Proof that Your Cat’s CH May Improve Over Time
For a while now, some of us CH parents have been claiming that we believe the severity of our cats’ cerebellar hypoplasia has decreased with time. For example, when CG was a kitten, his CH was much more moderate. But today, it really is rather mild.
I always chalked it up to the fact that as our cats grew, they were able to compensate due to additional exercise, muscle development and improved coordination during playtime. However, now there’s proof that there may be something more at play.
They asked Krista about the benefits of physical therapy rehabilitation for cats with cerebellar hypoplasia, and the response was very encouraging!
Krista said that in the CH cats they’ve seen at Scout’s House, they’ve learned how the nervous system can be very “plastic.” This means that other parts of the nervous system can learn how to function in place of damaged parts.
Throughout the last century neuroscientists believed that the brain’s structure wouldn’t change after early childhood (or in this case, kittenhood!) — but now science is proving that many parts of the brain may remain plastic into adulthood.
Krista compared this to humans who go through rehab after suffering a stroke. Similarly, Scout’s House uses specific rehab techniques that help re-train other parts of the brain to perform similar functions. In addition, they also improve muscle strength, balance and overall mobility.
Obviously the level of success or progress can really vary from cat to cat, but she said all make some sort of progress. Of course, just like with human physical therapy, this is something that you’d always have to continue over time.
In addition to physical therapy, Krista also said that they help inform the cats’ families how to make their home environment safer and easier to navigate as well as teach them exercises they can work on at home.
If you’d like to read the entire Q & A on Facebook, you can find it by clicking here.
Do you have a cat whose CH has decreased in severity over time? Please share in the comments!