New Baby Brother

author Lucile Gordon Press

Hello friends, My name is Levi, my mom says I am half RagaMuffin and half traveling salesman, whatever that means. My mom is a quilter and of course she needs a supervisor so I keep a paw on things. This is my new baby brother, Tavi. He is a four months old RagaMuffin. His name means “good” in Yiddish. My human mom bought a playpen for the little guy so we could get to know one another without having to sniff under the bathroom door and wonder about each other. Besides, he hated being alone in there and cried and cried and cried. It was very stressful for me so mom put him in the playpen. Here is Tavi learning to be a quilt supervisor. Whew, there’s a lot of neat stuff to get into! Falling asleep on the job! All those odd bits of fabric are hard to keep track of so I need 40 winks before I get my next lesson. Ahhhh….so comfy!

After an exhausting day my big 
brother is making sure I don’t
have nightmares. I’m so lucky
to have him for a big brother.

Wow! Look at this! Things actually
move in there. I wonder how they
get in?

One of the first days my brother 
and I got to spend together 
outside of my playpen. I was
feeling a little insecure and
really needed a hug. 
The playpen. My big brother likes
kitten food so mom feeds me 
in there to discourage him 
from stealing my food. 



A little love after a busy day.
Ahhh, this is the life!

Hope you enjoyed our introduction. 
Our mom, Lucile, will 
write her story in a future blog. 
Life is purrrrfect for us,
Levi and Tavi

A Typical Day In the Life of Boomer- The Most Wonderful Kitty Ever.

A heartfelt letter to a RCF breeder from a RagaMuffin lover

 

author Barb Knowdell      Boomer bred by GW Muffins

Boomer wakes me up every morning by sitting on my chest or lying beside my face purring and asking for me to scratch his neck and under his chin.  He purrs so quietly that mostly I can only tell that he is purring because of the vibrations I feel.  Is there any better way to wake up?  I don’t think so!

This gives me a chance to give him a hug and some kisses.  I’m not sure if he really likes hugs and kisses.  However, he doesn’t try to get away and doesn’t stop purring.  I’m interpreting that to mean he is saying “If you really need to give hugs and kisses, I guess it’s OK with me.”

One morning last week (at 6 am–before I was awake) he decided to play with his favorite toy.  It is a narrow strip of multi-colored fabric attached to a plastic wand.  He tried to go up the spiral staircase with it.  He pulled it by the fabric and the plastic wand handle banged against the wrought iron railings and got stuck.  What a way to wake up.  Wish I could have gotten a picture of him.  He seemed confused as to why this wasn’t working.  He had to come back down the stairs.  I got up and untangled it for him.

After I give him hugs and kisses, I get up and Boomer goes to sit by his toy.  This is the only toy he will play with.  I tried lots of different cat toys and he ignores them and won’t play by himself.  He says I must play with him.  First, he sits by it, then he taps it with his paw, then he looks up at me as if to say “Hurry up, you must be stupid if you can’t figure out what I want!”

He is quick and leaps in the air, plops down and rolls over and generally has a good time.

After play time, it is food time.  He eats on the low kitchen counter at “his spot”.  He doesn’t seem to mind that there is lots of other stuff on the counter.  I feed him half canned Merrick Chicken Pate and half homemade cat food.  I was convinced by a vet on line (Dr. Pierson) that, when possible, wet food is best for cats since they have a low thirst drive.  I use her recipe and grind “mostly cooked” chicken thighs (some with bones) and chicken liver. Then add appropriate supplements.  I ran this all by my vet and she agrees that it is a good diet for Boomer.  He seems to like it.

Next comes “nap time”.  NOTE:  nap time comes frequently throughout the day and evening.

Midday, I usually go out to feed the horse and run errands.  When I get home a few hours later, Boomer is often still “napping” in the same place I left him.

I work on the computer most afternoons.  Boomer often wakes up from his nap on the bed and comes over near my computer where he has a grey “Purr Pad” to sit on while he watches out the window for critters (birds, quail, lizards, rabbits, deer, neighbor cats, etc).  This usually turns into another nap time.

Sometimes he plays in a bag or a box.  The box provided another opportunity for nap time.

