Why Do Some Cats Stay Small?

Your cat’s size is directly related to your well-being.Large cats can lead to breathing difficulties, and many are physically too small to comfortably fit inside your house.

If your favorite feline seems smaller than it should, consult with your vet. So, why is my cat so small?

Cats are often much smaller than their wildcat ancestors due to selective breeding. A cat’s size is related to its risk of being preyed upon.

The theory is that smaller cats would be easier to catch and would be less likely to survive in the wild. Cats’ larger sizes today are likely related to the domestication process that occurred over thousands of years.

Cats that lived outside and were resistant to predators were most likely to survive and reproduce, and over time they would pass their traits on to their offspring.

As the cats’ size and strength increased, they became less vulnerable to predators and were able to roam greater distances in search of food and water.

Why Is My Cat So Small?

An obese cat faces many of the same health risks as someone who is overweight, including diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and heart disease.

When a cat is not getting enough food to eat, it will attempt to control its own weight by excessively eating or forcibly expelling the excess energy by vomiting or losing weight.

If a cat has an illness like malabsorption or diabetes, it will not be able to efficiently process food resulting in weight gain and obesity.

If a cat has parasites, parasites can extract nutrients from the body and the cat will lose weight.

To lose weight, a cat needs to consume fewer calories than its body burns off.


Hyperthyroidism is a condition where a cat’s thyroid gland produces excess amounts of thyroid hormones.

The signs of hyperthyroidism in cats are-like those in humans – include weight loss, increased appetite, increased thirst and urination, excessive vocalization.

Increased hunger, weight loss, excessive thirst and urination are some of the most common symptoms of hyperthyroidism in cats.

Internal Parasites

Another major issue why your cat is tiny or your kitten is tiny or your cat is always hungry is because of internal parasites.

Hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms are the most common internal parasites that cause problems in cats.

Cat’s breed

Because these cats have short legs, their front limbs are longer than their rear limbs; this imbalance in musculature means that these animals are unable to cover long distances as quickly as larger cats.

Adult munchkin cats weigh less than 10 pounds when fully grown.

Their short legs result from a DNA mutation that causes achondroplasia.

They are agile and lively cats and enjoy playing with other cats and lots of attention and love.

But they are too agile to climb up and jump onto the sofa or bed, so they tend to choose floor level beds to sleep on.

Feline Diabetes

Although cats with feline diabetes are most likely not aware that they are ill they may suffer from recurrent infections of the urinary tract or impaired wound healing.

But the most common sign of diabetes in cats is excessive thirst and urination (polydipsia), often accompanied by a ravenous appetite.

The symptoms may go unnoticed for long periods of time because cats are notoriously good at hiding their symptoms.

Lack of exercise and obesity are also contributors to diabetes in cats.

This is a hormonal condition that can be treated if detected early.

After a vet has checked up on your cat to figure out why is my cat so small, the vet will prescribe special diabetic cat food and insulin shots if needed.

Cats with feline diabetes will usually have some loss of body condition as the disease progresses unless diet and insulin injections are administered.

Low thyroid levels often present with clinical signs of lethargy and lack of appetite.

Low thyroid levels may be the result of a pituitary or thyroid tumor, or they may develop secondary to some other disease process.


Brachycyanta is a genus of mammals that belongs to the order Chiroptera, which also includes bats and horseshoe crabs.

Dwarfism occurs when your cat is shorter and stockier than normal due to genetic factors, and is often linked to excessive weight or underdeveloped limbs.

Hormonal shortages to growth plate anomalies (malformations of bone and cartilage) may also cause dwarfism in cats.

Cats with dwarfism have a shorter lifespan than cats of average size, with an average life span of 5 to 6 years.

Dwarfism in cats is rare, however if your feline exhibits symptoms of the disease you should see a veterinarian for an exam and blood tests to rule out other disorders.

Gender Issues

Female cats are in season for a period of about three to four weeks a year, depending on their age.

Furthermore, spayed or neutered cats may exhibit behaviors similar to that of unspayed or intact cats during the cat’s mating period.

Feeding Habits

2-3 meals per day should be enough for a cat’s nutritional intake, as long as the food is high in nutrients and not high in fats.

A cat’s metabolism works differently than humans’ metabolism; they burn through energy a lot faster than us, requiring much more than one or two meals a day to meet their energy needs.

