Why Is My Cat So Small?

How do I know if my cat is too small?

Feel your cat’s ribs (located behind their front legs); if they feel like the back of your hand, then their weight is just right. If they’re ribs look or feel like your knuckles, then you have a skinny cat. If the ribs feel like your palm, then they’re likely overweight.

Why is my cat so small and not growing?

A fully grown cat that is unusually small may have been malnourished as a kitten. This can lead to its growth being permanently stunted. Malnourishment can be caused by a lack of food, too much poor-quality food, or illness and parasites. … The same is true for the runt of the litter in kittens.

Can a cat be too small?

If your kitty is not only small, but they also have a somewhat disproportionate body with short legs, then chances are they’re a munchkin kitty or have a form of dwarfism. Regular vet visitations might help you keep an eye on any health problems connected to their smaller stature!

What cats stay really small?

Singapura. Known as one of the smallest cat breeds in the world, the Singapura is half the size of the average cat. ….Munchkin. ….American Curl. ….Cornish Rex. ….Devon Rex. ….Siamese. ….8 Large Domestic Cat Breeds.

While Im sure we all adore the large, and majestic feline breeds, you must admit, seeing a munchkin cat running around on their short legs is another level of cuteness!

So, if your cat is an adult theres not much you can do to make them grow bigger, but if theyre still a kitten or underweight then its important to understand what might be causing this weight loss and the ways you can get them back up to a healthy size! While looking into the reasons behind your cats petite size youll discover that it could be connected to many factors, like their breed, a complex process of interactions among genetics, the surrounding environment, and most importantly, nutrition.

Some abnormalities arent always visible, and there are runt kittens that can be nursed back to health, as long as their owners or the veterinary shelter give them extra attention. Thats why having a feeding schedule is important because it will ensure that your feline companion is eating the necessary daily food portions for maintaining a healthy weight. If those things are overlooked its possible that your kitty isnt eating enough and has simply lost weight making them look smaller, than they naturally would be.

If youve adopted an already grown, but small-sized cat, it could be because they werent eating enough while they were on the streets or the previous owner hadnt invested in a well-balanced, meat-based diet suitable for their age, health status, and lifestyle. When I tried to change the brand of cat food I fed my fluffy lordlings, I soon realized that one of them refused to eat it, while the other went crazy for it. Not all of you will relate to this section, but even if your kitty is a stray cat of unknown origins, their ancestry might be connected to the following breeds.

Singapura If youre wondering why your Singapore kitty is so small, its definitely because theyre one of the smallest cat breeds, as they weigh somewhere between five to eight pounds. Feline dwarfism has won scientific interest, for the past few years, hoping to shed more light on this condition in animals and humans alike. The common types of worms that can affect cats and stunt a kittens growth and development are hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms.

According to Ernest Ward, DVM symptoms you might want to look out for include weight loss, other accompanying symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, bloated belly, constant coughing and worm segments in the poop or in the anus. Thats why taking your newly adopted kitten to your vet and giving them anti-parasite medication is so important! Weight loss is an important sign of Diabetes , and in this case, your cat may look small despite their increasing appetite. Your cats size can be part of their inheritance, their struggle to survive as the smallest of kittens, a sign of an illness they had fought through, or they could simply be naturally thinner specifically at the back end .

If youve adopted a kitten or a cat that still isnt fully grown there are ways to make sure theyll reach their fullest potential. Pay attention to your cats verbal or even physical signs of hunger, if they scratch around their food bowl , that might be their way of reminding you that its feeding time. Then again if theyve had the recommended portion for the day its also important to not give in, or consult with your vet and see if your cat needs a different brand with higher protein to keep them full for longer!

Wet food might also prove more beneficial since its high in protein, which should help maintain your cats muscle mass. In the journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Debra L. Zoran, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM , states that cats are metabolically adapted to preferentially use protein and fat as energy sources. From the moment you bring your new feline companion to your home, whether theyre a kitten or an older cat, regular checkups will help prevent any illness or signs of a parasite infestation.

If youve adopted a kitten that isnt fully grown, your vet will be able to suggest the right diet to help them reach the optimal growth rate. Regular weigh-ins and body condition assessments are the most practical strategies and a professional at your veterinarian clinic will be able to give you the proper instructions to follow at home.

Kittens are naturally cute and very adorable, and in addition to being tiny and super handy, they make excellent pets. Depending on the cats breed, a healthy adult one weighs between five and twenty pounds or more. However, some cats are unusually small for a variety of reasons.

