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RUNT KITTEN WILL NOT GROW!!

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
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QUINCY

I've never met a- kitten I didn't- like
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 17, '07 10:50am PST 
Mama fosters kitties, and now has the runtiest runt she has ever seen!! His Mama and siblings(8) were found outside in a garage when they were about 5-6 wks. old. His siblings have been adopted and gone for about 6 wks. now, so that would make him about 16 wks. old. Mama hasn't weighed him recently, but he weighed about a pound 6 wks. ago. Physically, he looks like he is about 7 wks. old. He has never been healthy, has had a couple URI's, and Mama thought he was going to die at least twice now.
He usually has little energy, although he has been pretty good this week. He is hungry alot, so he is eating, and his poo is nice and solid. He has not been tested for Felv yet, but his Mama and siblings tested fine. His Mama is a fairly large Maine Coon looking cat, and all the babies were normal size and grew just fine but him.

My question is, has anyone ever dealt with a runt kitten this small?? Can anyone guess what he may have that keeps him so small?? Mama has fostered kittens who were stunted because of illnesses suffered as kittens, but this little guy is ridiculous. He has grown a little in the last 6 wks., and his belly is pretty big. Mama always suspects FIP when they have a belly, but his is firm and not "squishy" like an FIP belly. The babies did have worms too, but Mama wormed them twice. Someone is interest in adopting his Mama, and said they would take him too. They are comming over tonight. Keep your paws crossed!!!
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Alfie

dogs have- owners, cats- have servents
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 17, '07 1:27pm PST 
paws crossed and keep us updated and maybe now he is eating better he will start to grow
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Boris

I'm cute and I- know how to use- that :)
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 17, '07 2:21pm PST 
Quincy,

I was the runt of my litter, and my momma cat was not a particularly big cat. When momma met me, my sisfur Natasha was much bigger and friendlier. At 6 months, mom figured I'd put on weight, but not grow much in lenght. When she took me to the vet two weeks later, the vet said she was surprised I was at the 6 pounds mark, I looked smaller than that. The vet asked if I ate normally, and mom was like "well... yes, he seems to really relish his kitten food!" The vet predicted I would stay a small-ish kitten, and so to be good about feeding me properly to watch out for the butterball effect... Boy was she wrong! I doubled in lenght within a month, and even though I am no skinny runt (10 lbs, mom guesstimates, but we'll get the official word from the vet once she sees me for a birthday checkup! ), I carry my weight really well! wink

The thing I could think of is that living with other cats, as your runt probably is, it is possible that other cats eat part of his food, especially if he has graduated to dry kitten kibble. It's just inevitable when you house rescue cats: I lived with 15 cats including my mom and sibs, and while my foster mom fed us all pretty well, sometimes she had to make sure other cats didn't steal my food shock. Bigger cats will do that to runts: it's just the laws of nature. Mom even suspects that while I was offered plenty of food at the foster home, I really didn't start eating the meals I was meant to (despite the foster mom's best intentions) until I came home to her!

If that's the case for this kitten, the good news is that once he goes to a forever home, he'll probably have a similar growth spurt. laugh out loud
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Mr. Fez- (Angel- Dreamboat- #25)

Hippie Kitty
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 17, '07 3:24pm PST 
I was a runt too. I was adopted at 6 weeks old (shelter said I was 8 weeks, vet said 6 weeks no more) and became very sick shortly after I was adopted with a severe upper respiratory infection. It took months to get me healthy. I was not growing very fast either and my vet thought I was going to be a small cat. I seemed to have a growth spurt late in kittenhood after I got healthy. I fooled my vet, when she saw me last winter she seemed astounded at how big I was - I had grown into a 12 pound cat!

Anyway, the kitten might end up being a small cat but you never know. If he's had health issues or the other cats were preventing him from getting his share of the food he could have a growth spurt yet. Has a vet seen him yet to assess his health and growth/development? If not I would recommend visiting the vet for a check-up.
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Persephone - MIA :-(

I'm waiting for- you
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 17, '07 5:28pm PST 
I noticed that one my kittens was smaller tan the others. She turns out to be the only female with 3 brothers. I made a point of watching who ate what when and noticed that she calmly waits for the 3 males and mamma to eat and only then does she go up to eat. So when I give them their food I stick around to make sure that when she does go up to the dish the others have left some for her. Even if I put it is in seperate bowls and bring her there she will walk back and wait. Nobody is pushy about it, she just seems to prefer it. She just may not like the hussle and bustle of 5 cats trying to eat at once. She looks healthy, just smaller, a little daintier, but she doesn't act dainty when they play! I imagine that it is possible for a cats to have different growth patterns. Like with humans, when they are teens you have no idea who will shoot up and who won't grow until it's all said and done.
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Missy - (Angel)

Mummy loves you- my littlest- girl.
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 20, '07 5:11am PST 
Mummy found me when she went to a garden center to buy a pumpkin for halloween, i was for sale and all alone, they said i was 8 weeks old but i wasn't the vet said i was no older than 3 weeks. I'm 13 now but i'm half the size of most cats, the weight on my page says 6lbs but i'm actually about 5.5lbs and i do eat LOTS! i've just always stayed tiny but i can hold my own and can give as good as any cat twice my size!!.
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QUINCY

I've never met a- kitten I didn't- like
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 20, '07 1:42pm PST 
I have always made sure the runt (named Little Man) got his fair share of food. Right now it is just him and his Mama in the room, and I actually lock him up in a carrier to eat until he is full. I have never seen him eat dry food - only canned. I think the dry kibble may be too hard for him to crunch. I sometimes wonder if he is not eating enough because I only feed him the canned twice a day. When I do bring his food he wolfs it down, and his little tummy is so big and round right now.

The man who looked at him and his Mama last Fri. came into Petco on Sun. after I left and said he was going to take them both. He is going to set up a vet visit and take them straight there from my house. He seems willing to do tests and spend whatever is necessary to see if something is wrong with the runt. He has not called me yet, so I hope he follows through. He also has 4 other cats, so I hope my Mama, Sarafina, gets along with them.

I will update when I know something. If anyone else has a runt that thrived, I'd be happy to hear from you.
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Boris

I'm cute and I- know how to use- that :)
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 20, '07 1:56pm PST 
I understand that he is eating on his own, but have you tried giving him KMR too and seeing if it helps? I was thinking of him this morning, and since it's not that uncommon for momma cats to have more than one partner, I thought perhaps the reason why this kitten is much smaller might be that he was conceived a little bit later than the others, and his slow development might be due to the fact that poor Little Man (I am glad he has a name) did not get as much in utero time as the others. Who knows, maybe while the other kittens might have been ok being weaned, it was a little too early for him?
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Priscilla- Purr-S-Ley

All hail the- Queen
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 20, '07 2:18pm PST 
HI Just a thought - one of the reasons besides - genetic ones - that he could be runty is if he is not absorbing nutrients from his food, what kind of diet is he on?
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Apollo

Greek God of- light, music and- healing
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 20, '07 5:23pm PST 
I squeeze the juice from canned food onto the kitten chow to make it more appealing. They love it! Mom gets the little moist food can of food but still eats some of the dry with the juice too.
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