Ways to Volunteer

All interested volunteers must attend a New Volunteer Orientation Meeting. Age requirements, qualifications, and hours for responsibilities vary and will be explained in the meeting.

If you’re interested in any of the following positions please email us.

Cat Care Technician

At SNAP Cats, you’re more than just a “cat cuddler.” You’re a trainer, therapist and care giver to cats that need more than just attention — they need your love and commitment to help them overcome the difficulties they face everyday. If you’re looking for a challenging yet very rewarding experience, SNAP Cats is your opportunity.

Foster Care Family

As a foster family you’ll provide in-home care to SNAP Cats recovering from injuries/surgeries, cats in need of socializing (in a family environment outside of our campus), and possibly bottle feeding kittens who’ve lost their mother. Foster Care Families receive all animal care supplies for SNAP Cats and can determine the types of animals they are willing to care for. Click here (MS Word) or here (pdf ) to download our Foster Care Program Information.

Facility Maintenance

As a maintenance Volunteer you’ll assist SNAP Cats staff in keeping our campus clean and organized for our cats and the public. You’ll help by assisting with laundry, washing dishes, gardening, painting, organizing storage, general cleaning and various other tasks as needed. A clean environment is essential in keeping everyone happy and healthy.

Animal Transportation

Drop off and pick up SNAP Cats from local venues (vets, mobile adoptions, events, etc.), or longer distance transfers to/from other shelters, rescues and sanctuaries.

Social Media

Help our SNAP Cats get noticed/adopted. Photograph our cats to post on our website, AdoptAPet.com, Petfinder.com, SNAP Cats Newsletters, etc; update social media web pages; advertise our animals via the Internet; and create flyers/posters to be placed around your community to publicize both our cats and campus.

Office

As an Office Volunteer you’ll be responsible for answering phones, assisting the public, facilitating adoptions, and various other administrative tasks as needed.

General

If you just want to help out in any capacity, that’s great, too. Whether it’s in the office, in our cat rooms, helping to transport cats, or working on your computer, we’ll always need and appreciate your help to take care of our wonderful cats.

Teddy

Teddy
Spayed Female
1 year 1 month
Shy

Teddy is Sponsored by: Leigh Behrens

Teddy’s adopter will receive this Drawing of Teddy by Gabriela Doll

When Teddy was surrendered to SNAP cats we were told that he had a cleft lip/palate. Once we saw the dilute caligo ears, we knew he was a she. But she knew her name, so we kept it.

SNAP Cats, with help from our wonderful donors, fixed Teddy’s cleft lip/palate in a series of surgeries starting on October 15, 2014. Teddy was very, very shy at first. She startled at every little noise, and basically was being considered a barn cat. HOWEVER, Teddy has made great progress! She’s still shy, but will take food from your hand, and come to you if you call her name. Teddy LOVES the company of other kittens/cats. She still frightens a little, but that shouldn’t stop her from becoming a warm, indoor companion kitty. Teddy just needs some time to acclimate. She needs a human that’ll give her the time to adjust, has a quiet household, with no kids, and has a companion cat to help her socialize.

To see Teddy’s before and after pictures from her surgery click here.

 

Donation Boxes

orangepeg Please support these Sonoma County businesses that support us! And while you’re there don’t hesitate to slip a Washington or a Lincoln in our box!

