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Thursday, July 30, 2009

please sterilise

Please sterilise your pet cats at 6 months old. The only exception to the rule is that if your cat is a Siamese cat which may only sexually mature at a later age.

If you wait any longer, you have to deal with the consequences of unwanted pregnancies, sexual health problems, anti-social behaviours such as running away or urinating around the house. Mating, pregnancy or childbirth does not make a cat's life more meaningful in any way.

One of the kids in the neighbourhood, Ashraf, who is a proud owner of both pedigree and local cats, recently had 2 of his cats brought to the doctor for sterilisation.

The cats were already both pregnant, because the sterilisation was planned too late, and Ashraf's mother decided against terminating both cats' pregnancies. Hence both cats carried their litters to full term.

The result of which is 2 litters of kittens, the first of whom we saw yesterday. This first litter of kittens are about 4 to 6 weeks old, 2 of them are black and white, the other 2 are tabby and white.

Because the pregnancies are unplanned and Ashraf's cat family is already complete, the kittens will need to be re-homed.




The cats are very active, and have already begun to eat solid food. They have round eyes, and thick fur, and full-length tails. There are 2 boys and 2 girls. Contact us if you would like to provide an unwanted kitten a new home.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

chicken!

Today I cooked the most awesome batch of homemade cat food.

Using half a chicken, skinned, I simmered it in some apple and cranberry juice, with a dash of rosemary leaves, over a slow fire. I then removed the meat from the bones and poured the resulting broth into the meat, stirring in one egg. When the meat cooled I placed it in the fridge.

The cooling process turned the broth into jelly because of the chicken fats, and the meat is superbly flavoured. I tried it myself when it was just cooked, it was delicious.

The cats love it. Yes, even Sayang.

Compared to chicken breast alone, the meat is extremely rich in protein because of the thigh, drumstick, wing parts (muscle meat contains more protein). The only trouble was removing the skin before cooking and the meat after. But it was worth the effort seeing them enjoy good food.

After their dinner both Sayang and Scooter were hyperactively playing about, they had so much energy to burn, thanks to the protein. I had to give both of them supper and they loved the repeat serving of the chicken served with their kibbles. Oh, and also they hungrily lapped up the milk I put alongside their suppers. And so did Slinky, but she had no supper since she didn't exercise.

Monday, July 27, 2009

update on Sammy

Sammy has been successfully adopted by Ili and her family in Tampines. Her entire family has fallen in love with the kitten and has renamed him Mika. Thank you Ili for giving Mika a new home!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sayang the art critic

Our cat tree has been more heavily used lately since we have been fostering Sammy. Often I find one or two cats snoozing on the tree. Sayang has also taken to going to the top tier of the cat condo so she can have some personal time to herself.

She also seems to enjoy the paint sketches of mine hung on the wall.

In fact, she sat there and stared at them for very, very long...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

shitty

Sammy is a great cat to keep: he is easy-going, even-tempered, not picky with food, not overly attention-seeking. He however has one weird habit - he seems to think that cloth surfaces = extra litter box. So far he has tried to pee once on a floor mat, successfully pooed on it as well, and he has shat on my sofa and cushion. And he still has watery stools, so cleaning up after him has been... fun. That is if you enjoy Dettol and cleaning detergents in a weird way. I hope the anti-diarrhoea medicine works (I got my stash of it back from Aswat) or else I really will go obsessive-compulsively cleaning every day. Luckily most of his business is still done in the litter box. It seems to be true they say, that kittens can be litter trained from 6 weeks of age - Sammy should be about 6 weeks old now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

that white Siamese kitty


Little Creamy is still in the shop. She was one of a pair of Siamese-Persian kittens that came to the shop; her brother has been adopted.

She is turning out to be a real show-cat in the making. Proud of her pedigree lineage, she grooms herself a lot, and enjoys sitting still in a box or in the corner of her pen, as if she were in a cat show! We notice that her fur is becoming more and more soft and luxurious.

If you are keen on a cross-breed pedigree kitten that loves sitting pretty, Creamy really needs a new home. Do contact us if you are keen. (A small adoption fee will be required to cover her boarding costs at the shop.)

big boy scooter!

At 3 months old, Scooter can already fill the dining chair that all our cats (especially Slinky) love to snooze on. When he is in the mood to be affectionate, he can fill my lap. He is also extremely heavy and can be tricky to carry with just one hand. I am starting to notice the rolls of fat around his neck, like Sayang got when she finally put on weight on Taste of the Wild and canned food.

Apart from genetics - he is the male firstborn (likely) - he also eats a lot of canned food and cooked food that is basically protein, also he eats many times a day, and he plays and sleeps a lot as well; all these add up to a bulky cat.

We really want him to be a big boy! Male tom cats are so handsome because of their size and muscles. Andy and I often admire the stray cats that are huge and handsome, and now we have one in the making right in our own home. If he weren't picky with his food, he would be even bigger.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sammy is a-ok!

Edit: Sammy is all right now. The anti-histamines worked, so his facial swelling is definitely allergies of some kind. I have narrowed it down to two possibilities - one is prawns, which was one of the ingredients in cream sauce I made with the chicken for the cats, secondly could be dust or dust mites, as Sammy was found swollen after he came out from snoozing behind the refrigerator (where I cannot clean). I was extremely worried for him, but Sammy is extremely resilient and stayed strong and active throughout his allergy flare-up. Thank God he is okay now.

We couldn't make it to the vet today. I gave Sammy some anti-histamines and his swelling has subsided - hope it gets better by tomorrow.

His diarrhoea is back again - looks like he has to go back on pure solid food, no milk, no cooked food. His allergy might be food allergy, so by scaling down his food variety might help eliminate the cause of his allergy, as well as help his poo to solidify again.

