Do CH Kitties Have More Digestive Issues Than “Normies”?
After facing our own tummy troubles with Ellie and hearing from a number of readers, I couldn’t help but wonder if cerebellar hypoplasia cats are more prone to digestive/GI tract issues than “normal” cats.
To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the case due to a few factors:
- The severity of the cat’s CH: Perhaps the constant falls, tumbles and flops contribute to issues.
- How much water the cat drinks: The amount of water a cat ingests — from either the water bowl or from wet cat food — may contribute to stool issues.
- How the cat goes to the bathroom: CH cats who go to the bathroom on their side may have more issues than those who can squat.
- How much the cat exercises: A cat with a sedentary lifestyle may have more issues than one who runs around; again this could be tied to the CH severity.
So I wanted to reach out to the CH cat community to see what your experiences have been like.
After hearing from a number of you, I was quite surprised at your responses. It seems dietary/digestive issues may not have as much to do with whether or not your cat has CH (although that may be a factor), as much as the *type* of food your cat can handle. Here’s what some of you shared:
Percy, Jacquie’s severe CH cat, had GI issues early on. Once he was put on a non-corn based food, his loose stool issues cleared up.
Nanako, Elise’s moderate CH cat, is prone to digestive issues; however, she eats grain-free food, which helps. She also lies on her side in the litter box.
Hippa, Elise’s mild CH cat, doesn’t have any digestive issues.
Martha, Tanja’s CH cat, eats raw meat and canned fish (tuna and salmon, 100% fish). She doesn’t eat any dry food, and doesn’t have any problems in the litter box.
Boris, Valerie’s CH cat, lays on his side in the litter box without an issue; however, he will have loose stools if his diet is varied.
Daisy, Valerie’s other cat, poops regularly without issues and can eat anything.
Jewel, Barbie’s CH cat, also lays on her side in the litter box.
Shakey, Deb’s CH cat, goes every day, eats wet cat food and dry Instinct Chicken Formula with baby food and water mixed in. She used to have stomach issues as a kitten with less expensive cat food.
Anzo, Cody’s mild CH cat, takes a digestive supplement for hairballs, but goes to the bathroom just fine.
Melissa’s Otter, who was severe, had a number of digestive problems, but she’s found that her newest additions, Lovey and Effie do not. Melissa also mentioned that Otter had seizures, unlike her girls, which may have contributed to the digestive issues.
Lastly, Tam says her CH cat has fewer issues than their “normal” cats! “If they were all like her we’d be so so happy,” Tam says.
So there we have it — nothing 100% conclusive, but it may ease your mind to know that CH cats can have just as varied issues (and lack of issues) as “normies.”
That said, if your cat does have chronic diarrhea, you have some options. You can try adding small amounts of pumpkin or rice to your cat’s diet – but before you do, please consult your vet, as he’ll know the best solution for your cat.
Did I leave anyone out? Do you have any other thoughts? Please share in the comments!