Storm Phobia

Ragamuffin cat

RagaMuffin Crispy is afraid of storms

 

Author Sara Thornton DVM                      iCandy RagaMuffins

 

Most of the time when one thinks about a pet being scared during a thunderstorm, it is about dogs. But, cats, too, can be afraid of storms. Between the noise of thunder, the flash of lightning and the change of barometric pressure, it is no wonder that some kitties can become frightened. So what can cat owners do to to alleviate the fear? There are a number of things. No one thing will be a miracle cure. The first is allowing the kitty to claim a spot where it is most comfortable such as the basement, under a table, in a litter box.

The next thing is to pair the storm with something the cat loves such as a vigorous teaser play session or a special treat slowly fed in abundance. A RagaMuffin kitten owner recently decided to brush her fearful kitty during storms as that activity is one cat truly enjoys. The whole idea is for the pet to evenually think about the enjoyable activity when a storm begins.

There are also a couple of supplements that may be helpful in the event of a thunderstorm. Both Zylkene and Composure are easily obtainable and may be effective in easing storm anxiety. If one doesn’t help, try the other one as they have different active ingredients. If there are still issues, do not hesitate to ask a veterinarian for a prescription antianxiety medication.

What a Kitten Buyer Should Ask a Breeder

author Cristen Dillard                    Magnolia RagaMuffins

After a couple of people contacted me, interested in a kitten, it seems most buyers are oblivious to the questions they should be asking the breeder. As a breeder, I have a list of questions I ask every one that is seriously wanting a kitten. I want to know where my baby may be going. I dont take that lightly but buyers also need to think of the questions they should ask. Not how much the kitten costs, but try to find out what type kittens the breeder is raising. A buyer should try to make sure they are not purchasing from a back yard breeder, or a scam. Things I think we should ask a breeder before we adopt:

1. May I see the pedigree?

2.Have your lines been tested for HCM? PKD, FeLv, etc.

3. What is your cattery set up?

4. How many litters do you have a year?

5. What do you feed your cats?

6. Are kitten vaccinations done at the vet?

7. How do you socialize your kittens? (Socialization is way more than do they like people!)

8. May I see pics of where the kittens grow up? The adults? Are they raised in your home with the family?

9. Ask yourself, why is this kitten so much less than the others I contacted.

10. Are your cats ACFA/CFA/GCCF registered?

11. Probably way more things to consider.

Poppy’s First Show

RagaMuffin kitten

 

 

