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T Minus 21 Days

Kinna

Savannah Super Cat
#1
[having issues with pictures, will figure it out and update]

Hello everyone!

I'm new to this forum and as the title suggests, I will be welcoming a savannah into my life in 21 days. I'm really excited because savannahs are my dream cat because of their personalities and intelligence. She will be a 5 month old melanistic F7 SBT girl. Unfortunately, I don't have any good pictures of her because I was so distracted that I forgot to take some when I met her, but I have some from the breeder. Before I talk about my plan to take care of her and my questions about it, I feel the need to write up a bit of history. You may skip to the TL;DR & links if you wish.

Samy

I went a bit crazy with finding good cat food ever since my little Samy died. He wasn't a savannah, he came from a shelter, but he was a big part of my life for 8 short years. The vet didn't know what had caused him to get sick, his blood levels were off and his liver was damaged.

At the time, I always just followed what my parents did because I thought it was fine, so he was eating a high fibre diet from royal canine that was prescribed by the vet (he was constipated). He started eating less around the same time when he was put on that food.

He was being intensely cared for for the last 2 months of his life; water subcutaneous injections, carefully measured portions of food, constant attempts to encourage eating. He passed away when I wasn't there, spitting blood and vomiting, with laboured breathing. I still hate that I wasn't there, I had promised him I would hold him, but I was too late. Knowing what I know now about fibre and cats, and about big brands like royal canine, part of me will always blame the food for his death.



Lugh

Lugh, the Celtic god of light. I gave this little shelter kitten that name because like Samy, I knew he would be the sunshine in my life. He's 10 months old now, and I'm already worried. My mom insisted on feeding him royal canine wet food for kittens, because of the "for kittens". I at least got her to feed him some Orijen and Acana for a while, but she soon stopped giving it to him, swearing only by canned wet food.

He started throwing it up not long ago, so at least that got her to stop feeding it. Now he only eats Nutro, which I'm not happy about because of their long recall list. My mom argues this with the fact that the recalls weren't for the cat food... He threw up a few more times, sometimes right after eating, sometimes just some clear liquid.

I thought this little guy would be mine; I'm the one who found him and went to get him at the shelter, but the mistake I made was that I didn't sign the adoption contract. My parents decided later that he was theirs and he wasn't going anywhere, so I don't really have any control on what happens to him. My heart is in a million pieces about this. I know he's sick because of the vomiting and I suspect the food, but my mom refuses to change his diet. I don't know what to do.

Sometimes I feel like Lugh might be a very low content savannah because of his markings, color and behaviour. He seems to be very intelligent, played fetch without any training, follows me around everywhere, and he does seem big. He might just be a special tabby, but either way, I will always love him.

Sagira

Sagira, an egyptian name for "little one", which is fitting because she was so tiny when I met her. I wanted an egyptian name because when I was little, my favorite goddess was Bastet. For those who don't know her, she's the goddess of cats and protection, amongst other things, and is always represented by a black cat. Since my little girl is melanistic, she made me think of her.

Sagira will be living with me and my loving partner in our apartment. It's 750 square feet, so she should have enough space for her crazy kitten runs! I know these fur balls get into anything and are good at dismantling, so I'll make sure the coast is clear for her. I'm not sure what to do about wires though (TV, laptop, desktop...).

My plan for her diet is to feed half dry, half raw. I would like to feed raw only but unfortunately, I don't have the budget for it. After what seemed like an endless research period, I've settled on Acana for the dry food, and Primal's freeze-dried food for the raw. I also want to get her a nice fountain to make sure she gets enough water, in case the raw isn't enough. I was considering an automatic feeder, but didn't find one I'm satisfied with, so I will most likely end up giving her a giant bowl of kibble when we're away on the weekends occasionally.

As for litter, I would go with feline pine as I don't like the clay based ones. Should I go for clumping or not?

For the carrier, I decided to go with a Sleepypod Air for her carrier because I rather spend money once than risk her wrecking a few cheaper ones and having to buy more. It's also nice that they're safe and that I can fly with her if I need to. I like all in one things, even if I have to pay a bit more initially.

I spent quite some time on the forums before my account was approved, and read a lot of reviews, for everything I may need for her, but I would still like your opinion and advice. Do I have a good plan? Should I change anything?

