Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Choosing the right toys for your cat

When i first got my cat, i had no idea there were so many toys available for them... I wasnt sure of what I should look for, which would be the safest and which would be the most entertaining.

Safety first
First of all, when dealing with delicate animals such as cats, you need to keep some safety rules when choosing a toy or accesory. First try to look at it, touch and feel it so you can detect any parts that might be loose, this is extremely important because small parts such as fur, feathers or other small pieces can be chewed and swallowed by the cat, and it can harm them. When you deal with a toy which is furry, try pulling the fur to test that it wont come off, if it does maybe its not a good toy for your cat. They don't need to be licking in more "hairs" than they naturally do. Another tip for choosing a good toy for your cat it's try to choose toys which are soft and have a texture to them. Cats love to feel their toys with they paws, putting in their nails and chewing in (specially if its a kitten). I would advise to look for some toys such as "mice" and balls made out of textiles and having a small bell attached to them. The bell will get their attention with the noise they make when handled, but remember to check the bell is well attached before giving it to your kitty.

Miko playing with her catnip sock!

Simple cheap toys
Sometimes toys can be expensive and not availble for everyone, so here's some ideas on how to make cheap toys for your cats that they will enjoy!
I found that my cat loves to play with balls, she loves to run after the ball pushing it with her paws, running around lets her exercise as well, so this is just not a good toy to play with but also for her health because it helps them keep fit. This is a good option for adult cats that dont have another cat to play with. Here are the two options of balls:
1. Paper ball: Take a piece of paper and smash it tight into a ball. Secure it with a scotch tape all around.
2. Aluminum foil ball: Take a piece of the foil and smash it tight into a ball, this time you don't need the tape because the aluminum foil will hold its shape.. the bigger the piece of foil the bigger the ball, so you choose.
3. Grab an old sock, preferably a child's sock and stuff it with cotton, you can place a small amount of cat nip inside (so its double attractive) and sew the open border of the sock's leg. (take a look at the one in the picture above) Cat's will love it!

All the information above is based on my own experience with my cats, you should always look at what your cat seems to prefer and try to choose the toys that are more fit to their taste. Good luck!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Five week old kitten care

So what happens at five weeks in the life of a small kitten, well a lot of changes...

First of all the kitten is ready to start leaving his only milk feedings and start eating tender solid foods. Okay so what should you give your kitten, i highly recommend slowly start introducing small pieces of food that are soft like chicken, eggs, tender meat, so the baby can eat it. At this age the first small teeth have erupted so they cant chew really well, therefore they need things which can be easily chewed on and also easy for the baby to digest.

You can also start giving them cat food, but make sure its the kind specially for kittens, but remember they need it to be soft so i place them in the bowl with some soy milk or water and let them soak in it until they "suck up the liquid" and become soft and mushy. Some kittens love them to be all mushy and some don't, so depending on how long you leave them in the liquid they will be more or less crunchy or mushy.

I have a kitty that loved to eat it really mushy and another that liked it with a small crunchy inside haha, they all have different tastes like personalities so you will have to observe your kitty how he reacts to both textures in the food and which one he prefers.
What i usually do with my baby kittens is i try to at least give them one source of protein a day, for example some sources can be: soy milk, eggs, meats, i get the kitten food softened by some water or soy milk and some small bits of chicken (or other protein) and they love it... until now they have grown up healthy and happy!

Also by week 5 the baby kitten should be able to poop and go chichi without any help, he should be able to have a litter box where he can easily jump over and go do his "business" as he needs... If u get the kitten at 5 weeks or older the cat mommy should have already potty trained them so there will be nothing else but to show them where the litter box is located. For those of you who have gotten a really small baby cat (less than 5 weeks) you probably would need to teach the kitten where to poop and also help him evacuate. The information on how to stimulate a baby kitten to poop and pee will be posted on the "Potty training a kitten" entry.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to raise a baby kitten

I decided to make this page because i recently found a baby kitten left alone in my garden. Working on my garden i poured some water over some plants and then i little meow chorus started coming from inside the plants.. it was so funny at first i thought it was some baby birds squeaking, but when i decided to take a look inside the plant, right there on the ground layed 3 baby kittens. There couldnt be more than 1 week old because they were tiny and their eyes were closed, and they usually open their eyes only after week 2.
Since they were all wet and muddy i decided to clean them up a bit and place them in a box in the garden... i left it in a safe place hoping the mom would see me and know where the kittens were.
Your probably asking how did i end up with one of the kittens? well i left the babies and went to check on them later on in the day, around 4 pm and two of the babies had dissappeared, i figured the mom took them somewhere else.. ok so i see only the smallest calmer one is still in the box.. i decided to come back later...
so i came back around 7 at night and saw the kitten was still there trembling and since it looked like it would rain i decided to take him inside...and then he stayed...

I decided to look up what food could i give to him since the mom is a wild cat and would not let me touch her.. also it looked like she abandoned him so i was determined to feed him something that would save his life.
Ok first i must say i never had a cat before, i had dogs, birds, but never a cat so i was totally "ignorant" of anything to do with a cat and much less with a kitten.
Searching up on the internet i found that u could make some homemade milk replacers because regular cow's milk is a big NO NO. Contrary to what everyone thinks, cats are intolerant to cow milk and specially babies could die from a dieherrea if u feed them, it also doesnt have the amount of protein it needs to make the kitten grow up healthy. Since its impossible to find a vet in my country that sells Cat milk replacer formula i looked up and found some homemade recipes that will work just fine.

                                          me feediing my baby...yuum he liked it!

I found out 4 different milk formulas u could feed a kitten, but this one is the one that i went for and so on my baby is growong strong and healthy.

Kitten Milk Replacement Homemade Formula:
  • 250 cc organic non GM soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon of salad oil (i'm using raisin oil) 
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 1 teaspoon of greek yogurt (non sweetened)
  • 1 or 2 drops of pedriatic vitamins for animals (optional)
The soy milk and the eggs yolks will provide enough protein for him to grow, the oil (use a clear one without a strong flavour eg: corn or sunflower oil.) will help him for his stools to be easily evacueated and the yougurt will help him with his digestion.  The vitamins will complement on other minerals and things for the growing, but dont worry if u cant find it i didnt feed him the vit all the time.
At week 3 i started using only 1 egg yolk for the formula because he was a bit bigger and stronger. The baby seemed to like it just the same.

It is very demanding to have a baby kitten because they need to be fed, cleaned, help to go potty and caressed. Since mine was so small around 1.5 weeks when i found him, i had to feed him every 2 hrs,
at week 2 i fed him every 4 hours and now after week 3 he's been fed every 6 hrs.. usually the baby will wake up and start crying because he wants to eat.
After each meal he has to be degased; yes like a human baby, you have to grab him and gently pat him on the back or stomach, i also rubbed his tummy in circles and it helped him burp too!

The feeding figures for my kitten were the following:

   Week           Feeding              Quantity
   1.5            every 2 hrs               20 cc
     2             every  4 hrs              40 cc
     3             every   6 hrs             60 cc
     4             every 6 hrs               60 - 70 cc