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Sagging skin under belly

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have an orphan kitten which is now 4 weeks old. It has hanging skin under its belly like a sack. It is not filled with fluid and is not hard. What is it? Do I need to worry about that? the kitten is otherwise healthy and very active.I am attaching the photos also.
post #2 of 28
Thread Starter 
this is the url for photos
post #3 of 28
Even though, 4 weeks is usually pretty young for this to form but it sounds like what my family calls a ponch. A lot of cats seem to get this extra skin when they're a little older but I've heard of them forming earlier. I really don't think much is known about why some cats get this while others don't. Some say it may be because of a cat getting fixed but I've seen a lot of cats that haven't been fixed have the loose skin. Another theory, which seems to make more sense is that a cat's back legs are longer than their front, the excess skin on their bellies allow them a wider range of motion. Some cats just have more of this skin for some reason. Its just in the genetics. All three of my parents' cats have had this skin and all but one of their past cats has had it too. My kitten Chacho doesn't have one, but I'm thinking he'll probably form one too once he reaches about 2 years.
post #4 of 28
This is called a "spay sway" and although "spay" refers to female cats, both sexes can have a spay sway. My Bijou has a rather large one. This helps to protect their internal organs should they get into a fight. It has no medical issues but is instead more of a cosmetic thing.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
its a female kitten
post #6 of 28
If her belly were distended I'd say she probably has worms, while a lump might indicate an umbilical hernia. If it's just saggy skin, her little paunch is probably hereditary, and the extra skin offers additional protection of the inner organs in the case of fights, predators, etc., as the other posters have already said. It should become less noticeable once you get some weight on her.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Could anybody identify the breed of this kitten?? My guess is BENGAL....
post #8 of 28
Bengals are very popular and it would not surprise me to learn that your kitten has Bengal in her bloodline somewhere. I would say that for the most part she is a mixed-breed (domestic shorthair, officially). Most cats are not purebred and most of those don't even show an obvious breed influence.

As for color, that's an easier one. You have what we call a "torbie-and-white"--a tortoiseshell cat with tabby markings plus some white.

So she's got one gene for red and one for black. The red is always a tabby pattern; but in her case, the black is also tabby--the same tabby you see in a brown mackerel tabby (the kind of tabby with slim stripes rather than swirled ones). Then she's got another gene that says "and white", and that gives her the little white paws and chin. The "and white" can be anything from most of the cat to just one paw.

Thus: Torbie.

Another example of a calico cat you can see in my sig--Christy is a dilute calico, which means that instead of red and black she's got cream and gray, plus white. She has stripes only in the cream parts of her fur, unlike your cat, who's got stripes in the red and the black. Christy has a little more "and white" than your cat does, which gives her a white face and belly as well as the paws and chin. My other cat, Tiny, is a brown mackerel tabby just like the brown parts of your little girl.

She'll be a pretty one when she grows up, I bet.
post #9 of 28
She's very thin. As someone already mentioned, it could be the result of worms. Can you take her to the vet?
post #10 of 28
*nods* yeah, a healthy kitten her age would be a bit more roly-poly; she does look underweight. She probably needs worm meds and you should be sure she doesn't have fleas. What're you feeding her? A bit of KMR (kitten milk replacement) should help her plump out a bit, plus good quality kitten food.
post #11 of 28
I doubt that she's a bengal. She looks like a perfect little domestic short hair with tabby markings. Bengals are domestic cats mixed with a different, wild specie and they are very expensive. You won't see a Bengal kitten on the street. Most cats are no specific breed at all and in my opinion those are the best ones.

The kitten is too thin so it's very important that she puts some weight on. It's crucial for her health and development. What is she eating now? Is she eating kitten food? Kitten formula? I see that you're in India so I'm not sure if you can get a hold of kitten formula easily there but if you can't you can make your own called "kitten glop". There are several different recipes. You can google it to find them and choose one that you can find the ingredients for. Even if the kitten is eating solid food it's a good idea to give her some formula or kitten glop too.
Are you feeding her cows milk? If so, please don't.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
I am feeding her fresh Goat Milk as we don't have any KMR products over here in INDIA. moreover its around 4 weeks of age and was more thin when I rescued her from the street. As for kitty glop formulas I have been looking over them for quite a some time and was about to make one for her. But the main problem in making is the GELATIN which I am not able to find in INDIA. I went to every possible grocery store and when I asked for GELATIN all I got in reply was a blank face as ppl never heard about it. If u can help me with it then please suggest some alternative for GELATIN.
My sister fed it some boiled egg yolk one day but the kitten got diarrhea the next day. But my other cat Likes Boiled egg yolks very much, maybe the kitten is very small for that.
How can I detect worm infestation so that I take her to some VET. I want to be sure beforehand as the VET lives in other city and I have to take a holiday from my work for that.
I never fed her Cow's milk. But once for a while when it was rescued I fed her diluted Buffalo's milk as it was not possible to get Goat Milk at that time. But there was no adverse effect on the kitten and it seemed to enjoy it.
I ll post some new photos with better view and lighting as it may help
post #13 of 28
Goat's milk is fine! You're being quite smart about it. At four weeks, she needs milk. Also feed kitten food, either canned or kibble.