Boomer has gotten lots more vocal.  He used to talk very quietly now he is much louder.  He carries on conversations with me all the time. He also talks to my husband, Dick.

About 5 pm it is play time again and then dinner.  After dinner, he washes up.  He generally washes up near his toy—just in case I might play again.  Then another nap time.  But in a different place. This time of day he naps in “his” purple recliner which is about 5 feet from my new recliner.  It is my old recliner.  I was going to get rid of it.  But, Boomer said he liked it and I must keep it so he has a cozy place near me to nap in the evenings.

In the evenings I am usually in my new recliner reading and watching TV.  Boomer rotates frequently between watching for critters out the window just behind my shoulder, curling up on my lap to nap, and napping in his recliner.  Boomer also sits on Dick’s lap.  That’s really nice.  Most of our other cats have strongly attached to me and ignored Dick.

Some time around 11pm, I go to bed.  Boomer makes sure to remind me that, first, I must play with him.  Which, because he has me trained so well, I do.

Then we go to bed.  He sleeps beside me every night.   During the night, he sometimes runs around the house, up and down the stairs.  But, he always comes back to sleep with me.

Then I start the next day with a wonderful purring kitty in my face.  Boomer is the most friendly, cuddly cat I have ever had.  He is perfect for me and my current lifestyle.  I think he is happy and content too.  I am sure that no one could appreciate him more than I do.

Have you seen this quote from Roger Caras?

“Pets are not our whole lives…

But they make our lives whole”

That’s exactly how I feel about Boomer.  I hope you know that he has a very loving and caring home with me.

As always, thank you for letting me have him.

 

Fondly

Barb and Boomer

CFA International Show 2019

author Sara Thornton DVM                       iCandy RagaMuffins

I just came back from the 2019 Cat Fanciers’ Association  International show in Cleveland, Ohio. It was an epic event.  Hundreds of beautiful pedigreed cats, rescue cats available for adoption, celebrity cats for meet and greets (think Farrah Pawcett) , tons of vendors, a cat costume contest, educational seminars, and entertainment by the Savitsky cats were there for cat lovers to enjoy!

At the top of the list was spending time with RagaMuffin lovers from all the United States. Meeting a cyber friend in person was the best! Breeders brought out their best kitties to compete. Several of the judges made comments about the excellent quality of the RagaMuffins in the competition. Every person that exhibits an animal takes great pride in presenting a well groomed, well socialized example of the breed. It was great to get such positive feedback from the judges.

The International show is actually two shows going on at the same time. Each had approximately 400 cats entered. A total of eighteen RagaMuffins were shown with the biggest class in each show being the kitten class.

The spectators were out in force.  The public was anxious to get a look at the beautiful cats as well as watch cats run the agility course. The events going on all the time kept people busy the entire weekend. It was a pleasure to be able to share our love of the RagaMuffin breed with interested families.

Responsible Breeding

author Sara Thornton DVM     iCandy RagaMuffins

There is more to breeding animals than most people realize. First is starting with top quality animals with health, temperament and breed type being imperative. Then it is providing those animals with the best life possible, meeting social, medical and physical needs. Planning a breeding between two outstanding and complimentary individuals with appropriate health clearances is the ultimate challenge. Birthing the litter, maintaining at risk neonates, providing sanitation, nutrition and socialization are part of the process.

I have been breeding Labradors for over 20 years. Six years ago, I began breeding pedigreed RagaMuffin cats. I have met and made many friends through this avocation. I have provided families with healthy, loving pets. Many have come back to me for a second, third or even fourth pet. One of my tenants of breeding is to always be there if an animal I bred needs me.

Over the years, I have had four Labradors returned. Two were due to divorce, one was due to an owner’s death and the fourth was due to family issues. I am so glad these dogs came back. They were all lovely dogs who were able to go to new homes and live happy lives. More recently I got a call from a person who had adopted two kittens from me. The owner was ill and could not take care of the cats. He asked me to come get them and I did. Those two cats were well loved and cared for. I am so glad the owner cared enough to make sure they were safe. I brought the cats home with me and quickly found a new adoring home for them.

Some people are surprised when I do what I need to do for these animals. It is my duty and I know other breeders that feel the same way and would do the same thing in a heartbeat. We also help each other out. When the Labrador owner passed, a close friend of mine went to pick up the dog and took it to her house and then I went to retrieve the dog from her. Good breeders will do what needs to be done.

