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About Us

About Me

Matt & Amanda

My husband and me

Hi, I’m Amanda Woodhead (formerly Maurer). I’m the proud mom to CG and Ellie, special needs cats with cerebellar hypoplasia. In 2011, I married the best guy I know  — and he totally digs our cats, too.

A few years ago I had never heard of  cerebellar hypoplasia. That is, until I was looking to adopt a cat and found a special needs kitten’s profile on Petfinder. He had CH, and I figured if I was going to love any cat, it may as well be one that needed love the most. At that moment I felt we were meant for each other, but I had no idea what I was in for!

I’ve learned so much from adopting CG — about cats, their special needs, love and patience. This experience has had such a profound impact on me, that it’s now become my mission to help other CH cat parents and spread awareness about the condition.

When I’m not spending time with my husband, playing with my kitties or off on some adventure, you can find me working for Dairy Management Inc., located outside of Chicago.

About CG


CG (3 years)

CG’s the reason why this blog exists. A year or so after I adopted him, it dawned on me that I should have chronicled our adventures and lessons together. This blogging adventure has since transformed into a resource and a tool to spread CH awareness. And it’s all thanks to him.

CG, who is named for the actor Cary Grant, had moderate CH as a kitten, but he has learned to compensate a great deal as adult. As my first cat (as an adult), this guy has a very special place in my heart.

You can learn more about CG here. Friend CG on Catster.

About Ellie


Ellie (3 months)

CG’s adoption was very special for us, and I never could have imaged that we’d have another “meant-to-be” moment with an adoptable kitten. But that’s what happened with Ellie!

My husband and I were considering adopting a companion for CG when we heard about Ellie. Her story is just incredible, as we probably wouldn’t have adopted her if some bizarre events hadn’t happened.

Anyway, she’s our silly little girl. She has moderate CH, but she doesn’t let that stop her! Her hind legs may not know what her front are doing, but she keeps up with all of us — even if that means a few flips, tumbles and bumps!

You can learn more about Ellie here. Friend her on Catster.

Thank you so much for letting us share our story with you. I hope that my experiences and the stories of others will help you better understand this condition, and possibly open your own heart and home to a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia.

Note: This blog is built on my personal thoughts. While I may offer advice, please understand I am not a professional. This blog is also a non-profit project of mine; I don’t endorse or represent any products mentioned.

73 Comments leave one →
  1. Sharon MacFarlane permalink
    October 11, 2011 6:20 pm

    Hi, Amanda. Thank you for having this site. I too have litterbox problems and am hoping you can send me your experience, or direct me to another source. I have only had my little guy for 3 weeks – he is about 9 weeks old now and has what I would describe as moderate CH, based on what I have seen on the web (the vet said he was “severe” but he can walk with alot of tumbles, similar to how you describe CG). My boy is sweet and very adventurous. Doesn’t seem to know he has a problem! He and I together have learned so much in the last three weeks but we have not hit on the right litter box option yet. I have built three different options, and my husband has just finished building another option – haven’t seen results yet. Have you any advice or places I can look?

    • October 12, 2011 8:54 am

      Hi Sharon,
      Thanks for visiting! I’m sorry to hear about the litter box problems, they can be quite trying! Here are two resources I have: the Litter Box resource page and some other Litter Box tips. I’ll also email you so we can continue this conversation. Good luck!

    • Deborah permalink
      October 27, 2015 1:57 pm

      I’ve had a CH cat for nine years. Love, love, love him! I found the best solution to the litter box problem is to “cut out” a side entrance from the top short side of the box, but leave enough of the box at the bottom (about 3 inches) to hold in the litter. Then buy one of those plastic mats you put under rolling office chairs and put that flat side against the wall and put the litter box at the back and middle of the mat, thereby leaving at least a couple of feet of cleanable space at the front and sides in case of accidents. My cat is male and sometimes he gets in his box to urinate, but because he is blind, he sometimes aims out the entrance. This only happens maybe once a week and, for the most part, accidents are easy to clean up on this plastic surface which protects the flooring.

    • Beth permalink
      September 11, 2017 7:43 pm

      me too. Would love you to email me about your litter box set up and solutions, please

  2. JacquieB permalink
    March 5, 2012 12:19 am

    Hi Amanda, I just wanted to share this short video with you about a DOG with a disability and how her parents have trained her to eat. Its sweet. Please open this link:

    • March 5, 2012 8:11 am

      This is amazing! What incredible pet parents and what an intelligent dog! Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring link 🙂

  3. March 20, 2012 6:26 am

    Clever dog! feeding raised works well with megaesophagus cats too [I can’t spell the damn word] our vet told us to turn a soup bowl upside-down and put the feeding plate on top of it, worked a treat. Our lovely Sophie, who would have been put down at just 2 for this problem, had five wonderful, happy years until cancer took her.

  4. Jennifer Coggin permalink
    June 27, 2012 1:18 pm

    Hi, Amanda – I am a cat caregiver at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, where we provide forever homes for CH (and many, many other) kitties if their cuteness doesn’t actually get them their FOREVER forever home with wonderful adopters like you and your husband. 🙂
    Do you think the author might be interested in donating part of her proceeds to Best Friends? I also think she should see if our Welcome Center gift shop would be interested in carrying the book.
    What a wonderful, positive message I’m sure this book sends … because we ALL know what valiant troopers our CH kitties are, don’t we??!?-)

    • June 27, 2012 1:31 pm

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for everything you and Best Friends do!
      I would suggest that you reach out to Ruth to discuss the details of your proposals. You can find her contact information here:
      Good luck!

