Wednesday, 6 December 2017

How to make your cat wash his front paws

After a very long day of walking with your cat in the countryside it's paramount to wash paws of his pawsomeness before you allow him into your bedrooms again.

Of course I  usually wash his paws in the bathtab but for his front paws there's a cute trick: cats love to play with objects in a bowl of water. You just have to put a little floating toy there. Small potatoes or cherry tomatoes also work. The cat starts to play with them and his paws get cleaned without any scratching, stress and pain.

Here is Tisha by the fireplace playing with his toys and being cuter than ever.

Tisha the Siberian cat loves his stairway

Most of all we love spending our weekends at a country house.
Fresh air, quietness and tranquility, few people around, wooden house with a fireplace and lots of fresh homemade food. Prrrrrrrr.
What we find especially pawsome is a stairway to the second floor.
It's such a convenient playground.
You can jump there, run up and down the stairs and you can see almost everything from up there.

Walking with my cat in the park

I enjoy going to the park with my cat. In  an ideal world I'd let him go outside by himself. But I don't want to lose him to a car or a stray dog...
So my cat has a special harness and an extending leash for those occasions when we are going out.
I think that going outside helps preventing boredom related depressions in domestic cats and makes a fun activity for the whole family.
In this picture Tisha is enjoying the view of the river.

Here Tisha is trying to climb a tree. I think it's a healthy exercise for my cat. I just have to watch him not to go too high.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

You can make a balanced diet for your cat without any store bought vitamins

Since I started to think about my cat's diet I met quite a few people with holistic views on health and nutrition.
Those views can be summarised in two scentences:
1. Food should be as fresh as possible.
2. A balanced diet means that you should never add any supplements, vitamins or bioactive additives to it unless they are prescribed by a doctor.

The same applies to your cat. In nature it hunts for his mice and birds and eats them fresh. Sometimes he can catch a lizard, a frog an insect or even find some bird eggs in a nest. Everything is always fresh. Dogs can scavenge. Cats rarely do that. And they definitely get all the necessary nutrients and vitamines from their food. Otherwise they wouldn't have survived for thousands of years.

So the idea is to feed your cat with various raw meats, organs and bones to mimic it's natural diet.
It's as simple as that.

Bones are necessary as a main source of calcium in cats diet. Chicken necks, chicken heads and whole quails are perfect for cats as sources of bones. I believe that chicken necks and chicken heads should be 20-30% of your cat's diet and you can give him a quail to gnaw on it once or twice a week.
Gnawing on meaty bones stimulates and cleans cat's teeth and helps to develop healthy jaw muscles. (Bones should always be raw. Cooked bones can be lethal to you cat, they cause blockages, they can splint and lead to internal bleeding. Never cook bones for your cat. Don't even unfreeze them in a microwave just to be sure.)

Taurine is another cat's owner concern. Cats should get it from their food because their bodies are unable to produce taurine by themselves since cats evolved eating raw. It seems that there can never be enough taurine in your cat's diet. But actually almost any raw muscle meat contains taurine. Taurine degrades with heating and cooking. So again, all meat should be raw not to deprive your cat of it's valuable aminoacids. Heart muscle is one of the greatest sources of taurine and almost all cats love eating raw hears. Pork heart, turkey heart, beef or chicken heart - all good.  Hearts can be 20 to 50% of your cat's diet depending on other ingredients of his meals.

Other muscle meats that are good to your cat include any parts of beef, turkey or chicken legs, rabbit, lamb and even pork. Chicken or turkey stomachs are also very nutritionally valuable and healthy to eat. But never use chicken breasts. Chicken breasts are poor in nutrients and eating a lot of chicken breasts can lead to vitamin deficiency and cause a disease or syndrome known as an avitaminosis or hypovitaminosis.

