MIKKAR Abyssinians

Mike & Karen Shammas

11 Glebe Close,

Stratton,

Cirencester,

Glos.

GL7 2JH

( 01285-651094

Cat

Care

Notes

 

Feeding Regime

Your kitten has been eating 4 meals a day, at about the following times:-

07-30 Breakfast (main meal)

12-30 Lunch (lesser meal)

5-00 Tea (lesser meal)

9-00 Supper (main meal)

The total food eaten is probably equivalent to about 1 small tin of Whiskas daily, plus other supplements occasionally. This amount will increase as the kitten grows, and you may cut the number of meals to three per day. After 6 months of age you can try two meals per day, but watch to see that he or she remains in good condition. Some Abyssinians fare better on three meals per day. Most cats will regulate their food intake, but watch out for obesity. Abyssinians are supposed to be lithe and graceful, not podgy! We recommend the following tinned cat foods as being suitable:-

Felix, Felix Kitten

Iams / Eukanuba

Denes

Whiskas, Whiskas Kitten

Arthur's

Kit-e-Kat Supreme

Sheba

Go-Cat Gourmet

The cheap cat foods tend to have a high cereal content and we have found them to be a cause of diarrhoea in many instances. Never feed a cat on dog food as these do not meet the dietary requirements of the feline digestive system, and your cats health will suffer as a result. Your kitten will also need some dried cat foods to help develop their teeth and keep them clean. The following brands are recommended (you may have to search for them):-

Arden Grange

James Wellbeloved

Techni-Cal

Eukaneuba (Iams)

Hill's Science Diet

The above dried foods may also be used as snacks and rewards (but not to excess). Freshly cooked chicken and fish (remove all bones please) are good for your cat, particularly when they have upset stomachs or diarrhoea as they are more easily digested than red meats. Pork and lamb chop bones are good for a little chewing to keep teeth sharp and clean, but only under your supervision to ensure that no splinters of bone are swallowed. Never feed a cat chicken bones as they splinter very easily and the sharp slivers stick easily in the throat. Clean water should be available to your cat at all times, and especially so when dried cat foods have been provided. Milk is a food containing natural sugars, and most Abyssinians cannot digest a lot of it. Diluted evaporated milk is acceptable as an occasional treat, and you will find that a fingertip or two of custard and similar milky treats are greatly appreciated. Too much milk is likely to result in loose bowels.

SAFETY

Kittens are by nature curious creatures - don't allow this to be their undoing. Common household hazards include washing machines (keep the door shut!), power cords (minimise trailing and dangling wires, etc.), unsuitable food left lying around (old chicken legs and the like), string and rubber bands (very dangerous if swallowed), sharp knives or tools left out on worktops and so on. Outside the house, in addition to the poisons listed below, lurk garden chemicals (out in the shed?), dogs & cats, and the biggest killer of the all, the road!

We do not insist that you keep yours cats indoors, although we prefer this if possible. Some owners construct safe garden pens to allow some freedom but minimising unnecessary danger. We can advise you on this. We do insist, however, that you do not allow cats out at night. It is not necessary, is more likely to lead to traffic accidents or cat theft, and we do not approve of it.

POISONS

A number of common household items are poisonous to cats - assume that anything you would hide from a child should be kept away from your cats. In addition the following hazards should be avoided:-

Anti-Freeze

Cats like the sweet taste, but it is a fatal poison.

Bleaches containing phenolic compounds

Only use bleaches that contain just sodium hypochlorite. Remove all traces of bleach from cat's litter trays, etc. before returning to service. Do not use Flash!

Creosote

Creosote freshly applied should be left to dry for at least 48 hours before pets are allowed near. It contains phenolic compounds that will prove fatal. Keep opened tins, used brushes, etc. locked away.

Rat & Mouse poisons

 

Weedkiller

 

Slug Pellets

 

Certain Plants

Some plants are dangerous if eaten. Amongst the more common are:-

 

foxglove

chrysanthemum

amaryllis

daffodil

ivy

buttercup

rhubarb

spinach

azalea

+ many more

Aspirin

Never give aspirin to a cat unless directed by a veterinary surgeon - it is likely to prove fatal.

