is just so lovely to adopt a wobbly cat (I had to smile at the title :)Lynne x

  17. Marg
    February 15, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    What a wonderful post and what a great person you are to take in these two cats. We sure do thank you many times over.

  18. Bella Roxy & Macdui
    February 15, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    That's a sad, happy story. We're so glad both cats were adopted.

  19. Bouncing Bertie
    February 15, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    Thank you for telling us about these two wobbly but wonderful cats. Seems like we have much to learn from them and their lovely carer Katherine.Cheers.Gail and Bertie.

  20. Idaho PugRanch
    February 15, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    What a sweet lady Katherine is. We have a couple of wobbly pugs due to old agehugsMr Bailey, Hazel and Mabel

  21. Two French Bulldogs
    February 16, 2016 / 12:15 am

    They are beautiful Lily & Edward

  22. The Island Cats
    February 16, 2016 / 1:37 am

    Paws up to Miss Katherine for giving Wobbles and Fawkes a wonderful home.

  23. Lola The Rescued Cat
    February 16, 2016 / 1:39 am

    Thank you, Miss Katherine, for adopting these two special kitties and giving the a wonderful home.

  24. sprinkles
    February 16, 2016 / 3:04 am

    I've never heard of CH before. Thanks to Katherine for taking such excellent care of Wobbles and Fawkes and giving them a loving home.

  25. Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song
    February 16, 2016 / 3:05 am

    They are both such beautiful cats. I especially love Wobbles. Who could not give such a pretty cat a beautiful home

  26. M. K. Clinton
    February 16, 2016 / 4:52 am

    I really enjoy these "Specials" posts. My heart breaks for Fawkes. Humans can be so very cruel. Thank God for wonderful people that open their hearts and homes to these wonderful pets.

  27. da tabbies o trout towne
    February 16, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    itz total lee awesum two meet ewe both wobbles & fawkes….ewe both R total lee awesum N we R buzzed happee ya finded yur for everz with yur mom ….we waz gonna menshun ta chex out sophie's blog …then we saw ewe beet uz two it !!! ♥♥♥ oh, N fawkes…. we iz mega sorree….who ever did that two ewe…we haz sum cinder blox & then sum …..for them ~~~~

  28. pilch92 15andmeowing
    February 17, 2016 / 12:17 am

    Fawkes' story breaks my heart. I am glad these 2 have a loving forever home.

  29. Marty the Manx
    February 17, 2016 / 2:28 am

    Again another amazing story of awesome Peeps and amazing Kitties finding each other. Thank you for the inspiration!

  30. KB Bear
    February 17, 2016 / 2:55 am

    Amazing sweet story. Wow.

  31. Robin Mudge
    February 17, 2016 / 5:26 am

    I'm so glad that these two kitties found a loving home together. Special needs cats are precious and they make perfect companions for the right people. It absolutely breaks my heart that humans can be so evil as to do things like what was done to Fawkes. I'm sending prayers to their whole little family for continued health and happiness.-Purrs from your friends at

  32. tubby3pug
    February 17, 2016 / 1:47 pm

    Beautiful cat. I'm glad she found a great home. We have a very camera shy thre legged cat

  33. Cathy Armato
    February 17, 2016 / 6:30 pm

    Katherine is a very special lady. Wobbles and Fawkes are special too! Thanks for continuing this amazing Specials series and for sharing this beautiful story with us – it's so uplifting!Love & Biscuits,Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  34. Pawesome Cats
    February 18, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Wobbly cats are very special and we're a big fan of Sophie from Kitty Cat Chronicles. I'm enjoying the specials series, it's a great idea!

  35. AmyShojai
    February 18, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    I love that you're educating about these wonderful kitties. They're so determined to just live their life, it's inspiring.

  36. Ruth Epstein
    February 18, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    Wonderful story and as I always say no one is perfect – thank you for sharing

  37. Patty Woodland
    February 18, 2016 / 8:01 pm

    They are very lucky kitties to have such a loving human. Who among us doesn't wobble a little?

  38. FidoseofReality
    February 19, 2016 / 5:11 am

    Thanks for sharing this very important message. I will tweet it out, too.

  39. Denise Gruzensky
    February 19, 2016 / 5:16 am

    We love your series "The Specials"!! Bringing awareness to special needs pets is SO important!!

  40. Sweet Purrfections
    February 19, 2016 / 6:26 am

    We're learning more and more about wobbly cats. Mom Paula has met Sophie who lives with Emily and is a wobbly kitty. Sophie is adorable and gets around well.

  41. Sadie and Co.
    February 19, 2016 / 6:54 pm

    Great post. It will help people realize how 'special' these companions are.

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