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Poll: Is Your CH Cat Smaller Than Average?

July 12, 2012

After receiving Ruth’s book in the mail, Lauren realized that her Mimosa and Ruth’s Betty have something, other than cerebellar hypoplasia, in common: Both of their cats are on the smaller side.

Here you can see how Ellie (left) has a wider hind-leg stance than CG (right). This helps her keep her balance.

As Lauren put it, Mimosa, who recently turned two, is a tiny cat considering she’s a full-grown adult. She’s barely 8 lbs., and Lauren says her paws are the size of quarters.

This is something that I and a number of CH cat parents have wondered about from time to time, so I wanted to ask all of you — do you consider your CH cat to be smaller in size and weight than an average cat?

To answer that, we’d need to know what an average cat’s size is (based on weight). When researching this, I was reminded that an “average” cat can vary from 7 to 20 lbs depending on the cat’s breed and age. That’s a wide range, which can make this question and answers rather subjective. Regardless, I’m still curious what you all think.

If you have a moment, please take this poll. Please vote once for each CH cat you have:

Please also feel free to leave additional comments below.

For a while I’ve thought about why some CH cats may be smaller than other cats, and I’ve came up with a few ideas. Please chime in with your own thoughts, too!

1) Cerebellar hypoplasia is commonly caused if the mother cat contracts panleukopenia (distemper) or if there  was some sort of trauma to the unborn kittens. While I’m no vet, I would imagine that either scenario, as neither one is ideal, may have additional impacts on the kittens. Perhaps they may not grow up to be as big and strong as they could be given their prenatal conditions. Perhaps there were other contributing factors (that don’t manifest like CH) that could have also impacted the kittens in other ways.

2) Along those same lines, I’ve wondered if kittens with more severe cases of CH turn out to be the runts.

This theory of mine was turned on its head when we adopted Ellie. She was the smallest of three (named Shadow because her foster thought she had a shadow of a chance to live), but as she grew older, it was apparent that the so-called runt actually had the least-severe case of CH among her siblings. Granted, Ellie is definitely moderate, while her sisters at the time were moderate/severe and severe.

That said, our one-year-old Ellie is a small cat, especially compared to CG.

What do you think? Do you think that a cat’s CH may be correlated to his size? Or do you think size is an independent factor?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa O'Connor permalink
    July 12, 2012 9:32 am

    My CH Kitty, who was moderate when he came to us, then got much worse, and now, thanks to a wonderful homeopathic vet is 100% better & back to “relative” normal – and he is a little chunker, although not unhealthily so. His appetite has increased as he’s gotten older & he especially loves sardines, which were recommended by our vet. BTW, as an aside – I was reluctant to go to this homeopathic vet as I was concerned that it would cost A LOT more – and it absolutely did not. The vet is wonderful & the recommendations he made for Little Man’s diet have helped immensely, along with the homeopathic meds we have him on 2x per day, (which are not any more expensive either) – so if you have access to one, I highly recommend them!!!!

  2. Sarah Kirkland permalink
    July 12, 2012 4:47 pm

    My Wallis is very petite! he also has tiny teeth almost like baby teeth even though he is 4 years old..any other CH cat have this?

    • elizabeth permalink
      July 13, 2012 7:58 am

      My CH kitten, BillyJack, is 4 months old and according to the vet he is about a month behind in growth develoment and even futher behind in teeth develoment. I have often wondered if there was a connection.

    • Tammy permalink
      July 13, 2012 8:13 pm

      My Sally was almost a year old before she got all her teeth in, then within a month of turning one she lost her bottom left fang. Also her two top fangs grew in pointing forward instead of down, at least it doesn’t hurt quite as bad when she bites us. She is also on the small side about 6 pounds at two years old.

  3. July 12, 2012 8:48 pm

    Shiloh, my first CH kitty was an average size cat, Tardy was average, although he did loose a lot of weight when he got older, Ziggy was too small for his age when we adopted him, but neutering and free feeding turned him into an average size, maybe a little heavy : )) Luna Süna and Spike are just 16 weeks now, so time will tell : )

  4. July 13, 2012 6:41 am

    I’m inclined to think size may be independent, though possibly if fighting infection, nourishment in utero might be going to fighting illness rather than growth, I took two non-CH runts, the tiniest who I frankly didn’t expect to live is now a normal chunky cat of average size – about 11lb – and the other, who had a mother complex to all her siblings, is no larger than a 9 month kitten-cat, barely 8lb. [she’s still the boss by the way]. There’s a lot of factors in this, I know that studies have been done with humans and in utero deprivation can lead to undersized adults and it can also lead to obesity if the opportunity is there as the body tries to overcompensate. I’m pretty certain that the reasons will be found in the pre-birth conditions but what exactly causes this may be a very complex subject. I hope you don’t mind me giving my cats stats as they are not CH but I have wondered before why one runt grew and the other didn’t. [not that either of them came close to their brother in size who was not a runt and who was bidding fair to be a stone of muscle and sleekness when he met with his fatal accident. Boys don’t seem to gain their full weight until they’re about 2, I’ve noticed, girls have just about finished growing at 1 year. Neutered cats WILL grow larger than unfixed too. Growth’s a complex business and it’s interesting to see some empirical research.

  5. July 13, 2012 1:48 pm

    From Tammy:
    Both of my CH cats are smaller than our other cats. Our eight “normal” cats all tip the scales at a range of 12 pounds to 18 pounds. Boo Boo only weighs 7 -1/2 pounds and little Faith is our tiniest cat at 6 pounds and she’ s going to two years old.

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