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Eleanor the cat convert!

Hello to all the lovely bloggers of the world.

I don’t know if many of you know much about Eleanor and her relationship with our cats as I have not really mentioned it much. Eleanor absolutely loves our Diesel and Angel, and Dior when she was around. But until 2009 Eleanor had never had a pet cat, was never fond of them and never had or wanted much to do with them.

When I met Eleanor and we got together in 2009 I had been babbling on about getting a cat, specifically I wanted a black boy cat. One day Eleanor went to the town, came back with this tiny little black boy kitten, we named him Diesel and this is the boy on the blog to this day. Eleanor has always been more of a dog person than a cat. When we had Diesel only, before we had out little staffy Isaac, Eleanor didn’t really like Diesel much. He was a bit of a bugger in his early kitten days.

I remember one memory vividly about Diesel and his naughty behaviour. It was when Eleanor and I were together but we both had our own places. We kept it like that for just under a year, to make certain it would work out for us and to ensure we didn’t rush into our relationship. We were literally a stone throw away from each other but never spent a night apart, just had these two homes. We would spend a night at Eleanor’s, and a night at mine, and take turns. Diesel would of course come along with us and was never left alone on a night. He had a bed, toys, litter tray and bowls in both homes. On an evening when Eleanor and I would try to sleep at Eleanor’s home in particular, Diesel would run around going mad, he would stick his paws under the covers at the bottom of the bed and scratch Eleanor’s feet. There was many a time, Eleanor would wake up with a few chunks of flesh missing and some dried in blood at the bottom of the bed. It absolutely drove her crazy, and she really didn’t like him. I kept thinking to myself, I wish he would calm down because he is not making a very good impression lol. My opinion on it was that Diesel knew Eleanor didn’t really like him or cats for that matter and Diesel was doing it on purpose… Who will know!

Diesel did start to calm down as he got older. We eventually gave up Eleanor’s home and moved properly into mine, which is now ours. The older Diesel got literally week by week, the more placid, pleasant and better behaved he become. When Eleanor first moved into my-our home, she used to work from home, we had the staffy dog at the time. Eleanor instantly had a strange bond with Diesel that I couldn’t quite grasp, it literally happened overnight. It was weird. Ever since then, Eleanor’s whole perception on cats has changed, she obviously thinks our cats are the best, but actually loves all cats, which I never thought would be possible due to her not having the best start with Diesel.

It’s quite amazing how Diesel and Eleanor’s relationship has blossomed and how close they are now. Since then our staffy got rehomed as most of you already know, we gave a home to a lovely tabby kitten – Dior who sadly passed away last November 2011, and then gave a home to a stunning Ragdoll kitten – Angel, who is still with us and best friends with Diesel. Diesel has remained the same tame, gentle, calm, lovely natured cat that he became the day him and Eleanor sealed this amazing bond. Still to this day, despite what both Eleanor and Diesel have gone through the last 2 years or so, they are so close and have an unbelievable bond that could never be broken.

Eleanor now is a proud and out full cat convert. She loves all cats, especially our own. But she still has a special place in her heart for a dog when the time is right.

Do you have any stories of bonds with your kitties?

Dior Suckling!

Hi Guys,

Hope you are all well and have a great day. Happy new year to everyone!

I came across an old video of Dior the other day; it’s the video of her doing her most favourite thing… suckling on her fluffy blanket.

As you all know Dior is sadly no longer with us, but while she was, she got a great deal of comfort from her fluffy blanket and her ‘Dior’ teddy. I’ve mentioned before about what she used to do with the blanket and teddy. She would paw at it, stepping on and off, purr really loudly and suckle on the arms of the teddy or a patch on the fluffy blanket. She loved it and was just like a proper baby. Our baby! I wanted everyone to see how cute she is when she is doing her comforting thing so I thought I would upload a video.

Here is a video of Dior in her suckling action.

KITTEN MONTH – Sleeping

Morning guys, happy Sunday… 🙂 nearly the end of another year! Today’s kitten month blog is all about kittens/cats and their sleeping habits… We all know too well that our furry friends are very lazy 😉

We have spoken about cats and their sleeping habits before, I’ve mentioned about cats/kittens sleep anywhere from 15-18 hours a day. Why? Your kitten is sleeping for a very important reason. Meat is a rich source of energy so, in the wild, as a cat eats her kills; she is taking in important stores of energy. Sleeping after her meal allows her to conserve it – ready to use for the next hunt and the burst of energy. So she’s not being lazy!

