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Welcoming a New Kitten to Your House

An Indie cat I was looking after in Udupi gave birth to 3 kittens a few months ago. I raised them at home in Udupi, and then brought them to Bangalore where I got them adopted. Here is a guide which I prepared for new kitten adopters.


Kittens have food frequently. Wet and dry is required for them as it has essential nutrients. It is good to feed them wet cat food once a day. At an early age, there is no need to regulate the quantity of food they eat but as they grow older it is good to feed them the same quantity every day as they tend to over eat. You can also try feeding them cooked, unsalted chicken, fish and other animal meat. Don’t feed them anything which has spices.

There are many cat food brands available in the market. Some brands are not good (Purepet, Meo-w) etc. Stick to good brands such as Royal Canin, IAMs, Purina etc.

Important: Keep a bowl of fresh water available always, because when they eat dry food they consume a lot of water whenever they feel like.

Recommendation for food bowl from Amazon.

Toilet/Litter Tray

It is good to get kittens used to pine wood litter which is eco friendly. Each kitten needs 1 separate toilet tray.

Recommended brand of pine wood litter from Amazon.

There are sellers whom you can contact directly to buy 10/20 kg bags of pinewood litter for a more economical price.

The toilet tray must be kept clean and odour free. This is important because otherwise they may develop health issues. They may also start dirtying other places in the house if the litter tray is not clean. Flush their poop immediately after they do their business.

Again – please keep 1 tray for each cat and in different places (not next to each other). They don’t like to share. In the wild, cats mark their territory by defecating.

Informative video on the pros and cons of bentonite and pinewood litter: https://youtu.be/w8AoWtJNfvU?si=VBzrvNjqxu6ruzC7


Take them to the vet once they have settled down in your house. At the clinic, ask for:

  1. Deworming
  2. Defleaing
  3. Vaccination

This has to be done on regular intervals. After the first time, you can give them deworming tablets and apply spot-on for fleas yourself.

Vaccinations are to be given at regular intervals too. There are 2 vaccines to be given – the doctor will tell you which ones. The doctor will give you a booklet to record the vaccinations given. Please follow the schedule.

Indian breeds have good immunity and they can eat varied diet. But ensure that if they become lethargic, stop eating for more than 2 days, have loose motion etc, you take them to the vet immediately.

It is very important to get them neutered after 6 months. You can watch this video to understand the neutering process: https://youtu.be/lM-bIRNnhpg


Kittens are very playful. They like to jump, catch, hide, scratch and attack. It is important to give them toys to play with, else they will be dull. Also, siblings are very generally close to each other and they keep each other company. To develop a bond, it is important that humans also play with them every day.

Cats don’t like new places, people or smells. So avoid taking them out of the house. When you travel, you can leave them at home and ask someone to feed them regularly. Please don’t keep them in a cage or other confined places. All these things lead to behavioural issues.

Cats are very curious. Because of this, and because when they grow up their instincts tell them to go in search of mates, they may try to escape from the house. This can be dangerous in a city as they can get lost or hurt by vehicles. Ideally, a cat environment should have trees for them to climb. But it is not possible to find such an environment in a city. So please cat-proof your house and make sure they don’t escape. They can easily open sliding windows and push doors. If they go out they may never come back or get hurt 🙁

You can consider buying a cat tree from Amazon. Amazon Basics cat trees are economical.

They also need sunshine. In the wild, cats know at what time of the day to soak in some sunshine to get the warmth and detox they require. Please create such an environment for them indoors where there is some sunshine.

Cats take time to get adjusted to a new place so patience is the key. If you are shifting houses, you can follow some recommended steps to make them comfortable. Watch Jackson Galaxy’s video.


Cats tend to sleep a lot, even after they grow up. Kittens older than 3 months have a long sleep during the day. Younger kittens sleep more. This is important for their development.

Kittens also have short naps after eating. This pattern may change as they grow up. They generally like cool, dark places to sleep (like under the cot). You can put a gunny bag or make a soft bed for them to sleep on but they may not sleep on it every day. As they grow old they won’t need a dark place to sleep.


There is no need to bathe a cat regularly. They lick and keep themselves clean. Also, there is no need to clip their claws. If you have a Persian breed, this does not apply. But Indian cats, when kept indoors, require no grooming. When you take the cat to the vet, get the ears checked for infection. Regular application of spot-on and cat food keeps their coat healthy.

Additional Resources

You can watch videos from Jackson Galaxy to learn more about cats:

Jackson Galaxy

Join the Fans of Cats group on Facebook

Fans of Cats

Vet Clinics in Bangalore for Neutering (not an exhaustive list)

Cartman Animal Hospital

CUPA Trauma Centre

Pampapathi Multi Speciality Pet Hospital

Bangalore Pet Hospital

Testing the Syrp Genie for a Milky Way Timelapse

I got to test the Syrp Genie, Genie Mini, and my Carbon Fibre slider this week. Using the three, I was able to achieve a timelapse that had linear and panning motion.

