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Has The Severity Of Your Cat’s Cerebellar Hypoplasia Improved With Time?

September 2, 2012

When CG was a kitten, there was no doubt that he was special needs. When running down a hall, the poor dear would bounce back and forth off the walls like he was in a pinball machine. Today, however, you may not even realize he has CH, unless you watch carefully. You’ll notice a few stumbles, head tremors, and collapses, but other than that, he’s fairly normal.

CG, a few days after adoption.

It’s one of the most amazing things I, Gordon’s pet parents, and some readers have seen: Our cerebellar hypoplasia cats have actually improved — their symptoms have lessened and they’ve become more capable — over time.

Granted it’s unlikely that everyone will see such dramatic improvement in their CH cats, especially if they adopted them as an adult. Yet, some of us who adopted our CH cats as kittens may be able to see an improvement.

While most of the evidence is anecdotal, there is science to back this up.

The cerebellum, the part of the brain impacted in cerebellar hypoplasia, is quite plastic. This means it can learn how to adjust to changes in sensorimotor relationships. That means that the cerebellum’s synaptic plasticity allows it to repair and change connections between neurons.

What does that mean in English? Even though there’s a problem with the cerebellum (either damage or an underdevelopment), the brain can learn to rewire itself. Consequently, figuring out how to do things that it may not have been able to do.

So I was curious. Has your CH cat improved over time? Please take the poll below. You can vote for as many answers as apply to your CH cats. (For example, perhaps one has improved, one hasn’t, so you can vote twice.)

And one last note:

If you’ve noticed your CH cat’s abilities have actually worsened over time (especially over a short period), you may want to take your CH cat into the vet. Your cat may have injured himself, or as some folks have found, their “CH” cat actually doesn’t have CH, but rather another brain condition. In the end, it may be better to be safe and know.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 3, 2012 7:46 am

    I am happy for anyone whose cat has improved. However, I know this was the first site I found when considering adopting and it was important to learn the truth, which is that improvement is unlikely (but luckily, so is worsening). I do admit Wilde Oscar has developed some extra upper body strength to pull himself up to places he could not ordinarily reach and has figured out ways to do what he wants to do, but the neurology stays the same and the drunken swagger is still his style.

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