Sep. 4th, 2009

laturner: (catnip)
We took Penny and Oreo in for ear mite treatments the other day. Penny has lost almost a pound since coming to stay with us. This isn't completely unexpected, since she is trying to eat for six, but it's still not great. She is currently eating only dry kitten kibble and ignoring the soft food we offered her. We became determined to find a soft food that she would like.

This meant that we had to "cross the line"... normally we will buy cat food that is high quality, with no byproducts. It's better for the cats. Unfortunately one of the reasons that the cheaper foods are often popular with cats is that the manufacturers focus on making the taste appealing, and less on the nutrition. People figure that since their cat loves the food, it must be good for them. Well, as with humans, that's not always true.

Still, the important thing for Penny is to give her lots of energy intake while her babies are nursing, so we bought several sample cans of different canned cat foods to see if one would catch her fancy.

So far, Friskies Tuna and Whitefish, although recommended by a shelter employee who lauded it as "stinky", was not appealing to Penny. She licked it a couple of times, then went away. It was definitely smelly food though.

Next up was the Meow Mix Select Tuna and Shrimp (with whole shrimp!). It was a whole new world of stinky. It also did seem to have real flaked tuna, and I spotted a little shrimp in there. We presented it to Penny and... she liked it! She wasn't crazy over it, but she ate about half the little can, and we've saved the rest to feed her later today.

The taste trials will continue. This is for entertainment purposes only, no endorsement of any product is intended, and Penny's tastes will be different from another cat's anyway. :)

We're also feeding the kittens a mix of KMR, soft canned kitten food, and warm water. Peanut and Puss are now gaining weight steadily, and the other kittens seem very interested in the food too. The sooner we can get them weaned, the better it will be for Penny.

In other good news, there were many little pewps in the litterbox, and none on the bedding! I'm always amazed at how quickly the little guys learn to use the litter.
laturner: (kitten mews)
Well, we went through about ten different types of canned food, and none of them appealed to Penny. She did like the one Meow Mix dinner, but seemed more interested in licking up the juice than in the actual food. So we thought, why not mix some of our regular soft kitten food with KMR and water into a soup? BINGO! She liked it! She still seemed non-plussed about the meat though, so our next try was just KMR and water, so basically cat milk. No, she didn't like that. I can't believe how picky she is! Of course she eats tons of kibble and drinks lots of regular water, but for putting weight on her, we want to get something more into her.

Penny is a bit sniffly, and one of the kittens has a bit of eye gunk, but they're getting the best care possible, so hopefully the cold will pass quickly.

Kittens at this age are so dumb and cute. When we feed them, we still have to dab some food on their mouth so they realize that it's there. Once they start eating they're little machines, but it's like they haven't connected the smell of food with eating it yet. In a few days they'll be over that and it will be much easier to feed them, just put the plates down and let them have at it!

Last night Penny was meowing plaintively at us and we couldn't figure out what was wrong. Then I picked her up and snuggled her really firmly in my arms and scritched her. She purred up a storm. Some cats like that, I know our Molly does, but I was reluctant to try it with Penny. She was much happier after that. Silly cat. :)
laturner: (kitten mews)
Penny had been sneezing, and so really it was only a matter of time before the kittens came down with something. It's a sad fact of life that the shelter is like a daycare... one cat gets a cold and it spreads like wildfire. The shelter is gradually converting to new cat enclosures that will prevent the spread of kitty colds.

Puss's one eye was stuck shut yesterday, and was full of green goop. Today we took them in to Arlington Animal Hospital and got some antibiotic drops for his poor eye. We are also adding a bit of powdered L-Lysine to Penny's milk and the babies' food. It's an antiviral that will help them fight off the cold, which is of course a virus. For some reason kittens tend to get infected eyes more often than the moms, maybe because their eyes are so tiny. They are all still full of energy and eating well though, so no worries.

I had been forgetting to crosspost entries about kittens here, sorry for the sudden catching up. :)

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datalore

December 2009

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