Cats with Cerebellar Hypoplasia or Wobbly Cat Syndrome
What is cerebellar hypoplasia or wobbly cat syndrome?
Ever laid eyes on a feline swaggering like a tipsy sailor? These amusingly imperfect kitties flaunt a neurological condition that causes the cerebellum, the mastermind behind smooth moves, to be a little rough around the edges.
What causes CH in cats?
Feline cerebellar hypoplasia, or shall we say "wobbly cat syndrome" usually springs from getting infected by the pesky feline panleukopenia virus. Now, here's the twist: pregnant cats who catch this nasty bug can pass it on to their precious furballs in utero. And voila! Their cerebellum doesn't quite keep up with the growth spurt. You see, this virus goes all ninja on the rapidly dividing cells, resulting in this adorable yet non-painful and non-progressing condition. What's mind boggling is, no two kitties from the same litter are alike, not even when it comes to feeling the effects. Stay safe, kitties!
What are the signs?
Kittens with a touch of CH are quite the characters! They may show off their fancy footwork with an unsteady wobble or a charmless lack of coordination. Walking in a straight line becomes an epic quest for them, often resulting in a comedic goose-stepping gait. And let's not forget their tiny head tremors, just a subtle nod to their unique quirks. But the most amusing part is when they get all determined to move and... oops, a little tremor ensues! It's like they're trying to initiate their very own dance move but end up with an unintentional shimmy. These frisky felines certainly know how to keep us entertained!
At what age does cerebellar hypoplasia typically present itself in kittens?
Once the adorable feline takes its first few steps, which usually happens roughly three weeks after entering this world, the unmistakable and charming signs of cerebellar hypoplasia start to show. Fear not, though, for these signs won't worsen if there aren't any other unfortunate glitches in the kitty's system.
The severity of CH
Categorizing wobbly cat syndrome is like sorting feline difficulties into three levels: mild, moderate, and severe.
In the mild stage, your kitty might rock a slight head tremor and strut with a wider stance - as if walking the catwalk, quite literally! But worry not, these quirks won't stop them from performing extraordinary feats like marathon runs, gravity-defying jumps, ambles like a pro, and scaling heights like a feline superstar.
Not-so-calm kitties: On the other paw, when feline creatures have a moderate case of CH, they might show off their epic head-shaking skills when they're feeling anxious, scared, or when faced with something new. Oh, and they might also have a knack for spontaneously testing gravity more often than their chilled-out counterparts.
Severe: Some fancy felines with the extreme version of CH can be a bit wobbly on their paws and demand a little extra pampering. Watch out for those wild, uncontrollable moves when they try to strut their stuff and fail miserably. Instead of gracefully walking or standing, they've perfected the art of the flip-flop waltz. But hey, their clumsiness doesn't make them any less adorable! These furballs might need a helping hand with their bathroom breaks or getting around in style. And let's not forget their signature head tremors that scream for some extra TLC and attention. So, be prepared to shower them with love and care – it's like having a perpetual circus in your living room!
Should I use a wheelchair for my severe CH cat?
One intriguing thing about CH in cats is that they become better at cat-walking as they grow older. But hey, it's not as simple as a stroll in the park for those furry friends who have a tough time moving around. So, to conquer this obstacle, crafty pet owners have come up with walker harnesses—feline fashion with built-in stability. With a touch of swag, these mobility aids let wobbly kitties strut their stuff without risking a "cat-astrophic" fall. Talk about unstoppable! Besides keeping them on their paws, these stylish contraptions help our furry pals beef up their muscles and unleash their inner motor-control mavens, even in the face of feline challenges.
What’s the best litter box?
To avoid any unexpected hurdles, it's highly advised to make sure the entrance to the litter box is situated at a comfortable low level. When dealing with the delightful condition known as mild cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), a regular or senior cat box will do just fine.
Sometimes our feline friends might lose their balance and find themselves chillin' in the litter box, opting not to stand up for their bathroom business. If possible, make sure there's at least one wall nearby for them to lean on, just to reduce the chances of that happening.
However, if your kitty has got a moderate case of CH, a litter box with a low entry point is the way to go. And if you're dealing with a severe case, well, be prepared to give your furry friend a helping hand or maybe even some fancy diapers or reusable potty pads. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
My cat stopped using the litter box. What can I do?
Everyone knows that cats have a serious case of bathroom preferences. They are masters of the "no way, José" when it comes to sharing their litter box for both, number one and two. So, if you want to avoid any Feline Discontent Syndrome, it's wise to provide one extra litter box per furry feline. That way, you'll have a purr-fect setup that guarantees their royal behinds are satisfied.
Cats ditch their litter boxes for all sorts of absurd reasons, like despising the box or litter, throwing shade at the box's location or quantity, when the litter box unleashes an aroma or turns into a poop-filled paradise, your kitty getting overwhelmed by bizarre changes inside or outside the house (yep, even some wild cats lurking around), or dealing with mysterious kitty diseases.
If your feline friend finds discomfort while doing its business in the litter box, naturally it will point a claw of blame at the poor box and decide to take its business elsewhere, because hey, why settle for a pain in the box when there's a whole world out there to explore?!
After exhausting all possibilities and finding out your cat prefers the carpet over their fancy litter box, it's time to have a chat with your vet about anxiety meds. Trust me, even the furriest divas need a little mood enhancement sometimes!
My feline friend has a nose so refined, it can detect the faintest whiff of an unsavory scented litter box. And let me tell you, it's amusing to witness my glamorous kitty stumble away from it as if saying, "No way, I only do business in the finest of lavatories!" So I am scooping even non-clumping paper litter because that's the only litter he wants.
What else could it be?
Our cat Jinx thought he was the king of the castle until he realized there was a whole downstairs area he couldn't conquer. We had blocked the stairs to protect him from tumbling down, but little did we know he craved that forbidden kingdom. This smarty-paws watched in envy as fellow felines pranced down the stairs, while he remained stuck in purr-gatory. After some whisker-licking brainstorming, a brilliant idea struck me like a lightning bolt: cat tunnels with fancy buttons to connect them! We went tunnel-obsessed, purchasing a grand total of four. Armed with determination and a baby gate as our fortress, we hooked up those tunnels to the gate and railing, fashioning a feline highway to ultimate freedom. And voila, the training began – Jinx, ready to embark on a journey of jumps, twists, and turns, up and down the stairs. Now, our furry friend could explore every nook and cranny, living out his wildest whisker-filled dreams in style. We also put him on anti anxiety medications and that fixed our potty issue.
Potty train your cat!
Why not take a crack at potty training your feline friend? Pop her in the litter box at certain intervals throughout the day to crack the code on when nature calls. As for my own cat, I got him to use the box by playfully asking, "Jinx, do you need to go potty?" When he obliged, I'd cheerfully exclaim, "Good potty!" and reward him with his exclusive "potty treat" (reserved solely for successful litter box endeavors). Lo and behold, our other cool cats caught on in a jiffy, eagerly joining the party because they smell treats in the air!
Now Jinx is a pro at using the litter box solo, but his real motivation lies in accompanying me for that extra treat. Believe me when I say, they catch on to those perks in no time.