CH Misha & CH Margo
Closed to reservation
Open to reservation
K I T T E N C A R E
This category includes kitten over 4 months of age. We need to remember that even though they are healthy, they've had a very stressful life lately and most are just out of the pound. Just like us, after extreme stress like finals or a big presentation at work, it's not until we're done and relaxing at home that we come down with a cold or the flu. Please try the following if you have an acceptance issue with cats, dogs in the household and new kitten:
Bath both cats, cat and dog, with the same shampoo. About an hour after the baths new comer will be dried out by older cat/dog and accepted in the house. Also, if kitten bites or scratches the owner, try to make a hissing sound like you are a cat in pain, kitten would thing that he/she hurts its own and remember not to do it again, repeated couple of times, but make sure you do not do it too loud otherwise you would scare little fellow and make more damage than good.
INTRODUCTION INTO THE HOUSE
The same applies to the cats.This is why we require a 7 day in-home quarantine, which sounds far more foreboding than it is. Basically keep the new kid in a bathroom or spare room, separate from your other cats. Even if you don't have other cats, if the kitty should break with a cold we don't want the rest of your house contaminated. The bathroom works great because you're in there a lot on, well - your own 'business' which involves significant 'sit-down' time. Plenty of opportunity to socialize with the kitty and love it up.
Why seven days? Because most cold and flu viruses have a 3-6 day incubation period. Therefore if it doesn't show signs of illness with 7 days, it's probably free of anything it picked up at the pound and we can allow it to start mingling with the rest of the household.
Another advantage of isolation ofother cats is for socialization purposes. It sounds strange that we should keep cats apart, so they get along better, but it is absolutely true.
When cats first meet, it seems they take an insta-matic picture of the other cats response. If their first meeting includes: arching, hissing, and spitting, it's not going to be a pretty picture. They seem to carry this image of the other cat around with it and hold a grudge, sometimes life long. It's as if each time they come into contact with the newer cat, they pull out the picture (even if the newer cat is being nice and calm at the moment) and say 'see, I don't like ya and I never did!'.
If, however, you let them introduce under the door first as they sniff each other, you have a far greater chance of getting them to accept each other. They may hiss and spit at each other, but since they can't see each other, they don't take this 'grudge' picture. Usually within their 7-day isolation period they will stop aggressing towards each other under the door, you can let them see each other, since they have already gotten use to each other's smell. If either cat starts acting cranky, just shut the door and try again later. It's that simple.
This technique is especially helpful if you plan to foster sequential, (different) cats. If each time you bring a new cat into the household and (in your resident cat's opinion) the new cats are always spitty, hissy buttheads, your resident cat is going to resent any visitor and could get stressed out. So we must make sure your resident cat feels:
They are the king/queen of the universe
This new cat is only a minor inconvenience to their lifestyle
The new cats really aren't thaaattt bad, they just smell a little funny.
If these introductions go well, resident cats usually adopt a non-chalant (read: kitty arrogant) approach to these new invaders and simply ignore the peons. Which is exactly what we want. If they want to make friends and be buds, that's cool, but most older cats will simply be tastefully disdainful and ignore the newcomers.
Feedings should be twice daily with the food left down for about an hour (ex: put it down when you first get up, then pick it up before you go to work and do the same around dinner time). The benefit of twice daily feeding over free-feed systems (leaving the food down all the time) is that you absolutely KNOW the cat's appetite every twelve hours. Most cats will run to the bowl, eager to eat. In this way we can gauge its appetite very carefully.
If we allow free-feeding, it can takes sometimes days to figure out if the kitty isn't eating enough. Which, as we discussed earlier, is important since cats hide their illness very well and it is extremely important to catch problems as early as they arise.
No, put the sprinkler away.We're talking about putting water out for the kitty. This may seem way basic, but the water bowl should be cleaned out and re-filled with fresh water twice daily.
Some foster cats may be a tad, shall we shall, eccentric. Some cats will only drink from glasses (human type glasses and sometimes only if it has ice and dash of lemon!). Another favorite trick is to only drink from running faucets. To these individuals, we usually cater. Just be sure everybody has the fresh water they crave (condiments are optional ), at least twice daily.
LITTER PAN DUTY
The litter should be scooped twice daily. This way you can check stool consistency and be sure the kitty is urinating appropriate amounts. Most cats will defecate once to twice daily and urinate 2-3 times daily. Each amount of urine should be about the same size and color. If the kitty is urinating frequently (either large or small amounts), you may want to consult your vet.
If the cat ever cries, strains or spends an inordinate amount of time in the litter box, your vet must be notified IMMEDIATELY. Especially with male cats. We use high quality food and urinary tract problems are rare, but can happen so we must be alert for them.
Anything other than nice normal brown, formed poop and nice yellow urine, should be noted and addressed.
WARNING SIGNS TO WATCH FOR
If the kitty does any of these things, even once, you should be concerned. It most instances, it will be nothing, but again we always want to be on the safe side.
