Archive for July, 2008

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Hair of the Cat

28 July, 2008

The following conversation took place when a few of my office colleagues went out for lunch today:

Colleague 1 (lifting something invisible something off hamburger and looking pained):  Urgggh … I think it’s a hair.

Me:  Human or cat?

Colleague 2:  Does it matter?  Does it make it better if it’s cat hair?

Colleague 3 (owner of 2 Ragdolls and a Bengal):  Of course it does.  Cats are always licking themselves and their hair is very clean!

Reaction of non-cat-owning colleagues:  priceless!

I think all cat owners will recognise the fact that when you have a cat, it’s hard to avoid cat hairs creeping into your food and other bits of property.  But it’s something you get used to.  Just the other day someone lifted a cat hair off my neck because she thought it would irritate my skin.  It was a ginger hair, and I expressed a fondness for Teddy who had shed it, much to the bewilderment of that person.

But in case you are now making plans never to accept any food and drink from me, let me assure you that my standards of hygiene befit someone with 4 planets in Virgo and shares in Milton Disinfectant.  Why, I even lick the kitchen counter before cleaning it!

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Would I sell a kitten to a home where a cat had died of FIV?

21 July, 2008

It’s that time again when kitten enquiries flood in.  It’s hard to convey the emotions that wash over me when I look at my beloved kittens and worry about whether or not they will find their forever homes where they will be spoilt and cherished.

One of the most wonderful kitten enquiries I received recently was from a couple who opened their hearts and home to a rescue cat.  The cat was old – a 15-year-old and had only one leg and was blind in one eye.  The cat also had FIV, and sadly had to be put to sleep recently.

They wanted to know if I would home a kitten with them?

My first instinct was to say “yes” – their love and compassion for cats made them dream owners.  Not many people would take in a sick cat and give him love for the few remaining months of his life.  Their honesty was something most breeders appreciate too.

However, I knew nothing of FIV, so I couldn’t reply immediately but had to consult with breeders on the Novice Breeders Forum. 

Some of the breeders had stories to share of homing cats with FIV.  Apparently the FIV virus is quite fragile and would not persist in the environment.  General advice was as long as there was at least a month after the death, and all bedding and toys were disinfected, it should be fine.  And all of them were unanimous in giving the go-ahead to home a kitten with the couple.

Alas, I was too late and by the time I’d replied, the couple had found a kitten elsewhere.  Lucky kitten!

So far with previous litters, I have been blessed with kitten owners who have given my kittens loving pet homes, and who have become friends.   God willing I will be as fortunate with this litter.

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Litter-training kittens … the key to success?

9 July, 2008

I think everyone who’s read my posts of previous years on litter training will have realised that coaxing kittens to use their litter trays has not been my strong point.

(consider this is the equivalent of a whisper because I don’t want to tempt fate, but …)

I think that I may have finally got the hang of it with this litter of kittens.

The difference this year is that I confined them to a kitten enclosure from the time they had to start litter-training for about two weeks, only letting them out under supervision, or until they learnt to scale the pen).

The enclosure was quite large, about 4 feet square, with space for a bed, a cat scratching post and two litter trays. 

The litter trays were small to medium-sized and filled with a double-layered sandwich of Yesterday’s News pellet litter and kitchen towels.  I find that the YN pellets don’t absorb pee quickly enough and sometimes kittens’ paws get sopping wet.  So the kitchen towels provide a surface to stand on that is a little drier.

Another trick I used was to wipe the litter trays with a bit of kitten pee so that they still retained the smell of urine.

Imagine my great pleasure when I found a kitten squatting in a tray, having its first pee. [BTW, kittens always scream when they first start peeing and pooing – it is quite alarming].  Imagine my even greater pleasure when most of the kittens started using the tray.

Sure, we’ve had accidents, but compared to previous years, they’ve been fewer.

But, to be honest, I think I got lucky with this litter of kittens.  They’re little bundles of cleverness, they’ve actually litter-trained themselves.

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Raw feeding recipe using Woldsway Rabbit

9 July, 2008

Raw Rabbit Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 x 0.5kg pack of boneless wild rabbit chunks

1 x 0.5kg pack of mixed rabbit offal (heart, liver, kidney, lungs)

1 x 0.5kg pack of minced wild rabbit (bone-in – VERY IMPORTANT for the calcium content)

2 x raw egg yolks (preferably organic or free-range)

2000mg taurine (very important if using frozen meat, or will be freezing the meat)

400IU Vitamin E

100mg Vitamin B

2000mg salmon oil

1 tsp kelp

1 tsp psyllium husk

Preparation

Cut rabbit chunks into smaller chunks if feeding kittens.  Puree offal in meat grinder.  Mix with mince.  Place in large bowl.  Add approx. 200-300ml of water.  Add egg yolks (not the egg whites).  Open supplement capsules and sprinkle over mix.  Mix with spoon or if feeling bloodthirsy, hands.  Spoon mix into small freezer bags.  Approx. 3 dessertspoons per bag will feed 5 kittens (at 7 weeks’ old) per meal.  Will make approx. 10 bags x 3 spoons per bag.  This is approx. 3 days’ worth of food.

Rabbit from http://www.woldsway.co.uk/acatalog/Pet_Meat.html

Supplements from various sources (mostly dry, powder version for ease of mixing)

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Things a Cat Breeder should never say in front of kittens

9 July, 2008

1.  “Isn’t it wonderful … the kittens are litter trained!”

2.  “Isn’t it strange how well-behaved they are.”

3.  “They haven’t even tried climbing up the curtains!”

4.  “They don’t half like that raw mince rabbit.  I think I’ll double the next order.”