Monday, August 31, 2009

Is Our Kitten, "Scampy" male or female?

Hello There! VivBounty here with great news on our new kitten, Scampy.

The day we got this kitten, no one was more surprised than us, except maybe our dog, Pedro. From a barn colony where 15 more needed homes, we couldn't refuse this one. So in the car, taking shelter under the driver's seat, we brought it home to cool off on a scorching hot Summer Sunday. We let Pedro sniff the kitten briefly, put it in the bathroom on the bath mat, a bowl of water nearby while Pedro layed outside the door sniffing inquisitively as we went to buy kitten supplies. We couldn't find a litter pan, so we settled for a paint tray, some fine litter, dry and wet kitten food at our local "trading post".

The cashier was a cat lover who had bred some 20 litters of kittens. She congratulated us on our choice of kitten food and asked the gender of the kitten. We had no idea, so she said "oh it's easy to tell" and went on to describe picking up the kitten, like its mother would, gently by the "scruff" of its neck, if the tail extends straight out behind, it's male and if the tail curls under between the legs, it's female. When I next got the chance, I lifted our little one up as gently as I could as instructed by the cashier and watched its tail. First it was straight down, then straight out, then curled under. Not wanting to hurt it, wondering how long I should suspend this poor little thing, I gave up and went in search on the Internet.

I found some photos online, which didn't really help with my one kitten, unable to compare. I lifted up my kitten's tail to examine and compare with the photos describing distances between orifices using this photo below from the which was great except that my kitten's genitalia was spaced somewhere in between these two. Cats are after all, as individual as people. A sibling of the opposite gender might have helped. Our visit to the Vet cleared all things up. Scampy is male, about 8 weeks old now. He was barely 6 weeks old at the time of the visit, but as he has long legs, she estimated that he is going to be a big cat, he's a good strong little guy, too young for vaccinations just yet. We're to keep him indoors until he can be protected and feed him kitten food until he's a year old. He weighed 1.4 lbs at that visit, but he seems to have grown bigger this past week, eating well, eliminating well, playful, independent and we think he's very clever.

So we conclude that Scampy was born on or about June 29th, in very good health and very loved by his "mum" and "dad". His "bruv", Pedro is tolerating him more and more just walking across his belly, hitching a ride across his back from sofas to desks and even lying nose to nose with him on the carpet.

Until next time, this is VivBounty reminding you to hug your pets, have them spayed or neutered, and if you're thinking of getting one, visit your local animal shelter.

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How Do You Treat a Very Young Kitten for fleas?

Hello there! VivBounty here with some tips on how to get rid of fleas on a young kitten under six weeks old.

We have recently taken a young kitten into our home and wondered how to treat it for fleas without harming it.

Our little addition goes to the vet on Monday for a first medical check-up, which is a very important first step to adopting a kitten.

After doing some research, we found that until you see the vet the safest way to treat a kitten under six weeks old for fleas is to bathe him or her in warm water and dishwashing detergent. Many breeders use this method as it is safe, when done properly, very effective and kills fleas quickly.

  • Try to ensure your bathroom/kitchen is warm before beginning so that your kitten doesn't get cold
  • A sink would be easier than a tub to avoid bending and make handling the kitten easier.
  • Fill the sink with warm water, test water by dipping your elbow in it, as you would for your baby.
  • Wear rubber gloves so that you don't get scratched
  • Have 2 towels and face cloth ready by the sink
  • Immerse the kitten in the water up to its neck and make sure its good and wet
  • Use the face cloth to wet its face and head
  • Now lift the kitten out and place on the towel
  • Put a little detergent between your fingers and massage gently into the kitten
  • Massage the lather all over its body and around his/her neck, ears, face, head. and under its chin
  • Be careful to avoid getting soap in the eyes
  • If there are fleas, you will see them running for the dry parts as you lather so treating the head is important
  • Now put the kitten back in the water in the sink to rinse
  • Try to keep him/her submerged for a few minutes making sure he/she is well-rinsed
  • Now use the dry towel to wrap the kitten up and dry him/her
  • Fill a cup with very hot water
  • Use a flea comb to go over the kitten while still damp
  • Catch any live fleas between your fingers and drop into the cup as fleas are able to jump out of cold water
TIP 1: Put some petroleum jelly at the base of the teeth of the comb to catch the fleas
TIP 2: Have masking tape or similar, sticky side up to put any remaining fleas on

We now have a very happy, affectionate, active. playful kitten who eats well, uses the litter box and is not the least bit intimidated by its 85-lb canine housemate, Pedro. They have even had naps together on the bed after only 4 days of living together.

Stay tuned for the name of our newest little blessing after the vet confirms gender.