Crepuscular cats
In the wild, during the intense heat of the day, your kitten’s big cat cousins will be sleeping. They are most active at dawn and dusk. This is the time when their prey is also active, when their eyesight is at its sharpest and when they have the best chances at successful hunting. Your little one is remarkably similar in nature, so you might find she’s naturally active early in the morning or just before sunset – think about planning some playtime around her naturally active times.

Body heat
Very young kittens can’t control their body temperature in the same way that adults can, so cuddling up to their mother and littermates helps maintain their body heat. This is why many young kittens – and older cats too – love nothing better than snuggling up on a lap.

KITTEN MONTH – Nurture her Nature!

Good morning to all my lovely bloggers. Today’s kitten month blog is about understanding your kitten and why your kitten behaves in certain ways. A lot of this people will already know but here’s the blog for everyone to have a read of.

Understanding why your kitten behaves like she does will help you make your home as cat-friendly as possible. By nature, she is a solitary hunter, responsible for her own survival and not dependent on a pack to get her out of trouble. And this explains certain things she does …

Running in and out
In the wild, big cats are always alert and on the look out for danger. At home, you might see your kitten running in and out of a room – she’s quickly assessing the situation and spotting possible dangers. In these situations make sure the doors are open so she doesn’t have a bump and or the cat flap if you have one.

Establishing territory
In the wild, big cats use scratches, smells and sounds to mark their boundaries, sniff out rivals and establish their territory. Feline signals have to be reinforced regularly as they act as signposts to other cats.
At home, your kitten will do the same thing, so it’s up to you to make sure these natural behaviours can be expressed without causing too much damage! Scratching posts and old carpets are a great distraction from your furniture so encourage this behaviour on dedicated spots and posts and they will soon get used to this.

High places
In the wild, cats will use vantage points to watch for intruders and predators, as well as spotting good hunting and resting places. At home, make sure there are a few spots where your little kitten can sit up high. For Diesel and Angel they love to sit on window sills and in our office we have some shelves behind some roller curtains from Ikea, they love this spot on top of the towels.

Hiding places
In the wild, big cats will use a number of favourite hiding places from where they can scope out their territory or retreat to when they need a rest, are frightened or even ill. At home, your kitten will probably find her own places to hide but she will love you all the more if you can provide her with some uncluttered high places.

KITTEN MONTH – Introducing Children

Hi Guys,

Hope everyone is well. Another kitten month blog, following on from introducing your other animals. Introducing your children to your kitten & vice versa is todays blog.

Kittens are very adorable and if you have children they will quickly fall in love with the family’s new furry friend. However, some kittens and cats can be frightened by children who can be noisy, move suddenly and pet them too much. It’s important to establish some ground rules and teach your children how to play properly with the new arrival. Here’s a few things you can do to help:

Play ‘kitten’
This is great for getting your children to see the world through your kitten’s eyes. Get them to get down on their hands and knees and place their faces close to the floor, pretending to be a ‘kitten’. If you have more than one child, let one stay on the floor and then get the other one to run and jump around so they can see how things might look to their new furry friend.

Play with a toy
Why not show your children how to stroke a kitten by getting a toy cat? Explain the difference between stroking, patting and hitting. And show them where to stroke too.

Where to stroke
Your little kitten will love being stroked around the ears, chest, on her neck and back. Don’t let your children stroke your kitten’s tummy or back legs because these can be very sensitive areas for her. And as soon as your kitten shows signs of no longer wanting physical contact then stop.

First introductions
Initial contact should just be gentle stroking. Teach your children to be very calm, soft and gentle with the kitten. Always stay with your children whilst they are petting your little one and keep sessions short and fun.

Good play
As your kitten becomes more settled in you can show your children how to play with her. It’s a good idea if you use toys rather than hands in case play becomes a bit rough. And always let your kitten get away when she’s had enough – just like toddlers, kittens get tired and will need to have naps and quiet time.

