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Cerebellar Hypoplasia (Video)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I would like you all of you to meet my adoreable sweet Amy. She has Cerebellar Hypoplasia and is going on 4 years old. I have had her since she was 2 months. I got her out of a crowded cage at a pet store one Saturday and fell in love so I brought her home and realized something was wrong with her. I thought she was injured so she was at the vets first thing Monday morning.

I had never heard of CH and didn't know there was such a thing. Through Amy, I have learned a lot about this condition but feel I still have a lot to learn. Does anyone else here have a kitty like her, are they better or worse than she is, what have you learned that I need to know, what have I learned that you need to know? I am finding that as Amy ages, her condition does get worse, I know there is no cure, no medicine that will help her and that they can live long happy lives. She is such a sweet thing that everyone falls in love with her and her determination to accomplish the goals she sets for herself astounds me. I adore her and want to keep her happy and do the best I can with her and for her.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia
The cerebellum is the portion of the brain responsible for the control of motion. When a puppy or kitten is born with an underdeveloped cerebellum, the condition is known as congenital cerebellar hypoplasia. There are infectious causes of this condition in both cats (panleukopenia infection prior to birth) and dogs (herpes virus infection prior to birth). Improper development of the cerebellum may occur due to injury, poisoning or just from an accident in development in the uterus. It is generally possible to see signs of this condition almost as soon as the puppy or kitten is born. Affected animals have tremors and unusual jerky movements or may fall down when they try to move. The symptoms do not get worse as they age. As the kitten or puppy grows it will learn to compensate for its condition but there are usually lifelong signs of a decreased ability to coordinate movement. Almost all dogs and cats with congenital cerebellar hypoplasia can live happily as pets with a little special care to compensate for their disabilities. This condition can be confused with cerebellar abiotrophy, a different disorder in dogs in which the puppy has a normal cerebellum at birth but it gradually dies. Signs of disease identical to cerebellar hypoplasia occur but the timing is different. Puppies with this condition seem normal at birth but usually start to show signs of problems after they are 2 months or more of age.
post #2 of 17
my MIL has a CH kitty who's going on two.
He's not much better or worse than your baby.
He walks with his back legs a bit splayed and his twitches are not as obvious.
He does wonderfully, he can runn and climb cat trees with the best of them.
The only time he has a rough time of it is when he gets startled.

He's even managed to gain the rank of top cat in a house of over 20 kitties.
He has no idea there is anything wrong with him.

Bless you for taking the time to learn about her disability and work with her in spite of it.
post #3 of 17
Awwww... What a sweetheart!

I know someone who has a cat that seems to have the same symptoms. He said she has cerebal palsy, but I think that was just a guess. She got out once and Dave called 911! The cops came and yelled at him, but then they saw how upset he was and actually helped him look until they got dispatched somewhere else. She came home later that evening.

Anyways, I don't know how old she is, but he's had her for at least 10 years, and she hasn't gotten worse. She is a gorgeous black cat with the greenest eyes I've ever seen.
post #4 of 17
One of my kitties has this as well, but she's not quite as bad (yet?).
She falls down a lot, walks with her head at funny angle and never in a straight line, but does not twitch as much. I haven't noticed it slowing her down at alll. Henri is always wanting to be first for everything, even if she falls a dozen times on the way.
post #5 of 17
One of the local pet stores near here rescued a kitten with CH (actually several of the stores were fighting over who got to keep her!). She's now the store cat and loves to come run around chasing paper balls everywhere. She wasn't good at jumping, so living in the store was perfect for her (and they can hide the treat bags up high!).

Your baby is beautiful, and I'm so glad she picked you to take her home!
post #6 of 17
I just adopted a seal-point siamese on Saturday from a crowded cage as well. My b/f called me to tell me they had one but that it had a little problem, his head wobbles! I went to look at him anyway. No one knew what was wrong with it. The owners are breeders and decided to give him away because he is "different". His mother also rejected him because he is "different". I looked up wobbly head online (sorry if it sounds mean but I had no idea what I was looking for), and found Cerebellar Hypoplasia. He is 8 weeks old, beautiful blue eyes and is the sweetest thing ever. Problem is he seems to be toooo dependent on me now. He won't stop crying all night long. Sometimes even if I'm standing right next to him, he can't see me because his head is facing the other direction. He literally walks with his head to the side, he even eats that way. Does anyone have any other info about this condition? He's going to the vet tomorrow to get neutered and to get his first shots. I want to see what the vet has to say...THANKS!
post #7 of 17
My cat Teddi has CH. Hers is pretty severe. She has a time walking because her back legs splay out so bad. For instance she might be walking towards me and get almost there and then she will lose her balance and do a back flip and end up where she started. I have tried many things through the years to safely confine her so she doesn't get hurt and she wants no part of it. She has always been very stubborn and very independent. She can't run or jump but if she can dig her claws in something she can climb it. About three years ago she started having seizures. I think it's from all the knocks to her little head. We do manange the seizures with meds.

