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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Slinky, our Feline Founder, and her encounter with gum disease

Slinky recently exhibited symptoms of what we thought was peridontitis, an irreversible gum disease. She refused to let us check her mouth, and exclaimed in pain when we touched her left cheek. She also started to eat less fervently, sometimes staring at the food bowl and not eating. All these are signs of gum disease of some kind. Because we couldn't check her gums on our own - not recommended to do at home as it will be very painful if there is pus - we brought her to the vet.

Slinky, as photographed by Furry Photos
When we went to the vet, thankfully Slinky only had advanced gingivitis in her molar areas. There was no structural damage (peridontitis causes that) so no x-ray was needed. Her teeth were clean, no calculus i.e. plaque and tartar buildup which we believe is due to her mainly kibble diet and our brushing of our cats' teeth. Phew, the vet cleared Slinky of most of our worries and saved us poor cat owners some dosh!

Slinky was given an anti-inflammatory jab of Depredil and a 10 day course of antibiotics - a blend of spiramycin and metromedizole called Stomogyl. Spiramycin is an antibiotic specific for mouth and gum problems. Pilling Slinky hasn't been easy!

We also learned about a new gum disease. We mentioned in our tooth-brushing post about gingivitis and peridontitis but there is another one, apparently also quite common. It is called ensinophilic gingivitis stomatis, related to lmyphomatic/plasmacytic gingivitis stomatitis. This disease causes a recurring case of what Slinky went through, and requires regular Depredil jabs. Its behaviour is similar to seasonal allergies, not always there but happens regularly in bouts.

We hope Slinky's case is a one off one and not ensinophilic! Will be monitoring her - she has been eating well again, and no longer hurts and yowls when we touch her cheeks. Then we will be resuming tooth-brushing for her to keep gingivitis at bay.

In the meantime, us pet owners go paranoid about it all. So yes, we know what you go through when your own pet gets sick!

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, September 22, 2011

Is it time for a change? [Updated 27 Sept]

Rehabilitating kittens from sickness till they are well before re-homing.

Vaccinating all kittens above 2 months of age.

Feeding supplements to kittens to rehabilitate them from sickness and boost their immunities.

Creating a luxurious foster home for rescue kittens with music therapy and aromatherapy and toys.

Screening adopters through our Adopters' Questionnaire before arranging visits for adoption.

Insisting on feeding grain-free food only.

Sterilising more stray cats through TNRM this year than the last.  

Is it time for a change?

We ask this question because our funds are constantly in jeopardy recently. Granted, it is because our adoption rates since April have been low. Aside from social trends, the other reason is because our kittens for adoption are older than 3 months of age - unpopular to most. This means we are housing kittens who eat more, for longer, in our foster home.

So, given that our expenses are increasing in vaccinations and boarding needs, should we bring down our standard of care?

Given that our sterilisation expenses are going up, and CWS reimbursement cheques erratic, should we sterilise less stray cats through TNRM?

The answer is pure and simple. We will not compromise on improving our performance in numbers, and in quality. The cats deserve the best at the lowest quotes. This is our stand, and we hope this is yours too.

The only way we can afford to not compromise - is if you keep giving, and spreading the word to more and more cat-loving folks so they can also have the opportunity to give.

Our current Funds balances as of 26 September 2011

  • Boarding Fund - $24.56
  • Veterinary Fund - $48.35
  • Sterilisation Fund - $337.20
  • Operations Fund - $93.05
Our most urgent needs are for our Veterinary Fund and for our Boarding Fund. We need to maintain a healthy surplus for our Vet Fund in case of emergencies and disease outbreaks. Our Boarding Fund is in need because (1) we are already currently in debt to our supplier The Water Dish (2) we need to order more food soon, supplements and essential oils as adjunct therapies to the kittens, and other pet supplies such as treats.

How you can help

  1. Sponsor-A-LoveKuching-Cat. All sponsorships go into our Veterinary Fund, and vaccinations are our biggest veterinary expense. 
  2. Give directly to either of the Funds - contribute to our bank account POSB Savings 188-52652-7 and SMS / email Elaine at 90880675 / elaine@lovekuchingproject.org to indicate which Fund you are giving towards or if you would want to leave it at our discretion. 
  3. Spread the word. Below this blog post you can see AddThis buttons which will allow you to share this message directly to your Twitter, Facebook or Email. 
  4. Give monthly through a standing order. If you need help on how to do this on POSB/DBS iBanking, do let us know, we will guide you through the process through the phone or through email. Any amount will do, no amount is too small.
  5. Adopted an older kitten (more than 3 months old) before? Spread the word on our kittens for adoption, and the benefits of adopting an older kitten. We need the word spread on our adoption opportunities right now more than our rescue space (currently near nil). 
On our end, we are working on creating an even wider outreach in our marketing and fund-raising. We are also continuously sourcing for cheaper and lower cost products to use without compromising on our standard of care.

