Spreading the Word About Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Sun, Aug 24, 2008


This video features Charley, an awesome cat who happens to have cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition that affects the motor skills. Other than some awkward movements, Charley and other cats with this condition are happy and healthy and can live perfectly normal lives. Apparently, kittens with this condition are often needlessly destroyed. Please help spread the word that cats with cerebellar hypoplasia can make wonderful pets.

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31 Responses to “Spreading the Word About Cerebellar Hypoplasia”

  1. 1
    Dan N

    The symptoms are much like what I am seeing in one of my cats. He falls over, loses his balance, and constantly tries to “stretch it out”. The vet thinks he either has Feline Vestibular Disease or possibly had a stroke. (the symptoms developed concurrent to a seizure) He’s slowly improving, but may never be his old self again. But always my buddy no matter what.
    A touching video.

  2. 2

    This is a wonderful video! My best friend kitty has cerebellar hypoplasia and is one of the most wonderful kitties I have ever meet! He is completely healthy and happy. He will be 6 in November and has had CH all his life. He lives with two other kitties and can pretty much keep up with them and sometime steals the show. I don’t think I ever realized how often this condition has been misdiagnosed. I am thrilled that this video was made to inform those they may not have ever realized such a condition even existed in cats. Thank you for posting this!

  3. 3

    Go Charlie! My son has Tourettes (and no he doesn’t swear, that’s super rare and hyped in the media). His movements are a bit odd at times too. He’s the most awesome, loving, funny, creative, athletic kid around. I am going to pass this video to everyone on my email. Great video. Everyone has something – in some it’s just a little bit more obvious.

  4. 4
    Lynn B

    Thanks for the great video – he’s lucky to have you!

  5. 5

    Thanks for sharing this video Kate and helping to spread the word about cerebellar hypoplasi.

    And what an adorable cat Charley is!

  6. 6

    We had a cat when I was growing up who had this, though we didn’t know it was called cerebellar hypoplasia. We inherited her from a friend (who had named the cat “Catastrophe”). She was an incredibly sweet cat and lived well into her teens. She even had a litter of 3 kittens who were all healthy and lived long lives. (We were under the mistaken impression that the friend had the cat spayed. Oops.) She really was quite a character and we were fortunate to have her in our lives.

  7. 7

    We had a cat with vestibular disease, and he was one of the sweetest, toughest and liveliest cats we’ve ever lived with. Charley’s owners are very lucky to have such a special kitty :-)

  8. 8

    What an adorable kitty!

  9. 9
    Barbara B

    It could be a very sad tale but is not. That little cat has a good home and a good life thanks to good people like you. Thanks for sharing some very important information with the world of cat lovers and others. Keep up the good reporting. Barbara B.

  10. 10

    BRAVO for spreading the word, Moderncat! Gisele, you are absolutely right. And for anyone who has a beloved cat like this and/or wants more info, you can visit http://www.bestfriends.org where there are often cats with this special way of moving. I think Charley’s walk is adorable!!!

  11. 11

    Charley is *absolutely* adorable! My friend just told me that she had a cat with CH years ago, his name was kate (don’t ask). She says kate looked like charley’s friend. Charley’s wonderful and has wonderful owners. Well done vid, love the music, fits perfectly. Long live charley!

  12. 12
    Dawn B.

    What a wonderful kitty Charley is! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’ve had cats all my life and I never heard of Cerebellar Hypoplasia. It is so important to show that animals should be given a chance and not just be put down. Charley is lucky to have such great owners! >^..^<

  13. 13

    I love the amazing video. Charley is adorable and loving like my babies.
    One of my guys is more coordinated than his brother so maybe one has a mild case. I love them and they bring so much joy to our household. thanks for sharing – it is delightful

  14. 14

    This video coulnd’t have been received at a better time. I am fostering a lovely kitten named Bert for a local animal welfare group, and noticed Bert walked with a sway – like a feline version of John Wayne. At first I thought it was AKS (awkward kitten syndrome) but it became more pronounced as he got older. Because of this video, I now know what he has and can play it for potential adopters so they know how special he is. Thanks!

