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5886089 tn?1376166477

Kitten won't grow

Hi there!

I’m fostering a kitten for my local animal shelter named Boo. I received her, 3 other kittens (boys) and their mama. After 2 weeks, the 3 boys weighed enough to be adopted (1.5 pounds); so the 3 boys and mama went back to the shelter, leaving Boo with me still. She had gained 2.5 ounces in 2 weeks, as the others gained 6-10.
Boo is suspected to be 6-8 weeks old, but with a body of a 2-3 week old and her body isn’t getting any bigger. Her stomach is getting fatter, but her body isn’t getting any longer/bigger. We have the shelter vet involved, keeping a close eye with frequent rechecks. We have her on Nutri-Cal 3x a day, and she’s been tested for everything: FIP, FIV, FeLV, Giardia, etc.
I’m curious to know if anyone has experienced this? She is currently 6-8 weeks old and not quite a pound yet, but she is quite plump (since her body is so small). Any insight would be very helpful!

38 Responses
1696489 tn?1370825574
Hi Mousie.  By the way, I had a friend named Mousie when I was little, and that was her real name... good times! :-)  As far as your question, if the kitten is not having any health issues besides not growing, have you considered that she might just BE a small cat and not grow alot?  I have a cat like this, and people mistake her for being a kitten all the time.  She normally ranges between 4 and 5 lbs.  Yet she is at least five years old that I know of.  Blessings - Blu
152660 tn?1291759171
Could she be a dwarf kitten?  
Avatar universal
I am having the same issue with my baby.  He's 4 months old but the size of a 6 week old.  He's plump but just not long or tall.
5591135 tn?1380171656
I am assuming that she has been checked for worms? Bloated bellies in kittens is a cardinal sign. Some kitties can also have "failure to thrive" its a nature thing. I raised some babies a while ago and kinda had the same thing with one of them. The vet called it "failure to thrive" after tweaking the formula and food it helped a lot. How are her bathroom habits?
5886089 tn?1376166477
Wow! Thanks for all the feedback everyone! :)

We're keeping a close eye on her. I was a tad worried just because my shelter staff & vet has never seen anything like this before, and they've seen ALOT of cats and kittens.

She's been checked for worms; she had an episode of diarrhea a while back, but other than that she uses her litter box and everything is normal. She had a hard time getting into it still... I have the smallest one I could find but it's still really big to her.

I don't think she could be a dwarf... She doesn't have the short legs & long body. Her body is just like a normal, fat, 2-3 week old kitten.

My only concerns are that we are giving her nutrical (calorie supplement) 3x a day and her belly is getting fat but nothing else is growing. I'm just wondering if everything inside of her is functioning properly? Like, are her organs going to be okay and not grow more than her small body can allow. I'm hoping to get these addressed with the vet on Monday, but wanted to post here to see if anyone has had a cat like this before.
874521 tn?1424120397
I can't add much...never experienced this either. I just want to say, how great it is for you or anyone else who takes in these poor little fosters and devotes so much time and love for them....congrats to you Sara!!!!

I'm wondering if this all comes about by a severely malnourished mom for starters?
her normal development is really stunted. and I too wonder if its possible for her to ever develop into a small but otherwise normal cat???

wish I could offer some suggestions. Please keep us posted on what you find out.

What diet do you have her on besides the nutrical? have you used colostrum supplement?
242912 tn?1402547092
Hi there...what about one of those foil baking pans from the market for a temporary litter box?  

Good luck tomorrow, I hope you're vet will have some ideas.  I'll be looking forward to your update.  
5886089 tn?1376166477
aw, thanks! I really love all of my fosters! :)

I suppose it could be because of malnourished mom... she seemed healthy when she arrived at the shelter & the other kittens were healthy. Though, there is still the possibility that Boo isn't from the same litter, so possibly a different mom abandoned her or something; she doesn't look anything like mom or siblings, but at the same time there are kittens that don't look like mama all the time. So, not really sure :/

We currently only have her on nutrical supplement. She's eating Science diet kitten food (only wet... her teeth haven't really come in). I haven't heard of colostrum supplement.

