I am learning all the time what cats need and how I can make sure they have a happy and healthy life with me. So I thought I would share some things I’ve been learning recently (yes my blog might become cat focused for the foreseeable future, but it is all part of my adventures in life).
I have decided to use the food recommended by the vets I take Merry and Pippin to and that is Hill’s Vets Essentials Kitten Food. Both of them seem to enjoy it and I gradually moved them over from Whiskas (what they were being fed by the family I got them from) and on to this dry food only on the advice of the vet.
This is where I give myself some flexibility with what I give them. I like to make sure they are good for cats, but I also want them to enjoy them and know they are different from the everyday food. I use a mix of Dreamies, M&S chewy treats, and any other chewy/soft sticks or shapes I can find and are reputable. I keep them in a jar and the kittens know where it is and what it sounds like. I use it to call them to me a lot (and reward them for it). I also give them tuna and fish I cook every so often – always on their own plate, never from mine – as a very special treat.
I am just starting to rotate their toys as I am aware that they will become bored of the same ones around after a few weeks. I also buy some new toys every month as Merry has a tendency to chew the feathers off the toys and I know that is the part they enjoy the most. I have also found that simple things such as boxes and the inside cardboard of toilet rolls can be just as much fun as anything I buy specifically for them as they are lights and can be chewed and thrown around. I keep a couple of stick toys out of sight as they tend to go a bit crazy for these and only bring them out for special treats or when guests are around and want to play without the risk of getting scratched.
One of the first things I bought after I got them was a water fountain as it was very hot and I didn’t think they were drinking enough. I have also positioned it so they can watch the room while they drink. Pippin has taken to dipping a paw in and then cleaning his face (he also likes the bath tub for some reason). I want to keep them off the kitchen counters so do not encourage drinking from the taps.
I’ve been taking them outside every so often as they enjoy eating grass and catching spiders. I’m keeping them as indoor cats, but I need to be more consistent with taking them into the garden on the leads so they know it is a regular thing. I am going to up my training and start taking them through the garage, rather than the front door, so if I ever decide get cat flaps installed they would already know the route to the garden. I need to get another litter tray as now they are getting bigger, so is their business, and find occasionally if I have been out longer than normal one of them will have dirty and smelly paw. So as they are extremely clean creatures I need to make sure I provide them the space so they do not get put off using the trays.
They like to sleep a lot. I have bought them beds that are on either side of my bed as they like to be up high or under the bed out of sight. I also keep the carriers in the front room, without the doors on, for them to hide in. I don’t think my house has that many hiding places, so I am trying to provide these for them. However they will also fall asleep in the middle of the room on the carpet or on the sofa arm, so I think they are okay.
I’m a bit paranoid at the moment about learning everything I can about how to make Merry and Pippin have happy, healthy lives. I worry that keeping them indoors or restricting the outside time is not a good thing to door, but everyone I talk to seems to have a different opinion. I’m happy if I know I can make the time to take them outside every day for 15 minutes. It would cause me a lot of stress and worry to let them roam freely.