There’s nothing cuter in this world than a little kitten. However, when you feel like your cat has stopped growing, it definitely makes you worried. And you can’t help but ask yourself, “Why is my cat so small?” You compare her to her other cat friends and it makes you even more worried to see they are all bigger.
Is it something you really need to worry about, or her size is not a problem at all? There are many possible reasons why your kitty is smaller than other felines that are approximately the same age as her.
Most of these aren’t concerning, however, there are still a few possible health issues that require professional help. The good thing is that even if that’s the case, those are all issues that can be easily resolved if you react on time.
So let’s not wait any longer. It’s time to get the answers you were looking for.
Is it normal for a cat to be so small?
Having a cute small cat is truly a blessing. However, it can also make you worry for days. Seeing how all other felines grow and eventually outgrow your kitty might be stressful. And you can’t help but ask yourself, “Why is my cat so small? Is it normal, or there’s something wrong?”
You’re not the only one who asked the same question. The best thing you can do is to investigate your cat’s origin. That way, you’ll know whether your kitty belongs to a small breed family. If yes, then you’ll know that there’s nothing to worry about.
Small-breed cats are still as normal as all the other ones. It’s just that their looks are a bit different, but it’s important that there’s nothing concerning.
You can fully enjoy their cuteness but just remember that even though they’re small, they still need enough food and water.
However, if your cat doesn’t belong to a small breed family, or you just can’t confirm her genealogy, you should keep an eye on her if you think she’s too tiny in comparison to other felines. It might be because of different illnesses or infections. And those situations require a vet’s help.
Don’t worry immediately because there are other possible reasons for her size. It can be a result of an illness she’s already overcome, her genetics, her fights for life when she lived outside (if you saved her from the streets), and many more reasons.
To help you understand the topic more, I’ve prepared possible reasons why your cat could be so small.
“Why is my cat so small?”: 9 possible answers
And just as I promised, I will help you get all the answers you need. I know that thinking about things you don’t know much about can be stressful, so I want to help you learn as much as possible so you don’t waste your time worrying.
Today, you’ll get 9 answers to “Why is my cat so small?” I hope that it will help you understand everything that was on your mind and that you’ll finally go to sleep without worrying about your little fluffy roommate. So let’s not waste any more time!
1) It’s because of her breed
When I say small, medium, or large, the first things that come to your mind are probably drinks that you can buy at McDonald’s or the popcorn you get when you go to the cinema.
However, those words can be applied to cats too. Adult cats that belong to the small breed group are the ones that weigh less than 10 pounds. And they’re special because they look like kittens until they’re very old.
Some of them even have that young, playful, and cuddly personality throughout their whole lives. There are many beautiful small breeds, and I prepared a special surprise for you that’s waiting for you at the end of this article. Spoiler alert, it’s about the most popular small cat breeds!
2) Gender plays a big role too
When looking for the answer to “Why is my cat so small?” you need to take your cat’s gender in your mind. Female kitties are usually smaller than their male friends. Of course, a queen cat can sometimes be bigger, but that isn’t something you will often see.
It’s also important to remember that the size of every cat can differ because of various factors such as lifestyle, the conditions they lived in when they were born, and of course, their eating habits. That means that even if some cat appears smaller than usual, they can still be completely normal and healthy.
3) She’s not getting well-planned nutritious meals
Your fluffy roommate might be tiny because of her poor nutrition during her kittenhood. Proper nutrition is essential for cats’ growth and strength.
Cats usually stop drinking their mother’s milk when they are around 8 weeks old, and that’s when their owners should start feeding them. Therefore, it’s essential that you learn which food is the best and what amount of it is needed for development.
If you’ve been feeding your kitty for quite some time, but she still seems too small, it might be that she’s not getting enough nutrients. So you should try changing the brand of cat food. It’s important that she gets enough animal protein, water, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
4) Her feeding habits matter
It’s not only about the food they’re eating but also about their eating habits. Cats love to have a fixed schedule because it makes them less anxious, and they don’t get scared that you’ll forget to feed them. When they get nervous, they might run around the house and make a mess while looking for food.
Every kitty should eat at least two big meals a day. And if you chose that option, they should be 12 hours apart. However, I recommend you feed her at least three times, especially when she’s still little.
If you’re struggling to make a fixed schedule for her, you can try making it according to your own plans. If you’re usually getting up at 8, you can give her food while you’re making your morning coffee.