Hopefully he gets well in time to go to his new home.

ill

Sammy has suddenly fallen ill. His eyes are swollen - imagine someone with a seafood allergy. I am not sure if he is allergic to something, it could be dust? He decided to sleep behind the refrigerator earlier, it is dusty behind it. It might be the our cats' antacid which I medicated him earlier today. It might be the food. It might simply be just too much rough-housing with Scooter and Sammy injured his eyes.

I am very worried, and I am still waiting for Andy to come home so we can rush Sammy to the vet. In the meantime I have cleaned Sammy's face and eyes with saline solution and fed him plain water to drink.

found someone!


Thanks to reader lli who read about Sammy on this blog, who is interested in giving Sammy a permanent, loving home. Lli lost her cat to old age early this year, and I am certain that a kitten will bring joy to her family. She is coming to see Sammy this Sunday.

Sammy has been getting along well with Scooter - both are now firm friends, playing together. Through Scooter, Sammy has been learning to wrestle, pounce, and hunt. Great teacher, Scooter! They even eat side-by-side (which is unusual for Scooter)!


As for his health, Sammy's diarrhoea was indeed due to worms. After de-worming him 2 days ago, his diarrhoea has gone away, and now his poo is slightly better. I rehydrated him for the past 2 days to replace the water lost through his diarrhoea, as he was feeling warm to the touch, and he was placed on a strict dry diet the whole of Tuesday. This morning I just fed him with 0.5ml of antacid which is used for treating digestive problems like constipation, diarrhoea and bloating.

Thankfully he is not picky like Scooter, and was able to eat a lot despite dry food being less palatable. In fact, he even eats the kibbles from the other cats bowls if they have leftovers. Because the Royal Canin we have at home is for adult cats, I supplemented his diet with homecooked chicken so that he can get more protein as he is very skinny (though fatter now since the night we first saw him).

He also enjoys the milk we bought for him, although I should probably restrict his milk intake until his poo solidifies. But he really enjoys it.

Now that the cats have integrated and Sammy is no longer sleeping in the carrier, his favourite sleeping place in our house is in the laundry basket, which despite being quite tall he managed to get into for the past few nights. Otherwise, he enjoys sleeping next to us in bed, or at the base of our cat tree.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

milk

We bought Cosi Pet's Milk for our cats, namely Sammy whom we are fostering. The cats love it! Even Scooter, who used to resist milk when he was between 4 to 8 weeks old.

Cosi Pet's Milk is sold at Angels Pet Shop for $4.50 a 1L carton. Deelish!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

update on the siamese kitties

The couple that initially agreed to take the chocolate Siamese and the female white Siamese kitten have changed their mind.

The male white Siamese kitten has however been successfully adopted by a loving family.

Another owner been found for the chocolate Siamese kitten and he will be bringing her home soon.

update on Hobbes and his brother

Hobbes and his brother have been returned to the car-park where they live with their mother.

abandoned!

On Saturday night Aswat found a small young kitten abandoned in the garden area in our neighbourhood. We know it was dumped there, because there are no female cats in the area that are not sterilised, and we have never seen this kitten before.

Only about 5 weeks old, he was found extremely skinny, and very dirty. It seems as though he has been scrounging around in rubbish as his face area was black, and his paws looked as if he had been trodding on cigarette ash.

Because the cats in the pet shop are not feeling well and because there are already a lot of homeless cats there, we decided to foster this kitten.

He was really very dirty, here is our sink after we showered him:


After showering him, twice, and cleaning his paws and ears, we wrapped him in a warm towel (heated up from the microwave). Here he is snuggled in our cat carrier.

He is totally orange with tabby markings, and a small bib of white fur. His eyes are Oriental ( slant-eyed as opposed to round) and his face is triangular. His tail is short, about half the length of a normal cat-tail.

Looking at him when he first came, it really broke my heart. He is so skinny and was even shivering when we had to shower him, even though we used hot towels. He looks at us as if he is trying to convey to us that he is really grateful, and wouldn't fall asleep until I tucked him in and left when he dozed off. In fact, while he was sleeping, I saw him moving his paws and mouth as if kneading and drinking milk. He must miss his mommy. When it is our bedtime, he chooses to sleep next to Andy or me.

We observed him to see if he was sick. He has no flu or fever, but was merely dehydrated and starved. He doesn't even have fleas or ear mites, though just in case, we used a small portion of flea shampoo to bathe him, and baby oil to clean his ears. He has no visible injuries. And he has a good appetite. In fact, unlike Scooter, he enjoys dry food, which makes him really easy to feed.

Today, I just dewormed him, as he has been having diarrhoea since last night, plus he is very skinny and weak, likely to have worms. Thankfully he is fully litter-trained already, and has not pooed anywhere but the cat toilets.

He has this really gentle personality. When we first fed him, he meowed before he ate, like as if saying, "Wow! Yummy! Thanks!" When the cats in our house were hostile upon his arrival, he did not exhibit any kind of anti-social behaviour by hiding in weird spots, or shitting everywhere, or breaking things. He just sits still, allowing the other cats to scope him out. When cleaning him, or cutting his nails, or feeding him rehydration fluid etc., he doesn't struggle, and gently complies. By today, we no longer need to keep him inside the carrier to separate the cats. He is now playing happily with Scooter.

While he is staying with us, I have decided to name him Sammy. I found a cat collar too, to put on him so that we can find him easily with a bell - being so small, and the same colour as our floors.

Sammy and Scooter are different in personality, even though both are kittens with just one month apart in age. Scooter is aggressive and likes to growl a lot, is picky with his food, and he is extremely big-sized for his age. Sammy is gentle and less vocal, and plays less rough, and is very easy-going when it comes to food and bad tempers from our cats.

Can you tell that I have already fallen in love with Sammy?

