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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bailey, feisty survivor kitten, now looking for a forever home!



Bailey wants to rule the world! Or at least, your home!

Okay, so she does have her docile moments.

Posing for a portrait





Eyeing a target...




...Inspecting her target, our Scooter!




But she definitely has an "I'm plotting some mischief" face on her very often!

"Yum. What's next?"




"I have a plan to rule the world. Don't bug me."




"Kissy kiss? Let me think about it."




And you can guess what happened after these images were captured...

Get ready...




Prone self...




Practise how to scale 'wall'




Attack! "I don't care how big you are!"
Bailey was rescued from Kembangan at the age of just over 3 weeks old. Her rescuer didn't know how to care for her and her brother Sal so she sent them to SPCA. At the time, Bailey was having cat flu' which usually means euthanasia for them at SPCA. So our volunteers bailed them out and brought them to ours. Unfortunately, Bailey's brother Sal was very small and weak and he died of fading kitten syndrome (FKS).

With immunity supplements, flu' remedies and topical application of Terramycin to her runny eyes, Bailey recovered from the flu' and got vaccinated at the age of 9 weeks old. Since then she has suffered no post-vaccination symptoms.

We also trained her to eat dry food on its own, as well as drink water from a bowl. Now she no longer needs canned food throughout the day! Bailey is also very smart: she started using the litter tray from the day she came to our foster home and hasn't stopped since.

Bailey may be playful and cheeky looking but she also has her moments of affection. She helps groom her pen-mate Lenny who is a month younger than she is. She also purrs on human contact when she isn't longing to jump around and play instead. (But yeah, she definitely prefers play right now). She likes to play alone and with other kittens and cats, and she loves to climb and explore.

Bailey is now 10 weeks old, vet-checked and vaccinated, dewormed, free of fleas and mites, litter trained, able to eat and drink on own.

To adopt Bailey, see right side bar under 'How to adopt' or click here to understand our adoption procedure.

Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7  
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme
Give food at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Echo, a permanent shelter cat?

"I might have to stay here for a long time!"
Echo-baby has her looks against her, no matter how dazzling her personality is. She is loving, purring, playful, obedient, sociable - a perfect cat. But she has that scarred eye that works against her getting a forever home, even though she can see perfectly well. It may be because the market for adopters who love special-needs kitties is shrinking. It may be because Asians don't like tortoiseshell coloured cats. Whatever the reason, no one has asked to adopt her, we can't release her as a stray as she was rescued at a young age, we don't euthanise cats just because they are taking up space - so, Echo is likely going to be a long-term overstayer in our foster home, more than she already has been.

The possibility of Echo getting adopted grows slimmer by the day as she grows older, so she has age working against her too. We may have to accept the fact that we will have to keep caring for her for a long time.

If you have already been spreading the word about Echo's need for a forever home, thank you.

But we need more than that while we wait for responses to our calls for an adopter for Echo.

Having long-term shelter cats requires sustainability for us. This means that Love Kuching Project needs a constant income stream to make sure we can keep up the care of long-term shelter cats.

What can you do to help us achieve sustainability?

We need an increase in regular giving through standing instructions. This will help us because instead of worrying about our finances every time we are in a deficit or in debt and having to call for gifts, we can worry less because we have a steady income stream from automated monthly giving.

How you can do this:

Assuming you are a DBS internet banking user, here is how you can set up a standing instruction to give monthly to Love Kuching Project. Log in to your account online and click on the circled links shown in the graphics below -



This will lead you to a page where you can fill in the details such as our bank account - POSB Savings 188-52652-7, and how much you want to give monthly (no amount is too small). When you come to the part which says payee name, we are unsure as to whether the bank means it is for your reference or it requires the actual account holders' names - to be safe, put either Chiam Elaine or Koh Zhen Jian. As long as you have got our Love Kuching account number right, the funds will not be accidentally routed to Andy's personal account (and I don't have a POSB account).

The standing instruction set up is likely available on other banks' internet banking websites as well.

Doing this for us will cut down on our need for too-frequent calls for funds and bundle donations, and it also gives us more float financially. This means sustainability for us, and this means we need not worry as much over the fate of long term shelter cats like Echo.

"Thank you for your monthly giving! Am happy!"


Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme
Give food at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our latest favourite kitty shampoo -

Solid Gold Herbal Pet Shampoo

We are on our second bottle of this shampoo and we really like it! The reasons why are simple. We realise that because of the ingredients in this shampoo, such as coconut oil, it makes the kitty's coat shine - without any need for conditioner! We also like the fact that it uses natural ingredients: apart from coconut oil, essential oils such as chamomile and rosemary. We try to stay away from shampoos using synthetic ingredients to prevent allergic reactions, so this shampoo really tops our list.

