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Helping kitten gain weight?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Any suggestions to help put weight on a kitten? I helped rescue a stray kitten a few weeks ago, and she was tiny so I thought she was about 2-3 months old...
My sister ended up adopting her. We took her to Petco for vaccinations and the vet there (they just do vacc, not exams, but we asked if they could tell us her age and they examined her) said she was about 4 months old. However, when my sister took the kitten for an exam at another vet they said the kitten is 6 months old! I don't know which vet to believe. She was only 2 1/2 pounds and very very underweight when I first brought her home and is so tiny! She was up to about 3 pounds by the vet visit. She is still skinny, though, I can feel all her ribs still and her hip bones. I am not sure what to tell them to help her gain weight. She is eating Innova EVO dry and canned food. I suggested Nutrical to my sister, but not sure how much this would help. Any other suggestions are appreciated! I do not know how long she was stray so she may be small partly due to having stunted growth from not enough nutrition or something, but she is still definitely underweight for her size.
post #2 of 16
Are the foods, that she's being fed, specifically for kittens? These tend to have more to them than adult food and will help her to gain weight.

You can also give her cat milk as this is more of a food than a drink and can really help with weight gain!
post #3 of 16
Any high quality kitty food and time will help fatten up your sister's kitty. You don't want the kitty to put on weight too fast, but with the stability of a permanent home and good food, the kitty will steadily gain weight.

Can you tell if the kitty's eye teeth are permanent ones or still kitty ones? They usually get their permanent eye teeth around 6 mos, so that's a good gauge as to kitty's age. Hannah was 6-7 mos. when we got her and she only weighed about 4 lbs. She's now a strapping healthy girl!!

Stephanie
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
No I can't tell... That's why I wasn't sure. I even compared her teeth to my friends' litter of kittens who were 8 weeks old at the time and I still wasn't sure if they were kitten or adult teeth! :P
She is on Innova EVO which is for cats and kittens, it is a very high protein food.
post #5 of 16
Boiling chicken in water with nothing else, you can feed her some plain chicken - you can also mix some of the boiled water in with dry food to encourage her to eat. You can also purchase chicken baby food to feed her as a treat. Worked like a charm for our kitty that lost over half his body weight when he was really, really sick.

Next time she sees a vet, ask about her age - but make sure you have them tell you about the teeth. They usually start losing their kitten teeth between 4 and 6 months, and vet should surely be able to tell whether her teeth are kitten teeth or not. I'd go with the opinion of the vet as opposed to whoever was providing the vaccinations at Petco.

Also - when she was at the vet, was he able to do a fecal smear - or did you take a fecal sample? If not, you should get a sample of her stool to the vet. It could easily be that she's got worms of some kind. This would prevent her from gaining weight. And, unfortunately, products you can purchase at a store do not work to rid an animal of worms. They simply cause the cat to expel the adult worms - it doesn't even kill the worms, so they can easily become reinfested. If she's got worms, that could explain why she's not gaining much weight.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, they sent in a fecal sample. Not sure if they got the results yet...

The thing is, the person who checked her age at Petco WAS a vet-- they have a vet and a bunch of assistance, and so we asked if the vet could look at her and tell us her age, and he's the one who looked her all over and said 4 months old...

I will tell my sister about the boiled chicken. Thanks!
post #7 of 16
Kitten food will definitely help her gain weight. Also since she is a kitten I would let her eat as much as she wants, i.e., frequent feedings if she wants the food.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
They have been keeping dry food out so she can eat whatever she wants, and then giving canned food a couple of times a day-- they said she's been eating about one can of food a day.
post #9 of 16
i too would recommend free feeding for a kitten, as it gets older, you can choose to free feed into adult hood, or slowly ween the kitty of that habit, given the kitten has grown to expected weight!
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
If she is this tiny at 6 months old (age is in dispute, one vet said 6 months, the other said 4) is it likely that her growth is permanently stunted?
post #11 of 16
She just may be a small cat for the rest of her life, but as long as they stick with the quality food then she will be a healthy cat at any rate.
post #12 of 16
Has she been checked for worms, i.e., a stool sample taken to the vet?
post #13 of 16
She's most likely small because she's malnourished. Once the kitty is getting good food on a regular basis, has a stable home life, and feels secure, the kitty will start growing. My vet told me that she probaby wouldn't do much more growing, but he was wrong! She filled out, grew in length, and grew in roundness! LOL

My kitty that weighed 4 lbs at 6 months is now a healthy cat. I could tell by the size of her head and the length of her tail she wasn't going to be a big cat. She's not petite by any means, but she's just a smaller cat with a shorter body and shorter legs than your "average" cat.

Concentrate on getting the cat well fed, up to date with shots and spayed. She'll come along on her own.

Stephanie
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, a fecal sample was sent in but I don't know if they got the results yet. I went with my sister to Petco for all the kitten's vaccinations and they also gave my sister a box to mail in the fecal and took blood to test for FelV and FIV and a coupon good for the FelV and FIV vaccinations once those results came back (they did, both negative thankfully!) The vet they took her to for an exam wants to wait at least 1-2 months before spaying because she is so small and skinny.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
Yes, a fecal sample was sent in but I don't know if they got the results yet. I went with my sister to Petco for all the kitten's vaccinations and they also gave my sister a box to mail in the fecal and took blood to test for FelV and FIV and a coupon good for the FelV and FIV vaccinations once those results came back (they did, both negative thankfully!) The vet they took her to for an exam wants to wait at least 1-2 months before spaying because she is so small and skinny.

A box to mail in a fecal sample? Fecal samples are best if less than 12 hours old. I think I'd look for another vet.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Oh that was at the Petco vaccination clinic, not the vet... We took her to a different "real" vet for an exam after she had the vacciantions done at Petco because Petco doesn't really do exams just vacc. and tests.
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