Andy says we cannot keep him, that 3 cats is really the max for now, otherwise the other cats won't get enough attention from us. My chief concern is Sayang: Scooter is her playmate, and she is very needy when it comes to attention and affection. So for the past few days I gave her some one-to-one time, playing with her alone, or cuddling her, and that made her happy. I also gave her some pet milk to drink, on top of her meals. She has come to tolerate Sammy's presence already. Slinky is quite oblivious to Sammy, having already observed him and given him one of her Slinky-hisses. But Slinky being Slinky, she cannot really be bothered by Sammy at all, even when they play around her as she lies down to snooze.

Sammy is really special, and he needs a really caring human owner. Contact us if you are interested.

Friday, July 17, 2009

another scooter video!



Scooter likes sleeping on our clothes on the floor or in the laundry basket. I took a pair of my shorts and played peekaboo with him! Looks like he also likes the shiny phone camera!

another batch of homemade cat food!

This one is a HIT! Why I know this, is because Sayang absolutely lapped it up! I tested it out on Slinky at first, of course - she is my morale booster - and Scooter scooted along and lapped hers up too! So all three cats have approved this batch of cat food! I am pleased with self.

Ingredients:
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
200gm of salmon bones
250gm of chicken breast, chopped
1 egg
5 sp. Animalac Pet Milk powder
Cranberry and Apple juice

Boil the salmon bones and sweet potato together in just a little water to create a broth. Marinade the chicken in cranberry and apple juice. Remove the salmon bones from the broth to clean out the meat. Set the salmon flesh aside. Place the chicken in the broth to boil. Pour in the juice marinade. Replace the salmon into the broth. Remove off the heat. Stir in 1 egg and 5 spoons of pet milk powder. While stirring, ensure that no bones are left in the broth, and that all the meat is bite-sized. Voila! Chicken in sweet potato and salmon broth!

When dispensing the broth into a container, double-check again for bones. Served when cooled, and refrigerate un-used portion. Enjoy, kitties!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sadness!

Aswat just contacted the Acana supplier today and told us that they are not importing the range for cats into Singapore.

Looks like we have to stick to our diets.

Scooter bit Sayang! Hard!

While in their day-to-day play-hunting they bite and wrestle with one another, I found that Sayang has a patch of fur missing from her ear - Scooter must be the culprit!

At least I don't have to worry about Slinky losing fur from playing; she doesn't play with Scooter at all.

Sayang is very obliging towards Scooter, allowing him to play with her even when she just wants to rest - which she usually indicates by sleeping in her basket or in some corner under the TV cabinet.

I thought that Sayang didn't know how to say no to Scooter, so I tried to stop them for playing for a while, but it turns out that Sayang wants to play with him too! So, I guess I will just leave them to it.

ali-cats!

Here are better pictures of Ali's 3 kittens, one of whom has already been adopted. There are two remaining. This one is the female one:


Her fur is like the foam on cappuccino! White with brown tips. Her brother is white with lesser brown tips. Both of them are Oriental short-hair types, which mean they will be skinny with long legs and angular faces.

This is her brother, on Andy's lap:


Quite hard to tell them apart except for the colouring. Both their temperaments are similar too. At their current home, they tend to be loyal to their favourite human, and take a while to warm up to strangers.

When I hugged the boy-kitten, and stroked him while talking him, he began to warm up a bit and got less scared of the stranger that I was to him.

Both siblings are still living in Ali's house with their dads and mum.

Contact Aswat if you are keen on adopting the kittens.

another siamese kitten


Late last night, somebody dumped this poor kitten outside Angels Pet Shop, and the kitten was found by Auntie Can when she was feeding the Ubi strays close to midnight. Aswat had to rush back to the shop to rescue this kitten; she was screaming away, and is extremely skinny.

This kitten is extremely Siamese; not just by her looks, but also by her temperament - vocal, playful, active.

Thankfully, Aswat's customer is going to adopt her, together with the female cream seal-point kitten, and maybe her brother if no one takes him.




She has a very nice chocolate colour! We are glad she didn't have to suffer being dumped for long.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

update on ali's kitties for adoption


Ali, a customer of Angels Pet Shop, has three of four kittens up for adoption. Their story here.

Aswat was contacted by a prospective owner who may want to adopt them! They are still living in Ali's house, so we don't yet really know much of their temperament nor have very good pictures of them. There are three cat pens in Angels Pet Shop, which are all occupied at the moment.

Andy and I often try to socialise kittens that will be adopted, so that they will make good domestic cats when they grow up. So we visit the cats in Angels every night, playing with them, giving them attention and human company. We hope to see Ali's cats again soon!

update on the orange brothers

Hobbes' brother is really affectionate. He wants to be let out of his cage, and thereafter enjoys sitting on my lap and kneading. He seems to be recovering well from his flu, and will finish his medication in another three days.

Hobbes still looks weak, sitting in his pen, sleeping next to his brother for warmth.

In one week's time he will finish his course of meds, and hopefully be fully recovered.

switching food soon!

Angels Pet Shop is bringing in Acana, which is one of the brands produced by the company that also owns Orijen, one of the popular premium cat foods in the market.

Our Royal Canin Fit 32 is finishing soon. We are probably going to switch if Acana passes the taste test of our cats, especially Sayang's.

There are a few reasons why we want to switch.

Acana is contains better ingredients - Prairie Feast contains free-range chickens, whole eggs, wild-caught fish - and is grain-free and preservative-free. Yet it is a balanced meal that will suit all three of our cats. Better ingredients, slightly higher protein, and in a similar price range. With Acana, we can eliminate the dodgy ingredients in RC Fit 32 like corn and 'chicken flavour' without costing us a bomb, and we won't need to replenish our Taste of the Wild which is expensive without discount.

The fact that they do money-back guarantees is cool too. Hopefully we can get a sample for our pickiest cat Sayang to try.

Now all we need is for the stock to come in before our RC and Taste of the Wild runs out. Yummy!

Siamees kittees - update

The Siamese kittens might have a new owner soon! There are already two prospective owners who have contacted Aswat, one of them is his personal contact, the other is a reader of this blog.