author Diana Knott                       RagaMuffin lover

When I began this journey I had no idea what I was getting us into. We adopted one of the most
beautiful and adorable kittens we had ever seen. We just wanted a little sister for our two
RagaMuffin brothers, Dandi and Frankie.
A couple of years ago we went to our first cat show hoping to catch a glimpse of a kitten I had
seen on Facebook. What are the chances we would actually see a kitten from another state in
a cat show 2 hours from home? To my surprise the gorgeous RagaMuffin kitten was there! I was so excited.
It felt like being a groupie for a rock star!
My husband and I had never been to a cat show before and had absolutely no idea what we
were about to experience. I was so mesmerized by the atmosphere. There was so much to
see, cats of all breeds, sizes and colors everywhere you looked. I was in heaven! I couldn’t
take it in fast enough. We sat and listened to the judges as they evaluated the different breeds
and commented on the standards for each breed. I thought, what an amazing opportunity to
learn more about the different breeds of cats. Little did I know that this is just the beginning of
my new passion.
Fast forward two years to present time. The chance to adopt a RagaMuffin kitten that had the pedigree to
become a show cat came our way. Should we take the chance? I had no idea what to do or
even where to begin. How hard can it be? You know how it feels when you know so little that
you don’t even know what questions to ask, yeah that’s where I started.
With the help of one of the kindest and most caring people I have ever known I started exploring
the possibility of taking our new kitten to her first show. One thing I haven’t mentioned is this
kitten is the offspring of the reason I chose to attend that first show. After a lot of soul searching
and obtaining advice I decided to enter her in the Gardner, Kansas show. Miss Poppy is now a
RagaMuffin show kitten!
After blowing up the internet ordering all the show equipment and becoming on a first name
basis with all the delivery drivers I finally had her set for the show.
I spent the next month working with Poppy on socialization. We have been to just about every
pet store in the area getting her used to the noise and strange surroundings.
The most important thing left to do was to learn to groom her for the show. The best part of
preparing her for the show was having the opportunity to learn the art of grooming from an
experienced cat show exhibitor. What an awesome time we had, even Poppy seemed to enjoy
the experience.
Well, we have all of the cat show equipment, the show bath knowledge and the perfect kitten.
Cat show here we come!
We made the journey four hours North and checked into the hotel. I kept expecting Poppy to
object at every turn but she just rolled with everything we threw at her.
The morning of the show we entered the show hall, rookies that we are, with all the other
exhibitors. Everyone was so helpful and friendly. We set up our bench and looked around at all
of the other show cats. What were we thinking? This is all so foreign to us. I just kept looking at
Poppy and she was just taking it all in with that sweet cherub face..
The time for her first ring has arrived. I was so nervous but she just sat in the judges cage and
looked around with that sweet face. As each judge evaluated her she relaxed a little more. By
her last judge she was sitting at the front of the cage like the little diva she was born to be. That
sweet faced RagaMuffin kitten managed to melt the hearts of all that met her. The judges honored her with
finals in all 4 rings, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd and 4th Best Kitten. We came away from the show at the end
of the day feeling like she had performed pretty well and had no idea what this little angel had
just accomplished. We were later informed that our Poppy aka Xpressions Check Meowt Too
had just been awarded Highest Scoring Kitten in Show for her first appearance at a show. I
could not be prouder of this little RagaMuffin kitten. Now I can’t wait for the next show.
Thanks to her awesome breeder Xpressions for allowing us to adopt this precious angel and
helping us all along the way.
Diana Knott

RagaMuffin Rat Catcher

 

RagaMuffin

 

author Sara Thornton DVM                         iCandy RagaMuffins

I have a large specially fenced  yard for the cats. It has shrubs, hosta , cat houses and and a cat door into my house. The cats love it in good weather and some like it even when the weather is less than ideal. The RagaMuffin breeding males and the rescues have free access at anytime.

On occasion, the unfortunate vole, mouse or small bird gets carried into the house. If alive, I retrieve and put outside. If not, I clean up the remains. Luckily, it doesn’t happen very often.

Recently, I was sitting at my computer late in the evening typing when I heard a squeaking sound. Knowing that it can’t be good, I got up to take a look at the same time RagaMuffin Ganache is walking through the baby gate into my den with a LARGE squeaking animal in his mouth. Squirrel? No, it had a hairless tail. It was a rat. I was mortified. Telling Ganache to take it back outside didn’t work. I didn’t want him to drop it and have it run around and find a hiding space in the den.

The dogs and the other cats got very excited and surrounded Ganache with his prize. And …….he dropped it to show it off. It immediately ran and jumped into the baseboard heat register. OMG. To say I was horrified is putting it lightly. He was a bit pudgy and his side was sticking out along with the icky tail.

I took a deep breath. I looked around for some brave mysterious person to appear to handle this situation. Didn’t happen. I came up with a plan. I put the dogs out. Donned garden gloves and shoes and steeled my nerves. I grabbed the devil by his tail and had to pull to get him out. He was really packed in. Meanwhile, he is screaming his head off, the cats are dancing and I am on the verge of getting sick. I managed to make it to the back door for an aerial release into the grass. I saw him run into the woods. I could breathe again.

Sir Gilbert Gets a Gift

author Stephanie Valligny                                RagaMuffin lover

Ragamuffin catA few weeks ago I surprised RagaMuffin iCandy  Sir Gilbert with a cat tree.  My very active boy is approaching his first birthday, and he loves to climb up anything he can get his paws on.  I thought a cat tree would be the purrfect thing for him.  I discovered Furwood Forest from fellow iCandy RagaMuffin families and I quickly got on the phone with Steve to order one.  This isn’t just an ordinary cat tree.  Our sturdy creation stands nearly 6’ tall, has several platforms, cradles, and a scratching post, all of which are wrapped in a cozy carpet that accents the naturally arched wood branches.  It arrived carefully packaged.  I excitedly unwrapped it and waited for Sir Gilbert to check it out.  After adding some toys and rattling the treat bag nearby, Sir Gilbert went out on a limb to investigate.  He jumped from platform to cradle, branching out to test each level.  There is plenty of room for this big guy, and he loves to zoom up and perch in the highest cradle to watch the birds outside.  I am thrilled RagaMuffin Sir Gilbert is enjoying his beautiful new tree.

