The long-awaited moment is here, and you’ve become a first-time cat parent. Congratulations, prepare yourself for many long years of early wake-up calls, unsupervised bathroom visits, and never-ending carpet cleaning. After all, taking care of your fur baby might be a challenging task. And while most pet owners do their best to provide the best possible care, some health or behavior-related questions might linger on your mind.
In this article, we will explore all the reasons why your kitty can be small and whether cat parents need to seek professional advice.
Whether you have a Maine Coon or Siamese, all domesticated cats are much smaller than their wild ancestors (and definitely smaller than the big cats of the savannas). The average house cat is about two to four times smaller than the smallest wildcats.
Poor nutrition in cats and kittens can lead to serious health issues. At the age of 8 weeks, kittens stop drinking their mother’s milk, and since then, cat parents are responsible for providing high-quality and balanced food. If you do not know what the right amount of food is or your kitten does not want to eat the food you buy (those are not the only two reasons), make an appointment with your vet to learn more information and understand your pet’s needs.
When an adult cat is underweight, cat parents also need to seek professional advice. Cats are known to be whimsical and might refuse to eat because of a new bowl color or material. Other factors impacting your kitty’s weight might be:
- stress related to a coming new family member or pet in the household, new environment
- stress related to relocation, owner’s new schedule
- newly introduced food brand
- health-related issues
- new diet.
A poorly managed eating pattern might be a reason why your pet is not reaching their full growth potential. A cat might refuse to eat because of the new diet, or health-related issues such as anorexia or eating disorders. In multi-pet or multi-cat households, other pets might steal your cat’s food, and that sometimes can go unnoticed by the owner.
Owners of multi-pet households should prepare an extra resource for their pets, e.g. cats should have free access to three bowls. An automatic feeder can be a perfect solution to not overlook potential issues.
A runt of the litter is always the smallest in the pack. These fighters usually stay smaller compared to their siblings throughout life, but the size does not affect their longevity.
Different causes can cause dwarfism in cats, but most often it is a result of genetic abnormal. Feline dwarfism has not been fully clinically or genetically characterized but might slow the growth of your kitty.
If your feline friend is on the smaller side and has short legs in relation to their body, your cat might have a form of dwarfism. Routine vet check-ups can help cat owners monitor any health concerns associated with their smaller size.
Internal parasites, including such as fleas and tapeworms, can affect pet growth and development. If you also observe other alarming symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and worm segments in the poop, make an appointment with the vet to check your cat’s health.
Your kitty’s breed also plays an important role in how they are. Crossbred cats might also be of a smaller size than pure bred ones.
If the cat parents are of small size, your kitty will also be the miniature. Wishing to know the potential size of your fluffy ball, you need to know the size of their parents at a certain age. It’s quite possible, that a healthy and active cat will remain quite small because their parents were not large either.
According to the Cornel Feline Health Center, 0.2 – 1.0% of cats are diagnosed with diabetes during their lifetime.
Diabetes might be the reason why your cat has stopped eating and lost weight. While monitoring your pet health, if you observe alarming habits or behavior, it’s recommended to immediately schedule a vet appointment.
According to catvets.com, feline hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder in middle-aged and older cats and occurs in about 10% of feline patients aged 10+.
If you have noticed symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, it’s best to seek professional help.
As soon as you notice that your kitten is no longer growing, you should contact your vet, because every case is individual and requires further examination.
Why is my cat so small: FAQ
If you have any further questions, have a look at our answers.
There are many reasons why your fluffy ball looks small for her age, such as being a runt of the litter or its parents being small. Contact your vet to discuss your kitty’s health if you have concerns.
Your kitty is small compared to other cats for many reasons, even because of the breed, gender, and other factors. We have mentioned all possible reasons in our article.
You do not need to worry if your kitty is healthy and active. If your 4-legged friend stops growing and you observe other symptoms such as vomiting, or diarrhea, see your vet immediately.