Timmy the black and white kitten’s wobbly walk is caused by a virus that can be thwarted with vaccination.
For Timmy, being infected when she was so young means walking, running and climbing the stairs is a real a challenge – and needs the watchful eyes of her owner so she does not fall or get injured.
To highlight how six-month-old Timmy could have been spared a lifetime of losing her balance, owner Mitch Polley has released a series of clips as well as speaking about the importance of vaccinating pets.
Mitch, 26, first set eyes on Timmy when she came into the family-owned kennels and cattery in Chessington, Surrey, looking like any other healthy kitten – until she started to walk.
It was soon discovered that she had been infected by the panleukopenia virus which had attacked the area of the brain that controls balance, stopping it from developing properly.
The resulting condition is known as cerebellar hypoplasia, which can also afflict dogs, and has no known cure. It puts pets in danger of falls and accidents and, in the worst cases, animals may have to be euthanised to spare them unnecessary suffering.
Luckily for Timmy, she has the watchful eyes of Mitch looking out for her to prevent any calamities, meaning she can lead a full and active life.
Mitch, from Twickenham, south west London, explains: “She’s very wobbly on her feet, but she doesn’t let that stop her doing the things she loves. She still manages to get around the house, go up and down the stairs and loves playing in the garden. She’s a real trooper.
“We do have to keep a closer eye on her more than most cats. We make sure that she only goes outside when we’re at home as we worry that she might be more at risk from other cats in the area if she comes into contact with them.”
Mitch has spoken out because cerebellar hypoplasia is one of a number of feline illnesses that can be caused by preventable infections such as panleukopenia and feline leukaemia, and which can also be protected…