How severe is his CH?
I would say moderate. He kind of does a frog-like thing with his back legs; when he gets up on those back legs, his back sways back and forth like an alligator!
Does he have certain limitations?
His walking is still 3 steps, fall, 3 steps, fall, 3 steps… well, you get it! We don’t trim his claws, which enables him to get up onto the bed and his favorite chair. He uses his litter box like a champ, but everything is done on his side, so he very often needs a bath. He hates the water, but he’s at least become a bit more tolerant!
His eating is fine; he takes that weird wide legged stance for balance and he’s good to go!
What is he able to do? What are his limitations?
He is independent to the extreme, but he can’t jump, and really uses his claws to get up on furniture. He prefers that you help steady him on his way, instead of just picking him up and putting him where he wants to go! Pre-Buster, we had bare hardwood floors; we now have an assortment of odd throw rugs around which give him traction.
Do you have any funny stories about him (related to CH)? Or perhaps a story about how he figured out how to do something CH cats “can’t” do?
Well, he does a FABULOUS impression of a breaded chicken cutlet when he emerges from the litter box!
Has he ever hurt himself because of his CH?
He’s taken some wicked falls from bed height. He usually shrieks when he wants to get down, but on occasion, he’s just thrown himself off the bed with abandon. No broken teeth or bones, just his pride!
I have 2 other cats, but he is by far the most talkative! We’ve learned over the years the language of his vocalizations. He’s got us pretty well-trained at this point!
Have you found ways to help him with his condition?
I’d say the rugs definitely help; I use a foaming shampoo on him when he’s had enough of the sink baths; we don’t trim his claws; and just the end of last year, I decided to bring him to a groomer for a lion-cut. His fur is medium to long, and since he does all his business lying down, it was becoming unmanageable. It’s much easier to either wash him or wipe him down now!
What do you think people need to know about CH?
CH kittens will definitely improve to some degree as they get a bit bigger and stronger and learn to compensate! Don’t get discouraged! Buster had really bad tremors, especially when eating, and I used to roll up a little towel in front of his food and water dishes to give him something to hold onto. As soon as he got a bit older, we didn’t need to do that anymore. In the beginning, we also used a dog litter pan. It’s much lower, with an even lower entry point, and much wider than a regular cat pan, so was perfect for a little wobbly kitten to use! But now he uses a regular litter box with no problem.
What is your favorite and least favorite thing about his having CH?
I think my least favorite thing is watching him struggle so hard sometimes to just walk across the floor. I often wonder in his sleep if he dreams of running? I think my favorite thing about CH is that I’ve developed such an appreciation for his spirit and determination!
Do you have any words of wisdom for other CH parents?
I just get such a warm feeling when I know so many other people have cats like Buster. Every being deserves a chance to live a happy life!
If you’re on Catster, be sure to find and friend Buster!