In the meantime, we still need your help to make a difference for the kitties in our foster home and for the cats that we neuter. Do stand with us on this. We will not lower the bar on our performance as a non-profit cat rescue group - only to hold it up continuously, and keep on working at raising it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Trapping stories from Sunday's TNRM!

CWS Logo-Link to us!

First we headed to Ubi Blk 314, in our Ubi cat-zone 2. We have already sterilised the cats here so population was stable. But then came along a discovery of an un-neutered female house cat allowed to roam and her offspring became stray cats in the area.

We discovered this during a couple of reconnaissance trips to the area because we received communication from the Marine Parade Town Council officer in charge of this area. After helping the TC officer with mediation tips on cat issues we also went to check for unsterilised cats as Cat Welfare folks advocate to TCs to allow volunteers like ourselves to conduct TNRM before sending in pest control.

We visited the house that we discovered was having that roaming entire female cat and advised them to sterilise their cat and keep her indoors.

Then yesterday we trapped 2 cats for sterilisation before our trip to Eunos MRT carpark's colony of cats.

Trapped between Blks 314 and 313
The main complaints were from the blocks of 315 and 316, but upon recce-ing the area, no unsterilised cats were found.

We trapped the 2 kitties by simply feeding them and carrying them into carriers.

Trapped! Carriers were cable tied.
There was one boy, the son of the roaming female house cat as identified by the owners. He was very wary of us, and we had to try the old string-to-the-door technique to trap him.

Wily boy
Nope, we didn't succeed. We hope his mother's owner will get him sterilised along with the mother, elsewise the population will just burgeon again. We have given the address of the recalcitrant cat owner to the Town Council as well as to Cat Welfare folks.

Meanwhile one of the tortoiseshell sisters we neutered in our Ubi-wide neutering projects previously came to visit us.

Here are the 2 cats we trapped, one male and one female.

Righto! Then onward to Eunos with these (either sibling or father-daughter) cats.

By the time we reached the Eunos MRT car park it was already dark.

Carpark in front of train track and shop fronts
In front of these shops, a big drain
Drain where a lot of the cats hid in
We spotted a couple of already tipped-ear neutered cats, roughly 3. Could only take pics of 2 of them.

White with black cap pattern
Ginger and white, eating some noms we gave him
Thus began the trapping. Which took 2 hours, to get us 6 cats to neuter.

The traps placed at the carpark near the walkway from the MRT were successful. 4 cats trapped here.

Cat eyeing food in trap on the pavement...
Traps placed across one part of the drain failed miserably, the cats just took the food outside the trap and left.

Wary drain cat
Along another part of the drain the cats were more cooperative, we trapped 2 there.

Here are the cats we missed out.

The 2 drain cats
Cat the hid under buses, and ignored our traps totally
Okay, mug shot time!



After this round of sterilisation, our Sterilisation Fund will be rather skint. We are looking at two more sterilising gigs this month - one, of the foster cats in our house, 8 of them are maturing and will be going for neutering next week. After this, our Sterilisation Fund will go into deficit. Second sterilisation is a colony of cats we hope to TNRM at the old Changi hospital (reconnaissance soon).

If you can, do make a contribution to our Sterilisation Fund and email Elaine elaine@lovekuchingproject.org to indicate your contribution is towards this. Will post the exact standing our Sterilisation Fund is at after paying for this Sunday's round which will be within the next 2 days. Thank you in advance!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

TNRM on Sunday - Eunos MRT carpark

CWS Logo-Link to us!

We were alerted to a new colony of cats that appeared in front of Eunos MRT where there is a carpark. Our volunteers went to recce the situation and found that there are at least 6 cats there that are unsterilised. We suspect they are victims of recent abandonment.

Area marked with a 'P' is where the carpark is situated

We will be conducting a TNRM trapping session tomorrow evening at 7pm to get these cats sterilised. At the same time we may also send a couple of new cats in Ubi along to get sterilised too.

Here are the pics of the Eunos MRT carpark cats.

Male tabby white
Another tabby white
There is a group of 3 mature kittens who are very elusive and scared of humans.

