My Ragdoll Family

My Ragdoll Family
Megailee Ragdolls

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oliver The Ragdoll Kitten - Now 6 Weeks Old

Oliver continues to do good and is growing everyday. His eyes are still BIG but his head is now bigger so his eyes seem more suitable for his head :)
He is so cute! He is my favorite ragdoll kitten at the moment. Everyone fights over wanting to hold him and kiss his head.
He still needs his bottle and I am tired of washing it and feeding. He hasn't taken to solid food yet. Most kittens take to it by 5 weeks.
He was a fast bloomer for everything else. He walked, ran , talked, and opened his eyes ahead of schedule. He even motor-purrs. Hopefully he will love the solid food soon so I can get a bit more sleep.
Anyway- wanted to give an update on my precious little boy. Off to play , eat, sleep now.
I mean me not Oliver :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fluffy Calico Cat and Ragdoll Kittens - Peace at Last

Fluffy who is our Calico Cat and first resident at Megailee Ragdolls opened the door to her bedroom and to her displeasure found 3 ragdoll kittens in the livingroom running around and making some noise during her nap. I was sure a hissy fight would ensue as Fluffy does not get along with the other cats and kittens. I think she is just uncertain of herself as she is loving and a real lap cat normally. She sleeps with my daughter and tolerates being dressed up and hugged 100 times so she is child friendly. Her best pal years ago was our pet sheltie dog. She even had a best buddy seal colorpoint ragdoll female cat. Now she really doesn't seem to want to associate with the others :(
The ragdoll kittens are between 12-15 weeks of age. Lizette who is a seal mitted girl is staying here to someday be a breeder. The other seal mitted girl we intend to have adopted out as a pet. The blue mitted lynx girl will either be a future breeder somewhere or a loving pet. We are forming a waiting list for her. They all play fine together. When they saw Fluffy they went over to her and said hi by touching noses. Fluffy seemed not to mind and was more interested in smelling everything and investigating what they were doing. Of course she ran to their food bowl and ate everything. She is a bit plump and needs to watch her weight. For the kittens I leave dry food out all the time so this is a concern when you mingle different age groups. I am happy to report Fluffy is getting along and everyone is now watching TV or napping. Lets give peace a chance!
Update on Oliver: Still likes his bottle and getting bigger each day. Slow to take to dry food.
Doing well overall. Dolly also doing well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ollie Uses The LitterBox - Raising a Ragdoll Kitten :)

I was so excited today. I went into Ollies's room and saw something in the litterbox. I knew it came from him and not his mom Dolly as it was too small. I was so thrilled. This is like when your child is toilet trained or pull-up trained. The days of smells and cleaning and just plain stinky stuff is hopefully gone. Also, no puddles this morning :)
So I fed Oliver and then he tapped my knee and jumped int the litterbox. He squatted but nothing came out. He fumbled out of the box as it is still pretty big for him. He looked proud and right into my face with his BIG EYES. Good boy!
It is amazing as he really is doing this on his own. I remember reading some breeder's websites and they state litterbox trained. If you adopt a 8-12 week old and he isn't using the box you have a problem. Most of this is instinct and with proper care and supervision should be a done deal by 7 weeks the latest. Most I have trained by 5 weeks of age. Some sooner.
Weaning is another story. Oliver will not go and eat on his own. He takes his bottle and then I hand feed him a bit. His teeth are sharp now and he has chomped down on me and made me cry a few times. I have had kittens in a litter who needed or wanted the extra attention. They usually were the smallest ones. I hope he gets it soon as then he can eat whenever he wants and doesn't need me around. Talking about food I am hungry AGAIN!
Hey readers- please leave comments so I know what you like or may want to know more of.
Also please take the poll on the right column of my blog ;)
Oliver the Ragdoll Kitten - Growing up will continue ..................

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oliver, The Bottle Fed Ragdoll Kitten Wants a Friend

Little Oliver is now 4.5 weeks old and still relying on a bottle for nourishment. Very slowly I am introducting solid food. He seems to prefer the bottle though.

He is growing and doing well. His little teeth are like needles and he can chomp down. I tried to hand feed him and he got my finger. (ouch!)

