Cat falling over, losing balance (new video) (neurologic disease)

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This is recent video (March 2014) of my 5-year old cat losing his balance from undiagnosed neurologic disease. The videos referenced below are from late 2013, so you can see the progression of the disease. His balance is getting worse and worse, but he doesn’t seem to be in pain, his appetite is normal, and he still likes to play. And as you can see, he gets up and keeps going each time he falls. He’s a fighter!
My 5-year old cat Churro is suffering from an undiagnosed degenerative neurologic disease. He started developing balance problems when he was only 2 ½ years old by miscalculating distances when he tried to jump. At 3 ½ years, he was losing his ability to jump at all; his gait started to change into a high-stepped, deliberate gait; and he was having a harder time coordinating his steps to run. He also started having periodic seizures where his body would freeze up for several seconds (I call these episodes “seizures” for lack of another word, but the vets tell me they’re not seizures because his body isn’t convulsing, he isn’t foaming at the mouth, etc.)

These symptoms kept progressing, and now at 5 years old, he:
• Can’t run or jump at all;
• Falls over when he walks (see other video at;
• Has difficulty walking and controlling his legs (it’s like he’s losing the ability to control where his legs go and his back legs are atrophying);
• Is losing the ability to perceive distance because his nose bumps into things when he sniffs them;
• Has a hard time focusing and his head will bob a little bit sometimes when he’s trying to focus (you can see a little bit of his head bob in THIS VIDEO at 18 seconds); And look how his body wobbles when he walks between the couch and the wall in this video;
• Has seizure episodes where his whole body tenses up, his legs stick straight out, his head pulls back, and his eye go wide and blank for about 5-10 seconds. His whole body turns rock solid and every muscle tenses up. Here is a seizure caught on video (but it’s slightly blurry: There is also a slight example of his body freezing up in this video at 16 seconds(;
• Drops his head straight down to the ground after he looks up or backwards, and when he’s coming out of his seizures. (you can see an example of his head dropping down to the ground after looking backwards at; and
• Muscles twitch a lot when he’s lying down (see this video at 3, 8, 18, 21, and 27 seconds:

Despite all of this, Churro is still the same ornery and fun-loving cat he has always been, which is why it’s so incredibly sad and painful to watch him deteriorate from this undiagnosed neurologic disease.

Churro has been to three different neurologists (one at a vet school), and several internists to try to figure out what’s going on. He’s had a slew of tests and has been on every antibiotic imaginable in case it was a brain infection, but the tests were inconclusive and no drugs helped him. The final diagnosis was simply that he has degenerative brain disease (degenerative cerebellar abiotrophy?).

I’d be really interested to see if anyone has any thoughts or ideas.

1. Ear infection (April ’12): treated and cured w/ DMSO drops.
2. CT scan (May ’12) showed large mass in left nasal sinus and septum deviated to right.
3. Rhinoscopy (May ’12) to clear out mass. Biopsy showed chronic rhinitis.
4. Cryptococcus test: normal
5. Toxoplasmosis test: normal
6. Thyroid test: normal
7. UPenn genetic testing: normal
8. MRI and CSF Spinal tap (August 8th, 2012): Brain normal, fluid normal.

ANTIBIOTICS/DRUGS: Zeniquen, Chloramphenicol, Cefpodoxime, Levofloxacin, Doxycycline, Clindamycin, SMZ/TMP (sulfa-methoxazole trimethoprim), prednisone.


Kailley Mendoza says:

Why are they not helping it!!!i swear i hate ppl there so stupid like why would u just sit there and record the cat😒stupid af!!!!!

emily haines says:

How is he doing I hope hes still alive? :(((

Joshua Lee says:

Are you sure its not rabies though

drfreud65 says:

My 19 year old acts just like this. I'm putting him down tomorrow. It'll be hard, but he's had a very good, long life. I can't imagine making him suffer longer.

liselle sloan says:

Sorry to hear this! Thanks for sharing, though, as I think my cat might have this. She is on prednisone drops, and they do seem to be helping for the moment, as she has a wobbly walk, also. She was on an anti-biotic, in case it was a neurological problem caused by an infection. No FIP. whatever it is, there is no good treatment for it, alas.

v i p k i t t e n s Msp says:

what do i do if my cat cant even walk at all

Elizabeth Corkins says:

Thank u for sharing this, poor kitty Aww 😢 HUGGZZ 💕

Elizabeth Corkins says:

I just had to put my cat down omg she was doing that too, they said kidney Falure… Possible cancer too… I have a short video too, idk if I'll post it or not. Anyways 🙁

Dan Raven says:

this is exactly what my cat does. it was hit by a car a few weeks ago. vet checked him over and treated him. his legs are fine no breakages or fractures at all. he just started walking funny like he was drunk. so it's back to the vets and told him what was going on. he attributed it to some kind of neurological trauma from the accident. he said keep an eye on him. it should go within a few months but if it gets any worse I have to take him back. gets expensive I can tell you. so far in the 2 weeks since his accident it's cost me nearly £1600. but the way I see it. my cat is my world and money is no object.