5) It might be the cat dwarfism
During the past years, scientists have spent a lot of time discussing feline dwarfism. One of the breeds they’ve been mentioning and researching the most is the Munchkin breed. They are easily recognized by their shortened limbs and unusual proportions.
If you’ve seen the Grumpy Cat, she’s one of the examples of what they usually look like. If your kitty is small, but she also seems like she has a disproportionate body that’s mostly characterized by short legs, it’s likely that she has a form of dwarfism, or you got yourself a Munchkin breed cat.
To keep her healthy, I advise you to have regular vet checks, which will help you find the answers you might not have.
6) Your kitty might be the runt of the litter
If you have multiple kittens and you’re worried about the one who appears to be much smaller than her brothers and sisters, she might be the runt of that litter.
Almost every time a cat gives birth, there’s one runt kitten in the family. It’s easy to notice them. The runt of the litter is the smallest and the weakest cat in the group. And they might even have abnormalities of structure, metabolism, or structure.
Most of those kittens can be taken care of. But you’ll need the help of a professional to make sure that the kitten gets all the treatments and attention she needs. It’s sad that the runts usually don’t survive if they’re born in the wilderness.
7) Hyperthyroidism or diabetes
One of the alarming signs is when you notice that your cat is losing weight even though she’s regularly eating, and there haven’t been any changes in her appetite. Unexpected weight loss is one of the most common signs of diabetes. And you might easily confuse it with saying that your kitty looks small.
The same symptom can be applied to hyperthyroidism, however, it is most common for middle-aged and older cats. If you’re worried about that, you should keep an eye on other symptoms such as thirst, frequent urination, or increased appetite.
Sometimes it’s even accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting, and hyperactivity. The best thing you can do is contact your vet and tell him about all the symptoms you’ve noticed so far.
Have you ever heard of malabsorption? If a cat suffers from a malabsorption issue, she will slowly lose her ability to digest or absorb nutrients from food. And that’s why she might appear to be smaller or thinner than the rest of the cats who are around her age.
The disruption in the secretion of pancreatic enzymes is what causes it. And to notice it, you’ll need to keep an eye on symptoms such as diarrhea and weight loss even though your feline is not dealing with appetite loss.
9) Your feline might be dealing with parasites
One of the health issues your kitty might have is the internal parasites that attack your cat’s intestines. Most of the time, it’s one of the tapeworms, hookworms, heartworms, and roundworms. If they attacked your cat, they could be the ones to blame for her size.
The most common symptom is the loss of appetite, which leads to weight loss. But it can be accompanied by diarrhea, bloating, excessive coughing, vomiting, and you might even notice worm segments in the feces.
Luckily, it’s treatable, but If you notice any of these symptoms, you should call your vet as soon as possible. That way, there’s a high chance that they will find the right treatment on time.
When do cats stop growing?
We’ve learned a lot about the possible reasons why a cat can be so small, but it’s a good idea to learn a few more things in order to understand everything better. So now I want to tell you when cats stop growing in size. Is it a few months or a year? It’s time to find out!
Cats often look different in size, even if they’re the same age. That happens because of some of the reasons I’ve just mentioned, like the choice of diet and their overall lifestyle. However, their growing period lasts until they are aged between six to twelve months.
It sounds like a short period of time but that’s only because they grow at an amazing rate. During the first eight weeks of their lives, cats can gain almost 2 pounds! And they will continue to grow fast until they are 6 months old. That’s when their growth process will become a bit slower.
Sometimes you won’t be able to find any more information about your kitty’s background, and that especially happens if you saved her from the streets or took her from an adoption center. However, you can always compare her to other look-alike cats or ask for a vet’s help.
Always keep in mind that cats only grow during their first year of life, but other factors can make it seem like they’re still growing. The most common one is gaining weight. So don’t let it confuse you.
How can you tell if your kitty is not growing?
Don’t worry, noticing that your kitty’s development has stopped is not a hard job. If you compare newborn kittens and fully grown adult cats, you will be able to see the difference no matter how small the adult cat is.
As I’ve already mentioned, kittens grow really fast during the first 8 weeks of their lives. And it’s impossible to miss seeing that. Even if you got a small breed cat, you’ll still notice a difference between her looks when she was 4 months old, and a year old.