Just like other mammals, male cats breeds tend to be larger, but both genders weigh more or less between six and twelve pounds, standing at the height of eight to ten inches. When you bring home a kitten for the first time, it can be frightened by the new situation and environment and fail to eat well, which affects the cats growth and sometimes their entire health.

Many pet owners complain about the loss of appetite for their feline friends when the issue could be that the kittens are bullied by the older cats and fail to eat well. To avoid this, it is crucial to ensure that any new cat brought home is treated well and paid individual attention so that their feeding pattern is not affected by the change. According to most feline specialists, cats picked from the street are hard to trace their history and genetic backgrounds because they mostly just sneak into compounds.

There are some essential nutrients that cats need for balanced and good nutrition, such as animal protein, fats, water, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. Cats are susceptible to diseases and parasitic worms such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and heartworms that affect their ability to absorb the nutrients that the body requires. Such diseases as polycystic kidneys, congenital hypothyroidism affect your cats eating habits, and in turn, the general growth.

Diseases such as diabetes in cats can reduce appetite, diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, and a very pronounced weight loss.

Chem panel to look at liver values (portosystemic shunt) and thyroid. If those are normal, enjoy her like normal. Maybe she’s a mix with one of the teensy breeds (Rex, Singapura).

When Do Cats Stop Growing?

Whether you’re a new cat parent who just adopted a kitten or the best friend of an older but surprisingly small cat, knowing the feline growth cycle is a good start. Kittens in general are fast growers and they reach adulthood at 10-12 months of age.According to Krista Williams, BSc, DVM of VCA, “their growth rate slows as they approach 80% of adult size at about 30 weeks of age, and they reach adult body size at about 40 weeks of age.”So, if your cat is an adult there’s not much you can do to make them grow bigger, but if they’re still a kitten or underweight then it’s important to understand what might be causing this weight loss and the ways you can get them back up to a healthy size!

Why Is My Cat So Small?

While looking into the reasons behind your cat’s petite size you’ll discover that it could be connected to many factors, like their breed, a complex process of interactions among genetics, the surrounding environment, and most importantly, nutrition.So, let’s solve this cat-mystery one by one by looking at all the possible reasons.

1. Your Cat’s Gender

When talking about the size of a cat it’s important to remember that every cat’s measurements can differ and still be normal and healthy. That being said, female cats are usually smaller than their male counterparts.It may not be easy to notice among stray cats where the average size may fluctuate but by looking at breeds, you may notice that male cats tend to be much larger. Some believe that early neutering can stunt growth, especially in males but multiple studies have shown that it’s not true.In fact, “the removal of hormonal influences on the growth plates of the long bones results in delayed closure, resulting in bones that are actually a little longer.” But the growth it’s so small that it’s almost not worth mentioning.

2. The Runt Of The Litter

If you’ve noticed that your kitty is significantly small, especially if you have a cat brother, or sister from the same litter to compare it to, then your kitty might be the runt of that litter.There’s usually one runt kitten born in a litter and they are easy to distinguish since they’re the smallest and the weakest of the group. Some runt kittens might have congenital defects, which are abnormalities of structure, function, or metabolism.Some abnormalities aren’t always visible, and there are runt kittens that can be nursed back to health, as long as their owners or the veterinary shelter give them extra attention. Unfortunately, in the wild, these kittens rarely survive, but if you have one in your home then remember how special your little fighter is!

3. The Feeding Pattern

Noticing that your kitty is small could be a sign of an underweight cat. That’s why having a feeding schedule is important because it will ensure that your feline companion is eating the necessary daily food portions for maintaining a healthy weight.Since cats in the wild are comfortable in hunting small prey, they eat multiple times a day. You could easily mimic this feeding pattern, by splitting their daily portions into several small meals.Having a multi-cat household might be also affecting your cat’s feedings. One of the cats might be stealing all the food, or the small cat could be depressed and not eating, because of the new feline intruder. Solving these anxieties can bring back their lost appetite and their normal weight.Keeping their food and water bowls next to each other or worst, next to the litterbox could also be the cause of their reduced appetite. How much your cats should eat in a day can also depend on their age, lifestyle, and health. If those things are overlooked it’s possible that your kitty isn’t eating enough and has simply lost weight making them look smaller, than they naturally would be.

