Similar to ataxic cerebral palsy in humans, cats born with cerebral hypoplasia, also known as “wobbly kitten syndrome” or “CH,” may look like they’re having a little trouble keeping themselves balanced. Despite the occasional fall, many of these kitties can live a long, happy life.

Unfortunately, many of them are euthanized because shelters and rescue agencies aren’t familiar with the disorder. Here’s what you should know about cerebral hypoplasia in cats.

What causes cerebral hypoplasia?

According to, “Cerebellar Hypoplasia occurs when the cerebellum, the part of the brain which controls fine motor skills and coordination, is not completely mature at birth.” This is usually occurs when the mother contracts the Panleukopenia virus and passes it on to her kittens. However, kittens born with CH are not contagious.

How is a wobbly kitty’s quality of life?

Symptoms of CH can be seen at birth and include an unusual gait and head tremors, particularly when excited or stressed. Some kitties with more severe cases may require a wheelchair to help them with mobility, but many CH cats need nothing more than a rug to help with traction, protective furniture to soften falls, and a high-sided litter box. Wobbly kitties have normal life expectancy, and the symptoms do not worsen over time. They are not in any pain, and they are excellent climbers.

What does a wobbly kitty look like?

Check out this video of Ralphee and her best friend Max.

These buds are the perfect example of how a little love can go a long way.

Are you looking for someone to look after your wobbly kitty while you’re away? Give us a call! Our pet sitters will take good care of your cat with special needs.

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

“Wide Eyed Kitten” by Big Ben in Japan on flickr