King Rock says:

My cat has the same thing and where I'm from if I take her to the vet they will have to put her down,i give her anti inflammatory, and she is walking much better while now perfect my daughters and wife love the cat like it's one of them, I was not as found of it but since she became like this I am quite sad about it and really hope I can find a way to help her recover.

Ghost Pants says:

he's just drank a few too many… whiskers

SilentJammeer007 says:

i dont know what to say or what to do my cat recently showing the same syptoms and i am dam mm scared dont know what to do tommorow i will definitely take her to the vet. and dB his an problem also started first from the ears infection then she is cured now this problem i am very scred my lovely cat

Venessy M says:

This is heartbreaking I'm very sorry for your loss I know how it feels. A few days ago I rescued a kitty that found its way to my yard. I have no idea where it came from, I'm really starting to think it was abused. Shes very VERY skinny but didnt have any other visable problems until today. When I checked on her today she would keep falling over like she has no balance. When she looks up at me while walking she falls right over. I'm getting very worried I really cannot afford to take her to a vet I feel so bad. I hope this isnt the case maybe her weight gain is causing her to lose balance? I'm so confused.

Pamela Smith says:

im glad he had u even if his life was short.

yasmin Yas says:

did u go to the vet

Jonathan Koh says:

My cat has the same problem for a week now. she is currently 9 y.o, adopted and have been with me for 1 year.

is there anything i can do for her?

jered mcdougal says:

It reminds me of chronic wasting disease you get from eating diseased meat. I am sorry your cat is sick. This is kind of s late post

Rae MacDonald says:

i feel bad for it

sanyo1970 says:

I have a cat who was acting just like this except when he was walking slowly, he would walk sideways like a crab and then just fall over. He had gotten to a fight and had 2 nasty punctures. I poured H2O2(peroxide) over 1 hole for 2 days. The 2nd hole was covered with fur and was not noticed until the fur fell off and probably got infected.
 I gave him a bowl of 6ppm of colloidal silver a drop of cannabis oil in some tuna and he was fine the next day. I continued that treatment for a few days and he didn't turn blue or wasn't walking around high. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure Churro was a COOL cat.

MerlinxPV says:

Sorry for your loss, Churro most likely had a wonderful disposition, I feel your pain of the helpless feeling this must have given you.

C028 says:

Im feeling sad now 🙁

Elana R says:

I'm so very sorry to read that Churro has passed.  He was a beautiful cat and obviously very well loved.

Susie Lorden says:

Sadly, I had to let Churro go because he could no longer walk without falling over. The necropsy showed he had degenerative cerebellar abiotrophy, which means there was absolutely nothing we could have done for him. There was no infection; no tumor; no treatable disease….his brain cells were slowly dying off. If you Google "Purkinje cells" or "cerebellar abiotrophy," the symptoms match Churro's. Here is how our neurologist described it: "As we suspected, this is NOT an infection but a degenerative condition of the cerebellum best termed an abiotrophy. This is where the cerebellum develops normally and then degenerates for reasons that are likely genetic and pre-programmed. In some cases, it is speculated there is a failure to metabolize a biological product that is then toxic to neurons, with the Purkinje cells of cerebellum being uniquely susceptible. In short, there is nothing known that we could have done." 
I can't upload his necropsy results because I can't upload a PDF to YouTube. I tried to cut and paste a snip from it, but it didn't paste right. If anyone wants the necropsy results, I'd be happy to email it to you, if you want to give me your email address. 

pechako says:

How is Churro now? I have three cats with cerebellar hypoplasia with similar symptoms but all were present since kitten hood. I hope they find a way to help Churro …meanwhile, I am glad he is loved and cared for.

pechako says:

I'm so sorry for Churro …how is he now? My three cats were all born with cerebellar hypoplasia and show similar symptoms but they were present since kitten hood. I hope they find what is causing this and that they can help him. Meanwhile I'm glad he is so loved and cared for.

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