Archive for the ‘ Cats ’ Category

Mama’s Weekend Off

 Saturday

05:50am

OK… I just heard the heating come on. That means I’ve got say, twenty minutes. I can see it’s getting a little lighter outside. Can’t be long now. Maybe I’ll sit and wait by the door. Just so I’ll be on time. Nothing worse than a tardy wake-up call. They’d be rather annoyed if I stopped being so predictable. Yes. I’ll sit and wait for the signal.

06:00am

Right. She should be up by now? Come on… Nobody’s moving in there! I hope they haven’t forgotten. Well. Oh, wait… I heard someth- Oh no. False alarm. But, speaking of alarms I’d better get going. Time’s moving on. I’ll start from a distance. I don’t want to startle them and make them think something’s wrong. I mean, there is something wrong, but I don’t want to make her run out thinking one of us is in trouble. I’m nice like that, you know. Considerate.

06:30am

Ok, ok, this is getting silly. I can’t wait much longer. And the other two are getting impatient. I’m in charge here and I need action for my brothers! Full attack then…

06:45am

Goodness, I’m going full pelt now and nothing! I can hear one of them making a sort of ‘psshhh’-ing noise. Was it aimed at me? Well if it was, then come out and say it to me and my hungry brothers! I’ll keep on at your door until I break your will. WE MUST HAVE OUR BREAKFAST!

07:00am

I’ve been meowing for nearly an hour now. Oh, wait – here she comes!! Quick, if all three of us gather at the door, there’s no way she can ignore us. And if she tries to go back, I’ll push my way in with her. Good grief, she looks awful. Looks as though she’s hardly slept. Wonder why? Oh well, she’s going to the kitchen now. Better go and see she’s doing her job properly.

A-ha! I know that sound… It’s the food cupboard! At last! Breakfast is served. Thanks, Mama. You can go back to wherever you came from. You need some beauty sleep. Or a facelift.

Oscar – My daily alarm (whether I set him or not).

Cat Proximity

Unfortunately, I’m a little dim at times. Once it was explained to me, I laughed.

Feliway – No more puddles!

A few months ago we noticed our cat Oscar was straining and meowing a lot when he was urinating. He’d also stopped using the litter tray. We took him to the vets, who diagnosed a urine infection and loaded us up with some (very unethical and expensive) cat food which would help dissolve any crystals that were forming in his bladder. We were also given some tablets that were a complimentary medicine called CystAid. The problem cleared up and we eventually got rid of the nasty wee smell.

Until about two weeks ago. We started to find a puddle of wee every morning. It was always either just in front of the trays or (to our utter dismay) right in front of a little wooden pew. Each time we would clean it up and we would watch to see if they were all using the trays, which they were.

I took Oscar to the vet, assuming it was him because of his previous problem. She told me that he most likely had cystitis, caused by stress. This comes and goes, and when it comes, it can be painful to wee. She said that if he finds it painful, he’ll associate that pain with using the tray, so he won’t use it. “A-ha!” I thought. She said that we should try to eliminate whatever is stressing him; and told me about Feliway. I knew it was expensive, so I said I’d look it up and do a bit of research. She prescribed some more Cyst-Aid tablets and off we went.

I picked up a Feliway leaflet on my way out and when I got home I was shocked to see that all my cats were at very high risk of becoming stressed. Ben and I decided that we would buy one (searching the net for a super-cheap one!) and we’d have an extra litter tray – bringing the total to four!! The vet also said we should separate them all at feeding time, to reduce any competitiveness between them.

A few days later, my Feliway arrived and I plugged it in right away. It said it takes 24 hours to get going, so I didn’t get my hopes up too soon. It contains a synthetic copy of the pheromone that cats use to mark people / things they feel safe around. They do this by rubbing their faces on furniture etc. Ben read up to see if had been tested on animals, and he joyfully told me that the only testing required was a cotton bud rubbed along the whisker area to capture some of the pheromones!