  15. 15

    I have a Siamese cat with cerebellar hypoplasia. She almost was put down at a shelter. Thank you for sharing your video. Like you i am trying to put the word out about this. I am working on a children’s story book! Write me if you can at curiouscats13@hotmail.com

  16. 16
    Dr. Eleanor Saboski

    How wonderful to have such success. As a volunteer for Safe Haven, I accepted a tiny kitten found on a soon-to-be-mowed lawn. He was on his side trying to scoot out of the way. Vet checked him and diagnosed CH. He needed muscle tone and got physical therapy. I designed a “wheelchair ” for him and he could move backwards in it. Two weeks later he came down with a spiking fever and five days later he died of a seizure. For four weeks, Little Trouper ate like a horse, played on his back and was loved. As deep as the loss is I don’t regret the effort at all. Each one is a learning experience. Keep up the good work on this.

  17. 17

    Awesome video! Sucha cute cat there :D

  18. 18

    wow… God doesn’t make mistakes… just amazing!!

  19. 19

    THANK YOU to Jo McGinley for making this important and well-crafted little film, and to Modern Cat for posting it (and to Charley for starring in it)!

    I am wondering if this condition is related to cerebellar panleukopenia, another disease that affects motor skills … our kitty was diagnosed with this in his earliest weeks, along w/ a slew of other probs~couldn’t work his hind legs, and was quite the bobble-head for awhile, heh. But with lots of love & great nutrition & massage therapy, he somehow sloughed it off after a few months, much to our vet’s amazement (he had suggested “not bonding yet b/c this little guy may not make it”).

    A note to Anne (comment #6)~the kitty I’m talking about is ALSO named Cat Astrophe! Wow, we’ve never heard of another cat w/ that name, and to think the other one had the same condition …! That is wild. We call ours “Astro” for short :) and he is now a healthy, sleek, very active six-year-old. Hopefully he will enjoy as long & happy a life as your cat-friend did!

  20. 20

    Thank you everyone for your sweet comments about Charley! He is 2 1/2 years old now and doing great. We got his feral mom fixed but not before she had 2 more kittens. 2 healthy boys and we kept them as well. Now Charley has a big family and they all sleep in a big pile at night. So sweet. We are working on a second film about Charley, to go into more detail about how to CH proof your home for a CH cat, and to show him even more in action. We will most likely post This is Charley 2 in January on youtube. Thanks again for your kind words.
    Jo McGinley & Charley

  21. 21

    great spokescubb!!!
    Amazing story

  22. 22

    I was hesitant about adopting a 2-year-old CH kitty from our local shelter and googled CH, where I saw the video about Charley. That erased any doubts I had about adoption and I brought my new baby, Daisy, home a few days ago. In that short time, I have completely fallen in love with her! She is so sweet and affectionate and gets around quite well. (My other two cats have been a bit grumpy, but not mean,and will come around, given enough time!) So thank you for your video. Daisy is a wonderful addition to my feline family!

  23. 23

    Thanks Jo and Charley … can not wait to see your second video. So happy to hear that Charley is doing well and that he is a part of a big happy family!

  24. 24
    Michos Toys

    We are far away…we are in Bogotá, Colombia, South America. I saw Charley’s video on february2009, and fortunately we did!!! At Michos Toys we have an Adoption Program and on September 1st we receive a female cat with her 4 babies (they are around 5 weeks old). One of them showed the CH, we remembered the video and it helped to decide that the little Rigoletto must have a wonderful home, but who will adopt him? Next day, Rigoletto found that special home and will sparkle Tutu’s life (another cat).
    Thank you Charley!!!!
    Rigoletto’s video is comming soon!

  25. 25

    Dr. Eleanor Saboski I have a 9 month old kitten with Cerebellar
    hypoplasia; I would love to know how you made your kittens wheelchair.
    My kitten cannot walk at all.

    Hope to hear from you,



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  29. 29

    I just recently took in 2 Siamese kittens who were found at less than 1 week old..we have been tube feeding them and one kitten has signs of CH, bobbles head, wobbles when he walks, and gets upset when he gets frustrated if he doesn’t know where to go. He laps up well and is learning how to drink water. Was wondering if anyone had any tips or ideas for physical therapy? He is so young and I figured if I start now he can gain muscle strength and get a lot better! Please email Bree.c.Andrews@gmail.com if anyone can help! He has won my heart and I want to give him the best chance possible!


  1. [...] around.. You can help save cats who are needlessly destroyed because of this condition. Thanks moderncat :: cat products, cat toys, cat furniture, and more…all with modern style

  2. [...] Charley – Sufre hipoplasia cerebral (v

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