Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Michaela's School of Massage with kittens

Hello, yes, you want a massage?

Lay down while we check you in and go over the procedures..

Let me check with management to make sure I covered everything before we start..

Yup, everything looks good, Okay troops..

I'm here to conduct the post-massage interview. How did we do?

Monday, August 27, 2018

Catching up with the kittens

Everything is going smoothly with the kittens. A nice simple foster situation with no complications just buying our time while they grow.. can't complain about that. Everyone should sign up for these.

This set of kittens, like the last, have no real interest in us while Michaela is around. We had company over the weekend and they were very interested in showing off for other people, so that is good. Since Michaela is over nursing (whenever they ask she gets up and leaves) I'm thinking that sending her on will help finish up the socialization process. 

Doughboy and Marsh (aka Marshmallow) are still the largest and the smallest by half a pound. It really is quite amazing. Graham is just a few ounces shy of Doughboy.. who was very well named.

S'more still has that flat gremlin-like head. In case you were wondering, yes, she has tortitude.

George is very interesting. She remains sitting when I walk in the room still. She won't come running to me, nor does she run away when I walk up to her to give her attention (but she will walk away if I give her too much) which led me to initially suspect she wasn't feeling well but once she is up and going she is a total spitfire. I'm coming to the conclusion she is just a little timid and unsure in new situations. I gave them a new toy last week and she circled it five times inspecting it to make sure it wasn't going to 'get' her.  She's not shy, she's not obviously scared.. she doesn't lash out, growl, or show any signs of being or having been feral, she is just, timid with change. I need to get the TV into the kitten room so that there is regular noise of people, which I have a feeling will help her a lot.

Lots of eating (up to 30oz a day) and lots of pooping, and gobs of adorableness..

Friday, August 24, 2018

Pedialyte, is it safe for kittens?

When people who rescue kittens get together to swap 'war stories' several things come up over and over. Pumpkin for diarrhea, Lysine for immune support, and Pedialyte for hydrating kittens with diarrhea.

For the past year or so there has been a huge warning against Pedialyte because someone realized that it has zinc in it and has declared that this is toxic to kittens. So now when someone mentions Pedialyte inevitably someone pipes up that you shouldn't use it because of this.

I first started hearing this with the caveat that they had recently changed their formula. I wrote to Abbott, the makers of Pedialyte and asked them directly if they had changed their formula recently and they told me they hadn't.

So, that part of the story was false, what else was false? Is there zinc in Pedialyte? Yes. According to the label, there is 7.8 mg per liter. According to the Pedialyte website there is 2.8mg per 12 fluid ounces. This breaks down to 0.23mg of zinc per ounce or 0.0078mg per cc (or ml).  When you are dealing with neonatal kittens you are usually giving it by the cc

So, those are impressively small numbers, but what exactly is the nutritional requirement of zinc for cats? Surely if someone was tossing around that this is toxic it must be an issue, right? Well, the minimum recommended daily amount of zinc for kittens (and it happens to be the same for adult cats as well) is 75 mg per kg. A one pound kitten is 0.45 kg so their minimum daily requirement is 33.75mg

Okay, fine, they seem to be able to handle getting up to 147 ounces, just over 18 cups - or two cups over a gallon - of Pedialyte before we start running into the zinc levels that reach the minimum requirement, but what about adding zinc to the food they are getting, surely there is all the zinc they need in whatever you are feeding, so would adding just a little more run into toxic levels??

Well, according to the AAFCO - that sets these guidelines, the maximum zinc that should be fed a cat or kitten is 2,000 mg.

So, should we be worried about the zinc levels in Pedialyte when we are trying to hydrate kittens or cats. No. You are more likely to cause the kitten to die of water toxicity than zinc. Even oral electrolyte solutions that advertise having zinc in them still only have 7.8 mg per liter.

If you are still uncomfortable with it, you can totally make your own oral hydrating solution for far less money than Pedialyte. All you need is 1 quart water ¾ teaspoon table salt 2 tablespoons sugar. Some recipes add baking soda, using the same measurement as the amount of salt you are using.

Now, as always, I am not a vet, nor do I play one on the internet. I am sharing with you what I know, what I have learned and what I have read. You are encouraged to take this information and do additional reading on the matter, double check my math, or have a discussion with your vet.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

NH Wildlife

When we moved to this community, I knew full well we were moving into the middle of the woods and there would be wildlife.. but I never realized I'd be this close.

First, there was the woodchuck

He was super cute and enjoyed chewing on the flowers that were in front of my house. This above photo was taken through the screen so he was probably no more than five feet from me. S/He kept showing up and we kept thinking it was adorable until we put the house on the market and in the process realized s/he had made a den right next to the front of the house. I probably wouldn't have cared (although I probably should have) but we figured this would be a negative trying to sell the house so I put a couple of piles of kitty poop near the den and poof, s/he was gone.

Then in July there was this:

Can't see it? Let me show you what I got from a different window.

The purple flowers in that last photo edge the walkway to the front door. She was probably 20-30 feet from me. Annoyingly someone in a van saw her and drove right up my driveway (past where she was about 10 feet) for some reason, I mean all the way up to the garage. I have no idea if they were trying to get a photo of her or scare her away.. I was not fit for human consumption at the moment (being in my pjs) or I would have run right out there and given them a piece of my mind.

Then we moved.

