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Some of what I learn regarding cat care, by watching Jackson Galaxy - My Cat From Hell, 8 pm on Animal Planet:

  • hunt, kill, eat, groom is the order of a cat's life
  • there are bush dwellers and tree dwellers
  • cats pick up the energy of their owners at times, getting up high builds cat confidence
  • look at things from a cat's point of view

FEEDING: 

I feed your kittens two varieties of dry food and two or three varieties of wet food so you have choices based on price and availability when implementing your feeding programs. I order online at www.Chewy.com for all the food except the Life's Abundance which must be ordered online at www.LifesAbundance.com -- where I order Grain Free All Life Stages, which is the only grain free dry food I have found that does not stink.  

 

You may be able to change your felines diet, with MAY being the defining word!  To do this, the cat guardian can introduce a wet spoonful at a time OR the Ragdoll may get diarrhea or vomit.  If your cat gets diarrhea give them the Pro-Pectalin: a digestive health and probiotic supplement distributed by Vetoquinol and sold online by www.Chewy.com. Another option is to place 1/8 teaspoon Nathural Psyllium Seed Husk in about 1 oz of hot water.  Let the liquid form a gelatin in about 45 seconds stir well and mix in with wet food.  Also decreasing the amount of wet food, reduces diarrhea.


My Cats and kittens eat Royal Canin Mother & Baby Cat (dry) and sometimes BabyCat Instinctive Loaf in Sauce (wet) and or Kitten Instinctive -- Thin Slices in Gravy, Weruva Paw Lickin' Chicken and Mideast Feast with Grilled Tilapia all wet and Life's Abundance dry.

 

I mix two brands of dry together in the feeding bowl, as well as mixing 1/3 bowl served up from a new bag of Mother & Baby Cat brand of dry food with 2/3 bowl served up from the old bag of dry, when the old bag is half depleted.  I have found this works best for me, because simply changing from one bag of dry food to the next bag (same brand) can cause your feline to vomit for a couple of days until the feline becomes accustomed to the new bag.  

 

I also have fed or do feed wet home made food raw;  and cooked when the cats temporarily no longer desire raw.  Go figure???  The problem is sometimes cats just stop eating what they wanted in the past.  I then discover what is currently pleasing to them.  The nice thing is there are a lot good choices when selecting the food(s) that are right for your feline family.  Please include wet food in your felines diet at least occasionally.

 

Decline the use of plastic food and water bowls.  Instead use stainless steel, ceramic, pyrex or glass.  Plastic gathers food smells and your feline can just stop eating what ever you place in the plastic as well as plastic has been associated with Feline chin acne, which is a dark black head looking film close to the skin in between the chin hairs.  Because I avoid plastic, I avoid the water fountains because I have never found a fountain that did not contain some plastic.  Also changing the filters regularly becomes a hassle.  

 

Treats:

This will take trial and error.  A word of caution.  Felines really enjoy freeze dried chicken but only give 1 small piece per day.  I over treated, which caused a serious bowl impaction which was treated with veterinarian care and hospital stay.  So please remember only 1 treat at a sitting.  I know of a lady that killed her bird who enjoyed frozen peas by over treating with peas.  Treats are not food no matter how much your pet telepathically mind melds you into submission...  Treats can harm ... when given in over abundance.

 

General Grooming:  Trim your cats claws.  I like the JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Nail Clipper $3.99 purchased from Chewy.  Cats claws are see through so you can truly see where the blood flow starts because it is inside the clear claw.  Do NOT cut into the red part.  Trim nails once per week.

 

Ear cleaning can be done with cat ear cleaners or use Loreal Hydrafresh Toner-alcohol-free.  I use a cotton pad for most of the ear and a Q-tip for the hidden areas.  Do not clean anything you cannot see.

 

Eyes corners can be cleaned with contact saline on a piece of paper towel.  To prevent contaminating the actual eyes with bacteria that could be on my fingers, I do not remove any eye material with my bare fingers.  You can always wash you hands first but it is just a quick to get a paper towel wet with saline and hold the damp paper towel on the corner of the eye and soften the eye material then scoot it off.  You will notice if you continually use your bare finger, the eye material will get bigger and bigger and materialize more often.  If you use the saline/paper towel technique the eye build up simply diminishes and diminishes then just stops.

 

Fur:  Comb your felines regularly.  This not only keeps your home free of more cat hair, it is a bonding experience for the cat... done regularly.  The FURminator has a comb called Rake for Dogs and Amazon sells for $12.79  This is a fantastic comb for general combing.  The Furminator deshedding Tool for Dogs, Small, Long Hair works great to get the cat hair off the cat trees $19.99 as does a slicker brush which costs less.  I also like the FURminator deshedding tool to get poop off of the pants if there was a loose stool.  If there is an odor and or stain I apply a waterless shampoo for cats or a waterless moose then comb with the Furminator deshedding tool.  Oster Medium coarse Combs for Dogs 7-in works well for general combing $11.80  Some people do not enjoy combing so in this case please consider at least a belly shave during the shedding seasons.

