CH cats, disabled cats, wobbly kitten syndrome

Cats with special needs

One of our customers recently returned one of our products because her cat has CH – which is cerebellar hypoplasia.  Naturally we gave her a full refund and we will be sending her a new complimentary product which may suit her pet better.  We do this for two reasons – firstly, because we love customers and their pets and, secondly because owners of cats with this condition are exceptional, as they chose to care for a cat which has a significant disability.  Many cat owners decide to euthanise kittens with this condition.  And obviously such a decision has to be made in conjunction with the recommendations of your veterinary specialist, it is a personal and very difficult decision.

orange tabby cat on grey staircase
Photo by Bre Sartori on Pexels.com

Cerebellar hypoplasia is a condition where a cat is born with a part of the brain which is underdeveloped.  The condition may arise because of genetic causes or environmental toxins, toxins or nutritional deficiencies which the Queen is exposed to when her kittens are in-utero.  The condition first becomes apparent when kittens begin to stand or walk at around six weeks of age.

This condition sometimes referred to as “wobbly kitten” can vary in severity.  In mild cases, cats have a slightly lopsided gait but usually get around without too much trouble. Moderate CH is where cats will have a more obvious splayed walk which deteriorates when they are stressed and they may develop head tremors. Cats with severe CH need special care and typically can’t walk on their own, have almost constant head tremors, and flip and flop to get around.

CH cats can’t accurately locate their feet in relation to the ground so they are prone to over-reaching as they step which represents as a hypermetric (or wobbly) gait.  They also have poor balance and are prone to falls and they can misjudge distances when jumping on or off objects.  They also can experience difficulties when eating because of head tremors when at the food bowl – so cat owners of CH cats need to address this with food bowls that make life easier for these kitties.

The condition does not deteriorate with age and can be managed by finding appropriate cat furniture or customising your kitty litter and food bowls.  It might be advisable to keep a CH kitty indoors or with limited outdoor excursions to minimise it being menaced by other cats, dogs or even humans.

One social media influencer I stumbled upon has written a good blog post on this subject with recommendations for different products which might be suitable for cats with this condition as she is a cat mother to a CH pussy cat.  Kitty Cat Chronicles – check out their Facebook page).

We have designed a product for cats who can’t climb but want a cat bed to nest in.  Our Premium Felt Cat Cave which comes in Pink or Blue – is a good choice if you have a disabled cat as they can easily climb in and out of the cave and can feel safe and snug inside.

 

Check this product out only on Amazon – and available for a limited time only.  Will fit most types of cat except for really huge Maine Coons.  Our Mother Cat Tabitha and her four kittens easily fit inside of it.  Our kittens have been climbing on top of it.

 

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Teaching our cat Trim to swim in the Caribbean

When we adopted our cat Trim I deliberately named him after explorer Matthew Flinder’s cat Trim – who served on board the ship HMS Reliance on a voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to Sydney’s Botany Bay. Trim the kitten, fell overboard, but managed to swim back to the ship and climb up the rigging. Because of this, Flinders and the crew treasured him over other cats on board.

Trim was born in 1799 and died in 1803 when he was allegedly eaten by a hungry slave.

There is a plaque at the Mitchell Library of NSW saying:

“TO THE MEMORY OF
TRIM
The best and most illustrious of his race
The most affectionate of friends,
faithful of servants,
and best of creatures
He made the tour of the globe, and a voyage to Australia,
which he circumnavigated, and was ever the
delight and pleasure of his fellow voyagers
Written by Matthew Flinders in memory of his cat
Memorial donated by the North Shore Historical Society”

So we adopted our kitten Trim two years ago and named him thus because we aspire to sail around the world one day:

IMG_3749

And one week ago we moved to Belize in the Caribbean. So in order to make our Trim – more Matthew Flinders’ “Trimlike” – we took him swimming yesterday – see video below:

Trim didn’t seem to mind the water too much and at one point just sat at the water’s edge on the sand and let the water gently lap over his paws.