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Concerned With Infant Weight Gain

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I'm a bit concerned with my cat K's infants. They're 3 weeks old today, and although they are putting on weight, they are not putting on the normal 90 grams a week as I've been told is normal per week for kittens. I had them vet checked a week ago, the vet said they looked ok apart from a flea problem (which I've remedied and they're free of such now)

When K first gave birth, I came home to find one baby on the lounge carpet, one baby behind the couch and one baby by the door. The babies were damp and cold and crying, and she was in with the other cats, oblivious to them.

One of them was colder than the others, and they were a bit floppy, I diddn't know how long they'd been like that, but they had been cleaned up by her. I don't know how much damage her leaving them at birth really caused them.

That night I caged her in one of my cages with warm blankets, and later that morning I found she'd given birth to the grey girl, and the kittens were toasty warm, and she had suddenly taken to them after the birth of the grey girl and she was made comfortable, so her mommy instincts kicked in.

2 days later, my other cat M gave birth, and from the start she was super mom, 4 kittens each. Her kittens range now between 270 grams and 350 grams and are steadily gaining or at least not loosing (the smallest), very active, very big and healthy looking.

If I work it out on average through to 8 weeks, baby D will be just over half the size of what a normal 8 week old should be as far as I've been told by pet shops & vets which is not good unless he puts on a growth spurt?

The one I'm concerned about.. he isn't boney as to say, he is very long and lithe. To be honest, I'm not sure if it's his weight which makes him small, but he doesn't look, how do I say this.. normal? I'm not sure if it's just me freaking out, or if the niggling thought and feeling inside me is telling me that there's something abnormal.

I've seen him pawing at the two mothers (as they've decided themselves to join their litters) and I've had my little finger near his throat and felt him suckling. He is a very eager suckler, and both mothers have milk that they're sharing with all 8 kittens, do you think he just isn't getting enough milk?

The question is, should I really be worried. Should I start supplementing? I really don't want to do this unless it's absolutely needed, as I think Mother is best, as there are so many more nutrients and benefits, but if it helps him gain weight and stay healthy, then I'll have to.

At the end of Week 1 they weighed:

Baby (A) (Tiny Baby Boy) 170 Grams
Baby (B) (Tiny White Boy) 180 Grams
Baby (C) (Tiny Grey Girl) 190 Grams
Baby (D) (Big White Boy) 195 Grams

At the end of Week 2 they weighed:

Baby (A) (Tiny Baby Boy) 210 Grams ** 40 grams difference
Baby (B) (Tiny White Boy) 240 Grams ** 60 grams difference
Baby (C) (Tiny Grey Girl) 240 Grams ** 50 grams difference
Baby (D) (Big White Boy) 295 Grams ** 100 grams difference

At the end of Week 3 (today) they weighed:
This is also the week I stopped using normal scales where the dial keeps flipping and purchased an electronic scale.

Baby (A) (Tiny Baby Boy) 240 Grams ** 30 Grams Difference
Baby (B) (Tiny White Boy) 270 Grams ** 30 Grams Difference
Baby (C) (Tiny Grey Girl) 290 Grams ** 50 Grams Difference
Baby (D) (Big White Boy) 310 Grams ** 15 Grams Difference (I think he gained a lot the second week and is stabilizing, as M's kittens are about the same size, and they're moving at a good rate.)

M is a 3 year old female and she weighs 3.5kg (vet checked), K the daughter of M is a 2 year old female and weighs 3.00kg (vet checked). They are not de-sexed, they are healthy, the vet says they are okay, no worms, K's sisters are between 2.5kg and 3kg, and the vet says this is fine too. M's mother & aunt weigh in at about 4kg (mother) 3.5kg (aunt) and her siblings are similar as well except one who weighs in at about 4.5-5kg.

Perhaps it's just genetic? That they're small cats? I don't know, but any advice would be fantastic, as I want these kittens to be healthy.
post #2 of 2
I have only handled kittens that were orphaned and never had a breeding cat, so my observation is very limited here. With Scarlett's litter, she was 1/2 the size of her 2 littermates when they were that young. Scarlett's brother grew to be 18 pounds, and her sister stopped growing and remained petite like Scarlett (under 7 pounds). So I do know that there can be vast differences in sizes within young kittens. But this litter was exceptional, as the kittens were not well cared for by their mother, and she disappeared when they were 3 weeks old so I took over the care for them.

If you are concerned about their health, then they should be seen by a vet. The best we can share is experiences we have been through, which won't be the same as your situation.

I'm curious though. You have a mother and her daughter that have both had litters. Are you a professional breeder?
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