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"special" kitten

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am up to 9 foster kittens, and picking up 3 more today. Last Saturday I picked up a litter of 3 kittens, 2 females and one male. One of the females is much smaller than her brother and sister, If I didn't know better I would think she was younger than they are. After watching her we noticed she is "different", she makes exagerated movements in placing her feet when she walks, and her facial proportions are a little out of whack, she has very large eyes, smaller ears and a larger head (though that may just be because her other features are out of proportion). We call her our Downs Syndrome kitten, though she plays and does everything else like a normal kitten. Both the vets I wrk with checked her out and everything else seems to be in order medically, they just suggested holdeing her back for awhile before adopting her out. Anyone else come across a kitten like this?
post #2 of 12
Do you have a picture of her? Anyhow, maybe she has some sort of neurological disorder. Or perhaps she is a persian mix? They have large heads, large eyes, small ears and their faces are not like other cat's. She could be from a different father than her siblings, cats are able to have kittens from different fathers in the same litter.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I don't have a good picture of her yet. I never saw her mother but she weighs a good 3rd less than her siblings, and I am betting that they do have they same father because they are all very similar in markings and body type (except for Joon's size and face). That still doesn't explain they way she moves. If I hadn't picked them up together from the same house I would think she was a good 2-3 weeks younger than her brother and sister (they are 8 weeks old yesterday).
post #4 of 12
I had a litter with 2 females and a male. The one female was twice the size of her sister at 6 weeks old. The smaller one did have some motor skill problems while quite young but has outgrown them (my queen Scarlett, whom I kept in part because I was worried about adopting out an unhealthy kitten). This litter was under nourished by their mom and I attributed Scarlett's early problems to that. At 4 years old, the 2 sisters are about the same size at 6-7 pounds while the brother grew up to be 18 pounds. Last I talked to the folks that adopted Scarlett's siblings, all are healthy adults.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
That is why for now I am holding her back, if I do adopt her out I am going to take special care who she goes to. I had a litter of 3 kittens last year that one was much smaller than the other 2, but on examination from the vet the samllest one was found to have a substantial heart murmer, he passed away at 8 months old.
post #6 of 12
You never know sometimes. Most of the kittens that I didn't adopt out because I thought they had health problems turned out healthy. One of them did have FIP and passed about 18 months old - he was also tiny and never grew larger than 5 pounds. If they get that growth spurt and start to catch up with other cats their age, I stop worrying so much.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I will weigh them all again tomorrow, I don't doubt that she is gaining because overall she acts like a normal kitten, it is just her motor skills that are off. Joon is a joy to have around because she is so funny, even though she weighs just over a pound she will take on anybody or anything.
post #8 of 12
i had a kitten once that was like that, she had hydrasafalous (sp), or water on the brain.
Actaully, Ive had two with that. The one died at three weeks.
The other one, jsut had to be "helped" a bit more. I was very particular about who she was placed with and stayed with me till she was 4 months old.
Last I heard she was still walked in a exgagerated way, but other wise was healthy.
post #9 of 12
Well, Annie is a "special kitty" because of her disease. She stumbles when she walks, tilts her head sideways most of the time, is a little shakey, and loses balance now and then. But she plays like a normal kitten, eats like a pig, and is doing good. Honestly, when she was little, I nor my old vet, thought she would make it past 3 weeks! At nine weeks now, boy did she prove us wrong! She still has a few problems, but she's a LOT better. My little Annie Oakley! I love her to pieces!
post #10 of 12
I guess the core issue is something like...

Is it mental/neurological or physical/skeletal/etc.?

I've dealt with a lot of "banged up" pets in my time. Most of my pets with strange symptoms were compensating for physical weaknesses. A pet who was deaf in one ear would tilt their head in a strange way while walking and onlookers tended to incorrectly assume it was mentally "off". Even Nano has a problem -- after sitting for a long time, if she stands up suddenly and tries to quick-walk or run, she will stumble and sometimes fall because something is wrong with one of her front legs (perhaps a shoulder?). So instead, she either stretches in place after standing up or her first steps are very tentative before she tries to pick up speed.

There are several reasons why a pet might carry themselves as if they have unsteady equilibrium. But what I look for are signs that the pet is trying to cover for a physical weakness/injury or if there behavior has no apparent explanation except they are limited by a mental/neurological handicap.

If this is an adoption situation, I agree with waiting later before trying to adopt out and then probably labeling the cat as "special needs" so she will end up in a suitable home. Sounds like you are doing the right things and hope it works out!
post #11 of 12
I am fostering four right now. I got them when they were less than two weeks along with their mother and Yoda was and is different. His ears were huge, his eyes were huge and his fur and legs were thin. He was and is one third the size of his siblings. They just turned eight weeks and Yoda just has this baby quality, he isn't a fat fluffy kitten like his siblings. But he never lacked in his mental ability. He was the first to eat on his own, the first to the use the cat box and the first to bond with me (people). He is a bit ackward in things like climbing and running. Sometimes tips over when he walks. His face is just now getting in proportion to his eyes. His fur is thicken up. His ears are still huge and still has that baby belly thing going on. His siblings love to wrestle him to ground to hear him yell, but he just goes back for more. He is just different and if he stays slow in growing or ends up with some medical problems, that is okay Yoda has found his place with us. I am glad to know that I am not the only one dealing with a "different" kind of kitten.

Dozen2Luv (Yoda makes 14, a Winchell's dozen!)
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
That is about how Joon acts, she is they first kitten to even realize we have a downstairs, and will take on anything no matter it's size. We all have claw marks on our legs because she tackles us as we walk by. I have thought of keeping her but I am quite happy with the 5 we have and don't want to upset the balance any more than I have to (my 5 are on strike and spending alot of time downstairs). We will just see how it goes.
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