Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Cats (February 2019)

As a cat parent, it’s crucial that you inform yourself about potential health problems to ensure you have a level of readiness in case something goes wrong.

Whether your cat is currently going through cerebellar hypoplasia, you have concerns related to this condition, or you just want to know what it is, in general, I’m here to give you some answers.

What is Cerebellar Hypoplasia?

Cerebellar hypoplasia, both in cats and dogs, is a neurological condition. This happens when a cat’s cerebellum is smaller in size compared to a regular cerebellum, so it’s not completely or normally developed as it should be.

It’s not contagious or progressive, so you don’t need to worry about your other cats “catching it”. That’s impossible.

The cerebellum controls a cat’s fine motor skills and their coordination, so it’s easily noticeable when a kitten has cerebellar hypoplasia.

Symptoms of Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Cats

Listed below are the symptoms seen in cats who have CH:

  • Swaying While Walking
  • Mild to Severe Head Tremors
  • Intention Tremors
  • Hypermetria – Goose-Stepping

Depending on how badly a kitten’s cerebellum has been affected, the symptoms can range from mild to severe.

You will typically notice if a kitten has CH when they begin to stand and/or walk on their own or eat and drink from a bowl.

How Does Cerebellar Hypoplasia Happen?

Unfortunately, kittens are typically born with CH due to the mother cat having problems of their own.

For example, a kitten can be born with CH due to a mother cat becoming infected with feline panleukopenia virus while pregnant, which is then passed on to her litter of kittens.

This type of virus goes on to battle with cells that are dividing rapidly, especially while the cerebellum is growing and developing during the last stage of the pregnancy and the first couple of weeks after the kittens are born.

Unfortunately, you never know if one, two, or all of the kittens in the litter will be affected.

Treating Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for CH. The best thing you can do to “treat” this neurological condition is to offer continued love and support.

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