A local foster supports felines with wobbly cat syndrome.
If you’ve come across a video of wobbly cats during your social media scrolling lately, it’s likely that you’ve already caught a glimpse of Camp Wobbly Cat. Plymouth resident and cat fosterer Kris Kaiser has garnered over 80,000 followers, sharing the stories of her fosters, nearly all of whom were born with a neurological disorder called cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), also known as wobbly cat syndrome.
These cats are just like any others in look and attitude but were born with an undeveloped or smaller than usual cerebellum, causing issues with motor coordination. Cats on the CH spectrum have a distinct wobble that varies in severity; some have a slight issue with balance, while others have difficulty walking at all.
“They don’t know differently. They’re happy, and there’s no reason to feel sorry for them because they don’t feel sorry for themselves,” Kaiser says. “They like to play and climb and pretend to hunt and watch birds and do all the things every other cat likes to do.”
In 2022, Kaiser fostered 11 wobbly cats, in addition to her three resident cats, Rosie, Daisy and Calvin. “I had no idea what this year was going to be like. It was insane,” Kaiser says. Snapple, the Instagram famous tuxedo cat that solidified Kaiser’s commitment to fostering CH cats, was adopted by a family in Hawaii earlier this year; Timmy High Jinx and Bruno, two tabbies from different litters, became inseparable and were adopted together; and, more recently, littermates Dash, Huxley, Livvy and Romy were welcomed into Kaiser’s home. (At the time of publication, Huxley and Livvy are still waiting for their forever homes.)
“If I can get somebody to apply to adopt and come meet them, the deal is done because they’re so sweet, and they just make the greatest pets,” Kaiser says. “You see beyond the disability.”
With her platform, Kaiser hopes to continue to educate the public and connect CH cats with loving homes. In the two years since opening Camp Wobbly Cat, she’s fostered 16 wobbly cats, connected ones with new homes from states away and inspired strangers to adopt CH cats in their own communities.
Though she doesn’t plan to house another 11 wobbly cats again anytime soon, she can’t imagine life without her wobbly cats. “I’m so used to how they’re different,” Kaiser says. “For me, it’s normal life.”