As I was driving back to the new house I rounded the corner and nearly smacked into a family of deer.

I was amazed at how close I was able to get to them. If I wasn't so fearful of deer ticks I would have gotten out of my car and tried to walk up to them (no one tell me this is a bad idea, I'm afraid enough of deer ticks to not do it). My husband and I have both seen them in that spot several times as of late. Sometimes with the fawns, sometimes not.

Then one morning in our backyard..

The rescuer in me wants to put out food and vitamins and whatever else I can to "help" them, but again my fear of deer ticks and the knowledge in the back of my head somewhere says that is a very bad idea.. but deer.. and deer with baby deer.. in my backyard!! come on.. you can't tell me a small part of you would want to do it too.

I have a ton of bee and butterfly photos on my larger SD card but I put that "some where safe" to move and haven't uncovered it yet. *sigh* I need a nap

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A gift for Michaela and the kittens

As I mentioned the other day, the kittens are eating a lot. Now that they are getting bigger they are eating even more. I used to be able to put two cans down and there would be more than enough for Michaela left over.. not so much anymore

I mean, really, how sad is this? (and please do not look at the debris on the floor, I swear I just cleaned that yesterday)

And then this showed up..

"Oh, a box for me! Cool beans!" says Michaela
"Um, darlin, look what came in the box!" I replied

oooh, all for me!?!

Which one shall we open first??
Not only did we get five cases of food, I now have a nice restock of disposable kitten litter boxes (the trays) *AND* Michaela gets a cool toy.

A huge shoutout and thank you to Amy for the food. Another huge shout out and thank you to Lori who sent along a gift certificate so when these cans run low I can buy more.. You have no idea how much I appreciate your support. It really means a lot. Thank you The kittens would thank you too, but they are off burping and washing their faces.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday Morning Update

Sorry for not blogging for a couple of days, life got away from me. We are finally 99.99% out of the other house (there is a rug in the basement we are wanting to get out) so now we are faced with the daunting task of finding homes for all of the 'little things'  We seem to have boxes everywhere, and if there isn't a box there is a project or four to get the room 'settled' and we are both quite exhausted. Right now we don't need to do anything to go about our day to day lives, so we are taking a few days off to recoup and we'll go from there...

But you didn't come here to learn about how tired *I* am, but to see kittens.. so let's get to that! 🐱

The kittens are doing incredibly well. We have gotten past the stage where they are still figuring out the litterbox (THANKGOODNESS) and I was able to take up the pee pads. My next step is to get all of the boxes out of the main area of the room so we don't have litter everywhere.

I'm not weighing the kittens that much because they are fat, happy, and active. I weigh the littlest one, Marshmallow, every couple of days because I need to give vaccines once he makes weight, which should be any day now. He is dramatically smaller than his visual twin, aka the other tabby Doughboy, and Graham but he loves to wrestle with them anyway.. he totally looks like a younger brother tagging along.

Doughboy and Marshmallow

S'more's head looks a little wide - almost gremlin looking - which makes her all that much more adorable.

George is a very interesting kitten. Most of the kittens run to the door when I come to it, but she just sits where ever she is and waits for me. The first few times it happened I started to panic that she wasn't feeling well, but she would go on to eat and play and appeared to be in good health, so I am chalking this one up to her incredibly huge personality, which she totally has.

Georgie Porgie.. 
and last, but certainly not least is Graham, who also has a larger than life personality. This kitten.. wow. It is rare I have a kitten this old that has back feet that have no idea what the front are doing, but it makes for quite some entertainment.  He also *really* likes his food.

Graham, post dinner. He thought a nap was a better use of his time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

One more reason I feed my fosters canned food

When Michaela first arrived her back in May, she was vomiting a lot. I was trying to narrow down the things that would cause her to vomit so I wouldn't have to clean it up every day. I am sure there are more things then I found, because she became stable on canned pate foods in chicken and turkey flavors. She was eating up to six cans a day, it was a little overwhelming and keeping canned food "in stock" was a little difficult.

When Michaela went back to the rescue, they got her on an all dry food diet. Longtime readers of this blog know I'm not a fan of this for a few reasons*, but I don't run the rescue, so I have no say in this. They were able to get her on to dry and she didn't vomit, so when she came back here it was recommended that I keep her on dry.

With low stocks of canned food, I gave it a go. Michaela remembered that I am a sucker for a begging kitty and give canned food, so it was difficult going for me. However, what has reverted me back to canned food was this

I have talked about the differences between stool in raw fed cats vs cats who are eating canned food, but the output of cats eating only dry... woh. It isn't that easy to see that there was quite a bit of stool in the larger green box because it is covered in litter. Both boxes were full up - and this didn't include the four piles of poop that were scattered around the room either because the boxes were full or because the kittens still haven't made the mental connection between a box and having to "go".

I immediately opened up a can of food..

Michaela now gets two cans in the morning - one for her to start on and when the kittens come over to eat she just sits back and waits for them to finish and the other for her - and two cans at night. If I had unlimited numbers of canned food I would give her three or more.  But canned food is running low and without more, I am going to have to start rationing it.

If anyone would like to donate to the cause, I have my Amazon wishlist over there on the sidebar. you could also email gift certificates to any store that delivers.  Don't feel you have to, I have plenty of dry food for them, they will not starve - but it just means I'll be going through more litter 🐱
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