Kittens are cute and adorable. You may love them because they are tiny and super-handy. But sometimes, it has been seen that some kittens don’t grow as much as they should grow per their age. Being a pet owner, maybe you are feeding your pet with all the essential nutrients, but still, if your cat is found to be of lesser weight, then you’re not alone. Many feline parents have similar experiences, and they are trying to figure things out.
Of course, cats come in different shapes, sizes, and colors naturally. But you know that the problem is not fundamental. As breeds, some of the cats are seemingly overgrowth, and some can stay little forever. So, if you have chosen one such cat breed, then you don’t have to be worried. But if you have selected a common breed but still don’t show any improvement in growth, then there may be some factors you should take care of.
In this article, we are going to unveil some facts and factors that may affect your kitty’s growth. However, these are facts derived from generic case studies and patterns. If you wanted to understand your cat in-depth, then we suggest you visit your pet nutritionist and get your answer. Without wasting much time, let’s learn the common reasons why some cats seem to be way smaller.
Is it normal for a cat to be smaller?
When you are passionate about raising your cat, and suddenly, you see they stop growing, it is heartbreak. Your friend’s neighbor’s cat is adding extra pounds every alternate week, but your cat is not even closer to it can be frustrating. Many pet owners confess that they haven’t slept, and some of them wake up in the middle of the night to know if their cat is doing well. That is very sweet of you as a parent, but what you need to understand is that sometimes you cannot do anything more.
As humans, it is normal in cats that they grow only to a certain age, depending upon the inherited genes. Hence natural variances play an important role in the growth of cats. You may have adopted him or bought him from the pet store. However, the background that the cat comes from may be different. For instance, your cat might have a biological cat parent who has stopped growing after age genetically; they are a short breed of cat. Therefore, you don’t have to panic about this sudden change. Although, their nutrition can be a major role attributing to their actual growth.
You need to pay attention when you know that there is something abnormal with the cat. The sudden growth stop, along with any other problem like tiredness, less playfulness, loss of appetite, etc. can be quite serious. You must try to find the actual reason and sort it out as soon as possible.
What can lead to small cats?
You may have a lot of experience in growing a cat. But if this is not a natural scenario, then even after spending weeks together, you may not be able to figure out why your cat is smaller. Here are some of the common situations that can help you out.
1. Depends on the sex of the cat
Usually, female cats are smaller compared to their male counterparts. Just like you see in other mammals, the male cat breeds are tending to be larger. However, the male and female cats weigh more or less between 6-12 pounds, and they stand a height of 8-10 inches. When gender is an important reason why your cats are smaller, you don’t have to be worried. It can also be justified when she is smaller than her male brother’s cats. But in the reverse, if your female cat is smaller compared to sister cats of the same family, then it might be a problem. When you adopt or buy a cat, try to understand the background. You can easily figure out the reason. Gene inheritance is never in the hand of humans. It is the same with all other species, including cats.
2. The pattern of feeding
When you bring kittens home, they are usually frightened by the situation and may not eat well. Never get them practiced or used to eating less. It may affect not only their growth. But overall, it can affect the entire health – many pet owners often complain about the loss of appetite. What you need to notice truly is that if the kittens are getting bullied by the older cats or not. It is natural that if you have two sets of cats, the older one gets annoyed and starts bullying the new one. There are two ways that this can affect the overall health of both cats.
For instance, the old cats generally feel possessive about the new cat, and they don’t eat well. In the second scenario, they tend to eat well but keep nothing for the new cats. In this case, the nutrition of the felines is greatly affected. Hence one needs to ensure that whenever a new cat is brought home, treat them well, and pay individual attention to the amount of food that they consume. When they are bullied, give them separate feeding bowls initially, and gradually, you can make things work between them. Before you touch upon the behavior, all you need to be worried about is whether they stay healthy because this can eventually affect their growth.
3. What is the breed of your cat?
The breed of the cat is one of the important roles in finding the actual size of the cat. For example, Sphinx and Siamese cats are supersized. At the same time, Maine Coon and Ragdoll can be small even after ages. They look like kittens, even with proper nutrition. The reason behind it is that they are breaded in such a way that they can grow only to a certain size. When you adopt, you are already given information about the breed and history of the parents. But when you pick up cats from the streets or the abandoned ones, you may not be able to realize this quite in the earlier time.