Too Long; Didn't Read & links

- Sagira, F7 SBT melanistic savannah to enter my life in 21 days; will live with me and my partner in apartment.
- Went a bit nuts after my first beloved fluff ball died; blaming the food.
- Current kitten seems to be sick (throwing up clear liquid); family refuses to change his diet; I'm worried and I don't know what to do.

Plan for Sagira:

Food
Acana
Primal

Fountain
ThirstyCatFountains

Litter
FelinePine

Carrier
SleepyPod Air


Thank you for reading!

Kinna
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#2
Welcome to the forum! Is sounds like you have an excellent plan in place for little Sagira. Acana is one of the higher quality cat foods so if you need to go with a dry formula this is a good one.
As for the Primal - if you are going to use freeze dried, just be sure to reconstitute it thoroughly before serving...

You should plan on covering your computer etc. wires to avoid her chewing through them. You can usually purchase protective covers at an electronics store such as Best Buy, or buy them online - here are some options: cord protectors

As for the litter, I don't believe there is a wood pellet litter that is clumping. Wood pellets are usually quite safe for kittens, and I am much more comfortable using it than a clumping litter around little ones.

I have no personal experience with the SleepyPod but have heard it is good. Since I travel with my cats and end up having to walk long distances (e.g., in airports, etc.) I tend to purchase carriers that have wheels on them. A pet stroller is anothr option, depending on where and how far you plan on going with her.

We would love to see more pics of Sagira, breeder pics would be great!
 

DumaLove

Site Supporter
Staff member
#3
Congrats on your girl!! First of all I would HIGHLY recommend not making ANY changes to her food and litter that she has been used to at the breeder for at least a month or so. Then VERY gradually changing to what you are more comfortable using.

There are Pine Pellets or Feline Pine makes a (supposedly) clumping version. Well it doesn't really clump AT ALL. Most of my cats did not like the feel of pine pellets on their feet, so we use World's Best Litter. Corn based so still safe, but it actually clumps pretty well and keeps odors down.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#4
I would check with the breeder to see what they are feeding and then make a transition. It can be pretty rough switching their diet early on as different locales will see different intestinal flora and you can place a lot of unnecessary stress on them in those first weeks.

Same goes for the litter, I would make both available to them, the pine and the litter they were using at the breeder. Last thing you want is a kitten that has some reservations about using litter.

For me, I love cat attract, never had an issue with it, and it continues to do the job well.
 

Kinna

Savannah Super Cat
#5
Welcome to the forum! Is sounds like you have an excellent plan in place for little Sagira. Acana is one of the higher quality cat foods so if you need to go with a dry formula this is a good one.
As for the Primal - if you are going to use freeze dried, just be sure to reconstitute it thoroughly before serving...

You should plan on covering your computer etc. wires to avoid her chewing through them. You can usually purchase protective covers at an electronics store such as Best Buy, or buy them online - here are some options: cord protectors

As for the litter, I don't believe there is a wood pellet litter that is clumping. Wood pellets are usually quite safe for kittens, and I am much more comfortable using it than a clumping litter around little ones.

I have no personal experience with the SleepyPod but have heard it is good. Since I travel with my cats and end up having to walk long distances (e.g., in airports, etc.) I tend to purchase carriers that have wheels on them. A pet stroller is anothr option, depending on where and how far you plan on going with her.

We would love to see more pics of Sagira, breeder pics would be great!
Thank you!
I'll definitely make sure the Primal is fully reconstituted before serving. If I end up having problems with it, I'll switch to the regular raw version.
Thanks for the cord protector link. My partner suggested taping down the wires to the walls and floors so they don't sway and attract her attention. What do you think?
I don't mind the clumping too much, I rather have something safe. I read that kittens can potentially eat the litter, so yeah clumping litters could be dangerous.
We would mostly do our travelling by car so I don't think the wheels are necessary. If we travel by plane, it would be rare, so I wanted to get one carrier that works well for pretty much anything. Hopefully the Sleepypod will live up to its reputation!

Congrats on your girl!! First of all I would HIGHLY recommend not making ANY changes to her food and litter that she has been used to at the breeder for at least a month or so. Then VERY gradually changing to what you are more comfortable using.

