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kitten
kitten  
I raise kittens for rescue groups..I have never run into a case like this.. I was given 3 kittens -they were found in a dumpster and I was called in to raise them. The eyes were shut and they had the cord yet, ok 2 months later  they are healthy and ready to be returned to the rescue group. pending one kitten -vet has looked at her and said she seems healthy. but she is so very tiny weight is at half a pound-she plays eats and poops all normal.. she just got her teeth  they are coming in now.she falls a lot and rolls as her legs are very short -I still feed her every 4 hours as she cant eat a lot at one time.I am showing you a picture of her

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Hi Mary,

What a teeny tiny! It can be a little disconcerting when kittens are so slow to grow. There are some viral illnesses like Feline Infectious Peritonitis and Feline Leukemia that can cause impeded growth. If the illnesses follow the rules, then the kitten should be too young to have suffered from FIP. At 8 weeks, she's probably safe to get tested for feline leukemia - they recommend waiting until 12 weeks to be sure, but 8 weeks is generally old enough to produce an accurate test.

Some kittens will be underweight due to congenital deformities like a hepatic (portosystemic) shunt, which is a rather involved problem whereby a major blood vessel bypasses the liver and causes malnourishment. Any sort of deformity involving major organs can compromise the kitty enough to stunt growth. But if she is a vibrant kitten, I don't see reason to suspect this would be true.

A kitten who eats well but doesn't play is worrisome. A kitten who plays but is finicky about eating, worrisome as well. Generally, a kitten that acts healthy is healthy. If her activity level and appetite are normal, these are the real measures to go by. At times, kittens will be very undersized or have underdeveloped organs but appear just fine otherwise. And indeed, they are now. But early life is very critical. If, for any reason, this baby had an infection or didn't get the nutrition she needed during embryonic development, or even shortly after birth, it could have had significant, lasting effects. I'm wondering if she suffered a challenge en utero or just after birth. In these cases, if the deficiency is taken care of before permanent damage is done, the kitten can recover fully with time. Other times, the kitty will remain small for life.

Some kittens suffer a mutation that leaves them small. I'm not sure that you'll ever find out exactly why this one is so little, barring a positive test for an infection. But I hope she finds a special home! She seems like a special little girl.

Best wishes!
Jessica

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Jessica

Expertise

The areas in which I have gained the most experience are cat health and feral cat management/rescue. I provide supportive care to chronically ill cats, hospice care to terminally ill cats and also am involved in trap-neuter-return efforts. My specialities lie in taming feral cats and in the allopathic treatment of cats with illnesses or special needs. I also have owned Siamese, Himalayans, Abyssinians, Russian Blues, Savannahs, Bengals, Peterbalds, Don Sphynx and Oriental Shorthairs and am well-versed in cat breeds as well as cat behavior and nutrition.

Experience

I have 15 years of extensive experience with cats ranging from breeding to medical care. My daily routine consists of caring for cats with diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney failure, feline leukemia, feline AIDS as well as feral cats. I have experience with liver patients, heart patients, feline infectious peritonitis, cancer, recovery from amputation and trauma, congenital deformities and most every disease in between. I have assisted cats giving birth and hand-nursed kittens who were neglected by their mother from 2 days old through weaning.

Education/Credentials
15 years' hands-on experience. Current nursing student. I've studied the parallels of human and cat anatomy as well as zoonotic disease, so my studies are broadening the depth of my understanding of feline anatomy, physiology and pathology.

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