Makes sense that you can't find gelatin in India; it's a beef product. Try just making the glop without the gelatin; it'll probably be more runny, but that's not a huge problem, really.

See if you can find a flea comb to go over her fur and get fleas out. She probably has fleas, if she's been a street cat. Drown the fleas in soapy water.
post #14 of 28
What food are you giving her?
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Its totally on Goat Milk. Should I start giving her raw chicken meat??
As from Callista's post I understand that the function of GELATIN is only to thicken the glop. Is it so?? I think I read somewhere that GELATIN is a kind of protein.
post #16 of 28
Gelatin is a protein source.

At 4 weeks though, you should be able to get her eating softened dry cat food, or canned cat food and supplement with the goat milk.
post #17 of 28
Yup, she is ready to start trying solid food. Maybe since she's so skinny, she might be behind developmentally; so it might take her a while to catch on. Still, letting her try solid food won't do any harm, even if she does mostly play with it.

Oh, and just in case you didn't know--softened kibble has the potential to go bad, just like wet food does. So when your kitten's done with it, toss it and make up a new batch next mealtime.

Canned cat food is often the better option when you're trying to fatten up a skinny cat because it is smelly and more likely to tempt the cat's appetite.

Check this out:

You won't need any of the stuff they are recommending for very small kittens, but look at the three-week section and older. Some good advice there.
post #18 of 28
Goat milk is okay as an option if nothing else is available but in my experience it's not a good idea to feed for a longer period of time. I've seen two litters that were raised on goats milk and the kittens in both were skinny. Cats are strictly carnivores and goats are vegetarians so I can't imagine that goats milk has all the nutrition needed for a kitten. You can make the kitten glop without gelatine. There are recipes that doesn't call for it. Here is one (you can skip the vitamin drops):
8 oz evaporated whole milk
2 egg yolks, (DO NOT USE the WHITES)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise, not diet or lowfat
2 tablespoons plain yogurt, again not a diet version...we are looking to produce calories.
1 teaspoon karo syrup. Honey can be used in an emergency but Karo is preferred (use the clear karo).
1 teaspoon Nutradrops or other liquid pet vitamins
*optional if needed,-1/2 teaspoon of acidophilus or 1 gram of Bene-Bac pet gel (premeasures in grams)

At 4 weeks though she's old enough for solid food. If you can get a hold of cat food that would be best. Alternetively you can make your own but you have to be sure that it's nutritionally complete. Chicken is fine but she has to eat parts of the whole chicken. Just chicken meat alone doesn't contain important things as taurine and other essentials. If you can you can get a whole chicken or hen and ground up the whole thing, bones and all, and feed it to her. You can freeze whatever you don't use. If you don't use the bones you can substitute with bone meal. If you don't have a grinder, as most people don't, you can check with local restaurants, meat markets or butchers to see if they can do it for you for a small fee.
You can find recipes for home made cat food too.
Do they sell cat food in regular stores in India? Are cats common as pets there?

About the worms there may not be any way to tell if the cat has worms. Sometimes their stomach will be bloated and if the infestation is severe they may vomit worms. But for the most part you don't see any signs. If this is a little kitten that comes from the street chances are pretty good that she has roundworm. The only way to find out for sure is to bring a stool sample to the vet and have him test it. But you can also just give the kitten a dewormer. It's usually done routinely with kittens and puppies and it's not harmful if the kitten doesn't have worms. There are several different drugs that are used as wormers but the best one is called Pyrantel Pamoate which kills roundworm, hookworm and pinworm in cats. It should be available in India. It's used for several different species including humans. You can actually use the human version on cats and dogs. In the US a lot of vets use a horse version called Strongid for cats and dogs. It's all the same drug. Maybe you could look in a farm store or something like that or a human pharmacy. The dosage for a cat is 50mg for 10 pounds. So if the kitten is 2 pounds you'd give her 10mg. It has to be given twice two to three weeks apart. Unless the kitten has problems with a worm infestation I would wait to deworm her for the first time until she's 6 weeks. I would repeat it again at a few months.