  5. Stacey permalink
    August 9, 2012 11:54 pm

    Hunter showed up on my porch mid-June. Adorable, tiny, white fur & the biggest blue eyes. After confirming with my vet he’d be safe around my 3 yr old male cat… he had to stay. After a few days I knew something was different. I described the ‘hopping’ & tripping over himself to my Mom, she found cerebellar hypoplasia. Well, that’s Hunter. He’s a bit clumsy, can’t jump high (i.e. onto a toilet seat yet), & isn’t the most graceful cat. When he jumps off the bed, it’s more of a ‘thud’. He also doesn’t have much of a meow. Unless he really wants my attention. We play hide & seek & when I pop my head up to the bed, his eyes become as large as marbles & he ducks down with the funniest face. He follows me everywhere & when he hears the treats bag, he’s up on the bed so fast… it’s AMAZING! I set up a couple boxes for him to use to climb up. At night he sleeps at the end of the bed but comes up to cuddle at my neck around 6am. Completely litter trained, eats like a champ! & gets along with his ‘big brother’ perfectly.
    We think he was dumped because he’s so different.
    He’s now about 4 months & I adore him. He was hunting for a home & found me. I am a lucky girl. 🙂

  6. JoJo permalink
    September 28, 2012 12:27 pm

    I adopted my CH cat a year ago from the shelter I volunteer at. Her mom was malnourished so along with having CH she was born with defective eyes that were removed right after I brought Honey home. It seems like her tremors have gotten worse and since she doesn’t have eyes it was hard for me to measure what was CH and what was blindness until I saw your site today. Honey is having problems getting poop & pee on her from falling in her litter box. I’m wondering if I should change her litter because if she tries to clean herself that clumpable stuff might be bad for her stomach. I have 6 other cats at home – I foster the old and sick from my shelter – so I have a 7 litter boxes in a room on the 3rd floor (Honey can climb steps – so far anyway). Do I need to change the litter into something organic? Has anyone else had a probelm with their CH cat ingesting the clumpable litter when cleaning themselves?

    • September 28, 2012 12:41 pm

      Hi JoJo,
      Are you sure Honey has CH? If her tremors are worsening, I’d suggest speaking to your vet.

      As for the litter box problems, have those started recently or have they been an on-going problem? Some CH cats will always have that issue as they’re not coordinated enough to be able to eliminate without stepping or falling into it. There are several things you can try.

      First, if you’re around when she comes out of the pan messy, I’d recommend either bathing her or wiping her down with a towel to help with the mess. You’re right, you certainly *do not* want her to ingest the clumping litter, that said, I think we all have cats who have swallowed some. If you’re very concerned, speak to your vet about your options.

      Another thing you can try is changing the type of litter box she uses. This, of course, depends on her ability. You may want to consider making her a customized litter box (link here: so she has an easier time getting in and out of it. By providing her with a lower entry, it may be easier for her to exit without falling. And of course using a storage container like the link suggests means that the litter box will be larger, which means she’ll have more space to do her business and hopefully not fall into it. You also mention having six other cats and seven litter boxes, so I’d recommend scooping as often as possible for Honey’s sake 🙂

      Lastly, you can definitely try a different litter, if you’re concerned about her swallowing it. Of course that may just be one of several factors you should take into consideration (again also looking into a bigger and differently designed litter box), so you may want to play around with several options until you find one that works for her.

      Also, some people diaper their CH cats, so you may want to look into that, too. (more info: Good luck!

  7. JoJo permalink
    September 28, 2012 4:54 pm

    Thanks Amanda! I actually have an appt with a neurologist on Monday. This neurologist saw Honey when she was 3 mths old (she just turned 2) but wants to do a re-check because my general vet said she’s never seen symptoms like this before. Honey’s tremors completely stop when she’s concentrating, she’s sent a video to UC Davis (they’re doing a study on CH). I’ll let you know if I find anything interesting. Thank you so much for your wonderful website – the last couple of months I’ve been worried about possibly putting Honey down if she gets worse. It looks as if CH doesn’t get worse, at least from your readers. So if she does indeed only have CH I will lovingly wipe her down everyday (often twice a day) for the next 18 yrs!

  8. AuntThelma permalink
    January 31, 2013 3:09 pm

    We adopted two 9 month old CH kittens last week. I don’t think I knew what we were getting into! They are both very loving. Bonnie is especially sweet and loves visitors and loves to play. Bunny is still very terrified and doesn’t want to come out from under the bed. But if you reach in and pet her, she purrs like crazy. We’re hoping she comes out to play soon. As of now, I’m not sure how bad Bunny’s walking is. Bonnie is able to jump, but we don’t know yet on Bunny.

    I’ll be back.

    • January 31, 2013 3:13 pm

      Congrats on your kittens! I’m sure it’ll take Bunny a little while to transition. Please keep us posted on how they do, and please send photos, too! Good luck with them!

  9. Lynn permalink
    February 6, 2013 4:20 am

    I have a cat with CH. We were told he was a male. He is very small for his age and never exhibited issues with spraying etc. I was afraid to get him neutered because of his condition as I read somewhere that anesthetics could prove dangerous for him. We also adopted another male kitten. Well surprise our little CH cat is not a male but a female and pregnant.
    She never went into heat like another female I had, she always seemed the same. Do you know of any CH cats having kittens without any danger to their own health? I am concerned and have not brought her to see the vet yet and I will. Just would appreciate a heads up on information. I did some research and found nothing. I would rather be prepared with a little knowledge and not be shocked when I go there if the news is not good. I just lost another cat to cancer and I am still not over that loss and would not want to lose this one too.

    • February 6, 2013 7:46 am

      Hi Lynn,
      Wow! I bet that was a surprise!
      I can appreciate and understand your concerns, fortunately there isn’t anything to worry about.

      So long as your cat is healthy, the pregnancy should go as normally as any other pregnancy, if you decide to continue with it. Your cat’s CH will not impact her kittens, as it’s not hereditary. That said, depending on how severe her condition is you may want to pamper her a bit so her daily life is easier.

      It is also completely safe for CH cats to be anesthetized. As with any condition, it’s important that your vet and the folks performing the procedure are aware of, and take into account, your cat’s neurological condition. Here are some links that may help with that:

      I’d recommend taking her to the vet, as your vet will be the best one to examine her condition. Good luck and please keep us posted!

  10. Lynn permalink
    February 6, 2013 2:15 pm

    Hi Amanda
    Thank you for your quick response. Our guy/now girl is very healthy and happy. I had no idea about this condition. I noticed he would always walk with his back arched against the wall and noticed he was unstable on his feet. We just lovingly call him wobble butt at times and he is so very happy- sorry, I am not used to calling him a her.My friends told me that if anyone would adopt an animal with this condition it would be me. My cats were all strays other than him and each had a long tale about their history. Severely abused, one had a bullet in his hip and let’s not forget the feral cat who is about 17 years old and I still cannot pick her up. This one fits in just fine. I was very concerned when I was reading some things and began to worry about his/her life carrying the kittens. Thanks so much for the info. I never heard about CH before. Now if you ask me about oral squamous cell carcinoma- I am pretty up to date with new techniques and how to care for them. A new topic to learn about with CH.