 

Ragamuffin cat

Cat Show Experience

Ragamuffin cat

author Lucile Gordon Press                                     Presca Rags and Rescues

 

Having been nowhere since the beginning of Covid and only seeing one or two real people at a time to walk into a huge room filled with people, cats, and cat paraphernalia was a shock to my system! Believe me, there were moments where I thought to myself, “what the hell was I thinking”?!!

The boys and I live such a quiet, safe, life here I’m sure Levi and RagaMuffin Tavi probably thought I had lost my mind and dragged them into utter chaos.

Lots of unfamiliar human voices, stressed cats meowing, camping in a show tent, being dragged out and combed within an inch of their lives only to be dropped off into a white show cage and then have a total stranger take them out and fondle them only to be returned to that white show cage again was scary. The good news, Mom always showed up to carry us back to the borrowed pink show tent and give us treats.

Today we learned we’ll be doing this all over again in July. Oy vey, the life of a show cat!

Preparing for the Forever Home

author  R.H. Schmidt            NewWalden RagaMuffins

I was asked recently, “Tell me, how do you prepare a RagaMuffin for their ‘Forever Home’.” So, it got me to thinking about my procedure. I have raised cats all my life, and I have worked with them for so long, that I don’t give it another thought. It is automatic like driving a car. However, in thinking it over, I decided to dissect my method and procedure and share it with others.
I start my procedure I suppose by talking constantly to my queen and her unborn kittens before they are born. I tell her what pretty babies she has and how It puts my queen in a loving mood and whether the unborn kittens can or cannot hear me, they will receive her good feelings as she contently purrs and communicates with me.
My next move of course is to do all the things one should do when newborns finally show up that is doing all the daily weights, checking to for general health, etc., but that is not the purpose here and can be researched as a different subject altogether. One other item I use is I always transfer a heating pad on low in what corner of their area until they are at least 3 weeks of age.
I start my training of the RagaMuffin kittens when they are just one day old, I start talking to them in a soft voice and simultaneously lightly stroking their heads with sanitary hands when I weigh them each morning Then, as soon as they open their eyes they are moved out of the darkness and quiet and into a cage that has two levels during the day. I prefer a two-level breeding cage, because mother can get away from the kittens on a different level, yet still be present. It gives her some freedom too. The kittens are safe with the upper-level door only open, and mother can come and go as she pleases yet kittens are safe in the lower level. We live in a large log home with a lot of glass and skylights, so the cage is situated right in the middle of the great room where they get introduced into normal daily noises. They are introduced to people, other pets, sounds and smells, TV, radio, music, etc., I even run the vacuum when they are present, so they get used to the sound.
At three weeks of age, they start to lift their little faces and follow my voice. I pick them up and talk softly to them for about a minute. Some even purr at this stage. The second event is that they get their first taste of solid food, and I use Fancy Feast wet chicken for RagaMuffin kittens every morning for the first. I mix it with distilled water into a little gruel put it on a large round plate and I will slightly warm it. I give it to them with mother there, then I put a little in their mouth for taste and put them back down to the plate. Mother helps to train them by example to the plate. A third event, at this time is to place a small box with crystal litter in their midst The little boxes that come for the 3 oz. cans of Fancy Feast are excellent for these tiny tots. Never use clumping litter when they are this young. They can ingest it and die from it hardening in their esophagus and stomachs. Just like human babies they have to test everything with their mouth. The crystals will dissolve if tasted. Pick them up and put them in the little box of litter as soon as they finished eating They are also introduced to distilled water for drinking at this time. They will eventually discover it and play in it as well. So, be prepared; I suggest you use a hard surface under the play pen rather than carpet.
This is also the time period that I usually get their first photos shots and then follow their growth with additional photos, and in case I have potential adopters, I will send them pics and post some on our website and with other organizations. It is good networking.
At four weeks of age, I transfer them to their third daytime routine. It is a large circular or rectangular play pen. Place them in it with bedding for them and their mother. Dry kitten kibble, water and play toys, especially little play mice with tails. Kittens love these, and they very quickly will bring them to you to play fetch with them as they get older. This is also the time period to play with the bird wand with them and as they grow older let the older cats play with them as well. The socialization is very good for them. You can start judging who will need a little more socialization, because they will tend to hang back. It is a good measurement.
The kittens will stay in this playpen during the day until they can climb out of it. It will not take long. They should be individually brought out and played with during the day, and loved of course,so the human bond can start taking place. Soon they will be heading out on their own investigations and eventually little paws will find your bed, and nestle up to you.
At 8, 12 and 16 weeks I give them their kitten vaccinations of modified live virus not dead virus. I do not start these injections until they are 8 weeks of age, because I want to make sure the vacs., do not interfere with their mother’s natural colostrum immunity being given them through her milk. Also, I follow the “2013 AAFP Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel Report ” as a guideline, on what I give them. I also administer my shots in the back left leg, so as not to be in danger of cancer later in the inoculation area. The loss of a back leg in case cancer does occur later in his/her life is better than cancer showing up in the nape of the neck inoculation and loss of life.