Most cat specialists say that when you pick these street cats, it’s an odd thing to find out their traces. Because, naturally, they sneak into different compounds, and their origin can go long back. Therefore, a clear history may not be determined for a fellow friend. Keeping them all aside, if you have already known the cat’s breed and history, then you must never be worried. Just keep a check on the growth compared to the actual size.
4. Lack of Nutrients
When you know that your cats don’t grow just because they lack some nutrients, it becomes even easier. Because this is something you can address it immediately and the necessary steps can be taken. However, this is possible only when you have done it at the right time or the right age. Because cats could have easily lacked nutrients even when they are small, their mother could not be held responsible. Hence as a new parent, it is in your hands of you to take care of them well now.
Given if the breed is found, but if you still think the cat possesses some abnormal growth, then visit your vet. By running certain tests, they can see what nutrients are missing from the cat. You can offer them supplements suggested by the doctors.
How do you know that your cat is not growing?
Newborn kittens are only a few ounces. They are small, tiny, and weigh lesser compared to fully grown cats. In the first six months, the kittens can grow amazingly well. You can see that they are physically changing, and they will gain at least one to two pounds in the first month. Also, most cat breeds finish their growth when they become a year old. However, as mentioned above, based on the breed and gene, this may differ. But only when your cat does not show any sign of adding weight or height in the first three to four months, then you need to take expert advice as soon as possible. The following table will give you an idea of the growth rate in the cat.
When do cats stop growing?
It may sound like a contradicting question of why cats are smaller. But you must know when ideally a cat stops growing. That will be the time that you give any cats for showing the difference with the growth naturally. Especially when you had picked up cats randomly from the streets and adoption center, you may never be able to find the background.
Generally, between six to twelve months, the kitten will become fully grown and then enter as an adult. But this does not always prove that a cat stops growing altogether. They do show certain physical differences now and then. That is due to food and living habits. However, they naturally grow in the first year only.
Does weight affect my cat’s growth?
It is also one of the common questions asked by pet parents. The obese cats may look all cute and nice to play with, but you have to ensure that the height and weight are added simultaneously. If they only put on weight, then that’s a wrong sign. The average domestic cat weighs only 10 pounds even after they are fully grown. But some cats also weigh more, and the maximum could be 20 pounds. What you need to keep on the check is their size according to the weight. Just like how humans have BMI, even cat does. When the cats don’t align weight and height together, then you need to get some professional help. There are weight reduction supplements available online, which you can also get recommended by your vets. IAMS Proactive Health supplement can help in controlling weight, and it is available as dry food for cats.
Thus, being overweight can also affect growth because when they are not able to play and stay ideal for a long time period, it cannot grow bigger. Cats that lack nutrition don’t gain weight and also height by any means.
What can you do to ensure that the cats have a proper growth cycle?
As common for all mammals, even for cats, the growth cycle can be accomplished once you find it if it’s not genetic. But most cat specialists suggest that despite the gene or natural variance, you can always contribute to the growth from your end, which is listed below.
Properly fed cats
It is found that when cats are properly breastfed by their mother, there is an equal chance that they grow stronger. Well! You may not be sure if the kittens are from your home. But when you have adopted, ensure that you have already taken certain necessary steps for the kittens for acquiring proper nutrition.
In order to keep a check on the natural growth of the cats, one must always have regular check-ups with doctors. We cannot insist on this more because most parents make mistakes thinking they can’t take them to doctors when they grow old. Early detection of any illness or lack of nutrients can be treated immediately. The doctors can always suggest you with a change in diet plan or any extra supplements if necessary.
Saying all that, you must make up your mind about the growth of the cats. If they are about not grown after the size, it is never the mistake of your cats or their mother. It is their gene, and you should accept that it’s natural. Also, not all cats that are smaller are not weaker. The cats can be shorter and stronger. When you found that they are not going to grow anymore, give them love, and treat them well so that they are healthier and happier. Be content with the growth rate and agree that they are eventually cute.