    • February 6, 2013 2:28 pm

      Hi Lynn,
      Yes, it definitely sounds like she’ll fit right in! Happily, many CH cats live normal lives (they’re just as healthy as normal cats, live normal life spans, etc), they’re just a bit wobbly and may need a few accommodations to make life easier. Hopefully, when you have some free time, you can look around on the blog. Maybe some of the posts and ideas will help!
      Best of luck with everything, and if there’s anything I can help you learn more about, just say the word 🙂

  11. jayne permalink
    February 15, 2013 6:40 pm

    hi my name is jayne + im searching for what might be wrong with our kitten basil he is 9 weeks old + is adorable up till about 2 weeks ago he was fine then we became aware he was less mobile than two other kittens he staggers when he walks + seems stiff like an old cat he doesnt run or climb but plays alot eats well looks healthy + doesnt appear to be in any pain could this be ch? we love these kittens as we hand raised them when there mum got run over when they were four days old we r keeping basil + stripey they will have a loving home + i appreciate any advice thankyou

    • February 15, 2013 10:11 pm

      Hi Jayne,
      I’d suggest that you bring your little Basil to your vet. Take notes about his actions beforehand, so your description will be very detailed. Your vet is the best person to figure out what’s going on. Good luck!

  12. jayne permalink
    February 16, 2013 3:08 am

    thankyou i will take him to the vet . I just thought his symtoms sounded very similar especially since he hasnt got any worse. I also havnt got much faith in our vet + wanted to research first.

    • February 16, 2013 7:52 am

      Perhaps you can take him to another to get a second opinion? I know it’s unfortunate that not every vet is familiar with CH

  13. Lynn permalink
    February 25, 2013 1:40 am

    Hi Amanda
    Just wanted to let you know that Jaxon who we believed to be a male but is actually a female gave birth Sunday night at 8:00 pm to 1 kitten. The kitten appears to be healthy and nursing fine. I will be calling my vet tomorrow as usually there are more than one kitten in a litter and I want to make sure there are no others inside that did not make it to be on the safe side. Mom and baby are doing just fine and the kitten appears to have a manx tail like his father. Will send pics later on. Thank you for sharing your knowledge as I was very concerned because of the CH and if it could cause problems in the delivery. So far so good and that is what matters. Only time will tell if the kitten has CH and if so – no big deal – we already have one who has managed to do what the other cats can. She even climbs up to the highest bed on the cat tree by climbing up like a squirrel.

  14. Leslie Leavitt permalink
    August 6, 2013 10:21 am

    What a great site. Thanks for caring for your ch kitties. I have a CH kitty myself. Libby’s case is fairly mild. She can’t jump and sometimes her back legs don’t follow the rest of her body but she can get pretty much wherever she wants. Unfortunately she was recently diagnosed with IBD. But that doesn’t stop her. She is an inspiration as are all cats with disabilities.

    • August 8, 2013 5:24 pm

      Hi Leslie! Thanks for leaving the comment and sharing about Libby! I’d love to hear more about her sometime 🙂

  15. Ashley permalink
    August 31, 2013 12:06 pm

    Hi Amanda, I am so glad that i found this website. The organization i volunteer for had someone drop off 2 kittens about 3 weeks ago. they were about 3-4 weeks old, infested with fleas, severely dehydrated and anemic. i nursed them back to health and they are doing great now. one of them acts completely normal but the other one has all of the symptoms of CH. He is a great little guy, but my organization has deemed him un-adoptable because of this. I either have to find him a home or keep him myself. i wouldn’t mind keeping him myself but my husband is the only one working right now and things are tight money wise. my organization has offered to pay for the first years care (shots, neuter, microchip, ect) but before i make a decision i need to know just how much medical expenses im looking at. do cats with ch require more medical care than cats without it? do you know of any secondary problems associated with ch? any other info you could give me would be great. like i said, i would love to keep him but money is tight and i just have to convince my husband that keeping him wouldnt break us.

    Thank you in advance

    • August 31, 2013 2:07 pm

      Ashley, thanks for commenting! I think your question is a great one, and I’ll actually answer it in a post that will go up on September 3. If you have any additional questions, please let me know. Thanks!

    • October 8, 2013 3:47 pm

      Hi, Ashley,

      I took in a feral cat whom I had been feeding for a couple of years. I had thought Jazz was a male, but she showed up one day with a tiny kitten. It was only after giving birth that Jazz showed signs of CH.

      She has been with me for nearly two years now, and caring for her does not involve much extra expense. I had to buy a cat gate to contain her somewhat, because if she gets too far from her litter box, she tends to use the floor. I feed her pâté-style food mostly, as she has some difficulty with chunks. And she needs a special cat box, since her back legs do not work well.

      But she is easy to please and very affectionate. Unless your kitten has other problems, I would say that adopting him will not break the family bank.

      By the way, Jazz’s kitten, now nearly two years old, seems completely normal.

    • precipitevolissimevolmento permalink
      October 8, 2013 4:15 pm

      Hi, Ashley,

      I don’t know whether this comment will be too late to help you decide, but I have a ch cat, and her care has involved very little extra expense – only a cat gate and a special kitty box. So long as your kitten has no other health problems, he should not break your household bank. lydia

  16. bpaul permalink
    May 31, 2014 4:58 pm

    god bless you both always and forever to adopted and to care for these special need kitties.
    you deserve medals, in addition to praise and endless blessings.

  17. August 12, 2014 5:32 pm

    Hello! My cat was born blind and we both have been having a little trouble with this. I let my little June walk around and play almost everywhere, but the thing is she hits her head almost all the time.Every time i hear her little head thump against a dresser or underneath my bed, i can’t help but to feel responsible that she s getting hurt. I was wondering if you could help me out with this? what should i do? I want to get a helmet for her but what if it doesn’t fit or it makes her uncomfortable?