KITTEN MONTH – Introducing Other Cats/Animals

Hi Guys,

Now i know that this is a post people have been waiting for, and it can be a bit of a ‘biggy’ for most people… This is a general post, but anyone who has any queries or questions relating to this one please feel free to ask… thats what we are here for! I have many tips on how i did this with my three beauties so please the more the merrier!

In the wild, your kitten’s big cat cousins, have little contact with outsiders and depend on themselves when it comes to hunting and survival. These instinctual behaviours are still deeply rooted in your little kitten, so it’s important to understand this and help her ease into life with other cats or animals.

Territory defending
If you have an adult cat, the introduction of a new kitten into the house may cause some rivalry! Cats are highly territorial so expect a prolonged period of adjustment as your cats get used to each other. Don’t worry, eventually they’ll become better friends and you never know they might even curl up and groom each other!

Introducing a cat to a dog
At the start, you might want to consider getting a kitten pen so the kitten is well protected. Control the dog with a lead if necessary. After a couple of weeks, they should have accepted each other. To a certain extent, you’re just going to have to let them get on with it! You may find there is hissing to begin with, this is natural behaviour. It’s usually easier to bring a young kitten into a house rather than an adult cat but be prepared for things to take around a month to settle down.

Introducing a kitten to smaller pets
If you have guinea pigs, gerbils or rabbits then never let them out of the cage when your kitten is around. As long as all your pets have separate living areas, plenty of food and water and are given lots of love and reassurance by you and your family, then hopefully everyone can live happily together!

KITTEN MONTH – Litter Tray Training

Now i know this can be a bit of an issue from speaking with friends and bloggers, sometimes you can tear your hair out trying to get your little one to do its business where it should… Here is a blog with some tips to help you along your way!

If there’s one time when your kitten wants to be left on her own, it’s when she goes to the toilet. In fact, she probably won’t even want to be watched. That’s why it’s important to have her litter tray in a quiet, safe, place where she can get to it easily and use it discreetly.

Notice when she wants to go
She’ll need to be trained to use her tray, so as soon as you can see that she needs to go just lift her into the tray. You can also help by placing her in the tray early in the morning, last thing at night and after every meal. Keep on doing this until she can find it for herself by smell and location, then leave her to it. To make sure she’s comfortable, use a cat litter that absorbs any odour, again I have mentioned that I use a natural litter made from wood, and this works a treat.

Keep it clean
In the wild, cats will keep where they toilet and where they eat and drink separate from each other. Your little kitten is just the same, so make sure her tray is cleaned once a day and that it’s not anywhere near where she eats or drinks.

Accidents will happen
Has your kitten suddenly started to have accidents? There may be a number of reasons:

  • She may have a dirty litter tray – always keep this clean and free from clumps and ‘business’
  • She may be in need of more attention and a little more training
  • She may feel her usual ‘territory’ has changed if the litter tray has been moved
  • She may have reached sexual maturity and is a little confused etc

It’s best to check with your vet for ideas about getting your kitten back on track.

How to clean up
Strangely enough, some common cleaning products carry the same smells as a cat’s urine. This means that when you clean with them they are still leave a feline signal and may encourage more unwanted behaviour, not less! Try rinsing with water and then use a 10% solution of biological washing powder to get rid of the smell. I heard a rumour that bicarbonate of soda also works with white vinegar, not sure if it does but it might be worth a try, certainly if your kitty has an accident with urine on a carpet or rug as the smell can usually be very hard to remove.

Reward success
When your kitten does use her tray; give her lots of praise, attention and even a small treat to eat if you want to. That way, the litter box will soon have good associations, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly she’ll adjust to using it. All it takes is a little patience and lots of encouragement and kitty will be well under way with it.

We have never had many problems with litter training with Diesel, Angel and Dior, they always picked it up very quickly. The only cat to have an accident due to sexual maturity was Diesel, and we quickly had him neutered to avoid this becoming a regular occurance.

KITTEN MONTH – Kitten Proofing Your Home

Hello to all my lovely bloggers…

So we all know how much hard work these little bundles of fluff can be at times dont we? We all know how they can get in the strangest of places and most importantly the places they are not allowed… Heres another kitten month blog to do with kitten proofing your home, making sure its safe for your little fluff ball explorer!