Trying to get close to the 3 kittens
2 of the 3 elusive kittens
We hope we manage to trap all of them tomorrow!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Found a forever home

Simone has been adopted by Syahidah (@casshada) and family, just last night! Our tricoloured princess is now renamed Shilla  and had instantly bonded with  Syahidah's dad, sitting on the couch next to him last night and waiting to be stroked by him. And yes, we did instruct them that Simone must be carried like a baby, the way she likes it! -

Syahidah and Simone
Simone has a cat-safe house to go to, and when Syahidah is at work, Dad will be at home taking care of her, as will her brothers. Syahidah will also be in charge of ordering and paying for Simone's necessities, and her vet visits.

Simone, now Shilla's new family!
Simone's new family live just across the street from us at Bedok Reservoir Road, and we have recommended that Simone sees the same vet she has been at for her vet-checks - which is nearby for them too!

We are happy that Simone got adopted!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Your cat's teeth, how to brush them, and about gum disease

Let's talk about dental care for your cat.

There has been much talk about how to prevent gum disease in your cat - giving strips of meat to chew on, dental treats, feeding dry food, dental liquid supplements to add to water. All those are good measures. However, recent research has proven that nothing beats preventing gum disease than brushing your cat's teeth.

There are two stages of gum disease. The first is gingivitis, which is a reversible inflammation of the gums. Basically you will see a red gumline, and possibly find your cat's lymph nodes swollen. There will be a fishy breath that's worse than usual. If this is not treated, it will develop into periodontitis which is the destruction of the structure of your cat's teeth and gums. It is irreversible, though treatable with antibiotics, surgery to remove decayed teeth, and during which also a thorough cleaning while under anaesthesia.

So to prevent having to put your cat through all that because periodontitis has occurred, prevent and treat gum disease when it is at or before the gingivitis stage.

All cats above 2 years of age, some even just over 1 year of age, will be susceptible to gum disease. Gingivitis is also evident when kittens are teething between 4 to 6 months of age but this kind of gingivitis subsides after the teething period.

When gingivitis has already occurred, your vet may prescribe a gel to apply on your cat's gum line or suggest scaling under anaesthesia. We also researched and checked with our vet whether the toothpaste we use for brushing our cats' teeth - C.E.T. toothpaste - will treat mild gingivitis and found that it does. So it would be good if you haven't already to try out C.E.T.'s line of dental care products. We started off with a starter kit.

In the end it all comes down to brushing your cat's teeth. Here we have recorded a video of us brushing our Scooter's teeth.

Scooter already had shown signs of gingivitis because we had slackened on our part and did not brush as regularly as we cat owners should. The good thing is we discovered it early and he is now having healthier gums - as long as we keep up the brushing! For him and our other 3 cats.

Go check your cat's gumline - is it red? If so, it is time to start a dental care regime that should include tooth-brushing. It won't be that fun, but it sure beats surgery and medication, and tooth loss! And as you can see in the video, C.E.T. toothpaste tastes nice, so you don't have to worry about your cat feeling yucky (like when you have to feed medicine, ugh).

Another point to note is that gum disease may also be a symptom of other illnesses. So when you bring your cat for his check-ups (annually, or 2 times a year for senior cats) do ask your vet to not only check your cat's teeth but also to see if there are any other symptoms that point to a more serious illness, especially if after brushing your cat's dental health does not seem to improve.

Happy brushing! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Adopt Aryan the playful, agile, handsome white boy kitty!

Aryan, one of the Whiteys rescued from Woodlands, is ready for adoption!

Aryan at 24 weeks old, taken by Furry Photos

Aryan is the biggest-sized among his siblings.

Aryan posing for picture!
He has two small stripes of grey on his head, has a long tail with a cute halfway kink.

His markings and tail
He is a very outgoing cat, confident, and loves to play. His energy level is enormous! He also loves to jump a lot, which we have trained him to refrain from jumping on tables and countertops and to jump on the cat condo instead. This boy definitely needs a designated safe spot to jump and play on in his new house. He loves to play all kinds of games - kitty-wrestling with the other cats, soccer with any cat-sized toy or ball, wand toys - you name it, he is game for it!

Aryan biting a wand teaser toy
We took a video of Aryan at play when he was already quite exhausted from horsing around all day - this is him -

Being quite naughty at heart it took us a couple of days to get Aryan to respond to discipline. Now, he immediately stops doing whatever we say no to when we shout his name loudly.

Despite getting trained by us he is still very affectionate towards us shouty humans! He doesn't really like lounging on human laps, though as you can see from the video above that he enjoys the occasional hug. And he purrs when given affection, even purrs when given little butt-smacks of discipline!

Aryan is litter-trained, vet-checked and vaccinated, healthy, dewormed, house-trained, neutered. If you would like to adopt Aryan, please see right side bar under 'How to adopt' or click here to find out how!