Help For Allergic Cat Lovers On The Horizon?

author Sara Thornton DVM       iCandy RagaMuffins

The Purina Institute recently published research in Immunity, Inflammation and Disease concerning a dietary formulation for cats that reduces allergic reactions in people. As many pet lovers suffer from cat allergies, this has the potential to be a major breakthrough.

The source of allergic reactions to cats in 95% of people is the Fel d1 protein that is found in the saliva and sebaceous glands of felines. The protein is produced by all cats; sex, breed, long or short hair makes no difference. When cats groom, Fel d1 is distributed on the fur and skin. From there, it is spread into the environment.

Purina has found a method to neutralize the offending protein utilizing IgY, an anti-Fel d1 antibody. An egg product containing IgY is incorporated into the cat’s diet. 97% of cats fed this diet had decreased levels of Fel d1 on their hair and skin. After 21 days, the problem protein was reduced by 47%. IgY is active in the cat’s mouth, neutralizing the Fel d1 locally in the saliva.

Many people that have cats are allergic to them. More people would have cats for pets if allergies were not an issue.

Retiring RagaMuffins

author Amy Gryga/Miller         Sweetlilpaws RagaMuffins

When you decide a kitten might not be quite the purrrfect fit for your lifestyle, often a very comfortable consideration is a kitty a little or a lot more mature.  Our retiring young adult RagaMuffins available for adoption have contributed to our family as very loved pets as well as by having amazing RagaMuffin kittens for us to share with many, many families.  We’ve loved the journey with them from their own kitten time all the way thru to adulthood and parenthood.  They’ve reached the next phase of their RagaMuffin adult lives where they need to be loved and adored as a family member with no other requirements than to enjoy every day.  Please understand, retiring adult ragamuffins are not simply grown kittens…they have experienced being in a large family group of other kitties with some being in charge.  They will need time to settle in to a new lifestyle in a way different from a kitten who has no life experience to bring with it.  They may, or may not, be more hesitant to accept new challenges such as other animals, small children or a very busy environment.  We are very happy to have a nice conversation with anyone thinking about an adult verses a kitten.

Mammary Hyperplasia/Fibroadenoma Complex

author Sara Thornton DVM                 iCandy RagaMuffins 

 

Mammary hyperplasia is a condition recognized primarily in young cycling queens or in pregnant queens. It can also occur in any male or female cat that has been exposed to progestins, either accidentally or as a treatment. It appears as diffuse significant enlargement of one, or most likely, several or even all the glands. It causes marked discomfort for the cat due to the remarkable size the glands may achieve.

The cause of the disease, which goes by several monikers, is an amplified response to endogenous or exogenous progesterone. Affected glands become red, swollen, and in extreme cases, ulcerated. In the young  cycling queens and the pregnant queens, the glands are responding to the progesterone being produced by the cat. In these cases the condition will commonly subside without treatment in time. In other cases, the cat may be responding to the progesterone being used to treat a skin or behavior issue. In addition, cats exposed to a person’s hormone replacement therapy (HRT) gel, cream, or spray can develop fibroglandular hyperplasia. Another cause in a spayed queen is an ovarian remnant present after ovariohysterectomy.

Diagnosis is based on history and clinical signs.  The red, swollen glands may be difficult to distinguish from neoplasia, making cytology or a biopsy necessary in some cases. Generally, the cats are not febrile or painful except in cases where secondary infection sets in.

The treatment of choice for mammary hyperplasia in queens not destined for breeding is to spay them. In affected spayed cats, an LH test can be performed to determine if there is a small amount of ovarian tissue remaining. If that is the case, surgery can be performed to remove that tissue. In cases of HRT exposure, applying the dermal medicine to the person’s inner thigh usually helps prevent this exposure.   For the altered pet, a different medication can be used for treatment of skin or behavior so the offending medication can be discontinued.

There are a number of therapies that can be used to treat fibroglandular mammary hypertrophy for cats in breeding programs. These medications are not labeled for use in cats and often are not available except through compounding pharmacies. The progesterone receptor blocker aglepristine is the preferred treatment in many cases.  Cabergoline and bromocriptine are drugs that inhibit prolactin release from the pituitary gland, causing luteolysis, which in turn lowers endogenous progesterone levels.