The hard part is litterbox training. I walk into his room and he races toward me. Sometimes he crawls right up my leg. I lift him up and kiss his head and then sit down. Unfortunately I often sit in a puddle of pee pee.

Using a litterbox is partly instinct and observation. Maybe I will play a video for him?

His diarrhea is a bit better. He has been on antibiotics for the past 2 days. Something about stomach bacteria. My vet's motto is when in doubt use an antibiotic. Not totally sure I agree but will try. Also canned pumpkin (not the spicy pie type) and plain yogurt or Iams hairball dry cat food is good for diarrhea as well.

Hopefully Ollie will continue to grow and get on solids and stop the tummy upsets.

Hopefully he will get a friend or enjoy his dolls. I am so upset when I hear him crying. Of course I run into his room when his happens. He deserves happiness and is such a sweet boy. He stares right at me with his BIG EYES. We here at Megailee Ragdolls love him so and who knows it is tempting to want him here always. Now, it only I had a bigger house.........

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why and When do Cats Purr?

The other day someone came over to pick out a kitten. Since there were almost 2 identical seal mitted girls she was overwhelmed in deciding which one was for her. One girl when picked up purred instantly. The other girl was calm and ragdoll kitten relaxed but no purr (at least no yet).
She asked me when do they start to purr?
Great question. I have seen a wide range of when and some I wonder if they will at all. Almost all do at some point in their life.
Kitten purr when nursing and queens (mother cats) purr during birth or just prior to birth as well as when nursing. Little Oliver who is 4 weeks now purrs when I hold him. He sounds like a motor boat but it is a purr. My Janessa started to purr at 4-6 weeks of age. LuLu the 14 week old kitten has been purring since 8 weeks of age. Her sister hasn't started yet. I believe when they start is as variable as their personality.
Reasons Cats Purr:
Birth or Nursing
Purring to a cat or kitten is like a smile to a human.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Frustration With Petsmart

Today I am frustrated with Petsmart in Wake Forest, NC.

I wish I had a Petco or some similar store nearby so I could avoid them forever. I may choose mail order or a longer drive somewhere and just buy more.

Last week I was running low on newborn kitten milk replacer for little Oliver so I went there to buy KMR which is what he was using. They were out! The dog session had plenty but the cat session had empty shelves. I think went to Walmart and bought Hartz brand. Oliver delivered diarrhea soon after. Whether it was related or not I do not know.

Today I went to Petsmart to buy Royal Canin Babycat dry food. I plan to soon incorporate solids into the little Oliver's diet. They had NO bags of it at all. Not even a definite answer when I asked when will you get it. How many times does this happen? At a smart ragdoll cat breeder I do not buy in bulk as I want food and other items fresh and feel I should and could be able to obtain them when needed. I use RC due to the fact it is the smallest pieces and easy for kittens 4-5 weeks of age to wean onto. Worked well in the past and they seem to like it. I don't buy the kitten or cat food as see nothing special in it and other brands serve me better.

A new pet food store opened a few weeks ago that is nearer to me. They carry "better" brands of food than in the bulk-type stores. The variety of organic and less by-products is loosely defined as "better". What works for one is what is best. More expensive doesn't mean better. I asked and they did not have what I was looking for but I was not surprised. The person there said they would order for me and call me when it is in. Since I did not up any money I really have nothing to lose. Hopefully the price is the same or similar than the bulk-type store :) Customer serve is important to me and I will shop where there is value and availability. Bigger doesn't always mean better either.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oliver Gaining Weight - Hand Raising an Ragdoll Kitten

Oliver is gaining a bit of weight and so we are happy. I am still bottle feeding him every 3 hours and will do so for another week. He does have very bad liquid diarrhea. As a little kitten you have to stimulate that area so that he will go. Usually the mom does this. I am not sure Dolly is so I also do this with a cotton ball after each meal and in the morning. I just mail ordered another brand of kitten formula so hopefully this will ease the tummy upsets.
When Oliver hears me coming into his room he jumps up and runs to the door. He is so so adorable. He is a very good runner and only 3.5 weeks old. He was walking pretty good at 2 weeks of age. He had to. He was chasing his mom Dolly begging for more food and she kept getting up and walking away from him. Poor kid.
Poor Oliver is an only kitten. My daughter donated her kitten Webkinz and beanie babies to him. He does sleep with them and they keep him a bit warm. Not the same as a real brother or sister kitten but this is the best we can do. I have to get more kitten webkinz dolls as Oliver had a poop accident on one of them. In the photo above he is hugging one of his dolls. Hopefully in another week he will be bigger than the doll.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Raising Oliver - Hand Rearing A Newborn Kitten

