2 Reasons (Other Than CH) Why a Cat May Wobble
We know that when a cat can’t hear, he’s deaf. When he can’t see, he’s blind. But a cat who wobbles doesn’t necessarily have cerebellar hypoplasia.
This really shouldn’t really come as a surprise since the brain and body are quite complex. As with CH, just the smallest difference or injury can translate into an issue. Consequently, there are several other conditions that can lead to wobbly movements.
So what are two other causes of a cat being uncoordinated? Find out below:
First off, all three conditions are due to some form of ataxia.
A while back I mentioned how CH cats have cerebellar ataxia — it means there’s a dysfunction in the part of the nervous system that coordinates movement (in this case the cerebellum, hence the name). This we know as all CH cats have some sort of damage to or underdevelopment of the cerebellum.
But there are also two other types of ataxia that can lead to wobbly movements in cats:
Vestibular ataxia: This type of ataxia is caused by a problem with the inner ear or the nerves from the inner ear to the brain.
When there’s some sort of damage or disease here, it prevents the vestibular system from doing its job — controlling balance and feeding information to the brain. It’s the vestibular system that tells you when you’re upside-down or falling, in addition to how you should move your eyes, arms and legs.
Cats who have vestibular ataxia often walk in circles, fall to one side, tilt their heads and their eyes may flicker from side to side. It’s often caused by an ear infection or lesions in the ear or brain. Depending on the cause of the vestibular ataxia, your vet may be able to cure it.
Sensory ataxia: This is a result of any issue with the brain, spinal cord (when it’s slowly compressed) or peripheral nerves that detect the location of your cat’s limbs.
Cats who have sensory ataxia may stand and walk with their legs spread apart. They’re also usually weak, because the nerves don’t communicate properly with their muscles.
So now you know! But before you try self-diagnosing your cat or someone else’s, be sure to bring up your thoughts and concerns with the cat’s vet.
Do you know of a cat who was diagnosed with another type of ataxia? Has your vet ever discussed these types of ataxia with you? Please share in the comments!