Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Having a Cat in Malaysia

T sitting on his favorite chair in the Guest Room (chair is Ikea Snille)

T is around 9 months old now and we enjoy having him in our lives. We found him through Petfinder which is one of the better ways to find a pet in Malaysia. He has already had all of his booster shots (35rm per shot) and has been fixed (operation was around 140rm). I've spent time since September when he arrived finding different cat products, often times finding little selection at high cost. Relatively speaking the cost of having an animal in Malaysia seems higher in proportion to in the US in terms of cost of living.

One of the first things I searched for was good quality cat food. The imported brands like Science Diet and Blackwood and others are grossly overpriced. And I worry, as I have with food we buy for ourselves, about imported dry food. Even when the expiration date is far off, sometimes food like cereals gets stale very fast. Not to mention the possibility of bugs getting the product. So when I see that over 100rm bag of gourmet cat food sitting on the floor of the small and not really visited pet store in Seremban, I'm a bit skeptical. So what to buy? Jusco and Family Store have a number of brands of soft and dry cat food. Some are asian brands that I'm not familiar with. I tried a few of these as well as the Purina brand which I am familiar with. Sure, not a great brand in the US, but at least reputable. Purina foods here seem to pay more attention to nutrition and the food meets the standard set by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) as noted on their products.

So T gets the Friskies hard food at 14.99rm for a 1.5 kg bag. (this price is Family store, Cold Storage in Mid-Valley was charging nearly 18rm per bag and Jusco charges 17rm).

T also gets soft food. What is strange about the soft food selections in Malaysia is that nearly all of them are fish based... Tuna being the most popular, then all sorts of mackerel mixtures. T's favorite by far is Purina's Seafood Platter in Prawn Jelly! The cans come in 400g size and are 3.90rm each at Family Store. The serving suggestions on the back of the can are crazy though.... they suggest a cat the size of T or bigger should eat two full 400g cans of this fish a day!!! T is already battling not being overweight, I imagine how big his belly would get eating this much fish a day.

Cat Litter is also expensive here. A small bag of Tidy Cat (which you know isn't that great) is about 15rm. The fancier brands and clump kinds can run up to 26rm per bag!!!

What else have I noticed so far, well, I'm pretty turned off by the Vets here in Seremban, if we had a real medical issue with T I think we'd have to drive to the big state of the art Vet hospital closer to KL (I forget the name) because from what I have seen at three vets in Seremban, the medical is pretty sad for animals.

Oh another thing that is really interesting... Many many people cage their cats here in Malaysia in big 3 feet or 4 feet cages. I started seeing it on Petfinder and also other places. It's true most houses that have a cat also have a cat cage where the cat spends some or all of its time. I hate this and I couldn't understand why. Well, after having T for awhile I now understand why. I think it's because most Malaysian homes do not have screens on the windows. Therefore, the cats would escape and unless an owner didn't mind their cat being outside (to mix with strays, dogs and even other creatures like monitor lizards or snakes!) then the owner would have to cage if they wanted to keep the windows open. I still won't buy a cage, and our house is big enough that T can be closed off in a room for short periods. Otherwise, I bought a leash for him to put on when the patio doors are open and we are near the patio. He loves to go out on his leash. But guess what? Malaysian pet stores don't really sell yard leashes only short dog leashes for walking a dog. I had to have the yard leash mailed from the US... along with some cat toys.

6 comments:

  1. It's been ages since I last had a cat as a pet (due to allergy/wheezing in my children). I would be extremely worried if my cat gets more adventurous and venture away from home, because some kind people may fall madly in love with my cat and decides to keep it or maybe some weirdo may just hate it enough to pour hot water or use a rotan to cane my dear kitty. This is so sad but it does happen. Just look at the recent news about cruety to animals. I am so happy for your cat, because it has found a good home.

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  2. Hi! I came across your blog while Googling Ikea handles and I'm glad I did. I find your blog both educational and inspiring. I enjoy reading about your renovation experiences as I'm also in the midst of renovating a house myself. Personally, I find Seremban a great place for food and to stay - the people are friendlier and generally things are cheaper than KL. Being Malaysian I especially appreciate seeing the Malaysian way of life from your perspective. I think you're doing a terrific job of sharing your experiences.

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  3. ILuvParks

    Welcome and thanks for your kind words. Any documentation of your current renovation online? If so pass the link this way!

    Best

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  4. Thank you for sharing this. I have 8 cats and I know the challenges of having cats and to care properly for them in Malaysia. I hope we will evolve to be more loving towards animals especially cats and dogs.

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  5. Hey how is T doing? was Googling top wet cat food brands in Malaysia and ... here I am.

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  6. Hi,

    I was happy to see your latest cat food stuffs here. Domestic animal lovers will found the right ingredients which is much more essential to see before purchasing supplements of what works best with recommended prescription as per standards of cat or dog. We suggest pet breeder kindly consult vet expert if your are living in Malaysia to opt for the best dietary information related to your pet or kitten. Visit Royal Canin to see complete nutrition food.

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