Growing Kitty Week One

Week One

We all know there are several stages a kitten goes through in the first few weeks of life but why are these stages so important and what happens during this time? In the next few blog posts I am going to explain the developmental changes a kitten goes through week by week until they are ready for their forever home.

A1 Savannahs Kitten

Hello World!

From the time the kittens are born mom is hard at work. She is cleaning, feeding and keeping her tiny tots warm. Throughout this week she is very protective of her young and if bothered too much she will try to relocate them to a more peaceful location. During this time, we do not interfere to ensure mom's stress level stays low and she feels cozy and comfortable in her nesting area.

Puttin' On the Ounces

Kittens, when welcomed to this world, typically weigh a whopping 3-4 ounces. Of course, as far as Savannahs go, the higher the generation the bigger the kittens. In this week, the kittens will typically double in size to about 6-8 ounces which is a lot for their tiny little bodies. Within about 2-3 days their umbilical cord will detach and they are ready for takeoff.

A1Savannahs Mom and Kitten

Help Mom

When born, kittens are completely helpless and solely rely on their mothers to care for them. Their eyes are tightly shut making it a bit hard to see and their ears are folded so they cannot hear a thing. They react to their mothers body heat for comfort and rely on their  faint sense of smell to find their favorite nipple at feeding time. 

Happy and Healthy

In the first 24-48 hours of arrival the kittens will receive colostrum from their mothers. This is a very vitamin and nutrient rich milk that is crucial to the kittens development. Given the mother has had her vaccinations, this milk allows the kittens to receive the mothers immunity to harmful diseases until they are old enough for their first set of shots.

Potty Time

Another thing kittens are incapable of at this stage is controlling their bowels. Mom will lick their bellies to aid in digestion as well as their bottoms to help stimulate them to defecate. Kittens also can not regulate their own body temperature so mom always stays near to be sure they are all snuggled up.

A1Savannahs Serval Kitten

A Whole Lot of Shut Eye

In order to for kittens to grow and develop as fast as they do, they need plenty of beauty rest. Kittens spend 90 percent of their time sleeping while the other 10 percent they are chowing down. Other than snoozing, fighting their littermates for a nipple is their top priority but Mom always makes sure there is plenty to go around.

What first week experiences do you have?

Until Our Next Cat Convo

- Amanda 

Spot Me Out

Do you know how to tell the Difference?

When clients and friends come to our cattery they are astonished at how I can tell them all apart. Well the answer for me is easy but not everyone knows what to look for in order to identify each and every one, so let me give you some tips. 

The Distinct Differences

There is one thing about the Savannah Cat that never EVER changes, its spots! Each cat has their own unique spotted pattern which I call their "Fingerprint" You can always look at the cats and tell them apart by the spots. Main ways that I describe these patterns are if they have a flower pattern, a line of spots, lots of small spots, large distinct spots, clusters of spots, etc. Sometimes it is very hard to tell them apart but once you really sit and look at the pattern you will find something that sticks out to you so you can determine if that's your cat. 

Another thing I tend to recognize is the pattern of lines on their face and around their eyes. Me being a girly girl and former hair dresser I have fun names for this. ;) The lines on the side of their face are sometimes black, orange, bold, or broken, I call this their "mascara" The cats also often have markings in between this "mascara" that can be dark or light, more bold than not or also spotted, this is their "blush". Then we come to the "eye liner" this is the part around their eyes that is often a very light or bright white in color. If you move down their necks they have bands around their necks..... take a guess at what this is called.... yup, their "necklace" The "necklace around their necks are often what I call broken which is where they do not completely come together. At times, they have multiple "necklaces" and most often in different shades of black and gold. 

The Maturing Differences 

A1Savannahs features of a savannah blog photo blue eyes

Just like humans, all kittens are born with blue eyes. A very common question we are always asked is if their eyes will stay blue. Sometimes they will but most often they change to a green, gold or hazel color.  Kittens eyes do take time to develop and their quality of vision always comes before the color change. Kittens eyes typically will change their color between 3-6 months of age. Most of the time the kittens will be in their new home at this age so it is very hard for us to give a precise answer. 

Another thing that can happen is that the color of their noses can change. From my experience, we have had kittens born with pink noses that end up with a dark outer rim and sometimes born with this dark outer rim and turn mostly black. They say that cat noses can change with temperature, mood, blood pressure and that the lighter the cats nose the more you can see it change. But as far as our little hybrid kittens go, I think it is just part of their maturing process.

Figuring It All Out

Now that I have given you some of my helpful tips on how I like to discern the differences between our kitties why don't you go have a look. See if there is anything that stands out to you or helps you decipher your cats "Fingerprint" 

Tell us your helpful tips or show off your cat's beautiful features on our social media pages!