Good luck and thanks for taking care of the little one. She's lucky to have you.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
We don't have any regular cat food in stores in my locality but maybe in bigger metroes they have that. Cats are not usually kept as pets as readily as dogs.

I ll make the glop mentioned in the above post which is without GELATIN. Can I use Sweetened Condensed Milk instead of the Evaporated Milk??
post #20 of 28
That's just condensed milk with sugar in it, right? Sounds fine to me.

The lack of cat food is a bit problematic. You might have to travel to get your cat proper food--just how far are we talking here? Do you have a car? Is there a bus? (I know not to automatically figure you have a car, because I don't have a car and people assume I do...) Dog food isn't the right balance for cats, because dogs eat all kinds of things and cats need meat only; a cat given only dog food will get malnutrition. In a pinch, dog food won't poison a cat, but that's really all that can be said for it.

So I guess your options are finding cat food or arranging for a raw kitty diet. I know we've got lots of raw-feeding aficionados around here--they'll give you advice on that.

Wikipedia says--
Condensed milk can be made from evaporated milk by mixing 1 measure of evaporated milk with 1¼ measures of sugar in a saucepan, then heating and stirring the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved, before cooling. It can be made by simmering regular milk until it is reduced by 60%, then adding sugar.
So yeah, I was right about that: Condensed milk is just evaporated milk plus sugar, minus some water. Should be fine.
post #21 of 28
Can you get stuff you need for the cat on the internet? India is a big country so I would think that most things would be available somewhere and it would just be a matter of shipping it. Of course that could be expensive. I have no clue how mail and stuff like that works in India.
I found this site that sells cat food:
and this one:
This site sells Royal Canin which is a really good quality food although not cheap:

So it's out there. Just tricky to get I guess.
post #22 of 28
If you use sweetened condensed milk, thats going to be a lot of sugar, so I'd probably leave out the corn syrup/honey.
I'd also probably use half the amount of milk and use the goat milk for the other half.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks to all for so very valuable suggestions. My kitten is going well. From a few days I am seeing a bald patch on its head which is gradually increasing in size. On close inspection it seems like a wound. I am attaching the photo links so that you ppl can see yourself. please advice.

post #24 of 28
It is just genetics. It isn't fat or anything to worry about. It isn't about spaying or neutering. Two of my cats have it and two don't. One that does is female and the other male. I have read that it is for times of plenty so they can gorge themselves when there is food so that they can survive until the next kill. Also that mother cats need it so that they can gorge themselves in order to bring the food back to their young by regurgitating it . I have also read that the loose belly skin is because the back legs are so much longer than the front and they need the loose skin to stretch out their back legs when they run hard after prey. My cats are siblings and their mama was a stray that was well loved in the neighborhood for her hunting prowess and her appetite for ground squirrels. Thinking back on her lifestyle I can fully understand why she or any cat that lived like she did would need that belly flap for all the reasons above. I have certainly seen plenty of them and they are completely normal.
post #25 of 28

very useful information. thanks a lot for this.




post #26 of 28

I adopted a rescue kitten that was just under a month old. I fed him Kitten milk from Walmart and raw chicken meat. He is happy and healthy at four months old. Just try to remember what feral/wild cats eat: raw meat, freshly killed rodents and birds, even bugs. High protein foods. They are meat eaters. If this kitten is going to be allowed outside, he will be the best hunter on a full tummy. The kitten I adopted still prefers raw meat over canned cat/kitten food. I have also boiled chicken for him. He likes the real stuff best!

post #27 of 28
Originally Posted by jcat View Post

 umbilical hernia.


That's my guess.  I would have the vet assess her. Hernia's can not only be painful, but can cause other physical issues too.

post #28 of 28

It's called a primordial pouch and is perfectly normal and you see it in lions, tigers and other cats too as well as domestic cats. It's a layer of fat to protect vital organs from kicks and also so the cat can stretch out fully when running, jumping etc. Cat's skin is naturally loose for their range of movements and so they can easily slip from another's mouth. How much of one a cat has is genetic. My last cat hardly had one but my cat I have now has a big pouch.

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