Healdsburg

Amoruso’s Printing 401 Center Street, Ste. G Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.433.9045
B. Real Women’s Apparel 311 Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.431.1557
Bean Affair 1270 Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.395.0177
Copperfield’s Books 104 Matheson Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.433.9270
Debbie’s Pet Boutique 431 Center Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.838.1896
Fabrications 106 B Matheson Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.433.6243
Ferrari-Carano/ Scharfen Berger Chocolate 113 Plaza Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 (FC) 707.431.2222 (SB) 707.431.8000
Garrett ACE Hardware 1340 Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.433.5593
Healdsburg Dog House 212 Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.431.1044
Healdsburg Emporium 210 Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.433.2500
Healdsburg Running Company 333 Center Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.395.0372
Levin & Company Booksellers 306 Center Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.433.5286
Oakville Grocery 124 Matheson Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.433.3200
Parkpoint Healdsburg 195 Foss Creek Circle Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.385.2500
Pedroncelli Winery 1220 Canyon Road Geyserville, CA 95441 800.836.3894Prickett’s Nursery 12950 Old Redwood Hwy. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.539.3030
Raven Film Center 415 Center Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.525-8909
Russian River Tea Company 336 Center Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.473.8256 Watch Our Promotional Video
Shelton’s Market 428 Center Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.431.0530
Summer’s Market & Deli 557 Powell Ave. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.494.4464
Swish 353 Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.431.8665
The Blackbird Cafe & Soda Fountain 312 Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.431.7669
The Taste of Tea 109 North Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.431.1995
The UPS Store 1083 Vine Street Healdsburg, CA, 95448 707.433.0396
The Wurst 22 Matheson Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.395.0214
Toy Chest 401 Center Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.433.4743
Truett Hurst Winery 5610 Dry Creek Road. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.433.9545

Petaluma

Chelsea Antiques 148 Petaluma Blvd. N Petaluma, CA 94952 707.763.7686
River Town Feed & Pet Country Store 200 First Street Petaluma, CA 94952 707.762-4505
Toy B Ville 136 Petaluma Blvd N. Petaluma, CA 94952 707.772.5318

Rohnert Park/Cotati

49er Pet 375 Southwest Blvd. Rohnert Park, CA 94928 707.795.1242
Cotati Jewelers 554 E. Cotati Ave. Cotati, CA 94931 707.793.9939
North Light Books & Gifts 1720 East Cotati Ave. Rohnert Park, CA 94928 707.792.4300
Paradise Pet Resort 5800 Commerce Blvd. Rohnert Park, CA 94928 707.206.9000
Swirl Time Yogurt Bar 1718 E. Cotati Ave. Rohnert Park, CA 94928 707.795.7900
Your Pets Market 570 E. Cotati Ave. Cotati, CA 94931 707.665.5559

Santa Rosa

Bennett Valley Pet Center 2700 Yulupa Ave. #19 Santa Rosa, CA 95405 707.569.8624
Betty’s Fish and Chips 4046 Sonoma Hwy. Santa Rosa, CA 95409 707.539.0899
Coddingtown Veterinary Clinic 2210 County Center Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95403 707.546.4646
Community Market 1899 Mendocino Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95401 707.546.1806
Copperfield’s Books 775 Village Court Santa Rosa, CA 95405 707.578.8938
Fireside Stationary 2316 Magowan Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95405 707.545.6556 Watch Our Promotional Video
Homegrown Pet Supply 6119 Old Redwood Hwy. Santa Rosa, CA 95403 707.838.PETS
Hook & Ladder Winery 2134 Olivet Road Santa Rosa, CA 95401 707.526.2255
Imwalle 685 West 3rd Street Santa Rosa, CA 95401 707.546.0279
Ma Cherie et Moi 2332 Magowan Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95405 707.573.1103
Paradise Pet Resort 2120 Bluebell Dr. Santa Rosa, CA 95403 707-595-3834
Pawsarotti’s 4040 Sonoma Hwy. Santa Rosa, CA 95409 707.539.7297
Pet Club 1935 Santa Rosa Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95407 707.523.3083
Roseland Smog 930 Petaluma Hill Road Santa Rosa, CA, 95404 707.569.8112
The Cat Doctor 1037 W. College Ave. Santa Rosa, CA, 95403 707.546.CATS (2287)

