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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!!!!!
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