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Do Runts make good pets?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I'm considering getting a kitten from a friend. Its the runt of the litter. I was wondering if runts make good pets? What are the typical features about a runt that differ from the other cats in a litter?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you!
post #2 of 20
I found runts to be the sweetest, most affection showing animals!!!
post #3 of 20
I've no idea, but it would make it one extra special baby if it were mine knowing i'd helped it get big and strong!!
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
hehe yeah i'm really tempted to get the runt cause the runt is like an underdog and i always cheer for the underdog. In this case it would be the undercat!

Just want to know what i'm getting into though cause i'm still sitting on the fence and it wouldn't be fair to the cat if i get rid of it in 2 months.
post #5 of 20
Health wise?
Unless it already has health issues, chances are it'll never be any different from a normally developed kitten.
My runt was a scrawny girl when I got her, and it took her a little time, but she eventually caught up size wise to where she should be for her age.
post #6 of 20
If you are approaching this kitten with the thought of it is gets to be to much for you down the road that you will dump the kitten off at a shelter or put it in another home, then perhaps you shouldn't own a kitten? Runts can sometimes have health issues, depending on their start in life. I have one currently that when he was born, he had only a little bit of hair on his stomach and his chest. He has had reoccuring health issues since his birth, but that does not make me love him any less. If you don't have enough money in a pot for veterinary care, then perhaps you should reconsider wanting a kitten and go instead with an older cat. Many shelters are now chocked full of adult cats sitting sadly by while kittens get adopted by the droves.

As you said, it wouldn't be fair to the cat to get rid of it in two months time if it turns out to be not what you expected. I have cared for a lot of runts and they are wonderful, accepting cats usually- again it depends on how rocky their start was in life and what type of human contact they encountered along the way.
post #7 of 20
Aerowyn was the "runt" of her litter. There isnt anything wrong with her, she was just the smallest. In fact her brother( the only boy in the litter of 4) was only a tiny bit larger than she was, but grew to be the biggest of them all, almost twice the size of the girl that waas the biggest. And, the biggest one at first was also the most timid kitten, was afraid of many things, and was always the one sat on during feeding time because she had a lower nipple. So u nless the kitten was born with things like hissy said, tehre really isnt a difference... the kitten might be smaller than the littermates forever, or it could catch up, or even get bigger.

In fact, Aerowyn was the first to walk, the first to eat solid foods, the first to drink water, the first to use the litter box, and the first to start playing and being to follow the toys. Of course, taht could just be because the boy was too busy pigging out drinking milk, and the other was too scared to leave the mother. The third one was lazy and slept most of the time.
post #8 of 20
if the only thing making it a runt is its size then by all means take it and love it
post #9 of 20
Festus is the runt of her litter. One day when she was a baby I came home from work, and she was running loose in the house, while her Momma and siblings were shut in the kitty room (with the litterbox, water, food, etc.) I felt terrible and spent the next few hours apologizing for shutting her out of the kitty room all day!

That night, when it was bedtime, I corralled everyone into the kitty room for bed. About 5 minutes later, there was Festie, running loose! She was sneaking under the bedroom door! I was so upset with her, because I spent the whole evening feeling guilty about mistreating this tiny baby, and it was her being a stinker and sneaking out!

She continues to have a very independent streak, and does things her own way. And she is probably about an inch shorter than Garfield.
post #10 of 20
Festus is such a doll.
post #11 of 20
Here are just two quick factors much more important than a pet's appearance...

(1) Does its temperment match your expectations of how a pet should behave?

(2) How does that particular animal acts towards you and is there a mutual interest?
post #12 of 20
Thanks, Sam, she is a love!
post #13 of 20
I really have a soft spot for runts....... I think almost every pet I've had is a runt. CJ and Billy were runts in their litter, Annie and Mirah are small and runty (they're the only two, but I'd call them runts), and my cats I had before were runts. Runts are normal pets just like any other non-runt.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey guys thanks for all the replies!

I had a friend tell me that the runts usually run into health problems earlier and things like that so i was wondering if there were common things about runts that one should know before adopting one as a pet.

I'll let everyone know what our decision is when its made.
post #15 of 20
Some really good points made here for you to ponder...

I had a dog runt once that grew to be bigger than his littermates...
He was most affectionate and loving as well.
post #16 of 20
Well then, in my limited experience the "runt" of the litter would never have survived for a week in a natural setting. With time and attention and extra patience, they can become strong and adaptive adults...or stay sickly and dense for the rest of their typically abbreviated lifespan.

So far I've taken on two second-chance animals who were the "runt" of their respective litters. I inherited each because the original owner couldn't handle the challenges (such as near permanent diahrrea) and/or medical expenses (constantly sick, illnesses lingering too long, etc. of working with them. Not all of my pets have been brainiacs, but these two runts were the least intelligent pets I've owned. It was difficult when they could not figure out simple things that we almost take for granted -- drinking from a water bottle, understanding how to groom themselves, when to seek shelter and/or how to discern real danger, intuitively knowing to separate their food supply from where they defecate and so forth.

I did the best I could but neither of these pets made it past the human equivalent of middle age.
post #17 of 20
I don't see why a runt would be any less suitable than the other littermates. They're all kittens, after all.
post #18 of 20
Every small animal that ive ever had has turned out to be the best, They make the best pets, They have a will to survive and for some reason i think they want to please you, mine have all been runts and are doing very well

post #19 of 20
hi, i think runts make really good pets, one of my females (shiloh) was the runt of her litter and she's wonderful...i've heard that often the runt is the smartest, i've had no problems with her
post #20 of 20
I think it depends on why they are the runt. Festus was always very healthy. I have had her since her birth. She just was slightly smaller as the kittens grew. I think it made her kind of scrappy, with that survivor attitude.

Some kittens are very ill, and struggle to survive. In that case, it is possible that they will always have health problems. I would consider Garfield, who is about an inch taller than Fest, to be the sicker animal. He had a horrible case of distemper as a kitten, and has feline herpes virus. So he snorts and sneezes quite often.

I would think very hard about taking on a cat who has health challenges. It can become very expensive, and can be heartbreaking if they do not live a full life. As a person who works in rescue, I have no plans to adopt any animals with health problems from someone else. I am sure I will end up with a cat with health challenges as I keep fostering, and will likely keep it. (I don't consider Garfield's problems to be real health challenges...they have minor impact on his health.)
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