Monday, April 29, 2013

Our New Kitty and Her Training

At the end of March, I mentioned how our newly adopted kitty, Silkie, is obsessed not only with food, but with Temptations. Temptations are not cat food - they are cat treats.

When our portly little girl (who will be 2 in June) came to us in January, she was more skittish than we ever expected. It took almost a whole day to get her to come out to eat. Even then, I could not get her to eat real cat food - but a few morsels of Temptations worked.

Wow, did it work! It didn't take long for her to train us and get me to feeling guilty if I gave her anything but that for food. This month, I made up my mind to get her off those treats in a meal-sense and get her to understand they are merely treats.

Several days ago, we made her go cold-turkey for 24 hours. That was really rough. Her little cries, begging for her beloved Temptations (Seafood Medley for those who are curious) grew weaker and she seemed withdrawn toward the end - as though she had given up and figured we no longer loved her.

Finally the morning after her "fast," I noticed she had begun eating the Purina Healthy Weight dry food I had put out. This food is high in fiber (to make them feel satisfied and full) but it also has several shapes and flavors, which cats like.

Temptations say, on the packet, that for cats her weight, she can have about 20 a day. Previously, she was eating a whole bag a day.

We had already decided, because she seemed afraid of males, to let my nephew give her 5 when he came out to eat breakfast each morning, and 5 more when he went to his room for bed each night. In between, I'd space out another 5 and 5. Any other time of the day, if she cries and it's obvious she wants a treat, I just talk to her and give her love and some special stroking. We're convinced she substituted food, along the way, for love that she was not finding at her previous home.

The up-side is that now she is eating her proper dry food decently, plus about half a can of Friskies pate each day. Vets tell me they like them to have some canned food at least every other day because there is moisture in it and some cats drink very little water. Silkie, I'm happy to say, drinks water regularly.

So, we have now managed to get her onto real cat food, and we have her eating treats as just that - a treat.

PLUS, because Frank has been doing his treat-routine for about four days now, she has allowed him to pet her, on her side. Tonight, for the first time, she allowed him to actually touch her head.

Now we are eagerly looking forward to the day when she freely and eagerly jumps onto his lap.

We never expected this much concern - but it seems obvious that she was sent to us because the Lord knew we'd have the patience to give her time to get used to us and time to get over whatever her previous life was like.

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