I'll definitely keep you guys updated after the vet visit monday.
5886089 tn?1376166477
That's a good idea. Thanks, Jade! We will try the foil pan. I'll post an update after the vet.. thanks! :)
874521 tn?1424120397
colostrum is for building the immune system, its normally used for orphaned kittens that are being bottle fed and don't get that naturally from their mothers milk....but its used also for sick kittens.
really doesn't apply to her I suppose since she appears to be healthy just not growing. this is really a puzzle isn' t it....poor baby.
If you can possibly do it I would strongly advise you to feed her another source of canned food beside any Hills product...
I know, its one the Vet clinic's sell.....and they are brainwashed by their reps into believing its good when in fact its one of the worst foods on the market..its so full of grains and grains are carbs NOT protein, this little one could sure use lots of good quality protein...NO grains...
5886089 tn?1376166477
Currently, since she is my foster, I can't give her anything than what they would provide her with at the shelter. She has been pretty healthy... but I think she may be developing some sort of URI. Her nose is runny, sneezing, eyes leaking clear liquids... no fever though.

Hopefully the vet visit tomorrow will provide some insight. I appreciate everyones feedback! :)

BTW: if anyone is interested in what boo looks like... I made her a FB page! https://www.************/boothecutestcat

5886089 tn?1376166477
Oh... I guess i can't post that :/ Oops!
874521 tn?1424120397
found her:)) is she ever a little darling, just a ball of grey fluff....I would take this baby in a heartbeat♥

I so hope you can get her feeling better.....there are some supplements that can really help with a URI but I suppose you wouldn't be able to get those either....she sure needs alot of TLC....poor baby:(
242912 tn?1402547092
Shoot, I have entered it every which way I can think of; even used a different browser, but I can't find her.  Boo hoo, I can't find "Boo".  lol
874521 tn?1424120397
enter it in the URL....
f a c e b o o k dot c o m/boothecutestcat

without the spaces (of course).....:)
242912 tn?1402547092
Oh, right, I was forgetting to enter ******* after the word facebook.  Thank you very much for sharing the pic!  

Msmouseee...Boo is super darling!  I would have a hard time giving her up if I were fostering.  
5886089 tn?1376166477
We had our vet visit today! Yay! Vet said we can safely rule out all long-term diseases (FIP was her biggest worry). We're treating her for conjunctivitis w/ terramycin; but nothing else. She said theres no URI, just probably a common cold. If it doesn't go away, then we'll treat it. Boo finally weighed 1 poound! Woohoo! So she was able to get her first FVRCP vaccine as well as her microchip.

Opus: thanks! she is super cute... I think we might end up keeping her. She's so special!! :)

Jade: glad you were able to finally see her. she is definitely a cutie.  she's a very unique kitty!
874521 tn?1424120397
I hope the Vet is right and its nothing serious, and I sure hope you do end up keep the sweet little girl, she IS SPECIAL....

there are herbs/supplements for URI symptoms...she needs to strengthen her immune system. please don't rely on medications for this.....natural remedies are so much easier on her and much more effective..

5886089 tn?1376166477
Hi guys!

So we went to the vet again on Thursday because she was having really bad dandruff. Turns out she also had an ear infection. So we're treating her for an ear infection, and they said the dandruff may be due to ringworm; we'll know next week.

Ever since we went to the vet she's been acting constipated. SHe pooped twice on Thursday (the day of the vet) but it was hard looking. I gave her some laxatone and she keeps going to her litter box to try to go. She blows up like a big balloon and cries when she tries to go. Nothing turns up in the box. Also, there was this clear liquid coming from her bottom when she would try to go yesterday, and today it looks like soft poop. I have to clean it off for her, she is unable to clean her bottom.

I'm unable to take her back to the vet until Wednesday. What should I do? Could she be constitpated if she pooped twice on Thursday? She seems so uncomfortable. Been sleeping all day today. She tries to go in her litter box at least 10x a day. Nothing has come out since Thursday night.

5886089 tn?1376166477
Additional info: she's eating fine, drinking normal (which isn't much); playful sometimes, sometimes not. Her stomach ets really big when she tries to poop. She eventually gives up and sleeps for a few hours.

She's on terramycin, tresaderm, and an ear flush medication. Oxi something I think. Was having normal poop at the beginning of the week.
874521 tn?1424120397
make sure you aren't over doing the pumpkin,,,,since its a fiber sometimes it can help constipation but if the transit time is really slow it can cause it to become worse...

can you get some PURE coconut oil? it should be the consistency of lard...you can try and give her 1/2 a teaspoon in her food if she will take it that way...maybe start with 1/4 teas. in the morning than another 1/4 in the eve.

you need to be cautious with constipation especially when she is having some liquid poop seeping....that means there could possibly be a bowel blockage and the can be a medical emergency.
did the Vet ever do an xray to see if there is something wrong in her bowel...like a constriction? or even a hairball blockage? the pain and the bloating she is having is NOT normal at all. usually antibiotic type medications cause diarrhea....that maybe why she is seeping out and around a partial blockage?