So the next day I tentatively walked down the stairs and to my amazement, there was no wee on the floor. Or the next, or the next or the next! I was hoping it would calm them down a little too, as they had been very boisterous around each other, but I haven’t noticed a difference there. But that I can cope with! I’m very impressed with it, and I might get another one as our lounge is quite spacious and I wonder if it’s not reaching the whole of the room.

So now all I’ve got to do is get the horrible smell of cat wee off my lovely wooden pew… Thanks Oscar!

Random Ramble about Cat Wee

After a few days of finding urine on the floor down in the hallway, we realised there was something up with one of the kitties. Finding which one was a bit of a guessing game, but we came to the conclusion it was Oscar. This behaviour was most unusual as on the whole, all three boys are amazingly clean. Off we trotted to the vets to be told either he has a urine infection (which is what I suspected) or he suddenly felt the trays were too dirty for him to use…! HMPH! I was given the task of obtaining a urine sample. This may sound like an easy task, but when your cat has associated his tray with pain and is now using the floor, it can be a taxing job. I spent a day placing Oscar and the tray in a room together, hoping he and it would get better acquainted. Unfortunately not. That evening Ben asked me if we could give it one more go before bed, so I traipsed downstairs and waited for my cat to do his business. On my floor. He appeared very uneasy but eventually, he dispensed and I sat in my cold hallway, in my pyjamas with a pipette, collecting urine into a small bottle. Oh, what a life!

The next day we dragged him (kicking an meowing) to the vets again and had him checked out. As the sample I’d provided wasn’t completely sterile (what did they expect!?) they couldn’t be sure he had an infection, but treated him for one anyway. I was rather disappointed when we were told he needed to eat a medicated diet for a little while in case he had crystals in his tract. This would help to disperse them. My heart sank when she bought out a big bag of Royal Canin cat food (owned by Mars). Bleurgh.

Ben and I were both thinking the same, but we really did have to buy it. I felt very disappointed in myself! I know that we have drastically cut back on the amount of unethical products we purchase but it still makes my conscience squirm if I do ever have to buy something like that.

On a positive note, he appears much brighter in himself and has started using the trays again… Phew!

Ethical Kitty Nibbles?

So Ben and I had been doing our research on an ethical pet food. Probably wasn’t going to completely possible, as the animals that go into it aren’t going to have lived free range or have died in an acceptable way.  But kitties need to eat, and we weren’t prepared to make them go veggie!

We had previously been feeding ours on Go-Cat for Indoor cats, never actually looking at what’s inside the kibbles. It was only after a trip to Pets at Home that we found their Purely range of food with 40% meat in it. This was opposed to Go-cat having around 2%. Yes, that low! Eurgh.

We immediately bought some of this Purely food, and were initially really pleased with it. All the cats had lovely shiny fur and seemed to enjoy it. Unfortunately about a week into feeding them their new food, Diesel began to have a very, very loose tummy. After a day of Ben cleaning poo off the carpet every ten minutes (I had a bad back that day!), we decided that the new food wasn’t agreeing with Diesel and a new one would have to be found.

A few days later I went shopping in Sainsburys and decided to see what was on offer in the pet foods. I picked up a Sainsburys brand out of desperation, went to the till and at the last-minute realised I picked up Senior food. Bugger. Off I went back to the aisle and in the corner of my eye I spotted a small bag hidden next to all the Go-cat rubbish. Vets Kitchen…£4.99 for 800g. Quite expensive, I thought. Then I saw the PETA logo – Not tested on animals. In the trolley it went!

We’ve now been feeding the kitties on Vets Kitchen for a couple of weeks now and there’s been no incontinence! It’s a concentrated formula, so we only have to feed them two 20g feeds a day. Yes, it is more expensive but the meat content is still very high (42%) and it has cranberry extract for urinary tract health.

Diesel, Oscar and Merlin are all looking exceptionally shiny, and seem to be adjusting nicely to their new food. There are loose looking poos in their litter trays some days, but I should hope this will settle down soon. (I knew you wanted to know that!)

Check out Vets Kitchen.