Thursday, July 23, 2009

Life - More Kitten Stuff

Come on, you know you want a couple kittens.

When I got the kittens in their room, I set up the carrier, a bed, another bed, the scratch post with the built in hiding place, and set the lounge chair in a strategic location. I used up a yet another bin of litter filling their kitten-size boxes.

Then, instead of breaking it down, I set it on its side. I figured the smaller opening would be appealing.

Later that night, I went up to check on them. None on the beds. None behind the chair. None in the carrier.

On a hunch I checked the empty litter bin.

Shy male on the left, the large male, and the female on the right. Tabby behind.

A closer look.

Today at lunch I checked them out. The female had made herself comfy on the bed. The tabby and the non-shy male were on the sill, and the shy male, with the darker mohawk, was in the litter bin.

Female seems most at ease after a day.

Sinking even deeper into the bed. This after some scritching.

Tabby and the non-shy male.

I pulled the shy male out of the bin. Here he looks a bit pensive.

Tabby and the shy male. He climbed up on his own.


The three boys.


Giles said...

As it happens, I also just had a littler of kittens. They are five days old now.

Have you made a figure on the exact TCO of a cat, anyway? Between shots, worming, fixing, food, and kitty litter, what do you figure is a conservative estimate? Not including non-essentials, like cat beds and toys and such.

I haven't done a number crunch just yet, but I'll let you know what I come up with when I do.

Aki said...

Hm. It's a lot. We pay about $300 for a spay/neuter, $50-90 per regular visit, spend maybe $100-150 every couple weeks on litter (35-38# boxes for $10-12 each on sale, Tidy Cat with blue lids), I think $30 on food at the same time (Purina in a blue bag - first ingredient is not corn, i.e. if a cat is in a corn field, it won't eat corn, it'll eat the mice eating the corn).

So for litter and food, $2500 and $750 per year? $3250?

I'm seriously looking into getting a pallet of each. My boss at work is working on it. Not sure if we can beat the Target sale prices though.

We have 5 covered sifting litter boxes (the best kind, we've tried all the manual ones, and unfortunately we can't find them locally anymore), 2 open ones for kittens, and I'm trying to figure out a better litter box, one that takes little time to change and handles many (5-10 adult) cats. I'm aiming for 5 minutes or less to do a complete litter clean.

We've fixed 9 cats, so $2700. I know, we should use a cheaper vet, but for now, we're going to the same place.

And say 9 cats worth of visits, shots, etc. $100/year?

And one glue trap cat which had to be quarantined in addition to being sedated and shaved. I think that bill was $750.

We have a few collars (7), a $120? enclosed cat bed (it was a splurge), 2 more reasonable enclosed beds, 3 open beds, multiple brushes, a gazillion toys.

3 or 4 scratch pads, and multiple bags of cat nip.

We also try and treat them with wet food every now and then. I just bought a case for the kittens.

The cats at work (Grey, White, Black, in order of fixing) get fed out of date food, although I've been buying cans in order to make sure that the recently fixed White and Black get enough to eat. I went through two cases of pouches, a case of full size cans (i.e. soup size cans), and 3-4 bags of cat food so far.

We're looking into pet insurance, because this is all with healthy, relatively young cats. With age we'll be saddled with much heavier bills.

The missus knows better since she pays the bills, but I think that's pretty accurate.

Heh "TCO" coined by Gartner, a company I worked for in a previous life.

Giles said...

hmm. My little ones aren't old enough to need anything other than their mother's milk just yet, but I heard about a place in Massachusetts that does the whole shebang (worms, shots, spay/neuter, and RFID tagging) for $75 per felis.

There's info on the internet. I think bob barker will send you a coupon, at the very least.

Giles said...

er, sorry to double-comment but here's an interesting usage of cat RFID:

Aki said...

There's a not-so-local (un)shelter (they don't have a physical shelter) that has a deal with a not-so-local vet for $50/fix. The rest is extra. But for now we're good with the local vet, which we can go to in 10 minutes. The other place is like 45 minutes away, which makes dropping off a just-caught kitten impossible if I'm at work. A lot of the places around here don't take "feral" cats - I guess there are a lot of them around.

I'd get them fixed as cheap as possible, pending locality etc, and go to the closest good vet for checkups. We feel comfortable calling our vet if there's an emergency, and they feel comfortable letting us (for example) pick up the kittens before they finalize the bill. We pay them promptly and they treat us well.

I think of developing the vet relationship like an LBS. May be cheaper elsewhere but when you need to go to a place "right now", it's good to have a go-to place.

Giles said...

Here's kind of an interesting article; a cat's TCO is around $920ish, they say.