Cerebellar Hypoplasia (cer·e·bel·lar hy·po·pla·sia) is a disorder found in cats and dogs which causes jerky movements, tremors, and generally uncoordinated motion, just like ataxic cerebral palsy in humans. A cat with CH often falls down and has trouble walking or cannot seem to walk at all. CH in cats is non- progressive, meaning it does not get worse with age.
Cerebellar Hypoplasia occurs when the cerebellum, the part of the brain which controls fine motor skills and coordination, is not completely mature at birth. Symptoms of CH can usually be seen immediately at birth.
Cerebellar Hypoplasia is most commonly caused by the kitten’s mother contracting the Panleukopenia virus while pregnant. If the mother passes on the virus during the end of pregnancy, the kittens can be born with CH. Kittens with CH are not infected with or carriers of Panleukopenia, it has only stunted their cerebellum's growth while in the womb. Cerebellar Hypoplasia can also occur if a trauma, including malnutrition, occurs to the kittens while in the womb.
Cats with Cerebellar Hypoplasia are often euthanized, as people misunderstand the condition as being painful and/or contagious. However, they have a normal life expectancy and are very affectionate, sweet, and loving. They return the extra care they need with an intense love for and bond with their adoptive families
THE TRUTH ABOUT CH CATS
At this time, many veterinary and rescue professionals are still unaware of CH. Many CH cats are needlessly euthanized before given a chance at a proper diagnosis and life, making it harder for awareness about the condition to grow.
Cats with CH: Are not in any pain Are not contagious Have a normal life expectancy Live happy, healthy lives Learn to adapt their abilities and compensate over time Need to be indoor-only Should never be declawed May require no extra care, or a great deal of extra care, depending on their severity Can be more prone to accident- related injuries, like chipped teeth or broken nails RESOURCES
To learn more, or get assistance with a CH cat, please visit the following resources: CH Kitty Club http://www.chkittyclub.com Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats http://chcat.org Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats and Kittens Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/181495576436 Life with CH Cats Blog http://lifewithchcats.com
To find a CH cat or kitten near you, or for any advice, please email [email protected]