Sebastopol/Occidental

Answering & Mailbox Center 321 S. Main Street Sebastopol, CA 95472 707.823.1000
California Cuts 793 Gravenstein Ave. Sebastopol, CA 95472 707.823.6277
Coffee Catz 6761 Sebastopol Ave. Sebastopol, CA 95472 707.829.6600
Community Market 6762 Sebastopol Ave. #100 Sebastopol, CA 95472 707.407.4020
Copperfield’s Books 138 N. Main Street Sebastopol, CA 95472 707.823.2618
Harbor View Gifts 935 Highway 1 Bodega Bay, CA 94923 707.875.3122
Occidental Hardware 3799 Bohemian Highway Occidental, CA 95465 707.874.3441
Saddles To Boots 6144 Hwy. 12 Sebastopol, CA 95472 707.823.9700
Sprint Copy Center 175 N. Main Street Sebastopol, CA 95472 707.823.3900
The UPS Store 125 S. Main Street Sebastopol, CA 95472 707.823.8300

Windsor

Debbie’s Pet Boutique 10333 Old Redwood Hwy. Suite 111 Windsor, CA 95492 707.838.1896
Garrett ACE Hardware 10540 Old Redwood Hwy. Windsor, CA 95492 707.433.6590
Health First Pharmacy 9070 Windsor Road Windsor, CA 95492 707.837.7948
My Chic Boutique 9077 Windsor Road Windsor, CA, 95492 707.836.4334
Images 9061 Windsor Road Windsor, CA, 95492 707.837.0160
Pages – Books on the Green 920 McClelland Drive Windsor, CA 95492 707.837.8665
Ubeadquitous 9111 Windsor Road Windsor, CA, 95492 707.838.3953

 

electronicframe2

Electronic Picture Frames

You can find Electronic Picture Frames (with slide shows) featuring all of our adoptable special needs cats in Sonoma County, at the following businesses:

Debbie’s Pet Boutique 431 Center Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.838.1896
Swish 353 Healdsburg Ave. Healdsburg, CA 95448 707.431.8665
Unleashed by Petco 1175 Yulupa Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Health First Pharmacy 9070 Windsor Road Windsor, CA 95492 707.837.7948
If you’d like to show your support and host a SNAP Cats donation box and/or display information in your establishment(s), please contact us at info@snapcats.org . It’ll class-up your joint, guaranteed!
Try to solve the new Formula Cube! It works exactly like a Rubik’s Cube but it is only $2, from China. Learn to solve it with the tutorial on rubiksplace.com or use the solver to calculate the solution in a few steps.

Donate

Where to Give

SNAP Cats is a 501(c)(3) organization (Tax ID: 46-2399499)

If you’d like to send a check please make it payable to SNAP Cats, and please send it to the address below. If you’d like to print out a donation form (in our brochure) please click here.

Thanks for your support!

SNAP Cats, Inc.
4663 Petaluma Hill Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
707.836.6000

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Sponsorship Opportunities

There are a number of sponsorship opportunities here at SNAP Cats. We have daily and monthly expenses that you can donate toward (button on left), and we have “Big Ticket” items that we desperately need help with.

Thank you in advance for your sponsorship consideration!



(example)

Donate your Car, Truck, Boat, RV or Motorcycle

Running or Not!! Tax Deductible!

SNAP Cats has teamed up with Car Donations Services, Inc. to provide you with the easiest way possible to donate your vehicle whether it’s running or not! Get rid of that unneeded vehicle and receive a tax deduction. It’s easy. For more information contact Car Donation Services at 1-888-686-4483 or click here to donate directly.

Matching Corporate Donation

Many companies/corporations have a matching donation policy. If you’re thinking of donating to SNAP Cats, please check with your employee to see if they’ll match your gift. That’s a win-win for us!

General Donation

Please donate whatever you can. Every penny will be used to help our special cats live a happy, comfortable life, whether in a new home or here at SNAP Cats. Thank you.

