Your adorable kitten is growing up, and you are excited to see them thrive and flourish as they reach adulthood. However, you might be asking, why is my cat so small? Many pet parents become concerned when their cat doesn’t seem to be growing at an expected rate or reaching weight requirements.
Before you panic any further about your cat’s growth rate, keep in mind they only weigh a few ounces when they are born, and their growth rate averages about a pound or more a month. This rapid growth rate is surprising for some pet parents as they watch their tiny little kitten change every day.
Cats are considered fully grown when they reach their 1st birthday. Some breeds will continue growing until the age of five, like the Maine Coon. If your cat is one year old or more and seems to be a smaller size than other cats of the same breed, there might be a reason behind the smaller size.
Why Is My Cat So Small?
The following information will help you determine why your cat has remained small:
Is your cat female or male? Female cats tend to have a smaller petite size compared to male cats of the same breed. Another factor regarding gender is whether they have been spayed or neutered. Cats that get fixed before they reach puberty are usually larger than those that were spayed or neutered as an adult.
Food Portion Size
Ideally, cats eat two meals a day. These two meals need to be 12 hours apart or longer. However, some cats have a stronger appetite and eat three times per day which will cause you to shorten the 12 hours between meals.
This eating pattern can become disrupted when there is more than one cat in the household. This especially happens when one or more of the cats bully others and eat more of the food during mealtime.
If one of your cats is smaller than the others in your household, there’s a chance they are not getting enough food. Feeding your small cat separately can help improve the situation and help fatten them up.
Lack of nutrition goes beyond your cat not eating enough food. It means they aren’t consuming enough nutrients, protein, and vitamins in their diet.
Cats need animal protein such as fish, beef, and turkey to help develop their tissues, organs, and bones. Essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and water are needed to ensure overall good health.
If you suspect your cat is experiencing malnutrition, contact a veterinarian to discuss a healthy diet immediately.
Does your cat eat a healthy diet but still seems to be losing weight? Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include excessive thirst and urination, excessive weight loss, and an increased appetite. This type of weight loss is concerning, and immediate assistance of medical help is recommended.
What Kind Of Cats Stay Small?
There are a variety of naturally small cat breeds. Some of these breeds weigh less than 10 pounds and hold on to their youthful appearance throughout their entire lifetime.
Is your cat one of these naturally smaller breeds?
This cat breed has a gene mutation that makes its legs shorter compared to other species. Due to their smaller leg size, they don’t jump as high as other breeds.
Munchkin cats live an active lifestyle and maintain a kitten-like appearance and personality.
You probably already figured out that the word Dwelf is a combination of dwarf and elf. People usually refer to the appearance of these cats as aliens. They have curled ears, hairless bodies, and short legs.
This breed usually weighs five pounds as an adult. They are also called long-haired Siamese.
This lightweight breed weighs about five pounds and maintains this weight throughout its lifetime. They have a glossy coat, big blue eyes, and an athletic build.
This breed weighs about eight pounds and has a curly coat suitable for pet parents who suffer from allergies. You might notice their long toes, which give them the ability to open cabinets and doors in your home.
This petite breed has adorable curly ears and a small frame. They are best known as family pets due to their playful and affectionate nature.
This breed is known for its soft coat, big round eyes, big ears, and petite stature. They weigh between five to ten pounds and are considered a teacup breed. They are pleasant, friendly and prefer plenty of attention from their owner.
This small cat breed only weighs five pounds and has a petite body frame. They are excellent climbers and very active.
Their desire to cuddle, snuggle and be affectionate with their owner makes them a perfect choice as a companion pet.
How Can I Make My Cat Bigger?
Cats breeds that are naturally small don’t usually need to gain weight. However, cats that are supposed to weigh a certain amount expected of their species and fall below the normal can gain weight and maintain good health.
Consider the following tips to help your cat gain weight:
Provide easy access to food by allowing your cat to graze throughout the day. Place a plate of food out to ensure they can eat whenever they feel hungry. This helps your cat create their eating habits and naturally gain weight in the process. Also, try using an automatic cat feeder.
Feed Pets Separately
If you have more than one cat in your household, feed them separately to ensure they are consuming their entire meal.
Create an inviting environment that encourages your cat to eat their meal. Some cats are afraid of noises from the air conditioner, furnace, and televisions. Place their bowl of food in a quiet, serene area to help them feel calm.
Change/Mix Up Food
Try canned foods to entice your cat’s appetite. Combine canned food with dry kibble bits to create a full meal. Add a few shredded pieces of chicken into their food to trigger their appetite.
As mentioned earlier, some cat breeds are naturally small and don’t need to gain weight. However, other cats might be experiencing malnutrition or have an underlying illness. Consulting with a veterinarian is recommended before helping your cat gain weight.
Confirming if you have a small cat breed first is necessary so you don’t overfeed them and cause them to become obese, which can lead to diabetes and other illnesses.
The veterinarian will conduct an exam to determine your pet’s nutritional needs and create a weight-gaining program if necessary. Take action now!