Ingredient list:
  • Coconut Oil
  • Chamomile
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Nettles
  • Myrrh
  • Red Clover Blossoms
  • Yarrow Flowers
  • Pennyroyal Oil
Does it smell nice? It smells a bit like herbal tea, and a little bit spicy and woody.

As for showering your cat - how often should you do it? Cats should not be bathed more frequently than once in 2 weeks as their skin will tend to dry out. We do make exceptions to this rule for special cases, like for baby kittens learning to eat and getting dried food stains all over themselves, kittens with diarrhoea soiling or for kittens needing skincare shampoo (see next paragraph).

We also have 2 other shampoos in our grooming cache for special uses. A flea shampoo we use on all new arrivals before we pen them in kindles - currently we are using Troy Petgloss but we also like Biogroom Flea and Tick Shampoo. Both use pyrethins as the active ingredient which we like, as it is natural without causing allergic reactions in cats. Our other special use shampoo is Pyoben, which contains benzoyl peroxide for aiding healing in skin problems and wounds. We use it on kitties with problems like cat acne, fur loss from parasites or allergies, abrasions, abscesses, surgical wounds. You probably don't have to have these special use shampoos unless the need arises or you are a fosterer.

If you need a bottle of cat shampoo and weren't sure which one to buy, we hope our recommendation helps!

Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme
Give food at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Emma has been adopted!

Emma the little princess kitty is now a Tiong Bahru resident, new kitty daughter of Sofin and Rafi!

Happy parents and Emma's typical haughty face
Emma is Sofin and Rafi's first cat together as a married couple. Sofin grew up with cats but not Rafi, so we counseled him to make sure he becomes a good kitty Daddy! Emma let him hold her and we told Rafi that he should take over litter box duties when Sofin gets pregnant, just as a precaution. We also made sure both parents were aware of Emma's food and litter needs, as well as veterinary information.

Yay for Emma and her new parents!

Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7  
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme
Give food at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Orphan kitties, no shelter space, Twitter, and a foster parent emerges

Last week we received a call from Gerald and Nicole about a few 2 week old kittens they found orphaned at East Coast Park. They called us to ask if we could shelter and rehabilitate them but we couldn't - Lenny was having the flu' (his siblings have passed away, Gerri had severe flu' before she died). Lenny's pen, the ICU with a heated pad, is the pen we use to keep baby kittens in, and getting the rescues to share the pen with Lenny and Bailey, would either kill the rescues or jeopardise Lenny and Bailey's health.

So we had to give our standard response to the couple who found them, explaining we couldn't shelter them, that their best bet was to go through Cat Welfare Society's Special Appeals for fosterers - which has a very high response rate (kudos to the cat angels).

I then also shared the situation on my own personal account on Twitter, and one of our Twitter followers Aishah who also follows me on my account, said she didn't mind fostering the babies, although she couldn't keep them and will be rehoming them. Immediately I linked up Gerald with Aishah so he could have another alternative to solving the rescues' fostering situation.

Turns out, cat-loving passers by had offered to take in one each of the kittens and only one little boy was left. Aishah took over the fostering of the little boy the next day.

He kept mewing when he first arrived
Tabby kitten with white socks
Was quite frail when he first arrived
Aishah tweeted that the little boy was refusing milk at first and also didn't poop or pee for nearly 2 days until after his foster mommy kept up with stimulating him to eliminate. He also has fleas which they are using a flea comb to help get out. Have told Aishah also that if she needed any foster care supplies she can come around get some of ours. So far she has been doing an amazing job!

We are glad this story turned out well. It is noble of Aishah to respond to my tweet about a case we couldn't take on, and offered herself as a foster parent instead. And wow Twitter followers - you guys are really hardcore and make a huge difference!

Eventually, when this little boy can be weaned off milk, do contact Aishah over Twitter if you are interested to adopt. He will also be posted on CWS adoption site when he is ready. (Unless Aishah's parents fall in love with the little kitty and allows him to become a part of the family. It happens!)

Hope this inspiring story makes you want to be a foster parent too!

Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme
Give food at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

More about Feliway and why your cats need it

If you have visited our foster home you might not have noticed this little gadget called the Feliway diffuser in our foster lounge unless we point it out to you and tell you what it does. Well, here's more. Because we often get questions on how to solve cats' behavioural issues, stress issues that lead to illnesses, or how to integrate a new cat into the home. So here is how Feliway works - and believe us, it makes a whole lot of difference. 