    • BiffsMomma permalink
      January 30, 2015 8:40 am

      Hey Vanessa! I have a moderate CH cat who does similar things you mentioned– within the first few days I had him he sneezed and bashed his head off our front porch and gave himself a bloody nose! They do make kitty helmets (I found Biff’s on ebay for a great price, but you have to train them and use positive reinforcement, usually they are not thrilled with the idea of the helmet at all hahah, and I am sure I do not have to tell you that you should never leave your pet unattended with a helmet etc on, usually they are not equipped to easily snap away like most cat collars do), or there is another link you should look into are called “Halos” usually they are for dogs but I do not see why they cannot be used on cats too, they are SO cool! They are a wire type halo that goes around the pets head (sort of like extended glasses) and when they approach something they bump the halo instead of their little noggins 🙂 Here are a few links I recommend checking out:

  18. BiffsMomma permalink
    January 30, 2015 8:34 am

    First off, I just want to say THANK YOU for your blog! Having been in the animal rescue world going on ten years now I adopted my first CH baby May 2014, a beautiful, handsome, full of character little boy who was given up on TWICE before coming to me and he is my BEST FRIEND! I understand this blog is just your opinions, stories, information etc and I have a question:
    1) My handsome man has been living with me since May 2014 (today is 1/30/2015), during the day he is a perfect little angel! Once night time comes though he is full of (pardon my french) piss & vinegar!! He tries running all around the house (sounds very similar to a bull in a china shop) and is VERY VERY vocal! Usually seems to be about the same time every night (2-330AM), he is not in any pain, we allow him to free range with food & water, easy access to the litter box etc.. but he still is VERY loud/vocal!! Sometimes I will get up in the middle of the night to go and pick him up and put him in bed with me he will calm down, purr, cuddle, lick etc and hell more often than not sleep throughout the night after that, but if I bring him to bed with me when I go to bed (about 9-10PM) he will usually wiggle his way out of bed no matter WHAT I do! I am at my wits end!! I have tried ear plugs for myself, tylenol PM (for me), I have tried those pheromone sprays from the pet stores (the sprays & plug ins) etc…. N O T H I N G helps! My CH kitty “Biff” even has his own room with his litter box, food/water, soft blankets, a little kitty house made just for his special needs etc– but the moment you close him in there alone he will be ok shortly but then after a while he will cry and howl! My husband is not phased by him crying at night time (men…swear they can sleep anywhere with ANY noise), but I have that maternal, mama bear hearing and even the slightest noise he makes I am awake laying there waiting for Biff’s next move. Do you CH mommy’s & daddy’s have any suggestions or advice?

    **ALSO** I volunteer at a no-kill cat shelter in Youngstown, Ohio (NE Ohio) in which we have not only CH kitties but also kitties with other special needs. I would love to try and get the shelter added to your list of adoptable CH cats for those who are looking for their very own special angel 🙂 the shelter is a registered, certified non-profit 501 (c) 3, the cats are NEVER in cages in which they live in large, colorful, full of natural sunlight rooms. If you would like additional information on the shelter and their CH kitties I would love to email you about it 🙂 they also work with other shelters as well and in the past have worked with shelters as far as New York, Chicago etc on CH cats facing the death penalty by saving them from overcrowded societies and facilities and transporting them to their Youngstown shelter to get fully vetted and placed up for adoption.

    Any suggestions, advice etc any one may have please feel free to weigh in– I am pulling my hair out! I never knew how grumpy one could get by having such broken, interrupted sleep by a chatty, vocal cat!!

  19. Marianne Canitia permalink
    March 29, 2015 11:13 am

    My cat Dharma has Ch and is 7 yrs.old She has improved with her head wobbling and she walks better. Her problem is constipation. She was at the vet. for an enema and cleansing about 4 mo. ago. She can only eat dry food because when she was younger she couldn’t hold her head up and it was easier for her to grab apiece of hard food. I have her on Science diet for hairball control and Royal Canin for extreme hairball control because they contain high fiber, but she still has bouts of constipation. Can you give me some advice on other supplements?

  20. Linda permalink
    May 13, 2015 9:02 am

    I recently volunteered to bottle feed two kittens until weaned. They were, at that time, going to be adopted. One little girl, we named Misty and a little boy we named Mickey. I took them to the vet the next day after noticing one was not behaving normally. We were told he had CH. I didn’t think anyone would adopt him and I wanted to keep the two of them together
    so we decided to keep them both. He needs her and she needs him. They play together, sleep together, fight….no way was I going to separate them. My problem is how to keep a diaper on him. We give them as much freedom as we can. We have padded the furniture legs in the den, allow them to play on the floor which is carpeted, bought a pet playpen for when we have to leave the house, my husband built him a walker. We are doing all we can to help Mickey have a normal life. The vet told me that I should think about it…that I was taking on a 15 year commitment…he can’t stand, can’t walk – has a severe case of CH but I am the one that is going to have to be committed if I can’t find some way to keep a diaper on him. Please, some HELP! Thanks.

    • Lori Henson permalink
      September 16, 2015 2:37 am

      I am also searching for a way to keep a diaper on a cat. We have s very large cat, about 15 lbs, who had a fall a couple of years ago and since has a weakened back end. He can still walk, run, etc. but is wobbly at times and it’s easy to tell that he is weaker than before. Even though he is big, he has narrow hips and is smaller in the back end; due to the injury I believe. At any rate, he has recently started to dribble feces, at times; similar to a child with spina bifida. His bowel habits changed after the fall; feces is softer than before, but no incontinence issues before now. I tried a diaper but it just slips downs and twists around. I think it’s because his hips are narrow and his belly is fat lol. I also tried a onesie with a pantyliner but couldn’t keep the liner in place well enough that way. I have been searching diligently and have found a few things that I’m going to try.
      Here they are…maybe one of them will work for us 🙂
      1. Infant 1pc.swimsuit with straps criss-crossed over shoulders..use with a pad/pantyliner
      2. Diaper used with pet halter…put on pet halter and diaper…fasten diaper like normal…used diaper pins on each side of diaper and push through part of diaper that fastened together then through halter.
      3. Diaper used with suspenders…clip suspenders on back of diaper and then over shoulders and down to front of diaper. Only thing with this is I’m not sure how to keep suspenders from slipping off shoulders. And if you cross it in the front, after pulling it over shoulders, I’m worried it might slide up and be on the the neck instead. I have thought about using those little stretchy bands with clips on each end used to hold a flat sheet on the bed like a fitted sheet.
      4. Boys undies/briefs…with pad/pantyliner…You could keep them up using method 2 or 3 above…suspenders or pinning to halter.
      Those methods I can across online…the next one is something I thought up and am going to try tomorrow.
      I am going to get a facemask…my husband wears them on his job. He wears the soft molded kind, but the unmolded paper ones may work better. I will try both and see which is best, if either works at all. Cut a small slit (not hole) for the tail, in the center of the mask. Slip the mask over the tail, positioning so a strap is on each side of the cat. Put each back leg through a strap and pull the straps up to the front of the cat, alongside each shoulder. Put each front leg through a strap and pull the straps together across the cat’s chest. Tie the straps together at that point, as tightly as they need to be to keep the mask firm against the cats behind but not so tightly that they are uncomfortable. I’m sure this would work the same with the masks that have ties versus straps, it would just require a little more securing.