Now, after the initial 6 weeks, kittens hold their balance sufficiently, so running, jumping and playing are the primary behaviors and catnaps by all means. This is the best time to start playing with them, they love little balls, and toy mice. Teach them to play fetch by getting their full attention and pitching the mouse or ball across the room. At first, they will all run for it, and will not return it to you, because they will be much too busy batting it around and tusseling with each other over it, but the day will come when they will bring it back to you and want to play. This is the best time to play with them using the bird wand. Some of your kittens might be shy and will hang back; entice them into the fray. Before this subject is exhausted, I want to say if either you or an adopter is planning showing the kitten, you may want to get out the kitty treat, and go to work, training the kitten to prepare for showing. Watch the judges at a cat show and mimic their procedure, remember to reinforce good behavior each time with a treat. One good example is to use a cat post and teach your cat to scratch and stretch on it. Place your treat on the very top of the pole and watch how fast the cat will climb up. One of my grand champions managed to go all the way to the top, and delightedly surprised the judge.
Photos of the RagaMuffin kittens, I take constantly with my phone, and text or email it to my deposited adopters. I also make a 5 min videos periodically and email it also. I would like to be able to send these pics, and videos to all adopters on the same email. Unfortunately, I try to respect their privacy and do one adopter’s post at a time. And before my adopter’s and their kitten walk away, I get a photo of adopter(s) and that special little teddy bear of a cat to put in my album.
Now, I would like to cover putting a notebook together for your adopters and keeping a copy of the info yourself as will. As I do so, I will point out some more procedures as I move forward. The first thing I do is keep a log on the adopters that contact me and are really interested. That log is headed by the Sire and Dam names, whether this is the first or a later breeding of this couple, and the birthdate of the kittens. I take down the potential adopters’ location, names, email address, and what their lifestyle is, family, and other pet situations. I also ask why they are interested in a Ragamuffin and would they like male, female, color preference and other characteristics. If they are still interested by this point then I send them a blank New Walden contract so they can peruse info and criteria therein, and stimulate we must both follow those guidelines. I also state there are no strings attached, but I will expect a non-refundable deposit on a kitten they are really interested in holding, and the remainder of the fee at pickup or delivery.
I make it clear in my contract that they are responsible for pickup, either by themselves or with Nanny couriers, like the professional ‘Pet Jet Pals.’ I will not ship by cargo, ever. It is too dangerous for the kitten. If it is a distance. I will recommend that they can fly into the Indianapolis International airport, on a round trip ticket and meet me to pick up the kitten at a designated area there. Some adopters just want to drive here, and take their time. A couple not long ago picked-up two of my kits for Orlando Florida. I will sometimes meet adopters half way it will depend on the circumstances at the time.
So, what do I put in the notebook? First thing of course is 2 copies of the signed and dated contract, their reg., litter numbers and sheets for ACFA and CFAs, I place a copy of both parent’s Ragdoll HCM negative test from UC Davis Genetics Lab in CA. I insert scientific information on Core and non-core vaccines. I also insert the vaccinations records (kitten requirements), and it is explained in the contract what will be needed before I actually email the ACFA and CFA litter registrations for them to obtain their full cat registration.
I include in the folder a copy of the vet’s invoice that I paid for additional wellness care and spaying or neutering of the kitten. That I make clear in my contract. That way I can make sure no adopter of mine will become a backyard breeder. Additional papers include info on worming schedules. I do my every 3 months after six weeks of age with ‘Panacur’ according to the weight of the kitten. I tell the adopter’s that I do not trust commercial pet foods completely, and being that those pets are felines that occasionally like to catch mice, and insects, etc., then I am sure they will not contract any parasites. I put an inclusive sheet on all vaccinations, their dates for FDRC and rabies injections, and worming schedule that should help the adopter, and I include any invoices needed. This notebook
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will go with my kitten at 16 weeks of age when he/she goes to their Forever Home. I also should mention that when I discuss the adopter’s getting the kitten’s first rabies shot from their vet, they may also want to have the kitten ID chipped with their information during that visit.
Some minor things I include in the info is the differences in Ragamuffin coats, how often I clip nails, etc., I will also include a complete “RagaMuffin Kitten Care Guide” if they want it, or if they have little experience with cats. I will send out the care guide out as I send the contract. It will cover introduction to new people and other animals. It covers litter boxes, food, grooming tools to use, and what to and not to give to kittens all the way down to keeping sanitary conditions and kept that way with Clorox bleach, and then there is a happy healthy kitten for years to come.
As I close, I want to stress, that introducing your kitten to various situations, and people are all helpful. It has been difficult during the Covid 19 quarantine time to do that. However, patience, love, and perseverance is all it takes with any of us species here on Mother Earth. I am always sad to see them go. The thing, I love to hear from an adopter the most is, “I cannot believe how loving this kitten is.” That kind of a statement makes my day and I feel contented that I have added a little love to a fractured world.

