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Warning for pet buyers after "wobbly" sick cat sold online

Blue Cross is warning animal lovers about the pitfalls of buying pets online after stepping in to help a homeless “wobbly” cat.

Gorgeous tabby cat Hermione (pictured above) arrived in our care after belonging to her previous owner for just one week. The nine-month-old puss had been bought from a classified advertising website; a sales method that makes it all too quick, cheap and easy to sell animals that are no longer wanted without any specific laws to protect the pet being sold.

Hermione had a medical condition that causes her to walk with a wobble and some trouble eating, and the owners were unable to give her the care she needed and so handed her in to our Merton animal hospital in south London.

Amanda Marrington, Blue Cross Animal Welfare Officer, said: “Hermione is a very sweet cat who suffers from a condition that affects her motor ability and gives her the wobbles. Thankfully her symptoms are unlikely to get any worse and do not cause her pain, and she can live an otherwise healthy life.”

We ran some tests to help us make the correct diagnosis so we could begin a treatment programme for Hermione.

Hermione was diagnosed with a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia. Her tremors and wobbly walk are due to the part of the brain that controls coordination and mobility not developing properly at birth, and Hermione’s was most likely caused by her mother suffering from an infection in the womb, known as an ‘intrauterine infection’.

Once we had confirmed Hermione’s diagnosis and knew her care needs, we moved her to our Lewknor rehoming centre in Oxfordshire so she could begin her search for a new home, and she took no time at all to settle in.

Rebecca White, Animal Welfare Assistant at Blue Cross Lewknor, said: “Sadly Hermione’s owner couldn’t cope with her condition and had nowhere else to turn for help with finding their cat a new home. When you buy a pet from a classified advertising website you just don’t know what you’re getting, as there is no requirement to do vet checks and behaviour assessments like there is at responsible rehoming charities like Blue Cross.

“Our vets have diagnosed Hermione’s cerebellar hypoplasia and our rehoming team has closely watched and interacted with her to determine the type of home she will need to enjoy a wonderful life. We will make sure we find her the best home so she never needs to worry about being quickly disposed of on the internet again.”

Hermione is a sweet cat and will soon be off to a loving new home.

If you'd like to give a cat a happy home, please visit our website to meet our vet-checked, behaviour-assessed and loving homeless pets.