They seem to be doing fine, just that they might not have been fed good food in their previous home (probably Friskies etc.); when switched to Royal Canin and A Pro, they got a bit of diarrhoea. Thankfully I got some diarrhoea medicine for them.

They are quite docile - feeding them tablets was easy, and they seem to be fine with human contact as well as other cats that are in the shop. Looks like they will make good domestic cats.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Horrors!

We just heard that a family in our neighbourhood dumped their five kittens in their void deck.

And they got these kittens from adoption postings found on the internet.

Although our cat community feeders will feed them, this is still cruel and inhumane to the point where I am sickened beyond description.

Please don't allow cats into your home only to drive them out again. If for whatever reason you cannot keep your cats, re-home them. Dumping is not a solution, especially if they have been raised domesticated, and if you have personally chosen to adopt them yourself.

Adoption is for a lifetime.

Will go and look for these kittens tomorrow.

eternal love

After neutering, Daddy cat still hangs out a lot with Mommy cat. Seems like their love is more than just physical...

Daddy cat is still a scaredy-cat, but he roams a slightly smaller area now, and we see him a little more these days, either in front of or behind our block. He also came to our house to eat from the cat feeding 'station' we have outside our flat.

Last night we heard some caterwauling, not sure if it was him, Mommy cat or some other new cat. Hopefully in a couple of weeks' time when his hormones stabilise, it will be a peaceful, safe and quiet neighbourhood for this loving couple, and for us humans.

Siamese kitties!

Edit: The male kitten has been adopted.

There is a very cute pair of kittens that we met last night. They are born of a Siamese mother and a Persian father, with their Siamese genes very dominant. Both are white with light blue eyes, with a cream seal-point.

Here they are, brother and sister, at ~15weeks old.



In this pic you can see the cream seal-point ears, which will become more prominent when they grow older:



Unfortunately Andy's phone seems to have flash permanently turned on, so the photos aren't that great. Will post better ones soon.

The story behind these kittens: They are born of a litter of three, to a family in Ubi. The family has kept one of the kittens and have put up these two for adoption. They are now at Angels Pet Shop.

The female kitten is a creamy white with softer fur, whereas the male one is a bluish white, with more Siamese type of fur. He is also the more sociable one, and is slightly more vocal.

It is best if both are adopted together: Siamese cats, even cross-breeds, need a lot of attention and company.

more pics of Hobbes

"Hi there, I'm Hobbes, also known as Tigger (a bouncy tiger whom I hope I will be like when I am well again) as well as Wang Wang! I don't really have a name, just like I don't really have a nice home. But these people here are taking good care of me. I wish one of them will take me home!"

"I am sick, but I think I might get better. I can run even though my leg is broken! But I am scared of those mean looking cars, they break my leg. Mew."



Today we went to visit Hobbes again. He seems to be peeing a lot, which is a good thing for the liver I guess. He is still weak but was able to eat the homemade food we brought him.

Hobbes' brother also came to the shop, because he has flu and is on medication. His brother is livelier, meowing hello and wanted to be near us. It seems like this family of kittens is very sociable, which is very unlike their mother.

Both of them are extremely skinny, literally just fur and bones. Luckily they both ate a lot of the food I cooked for them.

Here they are, Hobbes in front, his brother behind:


When his brother is okay he will be returned back to his territory, which from the looks of it will be soon. As for Hobbes, we hope he pulls through, and if there really is no one who wants to adopt him, he will also return to his shared territory with his brother and mother. Both his brother and mother are already sterilised; Hobbes was not taken in for sterilisation because he is still very weak and small.

Their territory by the way is behind Blk 301, in the drains and rubbish collection areas. The bicycle shop owner leaves some food and water for them in the back and that is where they hang out. Behind this block is the car park, which is probably where Hobbes got into his car accident and got his leg permanently injured.

We are not having high hopes on Hobbes finding a home, and to place him back in the car park may be the only option left, when he is well again.

salt for cats - good or bad? how about fillers?

There is a lot of mixed reviews on certain pet food brands, one of the reasons being the level of salt, and by-products, fillers etc.

So I learnt today from someone on Petschannel.com that Royal Canin is high in salt level, whereas Science Diet is low in salt level. Hence Science Diet > Royal Canin.

I researched the AAFCO nutrition standards and found that cats need a minimum of 0.2% sodium and 0.3% chloride in their daily food intake. Our cat food (RC Fit 32) has 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. There is no prescribed maximum level at the moment.

I also found out that cats that are dehydrated from diarrhoea and vomitting, as well as cats with kidney stones and urinary tract infections are supposed to eat food with higher levels of salt. Dehydrated cats need salt replenishment, and UTI needs the pet to drink more water, which salt causes them to do.

The bad reviews about Science Diet (they are everywhere on the internet), is not so much about the salt level, but about the fillers. These fillers (corn etc.) are actually carbohydrates that the cat cannot process and therefore becomes fats on the cat. I guess that is why many cats that eat SD are usually obese. Cute, but obesity also causes health problems and shortens the cat's life.

Sodium chloride toxicity is actually rare, and more likely to happen because of lack of fresh water, rather than unhealthy levels in pet food.

So in short - salt is okay in cat food, fillers make your cat fat if they are sedentary.

Want a cat that is muscle-heavy instead of fats-heavy? Feed meat, canned food, protein-rich grain-free dry diets.The current brand in the market that has the highest level of protein in their dry diets is Innova Evo. But that is expensive.

Ultimately, find a balance between your cat's requirement, his preference, and your budget.

batch 5 - homemade cat food

Today I went and spent $4.30 on ingredients to make cat food - about 600g worth. That's roughly about 3 cans worth of food for half the price.

The recipe for today is minced chicken with carrots and tuna.