Toilet facilities

You should have at least one, preferably two litter trays for your cat to use. Use either the grey Fuller's earth (Armitages, Katlit or other reputable brand) or the pelletised sawdust type (Smart Cat, Tact, Snowflake, etc.). Cats with a preference tend to favour the Fuller's earth variety. Do not use the white, pink or golden coloured cat litters as these are quite inferior.

Litter tray waste should be emptied at least twice a day, after the cat has been fed, and preferably whenever the cat has used the box. At least once a week the tray should be emptied and left to soak in bleach solution to disinfect (that is why more than one box is needed). Do not forget to clean litter spoons and litter box lids at the same time. Do not site the litter tray in busy thoroughfares as the cat wants privacy and security when using the toilet. Also, do not place food near litter trays since this is unhygienic and may cause the cat to look elsewhere for a lavatory site!

Medical Care

You have been provided with a complete health record for your kitten. It shows all treatments received up to the time when you collected the kitten. Whenever you take him or her to the vet, take the record and ask the vet to fill in the details of any treatment. This way, there is always a full record available if you should change vet, move or take the cat on holiday or board it at a cattery. If you need any further continuation sheets just ask and we will send you some. Keep the booster inoculations up to date. Your cat will need them renewing once a year.

Your kitten was sold with 6 weeks of insurance cover. We recommend that you take out full insurance cover when this expires. It does not have to be with this particular company - there are a number of schemes for insuring pets, and your vet will probably have leaflets for many of them.

Showing Cats

If we have sold you a cat of show quality, we have done so in the confidence that he or show stands a good chance of doing well on the show benches. We would be only too happy to advise you on suitable shows and judges, etc.. Showing is fun for most people, and is your best way of finding new 'Aby friends'; beware, though, it can be addictive!

If we have sold you a cat of pet quality, then please do not show it. It will not do well, and will reflect badly upon both you and us. By all means attend a show as a member of the public, though; you will find it interesting to see other Abys on show, and cat goods (baskets, litter trays, toys and all other conceivable cat items) are usually on sale cheaper than in pet shops.

Breeding

If we have sold you a kitten of breeding quality with an intention to breed, you will have already have considered the pros and cons of breeding. This section is for those who may be considering breeding, but who had initially decided not to - it can happen. The most important thing is discuss it with us first. There is little point trying to breed unless you know what you want to achieve, and how to go about it.

We can advise you on the suitability of your queen, and how to find the right stud. We will also explain to you the responsibilities involved, and ensure that you understand how hard it can be. You might like to know that the average kitten mortality rate has been reported as about 14%, i.e. you may lose 1 in 7 kittens, particularly at the outset when both you and your queen lack experience (we have been breeding for over 10 years and have a mortality rate including still births of about 6% ). You must also be prepared to perform round the clock kitten feeding should it prove necessary. Do not rush into breeding; first understand what is involved.

We also put non-breeding cats on the GCCF's Inactive Register to protect them you will be unable to register your kittens unless they are transferred to the Active Register.

Further Information

There are three specialist breed clubs for the Abyssinian owner. The Abyssinian Cat Association (ACA) and the Abyssinian Cat Club (ACC) both hold a cat show once a year and issue two magazines per year. We recommend both as being good sources of information and potential friends. We belong to both clubs. If you wish to join either then fill in the appropriate form(s) and we will sign to propose and second your application. The Abyssinian Cat Society (ACS) is newer but produces a high quality magazine.

We would also recommend that you borrow or buy some of the following books:-

'The Book of the Cat' edited by Michael Wright & Sally Walters, Pan Books, ISBN 0 330 26153 3. A truly excellent book if you can find a copy, it deals with all aspects of all breeds of cat and is full of good photographs and illustrations.

'The Catlopaedia' by J.M.Evans & Kay White, Henston Ltd., 1988, ISBN 1-85054-113-2. Price 6.95. Widely available, e.g. W.H.Smith. A good simple cat care book, clearly laid out and easy to read.

For those wanting a much deeper text on cat care and treatment we would suggest the following book:-

'Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook' by Delbert Carlson & James Giffin, Howell Book House Inc., Park Avenue, New York, USA, 1983, ISBN 0-87605-814-4. Price $17.95. Available from Foyles in London at 19, possibly elsewhere.