These require quiet and kindly treatment. Do nothing quickly or suddenly, so as in any way to scare or frighten, but when speaking to them, let the voice be moderated, gentle, and soft in tone. Cats are not slow to understand kind treatment, and may often be seen to watch the countenance as though trying to fathom our thoughts. Some cats are of a very timorous nature, and are thus easily dismayed. Others again are more bold in their ways and habits, and are ever ready for cossetty attention; but treat both as you would be treated - kindly.
As to food, as already noted, I have found raw beef the best, with milk mixed with a little hot water to drink - never boil it - and give plenty of grass, or some boiled vegetable, such as asparagus, sea-kale, or celery; they also are fond of certain weeds, such as cat-mint, and equisetum, or mares' or cats' tails, as it is sometimes called. If fish is given it is best mixed with either rice or oatmeal, and boiled, otherwise it is apt to produce diarrhcea.
Horse-flesh may be given as a change, provided that it is not from a diseased animal; and should be boiled, and be fresh.
Brown bread and milk is also good and healthy food; the bread should be cut in cubes of half an inch, and the warm milk and water poured on; only enough for one meal should be prepared at a time.
Let the cat and kittens have as much fresh air as is possible; and if fed on some dainty last thing at night they will be sure to "come in," and thus preserved from doing and receiving injury.
If cats are in any way soiled in their coat, especially the long-haired varieties, and cannot cleanse themselves, they may be washed in warm, soapy water; but this is not advisable in kittens, unless great care is used to prevent their taking cold.
Some cats like being brushed, and it is often an improvement to the pelage or fur if carefully done; but in all cases the brush should have soft, close hair, which should be rather long than otherwise.
Do not let your cats or kittens wear collars or ribbons always, especially if they are ramblers, for the reason that they are liable to get caught on spikes of railings or twigs of bushes, and so starved to death, or strangled, unless discovered.
For sending cats to an exhibition, a close-made basket is best, which will allow for ventilation, as fresh air is most essential; and have it sufficiently large to allow of the cat standing and turning about, especially if a long journey is before them. I have seen cats sent to shows taken out of small boxes, dead, stifled to death - "poor things."
Bear in mind that the higher and better condition your cat is in on its arrival at the show, the greater is the chance of winning.
Do not put carpet or woollen fabrics in the basket, but plenty of good, sweet hay or oat-straw; this will answer all purposes, and does not get sodden.
If you use a padlock for the fastening, do not forget to send the key to the manager of the show, as is sometimes the case.
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