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Sponsor A Cat

sponsoracat565

Choose sponsorship amount from drop-down menu below
then click on the “Become A Sponsor” image below

BW

bw450myadoptionissponsored

BW
Neutered Male
9 months-old
Shy

BW is Sponsored by: Anica Erikson

BW was rescued from a feral colony whose caretaker was moving and no one could continue feeding the cats (all cats found homes or rescues). Because BW showed signs of being “tame” SNAP Cats placed him in foster care where he received the necessary vaccines, was neutered and micro-chipped. In foster, BW has really made a lot of progress. He cuddles with his foster mom, loves to be pet, and is getting better with new people (strangers). He’s still very shy with new people, but doesn’t growl or swat. BW needs a quiet home, no kids, and a human companion that is patient with his acclimation to his new home. He gets along with other cats. Don’t know about dogs.BW was rescued from a feral colony whose caretaker was moving and no one could continue feeding the cats (all cats found homes or rescues). Because BW showed signs of being “tame” SNAP Cats placed him in foster care where he received the necessary vaccines, was neutered and micro-chipped. In foster, BW has really made a lot of progress. He cuddles with his foster mom, loves to be pet, and is getting better with new people (strangers). He’s still very shy with new people, but doesn’t growl or swat. BW needs a quiet home, no kids, and a human companion that is patient with his acclimation to his new home. He gets along with other cats. Don’t know about dogs.

Cupcake

cupcake

Cupcake
Spayed Female
9 years 4 months
Moody (aren’t we all?)

Cupcake is Sponsored by: Jean Nielsen

I had a human family once. After a long time of being on my own, I wandered into a feral colony feeding station. A very nice human woman took me home. I’m trying very hard to relearn manners that come with being part of a human family. I’m being praised for my accomplishments and told how great I’m doing. I’m starting to trust again. My new name is Cupcake. The kitty doctor says I’m 7 to 10 years old. I got my vaccines and had my teeth scaled and had a bath. I did not like the bath! Now that it’s over, though, I do feel very pretty. I’m happier, too, because my mouth feels better. The doctor says I’m in very good shape. When you first look at me I appear to be a black cat. But if you look closer you’ll see that I’m black with a reddish hint. And underneath my silky, beautiful long black hair I’m smoky gray. Something interesting to know about me is that I only have two toes on my back left foot, and I have little short legs. My breed is a cutie or midgie, or something like that. I need a long term foster home or forever home with someone who knows how to give me time to relax and restore my faith in humans. I’m very loving and love to rub on you. I’m ready for you to pet me now but I don’t want you to pick me up (right now). I’ll come and sit on your lap though. I love to run and play. I make noises when I see other cats, but I don’t attack them. I’m not very bothered by them. I promise to love you forever if you will love me forever.

Cupcake needs an experienced cat person for foster or adoption. She’s making great progress in becoming totally tame, but does have a snapping point when enough is enough. If you can foster or adopt Cupcake please email SNAP Cats A.S.A.P. Let’s find her a warm, comfortable, new home. Thanks.

 

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Pumpkin
Spayed Female
5 years-old
Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH)

Sponsor Pumpkin: For $25/month, you can sponsor Pumpkin (for $50/month you can sponsor Pumpkin and her two CH siblings) to help us make sure she receives proper medical care (medicine, food, etc.). Please email us us for more information and/or opportunities. Thank you!

Like her siblings, Pumpkin has moderate cerebellar hypoplasia. She loves cuddling in a pile with other cats! Pumpkin loves to be brushed. She’s thin, but has a great appetite so should be fattening up quickly. Pumpkin’s spayed, vaccinated, dewormed, de-flead, FeLV/FIV negative and just had a full dental with five extractions.

If you can adopt or foster Pumpkin and/or her two CH siblings (Pompom and Pancake) please let us know. These kitties were rescued from a horrible hoarding situation and deserve to have a warm, loving home for the rest of their lives!

 

Pompom

pompom

Pompom
Spayed Female
5 years-old
Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH)

Sponsor Pompom: For $25/month, you can sponsor Pompom (for $50/month you can sponsor Pompom and her two CH siblings) to help us make sure she receives proper medical care (medicine, food, etc.). Please email us us for more information and/or opportunities. Thank you!

