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Monday, June 30, 2008

The scoop on litter

I have had cats for 20 years + and have tried many cat litter brands and types. In the past I always used clay or the scoopable clay, but found they were both very dusty, and some brands would even get a bit gummy. I have also tried the pine litter, which works fairly well for the odor control, but it sometimes hard to get at the store. The new scoopable pine that I tried, seemed to track worse than the clays. I have also used the wheat litter, which works really well, but it seems Mazi developed an allergy to it so I had to stop using it. My current litter, I am really happy with is This litter seems to stay cleaner than any other litter I have used,it does not get gummy. It also scoops really well and doesn't seem too bad for tracking. Its made from corn so if a kitty eats some, it won't hurt it.

We have a home made litter box enclosure which works great. Actually we have 2. The experts say you should have one for each cat, but the 2 seems to work for us even with 3 cats. We took a large plastic tub with a lid and cut a hole in the side. I didn't have the best cutting tool so you can see my crooked cut in the photo. Kali is in the photo and she was about 4 months old when the pic was taken. You can see the tub is just a little taller than the bathtub side. This is large enough for the Bengals and the Savannah to use as full size adult cats. I have the extra large litter pan in there with a scooper tucked away in the back. The enclosed litter box really helps keep the litter confined. My cats love to bury their stuff, so litter flies everywhere. It also helps with the occasional over the side of the box accident. The top comes off for easy scooping and the whole thing can go outside for washing. The mat is a cheap thin door mat that was under $10 which is cheaper than the mats you buy at the pet store to use with a litter box.
The boxes get scooped every morning so the kitties start out the day with a clean box.

Friday, June 27, 2008

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Visit to Rosamond Feline Breeding Compound

Saturday, June 14, we went to the Twilight tour at The Exotic Feline Breeding Compound's Feline Conservation Center in Rosamond, CA.

They have several fund raisers a year where you can come in and see all the animals in the evening. Most of the cats active in the evening compared to earlier in the day. Unfortunately it was in the high 90s that day, so several of the cats were sleeping because of the heat.

They have a beautiful Serval that I was lucky enough to get some photos as he was chasing goldfish in a kiddie pool. (I also have a video clip on my youtube video at the bottom of my page.)

There are many Leopards, Jaguars and Fishing Cats.

They also have a Tiger and a beautiful Southern Cougar who is so graceful to watch.

Its a wonderful experience to get a close up view of these animals and also realize how this compound is trying to conserve these beautiful animals.

They have a gift shop and a raffle going on during the Twilight Tour, and another organization puts on a bar-b-que. Its a great place to enjoy an evening.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Call Her Fast Cat

Tonight Miss Kali is in a fighting mood. She chased Simba around the house a few times before, during and after dinner. She is so fast and its just amazing to see her run and smack at Simba with her front paws mid stride. Mazi decided to teach her a lesson and got low into his stalking mode. He crawled on his belly from one room to the next where she was relaxing and licking, and just when she wasn't looking, he pounced on her. What a bunch of wrestling racket! She was hissing and growling and he was just teaching her a lesson, in his brotherly love, of course.

Today there was a fly that got in the house. All 3 kitties saw it and the great fly hunt was on. Kali and Simba got the fly cornered by the sliding glass door to the patio. They were both chattering and smacking at it. Then someone knocked the fly to the ground. They both lunged for the fly and ended up hissing at each other instead. Kali wanted to eat the fly and I quickly got a napkin and threw the fly in the trash. She wasn't very happy with me, but she doesn't need any fly germs!

She is hunting Simba as I type here. He was over by the window chirping with his crazy sounding Savannah chirp, and licking himself for a quick evening bath. I don't think Bengals speak Savannah, and it just sets Kali off to go chasing him again whenever she hears him chirp.

The Bengals make a higher pitched soft thrill of a chirp when they are having fun and our Savannah makes a lower, gravely sound. Simba also has a scratchy sounding meow, almost like he has a sore throat. Our Benal Boy, Mazi, does the low bellowing cat calls. All 3 cats are fixed, he just likes making the call sound. Kali has a higher pitched meow and when she is excited about something she can really get loud.

I'm not sure if Kali is going to settle down tonight. Last night she slept on my pillow, but she doesn't appear to be slowing down much. Mazi is being his cool kitty self. I think one kitty is going to be shut out of the bedroom tonight so we can get our sleep.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What's on the menu?

Many people insist on feeding thier Bengals & Savannahs on the raw diet but I have had success with a very healthy cat food and my cats are doing wonderful. I just don't have the time to deal with raw meat for the cats and figure out how to do it safely and not make anyone sick.