What the Feliway diffuser does is that it diffuses feline pheromones that mimicks the cats' own scent. Cats mark their territories by leaving their scent around, through activities like scratching objects or rubbing themselves against them. Their litter box activities also leave their scent. For us, because we often have new cats coming in, we need the Feliway diffuser for two important purposes. Firstly, to make new kitties feel safe in our foster home, and secondly, to minimise stress (that might lead to illness) on the existing cats, and/or aggressive behaviour.

How it will work for your cats will depend on what scenario your household is facing. We will list out as many as we can:
  • You are going to be undergoing a change in schedule, leaving for a work trip or are having major stresses at work or even in your human relationships. Your cats will feel your stress or absence. Having Feliway increases your cats' sense of security and minimises any symptoms of stress such as constipation, refusing to eat, depression, inappropriate urination. 
  • You are going to bring a new (adopted!) cat home regardless of whether you have no cats or many cats at home already. Having Feliway plugged in makes your new kitty feel at home, and not hide under the sofa, exhibit stress or aggression issues, or withhold eating, drinking and going to the litterbox. If you have other cats, Feliway would also minimise their stress at having a new kitty share their territory with them. Without Feliway, your other cats may also exhibit stress and aggression issues even if you do a step-by-step integration of the new cat.
  • The ideal ratio of litterboxes per cat is one per cat plus one more. So if you have 4 cats (like we do) you need 5 litterboxes. Our cats have 1 and a 'half' which they share with the free-roaming foster kittens, usually 2-5 of them, that also have 1 and a 'half'. We obviously don't have the space right now to pile on more litterboxes around the house. Cats are finicky about clean toilets, so how do we not have inappropriate elimination around the house all the time? Feliway is the answer. Because the cats don't feel the need to spread their individual scents around with Feliway diffused throughout the foster home.
  • Angsty kitty? Sometimes, especially when you only have one cat or have cats that aren't very companionable towards each other i.e. they don't play together, there is a build-up of excess energy in your cat. Cats, as predators, exhaust their energy through hunting and suchlike activities, and when they don't have this outlet, especially if you don't have the time to devote daily play time with your cat, your cat may manifest this excessive energy by being destructive. Perhaps he may run across tables and knock all manner of things over, or he may even decide to attack you when you want to pet him. The best solution would include getting a suitable playmate for him - one that matches his energy level - or devoting more time to playing with him every day. If neither is possible in the immediate term, you need Feliway to calm him down so his destructive and aggressive behaviour can be calmed down in the meantime.
  • Inappropriate stropping - "Kitty, why be you not scratch on scratching post but on the sofa instead?!" Sounds familiar? Cats strop not only to keep their claws from overgrowing, but also to leave their scent behind on the item they strop on. If your cat persistently scratches on the furniture, Feliway can help minimise kitty's need to strop on every single inviting surface in the house. You then also need to recondition kitty's behaviour with a loud 'No!' when she strops on the furniture, and carry her to the scratching post. When she strops on the post, tell her she is a good cat. Diffuse the Feliway in the room where the stropping on wrong surfaces occurs the most.
So if you are experiencing any of the above, you know you definitely need a Feliway diffuser in the home. Personally we also recommend it to help relax your kitty in general. Cats tend to fall ill when they are stressed or unhappy. Having Feliway diffused around the house helps keep kitty healthy as well.

There is also the Feliway spray. We find this less of an essential than the diffuser but there is a targeted use for the spray as well. However, we recommend that the Feliway spray be used in tandem, not in exclusion of, the Feliway diffuser. This is even if you have only one cat.

The Feliway spray is used for inappropriate elimination: peeing or pooing or both, outside the litter box. To make sure kitty does not do it again, you need to disinfect AND deodourise the area which kitty eliminated on. Use bleach, baking soda, white vinegar, enzyme cleaners, etc. After making sure there should be completely no more smell on that area, spray the Feliway spray on it. Make sure you cover the surface entirely, every square inch of it. We say this because, without covering the area completely, your cat is going to play hopscotch and find an area to pee or poo on that is not covered with the Feliway spray. Combine this strategy with the Feliway diffuser in the room that kitty always does it outside the box - we suggest this because we have had feedback that the spray alone doesn't always work even when there is only 1 cat. If this room does not have a litter box, place one there, preferably on or as close to the area where he did it wrongly. Use training techniques - 'Good boy' when he does it in the box, 'No' or 'Bad kitty!' immediately after or during the act of improper elimination itself. Also consider changing the kind of litter that he is using, particular if the current one is scented with artificial smells.

