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5 Important Facts About The Runt Of The Litter Personality

5 Important Facts About The Runt Of The Litter Personality

The runt of the litter is the smallest kitten among littermates. This tiny cat has a lower chance of reaching their mother and food, often resulting in them failing to thrive.

However, humans can help the runt of the litter to survive and even have a long and happy life. With proper care, a runt kitten can grow up to be a strong cat.

Taking care of a small and vulnerable kitten like this isn’t a simple thing to do, for sure. This requires a certain sacrifice, but, at the same time, it brings much joy and happiness.

You’re probably aware of the small size and potential health problems in the runt kitten. There’s also an additional important thing here that sometimes gets to be a bit overlooked – the runt of the litter personality.

Certainly, each of you finds the expected personality traits in your feline friends crucial. So, let’s learn everything about the five most important personality traits of runt kittens.

1. Affectionateness

runt kitten being held in hand

The runt of the litter often gets rejected by its mother, preventing it from nursing, as the mother cat prioritizes her other offspring over this small kitty.

This sounds harsh, but it’s something considered normal among animal species. According to the Spruce Pets, the mother cat may reject the kitten that appears to be ill or too weak. 

This happens because, in the feline world, healthy and strong cats have to carry on with the best genes and lead to better offspring in the future.

While a mother’s role is important for young kittens as for any other species, humans’ adequate care can make a good replacement.

Your efforts in feeding the runt and keeping it warm and safe from dangers can cause this vulnerable kitten to become extremely affectionate towards you.

Yes, cats can feel our love and attention and show gratitude for it in their own way.

Therefore, affectionateness is a personality trait you can expect to see in a runt kitten. 

2. Willingness To Cuddle

I’ve encountered several runt kittens in my career.

All of them were delicate and some of them have even faced certain deformities. At the same time, I noticed all of them were willing to cuddle.

It kind of seems like they were compensating for everything they missed during their early days. 

I believe many of you dream of having a kitten who will enjoy cuddles and will like to jump into your lap.

Well, you’ll have a high chance of this happening with a runt kitten!

3. Tenacity

newborn kittens sleeping

From the moment they’re born, runt kittens start a challenging battle.

They are usually born with a low body weight. They also have a weak immune system, breathing difficulties, and abnormalities such as limb deformities.

All this means that a runt has a higher chance of not thriving. However, being born in conditions like this can make a runt kitten tenacious.

These vulnerable kittens usually turn out to be strong little fighters. The National Post explains that, if the runt makes it to six to eight weeks of age, it will most likely survive and grow close to full size.

Unfavorable life circumstances can make you feel sorry for the runt of the litter kitten. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, since it can make this small cat tenacious, hardy, and resistant.

4. Intelligence

Runt kittens are also likely to be very intelligent.

This could have something to do with them having to work harder from the start. They often don’t receive the proper care and attention from their mothers and may even face bullying from their littermates.

This forces them to become more self-reliant. Of course, they need help from humans to get the food and warmth they need while growing up.

Once they succeed, they usually show intelligence and an incredible ability to navigate their surroundings. Perhaps in this way, nature also redeems itself for the lack of size and strength in these kittens. Who knows!

In any case, it is very likely that your little runt will be eager to learn and please you. This means that you will have a lot of fun teaching it various tricks, and even how to walk on a leash or play fetch.

5. Loyalty

kitten fed by a bottle

Finally, a runt kitten is usually extremely loyal to its humans.

You’re the person responsible for this small kitten’s well-being. Thanks to your efforts, watching it overnight, and providing it with the best possible care, this cat gets its second chance.

Felines are capable of recognizing our care and devotion to them. Sometimes it’s possible to notice some ordinary things cats do to us that can be interpreted as a return of a favor.

For instance, a cat could lick its owners’ eyelids in an attempt to groom it. Its owner has probably cleaned its eyes with wipes earlier to take care of it, and now the cat is showing this nice gesture, too.

A runt kitten is likely to be very loyal to its owners as a sign of gratitude for this person’s care in its early, sensitive period.

Should You Adopt A Runt Kitten?

The runt of the kitten certainly features some awesome personality traits. However, is this a sufficient reason for you to adopt this small, vulnerable kitten?

Here it’s necessary to be honest and admit that there are both pros and cons of owning a runt kitten.

This kitten is born weak and requires more care than an average kitten. Also, it can be born with certain deformities and be prone to health problems.

On the other hand, I believe that seeing a small, absolutely adorable kitten will disenchant most of you. 

Offering help and a safe home to a vulnerable cat like this is absolutely rewarding and an irreplaceable feeling. 

Should you adopt a runt kitten? I would say yes, you should, just as long as you’re ready for a serious commitment.

Taking care of a runt means even subordinating your own needs for several weeks to help this kitten thrive.

You should bear in mind that a runt kitten can grow up to an average cat size. However, there is a chance that this kitten will need frequent veterinary visits and even supportive care for the rest of its life.


tiny kitten in human hand

The runt of the litter is special for its small size and care requirements that are higher than that of an average newborn kitten.

Their personality is another feature that makes the runt of the litter stand out from the others. This little kitten is expected to be affectionate, loyal, intelligent, and resourceful.

What it may lack in physical size and strength during birth and the early stages of life appears to be more than compensated for by its wonderful personality.

Of course, it’s important to mention that other factors such as breed and socialization can also influence a cat’s personality.

In any case, these are some general expectations when it comes to the runt litter.

Although this cat is likely to have a loving personality, adopting one isn’t for everyone. This required a serious commitment and giving a lot of your attention and time to this small kitten.

In my opinion, it’s all worth it in the end when you see a small kitten becoming a strong cat with an amazing temperament.

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