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Runt of the litter

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Our oldest cat, Tinkerbell (she's about a year and a half), was abandoned when she was 2 weeks old - we're guessing she was the runt of her litter. Now we have 2 other cats who are younger than her but weigh more than her (one weighs 7.5 lbs. and the other almost 10 lbs.). Tink weighs 5 lbs.

My boyfriend and I were wondering if her small size will make her more prone to medical problems later in life. I know obese cats are more prone to problems - is this the same with tiny cats?
post #2 of 7
They are usually prone to problems when they are tiny, because they are pushed away from mom's nipples by their stronger siblings and don't get all her antibodies. They usually grow up to be tougher and quicker as a result of it. My runt was alpha for a very long time in this house.
post #3 of 7
I'm not sure it is size as much as any trauma or malnutrician they might have experienced when very young. If she was orphaned at 2 weeks old, who knows what she went thru up to her mother's death!

I adopted a greyhound at 6 months old that was left in a kennel to die. He was not fed or watered for a while, was seriously malnourished and dehydrated, and lived at a vet recovering for 3 months before I got him. As he grew, he had permanent bone damage due to his early trauma that required extensive orthoscopic surgery on his legs. He recovered fairly well, but walked with a permanent limp. He died at 10 years old from bone cancer (which is common in Greyhounds).

So I guess I want to say that problems during their early formative times can affect them later in life. It is hard to predict any problems they will have later. All of my babies had some trauma early in life, therefore I simply keep a very close watch on all of them healthwise and address problems as they occur.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
The only type of bad thing that happened to Tink before we got to her were fleas (minus of course being abandoned). She's in perfect health and all, and we feel we were lucky (she was our first cat and we learned as we went along).

It sounds like illness is rooted to her experiences as a baby, and seeing as how she was in pretty good condition maybe we don't need to worry about anything.
post #5 of 7
My male cat Russell was the runt of his litter. He was less than half the size of his brother and a handkerchief was his first rug. He's now grown to be a big cat. He hasn't had any health problems. He did have worms and fleas when I first got him.

He's healthy and gets up to all sorts of mischief. Mainly, he hides my socks. And he hides one half of pairs leaving me with mismatched socks. Just recently he figured out how to open the fly screen door if it's unlocked.

There's no reason to worry about runts because when given the opportunity they flourish and grow into the most characteristic cats that never let a dull moment go by.

Now...to find those socks!
post #6 of 7
Berkley was the runt of the litter and she is still very small. She is 3 years old and weighs 5 lbs.
She has had some minor health problems, more than my other cats. She had ear mites, chin (skin infection), now she has an upper respitory infection. She gets sick quite a bit but I am not sure how much that has with her being the runt of the litter or not.
She is a little snuggle-bug, the sweetest of all of our cats
post #7 of 7
Our family cat Aja was the runt of the litter (siamese) and she lived to be almost 20 with no medical problems!!
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