CFA Cat Shows Are Revving Up!

author Sara Thornton DVM                           iCandy RagaMuffins

I have not been to a cat show since February 2020 due to the pandemic. While there have been a few shows scheduled more recently, I have not considered going until now since I am feeling more confident with a current vaccination status.

So, I entered cats in an upcoming show. I had to remind myself how to fill out the entry. I’ve made a list of things I need to do the week before.  I’ve kept up with nail clips and combing, but not baths.  The good news is that now that I have retired from work, I will not be in a time crunch during the week to prepare.

I already pulled out my show shelters to air them out after being stored for so long. I also washed the bedding that I put in the shelters.  Today, I hosed the shelters off and left them in the sun to dry. I took a picture to brag to my friend that I was on the ball. She replied that it looked like a tiny circus. I realized…..she’s not wrong.

tiny circus

And what better way to describe a cat show? It’s loud, with people talking, cats meowing and the speakers constantly calling numbers for cats to go to judging rings. A show is certainly flamboyant, with lots of creative cage and ring decorations. And the people…..well, let’s just say, they can be colorful too!

While patting myself on the back that I got the shelters freshened up and the laundry done…I peak out the window, only to see my barn cat Waffles back up and spray on one of the shelters. I’m thinking he is not impressed.

Water Cooler for “Cool Cats”? Yes Please

Author Patti Grow                                              RagaMuffin lover

 

Ragamuffin catSo, who says you don’t learn something new every day?  And … I “thought” I knew simply everything there is to know about cats!  Boy, was I wrong about that assumption?  😊  RagaMuffin Fudgie is my buddy, and truth be told, he teaches me something new every single day … and then some!  Recently, he had a health condition where he needed to increase his water intake.  Easy enough, right? Well … not so easy indeed for me!  What kind of fountain, what model, what make, what size – and on and on the endless list of questions began to form in my mind.  My immediate quest began for the “perfect” water fountain for my beloved friend!

