Track the progress of current Moonspun Persian Cat litters as well as gain insights into the life of a cat breeder!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Raw Food Success!

Well, today has been another eventful day.

My raw food arrived yesterday. 5 KG doesn't sound like a lot for
feeding 8 hungry cats, but when you've got it sitting in front of
you... Well, it's loads! It took the first package a whole day to
defrost in my fridge, so I couldn't feed any until first thing this

I'm used to doling out tinned cat food, and even with the high quality
stuff, you have to feed a reasonably large amount of it before the
cats are full. I put the same amount of raw on a plate for the babies,
and dropped a splodge into the big girls' bowl just to see if they
were interested. My heart sank when Gabby, who would literally eat
garbage if it was put down in front of her, had a sniff, turned her
nose up and cried at me for something better.

I took the dish into the babies and set it down. As usual, there was
no reaction other than Stripey screaming fit to burst to be picked up
for a cuddle. I plonked her in front of the dish instead... And
watched in amazement as her head went right down and she began to fill
her little face.

It's interesting to compare the differences between how they eat raw
and how they manage wet cat food. Normally when you wean, you make the
food as gloopy as possible to make it easy for them to get up. Raw is
quite jelly like, and while you could add a little water, I didn't
know that at the time, so didn't do it. When they try and eat the wet
food, they slurp and suck and generally get themselves into a terrible
mess by plopping their whole heads in it. I presumed it was because
they didn't know how to chew yet, but watching them with the raw has
dispelled all those illusions. These kittens know how to chew all
right, boy do they know! I watched little Dreamy, who up until this
point has refused to have anything to do with cat food, turn his head
sideways so that he could scissor meat with his back teeth. The only
problem with this raw feeding is that the cats, having now tasted real
flesh, frequently try and have a taste of me just to make sure I'm
really not their dinner! So, bite inhibition work has officially
started today, although I feel very mean having to be firm with such
biddy babies. When I came out with the remains of their breakfast,
Gabby started to hassle me. She was asking and asking for food, so I
thought I'd try her again and tipped a bit of their breakfast into her
bowl. I brought this into the kitchen so that she would think she was
getting a treat (they always get them in the kitchen as this is also
where I give medicines, and want it to be associated with lots of good
things too). Well of course, you don't turn your nose up at treats, so
she had a dutiful lick even though you could see she wasn't all that
certain. The first lick did it, and she cleaned her plate. She
literally licked the bottom! I gave her a little more, then had to
just give gobbits from the container without warming it as she was
determined to have more! The other two big girls came in then to see
what all the fuss was about. As it was obviously a treat given that it
was being fed in the kitchen, Tia decided to barge Gabby out of the
way and take some for herself! Now this is a huge thing as Tia is a
dry food cat through and through. If it's wet, it has to be RC or
Hills, that's it, no compromises, never! Now she didn't come back for
seconds, but nor did she spit out her initial mouthful! I caught
Millie having a sneaky nibble too, but she is totally ignoring any raw
I put in the pen with the kittens which is a pity, as it's her I
really need on the stuff.

Weight gains from Berry and Dreamy have been spectacular. Berry gained
37 grams in 2 days! Dreamy has managed a respectable 34 while Apache
and Stripe have done 24 and 25 respectively. Red has only managed 20,
but that's still good enough for me not to be worried in the
slightest. I suspect that once Apache works out what the dish is, her
weight is going to sky rocket, and she may well have managed to break
400 by tomorrow, which is what a 4 week old should be. Well, they say
100 grams plus 100 for every week of life, but in that first week
bearing in mind that mum doesn't have full fat milk for 2-3 days,
gaining 100 is a bit of a mammoth ask.

Litter training continues to be, well, let's say a trial. Besides that
one lucky weewee and poo, nobody that I know of has used the litter
trays, although to be very fair, there was a puddle in the corner of
one and I'm not sure if it was mum's wee or a combination of lots of
little kitten weewees. I only clean these trays once daily as it
doesn't do to have too clean a tray when you're trying to teach
kittens where to toilet, as the smell draws them back. Again to be
fair, I haven't noticed them using the bedding either. They're now
weeing in between the bed and the tray down a teeny, weeny gap, but
it's still progress, right? They love to wee along the side wall in
between the trays too, so I've slapped an empty one down there tonight
to block their access. They can wee in there all they like, but it
will just pool around their feet which they hate. If they continue to
prefer that spot, I'll put a bit of litter in the bottom for them, but
fingers crossed they will learn quickly! I don't expect any poos for a
little while as you get hardly anything on raw anyway, but fingers
crossed for nice firm ones!

1 comment:

Timmy Tomcat said...

Well a bit late but we have had a few batches of kits learning the pan. We use a crate over night and for meals. A nice big 48x32. We put the pan in there a Brownie pan works great with paper folded in the bottom and a handful of litter. Mom may be cranky but since they are eating this may work. Let them stay in there over night and then about a half hour after meals. Pops used to give the kits the wipe on the rear with a moist towel to stimulate them to go. They would eat and charge off to the pan. All done in a half hour.
Great to hear about the raw. Still working getting some to eat it in this clowder.