Like her siblings, Pompom has moderate cerebellar hypoplasia. She’s a little shy at first, but comes around after about a week of attention. Pompom’s playful and loves to be brushed. She loves other cats and loves cardboard boxes – she’ll pick a cardboard box over a fluffy bed any day! Pompom has a great appetite! She’s spayed, vaccinated, dewormed, de-flead, FeLV/FIV negative and just had a full dental with five extractions.

If you can adopt or foster Pompom and/or her two CH siblings (Pancake and Pumpkin) please let us know. These kitties were rescued from a horrible hoarding situation and deserve to have a warm, loving home for the rest of their lives!

 

Pancake

Pancake
Pancake
Neutered Male
5 years 5 months
Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH)

Pancake is Sponsored by: Michael Snider

Pancake’s adopter will receive this Drawing of Pancake by Gabriela Doll

Despite having moderate cerebellar hypoplasia, Pancake is very playful. He loves balls with bells in them and loves chasing anything that moves. Pancake’s the most outgoing of the three CH cats we just rescued (the other two are Pompom and Pumpkin). He’s very friendly and loves chin scratches and tummy rubs. Pancake is neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, de-flead, FeLV/FIV negative and just had a full dental with seven extractions.

If you can adopt or foster Pancake and/or his two CH sisters (Pompom and Pumpkin) please let us know. These kitties were rescued from a horrible hoarding situation and deserve to have a warm, loving home for the rest of their lives!

Brewster

brewster

Brewster
Neutered Male
3 Years 2 months
FIV+

Brewster is Sponsored by: Lakmali Jayasinghe

Brewster was hanging around my house, wanting to occasionally come in to say hi. He had an abscess so I took him in to the vet. Brewster was also intact so we fixed him and did a blood panel. It was then we learned Brewster is FIV+. He’s very nice and playful… a big, black tom who’s very friendly and docile. I think with a proper introduction he’ll be fine with other cats, not sure about dogs. – Rene

Brewster is currently in Rene’s care. If you can adopt Brewster please email SNAP Cats A.S.A.P.
Let’s get him into a warm, comfortable, permanent home. Thanks.

 

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

What is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)?

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) describes a collection of conditions that can affect the bladder and urethra of cats. This syndrome can have many possible causes, but cats generally exhibit similar, recognizable signs. Cats with FLUTD usually show signs of difficulty and pain when urinating, increased frequency of urination, and blood in the urine. Affected cats tend to lick their genital area excessively, and sometimes they will urinate outside the litter box, often preferring cool, smooth surfaces like a tile floor or a bathtub.

While the condition can be seen in cats of any age, it is most frequently seen in middle-aged, over-weight cats that get little exercise, use an indoor litter box, have restricted access outside, and eat a dry diet. Environmental factors, such as interactions with owners, multi-cat households, and changes in routine may also increase the risk that a cat will develop FLUTD.

How is FLUTD diagnosed?

Although cats with lower urinary tract disease behave in similar ways, the potential causes are multiple. Urinary tract infections, urinary stones, urethral plugs, cancer, and other disorders can affect the lower urinary tract of the cat. Because FLUTD can have many causes, it can be difficult to diagnose. Based on your cat’s signs, your veterinarian will likely perform an initial physical examination and run a urinalysis. If the cause of the cat’s signs has not been identified with a urinalysis, other testing may be recommended, including bloodwork, x-rays, and urine culture.

What are the most common causes of FLUTD?

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis

Feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) – also called interstitial cystitis – is the most common diagnosis in cats with lower urinary tract signs. FIC is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that the term FIC is used if all diagnostics fail to confirm the presence of another disease such as urinary stones. Cats suffering from FIC make frequent attempts to urinate, probably as a result of bladder discomfort, and often are found to have blood in their urine. Signs of lower urinary tract disease in cats with non-obstructive FIC often resolve spontaneously within a couple of weeks regardless of treatment. So most treatments attempt to prevent subsequent recurrence of signs.