Little Oliver was born and then 10 hours later a brother was born. His brother was underweight and never really had a chance. Oliver did well his first week. His mother barely was eating since giving birth. I don't think cats get depression but anything is possible. She was taken to the vet for an ultrasound and total blood work. All was normal.
I noticed Oliver starting to lose weight fast and so I started bottle feeding him at the same time hoping his cat mom would try to nurse him and clean him. She was trying but it was obviously there was no milk available as he screamed and searched frantic for a milk source.
It was very hard at first. Fortunately he was sucking so could use a bottle. I do not know how to tube feed and drop feeding or other forms can cause a kitten so young to choke or die by having too much go in too fast. It can accumulate in the lungs and they could die. Once I got the bottle in his tiny mouth he sucked so fast and loud you can hear it. His belly was blowing up before my eyes. I suppose this is how a tick feels after suckling the blood from its victim? Since Oliver also inhaled lots of air I did burp him. He looked so happy and content afterward.
I have concerns over being a only kitten and him being lonely. My daughter donated her beanie baby and Webkinz kitten dolls. Very gracious thing for one so young to offer. I am also concerned over Oliver and tummy problems and diarrhea. Lots of issues. But for now he is gaining weight and being fed. So this is a good thing. Keep fighting Oliver and YES you can have some more.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How To Select A Ragdoll Cat Breeder - Breeder Perspective - Part 4 of Series

As a breeder I do welcome questions from a potential adopting family. It shows they are interested and want to make sure they are adopting a loving well adjusted kitten or cat. If you are spending money on anything you should do your homework.

Lynn asked a LOT of questions and it seemed like every day there was an email to answer. She requested lots of photos. Sometimes it took me hours to get one good shot as kittens keep moving when young and my camera is not the newest model. There came a time I would actually look forward to logging on and expecting or hoping for her emails. I even considered her a friend and I felt like I knew her other ragdoll Boo. I was concerned that her expectations might be a bit high and therefore she would be disappointed. I mean you really never know what people expect and how a kitten will adjust to a new home, new people, and new resident cat. The best I could do is have him well socialized and care for him here until he leaves to be in his forever home.

One thing to keep in mind that a kitten is a living thing and thus there is no 100% guarantee on anything. Things do happen whether for the good or bad. Parents can be DNA HCM tested and it is possible that there is another gene yet not identified or a mutation can happen. HCM can develop without the gene. Small chance but still possible. Also kidney, cancer, or any other issues can happen even if never exited in the lines before. This can and does happen in humans also. With life there is good and unfortunately some sorrow can exist too. The best we can do is do our research and make the best decision at the time.

I am happy that I get updates from Lynn, Boo, and Bentley. I get the updates from emails and from her own blog. It is great to see him grow up. He is best buddies with his "brother". Hopefully someday he will be best buddies and snuggle up with his human parents. I think he will :) I remember being a little girl and asking my mother "do you love me or daddy better"? My mom replied I love you both but in different ways. That is how I believe Bentley loves Boo and Lynn and family.

Friday, September 3, 2010

How to Select a Ragdoll Cat Breeder - Interview with Lynn - Part 3

Two Happy Raggies sharing life with Lynn.

Now to Continue our Interview with how the process of adopting Bentley was. Bentley is the 2nd and younger ragdoll kitten in the family.

5. How did you find Bentley's breeder?

Boo was an “only” for about 3 years. During that time period, his breeder went out of business and I became an active poster on a Ragdoll forum where I really learned A LOT.
I became enchanted by the color and pattern of blue lynx mitteds, and we decided that the time was right to add a second Raggie to our family. I was very nervous venturing away from the wonderful breeders at Ragdoll Central (that by now I felt I had really come to "know" and trust) -- but none of them had any blue lynx mitted babies. Plus, I wanted to avoid shipping the kitten, if at all possible, which limited me demographically; it was very important to me that I meet the breeder, and see the cattery myself, first hand.