Your kitten is a born explorer. Exploring her environment helps her establish a safe and secure territory. It can sometimes get your kitty in trouble, so be a responsible owner and watch out for any potential dangers like:

  • Open windows
  • Food left out in the kitchen
  • Boiling saucepans and kettles
  • Switched on ovens / hob tops
  • Gas and electrical fires
  • Sharp knives
  • Poisonous houseplants (including lilies, ivies, philodendrons and poinsettias)
  • Breakable ornaments, vases and tall unsteady objects
  • Open fires and chimneys
  • Detergents and chemicals
  • Plastic bags
  • Electrical equipment and cables
  • Open washing machine and tumble drier doors
  • Open toilets
  • Children and unfriendly other pets
  • Human medicines / pills (make sure these are out of reach and out of sight)

Accidents happen
However careful you are, your little adventurer may get herself into trouble. In the wild, her big cat cousins would naturally hide to lick their wounds and stay away from predators, so bear this in mind if you can’t find her and you think she may be hurt. I know when I have noticed Diesel and Angel hurt themselves by accident they shoot off under the dinning table to hide!

KITTEN MONTH – Bringing Your Kitten Home

Good morning guys,

Hope everyone is well. Continuing the Kitten Month blog series i have the following blog which relates to bringing your kitten home, what to do, what she will need etc. This is a one many of you will already know of but here it is:

When you welcome your new kitten or cat home, she might take a little bit of time to get used to her new surroundings. Let her discover everything for herself and here are a few things you can do to help her settle in…

Choose her room
Decide which room your kitten will ‘live’ in for the first few days and make sure it is kitten proofed (which I will go into more detail about in another blog) has a door or some other way of shielding her from the hustle and bustle of daily life (including children and other pets).

High places and hiding spots
In the wild, her big cat cousins like to patrol their territory from a high vantage point so they can both stay out of the way of predators and spot potential prey without being seen. So, if you can, choose a room where your kitten can hide easily and where there’s also somewhere she can get up high. If you can help her recreate her natural behaviour, you will help her settle in more easily.

The litter tray
Your kitten would naturally choose the most quiet and secluded place to go to the toilet. So place her litter tray in a corner opposite the door. Don’t forget to have tray, litter and a scoop ready. Clean out her tray regularly as cats are fastidious animals and she will go to the toilet somewhere else if her tray is dirty.

Food and water bowls
In the wild, her big cat cousins will keep their feeding sites away from their toileting sites to avoid contamination. So place her food and water as far away as possible from her litter tray.

Cat basket or bed
This should be comfortable, warm and easy to clean. But don’t be surprised if she prefers to choose another place to sleep in – her independent nature is one of the many things you’ll love about her!

Cat carrier
You’ll need this for her first journey home and for later trips to the vet and cattery. There’s a wide range of different types available. Choose one that is big enough for her growing up and one that is easy to use.

Scratching posts
Scratching is a very natural, but also, complex behaviour for cats – it keeps claws in good hunting condition and it produces both scent and visual signals. Scratching posts provide a great outlet for her natural behaviour.

Other useful things

  • Suitable grooming equipment for your breed
  • Cat flap (if required)
  • Fast release collar, lead, name tag and bell
  • Toys for playing

Settling in
Keep the house as quiet as possible when you bring your kitten home and don’t be surprised if she seems a bit timid at first. Show her where her ‘room’ is and let her explore by herself. Leave a door slightly ajar for her to come and go and she’ll soon let you know when she’s ready to explore more.

KITTEN MONTH – Preparing for Arrival

Good Morning to my lovely bloggers, Hope your all well.

Another importand and crucial part of introducing your kitten into the home is preparing for your kitten to arrive. Making sure you have everything necesary and obviouslt the money to do this. Take a look at this one:

Average Shopping List
To make sure that you have everything you need to keep your new kitten/cat happy and comfortable when they arrive in their new home, here’s a quick list of all the essentials you’ll need:

-Sturdy cat carrier, lined with a small cat cushion or towel or blanket for comfort.
-Food and water bowls, and obviously the food and water!
-Litter tray and litter scoop, plus a bag of cat litter. We use the wood based cat litter pellets as this is good for odour control and it’s a natural based litter. The cats seem to like this so we stick to this. There are many different types.
-At least one cosy kitten or cat bed.
-Sturdy scratching post.
-Kitten brush for grooming.
-Kitten toys.
-Name, Address and Telephone number of your local vet.