 

You see, I am a firm believer that nothing happens by coincidence and that things work out just like they are supposed to.  Upon learning the diagnosis of Fudgie, I made a stop to my “go to” locally owned pet food store on my way home.  Anyway, one thing led to another during our conversation, and we started talking about the need for Fudgie to drink more water daily.  The girl who works there has a cat similar to Fudgie, and she immediately suggested and recommended that I invest in a water fountain “just for cats”?  Who knew such an item existed on our planet?  I certainly was not aware of this!  And bonus, she printed out an informational pamphlet recommending THE “purrfect” fountain for my dear sweet feline.  😊

 

And so, of course, I couldn’t wait to arrive home to place the order for a fountain for him.  After all, as pet owners, we always strive to do our absolute best for our furry family.  So, a few clicks of the mouse later, the order was placed for not only the fountain but also the matching waterproof mat and the fountain cleaning kit.  Oh, and wait – I also added an interactive water fountain censor to the shopping cart – just for fun!  This sensor was designed to making drinking water an interactive game by increasing his curiosity in an effort to increase hydration in felines.

 

Well, a few days later, the parcel post service arrived with Fudgie’s fountain!  And amazingly, it wasRagaMuffin the best investment I have ever made! Not only does Fudgie absolutely love his new fountain, this RagaMuffin now guards the fountain and wants it all for himself!  Well, on occasion, he will begrudgingly allow his sissy cat a few drinks at the fountain.  😊 Honestly, I am “furever” thankful that I made the choice to purchase a drinking fountain for him.

 

It reminds me of when I used to work and I often heard the phrase “hanging around the water cooler” at a workplace as a meeting place to converse.  Apparently, this also applies to cats, since they too seem to be of the notion that felines also prefer to hang out around the water cooler/fountain!  I may be quite biased, but Fudgie does certainly rock the image of the “coolest” cat!  <3

 

 

A New Sleeping Aid

author Robert Hamera                             Slice of Life

Are you a restless sleeper? Do you find yourself taking up more than just your half of the bed? Do you have restless legs? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions may I offer you a remedy that I found that really works.

I am all over the bed when I sleep. I can never get up in the morning and just smooth the covers back into place.

All that changed when I got my first sleeping aid. I admit that I was a bit reluctant to try it, but after seeing how it works I wouldn’t be without one. Although to my way of thinking it could use a few modifications.

I am talking about a Calming Appendage Thingamabob (I know, real scientific sounding). This device, commonly called a C.A.T. has several unique features.

First of all it is fully automated. You do not place the C.A.T. where you want it. It finds its own ideal spot. This may take several minutes since the C.A.T. roams around the bed until it finds the spot it desires. Once the C.A.T picks its spot and settles there is no moving it. Mine usually picks a spot at the back of my legs, moves right up to them, and then parks itself for the night. When in this position I know that my legs will not travel beyond that point during the night. The C.A.T. just won’t allow it.

The amazing thing about the C.A.T. is that it seems to know not all nights are going to be bad. On those nights the C.A.T repositions itself at the small of my back. This still is effective in keeping me on my side of the bed.

I did mention that I would like to see a modification made to this device. There is a problem with its heat control. It is not adjustable. It is always turned to high. This is fine during the winter months when a little extra warmth is welcome, but come summer it gets a bit overbearing. As I said, there is no way to adjust the temperature control.

I should mention that the C.A.T. comes in many styles and colors. I opted for a smoky gray. Since I like to name things I call this particular C.A.T. Molly.

Some nights are really bad for me and Molly is not enough to keep me in place. On those nights I need a second C.A.T. so I have another one I call Ned. Ned has been known to position himself next to Molly and the additional weight definitely keeps me from sprawling out. Other times Ned will pick a spot on the other side of my legs. With a C.A.T. on both sides of me I know I am not moving at all during the night.

So, if you have trouble staying on your side of the bed I suggest you look into getting a C.A.T of your own. You would not be sorry. I also hear that the company produces a Detached Overnight Gadget (again, very technical sounding) commonly referred to as a D.O.G. I do not have one of these so I can’t speak to how well they work. If you happen to have one please leave a comment as to its effectiveness.