So I started looking around, and I first found out about Megailee Ragdolls from a "kitten available" post on Ragdoll Central. By the time I saw that post, that baby had found his forever home, but in the process, I checked out Megailee’s website and saw that there was a new litter with TWO blue lynx mitted kittens – and both BOYS, to boot! (I am such a sucker for little boy kittens!)

6. How did you research this breeder?

I put both her name and her cattery name into multiple internet search engines, and carefully read every link. Through another Ragdoll forum (where I only posted occasionally) I found two people who had adopted kittens from her. I contacted them both and got two RAVE reports on her, the cattery, and her kittens.

Also, I e-mailed Gail a few times with questions and got very positive responses from her. We talked on the phone, and I liked what I heard. I didn’t feel rushed, she was very patient with my many questions, and her genuine affection for her cats came through loud and clear. I asked her for references, and she sent me two, and those people also had nothing but wonderful things to say about her and their kittens.

Next I asked several of my “breeder buddies” from the forum if they knew her or had heard of her, and one of them said she had heard very good things, and the others said they didn’t really know of her, but they had never heard anything NEGATIVE about her, either, and apparently (in the breeder world/grapevine) that’s not nothing!

Then finally I posted on RC about it, and one regular poster there said she knew first hand of three different people who had gotten kittens from Megailee Ragdolls and had nothing but positive experiences. By this time, I was feeling like I had found the breeder I had been looking for.

6. What were your biggest concerns?

Well, there was a logistics problem, namely that I was in Pennsylvania and Megailee’s is in North Carolina -- 500 miles away. My husband and I would be able to make one car trip down to pick up the kitten, but realistically we just weren’t going to be able to make two.

So at point, I had to make a decision. Sending a deposit and committing to this kitten would mean that I wouldn’t get to meet him, or Gail, or see the cattery before pick-up day. This made me nervous, because I had promised myself I would not do that!
But I also felt like I had done my due diligence, and had every reason to hope for and expect a positive, happy outcome. So with fingers, toes, and Boo’s whiskers crossed , we made the decision to trust our instincts and take a bit of a leap of faith.

7. What questions did you need to ask and get satisfactory answers to?

Oh, I had so many questions! My primary considerations were the kitten’s health and temperament. I needed to know that both of his parents had been DNA tested for the HCM gene identified in Ragdolls and were negative. I wanted to know if he had any health concerns? Had his birth been uneventful? Had he had any problems at all, ever? Remembering Boo’s problems, I asked about loose stools or diarrhea. Weepy eyes? Any signs of URI? I wanted to know his weight and his size. What was his temperament like? Was he feisty or bashful, outgoing or shy? Once he had his vet check, I wanted to know if there was any sign of a heart murmur. When it came time for him to be neutered, I worried and paced until I got the update from Gail that all was well.

Each week I looked forward to photos and an update, and we came to love this little boy long before we ever met him in person.

8. Since this was out of state were you satisfied with communication?

Yes. But e-mails can be tricky… they can get lost or overlooked, so there were times I had to email Gail more than once with a question. I also reminded myself that she was busy, and “had a life” beyond breeding Ragdolls. She has a home and a child to care for, and of course, other potential clients to respond to as well.

Once we got close to pick-up day, the communications especially picked up; there was so much to plan. But it all went off without a hitch, and soon we were (FINALLY!) able to meet Gail and pick up Bentley.

9. Was Bentley what you expected?

Bentley exceeded my expectations, and my expectations were VERY high! When I first saw him, I was amazed at how HEALTHY he looked. Big, bright, clear eyes; clean, dry ears and nose; soft plush fur… and so alert and inquisitive. I loved the fact that he’d been raised underfoot, in the midst of a family. Honestly, he was so perfect that I could hardly believe he was ours and that we were going to be able to take this precious baby home with us!

We had a 10-hour car ride home that I was a little nervous about, but he was an angel -- an absolute delight.

Once we got home, he had a complete check-up and got a perfect bill of health from our vet, which thrilled me beyond words. His adjustment to our home, and to his new big brother went seamlessly and he and Boo quickly became the best of friends.