Their looks change almost from day to day when they’re that young. You will mostly notice it in their weight and height. But it’s also possible to figure it out by their behavior. If your kitty wants to eat and drink more and more, it’s obvious that she’s growing and her body requires more nutrients.
However, if it seems like your kitty hasn’t increased weight or height during those first four to six months, it might be a sign that she’s stopped growing and you’ll need to seek professional help as soon as possible. That’s the best way to prevent any further complications.
Popular small cat breeds
I’ve mentioned small cat breeds a few times already. So it was only fair of me to tell you about the most popular pocket-sized cats in the world. Enjoy this cute trip around the mini Catland.
This skilled little climber is just half the size of an average cat! She doesn’t weigh more than 5 pounds when she’s an adult, but she’s strong and active. And her name is Singapura.
She’s famous for being such an affectionate cat, who loves to spend her days on her owner’s lap. That’s where she gets a chance to snuggle and cuddle because there’s nothing else she would rather do. Okay, maybe she equally likes climbing and exploring.
2) American Curl
If you’ve ever seen a tiny kitty with ears that curl backward, the chances are you’ve had a chance to meet the American Curl cat.
An American Curl kitty is playful and affectionate, so you’ll never have a boring day with her as your roommate. That’s why many families with children choose this breed as their pets.
Here’s an interesting fact for you. When a kitty who belongs to this breed is born, she has straight ears. However, when she’s around 10-15 days old, her ears start curling back. And yes, that’s exactly how she got the name, American Curl.
Does the name Dwelf remind you of something? Let me give you a little hint. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit… Yes! It’s a name that comes from combining the words “elf” and “dwarf.”
The Dwelf cats have traits of three different cat breeds. Their legs are short, just like the legs of the Munchkin. They have curled ears like the American Curls kitties. And they are hairless, just like the Sphynx.
If you’ve seen the movie the “Wizard of Oz” then the name Munchkin might sound familiar to you. This breed’s name was inspired by the magical folk we’ve seen in that movie.
Munchkin is considered to be one of the smallest cat breeds in the whole world. They are so tiny because of a gene mutation that makes their legs much smaller than the legs of a regular kitty.
This breed is well-known for their ability to land with their heels first and they usually walk on a heel-toe action. One more thing that makes them unique is that they can’t jump high.
But they are still fast, skilled, and active, and they are always ready to explore and play with you. Most people say that they have a kitten-like personality.
Siamese cats are not as small as some of the cats on this list, but they still don’t belong to a large-cats list. They usually weigh from 8 to 15 pounds, which makes them a medium breed of cat.
They are easily recognized by their glossy coat and beautiful blue eyes. Siamese cats have a sleek and athletic build and they are highly skilled cats. And it’s important to mention that they are very vocal and they’ll try to talk to you all the time.
6) Cornish Rex
Cornish Rex cats are famous for their curly coat and the softest hair in the world. They are ideal for people who like to cuddle with their pets. And that’s almost everyone! They weigh around 10 pounds, imagine how cute they look!
One more thing that makes them so perfect is the fact that they don’t shed, which means that people who are prone to allergies won’t have any problems getting a Cornish Rex as their new roommate.
7) Devon Rex
This is one of the smallest cat breeds out there. Their usual weight is from 5 to 10 pounds and they truly are one of the cutest pocket-sized cats in the world.
That’s because they have big ears, and unique, large, and round eyes. And their fur is one of the softest and fluffiest ones ever.
The personality of Devon Rex cats is amazing. They are perfect for families with little children because they are very sociable, cuddly, and friendly, and they enjoy being the center of attention.
Yes, they are very similar to Cornish Rex, which you can even conclude from their name. However, you can tell them apart by their whiskers, as Devon Rex cats have a shorter version of them.
And we’ve reached the end. I hope you now know the answer to “Why is my cat so small?” but that you also had fun reading and learning about the most famous small cat breeds. If you have children, small cats are the perfect option for you! You’ve seen how playful and friendly all of them are.
Don’t forget that most of the time, there’s no need to worry about your cat’s size. And you’ve just learned about the possible health issues, so you’ll be able to recognize them easily and contact your vet if needed.
I’m glad that there are cat owners who try hard to learn so much about their fluffy roommates. Your kitty is truly blessed to have you as their owner and I’m sure the two of you will be best friends till the end of time! Enjoy!