UNTIL OUR NEXT CAT CONVO

-Amanda

A1 Savannahs features of a savannah info-graph

Sleepy Kitty

Our cats and their napping habits.

As a mommy to several kitties I am always catching them in the most unusual slumber. Some of them in the obvious places like; in the warmth of the sun, on the fluffy sofa, in their cozy bed, in our cozy bed, and my most favorite is in my lap.  But sometimes you look for them for twenty minutes but they are nowhere to be found because they have a secret bunker where they can slip into that deep sleep with no disruption.

Types of Sleep

Did you know that cats also go into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep just like humans? Most of the time when cats are sleeping they are not in that deep, fabulous, no care in the world sleep but more of that, I'm asleep but not really asleep because I can freakin' hear everything that is going on and no one will be quiet sleep. They stay in this state of sleep for around 15 - 20 minutes while momentarily falling into REM sleep for about 5 minutes at a time. If you ever notice your cat sleeping but slightly shift their radar's or taking a slight peek around this is when they are in the "Dozing" stage of sleep. If your kitty has their eyes tightly shut or using their personal fluffy sleep mask this is when they are in the "DO NOT BOTHER ME I AM ACTUALLY ASLEEP!" stage.

Why so long?

Cats can sleep anywhere from 15-20 hours a day depending on their age filling their fluffy fuel tanks. Cats release an obscene amount energy when hunting their prey, or in our instance, their secret stash of catnip so they need all the rest they can get. Kittens and older cats require more sleep than the average aged cat. Kittens sleep more because their precious little bodies are growing and older cats have had their time of prime and have decided life is much easier when you slow down.

Getting Adjusted

Most cats are dawn dwellers but being as adaptive as they are, they easily adjust to our hectic schedules. They enjoy their human time therefore making time in their day for us. But if you are having kitty soft paws in your face at 4:00 in the mother lovin' morning then try having some extra play time during the day especially before bed time. You may also give them a small snack before bed because they also like to go to bed on a full belly.  FUN FACT: We have a friend that as soon as he has eaten he is ready for bed before we even leave the table. We always tease him and tell him his eyelids are attached to his stomach. The more he eats, the fuller he gets and pulls his eyelids down, it’s pretty comical. But kitties do have a method to their madness when it comes to their sleeping habits.  Hunt, Eat, Clean, Sleep, Repeat!

Caution

If your fur child is sleeping more or less than usual you might want to consult with your veterinarian. There may be an underlying medical problem that needs addressed. Always take note of unusual habits your cats may have. If there is something different or concerning contact your breeder for advice or of course your veterinarian is always there to help. 

Whether in my lap or in their bed I always enjoy watching the cats sleep. You can actually distinguish when they slip in and out of that deep sleep. You can see their paws twitch and nose wiggle while in the land of catnip or their radars activate to be sure no danger is near.

We are always finding our kitties in the most peculiar places and positions. 

Tell us about some of your favorite sleepy kitty stories or share your photos with us on our social media sites!

Until Our Next Cat Convo 

- Amanda

Exercise your Pet

Keep that kitty movin'

As most of you Savannah lovers know the Savannah breed is very active, playful and somewhat destructive at times. Keeping your kitties engaged in playtime, walking, and dates with other furry friends can really reduce the possibility of bad behaviors. 

Discouraging Bad Cat Behaviors With Exercise & Training

Given this propensity for extra propulsion and playfulness, this could also be a gateway for more destructive behavior patterns if not trained properly and given plenty of exercise. Similar to toddlers and young children, parents will often attempt to “tire them out” as a pathway to a less naughty kid and the same is true for our four-legged friends.

A1 Savannah Kittens at Play

More Fun With Less Damage Done

Also given more activity, many cats tend to be less destructive with fewer bad behavioral habits. But some of this comes along with training that also discourages rough housing and other aggressive behaviors that could potentially put them at risk for injuring themselves, other animals, you, friends or family members.

A1 Savannahs Kittens at Play

When it comes to playtime and exercise routines, it’s important to remember how we interact with them is just as important as participating in the process itself. For example, encouraging them to attack hands and feet will send a message that this behavior is acceptable. This could cause an unsuspecting child, visiting friend or relative to be swatted, scratched or bitten when they may be simply trying to interact with your cat.

Put Them On A Leash, Capeesh?

Savannah cats are also very intelligent and many pet owners will often choose to train them to walk on a leash, which is actually much easier than you might think. You should first introduce them to the concept of wearing a harness since they’ll be much easier to control using this type of a device. It also greatly reduces the risk of them choking or slipping out of a collar while you’re out and about.