5886089 tn?1376166477
I wasn't aware of it when we went to the vet. So, the vet hasn't done anything yet.

The past couple hours her bottom has just been leaking diarrhea like poop. (Not just when she tries to poop, but while she was sitting on me). Not enough to get on anything, but just enough to see near her bottom. Ive been wiping it away.

I can try the coconut oil...

She seems to be feeling a little better... Not straining as much & playful. I'm still keeping a careful eye on her. I've just never seen something like this before... Her belly seems squishy and not hard like it seems it would be. I gave her 2 doses of laxatone on Thursday, and one does yesterday. Could I have given her too much?
874521 tn?1424120397
gee I don't know what to suggest, if she is leaking that MUCH watery poo than I would hold off on giving her anything....she MAY BE bypassing as I mentioned earlier but as you now say she has been leaking all this watery poo than hold off on the coconut oil and the laxatone....if she is going like that and her belly is soft than I doubt she's actually constipated and like I mentioned before the antib's can cause diarrhea....

see how she does without any added stuff, see if her diarrhea stops and IF she will have a normal stool....
I don't know why she's straining?????? maybe just because her bottom feels sore from all the diarrhea?????
hold off for a day and see.....I think you really need to get an answer next week to see if she does have any sort of blockage or whats going on...poor baby.
874521 tn?1424120397
woke up in a sweat this a.m.....HOLD OFF ON THE COCONUT OIL...I gave you the WRONG amount for one thing....
the amount I told you is for a 10 lb. cat....my God it just occurred to me how young and small Boo is.
for a kitten his size it would take a 10th of that amount....such a tiny little drop much MUCH less than a 1/4 teas.
Im so sorry I made this mistake....being that he is so small I would prefer it if you didn't try this at all!!!!!
242912 tn?1402547092
Hi...did you get Opus's msg?  How is Boo today?  The puffing up really sounds concerning.  I hope an xray will be possible.  

You're doing such a good job, honey.  Hey...could you upload some of those darling FB photos here at MH?  
5886089 tn?1376166477
I haven't given her any coconut oil. Now worries Opus :)
5886089 tn?1376166477
Boo is ok... I made her an appointment for today. I don't have my car so I didn't want to.... But we're going to take a taxi. I will post more this evening.

The vet won't be able to see her today but the vet technician can look at her & give her fluids.

How do I post photos on here??
5886089 tn?1376166477
Back from the vet now. She was given fluids, temp taken (100.1), & she was also given an enema. They said hopefully the enema loosened everything up, & we're starting her on diarrhea meds to treat the bits of diarrhea.

shes on tons of meds now though :/
874521 tn?1424120397
I'm really confused.....given fluids because she was dehydrated from the diarrhea than given an enema because she was constipated......than put on meds to treat the diarrhea....how can she be BOTH constipated and diarrhea????
what did the vet give for an explanation of whats going on?????

I don't understand the concept of giving a constipated cat diarrhea meds...that will only contribute to the constipation.....ugggh.
what did they give you for medication??????

and did she have poop from the enema...was there anything in her bowel to begin with?????

really confused
5886089 tn?1376166477
I was also confused. They said she was pretty bloated, so that's why they did the enema. There was no type of blockage that they could see. The did the enema quite a few times... And little bits (pea sized) of solid poop came out.

We're treating her for diarrhea b/c she has been having diarrhea for the past couple days (I thought she might have had a blockage? But I guess not). She seems better today.

She's on 0.09ml of metronidazole 2x day, 0.22ml panacur 1x day, and 0.05ml ponazuril 1x day for the "diarrhea" symptoms.  (In addition to the ear meds & eye meds).
874521 tn?1424120397
wow that poor little girl, they are really doing OVER KILL on medications....

re Metronidazole
Did she ever recieve a stool smear to check for GIARDIA parasites???
if not ever checked why on earth are they giving her such a heavy medication to kill a parasite she may NOT even have?


I wonder the same for Panacur...


why are they dumping all this heavy stuff on such a little kitten without proof of any parasite or bacteria???

I would really INSIST they look at a stool sample before putting her on these harsh meds. I'm really concerned by their over medicating her.

than to give her a med for diarrhea while she is also having constipation/hard stools....just not making any sense at all to me.