      Well, I hope one of these methods works for us!!! Let me know If you have any success 🙂

  21. July 10, 2015 12:29 pm

    Hey Amanda, I just wanted to let you know that link to your page has been put on Meridas website when I redid it this time around. Sharing the joys of CH Kitties! Great page, I have always loved it even if I don’t need the info. is her page if you want to go and see.

  22. Tina permalink
    July 11, 2015 9:07 am

    So my daughter rescued a kitten from going to the pound who would have surely been put to sleep. Forrest is paralyzed in his back end and “drags” his back legs. He is not able to get into a litter box so we try to have him do his business while we stand him in the litter box. We can’t always catch when he needs to go. When he sleeps he relaxes and often “pees”. I’ve tried multiple kinds of pet diapers and he always manages to walk his front legs out of them. Any suggestions on something that might work well to diaper him. My daughter is planning to take him to Vet school with her but we need to be able to contain his voiding.

    • Linda permalink
      July 13, 2015 6:02 pm

      Hi Tina,
      Our little CH kitty, Mickey, is now 3 months old. His CH is severe, he cannot
      stand or walk but he tries very hard to do both. We started out putting him on the
      PeePee pads. That worked for a short while. We bought diapers but he could not keep them on. As he crawled across the floor, they came off. We started putting him in his
      litter box. It is a medium size with sides about 4 inches. We put him in about 30 minutes after he has eaten and/or drank water. After doing this repeatedly for a couple of weeks,
      he now crawls into the litter box on his own. Such a smart boy. Have you considered
      buying Forrest “Onesies”. They are little one-piece outfits that snaps between the “babies”
      legs. If you could put the diaper on and the Onesie over the diaper, maybe that would
      work. Something to think about.

  23. Lori Hamara permalink
    July 20, 2015 6:08 pm

    Thank -You for posting this web site. !!

    My healthy 6 yr old cat was found laying in the rain not able to move.
    I took him to the Pet hospital had MRI and found he had a stroke. The neurologist
    said it was a good prognosis the stroke was in the cerebellum and cats don’t need a cerebellum to live.

    we went home and my cat kept falling over could hardly have purposeful movement and appeared depressed.

    I tried to find info on cat cerebellum strokes, and this was what I found. Reading your posts helped me to understand and it gave me hope.

    I had plans to make the kitty walker you have instructions for . I know someone who had a similar device for a german shepard with hip dysplasia and it improved the quality of life significantly- and allowed him to live a lot longer.

    However, within a couple days my cat is almost back to normal, just a little unsteady at times. the neurologist was right, he has improved greatly.

    Thank you for posting this, it helped me to understand – and bless you for caring for this special population of kitties!

  24. Joyce permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:03 am

    About a month ago I took in 4 kittens one with CH. I’ve had them vetted and taking care of them till I find a home for them. The one female has been adopted. I still have the other three males waiting for a loving home. Thumper my CH baby is awesome n he is sweet and loving! Any one looking for an adorable fellow please let me know! I am willing to offer financial support. Thanks again!!

  25. Pamela Teehan permalink
    August 16, 2015 2:15 am

    We have a 7 month old kitten who seemed fine when we rescued him from under a large trash compactor at a mall. He was covered in oil and hungry. We took him home and he was adorable. Tried to help us with the litter, friendly! Now his coordination is off, especially the rear legs. He was sickly on antibiotics for awhile and one eye seems blinded. I thought he had CH but don’t know because he seems to have developed it after birth.

  26. Kim kurtz permalink
    September 18, 2015 8:12 pm

    Can you please tell me how to deal with the kitten not being able to make it to the litter box? We rescued a stray whose mama stopped feeding her. She is an adorable tortoise and is thriving. And I have a home for her IF she stops peeing whenever and wherever she is. We cannot even hold her becuase she just pees all over you. And she does try to use the litter box

  27. louise kelly permalink
    October 28, 2015 7:12 pm

    Amanda – I’m so excited to come across your blog/site – whatever! I have a little CH boy – turned 10 in July. Was born into my hand. I bottle fed him. Had to have 1 eye removed from the herpes. Not clear whether you made the helmet or if you have any ideas where I might get one for him. I do worry about him bashing his head continually. Also (probably due to the herpes) he’s always has a terrible runny nose – sometimes he gets totally blocked. Every 4-6 months I take him to the vet to get it flushed with saline and she cleans his teeth. He has to go under for this – which concerns me (also costs a LOT every time) I’ve tried Steam, a Humidifier, Baytrol (I’ll do 10 day courses sometimes) He takes Prednisolone (sp?) everyday and Lysine, COQ10, MSM. I feed him Wellness , organic chicken, veggies. Don’t know what else I could do. Poor little guy ‘s nose is always snotty. Any input greatly welcome. I use a saline spray every morning to make him sneeze but sometimes he can’t breath in the night.

  28. Brenda Buchtel permalink
    January 1, 2016 3:07 am

    Hello. I, too, adopted a kitten with CH. Our outside cat had two kittens, one of which she refused to take care of because he couldn’t walk. I brought him in and bottle fed him from birth. After about two weeks we also brought his brother Butters in, as a companion. I found out from the vet that Lucky Duck had CH. I had to do everything for him until he was about two months old. He did finally learn to walk, but flipped and tumbled alot. Unfornutely, he died three months ago, at six years old. I was so heartbroken that I was still crying for him after a month. My husband went to the shelter, and lo and behold, there was another little guy there with CH. They told him he was going to be put to sleep the next day because no one would adopt him. Well, it was like fate! He brought him home for me, and although he can’t replace my little Ducky, Floppy has helped heal my broken heart. His CH is worse. At five months old he still can’t walk, and needs help using the litter box, but he gets around great, flipping and flopping all over the place. Even though he’s handicapped like me (I have severe RA), he still deserves a home, a family and a life!

