Muffy, Muffy, Muffy ... She is one special girl!
Muffy came in to Joa’s Arc's care from a local shelter after being brought in by someone that did not know what was wrong with her. You see, Muffy has Cerebellar Hypoplasia, known also as "CH" (like Nero), which varies in severity and, in Muffy's case, causes her to bob and weave all over.
Muffy will need a very special home that will overlook her disability (as she does), but still keep her safe. "CH" is a condition affecting the cerebellum of the kitten's brain. The cerebellum is the portion of the brain that influences fine motor control. Kittens affected with CH will have poor coordination (jerky or wobbly movements when they walk or run). Some animals affected by it will have head tremors as well. This can happen to a greater or lesser extent in each animal differently. Many will fall over during movement. HOWEVER, life expectancy is not affected. The cause of CH may be a viral infection during gestation or in kittenhood. Distemper is the most common cause of intra-uterine infection. However, CH can occur in-utero or at a later date due to injury, poisoning or a virus.
The symptoms of CH generally do not worsen as the animal ages and most will learn to compensate to some degree. However, this will be a lifelong condition because there is no treatment for the condition. The animal can have a good quality of life if given protection from accidents - these cats will be clumsy and must be protected from stairs, for example. They absolutely MUST NOT be declawed as they need their nails to help them hang on when they slip or fall. Cushions should be placed under places from which the cat may fall (window sills, etc.). It is a good idea to use untippable food and water bowls and a litter box with high sides but a low entrance area. These cats also absolutely be kept indoors for their own safety. CH cats seem to be unaware that they are different in any way and therefore may attempt feats that could be dangerous for them, but they seem to lead very happy lives.
Do not be fooled though, Muffy's condition does not slow her down! Muffy is quite the athlete - she loves to tumble and tumble and tumble some more. As of today, Muffy is almost 15 weeks old. She came to Joa’s Arc eight weeks ago and her coordination and limb strength have really shown improvement and she is able to contol herself much better. She loves to play and cuddle and if she sees hair hanging, she loves it!! Muffy is so funny too. She makes everyone laugh once they realize that her special needs does not affect her ability to be happy and enjoy life. She is also up to date with vaccines, combo tested negative and will be spayed when appropriate.