Are there medical issues with being the runt of a litter?

Daniela RegierDaniela Regier New PaltzMember Posts: 5
I took in a litter of stray cats from my back yard. I am confident they are full siblings since they look alike. The female is half the size of the males. She is perfectly healthy - when I took her to the vet she only had worms (as expected considering where I got her) I am wondering if there are medical issues related to her being a runt.

Best Answers

  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    If she got the okey-dokey from the vet, then probably not. Small size does not automatically mean health-problems. If she had been abandoned and left alone by the mom, then I'd have serious doubts about her longevity (tried to save a baby who'd been abandoned once--didn't work out. She was abandoned by the mom for a reason.) Make sure you keep up on her vet visits for her vaccinations and check-ups until she's done with her baby shots and then yearly thereafter. With a loving and caring home, I'd be willing to be she'll grow up to be a little tiger.
  • Lisa DaversLisa Davers SacramentoMember Posts: 3,642
    Accepted Answer
    Since the vet gave her a clean bill of health she should be fine. Jingo was the tiny little runt of the litter and at 9 weeks was half the size of her brothers and about 3/4 the size of her sister. She was healthy and had no health issues.
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    Accepted Answer
    I agree, if the vet gave her a clean bill of health I would not be concerned. I was a runt too and became very sick with a URI at 7 weeks old. Mom and my vet though I was going to be a small cat. Well, 13 pounds later I fooled them!
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    Accepted Answer
    Girl cats tend to be smaller than boy cats from the same litter. Not always, but often enough. Also being a runt does not mean you'll always be small. I was a runt, and I've grown strong, big, and healthy. When I was adopted, my sister cat was much bigger than I was. One thing that helped is that I was adopted as an only, and so I did not have to share my food with other adults and kittens, like I had to do at my foster home. She'll catch up eventually.
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