Ingredients:
1 can of tuna
250gm minced chicken
1/2 large carrot
1 egg
2 sp. Animalac Pet Milk






Peel, clean and chop the carrots into very small pieces and place them to boil in just enough water in a pot.
Rinse the minced chicken. When the carrots turn soft, place the minced chicken in, stirring to ensure even cooking.
Stir in 1 egg.
Drain the tuna from the can and stir in the tuna.
Turn off the stove.
Stir in 2 spoons of animal milk powder.
Voila! Cat food!

Slinky's taste test rendered good reviews.

This is the first time I am trying out homemade cat food with carrots. Carrots provide a source of fibre and Vitamin A, as well as gives a sweet taste to the food, so no sugar or salt is required. I however did add a small pinch of salt into the water when I boiled the carrots, to bring out the flavour.

Slinky already has had two helpings of the food! She was greedily sniffing around the kitchen when I was cooking, wondering where the smell of food came from. She is so greedy!


Will try it out on Sayang and Scooter later, and if it passes their taste test too, will probably bring some for poor little orange cat tonight.

:(

(Read about Hobbes in a later post here.)

One of the stray kittens in the area is sick and was spotted by Auntie Can. When brought to the vet, it turns out that this poor kitty has symptoms of jaundice. The vet took an x-ray; the kitten has been found to have a liver problem. :(

This kitten is already very small-sized compared to his siblings. And he has a disabling limp from a car accident not too long ago.

He has been put on a daily antibiotic by the vet, and is now resting at Angels Pet Shop.

Looking at him makes me feel sad...


Come to think of it, doesn't he look a bit like Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes?


We are not sure what caused the liver problem. Apart from obesity, liver problems in cats are most likely caused by the ingestion of toxic plants, chemicals or medication. The only thing I could come up with was that the poor kitty might have picked it up from eating leftover food - and alcohol - from the foreign workers who often gather to eat and drink in that area. I do hope that it is not that serious; seeing that he did not have to be hospitalised and put on an IV drip, I hope that his liver problem is curable. His medical fees have already cost a bomb.

Eventually, unless someone adopts him, he will be put back to his territory. But for now, he is resting at Angels and I secretly do hope someone can take care him properly for the rest of his life - having a limp and being undernourished drastically reduces his chance for survival as it is.

When he is well, we hope he will be back to his usual self - affectionate, gentle, active (despite his limp, he still can walk). He reminds me of Sayang when we first took her back from Angels after a similar rescue story.

If you have room in your heart and home for him, do contact us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

when to feed

After researching about how to feed our cats in the right way, and trying out different schedules, we came to learn that:
  • Cats, built to be natural hunters, are able to subsist on eating an entire prey in one meal, and then going without for the rest of the day, even for a few days. Their digestive system allows them to process a large meal in one go.
  • For the cat owner, this means that you can feed your cat one meal a day.
  • Some cats prefer to eat more than one meal, as this adds interest to their daily activity. You can split your cat's daily ration into more than one meal.
  • To ascertain how many meals and how much at each meal, two factors need to be considered. 1) your daily schedule and availability to feed your cat; 2) how much your cat can eat in one sitting.
  • It is better to encourage your cat to finish his meal than to leave it out, especially for moist or fresh food. It should be left out for your cat for an hour at most, giving your cat time to eat slowly, and preventing deterioration of the food.
  • Dry food manufacturers suggest leaving kibbles for the cat around the clock. As dry food is preserved with chemicals, it does not deteriorate even if exposed for more than an hour, and if it fits yours and your cat's lifestyles, you can allow your cat free choice kibbles round the clock.
  • Feline obesity can cause a lot of health problems, as can excess of vitamins, so be sure not to over-feed your cat.
The usual guidelines we tend to come across in cat care books regarding number of meals:
  • Newborn - milk every 1 - 2 hours
  • From weaning at 4 weeks old - 10 meals a day
  • 5 weeks old - 6 meals a day
  • 10 weeks old - 5 meals a day
  • 20 weeks old - 4 meals a day
  • 30 weeks old - 3 meals a day
  • Between 6 months to 1 year - gradually reduce to 2 meals a day
  • Adult cats - 1 or 2 meals a day
While these guidelines are prescribed across many cat research materials, each cat is different, and having to live with us, cats also need to adhere to our lifestyles and preferences.

At present our 3 cats are fed according to this schedule (updated from the last)
  • Slinky, adult cat: 2 meals a day
  • Sayang, 8 months old: 3 meals a day
  • Scooter, 10 weeks old: 5-6 meals a day
We don't actually starve our cats to fit them into the schedule, but somehow their age and ability to eat in a one meal seems to correlate with the guidelines in our cat textbook, so this is how we feed them. Our cats also 'tell' us when they are hungry, so for our growing boy Scooter, we know when he wants to eat more in one meal, and how often he wants to be fed. This is how we ended up reducing his 10 meals a day to the current 6 - because he is able to eat more in one meal now.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

kitty grass - a great hit!

We have grown two packs of our Marukan grass and placed them in a non-breakable, flat based pot. When they reached full height, we placed it in our cats' feeding area, for them to enjoy and nibble. Here it is:



Surviving quite well despite constant nibbling. We have retired our other plant because it is grown in soil, and the cats can be quite aggressive with it, leaving soil stains on our floor.

While it really is not vital for the cats to have grass to eat, as their food has hairball management and the folic acid they derive from grass, we still like the idea of having cat-friendly plants for them, because it enhances their living environment, and thus their emotional well-being.

Sayang is extremely plant crazy, evidenced by her enthusiasm for any kind of greenery or flowers in the house, and her fondness for the plants and grass outside Angels Pet Shop when we brought her down to walk. Scooter loves it too, after all he grew up among potted plants. A worthy investment, seeing our darlings happy. :)

journey of our cats' toilets

Prior to Scooter's arrival, Slinky and Sayang shared a litter box, in which we used normal sand type of litter, lavender scented, which we buy from Angels at $7 a pack. When Scooter arrived, things changed.