This is why many veterinarians recommend feeding free choice cat food to cats who have free access to food all day.

Overfeeding can cause obesity, which has been linked to conditions like diabetes.

At times, your cat’s feeding schedule might be interrupted if it’s ill or recovering from surgery; in this case, your vet will advise when to resume normal feeding patterns.

Poor Nutrition

The effects of poor nutrition are evident in many different aspects of your pet’s life, including coat texture, skin condition and temperament, and in severe cases.

After 8 weeks of age, cats are normally weaned from their mother’s milk and begin to eat a balanced diet of cat food that contains all of the nutrients they need to thrive.

When formulating a diet for your cat, the nutritional needs of adult and senior cats must be considered.

Why Do Some Cats Stay Small?

Although little in stature, some cats stay small for a few years after weaning from their mother’s milk, while others are small for their entire lives.

Due to their appearance and behavior, these cats have often been termed “munchkin” cats.

Munchkin cats are not a separate breed but simply the name given to a breed of cat with short legs and small bodies.

Indeed, munchkin cats can range in size and appearance from dwarf-like to normal-sized.

But most munchkin cats are of the dwarf variety. The genetic basis for short-tailed breeds of cat is as yet unclear.

The Small Cat Breeds

American Curl

Playful and friendly, American Curl cats have excellent hunting skills and instincts.

The breed is also known for being extremely friendly and courageous.

The ears of an American Curl cat are a single curl or spiral per ear and the ears are on the larger side.

The coat is medium in length with a thick undercoat and refers to being either semi-long or longhair.

The tail is medium in length and may be carried in a slight curve over the body or held erect.


The Siamese is a beautiful medium-sized breed with a lively, inquisitive, and affectionate personality.

Affectionate and loyal to their owners, these cats make excellent companions. The Siamese is one of the most popular breeds of cat on the planet and is recognizable by its blue eyes and relatively short coat with a distinctive pattern on the head, legs and tail.

The Siamese is a fairly inactive cat indoors, preferring to spend its time relaxing around the house – especially when it has a warm lap to curl up.

They normally weigh between eight and fifteen pounds and have a short, sleek body with an elongated head, large ears, and large, oval shaped eyes.

Japanese Bobtail

You probably noticed the distinctive bobbed tail of the Japanese Bobtail immediately.

Yet keep in mind that these cats may weigh as little as 5 kilograms.


The Singapura cat is a domestic cat breed from Singapore and is one of the world’s smallest breeds of domesticated cats.

They are nimble and acrobatic, having a somewhat robust build and muscular legs.

They are excellent climbers and jumpers.

Devon Rex

Distinct from Cornish Rex dogs and Devon Rex chickens, the Devon Rex is a breed of domestic cat.

The Devon Rex cat has its long curly hair.

The Cornish Rex dog has longer hair than cats.


Mutation in the gene responsible for cat’s ear shape causes this breed’s ears to protrude, giving them a rather comical look.

The breed’s gait is characterized by a bouncy springy step.

The munchkin cat cannot leap very ell due to their short legs so instead they hop or bound when they run.

Is It Normal For A Cat To Be Small?

When a cat reaches adulthood, its metabolism is at its peak, so it doesn’t need to eat as much to sustain its body, and doesn’t need as much food as adult cats.

A cat’s sudden weight loss or a kitten’s stunted growth might all be indicators of an underlying illness.

Also Read: Can Maine Coons Be Small?

How Can I Tell That My Cat Is Not Growing?

When your feline friend’s development is stunted, it’s obviously cause for concern.

In comparison to fully grown cats, a kitten that is overweight or obese is easy to spot because it will have an exaggerated body size compared to its age.

A kitten that is underweight will be too frail and bony and won’t be able to hold its own weight or stand up and walk on its feet.

Kittens develop very quickly and healthily in the first six- to twelve-weeks of life. If weight gain is inevitable, adults will lose their young kitten fat and become sleek, sleek adults.

But a kitten that loses weight or is slow in gaining it is unhealthy and should be examined by your veterinarian.

If your cat does not increase weight or gain height at a normal rate, you should get him to the vet as soon as you can to make sure your cat is healthy.


In conclusion, your cat’s size is directly related to your well-being.

Large cats can lead to breathing difficulties, and many are physically too small to comfortably fit inside your house.

If your favorite feline seems smaller than it should, consult with your vet.