Veterinarians have noted many similarities between FIC and a bladder disorder affecting humans called interstitial cystitis. Studies are ongoing to determine whether the human and the feline disorder are truly the same, and whether therapies helpful for humans will be of benefit to cats as well. In humans, a psychologically stressful event often precedes the onset of lower urinary tract discomfort due to interstitial cystitis, and stress also seems to be an important factor in the development of FIC in cats. Possible sources of stress in a cat’s life may include environmental changes, changes in food schedule, and changes in the number of animals in the household. Environmental enrichment and modification can reduce stress and decrease the severity and frequency of FIC episodes. To reduce environmental stress, cats should be provided a safe, clean area in which to urinate, as well as opportunities to express natural predatory behavior. These opportunities may include climbing posts and toys that can be chased and caught.

Because changes in food can also result in recurrence of FIC in some cats, the cat’s diet should remain consistent in both content and schedule. Many pet food manufacturers market diets formulated for “urinary health.” While these “special diets” may reduce the likelihood that cats with FIC will develop a urethral obstruction, there is no evidence that they have reduced the incidence of idiopathic feline lower urinary tract disease itself.

Urolithiasis (Urinary Stones)

Another possible cause of FLUTD is urinary stones-or uroliths-which are rock-hard collections of minerals that form in the urinary tract of cats. Cats with urinary stones will exhibit many of the common signs of FLUTD. X-rays or ultrasound are usually needed to make a diagnosis of urinary stones. The treatment of a cat with urinary stones depends on the mineral composition of the stones; however, surgical removal of stones is often required. The two most common stone types in cats are struvite and calcium oxalate.

For cats with struvite stones, a special stone-dissolving diet may be prescribed to eliminate the stones. If the diet fails to dissolve the stone, then surgical removal may be necessary. Struvite stones are becoming less common in cats, as most commercial feline diets are now formulated to reduce the likelihood of struvite formation by limiting the amount of dietary magnesium and by promoting the production of urine that is more acidic. Unfortunately, the percentage of stones composed of calcium oxalate has increased. The role-if any-that diet plays in the formation of calcium oxalate stones is actively being studied.

Unlike struvite stones, calcium oxalate stones cannot be dissolved with special diets, and more aggressive treatment is needed. Your veterinarian may be able to induce the stones to pass by flushing the bladder with sterile fluids. If they fail to pass, or if they recur, then surgery may be needed. Called a cystotomy, the surgery to remove bladder stones involves making an incision through the belly. The bladder is lifted into view, opened, and stones are removed.

Cats that have formed a stone are at increased risk for recurrence, and your veterinarian may recommend medication or dietary changes to help prevent recurrence.

Urethral Obstruction

The most serious problem associated with urinary function is urethral obstruction. Urethral obstruction-when the cat’s urethra becomes partly or totally blocked-is a potentially life-threatening condition and one of the most serious results of FLUTD. Urinary stones are only one of the causes of urethral obstructions. Another common cause is urethral plugs. Urethral plugs consist of a soft, compressible material that contains variable quantities of minerals, cells, and mucus-like protein.

Male and neutered male cats are at greater risk for obstruction than females, because their urethra is longer and narrower. Urethral obstruction is a true medical emergency, and any cat suspected of suffering from this condition must receive immediate veterinary attention. When the urethra is completely blocked, the kidneys are no longer able to remove toxins from the blood and maintain a proper balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body. If the obstruction is not relieved, the cat will eventually lose consciousness and die. Death most frequently occurs as a result of electrolyte imbalances, which ultimately cause heart failure. The time from complete obstruction until death may be less than twenty-four to forty-eight hours, so immediate treatment is essential.

A cat experiencing a urethral obstruction behaves similarly to any other cat with FLUTD: straining to urinate, frequently attempting to urinate, and producing little, if any, urine. However, as time passes, an obstructed cat typically becomes much more distressed-often crying out in pain.

Treatment of urethral obstruction usually involves catheterization, which is the passage of a narrow tube up the urethra, but other procedures are sometimes necessary. Unless the cat is comatose, catheterization usually requires sedation or anesthesia. After the obstruction has been relieved, treatment varies depending upon the condition of the cat. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance are treated with intravenous fluid therapy. Antibiotics may be given to combat bacteria, and drugs that help restore bladder function are sometimes required. Hospitalization may range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity and duration of the obstruction.