For one, Slinky is extremely clean and neat. She kicks sand off her paws before she exits the litter tray, but Sayang and Scooter just leap out of it, trailing sand litter all over the kitchen floor. So we switched to bigger litter pellets, brands of which are Green Sign and Trustie. They can be seen here:




This is Slinky's very own toilet now, housed in our bathroom. Because she has stopped wanting to share her toilet with Scooter and Sayang. We placed our existing litter tray there, and bought a new one for Sayang and Scooter to share in the kitchen.

We then switched to pine pellets for their litter, which is even better, because it really eliminates odour, and works better with this new litter box, as seen here:




This is the bottom tray, which the top tray filters down to. In this bottom tray, the dust and pee and subsequently the smell is contained below, making it cleaner and less dusty in the top.




And we have a lovely clean-up system too, seen here are the scoops, the broom and dustpan and the air freshener (right) which we use whenever they have just pooped.



This toilet arrangement for our cats will likely be the status quo for a while from now. I can't wait till we buy more cat litter, it really is great!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

managing the recently neutered males

Andy and I don't regularly feed the strays in our area except for special needs cases such as cats who are sick, young, nursing or pregnant. So we don't really know the whereabouts of every cat in our area.

We did try to look for the recently neutered males though. Uncle cat was nowhere to be found and Sayang's brother is often in hiding (and black in colour, hard to see him).

We saw Daddy cat, still roaming about, solo. We are not sure if he and Mommy cat are still together.

We saw Ah Bee cat - still peeing indiscriminately! Aswat educated us on this: male cats still have remnants of their hormones even after neutering (like Ali's cats). It will take about a month before the hormones wear off. By which time, they will stop their territorial pee-marking and will be unable to mate and impregnate female cats.

We hope that with these males sterilized, they will be like their other neutered male counterparts who are often found in the same area, instead of roaming about (and getting into accidents and fights). This way, the neighbourhood cat feeders will be able to feed them more easily and regularly, and we will have lesser wounds to dress from fights. And eventually, the shop owners will find lesser pee-smells in front of their shops.

our updated cat faves in food



Royal Canin Fit 32 - Cat Food for the active adult cat with outdoor access (1 – 10 years)

Cats with outdoor access need a nutritional answer that has a higher calorie supply to match their higher activity level. Also, the cat with outdoor access can come into contact with other animals or parasites that can put her immune system under heavy stress. Since she also spends time indoors grooming herself, she also needs nutrition that helps manage hairballs.

Crude Protein: 32.0%
Crude Fat: 14.0%
Crude Fiber: 5.8%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, corn, corn gluten meal, chicken, chicken fat, natural chicken flavor, pea fiber, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), rice hulls, dried brewers yeast, soya oil, anchovy oil (source of EPA/DHA), calcium sulfate, salt, potassium chloride, DL-methionine, dried brewers yeast extract (source of mannan-oligosaccharides), dried egg product, choline chloride, taurine, monosodium phosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, Vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, biotin, riboflavin (vitamin B2) supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], Trace Minerals [zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), preserved with natural mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E) and citric acid, rosemary extract.

We buy our Royal Canin from Angels Pet Shop at 15kg for $158 (before discount).



Taste of the Wild - Rocky Mountain Feline Formula with Roasted Venison & Smoked Salmon
  • For All Life Stages
  • Grain-Free
  • Roasted Venison & Smoked Salmon
  • Optimal Amino Acids
  • Digestive Support System
  • Antioxidants
  • Omega Fatty Acid Blend
  • Berry Blend
  • Taurine
  • Tomatoes
  • No Corn, No Soy, No By-Products
  • Chelated Minerals
A grain-free formula for all life stages with peas and sweet potatoes provides highly digestible energy. Made with real roasted venison and smoked salmon, this formula is supplemented with fruits and vegetables, providing natural antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and overall good health.

Protein: 42%
Fat: 18%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, peas, sweet potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), potato protein, roasted venison, smoked salmon, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, methionine, taurine, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried fermentation products of Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

We buy our Taste of the Wild from Pet Lovers Centre at 5pounds (2.27kg) for $36.11.




Natural Balance Chicken and Liver Pate Formula

Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Carrots, Ground Brown Rice, Eggs, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Guar Gum, Taurine, Dried Cranberries, Carrageenan, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12

We also eat the Ultra Formula: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Duck, Salmon, Carrots, Ground Brown Rice, Salmon Meal, Dried Cranberries, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Carrageenan, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

We buy our Natural Balance from Little Paws at 170g can for $2.80

Seeds Bistro / Miao Miao Chicken, Tuna with Chicken flavours

Ingredients: Tuna, chicken, gel powder, Vitamin B mix, Vitamin E, water.

Crude Protein: 12%
Crude Fat: 0.4%
Crude Fibre: 1%
Moisture: 85%

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

neutering the stray male cats in ubi

Yesterday night we rounded up the male strays in our area and had them brought for neutering. The cats we wanted to get were:

Uncle cat - Mommy cat's brother, father to the white kittens so far found in the neighbourhood
Ah Bee - an old male cat from a coffeeshop
Daddy cat - Mommy cat's long-term boyfriend
Sayang's brother - one of Sayang's three siblings that have not yet been neutered

We managed to get all of them. We also found out that the orange cat that had been in an accident recently was not the orange cat we thought, the one that is Mommy cat's part-time boyfriend. We however did not manage to get him.

We did get into an 'accident' though.

While trying to trap Daddy cat, Aswat got attacked by Mommy cat. Viciously. She saw that Aswat had trapped him in the carrier, ran over, jumped onto Aswat and bit his arm, hard.



When Mommy cat attacked Aswat, we were all stunned. She is normally extremely friendly to everyone. Aswat was stunned too, by the attack. We normally expect to get scratched by the stray we are trying to trap, not by another cat altogether! When Aswat regained his composure he shook her off his arm and had to use a nearby broom to stave her off. When Mommy cat found out that Daddy cat was alive and well inside the carrier, she calmed down a little. Just now, Andy went to return Daddy cat to his territory after the surgery, Mommy cat hissed at Andy. But by and large she is emotionally stable now. We reckon her emotional outburst hints at Mommy cat's Siamese genes, which makes her incredibly loyal; even after she has been neutered, she is still extremely close to Daddy cat.

