Have you ever heard of Cerebellar Hypoplasia? Otherwise known as “wobbly cat syndrome,” it’s a non-progressive, non-contagious neurological condition that results in walking and balance problems in cats and dogs. While it may look frightening, it is actually not at all painful for the animals who have it. One man is on a mission to bring more awareness to these special animals – many of whom are overlooked in shelters because of their condition.
My first hands-on experience with animals afflicted with Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH) was in September of 2014. My wife and I had been volunteering with Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue for about nine months when we came across a posting about a four week old kitten named Sara Bella that was brought to the Staten Island Animal Care and Control facility. Sara Bella was diagnosed with moderate-severe CH. Knowing that there was little hope of this kitten finding placement, my wife and I discussed it, then we asked the rescue to pull the kitten from the shelter for us. At the time I had seen a cat with CH that someone was fostering in the rescue, but I was not well educated about the topic.
Picking up Sara Bella at the shelter, we saw this little, black fluff ball staring up at us from inside the cardboard transport box. She couldn’t stand, but she shifted from side to side and even reached up to us with her paw. It was then we both fell in love. She was a little fighter and we renamed her Khaleesi.
Three weeks later, our little Khaleesi fell ill and after a brief struggle, she passed away. However, In that short amount of time the love of this little kitten had a profound impact on our lives. Since then my wife and I have fostered other cats and kittens with CH, and even adopted a few of our own.
Currently we have six CH cats, four mild and two moderates. We have also fostered several other cats with varying levels of Cerebellar Hypoplasia and have found them loving forever homes.
Part of my goal with this video is to encourage more adoptions of special needs pets and bring more awareness about CH to the general population. Hopefully the information contained in the video will help correct any misinformation that may be out there about this condition that may scare off potential adopters.
Do you have a cat with CH? Or would you consider adding a wobbly kitty to your family?