For cats who continue to experience urethral obstruction despite proper medical management, a surgical procedure called a perineal urethrostomy may be suggested. The surgery involves removing much of the penis and the narrow portion of the urethra, leaving a wider opening for the remaining portion. Side effects of surgery can include bleeding for up to ten days after surgery, narrowing at the surgical site, urinary incontinence, and a greater incidence of other kinds of bladder diseases. For these reasons, perineal urethrostomy is usually considered to be a last resort.

What can I do at home to prevent future occurrences?

A few unfortunate cats who have suffered from lower urinary tract disease will experience frequent recurrences of bladder inflammation, re-obstruction, or formation of uroliths. Fortunately, most others rarely experience the problem again or will have only occasional recurrences. Home care of cats who have suffered from lower urinary tract disease is determined by the cause, and varies depending on the cat’s condition and history. Some steps can be taken, however, to help reduce the frequency of attacks and both the severity and duration of signs when the problem occurs:

Steps to Reduce Occurrences and Signs of Lower Urinary Tract Disease

  1. Feed small meals on a frequent basis.
  2. For cats with a history of struvite formation, owners should feed diets that promote the formation of urine that is acidic. Most commercial diets meet this criteria. Avoid supplementing such diets with additional urinary acidifiers, because over-acidification can cause metabolic acidosis, impaired kidney function, and mineral imbalance.
  3.  Provide clean, fresh water at all times.
  4. Provide an adequate number of litter boxes (usually one more than the number of cats in the household).
  5. Keep litter boxes in quiet, safe areas of the house.
  6. Keep litter boxes clean.
  7. Minimize major changes in routine.

Signs of Lower Urinary Tract Disease

  1. Straining to urinate.
  2. Frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate.
  3. Crying out while urinating.
  4. Excessive licking of the genital area.
  5. Urinating outside the litter box.
  6. Blood in the urine.

Cats with a urethral obstruction will show the above signs but will pass little or no urine and will become increasingly distressed. A urethral obstruction is an absolute emergency, requiring immediate veterinary treatment.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Feline cerebellar hypoplasia is a non-progressive, non-contagious neurological condition that results in walking and balance problems.

A kitten is born with “CH” when her cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls fine motor skills and coordination, is underdeveloped at birth.

An cerebellum’s growth can be stunted by a number of factors, most commonly if the mother contracted the feline distemper virus while pregnant or if there was some sort of trauma to the kittens while they were in the womb.

Consequently, an underdeveloped cerebellum can result in underdeveloped or complicated mobility. CH cats are known for their “drunken sailor” walk, which is why they’re known endearingly as “wobbly cats.”

The severity of a kitten’s CH can vary greatly – even among litter mates. While some cats may only have a slightly impacted gait, others may have significant trouble getting around, if they’re able to walk at all. It’s important to remember that the cat isn’t sick, weak or hurt; she’s simply uncoordinated.

CH cats may also experience head tremors, the uncontrollable shaking of the cat’s head when she’s trying to focus. Again, some cats may experience mild cases, others may be more severe. (Consequently, some think CH cats may have vision issues. If you think this is an issue with your cat, speak to your vet.)

Unless a CH cat has other health issues, her life expectancy is the same as a cat’s without CH. Since the condition is non-progressive, it will never get worse – and in some cases, owners say that their cat became more capable over time.

A CT scan or MRI is the only way to officially diagnose cerebellar hypoplasia. However, many vets are familiar with the symptom’s characteristics so those tests are often not necessary. Yet it is important to understand there are some diseases and conditions that may mimic CH.

One of the great things about CH cats is that they don’t seem to know that they’re any different from other cats. Even though they may think they’re normal, depending on the severity of their CH, they may be somewhat limited in ability and learn how to do things differently. For example, some CH cats don’t have the coordination to jump – so instead they become great climbers. Consequently, CH cat owners may find ways to help their cat become more capable.