Cat Carriers
Make sure that you have a good, sturdy cat carrier to bring your kitten home safely, and to use for trips to the vets and other travel later on. It’s a good idea to get her used to the carrier early on as if she only sees it when it’s time for the vet you’ll probably have a job finding her when it comes out. Get her used to the carrier by putting it in the middle of the room and leaving it open with a towel, blanket or small cushion inside for comfort. You could even put the occasional treat inside to help prompt her curiosity!

Food & Water bowls
Small kittens will find it difficult to eat from bowls with high sides, and most cats won’t enjoy eating if their sensitive whiskers bump on the sides of a deep food bowl, so a shallow saucer or dish may be better for both cats and kittens.

Kitten and Cat Food
Kittens grow very quickly, and need more fat and protein in their diet than adult cats to help them develop properly; they also have tiny stomachs, so they will need to be fed little and often throughout the day. Make sure you feed them a complete and balanced diet, kitten wet meat pouches are specially formulated to provide them with all the energy and nutrients they need to stay fit and healthy. Some cat treats and foods may not be suitable for very young kittens, so always check the label and feeding guidelines before giving them to your kitten.

Adult cats need similar balanced diets but need an adult food and are more likely to tolerate treats etc.

Litter Tray
You’ll need a litter tray and cat litter ready for your kitten or cat. You’ll also need a proper litter scoop to help you remove your kitten’s “business” easily each day. Your kitten may need a smaller litter tray initially, as they can struggle to enter and use some of the high-sided adult litter trays: make sure that the tray has at least one low side that they can easily climb over. It’s also a good idea to put down some newspaper, or a mat that’s easy to clean, to catch any stray litter granules. There are many types of litter to choose from but something with good absorption and that eliminates odours is a good start, I would recommend any litters that are natural and easy for both the human and the cat to manoeuvre.

If you have more than one kitten, they may be happy to use the same litter tray initially but will need separate facilities as they get older. Many kittens will already be litter trained as part of the weaning process, but if not follow the steps on the litter training blog in the next few days.

Toys and Fun
Toys are a must for your new kitten: not only will they help keep her (and you!) entertained, but they are also important for exercise and development. Anything that resembles prey for hunting or moves unpredictably will go down well, and a scratching post is also a good idea to keep your kittens claws away from your furniture.

Toys for your kitten don’t have to be expensive: a simple cardboard box, maybe with a couple of holes cut out of the sides, can make a great kitten playground and provide a safe and private space for your kitten. Other homemade toys can be made from cardboard tubes, scrunched-up newspaper or tissue paper, cotton reel bobbins, plastic bottle caps (large enough not to be swallowed, and with no small plastic bits that could be chewed off and eaten), and are just as much fun for your kitten and cat. Angel and Diesel have encountered all of these and still love to play with the occasional bottle top etc.

Many cats and kittens enjoy being up high and able to survey the room at a glance, so consider clearing some space on an accessible shelf and window sill: in fact, window perches are likely to be very popular with your kitten and they will spend more and more time looking out as they get older. If you don’t have a big enough window ledge, special cat perches can be bought which are relatively cheap and easy to install.

Home at last
When your kitten first arrives at home, it is perfectly normal for them to be a little (or very!) nervous of their new surroundings: your house will be full of strange sights, sounds and smells that the kitten will not be familiar with, so they will need some time and reassurance to adjust.

To help them become used to their new surroundings, keep your kitten in a warm, quiet room for the first 2 or 3 days with easy access to a litter box and feeding and water bowls, plus a cosy bed and a few toys to keep them entertained. Make sure that all members of the family regularly visit the kitten: if your kitten is gently handled and enjoys some play time with everyone in the house, they’ll be much more sociable as they grow up. Once your kitten seems confident in their new surroundings, open the door and let them explore the rest of the house in their own time.

It’s a good idea, now she’s home, to set up an appointment with a vet to get her checked over for fleas, ticks or diseases and to plan vaccinations if she is not already vaccinated. If you have other cats or pets, make sure your kitten gets a full health check at the vet’s before introducing them to your other animals.