I wanted the timelapse to show the transition from night to day. I had been researching on tools that would help me automate the exposure correction required for a timelapse that runs from dark to bright or vice versa. If you are wondering why – the settings for a timelapse when it is dark cannot be used when the light changes and becomes bright (or vice versa). Such a timelapse involving exposure changes is called the ‘Holy Grail’ timelapse. The right term for this kind of exposure change is ‘ramping’. You either ramp the ISO, Shutterspeed, Aperture or all three depending on the situation.

The best method to automate and achieve the holy grail technique is by using an app called qdslrdashboard. Unforunately, it is Android only, so I had to borrow a One Plus One phone to try it out.

So yes, I was able to make the Syrp Genie, Genie Mini and QDslrdashboard to work together. I almost did not get a chance to do the timelapse because of bad weather. Thankfully, the skies cleared up after 1 am and the stars showed up. It was not the darkest of nights and the skies were hazy after the rain.

I set up the genie, mini and the slider first. Once connected together, the Genie and Mini connect to the phone via bluetooth. The camera can connect to the phone via WiFi but I connected it via USB. I set the whole thing up for 4.5 hours. I realized later that this was a mistake. Why? Because:

  • Qdslrdashboard had a setting which determines the longest shutterspeed. It was set to 4 seconds. This prevented the app from increasing the shutter speed correctly once the night turned to day.
  • The slider and panning movement was controlled by the total duration of the timelapse. So by the end of 3.5 hours – when it had turned bright and I realised that the frames were overexposed, the slider had not reached the end of the track. So the end result does not show much of linear movement.
  • The interval between shots was set to 30 seconds. This interval was fine when the expsoure was 25 seconds at night. But as it got brighter and the exposure time decreased, the interval became a little too much. Not that it mattered – I was just getting impatient 🙂

Another challenge I faced for lens fog. I had to clean the front of the lens in between the timelapse which introduced some shake in the time lapse.

It took a bit of an effort to shoot mid-week at a remote location, staying up almost through the night. This is what it takes to learn something by doing. Here is the end result. The Milky Way is faint. But you can see it rise and disappear as the night turned into day. And a bunch of us running around with flashlights 🙂

Not many get to witness the movement of the Milky Way in the sky. Enjoy it here in the timelapse. More stuff to come when I get a chance to go out and shoot.

A Group for Landscape Photographers

When I started photography, JJ Mehta Photograpy Forum (JJMPF) was a great place to hang out. Along with Bangalore Photography Forum (which is now extinct), JJMPF was where many of us used to post photos for critique.  After almost 10 years of interacting with members there, I finally met a few of them today. The meeting was planned on a Whatsapp group. We visited a beautiful lake off AH 48.  I had previously visited a hillock near the lake on Jan 31st for a super moon/lunar eclipse shoot (video here).

The idea of forming a Whatsapp group for nature and outdoor photographers occurred to me when a post of mine on JJMPF saw queries about locations to shoot around Bangalore. These days here in India, WhatsApp groups are where the action is, albeit mostly the spammy kind. Unfortunately many of the photography groups have too many members with various agendas. I wanted to create a group for only like minded photographers. Having visited numerous lakes and hillocks, I have a fair idea of places for landscape and nature photography within 100km from the city. So after the interactions on JJMPF, I created a WA group and added photographers with the intention of planning and going on shoots together.

Now, unlike regular photowalk groups, were a bunch of people get together and walk the lanes of Bangalore and shoot street photos, nature/landscape/outdoor photography is a different ballgame. For one, it involves heading out for shoots at unearthly hours (I was up by 3 am today). Since we go far away from the city, transport is something each person needs to have figured out. Lastly, it is difficult to shoot photos of nature when in a large group. Outings I have been on have always been in twos, threes or fours at the most.


Today for the first time, I was part of a larger group. We first did some planning on Whatsapp using Google maps. After checking out the blue hour and golden hour timings, we met up on the highway after the Tumkur Road toll booth. We were 7 of us in two cars, coming from different parts of the city. After chai on the highway and quick introductions, we continued to our location, even overshooting a right turn and missing our intended route. After making a U turn, we were back on track and at our destination by 6 am.

It was a rather quiet and uneventful sunrise. I got to test the 6D which I have in mind as a second body (last week, I tested the 6D Mark II with my Irix 15mm f2.5 lens).  I used the A7rII for shooting a time lapse.

Here are two photos from today.



Personally, I am quite pleased with the results from the 6D. I even got a chance to fly my Mavic. One of the photographers in the group was shooting with an IR modified camera.

Unfortunately, summer is almost here. The transition from night to day and vice versa will only get increasingly quicker. The skies will mostly be boring. The next three months are not going to be conducive for landscape photography. Our only option would be to shoot the night sky. Places such as the one we visited today are potential spots for future Milky Way shoots. Let’s see if forming a group is going to help in going on more such fruitful trips. Definitely safer to be at remote locations at odd hours when in a larger group!