 

Greasy tail also known as stud tail.  Finally I have found a solution.  Clean this with Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover.  There are many other cleaners BUT wash your hands with these other harsh harsh not pet friendly cleaners.  Leave the same solution you intend for your cat to be happy with, on your hands for 5 minutes then rinse and wash with shampoo and see what is does to your hands that are exposed to the elements every day.  You will find that your hands feel as if they had 1000 paper cuts along with extreme dryness.  Then think.... what if that was used on a non-exposed portion of my body like say.... behind my ears.  That would probably make you pretty uncomfortable right?   

 

Veterinarian Care:

If you purchase from a breeder that does not spay or neuter before purchase, then it is possible that your kitten has never been seen by a veterinarian.  When one purchases a kitten that has never been seen by a veterinarian the buyer is emotionally, financially and medically at risk.  Please purchase your feline family member(s) from a cattery that practices early spay and neuter so that you are reasonably sure responsible veterinarian care is practiced.  I sell only spayed or neutered kittens.


 

I recommend the FVRCP three way only vaccine.  This vaccine only contains Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calici and Panleukopenia (three ingredients).  If you are buying a kitten from Ragdolls Totally Terrific you need to make SURE your vet offers the FVRCP three way with only Rhinotracheitis, Calici and Panleukopenia (three ingredients) because if the kitten is inoculated with a FVRCP four way or five way the warranty is voided.  I am not a vet but my breeder mentors and vet I use who graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine agrees.  Please find a vet who inoculates with FVRCP three way.  Also do not give rabies and any other inoculation at the same vet visit.  I recommend at least 1 month time span between the FVRCP and the rabies vaccines.  

 

Kittens purchased from Ragdolls Totally Terrific, will be spayed or neutered before pick up.  Girls will have a stitch that I recommend be removed at the third inoculation veterinarian appointment which should be scheduled for the week after kitten pick up.  If stitches are not removed they supposedly dissolve, but I suggest removal at the well kitten check and third vaccine appointment.  You should set up in advance of kitten pick up day.

 

I recommend yearly FVRCP vaccinations, and worming every six months with Safe-Guard liquid for goats.

 

For fleas: Previously, I recommend that you never let you Ragdoll go outside; although a purchaser just educated me on cat fencing.  See: www.CatFenceIn.com  If you have a screened catio or let you feline set at an open screened window then you need to use Revolution flea preventative monthly.  Ask your vet for a Rx (prescription) at your first well kitten check.  My vet sells Revolution in kitten doses but does not sell Revolution brand in adult doses so must write me a Rx.  I then purchase Revolution at www.chewy.com; although chewy will require a Rx.  I strongly advise using no other brand other than Revolution.  Also one may purchase Revolution online from www.Deadfleaz.com.


Cleaning Products:

Get rid of any cleaning products that have the word SOL in the name.  For example: Pine Sol, Lysol.  These products, I understand, can kill your feline or give them a slow death by kidney damage.  Clorox clean up is a good alternative.  According to my vet the carpet cleaners made for pet poo are not toxic to pets.  Natures Miracle Just for Cats -- Urine Destroyer works great to clean up urine.  They also have wood floor spray cleaner.  If your feline pees anywhere, clean it up immediately using Natures Miracle.  If this ever happens at my house, I get a black light and look for pee which will florescence bright yellow in the presence of a black light.  Spray it down and wipe it up.  Throw away the rag.  

 

For kittens I have used a home made solution using vinegar from a cleaning recipe found on line.  I have also combined Bach Flower Remedies (which can be purchased at Sprouts) 10 drops of Walnut, 10 drops Crab Apple and 20 drops of Rescue Remedy Liquid and 1 teaspoon of vanilla for smell in a plant spray bottle.  This makes a nice cleaner for kittens.

 

Cat Toys:

Do not leave cat toys with feathers out for your felines to play with unattended because felines can choke on feathers.  I cut off all feathers from any kitten toys.


You will get the very best cat toys at a cat show.  To find a cat show in your town go to www.tica.org and click on the the Show Calendar tab on the left.  Scroll down each month and look for a show in your area.

