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Runt of the litter, question...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I often read posts where it is mentioned that a kitten is 'the runt of the litter'. It is rare I do not know what a word means in English, even if this is not my mother tongue, but that one, I do not know. Looked in my French English dictionary to find that the runt is a kitten dead at birth. Which does not make sense as often, a runt is a living kitten, from the posts I read and where there is mention of such a kitten. Would that mean that the runt is the most fragile or feable kitten of a litter, the lest likely to live, or the smallest?

Thx for your answer!

post #2 of 6
yeah the runt is the smallest fragile looking kitten. Often noticably smaller than all the others in the litter.
post #3 of 6
The runt generally just means the smallest of the litter. Some of them can be quite fragile (like my Layla) but there is definitely no connotation of death associated with runt in English.
post #4 of 6
Runt is normally the one that is very small compared to the others. And to weak to get the the nipple. I had to bottle feed my runt until she was able to open her eyes.
post #5 of 6
Runt just means small in size. I have had several runts (including Festus) who were not at all weak. They can be very sturdy little ones, but of course you always keep a very close eye on them to be sure they are thriving. I have had to bottle feed to supplement the runt before.

Hi Nathalie!
post #6 of 6
Usually means the smallest kitten in the litter. Doesn't mean its the weakest or least likely to survive. Many "runts" catch up to the rest in time and some get larger by the time they are full grown.
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