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2/5 kittens too skinny, one kinda scrawny

August 6th, 2008, 04:21 PM
I still have all 5 of my grey foster kittens. One is going home this weekend :thumbs up to my dads long long longggg time friend who I've known since forever and is the nicest guy.

Anywho, 2 of my kittens are underweight. I've already dewormed them and had Tara check them all out. The one is starting to bulk up a bit, but the one that was the runt of the litter is so small and skinny and I'd say... skin and bones :sad: There's nothing wrong with him though! Promise! I was wondering what I can feed the two of them to fatten them up. A supplement??? Or what?

The other 3 are getting so big and the biggest one is the one leaving this weekend, and I'd say he's got to be almost 4 or 5 pounds. The littlest one is barely 2 pounds. I haven't weight them, and don't know how accurate my bathroom digital scale is.

What should I do??? He was the run afteall. It was Tripods sister who had them before she decided to let us take care of her. She was maybe 6 pounds when she got preggo and 7 pounds now. She's a tiny cat and popped out 5 kittens... so 2 just happened to be the runts.

I want to give the 2 to my friend but they need to fatten up first because who wants to pet a kitten where it's so skinny you can feel his bones? He does have some fat on him, but he's not growing as fast as the other ones.

Help please :shrug: How do you make the runts of the litters grow bigger faster?

(picture coming soon to compare)

August 6th, 2008, 05:10 PM
I weighed them but I can't count on its accuracy, but you get the idea:
Stripes is the biggest one. Mr Kitten and Mr Sniffles are the ones I think are too skinny.

Stripes 4.5 lb
Four 4lb
Franklin 3.5
Mr Kitten 3
Mr Sniffles 2.5 (if that)
My hand squeezing Mr. Sniffles around the waist
My hand squeezing Stripes around the waist.
Above shot.

August 6th, 2008, 06:23 PM
Have they been dewormed, including tape?

In my last batch of fosters, Tips, the runt was very skinny and tiny too, but not like your little Mr. Sniffles. Have you watched them eat to ensure he is getting his share?

Have you tried a raw diet, that will give them great muscle mass?

August 6th, 2008, 06:40 PM
I dewormed them for round worms, because that's what ALL my cats had at one point. They don't have tapeworm and I am an erm, diligent poop checker for worms. If one had tapeworms, they'd ALL have it and since I sent a poop sample to the vets not too long ago (after they came in and started using the shared potties) it would have shown up.

I wasn't sure if feeding him raw would help or not. I do buy them Aunt Jeni's Home Made as a treat and they all LOVE it but the protein level is lower and I wasn't sure what I should be feeding him.

I do watch them all, and Mr Sniffles isn't as aggressive as the other cats for feeding, but he does get his share. Mr Kitten eats as much as Mr Sniffles and the other 3 eat a bit more then those two.

So should I separate the two skinny ones from the rest of the pact and feed them raw in a separate room?

I only have so much room in my freezer to stock up on it so I can't feed it to everyone and keep a supply. I'll be at the pet store this Saturday. Tell me what to buy and I'll get it.

That's all the food they sell for cats.

August 6th, 2008, 10:11 PM
Separate them. give the big ones away. Let the little ones see that they do not have to compete for food?

August 6th, 2008, 10:14 PM
The big one is leaving this weekend, the second biggest one has someone interested in him now after I posted a classified on him.

They eat until they are full, but they don't eat that much. If that makes any sense. Should I be giving the 2 small ones some kind of supplement?? Like bulk-up for cats?

August 6th, 2008, 11:09 PM
How do you feed them? By that, I mean do you leave food out or do they get meal fed? If they're meal fed, how many times a day do they eat?

August 7th, 2008, 06:04 AM
Nice store, great selection of food. :thumbs up

Getting rid of the big ones, will not necessarily help the skinnier ones. They may just be smaller cats who are not big eaters, did not help the runts in my litters.

The raw will not put on fat, but muscle and keeps them wonderfully hydrated :thumbs up. I feed my kittens mainly Nature's Variety Raw (available in the US), the other one is avail only in Canada.

Sugarcatmom, maybe you can comment on the calcium to phos ratio, this raw product that the store katherine mentioned sells:

I also see they sell Nature's Variety.

How about a combination of Wellness, grain free, even if it is not the kitten canned (it is costly) and raw? I heat up a bit of water in the microwave, then add the raw food that has been thawed in the fridge to warm it up a bit for the kittens.

August 7th, 2008, 06:57 AM
They still get dry kibble which right now is Wellness Core. 2 of my tuxedos still won't eat wet food so I put out something like 3 cups a day for all the cats and kittens. I know that seems like alot, but I calculated it and ended up they would all need 4 cups a day, but I feed them canned too so they get less dry.

I feed a 5.5oz can of something by Merrick or whatever brand I find with an interesting flavour with half of a 13.2oz Wellness Chicken grain free or Innova Evo chickena and turkey. I usually give them a can of 5.5oz before grain 100% stuff 2 to 3 times a week.