There are Pine Pellets or Feline Pine makes a (supposedly) clumping version. Well it doesn't really clump AT ALL. Most of my cats did not like the feel of pine pellets on their feet, so we use World's Best Litter. Corn based so still safe, but it actually clumps pretty well and keeps odors down.
Thank you!
I appreciate the advice and have read about the slow transitioning for litters, but I don't think I want to risk buying two different products for a while because I need to be careful financially. I will switch if she ends up refusing it though.
As for the food, I will definitely slowly introduce her to the raw as this would be a shock for her system since she's used to dry, but if I remember correctly, I think the breeder is feeding dry food from one of the big brands so I want to get her off it asap (royal canine or blue buffalo, I really don't remember). Lugh (although not a savannah) had no problem at all switching foods and litter cold-turkey, so Im hoping she'll take it well too. If not, I'll definitely do the mixing.
Thanks for letting me know that it doesn't work, I might get the regular version or use the world's best litter, depending on what I find in the pet stores nearby.

I would check with the breeder to see what they are feeding and then make a transition. It can be pretty rough switching their diet early on as different locales will see different intestinal flora and you can place a lot of unnecessary stress on them in those first weeks.

Same goes for the litter, I would make both available to them, the pine and the litter they were using at the breeder. Last thing you want is a kitten that has some reservations about using litter.

For me, I love cat attract, never had an issue with it, and it continues to do the job well.
See response to the above quote for the first two points. I might try to find a more natural litter that has smaller grains though, that might help. Or maybe I can crush the pellets to make smaller pieces? Would that affect the effectiveness too much?
I'll take note of cat attract as well and see what the pet stores near me have.

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Pictures! I wish I had more but that's all I got. :( I'll be taking some with my professional camera as soon as I get her! :D
The first one is mostly of her brothers and sisters, you only see her paw in the bottom left haha!

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DumaLove

Site Supporter
Staff member
#6
if I remember correctly, I think the breeder is feeding dry food from one of the big brands so I want to get her off it asap (royal canine or blue buffalo, I really don't remember).
If she gets an upset belly by a quick switch it will be too late to go back and will take a lot more to get her back on track. (Just because your other kitten didn't have an issue doesn't matter, every cat is different) You are MUCH better off getting enough of the food she's on for a few weeks. (I send some home with my kittens so maybe your breeder will as well?) It's much better off to keep her on the same food for a couple of weeks, even if you don't agree with the type of food. She will have enough changes going in her life, she doesn't need them all at once.
 

DumaLove

Site Supporter
Staff member
#7
I appreciate the advice and have read about the slow transitioning for litters, but I don't think I want to risk buying two different products for a while because I need to be careful financially. I will switch if she ends up refusing it though.
Again it won't help her in transitioning and if she starts off not using the litter box, she may avoid it even once you go back to the other litter. It doesn't really cost much more to get both kinds as you'll be using them both up.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#8
She is adorable!! I can't wait to see more pics of her!!

I have to agree with the others - much smarter to plan on a gradual transition onto the food and litter you want her on eventually rather than dealing with the fallout if she doesn't easily adjust to the new. As you've pointed out, some cats have no issues, but if they do it can be a real PIA to get them back on track...
 

Kinna

Savannah Super Cat
#9
If she gets an upset belly by a quick switch it will be too late to go back and will take a lot more to get her back on track. (Just because your other kitten didn't have an issue doesn't matter, every cat is different) You are MUCH better off getting enough of the food she's on for a few weeks. (I send some home with my kittens so maybe your breeder will as well?) It's much better off to keep her on the same food for a couple of weeks, even if you don't agree with the type of food. She will have enough changes going in her life, she doesn't need them all at once.
Again it won't help her in transitioning and if she starts off not using the litter box, she may avoid it even once you go back to the other litter. It doesn't really cost much more to get both kinds as you'll be using them both up.
She is adorable!! I can't wait to see more pics of her!!

I have to agree with the others - much smarter to plan on a gradual transition onto the food and litter you want her on eventually rather than dealing with the fallout if she doesn't easily adjust to the new. As you've pointed out, some cats have no issues, but if they do it can be a real PIA to get them back on track...
Alright, I'll get a smaller bag of the food she's eating right now to transition her. I'll have to ask the breeder which one exactly, and she does come with a kit so I might get a sample.
As for the litter, I really don't want her breathing in the dust (she has regular fine grain clay litter at the breeder). Does anyone have a suggestion for a safer type that has similar enough grain? I'm not sure of the exact brand her current one is.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#10
A minimum time for a food transition would be 5 days, and with a kitten I would double that. It also could be a lot tougher than you imagine to make a switch happen at all, and might take 4-6 weeks and 2-3 varieties of food before they start gravitating towards one. So most importantly plan on having some failures because someone else is going to have an opinion that's out of your control.