Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Harsh Reality?

A forumer in another forum posted a question over the weekend asking if a kitten will leave scratch marks on her new laminated flooring as she (I assume so) is considering adopting one. I don't know what came over me but I spent the next half hour replying her (during office hours, haha).

Am I too harsh with my reply? and may have in the meanwhile, scared away a potential adopter who may have given a kitten a good home?

My main concern then was that the cat/kitten will be dumped when the novelty of having a cat dies off, the adopter did not research enough or the adopter did not go through the whole thought process of having to care for an animal. I do not want another cat/kitten to suffer the stress of being adopted and then dumped again in another year or so.

Mrs kxbc thinks my reply is too blunt though the content may be more or less correct. On hindsight, I think so too. Maybe I was really too harsh and direct. Maybe I was just being myself and wanted her to know the seriousness of having a pet.

The question posed by her:
"hihi all cat lovers.. i'm new to this forum and would like to know some things abt adopting a kitten..

first of all, if i do not have a car, is it still ok to adopt a cat? is taxi uncle ok with a cat in a cage cos sometimes we might need to bring him/her to the vet..

second, my house will be laminated flooring with normal classic doors for the bedroom.. will there be prominent scratch marks on these?"

I cut and paste my reply to her below:
"Nothing wrong having a pet cat without a car. Lots of us don't drive.

Done so many times taking public transport with a secured carrier. Bus drivers and taxi drivers have so far not made any noise except for some taxis which will not take pets, even in carriers. If you are booking a cab, remember to tell the operator that you have a cat in a carrier. Also remember never to put your cat + carrier in the boot, no matter what the taxi drivers says. The cat is in your care so would you put your charge in the boot? Take another cab and tell the driver he will not earn your money.

Pets are not allowed to be taken onto the MRT so take note.

When you have a cat, there are definitely going to be scratch marks here and there, on the parquet floor, on the sofa etc when the cat runs and makes a turning. My cats do not scratch the sofa but when they start playing on the sofa, their claws may unintentionally leave some marks on it. But it's fine by me. Sofas and floors can be replaced but not my cats.

And there is going to be cat fur around the house too even with daily grooming and some litter tracking here and there.

If you are one of those who want a spic and span house with gleaming new furniture and without scratches, pets such as dogs and cats will not be for you.

Cats may throw up their food every now and then if for example they eat too fast or if the food does not agree with them, esp if new food is introduced. Laminate, parquet, marble and granite flooring cannot withstanding wet patches for an extended period of time as they are porous. And if they throw up while you are not home, the vomit may already have sunk into the flooring by the time you are back home from work in the evening, leaving at best an irremovable stain or at worst, a popped up laminate.

It is true that cats make good pets and owning one or a few give immense joy. But there are a lot more things to consider before adoption eg:

1. is everyone in the household agreeable to having a cat?

2. will you not abandon the cat later on, esp when you get pregnant and are pressurised by family members to dump it?

3. do you have the extra cash to send the cat for annual vaccination, check ups (vet visits can be expensive especially when they reach old age)?

4. are you willing to mesh up your windows so that your cat will not jump out accidentally and fall to its death esp if you are living in high rise apts? Meshing up your windows will definitely spoil the look of your house unless you invest some money/thought into design and materials.

5. are you prepared to love and take care of the cat till it reaches old age?

6. do you have the time to play and interact with your cat for at least an hour every day?

7. are you willing to let your cat roam all over the house when you are not home? Keeping your cat in a cage is mistreatment.

8. cats are curious animals and they will explore every nook and cranny of your home and in doing so, they may smash some ornaments you place on shelves. Are you willing to reduce your various displays? Are you willing to forgive your cat if it accidentally breaks some precious item in your home?

9. are you prepared to live with your furniture accidentally scratched or scratched before you can fully train the cat to scratch at the appropriate places?

10. will you be the sole provider of food and love for the cat?

11. are you prepared to neuter/spay the cat when it reaches sexual maturity?

There are so many questions to be answered and these are not the only ones I have highlighted. I have not trying to scare you but you will have to consider the above and more, esp if you are a first time owner.

The advantages of having a pet cat outweigh the disadvantages. But can you live with the disadvantages? Best you speak to friends who have pet cats and chat with them first. Read up on cat onwership. There are lots of reference books in the library, especially Orchard Library (under Pets). You can also get some info from CWS http://www.catwelfare.org/ and see if you can speak to a volunteer.

I am not trying to scare you or anything but it seems that there are lots more things to consider before bringing a cat back home."

If you feel that my reply is too harsh, I will have to tone it down a little next time so as not to scare away potential adopters.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Melly Clistmas!

The kxbc gang of 5 wishes all cats and their peeps


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Here are the kitties - Part 6

Kitten Litter in the Sun
What's a litter of kittens to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Laze around in the courtyard of course...