I use the Blue spa select adult cat food (in the purple bag- chicken and brown rice) from Blue Buffalo, , that I buy at Petsmart. It is good food and contains -meat, veggies, some fruit and no animal by-products, cheap fillers, artificial preservatives or colors. My cats love the food and have a beautiful silky coat. Even my Savannah, who is suppose to have a rough coat, has softened up after a couple of months of eating this food. They are all a healthy weight, my girl Bengal is 9 lbs, her brother is 10 lbs, and my Savannah is 15 lbs- to date (he can still grow another year).

For wet food, they get some Sheba chicken in the dome containers. They carry them also at Petsmart, Walmart, and Albertson's (and probably more stores). The Bengals will also eat the tuna, but the Savannah won't, so we stick with the chicken so it doesn't get wasted. I open one of those in the morning and then they graze on the dry food during the day. They will have a little more wet food in the evening, but I am dividing up one container between 3 cats at each feeding.

None of them are fanatics about cat treats. They have had the greenies and the catberries and a few others but they prefer thier food.

For a treat, they get a few nibbles of boneless chicken breast before I leave for work each day.

They drink a lot of water! I have 2 drinkwell fountains in the house and they both have the extra reservoir on them. After about 6 days I have to refill the reservoir. I typically just take them apart and clean and fill them once a week. They will get slimey if you do not clean them and then mold will grow - yick! which will make the cats sick. I clean them with warm soapy water with about a teaspoon of bleach in it, once a week.

And Miss Kali cat is our scavenger - anything she sees to eat is fair game! she even takes food away from her brother!

What do you feed your cats?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bedtime for kitties

Bedtime started with our 2 Bengals snuggling up with us in bed. Once we brought Simba, our Savannah home, it changed things quite a bit. Kali would not allow him to sleep with us, if fact she did not even want him within her sight. We have one of the other bedrooms set up for Simba and he had to sleep in there with the door closed for the first few months we had him. If we did not keep him in there, Kali would chase him all night and run over us in bed.
After about 3 months, we were able to let them run around at night through the house. A couple of nights a week, they would have to be separated. We would shut our door and keep one of the cats in with us for the rest of the night so we could get some sleep. Our Bengal boy, Mazi, is more independent and enjoys sleeping where ever he wants in the house by himself. In the cold weather he will snuggle up with us, but usually only for a short time.

The last 3 nights Kali has taken to sleeping on my pillow next to my head and she has allowed Simba to sleep in the kitty bed on top of our bed next to my feet. Shortly before the alarm goes off, Kali wakes up and kicks Simba off the bed.
Things are improving bit by bit, but small steps with miss Kali. Simba is actually very happy with us. He plays and purrs a lot, and has to deal with Kali off and on during the time they are together. We keep them separated while we are at work so Kali can't get too excited and someone ends up hurt. They use that time for thier catnaps, and Kali needs to spend time with her brother Mazi.
I think we are all finding our little family pecking order, but we know Kali will remain the top cat.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Before buying a Bengal Cat

First, be sure you do not live in an area where the Bengal Cats are not allowed. There are several places where they have put in place laws banning any cats that have been bred from any wild cat background. Some areas allow only SBT Bengals, which means they are 4 generations or further from thier wild cat beginings. The ALC, Asian Leopard cat was crossed with domestic cats to create the Bengal.
The Bengal cats are beautiful cats and it is my experience that they are the smartest cats I have ever been around. Our cats are the brown spotted tabby pattern with beautiful green eyes. Thier coat is soft and silky.
Bengals are very very active. Our cats have figured out how to open almost all the cabinet doors in the house and several of our drawers. We have had to put baby locks on the ones that we don't want them to get into!
They like to figure thinks out and are facinating to watch. My girl saw me put a toy in my bathrobe pocket one time and from that time on, she has always poked her feet into my pocket to see if she can find another toy!
They love to climb and have several cat trees around the house. They love to run, they get excited and puff up and run and chase each other around the house. That's known by many Bengal owners as the daily Bengal 500.
They love to play and they make sure that you give them daily attention. If they are not playing with thier people, they are playing with each other or watching the birds out the window and dreaming about catching them. In the evening, both my Bengals like to curl up on us on the couch. They may not always be on top of our laps, they may curl up next to us or on the back of the couch. They want to be close when they snooze in the evening.
They are curious when we have visitors over and want to see what is going on. They have been good with our nieces and nephews when they have visited. The kids get on the floor and pay with toys and the cats are right there to check it out.
They are very playful, affectionate and loveable, but if you want a little fur ball that just snoozes and purrs, then a Bengal cat will not fit your lifestyle.
We love the crazy antics our cats do and how active they are.