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Readers: “My CH Cat has Gotten Worse”

April 15, 2012

When it comes to cerebellar hypoplasia kitties, there are so many things we, as pet parents, can worry about — their bumping their heads, falling, chipping teeth. But lately I’ve heard from two readers who share a concern: They say their CH kitten’s abilities have worsened with time.

Ellie wobbling around.

Now we know that CH is a non-progressive condition, which means that a cat’s mobility should not worsen with age. In fact, many folks say their cats’ mobility has improved.

But these readers have other experiences. Both have cats who are rather young (18 months and younger) and both cats having more and more trouble getting around. While the cats used to be able to walk without a problem, they’re now experiencing more difficulty and falling more often.

While many issues come to mind — perhaps the cat somehow injured himself, like a sprain — the truth is there is more likely something else going on in addition to the CH — or your cat may not have cerebellar hypoplasia at all. To determine which it is, you need to have a serious discussion with your vet.

Lizzie, the founder of the CH Kitty Club, says that she’s heard stories like that through the years. She says that throughout the group’s existence, folks have joined to discuss their CH cat — only to find later that their cat didn’t have CH, it was something else.

Debbie, our CH cat adoption specialist, agrees. She says there are other problems that appear to be CH, but they cause the cat to decline with time — like brain tumors and brain infections. Some can be treated, but some may take the life of the cat if the true cause isn’t discovered in time.

One of my own readers shared the story about her family’s CH cat, only to learn a while later that it wasn’t CH at all, but a degenerative brain disease.

Another CH pet parent, Nina, said she’s had experience with her cat’s CH worsening whenever he’s not feeling well. She said whenever her cat Stewie has a herpes flare up, she notices his mobility worsens. Perhaps other CH cats’ mobility worsens if they’re not feeling well too.

So, if you think your CH cat is getting noticeably worse, visit your vet and bring up some of your concerns. While none of our experiences or suggestions should be taken as professional advice, it may help spark a conversation with your veterinarian.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2012 6:29 am

    Absolutely! when in doubt always ask the vet. There’s also the possibility of a stroke which can happen to any cat of mature years as it can to humans. Our first cat had a stroke, suffered a fall as a result, and lost the use of his back legs and tail for a while – he made an almost full recovery but he was always weaker there. The vet was very supportive but warned that he might have to lose his tail if it didn’t come back to life. It did, but that was the end of 4′ leaps straight up to come in by the window instead of using the catflap. He was 17 then and was pretty staid for the rest of his long life, but the vet reckoned that it was being hyperfit to start off with that helped him get over it. A kitty with problems already might not recover as well – that’s only my gut instinct though, I’m no vet.

  2. Lisa permalink
    May 21, 2012 11:40 am

    Hi, Amanda – I wanted to update you on our CH Kitty, Sprite, (aka Little Man) – I had written to you a few weeks ago, trying to gather data on why his CH seemed to have worsened. Well, we took him to the homeopathic vet who diagnosed him initially when he was a kitten, and he started him on a combination of Prednisone, (sp?), and some type of herbal supplement. Then, over the course of 4 weeks, we weaned him off the meds and onto a higher doseage of the herbal supplement – and let me tell you, he is sooooo much better. I wouldn’t say he’s exactly back to where he was, but he’s a lot closer & back to being the silly Little Man we know & love. I am a huge proponent of naturopathic meds myself, since I was cured of Graves Disease COMPLETELY homeopathically – but I will admit even I had some skepticism about being able to do that for Little Man. So if anyone out there does have a CH kitty who seems to be getting worse, by all means, have them search for a local vet who deals in natural meds, too! Hope this helps!!

    • May 21, 2012 4:17 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      That’s great! I haven’t heard very much on cats being cured homeopathically, so I’m glad you’ve had some luck! Did your vet ever find out what was wrong/what was making Sprite regress?

      I wonder if the homeopathic cure will only work if it’s something having to do with CH. I know sometimes when a cat’s CH worsens, it turns out that the cat doesn’t have CH after all, but something else 😦 So I’m glad you and Sprite are some of the lucky ones!

  3. Ruth permalink
    August 21, 2018 1:19 pm

    The VET thinks my kitten, Ruby, who is 4 months, has CH. I’m very worried as she seems to be getting worse. I was led to believe CH wasnt progressive. The vet is happy with Ruby as she knows we are doing everything to help Ruby, as she needs help when eating, toileting and her overall care, as she shakes constantly. Could there be anything else wrong with Ruby?

  4. Kai permalink
    July 21, 2019 1:13 pm

    I have 2 CH kitties- both from the same litter. They are 2 yrs old now and one Angel hasn’t gotten any bigger then an 8 month old kitten her sister June is still small for a 2 yr old but looks more like a cat then a kitten. Angel has the head tremors when she’s excited and June on occasionally. Angel always walked better then June but lately Angel is falling more. Since CH is non progressive I wonder if it could be she’s imitating her sister? They both eat and drink and use their boxes without a problem. I wonder what is going on with them. They do see their vet yearly

  5. Jeannie permalink
    July 20, 2020 8:26 am

    PLEASE help me with by answering the above question. My 10 month old kitty has gotten so much worse in the last 3 months. Now he is unable to walk at all.
    I have see the responses re: a possible/probable(?) decreasing of mobility due to another underlying condition . Would an MRI or other test help diagnosis this ?
    We have no CH specialist Vet in our area or even one closer than 500 miles.
    In advance, thank you for your thoughts and/ help.


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