Sneezing Coughing Gagging/hairball stuf Wheezing Tires easily Diarrhea Straining to urinate or defecate
Bleeding from any part of the body
Abnormal twitches Loss or decrease of appetite Change in attitude or behavior Lethargic or depressed Breathing heavily
Or any other problem or concern that you have!
Be sure not to give your pet toys that can be broken up and potentially stuck in their throats! Dog toys, like dogs themselves, come in various shapes and sizes. Cats may also enjoy stuffed and furry toys, but be sure your pet cannot get at the stuffing inside as it can be a serious choking hazard. Toy birds and mice have traditionally proven to be very entertaining for cats. They especially seem to like the ones attached to string that you can pull and entice your furry feline to chase about!
They also seem to love simple cardboard boxes, tin-foil balls, and scrunched up newspaper! A recent favorite of cats and cat owners is the laser pointer. Cats never seem to tire from chasing that little red dot around, just be sure not to direct it at their eyes. The feather-and-pole type of toy is also very popular. Scratching posts are excellent forms of entertainment for cats, and they provide your cat something other than your furniture to dig their claws into! Hint: try sprinkling catnip on the post!!
There is also a series of catnip-stuffed toys and pillows that your cat will love. There are literally hundreds of pet toys on the market, just be sure to put safety first!
The practice of giving cats several different vaccinations against various diseases all at the same time early in life and then again every year as "boosters" for the rest of their lives is coming to a close. This is for two primary reasons: animals can have adverse reactions to vaccinations that can impair their health for the rest of their lives; routine "booster" shots are not needed since earlier vaccinations have given animals sufficient immunity to the diseases in question.
First, the very young, i.e. before 12 weeks of age, kittens should not be given vaccinations since this can interfere with the natural immunity in their systems conferred by the colostrum or first milk of their mothers. Adult animals in a compromised immune state, as for example those who are ill, injured, or being given an anaesthetic and operated on, such as being spayed or castrated, or for any other surgical procedure, are pregnant or nursing, or are old and infirm, should not be vaccinated.
The following protocols for vaccinating cats have been published in the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Journal, Vol. 22, Numbers 2&3 July-December, 2003, p. 47-48:
The Minimum Vaccine Protocol for cats is at 12 weeks or older to give FCV (calici), FVR (herpes/rhino), FPV (panleukopenia), and then rabies, but only if required by law. (It is good to give the rabies vaccination separately, 3-4 weeks later). PureVac, canary pox vectored rabies vaccine (Merial) is preferred for cats. Vaccinating against Giardia is not advised since the vaccine can cause granulomas. FeLV (feline leukemia) vaccine should only be given to at-risk cats at 9 and 12 weeks or 12 and 15 weeks with a booster at a year of age and none thereafter in order to reduce the chances of injection-site fibrosarcoma, a cancer that can be fatal. Cats should have serum titer tests for FPV later in life to determine their immune status. All vaccinations to be injected under the skin should be placed as far down the cat's limbs as possible since it is more difficult to treat fibrosarcomas that develop at other sites such as the neck and back.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel offers a different protocol. They do not recommend giving the Feline corona virus/feline infectious peritonitis vaccination, and regard three vaccinations--FPV (panleukopenia or parvovirus), and FHV-1 and FCV ( Feline herpes virus 1 and Feline calicivirus) as the core vaccinations. These should be given at 6, 9, 12 and 16 weeks of age, and again at one year of age, with boosters every three years. Rabies vaccination can first be given at 12-16 weeks of age, then again at one year of age. Non-core vaccinations for those cats at risk from going outdoors include Feline leukemia and Feline immunodeficiency virus vaccinations,, and for those going to boarding facilities, Feline leukemia and Bordatella vaccinations. This Advisory Panel’s recommendation of early-age, repeated vaccinations is based on the fact that kittens respond differently when vaccinated because they have different levels of circulating antibodies from their mothers’ milk that can interfere with the immune response triggered by vaccination. But I consider this protocol excessive and the risks, costs, and stress on kittens unjustified unless they are at risk in poorly managed breeding facilities and pet stores.
Dr. Michael W. Fox
Declawing (Onychectomy) of Cats
Many veterinarians declaw cats, and many cats suffer as a consequence. The operation entails more than simply removing the claws, (onychectomy). It entails removal of the first digit (digitectomy, or de-knuckling). Declawed cats tend to walk abnormally back on their heels rather than on their entire pads because of the chronic pain at the end of their severed fingers and toes. They often develop chronic arthritis and as the front toe pads shrink, chronic bone infections are common. So many cats find it painful to use the litter box, develop a conditioned aversion to using the box, and become un-housebroken. This is why many declawed cats are put up for adoption or are euthanized. They may also bite more, and become defensive when handled because their paws are hurting and infected. The following letter on this topic that I wrote to my colleagues was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Feb. 15, 2006, pages 503-504.
I strongly advise all prospective cat owners, and those people with cats who are contemplating having the entire first digit---not simply the claw---removed surgically from their cats' paws---never to have this operation performed on their felines.
Michael W. Fox, D.Sc., Ph.D., B.Vet.Med., M.R.C.V.S.