I would like to introduce you to my special little kitty, Saya. I know what you’re thinking, every cat owner considers their cat special. Well you’re right! I have had several different pets throughout the years but out of all of them my Saya happens to be the most unique of all of them. You see my Saya has CH.
CH stands for Cerebellar Hypoplasia. I know that this sounds like it’s a horrible disease but it’s actually not. CH is actually a nervous disorder that occurs in cats while in the fetus when the mother is infected with the Pan Leukopenia virus. CH is not contagious nor is it painful. It just looks painful. In all honestly CH cats tend to be very affectionate. More so then most cats.
Many people make fun of my Saya, she is known as the “Drunken’ Kitty”, among a few other things that I will not repeat. That is only because when she walks it appears as if she is fighting to maintain her balance. Which is a sign that a cat has CH. The problem is once a kitten in seen with this symptom it is automatically assumed that they are extremely ill and are immediately euthanized. 😦 Luckily I was able to save my Saya from this fate. This is a nervous disorder that is caused by an under developed cerebellum. This causes the cat to have issues with balance, depth perception and a few more nervous disorder.
Just so we are clear CH is NOT contagious. It cannot be passed on from one cat to another. This is only a nervous disorder. These cats have trouble with coordination and balance, which means that they tend not to be jumpers but they are great it climbing. Honestly, it may seem at first that the quality of life for the cat is rough but it actually isn’t. They really can live a full and healthy life.
They do require some consideration when it comes to their care. For example, I know that where ever live I will need to have carpet to make it easier for her to move about our home. Leather couches are not an option for me as long as I have her. It makes her difficult to get up and sit next to me. She will never be and outdoor cat in any aspect of the word.
If you happen to find yourself with one of these precious babies there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Declawing is not an option. (I don’t believe in it for any cat but especially not these cats.) This is there only line of defense and helps them make up for what normal cats can do.
- Like I said earlier, these cats need to be indoor cats. They will not make it long outdoors.
- Their food should be elevated. This helps them eat when the gain their balance. (Yet my Saya is trying to show me that she is a big girl now and don’t require that now.)
- The litter box should have high walls or have a cover. They can make a real mess sometimes. Not their fault.
- Did I mention that carpets help them move a lot better?
- Their heads bob a lot. This is normal, it’s part of the disorder.
- One thing most sites don’t touch on is that some CH cats have a depth perception issue. So when you put them in a new environment the run into walls and furniture a lot. Give them time to adjust and they will be ruling the house like every other cat.
- If you want to give them access to a window or a shelf you would have to have a furniture close enough for them to climb up to it.
Keep in mind that these cats are just as great as and other. They really don’t know that they are different. They also are not “disabled” just different. So don’t put a CH baby to sleep, just love them. It is sooo worth it. Here are some informative sites if you find yourself with one of these special babies.