The rest of you cats diet should be liver as a great vitamin A source (no more than 5-10% in total or you risk your cat to have a runny tummy or even vitamin A toxicity), raw quail eggs, diary, some vegetables and other sources of insoluble fiber (no more than 2%  in total). Fiber is important for healthy bowel movements but it is not necessary.

I usually make a mix of most of the ingredients and some of the ingredients I give separately.

The recipe is very simple:

20% chicken necks
10% chicken heads
30% hearts (pork, turkey or beef, lamb or whatever heart I can find)
10% turkey leg meat
10% beef muscle meet
10% chicken or turkey stomachs
8% rabbit or beef liver (chicken and turkey liver is also fine)
2% of the mix are raw vegetables minced to an almost puree form (zucchini and pumpkins are the best) and wheat bran (one table spoon per kg of meat)

Two times a week my cat gets a quail egg as a snack.
Every other day I give my cat a couple of tablespoons of fresh non sweet yogurt (3-5% fat) or fresh quak. My cat prefers goat milk yogurt to a cow milk yogurt :)
A 5 g of grated cheese is ok to add to his portion of meat or you can give it to him separately if he eats cheese on its own. Cheese is also a great source of calcium.
One drop of olive oil added to his food once a day won't hurt as an additional source of vitamin E and as hair ball prevention, but it is not necessary. Some cats don't like the smell.

Two times a week my cat gets raw fatty fish like salmon or mackerel to supplement his diet with healthy omega-3 and vitamin D in its natural forms.

You can give your cat whole quail as a separate meal. Cut it into 3 or 4 pieces so that it's easier for your cat to eat. Or give the whole thing and see what happens. You can give chicken necks and heads separately as I said before. There are plenty of variations and adjustments to a homemade diet.

Here is my cat sleeping after a meal.

How I decided to feed my cat with a homemade diet

The question of feeding is one of the most difficult for a pet owner. There seems to be a lot of arguing whether one should trust a commercial cat diet (but which one to choose?) or you should give your pet homemade food (again, which recipe to trust?).

I never believed that anyone should be fed dry food.
I mean, it's dry. It has less than 10% of moisture in it and it doesn't look like a proper alternative to mice and birds that a cat would eat in the wild. And you can't ever be sure what it's actually made of.
After some further reading on the subject I decided to give my cat a diet of cat canned food (for the balance of the added vitamins) and homemade dishes (for some fresher sources of protein). So I started to alternate between those two.

Naturally I researched the market of canned food and found 3 best European brands available in my country.
But to my greatest surprise none of them were right for my cat. After being fed with any of those he showed various simptoms of digestive problems that were quite ugly and I spent a lot of time washing my floors, his litter box and his legs. Poor thing was gassy, the smell was awful and I started my day by scrubbing my bathroom floors and aerating the apartment instead of having my cup of coffee.

But on the days when I fed him quail eggs, raw chicken hearts, raw turkey, fresh yogurt and quark I noticed that my cat's digestion was fine and the final product in his litter box looked like it was ment to be an exhibit at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures :)

So there was no question of torturing him with any more of the commercial pet foods, I just had to research the principles of a balanced homemade diet for cats in order to keep my dear pet as healthy as possible and to start my mornings with the aromas of coffee and fresh pastries :)

Here's Tisha at the age of four months when he became a raw fed kitten without any health problems. His fur became shiny, his eyes and his ears cleared and he started to smell like a clean cozy sweater.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Tisha The Siberian Cat Became My Pet

I always wanted to have a cat, but since I was a child there were lots of obstacles on my way. Like unwilling parents, not having a job or my own apartment, other unwilling adults to whom the idea of an animal in the house appeared somewhat unhygienic not to say idiotic... And so I managed without a cat until last January, when suddenly I realized that I'm a grown up and there was nothing preventing me from owning a pet anymore.

That's how this little guy found his loving humans and home at my place.

His name is Tisha, he's a Siberian kitty and he brings lots of fun to his owners. I hope he'll bring some smiles to you too.