There isn’t a treatment for this condition; however, many owners will tell you that there doesn’t need to be one. They’ll say their CH kitties are some of the sweetest cats you’ll ever meet, and what they lack in coordination they make up in personality. Check out This Is Charlie on our Videos page.

Since many people are still learning about this condition – and because some shelters don’t adopt out special needs animals – many kitties with CH are needlessly euthanized every year. While it’s not an extraordinarily common condition, cats with this condition do require a special owner who’s devoted to providing the best care possible for the cat. If you’d like to adopt a CH cat please check out our SNAP Cats list of adoptable cats with cerebellar hypoplasia.

Birman

BIRMAN

KITTY STATS

COAT
Medium-long, Silky

LIFE SPAN
12 – 16 years

BREED CHARACTERISTICS

Affectionate with Family – Extremely

Amount of Shedding – Moderate

Easy to Groom – Somewhat

General Health – Fair

Intelligence – Above Average

Kid Friendly – Extremely

Pet Friendly – Extremely

Potential for Playfulness – High

Tendency to Vocalize – Low

Why We Do What We Do

We can’t express it any better than this…

This is the best way to explain what we do everyday, what we see and what we feel while doing it. For animal lovers like me, animal rescue is the most incredible, rewarding job in the history of ever. At the same time, it’s also the most heartbreaking. The truth is, you see a lot of things you never thought you’d see. You witness a level of cruelty you didn’t think was possible. You feel a degree of helplessness you never thought you’d know. You stare at painful images, soon burned into your memory, that will haunt your thoughts forever. You try to pick up the pieces, so many pieces, of the damage you didn’t do. You do everything in your power. But even still, you’ll never reach them all. You’ll try to stay strong. But you’ll mostly feel weak. You’ll build walls to protect your heart. But they’ll never keep you safe. You’ll place barriers around your soul. But the pain will always reach you. And no matter how hard you try to fight it, over time, here’s the truth about what happens in animal rescue. The neglect changes you. The abuse hardens you. The suffering breaks you. The ignorance angers you. The indifference disturbs you. The injustice destroys you. On a daily basis your faith will be tested. Your heart will be wounded. Your soul will be altered. On a weekly basis you’ll question yourself. You’ll question your strength. You’ll question the world. On a monthly basis you’ll fall down. You’ll get up. You’ll go on. On a yearly basis you’ll look back. You’ll see faces. You couldn’t save them. You’ll learn to mourn. To grieve. To sob. You’ll learn to trust a little less. To do a little more. To fight a little harder. You’ll learn to try. To hope. To pray. You’ll learn to fail. To succeed. To accept. You’ll learn when to hold on. When to give up. When to let go. You’ll learn who you are. What you stand for. Why that matters. Then, at times, you’ll forget why you matter. You’ll question what you’re doing. You’ll wonder if it’s worth it. But… here’s the good news… When you forget, when you question, when you wonder, all you have to do is take a look around, and you’ll see them. You’ll see their faces. You’ll see their smiles. You’ll feel their love. In their eyes, you’ll see their journeys. You’ll remember their beginnings. You’ll know how far they’ve come. You’ll remember when they didn’t know you. When they didn’t trust you. When they’d given up. You’ll remember how you healed them. How you loved them. How they loved you, too. And as you look back, you’ll want to move forward… for them, and because of them. In your darkest hours, you’ll look around to find the differences made, the hope given, and the lives saved, because you existed. In those moments, when you look into their eyes, every doubt will be erased. Every question will be answered. Every worry will subside. Because in that instant, in each of your hearts, you both share the very same thought: “Every bit of pain was worth it for this moment here with you.” And honestly, no matter what else happens, those moments hold all the strength you need to keep going. Rescue is pain. Rescue is joy. Rescue is worth it. Because they are worth it. – Midwest Rescue of Illinois

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