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Old 12-08-2012, 11:38 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Did my mom get a malnourished kitten? Any long term health risks

My mom got a 6 week old kitten about 2 weeks ago so it is about 8 weeks old now. The thing was tiny, it pretty much fit into the palm of one hand. Apparently the mother died when the kittens were living in a barn, a family found them and fed them before giving them away.

In between the mom dying and I'm assuming the kitten my mom got not being fed enough (its siblings seemed to hog the food when I saw them together) I don't think it got enough nutrition. In the last 2 weeks it has grown dramatically, it is probably 50%+ bigger than it was just 11 days ago now that it is being fed enough. I don't know if that is normal growth for a 6-8 week old kitten, or if that is its body catching up on all the growth it was supposed to do.

So in between its mom dying when it was a kitten (I've heard not to separate a kitten from its mom before 12 weeks, I'm guessing the kitten's mom died when it was only 2 weeks or so old) and probable malnutrition the first 6 weeks of its life, what physical and psychological health problems is this cat going to be facing in its lifetime?

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 12-08-2012 at 11:39 AM.
Old 12-08-2012, 11:42 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Moved MPSIMS --> IMHO.
Old 12-08-2012, 12:11 PM
Merneith Merneith is online now
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Get the kitten to the vet and make sure she doesn't have worms or other problems. Worms and parasites can really do a number on animals that young.

Ask the vet about giving the kitten something like KMR powder as a supplement. See here -

Also ask if the vet thinks you should give her a dose of Benebac gel. It helps with healthy bacteria in a kitten's intestines.

And of course, you'll want to keep her on a good, healthy kitten food.

Other than that, though, the kitten should be fine. Maybe a little clingy. But by six weeks she should be eating and drinking kitten food without any trouble. Most mama cats call Last Round long before 12 weeks.

You might have to teach her about the litterbox but most kittens pick that up pretty fast. Don't put it off though. It's one of the things kittens learn from their mothers as infants, so she's old enough to learn.
Old 12-08-2012, 12:29 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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What Mernieth said, especially about getting the wee one to the vet for worming and a general check-up. Both internal and external parasites can also malnourish a kitten. Also ask the vet about checking for FIV/FeLV, especially if the kitty is likely to come into contact with other cats.

But if it's growing as you said, unlikely there's anything seriously wrong with it that'll result in long-term health effects. Kittens can be little pigs and grow fast!
Old 12-08-2012, 01:31 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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Ahem. Isn't there a rule about kittens and pictures?
Old 12-08-2012, 01:48 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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I meant to add that I help care for a couple of feral cat colonies...we TNR (trap-neuter-release) as many as we can but kittens still happen occasionally.

Certainly these kittens and queens do not always get good nutrition or care, and kittens are sometimes very malnourished, or anemic from severe flea infestations, or have to be trapped and medicated for upper respiratory infections. However, if we get some kittens tame enough they go into rescue and get adopted and I've yet to hear back about a kitten that's had any repercussions from having a bad start in life.


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