4. Poor Nutrition

One of the main reasons your fluffball might be small is due to poor nutrition during their kittenhood. Cats usually stop drinking their mother’s milk after 8 weeks of age, and that’s when the owners step in. Proper nutrition is the foundation of a healthy adulthood, and of healthy growth. That’s why make sure the new kitten in your home is eating the right amount of food, with the required nutrition!If you’ve adopted an already grown, but small-sized cat, it could be because they weren’t eating enough while they were on the streets or the previous owner hadn’t invested in a “well-balanced, meat-based diet – suitable for their age, health status, and lifestyle.”It’s also possible that your cat is underweight because the current food brand or type of food doesn’t meet their nutritional needs. When I tried to change the brand of cat food I fed my fluffy lordlings, I soon realized that one of them refused to eat it, while the other went crazy for it. That’s why if you have more than one cat, keeping an eye on them while they eat, or even feeding them separately can save you from any unnecessary weight fluctuations!While your veterinarian will always be the best resource for finding the perfect diet for your cat, you can also check out our feline food & diet section for food reviews and nutritional information.

5. Your Cat’s breed

Not all of you will relate to this section, but even if your kitty is a stray cat of unknown origins, their ancestry might be connected to the following breeds.

Siamese

Believed to be the descendants of Thailand’s sacred temple cats, the Siamese is a gorgeous breed of medium size. They usually weigh between eight to fifteen pounds, but despite their small build, they make up for it with their big and talkative personality!If you don’t believe me just check this chatty Siamese beauty!

American Curl

You might recognize the American Curl for their unusual ears, which are curled backward and aren’t necessarily pointy, but they’re also adorably small, weighing between five to ten pounds.

Cornish Rex

One of my most favorite breeds, the Cornish Rex is a sheep in disguise thanks to their curly fur! Weighing somewhere between eight to ten pounds, they’re on the small and delicate side.

Singapura

If you’re wondering why your Singapore kitty is so small, it’s definitely because they’re one of the smallest cat breeds, as they weigh somewhere between five to eight pounds.

Devon Rex

Another sheep-looking kitty is the Devon Rex, not only are they hypoallergenic, but they also weigh less than eight pounds on average, which makes them extra adorable!

Japanese Bobtail

While the Japanese Bobtail cat might entice you with their tiny pom-like tail, it’s important to remember that they also weigh anywhere between five to ten pounds and they grow as tall as eight or nine inches!

Balinese

Perhaps because the Balinese breed originated as a longhaired mutation of the Siamese cat, they’ve also kept the small proportions, weighing somewhere around five pounds, which is pretty tiny!

6. Cat Dwarfism

Feline dwarfism has won scientific interest, for the past few years, hoping to shed more light on this condition in animals and humans alike. The Munchkin breed has not been fully clinically and genetically characterized, but these cats likely suffer from a genetic defect pseudoachondroplasia.While The International Cat Association recognizes Munchkin cats as an official cat breed the Cat Fanciers’ Association and American Cat Fanciers Association do not. And even though Munchkin cats are a type of dwarfism, there are cats with dwarfism that results in shortened limbs, unusual proportions, and underdeveloped parts, like the famous Grumpy Cat or Lil BUB for example.If your kitty is not only small, but they also have a somewhat disproportionate body with short legs, then chances are they’re a munchkin kitty or have a form of dwarfism. Regular vet visitations might help you keep an eye on any health problems connected to their smaller stature!

7. Internal Parasites

Another reason your cat might be small, or your kitten isn’t growing to reach its natural potential are parasites they had earlier in their life or still carry as kittens. The common types of worms that can affect cats and stunt a kitten’s growth and development are hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms.According to Ernest Ward, DVM “symptoms you might want to look out for include weight loss, other accompanying symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, bloated belly, constant coughing and worm segments in the poop or in the anus.” That’s why taking your newly adopted kitten to your vet and giving them anti-parasite medication is so important!

8. Diabetes Or Hyperthyroidism

If your cat has been eating regularly and you don’t notice any loss of appetite, but instead there’s a loss of weight then they might be ill. Weight loss is an important sign of Diabetes, and in this case, your cat may look small despite their increasing appetite.The same goes for hyperthyroidism, which mostly observed in middle-aged and older cats. Look for signs like weight loss, increased appetite, thirst, and urination. You might also expect to find your cat vomiting, having diarrhea, being hyperactive and you may find your cat’s coat looking matted or greasy.As always, if you notice any unusual behavior in your cat it’s best to consult your veterinarian.