For some more information and suggestions about exercising with your pet, check out the infographic below. With more activity, playful exercise and given the proper training, you and your cat will be much happier and healthier in the long run! 

 What fun things does your cat do for exercise?

Until Our Next Cat Convo

-Amanda

A1 Savannahs Blog Post -PetExercise-Norwich

- We would like to give a special shout out to Jenn Johnson for helping us put together this weeks blog post!

Cool Cats

Okay, So let’s talk about cats getting in the fridge!

IMG_9422.jpg

Our F4 Cleo, aka Miss Cleopatra The Mischievous, is always ending up in our refrigerator. I'm not so sure what it is in there that she even thinks is remotely interesting. Oh yes I do… food! But this is the problem, every time she gets in there she isn't even looking for food. She hops up there, turns around with the most innocent eyes and looks at me. I'm like....... really?!? I always ask her what it is that she is so desperately seeking after but I just get that pitiful look. The only thing she does in there is get cat hair all over the place so then I have to have a deep clean party of the fridge. I mean, at our house cat hair is a condiment but we really don’t need it chilled.

During the holidays I was doing some baking and apparently she had decided to sneak up there. I didn’t realize it and turned and shut the darn door. Luckily since I was baking, I was constantly getting back in to the fridge because lets be real, I am super scatter brained….Just before the Cleo incident I put the milk in the pantry, but that’s besides the point.  Anyways, I opened the door and there sat a bright eyed and slightly cooled Cleo. If she could talk, which obviously she can, she would have been cussing me up and down because we know how much cats love the cold. But, she is the one that got up there and thought she was going to find a magical pot of cat nip or something. But in all reality all she got was a cool and very refreshing fridge session.

Hesitant but curious she still ends up in the fridge. But one thing is for certain, she is sure I am paying attention so her kitty fluff butt doesn't get stuck in there again.

How often do your kitties venture into the world of refreshing fridge sessions?

Until Our Next Cat Convo,

-Amanda

A Little Background

Hey all of our fellow cat lovers! 

a1 savannahs intro blog post selfie

I am Amanda Engster owner of A1 Savannahs along with my husband Martin. I know most of you do not know a lot about us as we have kept pretty to ourselves since owning A1 Savannahs. I have finally decided to venture out and start a blog about our fun, insane, stressful, amazing, and blessed life as Savannah Cat Breeders. 

I am 28 years young, have a very supportive and loving husband, Martin (But we all know my first love was COFFEE!!) and have a pretty amazing son named Max. We live in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma on our small ranch but it is nice and quiet and we really enjoy it here. 

In September of 2013 I decided to start a new chapter of my life. I left behind a wonderful career as a hairstylist to become a mom to a bajillion Savannah Cats. We had worked with the previous owners for several years before we actually had this business opportunity to own A1 Savannahs. 

When we started this journey it came with a lot of ups and downs. It was NOT easy at first, not that it is always easy now, but Martin and I stuck with it and with each other and things got better. We have learned a lot in the last several years but still have a ton more to learn. We are not perfect in any way, shape, or form. We do NOT know everything there is to know about Savannah Cats, and Servals, and USDA regulations, and state regulations and TICA codes, and enrichment, and nutrition but we do our absolute best and our love for cats and this breed is why we do this. 

a1 savannahs intro to blog martin selfie

Martin, his father, and brother have a machining company where they work normal business hours but the cats are all MINE! Ha ha. Well... Martin and Max actually both help a lot. Martin does all of our customer relations as well as advertising and marketing. He's much better at that than I am! And Max helps me a lot with the cleaning and caring of the cats on a daily basis. Without the two of them there is no way I could do it all. 

This is really my passion and I have a love for my cats that I just can't not describe. There have been many times that I have wanted to throw in the hat because lets be honest, it's not all rainbows and butterflies. But it is always the cats that keep me going. If times are tough it is the cats that get me through and remind me why I do all of this in the first place. Its not about the money or how we make a living but its my hobby. Martin says its my really expensive hobby, but that's besides the point. ;) I absolutely love what I do everyday and am blessed to have the opportunity to do so. 

I hope all of you enjoy our blog as much as we enjoy sharing it. 

Until Our Next Cat Convo   

-Amanda

Trying Out This Whole Blog Thang

Hey All!

So after hearing non stop about all these blogs and how we should start one I figured I would give it a go! Its not going to be perfect and 100% factual but mostly some random things about the cats, our cattery, and our crazy life! I am going to try and have a fun post every week and if anyone has anything they would like me to post about please feel free to email me! 

Looking forward to this new and fun journey!