Bentley is sweet and gentle, curious and fearless. He has a quiet purr and a soft little squeak of a meow, which has lovingly earned him the nickname “Squeak”. He has always had excellent litterbox and scratching post habits.

To be honest, he’s not so much of a lap cat as he is a “likes-to-be-near-you” cat, which is how Boo is most of the time, too. Sometimes they prefer cuddling each other to cuddling us mere (furless) humans… but we (try to) take it in stride! They sleep with us (most nights), and greet us at the door after work every day. There are only two places in the house that they are “not allowed”, the kitchen counters and the dining room table, and we have had to tell each of them “no!” only once.

I simply can’t rave enough about our Ragdolls. Both of our cats are wonderful, beautiful animals who have enriched our lives beyond measure.

TO BE CONTINUED............... The Breeders Perspective of The Process

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How to Select A Ragdoll Cat Breeder - Interview With Lynn - Part 2

1. How many ragdolls do you have? Name/ages/gender

I am happily owned by 2 adorable and spoiled Raggies. Boo will be 4 years old in January 2011; and Bentley ("Squeak") will be one year old in December 2010. Both are boys (neutered of course!); Boo is a seal bicolor, and Bentley is a blue lynx mitted.

2. Where did you find Boo's breeder?

Weeeeeeeeell, merely by chance and happenstance! I live in a small town in PA and became enamored by Ragdolls from something I'd seen on TV. I started researching the breed and from the internet I found a breeder a few hours away.

3. Where you satisfied that you did your homework?

Not now, but at the time, honestly, I just didn't know any better. We had no experience with adopting a purebred animal; all of our many previous pets had been rescues.

The truth is, I didn't recognize a few red flags and ignored some others.

What "red flags"?

Well, for one thing, the breeder was very hard to communicate with. E-mails and phone calls often went unanswered or only half-answered. Once we met her, I saw that the cats were kept in her basement, in various sizes/ types of cages and confinement, far away from the family and all household activities. There were at least 5 litters of kittens of various ages, plus all her breeder cats. She was obviously frazzled and all the cats were skittish. But I barreled on! The fact was, I fell in love with Boo on the spot, put a deposit on him, and brought him home about a week later.

4. What would you do different?

That's a good question. I cant imagine our lives without I do not regret our decision to get him. But Boo came to us with a heart murmur, an URI and diarrhea, none of which we knew about until the day we picked him up. Although he got well and soon began to thrive, at that time my vet actually advised me to return him... but of course there way no way I could even consider that.

And although Boo has always been gentle and sweet, it was obvious to us from the beginning that he had not been well socialized and it took a long time for us to fell like he finally "connected with" and trusted us.

TO BE CONTINUED ...........................................

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How to Select a Ragdoll Cat Breeder - Interview with Lynn- Part 1

If you are reading this I assume you are in a position to select a ragdoll kitten or any purebred kitten and now need to decide how to pick a breeder. This is a hard decision as there is so much to consider. You are making an investment and want to do your homework. Sometimes the breeder is far away or out-of-state this decision or process of selecting a breeder is more difficult.

With anything in life there is no 100% guarantee but you need to make the best choice with the information that you have at any given time.

When I bought my first puppy many years ago I knew I wanted a buff colored cocker spaniel male. A found a newbie breeder who had just what I wanted and when I wanted. I contacted other breeders but they had a long wait and I didnt want to wait. They were also about $100 -$200 higher in cost. Looking back I actually contacted a BYB without knowing it and ignored "red flags" due to my emotions getting the best of me. I did get AKC papers and met the parents but were they standard and how were they raised?

Long story short- after some high cost medical issues (cherry eye) and multiple ear infections I realized my errors. Once my daughter was born and he nipped at her fingers in the crib I realized he would be better off with a more active household. She also would be better off with all her fingers and toes and I would be less stressed. Expensive lessons that was for sure. I still look at his photos and think "what an adorable little puppy". Sometimes I want another one but I have a few ragdolls and will stick with them for now. They are puppylike and I love them all.

This posting is part of series. I will interview Lynn B. and how she went about her process of selecting her breeders for her Ragdoll kittens.

TO BE CONTINUED.............................................

My Ragdoll Kitten Family

My Ragdoll Kitten Family
Megailee Ragdolls