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The first months of kittens' life are characterized by rapid growth. But, in some cases, we can realize that our little one is not growing as much as he should. Kittens are so vulnerable that the presence of parasites or an inadequate diet can interfere with their proper development. However, there are other causes that explain why a cat does not grow.
In this AnimalWised article we review the main reasons that explain why a cat does not grow or get fat and we show what to do.You may also be interested in: Why doesn't my dog grow? Index
- Why doesn't my kitty grow?
- Other causes of dwarfism in cats
- What do I do if my cat does not grow?
- Treatment of dwarfism in cats
Why doesn't my kitty grow?
First of all, it is important to note that there is a feline breed known as munchkin cat and characterized by its small size due to its short legs. Therefore, if you have adopted a kitten and you do not know if it is of race or not, the first thing we recommend is to consult with the veterinarian if it is a munchkin.
That said, and once breed has been ruled out as a cause, kittens should be kept with their mother and siblings for at least the first eight weeks of their lives. That is why it is common for us to adopt them with about two months. Depending on their origin, we can receive the new member of the family dewormed, vaccinated and well used to eating alone and solids. But we do not always find this ideal situation, which may explain why our cat does not grow.
Thus, a kitten that has not been dewormed internally You run the risk of seeing their growth diminish, in addition to suffering other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, bad appearance of the coat or anemia. Therefore, if we do not know if the kitten has visited the vet or we have doubts, it is best to go to a clinic as soon as you receive it. There this professional will review it and prescribe the necessary drugs..
On the other hand, feeding it is always essential for animal welfare. If poor nutrition can cause problems in adult cats, the situation in kittens will be much more compromised. In fact, if they are not well nourished, their growth will be hampered. That is why it is essential to offer them a good diet, with an appropriate menu for their age to ensure that all their nutritional needs are covered. If we opt for homemade food, we have to be very aware that it is not synonymous with offering them the leftovers from our table. A menu must be prepared with the advice of a specialized veterinarian. Check our article on the BARF Diet for cats.
Other causes of dwarfism in cats
Although poor nutrition or the presence of parasites can explain why a cat does not grow or gain weight as it should, there are other causes, although rare. In general, kittens are born apparently healthy and it is as they turn weeks when symptoms begin to appear, among which growth retardation stands out. This will be more evident if the little one stays with his siblings, since it is possible to make comparisons. A dwarf kitten may be suffering diseases affecting development and they also cause other symptoms. These rare diseases are:
- Congenital hypothyroidism: it is due to a problem in the thyroid that prevents the synthesis of its hormones and, in addition to disproportionate dwarfism, these cats have short necks and legs, a wide face, alterations in the nervous system and, at the brain level, delay in change in teething, listlessness, loss of appetite, dull hair, low temperature, etc..
- Mucopolysaccharidosis: these are diseases due to enzyme deficiencies. The affected kittens are small, have small heads and ears, a broad face, wide-set eyes, a short tail, clumsy gait, retinal atrophy, bone, neurological and cardiac problems, paralysis, etc..
- Pituitary dwarfism: it is produced by a deficit in growth hormone. Causes constipation, delayed teething, vomiting, or dehydration, plus small but proportionate size.
- Portosystemic shunt: in this case there is a circulatory problem that prevents toxins from the body from being purified, passing directly into the bloodstream and causing different symptoms, including growth retardation and mental problems.
What do I do if my cat does not grow?
After reviewing several situations that can explain why a cat does not grow or gain weight, if you suspect that it is the case of your kitten, the easiest thing is to start with deworm it Y give him an appropriate food to this vital stage. Before long, if this was the problem, we should appreciate the improvement.
If you already eat well and have been dewormed, it is essential go to the vet. This has to establish a differential diagnosis between ailments such as those we have explained. To do this, different tests are performed that will include blood tests or X-rays. Depending on the result, the prognosis will vary.
Treatment of dwarfism in cats
Unfortunately, not all diseases that explain why a cat does not grow can be cured. When there is hypothyroidism, it is possible to get the cat to grow, improve its symptoms and obtain a good quality of life if we follow a hormonal treatment that the vet will guide us. The shunt can be operated, although it is not always possible, and for mucopolysaccharidosis there is the possibility of treating the symptoms, but the prognosis, in both cases, will be reserved. Kittens with pituitary dwarfism often die.
This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.