(Do note that besides the above measures, first and foremost you need to verify your cat is not having a urinary tract related disorder).

There are other methods and products that you can apply to ease your kitty's stress but Feliway is always the first item we recommend. If you would like other ideas after trying these out, let us know, we will blog it all out, or email Elaine at elaine@lovekuchingproject.org.

Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7  
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme
Give food at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adopt: Emma

Emma is ready for a forever home!
Emma and her long tail
Emma, one of the Whiteys rescued from Woodlands and rehabilitated from sicknesses, is now ready for adoption!

Emma has lost that few strands of grey fur, and is now a white cat. She has a long white tail with no kink.

Her personality is really interesting. She likes humans and will talk to us and even lick or kiss us, a bit like her sister Ellis (adopted), just quieter a tad. She likes to cuddle with humans or the other kittens and especially likes younger kittens, but does not really get along all that well with older cats: she doesn't like to lose in play-fights at all, and makes a lot of noise when she gets wrestled and loses. Yet at the same time, she shows no hard feelings after the hissy fits she throws at other cats like our Sealy or at Winky (who loves to initiate play-fights). She gets along most well with Echo -

Emma squeezes in with a sleepy Echo
Here are some more pictures of Emma -

Portrait
Sometimes-haughty expression!
Her cute swishy straight tail

Emma is litter-trained, able to eat both wet and dry food, vaccinated, dewormed, vet-checked, healthy.

To adopt Emma, see right side bar under 'How to adopt' or click here.

Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7  
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme  
Give food at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lenny, Kerri, Tattoo and Gerri

3wk old kittens abandoned at Lengkong Tiga
Our Sterilisation Volunteer @wisheswithwings's cousin found 4 kittens in a box in a playground at Lengkong Tiga where she lives. Upon investigation, they found out that the kittens, originally 5 of them, were dumped there away from the coffeeshop nearby, where there is a resident whose cat is the mother of the kittens. The caregiver of the area who first spotted the kittens, has been unable to get this mother cat sterilised like the others in the estate already are. The rescuers brought the kittens home and started looking for fosterers as they is unable to foster and there was parental disapproval.

4 out of 5 siblings that had remained in the box
The kittens were having slight flu' symptoms, weren't very adept at eating and needed to be bottle-fed - especially the weakest one, Tattoo - named so because he has a heart-shaped mark -

Tattoo's heart-shaped tattoo
We penned the 4 siblings with Bailey in the ICU pen - Bailey is stronger now immunity-wise, after pumping her with supplements, so we can take the risk of penning them together safely.

Clockwise from bottom: Kerri, Tattoo, Lenny, Gerri
They are now on a supplement regimen with both wet food and milk, and kept warm by the heating pad. Bailey has been playing with them. More updates on them when they get better!


Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7  
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme
Give food at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Love Kuching's Spay Day participation

Cat Welfare Society held Spay Day 2011 on October 28 and Love Kuching was invited to take part by Veron, their vice-president. So we went into a trapping frenzy the nights before!

Went trapping at midnight
We went to a previous TNRM project site to trap the cats that we missed out on and the kittens that have finally matured - Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 1, where we conducted 3 rounds of TNRM. The cats that we wanted to trap for Spay Day were mainly at the micro-site we covered during our 3rd round there.

We trapped a total of 6 cats, including the roving tomcat that eluded us during the 3rd round!

Here are some pictures of the trapping process -

Andy and Damy setting the traps

Waiting for the cats to approach the traps




Bingo! Cat appears and eventually was trapped.
Trapping a cat hiding behind this dustbin






After trapping the 6 cats from this micro-site, Martine the caregiver went to look for the cats we missed out during our previous round 1 and round 2. But they were nowhere to be found. So we called it and settled for 6 cats even though we had more Love Kuching slots for Spay Day.

Here are the 6 cats sent for Spay Day -

Tabby
White/tabby - alpha tomcat
White/tabby
White/tabby
Tabby
White/tabby

And Cat Welfare Society's Spay Day was a success! We are glad we were a part of it this year.


Give financially to our cause by depositing to our bank account POSB savings 188-52652-7  
Sponsor a foster kitten's vaccination through our Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat Scheme
Give food at charity rates through our corporate sponsor The Water Dish 

Pawprints