Newt update and general questions
I've now had Newt (my walk-in, adopted stray) for about 9 1/2 weeks, and her kittens for 7 1/2 weeks - I've named them Duke, Duchess & Baby Newt/Newt Jr. :) )
At this point, I haven't made any firm decisions on whether I'm keeping Newt, or how many of the kittens I'll be giving up for adoption, although my preference at present is to keep Newt and at least one of the little ones.
Newt has settled down to a degree, but things aren't quite at the stage that I would consider routine. There are some evenings where she will be completely relaxed and content. Other days, she will be begging to go outside. Although even at her whiniest, it's nowhere hear as bad as it used to be. One noticeable improvement has been with her walks, which I still take her on once or twice a week. She's a little more relaxed with a harness on, and I think we both have a better understanding of her (and my) limits as far as what she is and isn't allowed to do, so hardly any forceful leash pulling or harness wrestling goes on. As a matter of fact, walking her is approaching quasi-pleasant experience :eek: something I would never in a million years have imagined possible. One really nice thing she does is she will speed up to a fast trot when we're on our way back home, and she will run back into the house when I open the door, like she actually wants to go back inside; it's the complete opposite of what used to happen, where I would have to practically drag her back kicking and screaming.
Having said that, on the days when she is screaming to go out and I either can't (or won't) let her, she'll usually quite whining after about an hour. Unless, that is, the kittens are bugging her, in which case she will be a little more insistent. On other days, even when she seems content staying inside, it's hard for me to tell what her mood is. Is she truly happy being inside? It would put my mind at ease if I knew that she wanted to say, instead of sticking around because that's simply the way things are. Am I over-thinking things?
Onto food... Newt has a bad habit of begging for human food. When it's just me, I can control her behaviour to a certain degree. Even then, it's a challenge. I brought home McDonald's chicken nuggets last night, and when Newt caught a smell of it, it was like trying to keep a bottle of whiskey from an alchoholic, she just went bonkers. When I have guests over and we're having lunch/dinner, it's worse as she doesn't seem to respect their food as much as mine, and she will steal/pilfer a piece of meat given the smallest opportunity. I've resorted to locking her in a spare room while we eat. I really need to get this under control if I'm going to keep her.
The kittens... they're a handful... when not sleeping (or eating), the kittens are filled with uncontrollable, boundless energy. They have graduated to using the big litter box (yay!) as well as eating both wet and dry food, although they still nurse for brief periods several times daily. I now go through 3-4 cans of 5.5oz moist food a day - that's over 100 cans a month. - this does not include dry food or treats. So the cost keeping them around is really adding up! I love them to bits and will be conflicted once I give them up, but I have to admit that my wallet will certainly be happier :)
I've also noticed that Newt will on occasion intentionally use the small litter box - I have no idea why. Even when the big litter box is clean and the kittens aren't using it (which shouldn't be an issue as it's big enough for all of them to fit).
So as I mentioned, the kittens are just all over the place, and there are nights when I don't get much sleep because of it. I don't always close my bedroom door because one of Newt's favourite lounging spots is my dresser drawer (which the kittens can't get to.... yet). I'd like to somehow be able to let Newt in, but not the Kittens. I guess I should also be careful about what I give them to play with. I had bought a water fountain and left the box on the floor, which has provided for countless of hours of entertainment for them, which is fine by me, but there are times when they can get pretty loud doing lord-knows-what to that box. All 3 have distinct personalities. Duke is by far the least mischievous, well-behaved kitten of the 3. If I do end up keeping one of them, he's at the top of my list! :laughing:
I'm glad to hear that Newt is starting to settle down somewhat. It's going to take some time and patience while working with her to sway her to your way of living. I think a lot or her habits are results of how she was living before she decided to vacate her previous home and come to live with you. In regards the meal time problems, I think I'd try to feed her before I ate and see if this would stop the problem of her begging if it does then you could use it when guests came around and maybe that would keep her away from the table where you and your guests are trying to eat. As far as the wee wild ones go (kittens) I have had no experience with them, so I can't make any suggestions.
Re the cost of canned food: I think I'd be trying to find 12.5 ounce cans of cat food rather than the 5.5 ounce cans. I was just into the Pet Value website and looked at the Wellness chicken formula cat food for an example, and buying the 12.5 ounce can over the 5.5 ounce can would save you about $ 0.12 an ounce, and if you're going through a hundred cans a month, that's 550 ounces, which would make a savings of about $66. This could help the budget a wee bit as well.
I hope these suggestions will help you.
The kittens sound adorable.
I second the suggestion of buying 12.5 ounce cans, it's one of the things we do to save money on food. Also, once the cats reach adult size, don't necessarily follow the portion recommendations on the can. If I remember correctly the recommendation is something like half the can for every 6-8 lbs of body weight. My cats weigh 10lbs(just right), 11.5 lbs (just right) and 11.5lbs (about 1lb over weight). Half a can usually provides enough for a morning meal for all three and the other half provides a meal at supper. (They do seem to eat more when the weather is cold) There is occasionally even food left over. If I fed what the can says either a lot of food would go to waste, or my cats would turn into blimps.
It was lovely reading about Newt's progress and the kittens :lovestruck:
I think it's all a matter of time. I tend to over think things too (but that's only because you want the best for Newt). But think about it, even when she's used to the outdoors and freedom she'll always have a warm place, food, shelter and love for her. I've been experiencing that with Bobandy my new family member who came from outside as well.
I think it's all a matter of time and patience. Does she like to play with you? Just you and her and a little string? Maybe providing some entertainment indoors will ease the boredom for her.
It's adorable that you take her for walks on a harness. It's remarkable that she got used to it so soon as a grown kitty. You must be doing an awesome job with them.
Thanks for all the feedback again... I'm definitely going to look into buying larger cans, but they're not always available for the brands I buy (and Newt can be really picky with her food!). Ideally, I'd like to get Newt to eat more dry food, maybe a 50/50 mix.
I might actually start supplementing my cat's diet with some raw food, but the amount of information concerning this subject is a bit daunting for the newcomer. Many sites offer various recipes, most of which involve grinding several types of meat/bones into something with the consistency of oatmeal, while some other sites I've visited advocate feeding only whole, unground pieces of meat because it's more "natural".
As far as playtime - I'd have to schedule some one-on-one time with Newt and keep the kittens in a separate room. Anything I bring out, the kittens will be the ones bounding towards it first, and mommy cat will lose interest.
Speaking of kittens, I'm hoping this is simply the paranoid side of me talking, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Newt might be pregnant again :( I'm really really hoping I'm wrong, but her belly's looking a tad plump. This would be from the one time she snuck out 5 days after the kittens were born (is that possible?), which would make her about 53 days along IF it were true.
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