I also do watch them when they are eating the wet food. The kittens usually share one big plate and I put 3 small plates out for anyone else who wants to grab a bite to eat. The kittens used to fight over their food when Waffles was still here, but he's been adopted and now they all get along.

August 7th, 2008, 11:44 AM
Sugarcatmom, maybe you can comment on the calcium to phos ratio, this raw product that the store katherine mentioned sells:

An acceptable ratio is anywhere from 0.9:1 up to 2:1, but ideally around 1.2:1to 1.4:1. The Primal Pet stuff doesn't look too bad but I'd want to feed a variety of flavours and maybe some other brands to give things an overall balance. The higher calcium ratios can be constipating for some cats.

August 7th, 2008, 11:46 AM
Thanks sugarcatmom, I knew there was a particular ratio but couldn't remember what it was.

August 7th, 2008, 12:10 PM
I also do watch them when they are eating the wet food. The kittens usually share one big plate and I put 3 small plates out for anyone else who wants to grab a bite to eat.

Sounds fine. I was just asking because if they were strictly being meal-fed, it's possible they aren't eating enough during that scheduled time and was going to suggest leaving food down for them. But it looks like you have it under control. I wouldn't give them any supplements at this point, but maybe augmenting their regular food with some extra high protein treats like scrambled eggs or plain chicken meat would be good for them.

August 7th, 2008, 01:18 PM
Thanks everyone. I've been giving them Catswell chicken jerky treats since forever and dried tuna flakes recently. I don't cook meat but scrambled eggs sound fine. I shouldn't add dairy though right? Just scramble the egg?

Is it okay for them to eat hard boiled eggs as a treat? when I was making deviled eggs for a party they were really into begging for them and trying to get on the counter. I didn't give them any though cause they had alot of salt and mayo and didn't think that would be good for them.

Mr. Sniffles is just incredibly skinny. I don't want anyone to think that I don't feed the poor critter. I've also noticed him getting tired a little bit earlier then everyone else. I think it's harder for him to jump around cause he doesn't have any meat on his bones, therefore when he comes crashing down it hurts him.

Mr. Kitten is kinda the same way where it bugs him when he crashes or gets beaten up because unlike the other kittens they don't have a layer of fat and muscle.

August 7th, 2008, 01:29 PM
I shouldn't add dairy though right? Just scramble the egg?

Yup, although a small amount of milk (like a tablespoon) wouldn't be a big deal. You can add butter too, if you want. It would be good for hairballs and add some extra fat.

Is it okay for them to eat hard boiled eggs as a treat?

Hardboiled would also be excellent. I only wish my cat would eat eggs, but he hates them.

September 4th, 2008, 04:03 PM
Hey guys it's been almost a month since I first posted this. Mr Sniffles is still not growing. He's gained .5 pounds making him 3lb now. He only has 1 brother left which is Mr Kitten who is going on 6lb. Mr Kitten was the other one I thought was too small. He doubled in size over the past month but Mr Sniffles has gotten slightly 'taller', or since he walks on all 4 he got a bit longer. The .5 pounds he put on is not muscle or fat mass, it appears to just be bone mass.

I've done everything you've all recommended and he is not sick or anything. He is eating about the same amount as his brother right now, but it's like his metabolism burns it all off immediately and then he poops it out.

I've fed them boiled chicken, I feed Mr Sniffles scrambled eggs for breakfast about 4-5 times a week. I help him get access to the dry food bowl and he is always the first one to the plate and the last one to leave.

He's still just skin and bones though. He is so small that I can take him and wrap my hand around his waist and my thumb will touch my index finger :sad:

Should I take him to the shelter and have some blood drawn? I have not yet found them any homes, but he is extremely underweight and even if I do find him a home, I don't think he is fit to be neutered.


September 21st, 2008, 02:07 AM
Hi, i was going to suggest leaving a few saucers of 'kitten milk' around, so that they may lap up at will during the day. My two kittens ( Tonali and Elphin) were both rescued kittens that were skinny and scrawny when i took them in. I left for both a saucer of specially formulated kitten milk available from the vet or specialty store, so that they could lap up at will until Tonali was 5 months, and until Elphin was about 4 months. I discarded the remaining milk and mixed them new one every 6 hours or so. I found they gained well. Tonali (female) is now 15 months old and will always be on the small side, she has small bones and delicate features, she weighs 6 3/4 pounds and wont gain an ounce more. Elphin (male) is 5 months old and already shows a massive bone and muscle mass, he weighs 7 1/4 pounds, and he is still gaining. Elphin's brother Gwion is 2 years old and is a very massive, muscular and strong cat, he must weigh around 15 pounds (of mean muscular mass). Perhaps the two little ones are just 'made small', but i would still try the kitten milk to put meat on their bones, it worked well for my kittens.


September 21st, 2008, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. He is still tiny to this day. He's just about big enough to be neutered and vaccinated now. I'm going to have that done next month on my own cost because no one is interested in adopting them right now so... looks like they just might be staying.