Canelo’s hind legs don't work the best, but he doesn’t let that get him down.
an orange kitten looks at a brown bunny sitting in a wooden enclosure
Credit: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Sometimes, all you need is a little help from your friends—rabbits and lasers, that is. 

At 6 weeks old, Canelo the cat arrived at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Upon arrival, the orange kitten had trouble using his hind legs. Veterinary staff examined him, but they found no skeletal abnormalities. This led them to believe Canelo's condition was most likely a neurological problem affecting his muscles and nerves. Even with his struggles moving around, the determined kitten still found ways to run and play—not letting anything get him down. 

Staff at Best Friends were optimistic that with time and a little extra care, Canelo would eventually be able to use his back legs. Veterinarians set up a special treatment plan for Canelo, which included weekly acupuncture treatments to help stimulate his nervous system and hopefully eventually give him feeling in his legs. In a blog post about the kitten, Best Friends says Canelo was a "great little patient" during his treatments, so long as someone was giving him some extra attention. 

Amy Brown, supervisor of Best Friends' rabbit sanctuary Bunny House, began fostering Canelo and soon realized he was incontinent. So, Brown and the vet staff came up with another treatment plan for the kitten: daily laser therapy. The sanctuary describes the laser therapy as "a deep-penetrating cold laser that helps reduce inflammation and aid in healing." Conveniently enough, there was a laser machine at the Bunny House—thus, Canelo became a feline resident of the Bunny House.  

Canelo was "enthralled" with his new rabbit roommates. While a few of them weren't his biggest fans, the intuitive kitten listened well to their cues and steered clear. Most bunnies were open to "playing" with Canelo—hopping around while he chased after them. The playful cat also enjoyed playing with the bunnies' chew toys and was amused by snack time—batting at hay moving around while the rabbits chewed it. 

an orange kitten looks back at a gray bunny standing behind him
Credit: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Thanks to Canelo's treatments and bunny playtime, his condition improved as he gained more strength. Now, he's able to stand up on his back legs briefly and take some steps. He's even able to "dig his back claws into a scratching post and climb straight up it without hesitation," Best Friends says. 

After Canelo's experience making bunny friends, staff decided it was time for him to interact with some friends of his own species. That's when they introduced him to another in their care: Llama, an incontinent kitten who also has trouble walking. The pair hit it off from the jump, playing nonstop and becoming the "life of the party." 

Canelo is now available for adoption and is living amongst other felines at the sanctuary while he awaits his forever family.