I never really noticed her getting worse until this last year. I don't know if it's from the CH or just age. As she has gotten older I have started helping her more with her eating. She has never been able to use a litter box so I have to keep a pee pee pad down for her. She's a funny little cat and I don't think she reailzes that she is any different from the others. Back when she was first diagnosed with CH the vet told me she probably wouldn't live a very long time...he was wrong...she is almost 15 yrs. old now.
post #8 of 17
I am always amazed at how animals compensate for disabilities and their will to not only just survive but thrive.
post #9 of 17
My Little Sir Bobbles A Lot has CH that is why he is called Little Bobby There were two kittens in his litter born with it and neither of them are as bad as your baby. Bobby has a really bad wobbly head. he tends to get ahead of himself if hes running fast like he cant slow down or take corners without running into things. everytime he cleans ( like sitting on his butt and sticking out one of his hind legs) he falls right over. He is very clumbsy and knocks things over all the time. He gets startled very VERY very easily and usually leaps backwards into the air when something scares him. He is from My brothers cats litter so we have known him since birth and the doctor said as long as they can eat and drink they can live as long and happy as a normal cat. Bobby is the one that everyone loves when they come over. Everyone always want to take him home and he is also the one who loves everyone when they come over. he rubs on them endlessly and jumps in their laps even a salesman the other day. Bobby is the sweetest boy EVER!!!

post #10 of 17
My cat Bobbles has CH, but I’ve thankfully she has only shown improvement with her coordination as she has grown older. In most ways she is able to now do the things that all my other cats can (jumping, wrestling with the other cats, etc), and only tremors when she focuses on something. The only time it is even really noticeable anymore is when she tries to balance when she drinks and when she walks or runs in circles when she gets anxious or excited. We were told that her deafness and vision issues were not uncommon for CH cats, but like many cats with similar conditions she manages to do remarkably well with what she was given.
post #11 of 17
There is a kitten at the shelter here(actually in foster care as we don't expect anyone to adopt her ever). Her name is Jill. She has CH. She has to be adopted with her brother Jack...and he seems to have a "touch of it", too. Jack & Jill are probalby about 6 months old now. Jack is a little clumsy, but no head bobbles or anything. Jill cannot stand up...well, really at all. She sorta drags herself around. She is the spunkiest kitten I've ever met! She is sweet, cuddly, and loves people. She has troubles getting in & out of the litterbox sometimes. She does "head dives", & has ended up with a rather poopy head on sevearl occaisions.

I'd take Jill home in a heartbeat! Cats with CH may be "special needs", but they are looked over so often that they deserve someone who loves them!
post #12 of 17
This is such an interesting and informative thread. It's great to know that there are so many people willing to give a special-needs kitty a loving home!
post #13 of 17
My little weeble has CH. I got her from a shelter I used to work at. I brought her home to foster her because she was so tiny and being locked in a small cage didn't allow for her to learn how to better control her muscles. As soon as my husband saw her try to scratch her ear she became part of the family. She was scratching and scratching but she was about 2 inches away from her ear and just couldn't make it work. I love my little weeble so much. I can have the worst day ever and come home and see her go running through the house sliding every which way and I just have to smile.
They do learn how to compensate. My weeble just recently figured out if she gets a running start, she can leap (not very gracefully) on to the kitchen counter. She has also learned how to use other objects to get where she want to go. She will leap on the cat tree, to the couch and then finally to the cat bed in the window.
I have been trying to decide if I should take another one that is at the same shelter. She has been there since may and no one seems to want her. She also has sinus problems and is always sneezing (its not an upper respiratory infection) However, I already have 2 dogs (they love all kittys) and 7 cats. Almost all have some problem or another. 1 with CH, 2 are prone to UTI's, 1 has osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) and one has hyperthyroidism. Which means I have 2 "normal" one. I'm just not sure what to do.....
post #14 of 17
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
This is such an interesting and informative thread. It's great to know that there are so many people willing to give a special-needs kitty a loving home!
I agree totally. I had never heard of CH before reading this thread. It's wonderful that all of you have given these special kitties a home.
post #15 of 17
We have adopted CH kitties out to many loving homes. It's a manageable condition and the kitties really adjust quite well. Plus, it's pretty adorable to watch them romp and play despite their condition

That video really makes me miss the two cerebellars we had last year...two brothers named Bascomb and Zingaro and tweo of the sweetest kitties you could hope to meet. Tehy were quite a bit worse than your Amy

I've noticed that it can be very slightly progressive, but for the most part, it stays pretty much where it is. I think as kitties get older they have more troube moving even as healthy cats, so the CH can slow them down even more. I've never seen a cat with CH that didn't invent ways to get around in the face of it all. They don't realize anything is wrong with them, so it's just business as usual.
post #16 of 17
Ohhhh that video just made me cry and cry. Poor beautiful sweet kitty. I can't bear to see a cat - animals who in particular are known for their grace and skill and coordination - struggle with a disability like that. It is so wonderful that you have learnt so much about this condition and that so many people here know of similar kitties or have indeed loved and lived with CH kitties. Your cat is beautiful and lovely and looks so healthy despite her wobbles. It reminded me a little of patients with Parkinson's disease - it looks dreadful and is debilitating but the way they cope and overcome the adversity is incredible and inspiring.

Big kitty scritches and head-butts to all of those special CH pussers out there - I feel so humbled by you beautiful creatures
post #17 of 17
she is very beautiful! Doesn't look like it's slower her down! Go kitty go!
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