Monday, December 04, 2006

Help please - Skin problem

Update on 15 Dec 06:
We took the little boy to ARC Balestier for an appointment with Dr Sulnyi and waited and waited for more than 1 1/2 hours even though we had an appointment. Very bad impression already as the longest we had ever waited at our regular vet (with appointment) was less than 30 minutes and that was because the dog which was treated before us collapsed just outside the building due to some terminal illness. The owner was sobbing uncontrollably as she carried her dog in. It was a very sad scene, something I wish will not happen to us. I wish that if the kxbc gang needs to go, they go peacefully and gently in their sleep.

Anyway, Dr Sulnyi was quite good, listing out all the food and environmental allergens possible, things which our regular vet had also highlighted. It was a confirmation that both vets are correct and knowledgeable in their field of expertise. Little boy Chang Chang is confirmed to have no ear mites or any flea infestation.

As Chang Chang had licked himself sore in one area, he had an injection which will reduce itchiness for a week or so. The injection kicked in a few hours later and hopefully this will break the licking cycle for a while.

So in the meantime, we are taking the Feline Pine out of his litter and staying with Cat's Pride. Dr Sulyni suggested using paper pellets but it simply will not do in a multicat household. We have moved his bedding from the room with the litter box to the living room so that pine sawdust in the air, if any, will not cling on to his body. We have also switched him to a single protein dry food (Natural Balance Venison and it is super expensive for such a small pack; the gang can easily finished one pack in slightly over 1 week) but he does not really like it. So we are hand feeding him at least twice a day, hoping that he will grow to like the smell of the new food. We will also reduce the amount of floor detergent we use and wipe again with clean water even though we do not think that is the problem since we had been using that detergent even before he was borned.

And now, we sit back and try to reduce our stress level, which may pass on to our sensitive boy (so boss, less work lah ok?) and see if these measures will have any effect on his licking problem. Hopefully his fur will start growing back before CNY. Fingers crossed.


Update on 13 Dec 06:
Bought the Oscar C cream as recommended by Moglee last week and applied on him. I think it did quite well except that he licks even more vigorously after application to get rid of the cream.

Haizzz, no choice already. I had made an appointment with Dr Sulyni of ARC today. I understand she is quite experienced in felines. Hopefully she (I think Dr Soo is a she) has a solution to Chang Chang's skin problem.


Update on 5 Dec 06:
It got worse last night while we were asleep. He pulled out chunks of his fur and now his flanks are very very patchy. We thought the bath on Mon night had soothed his skin a little bit but we were wrong. We will be paying Pet Lovers tonight to get the recommended creams, shampoo and cleaner. E-collar probably would not work as he gets very agitated easily and will be snapping like a crazy cat and will be terrorising the other 4 non-stop to vent his anger.


Chang Chang has been having skin problems for almost a year. He is licking excessively around his tail, inner hind leg region and his stomach until they are now totally devoid of fur.

The vet suspected flea/mite infestation and prescribed Frontline and weekly flea bath. We did it consistenly for 2 months and it did not get any better. He was still licking himself. And we did not think that it was flea/mite infestation as the other 4 were not affected at all. Lately, he had become allergic to flea shampoo and Frontline as he would scratch himself excessively whenever we bath him or apply Frontline on him

Suspecting food allergy, we switched from Royal Canin Indoor 27 (major ingredient: poultry) to Science Diet H/B Control (major ingredient: chicken) and now to IAMS Lamb & Rice (read somewhere that lamb will probably not cause food allergy). But still he is not getting better.

It cannot be an environmental allergy as well as we have not switched any household cleaning products or beauty products which he might have come into contact with. His bedding is now cleaned even more often.

Stress is ruled out as the dynamics of the kxbc gang have not changed and he is still the No. 2 cat, if not the Top Cat.

It has been getting worse these week as he has been tearing his fur out in frustration. Clumps of fur on the floor will greet us whenever we come home from work. And he is so itchy and agitated he has lost his appetite, and growing thinner.

I am bringing him to the vet again tomorrow to see what the vet will say but I suspect he will ask me to monitor again. But I don't have the patience already. It pains us to see him licking himself every waking moment.

Have any cat owners/fosters/feeders encountered such a problem with your cats before? If so, what have you done to help your cat recover? Any products you have used which may help? Thank you in advance for your help.

From the very desperate Daddy of the kxbc gang

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Reply to "Why like this one?"

Daddy says:

Little General Yuan Yuan, you are one sweet kitty without a single mean bone in you. Of course we love you very much and would love you even more if you would allow us to cuddle you without you screaming the house down. You should learn this from your mummy Xin Xin who would seek us out for petting and cuddling whenever we are home.

As to the name issue, we never expected to pick you up from the void deck to join our family. I had already used that kxbc name way before you came to join us. And so as to avoid confusion, I have kept to that name and not included your Y into kxbc.

But you should know that you are the baby of the family and we all love you very much, even grandma Kim Kim who may hit you every now and then. You are like what we say, an unexpected big fat surprise package dropped from the sky. And I emphasize the word FAT because you eat way too much, almost double of what the others eat. So don't eat so much from now on, because we want you around for at least another 15 years. Ok?

And to compensate you and to let you know that you have a place in our hearts, this is for our little General Yuan Yuan.

General Yuan Yuan says:

You are forgiven. The kxbc name will remain. But I give no assurance about my growing girth. I know you like me chubby.