If you are considering keeping this little darling I would STRONGLY advise you to seek a new Vet who willl do all these tests and not just hand her a whole load of perhaps unnecessary meds..
5886089 tn?1376166477
they did test her for giardia & panleuk. (both negative) those 3 meds are the "protocol" for any diarrhea symptoms for all the shelter cats (as far as I know).  We are having another appointment today, b/c the vet wasn't actually there last night - just the vet techs.... but we will definitely see the real vet today.

So, hopefully we'll get some more answers today.

I'll post an update afterwards.
874521 tn?1424120397
I'm sorry but I totally disagree with this protocol....to give any cat or kitten these strong harsh medications when the test was negative is just beyond cruel....have you read the links and the side effects of these drugs?
when the test is positive than theres no choice but there certainly is when testing negative...............urrrrr that makes me so angry they do this as protocol
good luck!!!!
5886089 tn?1376166477
I agree as well!!  but their protocol is to euthanize if those tests are positive :(

Anywho, I spoke with the actual vet today and we did take Boo off of the diarrhea protocol meds. She admitted that those meds were unnecessary in this situation.

Boo was given an additional enema today. They also sent me home w/  fluids for Boo (12ml per day, for 5 days), lactulose (also for 5 days), laxatone (10 days), & keep giving the nutrical, (until further notice). We have a re-check appointment on friday to make sure everything is working.

I really appreciate all your help! Boo does too :)
I do hope that this is the last of her need for meds.... she's been through alot :/  
Avatar universal
My kitten is 9 months old now..got her in June..and she is about 5-6 pounds..I'm quite scared because she is a main coon cat, and they are pretty large..she has no health issues..doing fine, and eating normally(she knows when she is hungry and wants a refill of her food) any help for me?

Much Thanks,
506791 tn?1439846583
Cats are not full grown until they are 1 1/2 - 2 years old in my experience, just like humans aren't completely grown until 20 - 25 (which is about the equivalent).

My first rescue, Tuna, was never bigger than 5 - 6 pounds and she had a good long life (over 16 years).

If kitten is in good health, has energy to do what kittens do...she may just have gotten small cat genes.
7052683 tn?1392942395
Hii Sam,

I am not so sure 9lbs for a 9 mo old MC  is something to be concerned about. Have you consulted with your Vet. My cat Meezy was a 2 year old Tabby and she was only 6lbs when I got her from the shelter. She is a very small cat to begin with but she is now a healthy 8.5 lbs. , and close to being put on a diet, LOL. She had terrible dental issues and could not eat much because of the pain. After removing all her teeth to cure the Stomatitis, she fattened up real fast. She knows how much she wants to eat and does not gorge.

All cats are different even within breed. Yours may just be genetically predisposed to being on the small side. Females are usually smaller than the male Coons .

Check with you Vet, though, just to be sure. Better to have a cat on the lean side than too heavy. Overweight cats are in danger of many health issues.

Let us know what the vet says , K?

All the best to you and your" little one."


We found a kitten outside our house that someone dumped more then likely according to my friend that runs an animal rescue. My kitten was severely underweight when we found her. She seen the vet for her initial shots and this next week will get boosters. She for being suspected to be 12 weeks old or more because we found her over 8 weeks ago. I believe she was 5 or 6 weeks at that point because transitioning to soft cat food from milk went smoothly. She is so tiny. Whether she's tiny out of initially being malnourished I don't know. I know for sure she's not munchkin because my Poe is munchkin. Poe took to her really quickly. Has something like a primordial syndrome in cats ever been found? Like in humans primordial draufs have normal proportion just dramatically smaller and causes other defects as well. Just wondering anyone has heard of it in cats? Just wondering if you ever found out what was going on with the little kitty you were keeping care of?
7052683 tn?1392942395
Hi Msmousie,

A kitten should gain a pound a month (normally)'
If Boo is having problems make sure your vet checks for Diabetes--yes it happens in kittens and it will effect every aspect of their growing life until they get treatment. Try that.

Also kittens all have worms--has it been de-wormed?/
Worms can cause a big stomach but will not allow nutrients in food to be absorbed, because they are eating Boos nourishment.

Keep in touch with your vet sometimes kittens have a thing called "Fadding kitten Syndrome and just fail to thrive. Not you fault it just happens, but if you are in rescue , you already know all this.

Please keep us posted on Boo.
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