A congenital encephalopathy with spongiform degeneration and prominent neuronal apoptosis was observed in a 4-month-old Persian male cat with a history of depressed mental status and ataxia. On clinical examination, signs included right head tilt, ventroflexion of the head and neck, and tetraparesis. Histological examination of the central nervous system revealed multifocal, bilateral and symmetrical vacuolar degeneration of the neuropil, mainly involving the cerebellar and vestibular nuclei area, the caudal colliculi, the mesencephalic nuclei, the tegmental area and the deeper layer of the cerebral cortex. Accumulation of phosphorylated neurofilaments was detected in neuronal perikarya of the deep cortical layers, hippocampus and thalamus. Numerous pyknotic and apoptotic neurons were also observed in the cerebral cortex. These neuropathological changes differ from those observed in previous reports of spongiform degeneration of the grey matter in cats and were suggestive of a congenital neurodegenerative disease.