 

Cats really like hand held wands.  www.Chewy.com has great prices on cat toys and a grand selections.  Cats love the Ethical Pet Wide Durable Heavy Guage Plastic Colorful Springs Cat Toy--$1.79 per pack. SmartyKat Scratch Scroll Cat Scratcher seems to be a pleasant devise for cats $14.74.  My favorite play toy is Ethical Pet Telescoping Kitty Teaser Cat Toy $7.45.  Fat Cat Classis Appeteasers $2.54 seem to be the catnip toys my cats have enjoyed most $2.59 for two.  HDP PopOpenCollapsible Play Cube for Cats $12.99 are a big hit for kittens and adults.  Always a exciting toy is the CoolCyberCats Deer Hair Rat Pack Replacement Cat Toy, 3 pack $17.99 or 4 pack $22.95 but worth the price because the cats are safe to be left unattended with these wand attachments because they do not contain feathers.   Big Sky Cats Buffalo Hair Rat Replacement Cat Toy, 3 count $13.74 or 4 count $18.95-- or Pack Rat Replacement 1 count $8.49 (we played three times and then.... they hid the toy they liked it so much.  CoolCyberCats Deer Hair Snake Replacement Cat Toy $7.99 a favorite.  Have some fun here.

 

Cat Trees:

Get one! Cats love cat trees.  Online prices are much less than pet store prices.  I have found the cat trees with real carpet are easier for cats to climb.  The cat trees that have the man made fur type covering are really slick and difficult for the cats to climb but much less expensive.  I covered some parts of the slick fur with burlap and solved the climbing problem.  Wooden trees are very attractive and easy to clean, but again more difficult for Ragdolls to climb.  Ragdolls need a tall scratching post to allow them to really get a good stretch so purchase tall scratching posts three feet tall at the minimum.

 

Water:

Place several bowls of water in various locations to encourage regular drinking.  Change the water often and every time they drop in a piece of dry food.  I change the water every other day, if it looks still looks clean after the first day.

 

Cat Litter:

For all kittens and some cats, I use a small sized poultry crumble purchased from a feed store in open litter boxes for kittens .  DO NOT USE POULTRY PELLETS!  THEY MOLD.  Do not use a poultry crumble that is just poultry pellets ground up.  What I do not like about poultry crumble or any litter type other than that listed below is that it gets all over the floor.  The messiness just really frustrates me.  The best most efficient way to tidy up the crumble is to get a half size broom and sweep the little pieces into a corner and set the cat box in front of the pieces.  Store the half size broom behind the toilet.  Then, once a week sweep and mop.  What I do like about poultry crumble is that it can be flushed down the toilet even if a septic tank is used.  Scoop the litter boxes for sure morning and evening every day and every time you smell a poop.  Cats love a clean litter box.  If you take notice you will find that your cat goes poo or pee immediately after the box is cleaned because they like a clean litter box.  So my routine is to scoop the poo or pee from all the 11 litter boxes, immediately do a second round and again scoop to poo or pee.  You will find many times the cat has soiled the fresh box in an effort to thank you for the poo free box.  If you do not understand this feline behavior, it could be frustrating, but rest assured once they poo and pee and you scoop twice the litter box stays clean the rest of the day and wha-lah...clean smelling home.  YES! 

 

The cleanest, easiest litter system for me is the Breeze Litter System from Purina.  Do not use more than one bag of pellets in the litter pan per month.  Change the litter each month the first of the month.  Use the Breeze urine pads.  Change them each week.  In fact.... just follow the directions on the Breeze box.  It may seem expensive but the time saving and odor removing function is well worth the expense for me.  Also print a $10 off coupon on line before purchasing.  The coupon can save $7-10.  I have six Breeze systems.  I also order the pellets and pee pads from Chewy.com auto ship so I get a new shipment monthly.

 

The other option is cat box furniture or a covered cat box.  It is a nice option for the poultry crumble but I still find it messy compared to the Breeze system.  Some do not recommend using a clumping clay litter because the litter can clump in the feline intestine as well as causing lung damage when felines breath the dust contained by a litter box with a cover.  

 

Introducing Felines to Other Animals:

You really need to follow these directions.  Set each animal beside each other in a carrier OR behind glass OR behind a closed door.  Give a treat that you know they like each time the animal are introduced.  Next let the animal see each other and give the treat.  If that goes well let them smell each other, give the treat.  If that goes well let them play.  The main thing is that you want the animal to associate a good thing "the treat" with every time this new creature is seen....I get a treat!  Subconsciously all the animals think... I like treats, when I see this new animal I get a treat.... so I like this new animal...lets be friends.

 

Do Felines really need another Feline friend?

When I had only three cats, I found those felines seem to prefer to be the only feline and have lots of human love and care.  The exception is my Stella who really bonded with Jasmine our only spayed female.  They are good buddies.  All the other girls would prefer to be the only feline, but they get along.  If you work a lot, I suggest that you purchase an adult or retired breeder or two kittens.  If you just want more than one feline with proper introductions as listed above, the felines will probably get along nicely.  Just understand the felines will bond more to each other and less to you.  


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