Thursday 16 June 2022

Kitten updates

The kittens are growing stronger day by day, more attention is being paid to the world outside of their safe & cosy den . A couple of days ago to see how well their limbs are gaining strength I put them all on the carpet just outside of their quarters…. They were nervous, the unknown feel of carpet, the exposure in an unfamiliar place (30cm from their den!) . They wobbled a bit but were able to mobilise & think about moving off. Have a look in the video below: 

They’ve also been changing on the inside too as their teeth are easily felt. I was making a little video at 3:33 this morning when suddenly Prune yelped & began immediately to get up. Obviously a too eager kitten has clamped down this it’s needle sharp teeth trying to keep its place or assure the nipple remained their own. 

I’m going to be introducing solid foods into their diet from Sunday - Prune will be delighted I’m sure though they’ll continue to suckle her even when thy be longer need to. As they get the hang of solids, lots will change… she will no longer see to their toileting needs & so on Sunday as their diet begins to alter so too will their accommodation which will now be adapted once more, this time to include access to a shallow sided litter tray & a dish of water. At first they’ll walk provable through the shallow water a few times before learning it’s there for drinking, but they learn the use of the litter tray readily. Their curiosity has them getting into the tray where instinct drives them to begin scratching about in it. This seems to trigger their bodies & they will just start using it & learning to cover their “business” by themselves. It’s remarkable even if they do at first get this bit a little wrong. It’s also, at times,  made infinitely worse by a runny tummy as their bellies adapt to a meat diet. In such circumstances I do tend to need to do some quickfire rinsing & washing of feet & toes under a warm tap. This is rather unpleasant especially once so agile in their free access around my home. However, for the most part it is a quick progression… their desire for the meat at first is not huge—- what is this weird stuff you are putting in my mouth? I don’t know how to deal with it? I don’t like the taste or the texture! Stop it! Then, oh how they change their minds becoming ravenous for their meat which is fed at first in small amounts 5-6 times a day, then gradually this is reduced to 4-5 times a day as their little tummies hold more. These tiny legs only a few centimetres long, minute compared to my own, can race past me get to the kitchen long before I can, so eager are they to eat! 

The kittens will,as always, be weaned to Natures Menu kitten, this is an ideal & safe first stage of on the way to them having a raw whole prey BARF diet. However, it is also a happy medium as it has a similar texture to commercial processed wet food too making it easy for their future family to do a slow & measured transition of their kittens later on if that is what they desire (transition advice is featured as a chapter in the new owner handbook) . The kittens also have access to Natures Menu dry kibble. Again, a great starter complete food all on its own, a perfect way to get feeding a meat & grain free diet if dry feeding is preferred. A slow reduction in wet food would be all a new family would need t do if this was their preferred . Food type. My own cats are fed on a Orijen Cat & kitten - a dry BARF food. However, of note here is that  while it’s advertised as being ideal to use for kittens for weaning too my own previous experience in doing this is that young kittens have tended not to cope well with this food (as a weaning food) so if you were considering this very excellent food, I would migrate them to this by slowly transitioning them later on . I plan to do this very thing with the kitten I am keeping. So it’s all to come, meantime I hope you’ll enjoy this cute early hours video revealing what goes on in the wee hours. Prune suddenly yelps & moves in response to being nipped by the rather needle like teeth but is encouraged to stay. As she resettles rather than guarding herself instead she positions herself to give as full access as she can. What a magnificent mother she is!