Here are the pics of the other cats we trapped.

This is Ah Bee:





Ah Bee was ravenously hungry after he came home today, said the coffeeshop uncle. We had to explain that the cat needed to fast for the surgery, but that he would be okay and back to normal, as male cats need only one or two stitches, if not none at all. Ah Bee seemed angry at us, and turned his back on us! Looks like we better bring Ah Bee some food tomorrow as a peace offering. At least now Ah Bee won't be peeing at the neighbouring shopfronts, as I caught him doing one night...

This is Uncle cat:



Like Mommy cat, he is extremely vocal. He meowed the whole time he was waiting in the pet shop for the transport to arrive. Ah Bee meowed with him too, until he got tired and decided to take a nap. Uncle cat persisted with his meowing throughout most of the night, and tonight too, when we released him back to his territory. He had a deep wound on his back when we trapped him yesterday, and after going to the vet for his sterilisation his wound looks better. Looks like the vet cleaned his wound for him.

The sterilization was paid for and managed by Auntie Can, who has been a major Ubi cat feeder for a long time. Now that the boys are neutered, looks like our area is a safe and happy place for cats and humans alike.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Scooter likes to be served...

At 9 weeks old now, Scooter is eating up to 10 meals a day! Because he doesn't like his kibbles dry and plain, we have to offer him his kibbles with canned food when we are at home. Which means feeding him 8-10 times a day. That's 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and 2 suppers, with brunch and tea time in between if he is awake and hungry. That's about 200g of food daily, almost as much as Sayang! He likes to be served, and when kibbles are left out dry for him to eat, he doesn't eat very much :(. We don't want him to grow up underdeveloped, so we feed him as often as we can, often talking to him and telling him he's a good boy when he eats. High maintenance it is to feed him, but extremely fun!

first aid for cats

Part of what we do in Ubi for stray cats is medical care when needed. If you have basic cat first aid supplies in your house, you can do the same for stray cats you meet that need help.

The main problems the strays we meet run into are fever, dehydration, cuts and wounds.

Fever is noticeable by a few symptoms, most prominent of all is the 'third eyelid', where the cats' eyes' inner lining becomes swollen and covers part of their eyes even when they are open. The important thing is not to give cats Panadol/paracetamol no matter what - paracetamol is dangerous for cats. You may also notice the cats not eating as well, or unable to swallow food.

Dehydration may be linked to fever. The symptoms are similar, and also, you may find discharge coming out from the cat's eyes and nose. Apart from fever, dehydration may also occur because of diarrhoea or vomitting, which we so far have not witnessed happening with the Ubi strays.

Wounds and cuts and resulting infections are common especially among male cats, as well as female cats that have just been sterilized because of their stitches. If the wound is infected, the skin around the wound will look raised, and it may still be bleeding. Some wounds may be around the eyes, as cats when confronting one another might receive blows to their face.

To take care of cats having fever, an anti-inflammatory, such as Danzen (available from vets, or pharmacies - it is an OTC medicine humans take for sore throats) will help.

For dehydration, glucose mixed with water applied with a syringe will help. If the cat is having both dehydration and fever, you can pound the Danzen tablet into powder and mix it with the glucose water, as the cat might have problems swallowing pills if his throat is inflamed.

If the cat is wounded, you need to clean the wound with a hydrogen peroxide solution and apply either antiseptic powder (available from vets) or antiseptic cream. This will disinfect the wound and stop the bleeding.

If the cat's eye is swollen, normal eye drops used by humans for sore/tired eyes will provide some relief.

If you are not familiar with the cat's toilet habits, do not administer antacids or other vomit/diarrhoea medicine as you will need to monitor the cat's excretions to see how sick he is, and if he gets better after the medicine.

SPCA has an animal clinic. If the cat is severely sick or wounded, or if you are unsure of what to administer, do not hesitate to give them a call to attend to the stray cat that you have found.

Additional reading: First aid for bruises

Monday, July 6, 2009

new cat on the block


There is a new male adult cat in front of our block that we have never seen before. He might have come from the school opposite, which recently re-opened after major construction work.

We didn't have food on us when we saw him, and when we tried to find him later he was out of sight. Hope Auntie Can or Auntie Rose take notice of him and give him some food. That way we can manage the strays in our neighbourhood when we need to neuter them.

Pet farm - Suppliers are taking notice

There is a pet farm that I have written about previously that serves expired pet food to their animals. No particular brand is used, just food that is available cheap because it is close to or past their expiry date.

Evo has taken notice and has stopped retailing to this pet farm, and possibly more.

Read about it here.

ali's kitties - up for adoption

Here are the 4 kitties that were born in Ali's house (story here).

The white one, Cantik, will be adopted by Ali's family. The other 3 kitties will need to be rehomed. They are all living in Ali's home now, making his household 7 cats full!

More pics and updates soon.

don't buy, adopt

While there are still a few pet shops out there that sell pedigree kittens and cats, do reconsider before buying a cat.

There are many stray, homeless and abandoned cats out there.

Adopting a stray cat is extremely rewarding. Not only do you have a new companion, you are helping out your neighbours by reducing the stray cat population. Each time a stray cat gives birth, it increases the population of cats which need to be fed, managed and neutered. Like our Scooter, who comes from a litter of 9, if Aswat had not taken them in, they would have defecated outside the neighbours' houses and caused an environmental problem, and the lovable kitties would have become pests. Some stray cats are also prone to being sick and need extra attention, and would not survive outside without human interference, like our Sayang, who was found by Auntie Can and Aswat, half-dead with gastric flu, in our neighbourhood.