  29. Amanda Glassey permalink
    February 12, 2016 7:04 am

    Hi Amanda,
    My kittens are now old enough to be neutered but I’m wondering weather or not to have Holly my CH girl done! What is your knowledge about anaesthesia and CH kits?? She probably won’t go out a lot anyway, or not on her own because of her risk from other cats. What is your opinion?

    Kind Regards

    Amanda 😻 xx

  30. April 6, 2016 5:17 am

    I have a rescue cat no CH but I am not sure how to interpret his tail position. I have a picture but I am unable to attach it to blog. Picture was taken with family who kicked him to the streets.

  31. David Pecchia permalink
    May 23, 2016 10:51 am

    Hi Amanda,
    Thank you for your website and everything you do for our feline family members! I have an 11 year old female kitty, the love of my life. I’ve had her since she was 6 weeks old. She’s never shown signs of possible CH until 6 months ago. I started noticing very slight head shakes or tremors when she’d look at me or focus on something. Just brief for a few seconds. Today she was doing it for longer, roughly a minute or two, long enough for me to video it. I plan to take her to the vet to find out for sure and eliminate any other possibilities. She hasn’t suffered any injuries and she’s always been a 100% indoor kitty. Have you ever heard of an adult kitty developing CH?

  32. Jeffrey Levitt permalink
    July 11, 2016 6:51 pm

    Amanda we just got a rescue cat who was shot an paralyzed from the waist down. We have a problem, the cat diaper keeps coming off as he crawls around. We were thinking of getting suspenders at but the expense is going up and we cant keep chasing ideas that dont work. What ideas do you have for our cat?

  33. Nancy permalink
    October 20, 2016 11:13 am

    Thank you for your story. It has been a big help. I volunteer at a spay/neuter clinic (they also take in kittens and full grown cats for adoption). A gentleman brought in an 8 -10 day old kitten. As other volunteers had their hands full with fostering others cats I took this little mite home. She is a sweetie and has CH. She has used a makeshift litter box once or twice for moving her bowels but most always she is wet with urine when she wakes up. Was concerned she may never be able to use a box for both; these articles give great guidelines. She is very curious and watches the dogs with interest and likes a couple older fostered kittens. They were curious about her and just watched but now will go near her but are little rough trying to play. Not mean- no claws or teeth but they are considerably bigger. One will lick her head. For safety’s sake when cleaning her area I line the bathtub with mats and she keeps busy going back and forth easily and not banging her head. She will lay on her back in sort of a sitting position and play with fingers – seems most comfortable that way and has a little more control over her movements.

  34. Joanna permalink
    January 9, 2017 5:54 pm

    We have a cat who most likely has CH. He is a Bengal, and the breeder we got him from as a kitten failed to disclose that he had issues. One of his littermates also has similar issues. Neko can’t jump like our other kitties (we have 3 other Bengals), but he is quite the climber, and he manages to run pretty well! His back legs just don’t support him for sitting or standing, however. He “melts” if he tries to stand for any length of time, and he his gait is best described as crooked…sometimes it looks as if the front part of him is going forward and the back part is trying to go another direction. He has a tremor that is worse some times than others, as well as a twitch that seems to react to sounds. It seems to be worse when it’s cold. He has trouble in the litterbox, not because he wont’ use it but because he is unable to sit upright or squat to use the bathroom. Consequently, he sometimes gets messy and we have to wash slipcovers, bedcovers, and bathe him as well. He slings food everywhere when he eats, so we sweep the kitchen a lot! He is very sweet and playful, and we love him. I contacted his breeder shortly after we got him, and she offered to “replace” him…at what cost to him? I wasn’t willing to take that chance. Without an MRI, we don’t know for sure, but symptomatically, it’s CH.

  35. Louise Kelly permalink
    January 24, 2017 2:16 am

    Try putting him on puppy training pads. You can purchase a square that keeps them in place. I started my little guy, Pip out on them as a kitten. I got him in a routine in the a.m. and p.m. and he would use the pad – and Id throw it away. It worked great for his 11 years with me. Sadly he passed away in November. Good luck with your guy – CH cats are extra special. I’m glad you found each other.

  36. June 6, 2017 3:42 am

    My my cat had her kittens elsewhere and brought them home to me the other night then she brought home a little kitten and it gets around like a seal I mean it has what seems deformed or smaller rear foot than opposite foot. It has fun it keeps up with the others it has no head Bobble and it can see me just fine. And then she the next night there were three of them and the other two are fine and the one that may have this CH; I mean it plays as hard as the other two.I sent a video I don’t know if it’ll go through but I know we can on email.

  37. Deb Foster permalink
    July 18, 2017 2:23 pm

    thank you for this informative site My son adopted twin white kittens mother was feral One She repeatedly goes in circles and knocks everything down Shes hypersensitive to sounds and touch If things frighten her she just shakes Havent gotten her to vet recently because of her fear I cant catch her My son has cerebral palsey He thinks the kitten is like him I never knew this dx even existed maybe hes correct

    • Claire permalink
      November 16, 2017 5:18 pm

      Is she deaf? This can be the case with white cats sometimes and may explain why she startles when touched.

  38. Rita permalink
    December 4, 2017 4:21 pm

    Are you still taking care of this website?
    There doesn’t seem to be any new posts from you in years…like since 2013??…maybe I’m not looking in the right place.

    For anyone out there still reading –
    In Oct 2012, our 23yr old MaineCoon “Snickers” crossed the RainbowBridge. As many of you know, there are no words to describe the pain, the heartache we felt when Snickers left us.
    As if to try to ease my pain, that VERY same afternoon when he passed, God (or Snickers) mysteriously brought a beautiful gray&white (young) cat, onto our front stoop–belonging to no one! My husband (not me) brought that stray into our garage and proceeded to feed him & put out a litter box, much to my objection -well truth be told- a weak objection at that. We let him out the next day; but this stray wouldn’t leave. Five days later, Husband took stray to our Vet (who estimated age at 7-8 mo old) had him chipped & neutered and was named “Doc”. Sadly, I wouldn’t allow myself to get attached to nor have eyes for this adorable stray Doc; by Spring of ’13, our youngest son took Doc to live with him (both VERY happy).
    Took me TWO yrs after Snick (&Doc)to entertain the thought of having another cat in our home.

