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New to Feline Cerebellar Hypoplasia? Start Here.

March 29, 2012

Meet CG (L) and Ellie (R), my two cerebellar hypoplasia cats.

Thankfully, cerebellar hypoplasia has become more well known throughout the past few years, so there’s a good deal of information about it online.

Nevertheless, you may have a number of questions and don’t know where to start. If so, here’s a quick guide to what you need to know:

The Basics

The Details

Please keep in mind that not all wobbly cats are CH cats. You can find out more information here:

Have A CH Cat And Need Advice?

No problem! Check out the “Tags” to the right of this post to learn more by topic. Alternatively, you can also use this CH Topics & Tips page as a starting point.

If you’re looking to adopt, please visit this adoptable CH cats page. If you need to find a home for a CH cat, please click here.

Have a question? Either leave a comment or feel free to contact me.

You may also enjoy reading other readers’ stories about their CH cats.

If you have a CH cat, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us and tell us about your CH cat!

If you have found a CH cat, or need to re-home your existing CH cat, read this. You can also contact me to list them on the Adoptables page.

Looking To Adopt?

Check out this list of adoptable cerebellar hypoplasia cats.

Not sure if you should adopt a CH cat? Take a look at these 10 reasons why you should.

Other Resources

Also be sure to check out the CH Kitty Club, the CH Kitty Club’s Yahoo Group and the Facebook Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats & Kittens Page

I hope this helps — and I look forward to getting to know you!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2012 12:53 am

    Awesome blog! My new favorite. Just subscribed. Thank you for doing this!

    • July 30, 2012 9:28 am

      Thank you so much! That means a great deal to me. Do you have a CH kitty? Would love to hear about him/her!

  2. November 20, 2012 12:55 am

    I plan on adopting a CH kitty. Looks like I’ll be reading this site over and over to make sure I’m ready.

    • November 20, 2012 8:00 am

      I hope you find it helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions, and keep us updated on your search and adoption 🙂 Good luck!

  3. KellyK permalink
    May 11, 2013 8:06 pm

    I have a cat I rescued from our ‘no kill’ HSoc. Arriving there as a stray, she had been there almost a year, during which time she had to have all her teeth pulled (and also had been adopted and returned several times). She’s about 5 years old (estimated), and was severely underweight. During the time I’ve had her, she has gained several pounds and her backbone can no longer be seen/felt easily. The Society had been feeding her strictly wet food, and would take it away after she had finished nibbling at it, but I just left it out all day and she’d finish it off nicely and then eat my other cat’s crunchies, just swallowing them whole.

    I was happy to be of help to her with her weight issues, but one thing is driving me close to returning her – she either cannot or will not retract her claws…even when she kneads me, it’s with claws extended, which pretty much stops the activity immediately as far as I’m concerned. She also doesn’t lay down… she plops. She doesn’t nuzzle, she lunges. I’m beginning to suspect a mild case of CH.

    The major problem between this sweet kitty (originally named Mia, but has acquired the nickname PsychoKitty (PK for short) due to her plops and lunges) is that I’m a senior with circulation problems in my lower legs, and those claws have caused wounds which are hard to heal. My wound care MD urges declawing, which is distasteful to me, but even nail clipping (which is impossible without sedation, since she’s semi-feral) doesn’t work all that much… it just makes it similar to getting poked with a dull hypodermic x 10.

    The question is this… could all this be sympomatic of mild CH? Or is she, as her nickname implies, psycho? Either way, I really want to keep her, but not at risk of my own health.

    • May 11, 2013 10:36 pm

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for your comment.

      It sounds like your main concern is the claw issue. Is there someone who could trim her nails often? Simply cutting the tips of the claws off may do the trick. That usually prevents them from scratching you through your clothes. I think that’s your best solution, as it is natural for cats to extend their claws while kneading. However, if it still causes too much pain, perhaps you can start transferring her to a favorite kitty bed or blanket when you notice her wanting to knead.

      As for her having CH, if you’re truly curious or concerned, I suggest speaking to your vet about it. The behaviors you described may or may not be CH, but if she did have CH, I’m sure your humane society would have noticed and put it in her file. That said, no matter if she has CH, is simply clumsy, or even, as you say, may be a little psycho, your little kitty is who she is and obviously loves you (as evident by all of the kneading)!