Monitoring Your Kitten

As we mentioned before being responsible for your cat’s diet, can help them reach their optimal growth, which according to veterinarians, “is a slow and steady growth rate that allows the kitten to achieve an ideal (optimal) adult body condition while avoiding excessive weight and obesity.”Having a kitten eating as much as they want might result in an underfed cat or can result in your kitty reaching the maximal growth rate instead. This means that the kitten will grow as fast as possible and there’s a great risk of them becoming overweight and obese. Pay attention to your cat’s verbal or even physical signs of hunger, if they scratch around their food bowl, that might be their way of reminding you that it’s feeding time. Then again if they’ve had the recommended portion for the day it’s also important to not give in, or consult with your vet and see if your cat needs a different brand with higher protein to keep them full for longer!

Proper Nutrition

Keeping an eye on how much your cat or kitten eats isn’t enough to ensure that they’ll grow properly, because what they eat is even more important. Whether your cat is active or somewhat of a couch potato, nutritious food with lots of protein is necessary.According to veterinarians, “The recommended protein range for healthy kitten growth is 35-50% on a dry matter basis with at least 9% dry matter from an animal source. These levels support optimal growth, so it is not recommended to exceed them.”Wet food might also prove more beneficial since it’s high in protein, which should help maintain your cat’s muscle mass. In the journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Debra L. Zoran, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, states that “cats are metabolically adapted to preferentially use protein and fat as energy sources”.Fat is a source of essential fatty acids, and it also carries fat-soluble vitamins. Too much fat though can result in obesity, so the fat content for kittens should be between 18-35% on a dry matter basis. Your kitten’s food should also contain 0.8-1.6% calcium on a dry matter basis.Unless you’re a vet yourself, the best way to know what your kitty might need or not need when it comes to vitamins, possible supplements, and food overall, is by visiting your local vet clinic.Taking care of what your kitty eats might not help your kitty become bigger than what their genes intended them to be, but it will definitely lay the foundation for a healthy cat that can enjoy a long and happy life ahead of them!

Regular Vet Check-ups

From the moment you bring your new feline companion to your home, whether they’re a kitten or an older cat, regular checkups will help prevent any illness or signs of a parasite infestation. You might even discover any condition they might be suffering from in time to be treated.If you’ve adopted a kitten that isn’t fully grown, your vet will be able to suggest the right diet to help them reach the optimal growth rate. Regular weigh-ins and body condition assessments are the most practical strategies and a professional at your veterinarian clinic will be able to give you the proper instructions to follow at home.Finally, it’s important to remember that any significant changes in your kitty’s appearance can be the result of a certain health problem and it’s important that they’re not overlooked but treated at their earlier stages.

Why Is My Cat So Small?

Many feline parents are concerned with the issue of their best friends weighing less, and the reasons may vary depending on the breed, gender, or feeding pattern, among others. It is normal for a pet parent to worry about his cat not gaining weight as a normal cat does.Most cats become fully grown upon reaching one year, but some breeds keep growing till they are five. Kittens grow rapidly during the first six months, gaining about one pound every month, and their growth rate generally tapers off as they turn one because most of them have grown completely.

Reasons Why Your Cat Is So Small

Among the reasons that affect a cat’s size are the gender, breed, and the cat’s feeding pattern. However, a cat can be feeding well and still be small due to an illness or other factors. Cats come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, but the problem in their stunted growth is not fundamental.Some cat breeds seem overly grown, while others stay little forever, so if you have a specific cat breed, there is no cause for alarm. As a pet parent, it is normal to be concerned about their cat’s health, size, and weight. If you have chosen a common breed of cats and there is no sign of growth improvement, the following are common reasons why a cat can be small.

Illness and worm infections

Some cats can appear healthy outside and be eating well, and still not grow as they should. When this happens, chances are something inside the cat is affecting the growth, such as internal parasites lurking in her intestines.Cats are susceptible to diseases and parasitic worms such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and heartworms that affect their ability to absorb the nutrients that the body requires. Other accompanying symptoms of worm infestations in cats are vomiting, diarrhea, constant coughing, bloated belly, and worm segments in the cat’s poop.It is also possible for a cat to have a ferocious appetite and still not grow. Such diseases as polycystic kidneys, congenital hypothyroidism affect your cat’s eating habits, and in turn, the general growth. Diseases such as diabetes in cats can reduce appetite, diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, and a very pronounced weight loss.