    So, Dec15th, 2015, stopped in at the local cat rescue, to see if there were any MaineCoon kittens, and had my heart stolen by two teensy black kitten brothers- who were allegedly 5.5mo old.
    Dec 16th, I returned and adopted those lively kitten bros. Named them Slinky and Malinki -after the cat in a Children’s book: “SlinkyMalinki”.
    Dec 17th, took them to our Vet, as one of them had really loose stool-just didn’t know which. Vet thought it may be stress and food related, as we suspected as well, as there was no reason to think otherwise. And Vet estimated kittens to be closer to 4.5mo of age, not 5.5-6mo as Rescue claimed! -due to their weight and milk teeth. But no worries, ears, heart and temp all clear and the loose stool should resolve itself by next week, once settled in and away from eating the adult dry kibble that the Rescue fed them. Was given anti-diarrhea meds and bought 12 canned Rx kitten food & went home to PLAY.
    DEC23rd 6pm: I’m out shopping, get a vague VM msg from RescueShelter asking health status of the kitten bros-cause the shelter has a “virus” outbreak-tho sure our boys were already gone by “outbreak” but should either kitten have diarrhea, to call Vet to have them checked.
    OMG I WAS SHOCKED! I was still finding loose stool in the litter, and just that morning noticed Slinky wasn’t as spunky as his 1st day here, nor did he seem very hungry.
    DEC24 @7am, called our Vet, who said bring BOTH in immediately, & all stool samples we could find. I get there by 7:30am, and upon entering, notice staff is not their typical upbeat smiling selves and are unusually quiet. I’m told no need to sit down, to go straight into exam room. Dr was already waiting- she too seemed a bit quiet. She took Malinki’s temp ok & weight still same as as last wk. Took Slinky, he lost a pound and had a temp of 106.9!! Proceeded to explain to me that her and the other 4 Vets suspect that the Rescue is in the midst of a Panleukopenia/Feline Parvo outbreak. And that Slinky was in grave danger due to his age, if his high temp stemmed from that…and he couldn’t go home til he survives this! and to bring Malinki back if he should get lethargic.
    Another long story short, and gain of LOTS of grey hair on my head AND after $3,700+ later…by Jan 4th 2016
    BOTH Slinky AND Malinki are Official Survivors of Panleukopenia!!!
    Which brought me to this site, because they have a very mild case of CH, which causes occasional poor depth perception. Balance is excellent. We’re BLESSED to have them and so glad we spared them from the “probable” mass kitten euthanasia the Rescue may have had to do…we don’t know-the Rescue was shut down from Dec23,2015 thru mid Feb2016, & we’ve not been contacted by said Rescue since Dec2015.
    Sorry for the long comment.
    Thanks for allowing me to “vent”.

  39. vic permalink
    January 21, 2018 3:18 pm

    Hi Amanda….love your page. My name is victoria, we live in seattle and saved a 5 weeks old kitten with ch. Never heard of it before. It has been 3 years and our beloved Typsy is happy and healthy. She does also suffer from seizures tho. I have question, do you have any info about flying with a ch cat.

  40. Carolyn Carden permalink
    September 29, 2018 2:05 pm

    Hi Amanda

    My name is Carolyn Carden and I live in Colorado Springs Colorado.
    I live in a 55+ community where there are many, many feral cats. I have been associated with the Pikes Peak Humane Society TNR Program (Trapping, Neutering, Releasing).

    Three months ago I saw a mother with her four kittens. One was a darling orange tabby and new right away he had neurological problems. I caught his siblings took them to the Humane Society where they were adopted.

    It took me two and a half months to trap “Hitch”and have had him in my home for a week. He is so adorable, but I am 76 years old and cannot care for him the way he deserves. The Humane Society would euthanize him if I were to surrender him and that is not an option for me.

    Can you assist in finding a home for him. He is 4 months old, playful, funny and very loving ( which surprised me since he had been with his feral mother for all these months).

    Thank you so much
    Carolyn Carden

  41. Chrissy permalink
    October 10, 2018 9:14 pm

    Hi! I just adopted a CH long hair kitten. She is 3 months old. When we brought her home she was using the litter box for both urinating and stools. Now she is just using the litter box for urinating and the floor for stools. Sometimes she squats and sometimes she lays down to relieve herself. We keep the litter clean and have purchased a litter brand that has an attractant. Do you have any suggestions on how to handle this situation? Thanks in advance for your help with this situation.

    December 3, 2018 1:48 pm

    All I can say is BLESS YOU for taking two special needs cats into your heart and home. You truly are an inspiration and so glad I happened to come upon your post today. Wishing you and your family — both human and feline — the very best of everything over the holidays and during the coming New Year.

  43. January 17, 2020 5:49 pm

    I have a female cat, 1 year old and 2 small cat friendly dogs. 40 years ago I raised a ch tabby male (moderate) and he lived to be 15. I would love a 1 year old female for adoption. My main concern is the stairs we have. Also, do you have any leads for a ch cat adoption. I have excellent vet records, lots of toys, cat treats, healthy food and a lot of love. Thank you for any assistance.

    • Kim permalink
      February 1, 2020 2:37 pm

      Do you mean you would like to adopt a CH Cat?

    • KIMBERLY KNOCH permalink
      April 24, 2020 11:05 am

      Yes. I am interested in adopting a female cat with mild hypoplasia.

  44. January 30, 2020 3:06 am

    I am in the process of adopting a young 5 month old female Tabby cat with mild CH from a rescue here in San Antonio. I spent quite a bit of time with her and her Foster Mother at Petco the other day, but she and I collectively decided to hold off on the final adoption paperwork until after she was cleared medically. She was apparently adopted out to the wrong family just before Christmas, and was returned with a broken front leg 😡 How can people be so heartless and careless? I’m an RN, and I just don’t get it… Anyway a my Little Girl is making GREAT STRIDES NOW!! The break is healing well, and I will be taking her to her FURREVER HOME–(MY PLACE!!!) this weekend ON SATURDAY!!!😅😅😅 Any words of wisdom for A “LONG TIME CAT OWNER, but BRAND NEW TO CH NEEDS”??? It’ll be MUCH APPRECIATED!!

