Cat issues…

Right, we are declaring war on our cat’s stress levels! Tinks has recently been more stressed in general, starting with a local male cat coming into the area inside the house by the back door. I’ve seen it in there once, but this and all the other cats which come through the garden are obviously making her stressed. She has been spraying a bit in the house and not been herself.

We’ve also been doing some decoration recently and have got two new armchairs, so a few things have been changed. She just came back from the vet with a diagnosis of cystitis, so the vet gave her some pain relief and we are starting up again with the cat pheromones.

There are also a few other things we’ll be doing…

– To stop or hinder the movement of other cats, I will build a fence across gap between shed and fence at the bottom of the garden. Claire’s Dad will also build us a new side gate as a combined Christmas present, which will hopefully help at the other end of the garden.

– The treatments, new sleeping basket thing from vet, a new chip operated cat flap (£80!), which our neighbour has also gone for. This will stop the cat(s) coming in.

– Tinks also likes the fire and last winter was always lying in front of it stretched out, so hopefully the more frequent use of it will help.

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Vegan cat food…!

Claire ordered a tester bag of vegan cat food for Tinks!

She seems to really like it so we might go for that! We’re trying the vegan sort because we’re trying to all be more sustainable in what we do, including being vegetarian. There’s no reason why Tinks can’t do the same. Less meat consumption is healthier and means less impact on the planet and its people (but obviously also less on the animals!).

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Tinker update…

Ok, Tinkerbell has had her first visit to the vets!

She was obviously having a few problems and was very unsettled for the first few days here. She was going in and out of her litter tray and not really doing anything + leaking a bit and just not seeming very with it (very technical diagnosis).

Anyway, Claire thought it could be some kind of urine infection so we drove over to a vets which our colleague at work uses. It was a 7:15pm appointment but they only charged day rates. Jac fell asleep in the car so I stayed in there with him surfing the net on my mobile while Claire and Jamie went in with Tinks!

The vet was apparently very good and identified that Tinks had a slight gum infection plus that she was more like 10 months old, not the 12 that we were told. This was because her bottom teeth hadn’t developed fully. So, her birthday is now officially 1st November!

The vet diagnosed the main issue as stress-induced cystitis, so i’m thinking a combination of being at the rescue shelter + moving here + having the boys being very excited around her has led to the condition. Jac is very excited about her and all his chasing and shouting at her must be bloody annoying! : )

She had a steroid injection and is now on a course of Cystaid which will relieve the symptoms of the cystitis. We came out with a £50 bill, but this will hopefully be covered under the pet insurance. Just aware that with things fairly tight right now, this plus all the other costs are mounting up! With the insurance and food, it’s roughly £50 per month. Theoretically, we should have more than that spare each month, so it should be alright.

Today we’ve seen a big improvement in her and she’s been chilling out at the top of the stairs and being much more relaxed around us + purring a lot and licking me! The vet also said keep her in for 3 weeks, particularly until the treatment and shots have finished.

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Letting the cat out…?

When to let Tinker out into the garden?

Well, there are some pretty varied and extreme responses on the various forums. This ranges from never(!!) to a few days! Interesting, but slightly scary response below from someone based on the question how long should you keep your cat indoors when you first get them?…

‘FOREVER! Outdoor cats die early, contract diseases like FLv, risk traffic, risk other cat and dog attacks and if not spayed or neutered, cause the overpopulation of animals who are killed by euthanasia. Cats don’t mind the indoor life- I have many of them who get along just fine. Please, no outside. It’s just too risky.’

Ok, I realise some people have little choice but to keep their cat indoors (like my Sister who lives in a block of flats in London, or maybe next to a particularly busy road etc) but keeping the cat indoors their whole life, out of choice, seems a bit strange. Would you want to spend your whole life indoors? I’m quite into the whole ‘free-range’ idea for chickens and I just can’t accept the opposite for a cat, it just doesn’t seem right, but as the comment suggests, it probably is safer if you keep it in the whole time, but there’s a lot less range of life experiences if you did.

She’s also been sitting by the window staring out and also sitting by the back door and taking a keen interest when anyone goes near it! I think maybe 1 week and then we’ll see if we think she’s ready to get out. We’ve also got to renew the existing insurance which she came with, just in case she does have a ‘negative life experience’ along the line. : ) The £350 vet bill (for his cats) which my colleague told me about was a bit of an eye opener!

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Tinklebell arrives…!

This is Tinker’s 1st birthday… She’s apparently a year old and as this is her first day with us, this can be her birthday!

The whole name thing is an ever-changing feast, with Jamie calling her Tinklebell and moi calling her Tinker. Claire’s mostly just called her puss! Jac has tried Tiiink!

Me and the boys drove out to the rescue centre after lunch, ready with the cat carrier. Jamie held it all the way ready for the event! Both the boys were really excited but they had to wait a while as there were a few forms to fill and and sign. They kept running over to the squeaky dog toys and laughing.

Tinker seemed quite calm on the way home and Jamie did a good job pointing out things like trees and cars to keep her calm. After we got her in the house, the boys were understandably quite excited and spent the next 4 hours running around after her! They were pretty good with her but I did have to have a few serious words with the boys, particularly when Jac was trying to crawl into her enclosed litter tray! He also tried to get his trike in there.

So, now all is calm and the boys are asleep, Claire is playing with her with a cotton reel and string, which she;s loving. She also seems a lot calmer and has already established a little route around the living room, via the sofa and bay window cill.

Lots of fun to be had tomorrow.

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Tinkerbell is on her way…!

Ok, it’s official, we’ve finally caved in and reserved a cat! She’s called Tinkerbell (she already had the name +i’m already calling her ‘Tinker’) and is very cute, with a very white underside and front, and a very tortoise/tabby head and back/tail (see the rubbish picture I took of her below, through the bars).

We just went over to a friends house yesterday –  they have just got 2 very cute little kittens and I think this was the final push we needed, plus the fact that our plans for a spanky new extension are on hold for a while (and therefore there won’t be loads of building work going on)!

She’s a rescue cat from the Teckels Animal Sanctuary, which is right by our favourite camping shop on the A38 on the way to Bristol. Her owners abandoned her when they found out she was pregnant and since then, she’s had a litter of kittens all of which have been re-homed. She’s also already been spayed quite recently and still has the stitches with the shaved area!

She’s a year old, so still young and seems very calm with the boys. I was quite impressed with the shelter and the conditions and they all had their own cublicle things which were a good size + lots of toys in there!

Jamie picked her out and was really upset when we had to leave! They’re going to send someone around to our house to check it out, then after we get back from camping on the Bank Holiday weekend, we’ll go and pick it up!

We also just went to Pets At Home on the way back and got a few things – food bowl, brush, eco wood pellet litter, collar, poo scoop & treats! We’re going to do some basic food research before we buy anything, as the choice was huge.

More pics when she arrives!

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