Ataxia refers to a lack of coordination. It comes from the Greek language meaning “lack of order”. It is used in reference to all animals and people. A cat with ataxia will suffer from an inability to coordinate voluntarily muscle movements.
Ataxia is a symptom of some central nervous system disorders or injuries. It is not because of muscle weakness.
There are many causes. One is Feline Cerebellar Hypoplasia. Gordon (above) has this disease:
I won’t go into great detail on causes but other possible causes are:
- an inherited metabolic disease that causes the degeneration of the central nervous system. Apparently Siamese cats amongst the cat breeds are most often affected (see also Siamese health problems). For a breeder it means a DNA test needs to be carried out to remove carriers from the breeding line.
- inflammation of the brain caused by an infection. Viruses that cause this sort infection include feline infectious peritonitis, panleukopenia (“panleuk”), feline leukemia.
- feline stroke.
Update: this is Flick in a video from Marion of Cats Protection (see comment). Flick has CH (Cerebellar Hypoplasia) and it makes her head wobble.