      Overall, I think a chat with your vet or the folks at the humane society would be helpful. I’m sure they’ll have ideas to solve the claw issue too, and perhaps they can help you get to the bottom of her behavior!

      Good luck!

  4. Sally Ainsbury permalink
    June 1, 2013 5:38 pm

    Hi im wondering if I coud get a bit of advice here, im in the UK and in December found an extremely ill 4 month old kitten in a feral colony, he couldn’t stand, walk, open his eyes or eat, he was found to have heavy metal poisoning, severe anemia, dehydration and a bi latteral inner ear infection, it took a month on very strong antibiotics to get him walking again due to the ear infs, when walking after the infs had cleared up he was very wobbly and uncoordinated which improved over the next couple of months, but only to a degree, he is still clumsy, mildly goose steps when he walks, cant scratch things as he just falls over and does do a bit of head bobbing, he still has health problems and is currently on interferon for calicivirus, I guess my main question is would it be likely he was born with CH or could the ear infs have left him seeming like he has?? My vet is fairly clueless and just shrugs but a part of me wonders if its likely to be from infections then could more be done to help his symptoms…. I don’t know if anyone here can shed any light on anything but im just interested to know what experienced CH owners think??? Thanks very much, Sally.

  5. amy lyons permalink
    September 25, 2013 12:48 pm

    My foster kitten was diagnosed with this last night and I found this site so informative and helpful. I had no idea there were so many cats with this and glad to know she does not have a death sentence. I will be keeping her!

  6. Teresa Murphy permalink
    May 8, 2014 9:38 am

    Hi, I posted a week a few weeks back about my gorgeous, just turned 2 year old CH cat Crackers and that she has been viciously attacking me after there has been a disturbance in my home. I only got one reply with this persons story and was hoping for more direction. Well an incident happened late lastnight. I picked Crackers up and began to walk upstairs when I kinda twisted my leg and ended up banging my head on the wall which made a loud noise and she began to howl and claws began to dig into my face. I had to peel her off from me and when I did she began her loud howling & growling and trying to attack my legs and feet. As I climbed the stairs to get away from her she tore at my feet like a wild animal. I finally got away from her into my room where she would growl for quite some time wanting to get in. I just don’t know what to do anymore as it is continuing to happen. I know the trigger for her and it is loud noises and bangs. She has been my therapy cat through my grief and the most loving cat I have had throughout my entire life. Never have I experienced such love from a cat as her but this sudden change of her reacting to these loud noises is really putting me at risk for serious injury. Does anyone know what’s going on or has anyone witnessed this behavior after a certain age of a CH cat? I do not want to have to put my baby down as I love her so much but am starting to be scared of her. Sincerely, Teresa

  7. June 3, 2014 11:37 am

    Aww! I’ve never heard any of this before! I found this site when I was looking up cats twitching badly in their sleep (your site and a few others assured me that my kitty is just experiencing REM sleep, not seizing lol, so thank you!).

    I’ve never heard of CH cats before, and this site was very imformative. Its so sad that they get euthanized just for that 😦 It makes me think of my cousin with Chiari Malformation (which also affects the cerebellum) who can be pretty “wobbly” too lol. I’ll have to tell her about this; she will probably want to find and adopt a CH cat since they have something in common! 🙂

  8. Paula Van Roy permalink
    November 21, 2014 5:21 pm

    We’ve had our cat Eli since he was 6mos old. He’s now 8yrs old and hasn’t changed in the past 7.5 yrs. He is definitely a CH cat. A volunteer at our animal shelter sent me this link or I never would have known. When Eli first came home, we noticed his legs trembled and his head had a shake to it. We took him to the vet and were reassured there was no problem. We simply accepted that he was different.
    Over the years, we’ve also suspected vision problems as he often had problems getting down from the cat tree and once overshot our China cabinet and ended up behind it. He does have a way of getting up and down the tree that has always been different compared to our other 2 cats. He also frightens easily, especially at sudden noises.
    He’s been the greatest cat. Very affectionate, and quite humorous. He’s long and lean, and demands canned food at 4 am every morning. He prefers to be carried like a sack of potatoes thrown over my shoulder, with his head hanging well over my shoulder, nearly touching my shoulder blade. I always know when it’s Eli on the bed because of the shake in his legs.
    He hasn’t gotten better or worse over the years. He’s simply adjusted. We love him dearly and can’t imagine our home without him.

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