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24. No catchy title today

I stared at the screen for a few minutes (or what felt like a few min!) and couldn't think of a catchy title - sorry! My creative juices are empty; it's been a very long week. Not bad, just long and full. My day job is starting to use some new systems (well, the system is not new, just new to us) and my problem solving skills and creativity were spent on that a lot this week, so I'm fresh out of create blog title ideas!

Anywho... Lúthien's kittens were five weeks old on Thursday, and Elbereth's will be the same tomorrow! You'd think it would get easier with each litter to come to grips with how fast they grow and mature - it's not! Lol

One of my previous kitten adopters worked in the veterinary field and gave me a tip for brand new litter box training - I have tried it out with Elbereth's litter last time with success and now also with Lúthien's this time. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it's working! She discouraged me from having lots of blankets and/or towels in the kitten's areas while they're in the early stages of litter box training - because they're more prone to use them as pee pads rather than going into the box. I decided to try it, and removed all towels and blankets from their areas after they were about 4 weeks old and venturing out of the nest. There's still a blanket in a corner for Elbereth's kittens - but it doesn't seem to be a temptation for them. Lúthien's? Not so great with avoiding that temptation. I had one small towel under the water dish but they were too tempted to use it as a pee corner, sadly, so I had to remove it. I have a simple tarp covering their entire space - so much easier to clean up inevitable water spills and the occasional accident!!! And, I think they are more willing to walk to the litter box rather than pee on plastic whenever they feel like it... Both sets of kittens have been really good about using the box without prompting for the last week and half! Even though the boxes I have are not super shallow, they're real champs when it comes to climbing in and out on their own (my dad build little stairs to aid them in this until they don't need it anymore. You can see the stair/step in the first picture. Most of them don't bother with the stairs much at this point.) I really need to reach out and thank her for the "no towels!" suggestion :)

In case you're wondering about whether this affects the kittens when you bring them home, I've not had many instances where there are litter box issues in their new homes. This is just part of the growing pains that I try to work through so that you don't have to later :) The only things to really watch out for are the litter type and number of boxes. I used to use pine pellets for litter, but it seemed to be harder to train the kittens using that type, so I now exclusively use corn based litter (link on my Resources page, World's Best Litter, unscented). While they are really young (4-8 weeks) or so, I will mix in some clay litter with the corn in their first box, as it's a better "attractant" than just the corn based by itself. The type I use is also on that resources page - Boxiecat, unscented. I am not a fan personally of clay by itself, because even the "unscented" smells "chemical" to me. (I'm not a huge fan of chemicals...) The other thing to be aware of is how many boxes you have in the house available to them. As a general rule, you should have a 1+ rule for your household: if you have 1 cat, you should have 2 boxes (one in their main room - your bathroom? bedroom?) and then 1 somewhere else in the house if you have a small house/apartment. If you have two cats, you should really have three boxes, and so on. If you have multiple levels in your house, then I'd have one on each level. I know it sounds a bit obsessive - but which would you rather have - multiple litter boxes or risk the chance that they'll develop toileting issues? And let's be real, if you're on my site waiting for a kitten, and that invested already, you're probably "that cat person" anyway, so what's a few extra boxes in the house?! :) Trust me, it's far less disruptive to your life/home to have multiple boxes in the house than cleaning up misplaced potties, etc. I have 3 adult cats in the main house and we have 5 boxes. Some boxes they won't even use on a daily basis - or use so rarely we don't have to clean them often. I do a "circuit" in the house when I clean every morning/night, and sometimes only 2 of the 5 were used at all. Easy day. They have their "favorites" that they always use, and the other three not so much. Sometimes it rotates - a favorite one week is not the next, and so on. But, if you have grown cats who have the urge to go at the same time and there's only one box? Well... I will tell you they will not think through the "logic" of sitting by patiently until the box is available. Trust me, I've learned the hard way on that one, too. :( When I was in a split level apartment years back, Lúthien actually preferred to pee in the box upstairs and poo in the other downstairs. Aren't they quirky?! :D In summary - better to have more boxes than they use than not have enough and they decide that your rug or carpet is the next best place to go! Look at these adorable fur-babies! How can you say "no" to giving them multiple litter boxes to choose from?


Below is a picture of Tiger and Pippin - best of friends (half)brothers! Tiger was the very first kitten that Lúthien ever had! There's no way I could adopt out her very first kitten! (His dad was a Burmilla, hence the reason he looks different than all that came after him.) I wanted to have a playmate for Tiger, so we decided to keep another - Pippin is a platinum, and such a fun rascal! Burmese do get into trouble if they get too bored, so it's always good to have a playmate for them if possible! At night, I have to tie (with rubber bands) a lot of the kitten cabinets otherwise Pippin entertains himself inside! :/ Oh, and it's looking like the girl in the upper right is a platinum! I'm still waffling from platinum or champagne for her, but I'm getting more confident that she'll be a platinum... Then one blue, and the rest sables!


Waitlist update:

Next weekend I will start reaching out to you waitlisters! As my disclaimer in my email signature always reads, if something were to tragically happen to a kitten, I'll have to rearrange the waitlist options, which affects everyone sadly. Thankfully I've never had to do that, or come close to it, but I prefer to face possible scenarios and be aware of what could happen, just in case. Some breeders choose to not do any offers until about the 8 week mark or later to be sure there were no complications after their shots and other reasons, but while I know it's a risk, I like to reach out to y'all earlier so you can plan for time off or whatever you need to do for travel arrangements, etc. There are downsides to both methods, I suppose. Even though I do have ten kittens, there are more than ten kittens on the waitlist, so unfortunately some of you who will have to continue waiting. I'm very sorry, and want to thank you for your continued patience! Galadriel may be pregnant, but I'm not sure. She and Radagast had a 'date' a few weeks back, but that doesn't necessarily mean that kittens were a result. If their body isn't ready, then it isn't ready. Not to get too graphic, but unlike dogs/humans/etc., cats don't menstrate in the same way, so it's not as easy to tell if the date was fruitful or not. (Get it? fruitful? Haha, yeah I know, don't quit your day job...) Anyway, I'll know in a couple more weeks. If she's pregnant, then the kittens would be born in mid-October and go home in late Dec. (Christmas kittens?! lol).

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