Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Kittens are Fourteen Weeks Old

On Wednesday our kittens were 14 weeks old. My hubby took them back to the vet for their booster inoculations and they got weighed and generally examined again.

My hubby told me that throughout the time, from the moment they were put in the cat carrier to the moment they arrive home, they made no noise and behaved impeccably throughout! They were both very relaxed at the vet’s and did everything they were supposed to do.

When she examined them she said how clean they were. She asked whether we had used the flea spray she’d recommended last time and my hubby reported that I had been puffing them with diatomaceous earth, and she couldn’t find any evidence of fleas on them. This is a much gentler, less toxic approach as it kills the fleas mechanically by interfering with their exoskeletons, rather than chemically, which involves spraying poison onto the kitties. Last time she recommended keeping them apart for an hour or two to prevent them washing each other, but I thought, “What’s to stop them washing themselves?” I wasn’t a bit keen on the idea. The diatomaceous earth is food grade and is actually used as a food supplement, and is totally safe. Ruby isn’t over-keen on being puffed but Lily takes it all in her stride, and anyway the procedure takes only seconds, and then a quick rub up and down to make sure the powder spreads through their fur, and they’re done.

They have both gained weight as they have grown, and they have now, as my hubby put it, “broken the kilo barrier”! Lily is still a bit heavier than Ruby, and they now weigh 1.33 kg (0.98 kg last time), and 1.23 kg (0.84 kg last time) respectively.

The vet was very pleased with them and said how relaxed, happy and well adjusted and healthy they both were. They are clearly very happy little kittens, enjoying a good life with us – and we are certainly enjoying having them! They are eating, sleeping and playing well, and have lots of stimulation, and they are enjoying their clicker training. My hubby told the vet about the clicker training and she said, “That’s good.” It is a very positive experience for all animals.

They must have been tired after their outing to the vet, because they both settled down to sleep while we ate our supper – Lily back in the flat, on top of the home-made cat tree, and Ruby… well:

01 Ruby Asleep Among the Teddies

Every day, my hubby puts the teddies out in the front window so that people walking along the street can see them and wave at them.

02 Teddies in the Window L

At the end of each day, they get brought in, and packed into a box (with an overflow now we’ve got so many!). Ruby was very intrigued with the box of teddies and spent some time tramping about all over them, and then settled down and went to sleep!

Here’s the video I made of her doing it this evening.

Since last week we’ve been letting them into our sitting room, having taken one or two kitty-proofing precautions. They were much more relaxed as they first explored the room, than they had been when they first arrived, or when we first let them into the main part of the house, when they appeared very timid. To start with, they both wandered around the room, obviously very interested and alert, but not a bit nervous. We have now moved the big cat tree that I got on Ebay into the sitting room, and this should keep them stimulated and hopefully off the rest of our stuff, and also give them somewhere new to sleep.

05 Kittens on the Big Cat Tree

For the foreseeable future, we aren’t letting them in there unsupervised, until they are old enough to act responsibly! So far they are both pretty well behaved in there, though. We are letting them through into the house most days now, when we are around to supervise them, and they are enjoying climbing on the big cat tree.

Clicker Training Progress

Lily’s training session didn’t go too well the other day – there were too many outside distractions, and she was easily diverted and became bored. I didn’t pursue it for many minutes – after her outstanding performance the previous day, she was entitled to a bit of a day off! We all get off days, after all. Ruby, on the other hand, did well, and consolidated the previous day’s progress, and they’ve both done pretty well since. Ruby is getting the idea of associating the word “Scratch!” with the act of putting her paws on the scratching post, now with just the word, but originally only when the command was associated with the use of the target. The next step will be to get her to actually “scratch”! I am also going to get some stuff to put on the scratching post to encourage her to do it. Lily has been using the scratching post with no encouragement from us from the very beginning but Ruby prefers the carpet. I have asked my hubby to make a sloping platform with some rough matting on it which she might prefer to a vertical scratching post.

Both will now “Sit!” on command, and I am trying to get them to learn to jump up on my lap with the command “Jump up!” but so far, using the target, they reach up and dig their claws into my leg, which is definitely NOT what I want to train them to do! More work is required, I think! I think the best way is to teach them to jump onto an object (e.g. the scratching post) first, and then progress to my lap.

The trouble is, they will only do what I want during the actual clicker training sessions. Once they are back in the flat, busy playing and being distracted by each other, everything goes out of their heads and they don’t remember anything! I am sure things will improve with practice though – it’s a long process and requires patience, but eventually, during the training sessions, things will get so ingrained that they become automatic regardless of outside distractions – or at least, that’s the hope!

With every day that passes, we get to know these adorable kittens better as their personalities and individual preferences and habits develop, and we love them more and more. I simply can’t imagine life without them now!

2 comments:

  1. Lovely to see your kittens settling in so well Shoshi - they've really made themselves at home haven't they and they've grown so much....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Shoshi, just catching up with some of our previous posts. I admire your dedication to train the kitties. Cats are notoriously hard to train - I don't even bother with Oreo - I'm convinced he's a bit of a dumbie LOL. He's totally spoilt, I know, and it's all my fault. Ruby is so cute with the teddies!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments! They are much appreciated. Spammers, please be aware that I read and moderate ALL comments, and yours will be deleted before publication, so please don't bother!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...