In some cats, mammary hyperplasia resolves on its own over time. Secondary infections must be treated as needed. Even with treatment, it may take weeks to months to resolve.

The Magical Cabbage Leaf

 

author Sara Thornton DVM     iCandy RagaMuffins

Since I am a veterinarian, I sometimes get inquiries from breeder friends about medical issues they may run into with their cats. I am happy to help when I can.

One of the problems breeders may run into is mastitis. It is a painful condition when engorged mammary glands get inflamed and/or infected.  In both cases, a simple cabbage leaf can help. For reasons currently unknown, a cabbage  leaf applied to a inflamed gland helps ease the pain, draws fluid out and in cases where there is an abscess, promote drainage

photos courtesy of Amy Gryga/Miller

Any time there is the possibility of  infection, a veterinarian should be consulted for antibiotic therapy.

When using a cabbage leaf, place a raw leaf directly on the affected area. A bandage may be applied to hold the leaf in place. Allow the wrap stay in place for 2-4 hours, then, remove it for around 4 hours. The kittens may nurse from the affected gland.

 

 

Nail Trimming

author Amy Gryga/Miller………Sweetlilpaws RagaMuffins

Many families keeping us updated on how fabulous their kittens are growing up also have some general maintenance questions once they see their kitten transitions out of the initial kitten phase.  Nail trimming should continue as needed to keep nails safely comfortable for carpeting & climbing.  Kittens and adults will never outgrown the need to scratch to remove the outer sheath of the nail. It feels good to them & is a form of relaxing as well as reaffirming their scent on appropriate kitty items! We like to keep newborn nail clippers in easy to reach areas of the house where we sit often with kittens so nail trimming can become an easy & enjoyable part of family time. Unlike pups, kitty nails retract when not in full use so it can be surprising how much they’ve grown.  Pressing gently on the paw pad & just below the nail bed will help that kitty nail to extend. There is no reason to try to get the nail as short as safely possible…a nice little trim off of the tip or a tad more is fine!   Remember to keep paw touching in your safe & happy playtime to keep your kitten from developing any aversions or over sensitivity to those areas!

Fleas

author Sara Thornton DVM      iCandy RagaMuffins

Depending on where you live in the country, fleas  can be a year round battle or a short term issue. In the Mid-Atlantic where I live, fleas are active about nine months a year, depending on how cold the winter is. However, for house pets, fleas can be a problem throughout every season. There are a number of safe, effective products available these days to control fleas.

To understand why fleas are so successful, one must understand the flea life cycle. There are four stages in the flea life cycle, the pupal, the larval, the adult, and the egg. The flea life cycle may take a couple of weeks or many months, depending on the temperature and the humidity. The pupal stage can survive a very long time and is virtually impossible to kill.

The life cycle starts with the egg, which is laid after the adult has a blood meal. An adult female will lay about 40 eggs a day. These eggs are tiny white “sand” looking things in the pet’s fur. They may drop off the animal’s coat as it moves around the house. The eggs hatch into larva in two to fourteen days. Larvae develop for five to twenty days, then develop into pupae.  This stage is, for the most part, oblivious to vacuums and chemicals. It can live for an extended period of time as well. Eventually, when condition are right, the adult flea develops.

So how does one control the fleas? The best way is to use a good, safe product and apply it prior to ever seeing a flea. Once adult fleas are present, it’s a catch up game. Using a quality product for fleas like Advantage ll, the adult fleas, larva and eggs will be killed. Again, nothing is effective against the pupal stage. All pets must be treated. In some cases, it may be best to call an exterminator to treat the house and yard. The products are effective, but the environment may be so overwhelmed, that the new fleas are hatching out constantly. The biggest mistake I see clients make is that they use a product for a couple of months, don’t see fleas, so stop the product. Then a whole new hatch of fleas develops and they are starting all over.

I do have personal favorites when it comes to products. There are a number of  good ones out there. I always recommend staying away from products made in China. You may find cheaper generic versions of name brand products in places like Walmart. Most are made in China. My best advice is to vacuum frequently, use a good product consistently keep it up for several months past seeing a flea or, even better, year round.