    Marie, RN

  45. Erika Kilborn permalink
    August 5, 2020 8:18 am

    Hi Amanda – I am so happy to find your blog. I adopted a kitten from a shelter recently and I think she has CH. I am so worried about her. I have a vet appointment set up for Tuesday, but I feel very concerned about my little one. Her name is Emmie and she is 11 weeks old. But she looks very small for her age and still looks like she is 4 or 5 weeks old – she still has the tiny kitten spiky fur, her legs are rather spindly and she just wants to sleep most of the time. She doesn’t wake me up to yell for food, she plays but very little. She has a very hard time using the litter box and I’m not sure if it is just because of CH or there is something else going on. In addition to the shakes, her feet sometimes bend forward when she’s walking or sitting.

    She is very attached to me and will spend hours sleeping on my chest. She doesn’t do much of the usual kitten exploring and she never has the “zoomies”. Sometimes she will just sit and yell at me and I don’t know what’s wrong. She has food, a clean litter pan, water… I don’t know if she is in pain or what. I am so worried. Does this sound like typical behavior for a CH kitten or could there be something else going on? Thank you.

  46. Kim permalink
    October 19, 2020 8:38 pm

    How long is the average life span of kitty with moderate to severe CH?
    Our vet said 5 years? Does this sound right? She lately has had a couple UTI’s and stops eating or drinking unless I hand feed her.
    But now…😔she is throwing up and not eating and seems constipated. Will only drink water if I hand feed it.
    Have appt tomorrow with different vet…and animal hospital.

  47. Lynn D Ellis permalink
    November 9, 2020 10:32 am

    Yesterday was the first time I noticed head tremors in my cat. Jada is my beautiful, black torte and she’s around 6. I’m not sure because I rehomed her. I have a high-sided, covered litter box and noticed for a couple of years or so now that she pees over the sides of the box. HUH? How’s that happen? It’s puzzling to me. I’ve taken to hanging wet wipes around the sides so they catch it and can be discarded. She always uses the box and doesn’t seem to have a problem, although she gets a lot of litter on the mat. She gets around just fine, except she won’t jump up on the cupboards anymore ’cause once she misjudged and fell. She’s sitting on the table now while I type. She jumps over the baby gate that I use to keep the dog away from her food. Sometimes she jumps on a chair, up onto the craft table and up onto the freezer herself for her food. They both eat frozen raw. She chases/attacks the dog, she lays on my lap, hates getting brushed, but needs it because she upchucks lots of hairballs, even with the treatment. She overgrooms. She loves laying under warm blankets, even at night. There is one thing she really loves, which I started when she was first here. I’d hold her head in my hand, with three fingers between her ears and my palm on her face and the other fingers on the outside of her ears. She wants me to do that constantly. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the tremor she had, however, I did notice in one place where someone said they sometimes only like their head being touched. She doesn’t mind being petted, when she wants it. She does get stressed out when my dog barks. He’s an Eskie and is very shrill. Actually, I get stressed, too. I had never heard of CH before I started researching to find out what might cause the tremors. Hopefully it was a one-time thing. I’ll keep close watch over her and if I notice anymore tremors, I will definitely take her to my favorite vet. Thanks for the blog. Very informative.

  48. Mary A Dyer permalink
    October 6, 2021 3:12 pm

    Hi, I just got a foster cat yesterday with wobbly gait and wobbly head, and she falls over easily. We know nothing of her history because she was rescued eating in a feral colony. She was vet checked and bloodwork looks fine. She’s sweet and friendly but if I touch her lower body she hisses. No idea if she’s in pain. Due to the left rear leg weakness we had an xray and there is no break. We don’t have $5K to get an MRI done, we are a shelter with no funds. Vets speculate cerebellar-hypoplasia. Any thoughts?

  49. Jennifer permalink
    October 25, 2021 10:04 pm

    I have just adopted an 8 year old kitty with CH that I named Ripley (because his coloring reminds me of peanut butter ripple ice cream!) It has been two days and he is still getting used to me. Right now he is using a low litter pan (I took the sides off because I thought it would be easier. But after reading the posts, I am putting it back on!) He uses clumping litter. He has used regular clumping litter his whole life. I was wondering if the litter system with the pellets would be easier for him since they don’t give as much as the regular granulated litter does. Any thoughts on this?? Oh he is mild to moderate. Not exactly sure on the extent due to him still being in “hiding” and the previous owner let him hide from the dogs under furniture for years so she is not a good judge of his abilities. Thank you in advance.

  50. Cathy permalink
    January 24, 2022 3:51 pm

    I was feeding some Ferrell cats behind a dumpster for 4 yrs now, one day I went to feed them. & there was a baby blk&wht kitten about 2 weeks old squirming in the dirt, I right away wrapped her up in a towel & took it home, fed her by bottle for 6 wks, took her to vets , I noticed she was walking right & head bobbing all over the place, wild looking eyes, Vet said she had CH, & it’s a boy, he does not use cat litter, he uses puppy pads really good, we put them in two places & he goes right to them, we throw them away, clean him if needed, he doesn’t eat out of a bowl, because he hits his nose, so he uses small paper plates. He didn’t start drinking water till here lately, He’s healthy & neutered, wobbles a lot. My husband never wanted any cats, didn’t like them, but now he sits & holds & they take naps together, they are buddies, he’s a yr old, I’m so glad I found him, because he wouldn’t have made it, a predator would have got him. He can’t walk right or focus like a normal cat. But we love him so much. His name is Pedro

  51. Cindy Diamond permalink
    January 23, 2023 11:35 am

    Is it possible for a 10 year old kitty to develop CH? My Misty began to develop symptoms last September, the first being unable to jump up on our bed. (She had been sleeping with us since we first got her in 2012. ) My vet examined her and did x rays. She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Her symptoms progressed–ataxia, frequent falling, unsteady gait. She gradually became worse. I figured she had a brain tumor but my Vet said “maybe so” but did not offer any other diagnosis. She has lost most of her sight but still manages to find her way about in the little area we have designated for her. I accidentally found an article on CH and realized the symptoms were very much like what Misty was experiencing. All I have read seems to say that CH is found in kittens and progresses. Misty does not appear to be in pain. The vet put her on 5 mg of prednisone daily. She continues to be affectionate, eats well, uses her litter box and grooms herself. Thank you very much. Cindy Diamond.

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