Some people dump cats and kittens they do not want, for whatever reason. This is inhumane, as they are not used to being strays and may not be able to survive, especially if they are kittens. As cruel as this may be, many people still do it, hoping that 'someone' will feed them. If the abandoned kitties are found by a kind person, fostering them will mean a lot of time and effort. They also may not be able to keep all the cats they find, and they therefore will need new homes and owners to adopt them.

Some kittens are born at the wrong time, in the wrong place. This could happen to un-neutered cats that already belong to people, before they have a chance to sterilize them, especially those owners who may not know much about animals (ignorance is not bliss), or they may have adopted their cat already pregnant. While it is irresponsible not to neuter your cat, kittens may still happen. Like Ali's cats, that even though neutered were still able to father 4 kittens. These kittens will likely need new homes, as they come from completed cat families.

Some of these cats and kittens may be pedigree or cross-breeds, like Manja and Boy. But if you are a true animal-lover, a breed is no more than just a fancy name. What is most important is your pet's personality and whether you and your pet are compatible.

Because we are advocates of adoption, Andy and I only frequent pet shops that DON'T sell dogs and cats. Our main cat supply shops are Angels Pet Shop, Little Paws and Pet Lovers Centre. Shops that sell cats and dogs often starve their animals, or force their entire male and female animals to breed. Starvation is a key business strategy by many pet shops, as small and pitiful animals tend to fetch more attention and profits. Apparently, the smaller the animal, the cuter they look. Hence they are usually only fed rice and a bit of pet food. Well-fed animals are harder to sell: Angels Pet Shop's hamsters and rabbits are so well-fed, they grow too quickly for Aswat to sell just as fast. All his older small animals are put up for adoption.

If you find adopting via SPCA and other welfare organisations a hassle because of the contracts and paperwork, put the word out among friends, or surf local pet forums such as PetsChannel.com. You will definitely find your potential animal-companion among them.

Remember, don't buy. Adopt.

all about kitty nutrients - part 2

Part 1 here.

Vitamins
From what I have read and researched, the important vitamins are A and B. Vitamin C is produced within the cat's body, and Vitamin D is obtained through sunlight like us, though they need less; hence these need not be included in the cat's diet. Vitamin E and K are also necessary, but are not as important as A and B.

Cats need a lot of Vitamin A but too much is also hazardous to your cat's health. Vitamin A is useful in keeping body cells working properly. This can be obtained through cooked liver, which can be served to the cat once or twice a week at most. Most canned foods and dry diets will have Vitamin A. They are also found in fats, such as butter, as well as vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, sweet potato and other leafy greens. Hence, make sure your dry diet contains some source of Vitamin A for your cat in the form of guaranteed supplements or in fats and/or the above vegetables.

Cats need a lot of Vitamin B as well, and you will find this a popular guaranteed supplement in most cat food, dry and canned. It is important for the maintenance of your cat's central nervous system. Vitamin B is most concentrated in all unprocessed meat, and also in liver. It is also found in yeast, tuna, and turkey, which are also popular ingredients in cat food. The B Vitamins are also known as thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyrodoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), cobalamin (B12) - you may also find these terms listed in your cat's food packaging; we know now what these scientific terms really are.

to be continued...

male orange cat

One of Mommy cat's itinerant boyfriends, an orange cat who once fought with Daddy cat outside our flat, was knocked down by a car :( last weekend. - Edit: it was not this cat but another one instead as I found out after.

We really need to bring the male cats to sterilize soon. They are the ones peeing at public places (shopfronts etc.) and fighting. And there are no more female entire cats in the area as all are neutered. This will make them go further into unknown territories to search for new mating grounds. Not sure if that was orange cat's intention in crossing that road before he got killed...

The male strays in the area that we know of are Sayang's brother, Ah Bee (a coffeeshop cat), Daddy cat, Uncle cat (Mommy cat's brother), Tiger, and our Discount-Coupon (a cat that Aswat says is extremely hard to catch, discount at his shop rewarded for catching him!). Daddy cat will also be hard to catch, because he is extremely shy and afraid of people. The closest person to him so far we have seen is Auntie Rose.

this story about 4 ubi kittens...

We met Ali yesterday at Angels Pet Shop. He has 3 cats, 2 of which are male. They are all Oriental shorthairs, white and cream/ginger. He brought his two male cats, Abang and Adik, to sterilize recently.

Unfortunately, turns out that, after sterilization, the cats still seem to have some 'leftover' mating instinct - with fertility to match. They got their female cat pregnant.

4 kittens resulted...

Ali is keeping one of them, making his household of cats a size of 4. We will have to re-home 3 of them soon, they are already about 9-10 weeks old.

Pics of them soon, they are on Andy's phone. Keep a lookout.

yes! the orange stray cat - neutered!

Thanks to Auntie Can who is the regular feeder and sterilization sponsor in Ubi. Orange cat's son was also taken in. Next round - all the male cats are going in.

Manja and Boy have been adopted!

By a loving family from Jurong West, who drove all the way down to Angels Pet Shop to view and carry the cats home. Thank you to all who supported us in finding Manja and Boy a new loving home!

Friday, July 3, 2009

new cat litter!!

We are converting the cats permanently to pine pellets for their litter tray, similar to that used for PeeWee which is odourless, biodegradable, flushable.

I am absolutely sold by this cat litter.

It really smells better. I hardly smell cat pee at all. And the pee makes the pellets turn to dust which will then filter down the tray when the cats dig the litter box. This makes the area literally dust free, and the big pellets means no more stray litter all over the kitchen floor!

The best part is, Angels sells it to us cheap, at $34 for 20kg worth (the PeeWee one sells for $55 for 9kg worth), which will last a long time because it does not need to be changed as often, as only the poo and the dust tray needs to be cleared. Superb!!! I love the new cat toilet!

scooter mania

When he is not moving about and trying to attack my phone, I manage to get Scooter-pics!



"I has the big ears..."


"...and the big behind..."

Pawprints