Wednesday, January 21, 2015

When Kittens Bite and Scratch

When you look at my hands you will see scratches. Know that these scratches are from the kittens that I care for.   When the rescued or abandoned kittens get to be a certain age they tend to play a little roughly by scratching and biting. Their  sharp little teeth hurt and sometime the scratch or bite gets infected.

Generally this rough playing with the biting and scratching occurs when kittens are about 7 to 8 weeks old. One day your kitten is sweet and the next morning something is different because your adorable kitten has discovered that her teeth hurt and she wants to bite everything and she also discovered that she has claws.

Discourage your kitten from playing with your hands or feet. Instead buy dabird (bird with feather on a stick) and run the bird across the floor. Your kitten will chase after the bird and find this to be amusing. If there are no litter mates for kitten to play with then buy your kitten a stuffed toy. Spray the toy with catnip and now you have a toy that kitten can play with and you hands are not their source of entertainment. 

 In addition to the cat toys, now is the time to teach your baby cat to use a scratching post.  I recommend buying a medium sized cat tree that is covered with carpet.  This tree will provide your kitten with hours of entertainment plus the cat tree will be their place a safe area to scratch.


Sometimes those dagger claws will puncture the skin and let me tell you this darling kitten’s playful behavior is not fun at all. So clip those claws so that they will not scratch you.  

I recommend that before you handle any stray or feral kitten that you make sure that you have on protective clothing; arms and legs covered with long sleeve shirt and if possible a jacket plus leather gloves to protect your hands.  Helpful to be current with your tetanus shot. Other than than enjoy the kittens as they are babies for only a short time.

Gray Cat at My Door is Injured

Not sure why cats find their way to my house but they do.  Our home is at the bottom of steep hill and it backs up 29 acres of dense woods with creek in the valley.  There is nothing around except a dead end street where cats and dogs are usually abandoned.   It should not surprise me but it always does when an animal finds its way to my side door. 

Tonight a large mature cat shows up at my side door and knew to scratch at the screen. I opened the door expecting to find my own cat wanting to come inside but instead there is a large gray and white cat sitting in front of the door looking at me.

My first reaction to this cat is to think that it is lost. So I turn on the porch light and go out to see if there is a collar and hopefully an identification tag. No such luck, this big boy with the shiny coat is well fed and I suspect either abandoned or lost.

I went indoors  to get some food and a bowel of water and set the cat bowls off to the side and that is when I realized that this cat was injured. His left hind leg is hurt because he is limping.

I called out to my husband and he examines the cats paw  to see if something is embedded but he said that the paw bed looked fine and he suspected cat got hurt in a fall or a fight with another cat. But again no bite or puncture wounds were noticed.  Maybe cat tried to climb a tree to get away from danger and fell?    We do not know but we both agree that this kitty that is injured must spend the night in our heated garage. 

 At this point we have no idea if this is somebody’s cat from the joining neighborhood.  All we know is that the cat is hurt and it is best that he is not spending the night outdoors tonight when coyote are in the area.  So there is another kitty that has found us and is of need of help.  We will do our best to care for him and hopefully we can locate his owner.

If you do not have a identification tag for your cat then I recommend this one. You can personalize it with your contact information.  If gray cat had a tag he would be home with his people tonight, instead of in my garage.

Spring Like Weather Means Cats will Mate

The last couple of days have been warm and the mild temperature is enough to make the unaltered cats eager to mate.
Feral Cat Bob was always eager to mate, he was neutered in December

In December we had taken in four cats to be neutered and thought we were all up to date with the feral and stray cats in our neighborhood but today I look out my back window and what do I see, a tomcat getting it on with a queen cat. What the heck is this and better yet are these stray cats or the lady down the streets cats that are not sterilized. 

January is not a good time for an outdoor cat to be pregnant because this warm weather is just a break in winter, snow in the forecast for this weekend and bitter cold weather. Not a good idea to have those kittens during the winter even if queen is held up in a thicket den, the weather will be too darn cold.

Since I am not about to let those kittens freeze to death I decided to get out the cat trap and try to catch the stray queen cat. Take her in for a spay and vaccines. Then I am going to go down the street to have a chat with the women with all of the unaltered cats and if she does not listen to me then I may report her to animal control because she is way over her limit and we can no longer continue to pay for her cats sterilizations.