Keeping a Kau
As I was traveling from Neopia Central to Meridell, I noticed the green plains all around, an occasional hill with a farm on top. Here and there, a herd of Kaus was grazing in the shade of some big trees. Then it struck me how awesome it would be to have my own Kau. Of course, before I were to begin my Kau adventure, I had to do some research on how to take care of a Kau. Since it's likely that many people to want to keep Kaus, I wrote this article to inform all of you!
Where should you live?
An important part about keeping one or more Kaus is where you go to live. Kaus like grazing and playing in grassy areas, occasionally resting in the shade of trees, or near a cool stream. Keep this in mind when you choose the neighbourhood for your neohome! Recommended areas are around Neopia Central, Meridell, Brightvale or perhaps on Roo Island. The area around Altador can be nice as well, but take care not to get too close to the mountains. You should try to avoid the crowded areas, though; Kaus like to roam free!
Keep in mind that buying enough ground to keep a Kau will be expensive! So don't adopt a herd of Kaus before you're sure you can afford the space for it. Also, if you have the opportunity to build your neohome on a hill, you should take it. Most Kaus really like to run down a slope; the speed is very exciting. Admit it, you probably like doing that yourself!
Feeding your Kau
Kaus are grazers. They enjoy the freshness of green spring grass. When the sun is shining, make sure to let your Kaus out! You should prepare for wintertime every year, though, since grass will not be that easy to find for you Kaus. You can buy some bales of hay during summer or fall, and stock them for the winter.
As I said, Kaus are grazers, but that does not mean they only eat grass! They will enjoy eating some small fruits, like blackberries or refreshing aquaberries. Some Kaus like to eat flowers as well, for example blue fan flowers. You should take care that there are no poisonous flowers hidden between the others, though, because that might make your Kau sick. Make sure there are no thorny plants in the grass as well.
One last thing Kaus love is milk. When a Kau is sick or feeling bad, some milk will always make him feel better! It doesn't have to be regular milk; sometimes your Kau will prefer chocolate milk, or when it's hot, a milkshake. So always keep a few cartons of milk in your refrigerator.
Grooming your Kau
As your Kau will be playing outside most of the days, they will probably be quite messy when they come home at night. When they are really dirty, you should give them a bath, but most of the time, giving their hooves a quick wash will be enough. On hot summer days, you can take your Kau to a refreshing river and wash him there. Perhaps, if the water isn't too cold, you can swim in the river with your Kau. It will be a great bonding experience for both of you!
The most important part of keeping you Kau clean and happy is brushing. From all the running around and playing, the fir of your Kaus will be in all directions. Brushing your Kau before he enters will make sure your neohome will not be full of hair, and it will make your Kau look pretty. And the most important part of all, your Kau will love it! If you don't brush your Kau frequently, all sorts of things can get intertwined in his fir, and he will be all itchy. It can make a Kau very grumpy when there is stuff itching all over his body.
Every once in a while, you should check the hooves of your Kau. The edges can get very rough, or the hoof can become crooked. Those things can mess up how your Kau walks, and it can become very painful for a Kau. It's like clipping your own fingernails! If they get too long, you don't like it. In the same way, your Kau dislikes it when his hooves are not taken care of.
Playing with your Kau
So now you know how to take care of your Kau. Of course, you want to have some fun with your Kau as well! Although giving your Kau a bath or brushing him is great, since you will notice how much Kaus like the attention, playing together is even more fun. I have said it before, and I will say it again, Kaus just love running in fields. And they love it even more if it is downhill! A great thing to do is race your Kau down a hill. Undoubtedly, you will both end up lying in the grass, gasping for breath and laughing from the excitement. Don't be angry if your Kau wins all the time, though; Kaus are mighty fast! When you live near Meridell, you can always let your Kau test his speed in Cheese Roller.
Another fun thing to do is go explore the area with your Kau. Go out for a hike, cross rivers, work your way through a forest... If you like it, you can hike for several days, camping in the nature of Neopia. You can fall asleep, lying against your Kau, nice and warm. Don't forget to take some food for your Kau and yourself, though; the berries you'll find on the road may not be enough when you leave the grassy areas.
There are, of course, many other things you can do with your Kau. But the other things are very different for different Kaus. One Kau may love to visit King Hagan in Brightvale, and share some wisdom, while another could prefer the Merry Go Round on Roo Island. But almost every Kau loves running and hiking!
Now you have an idea how to take care of a Kau. I hope I have convinced some of you how great having a Kau would be. If you want to know more about how to take care of a Kau, I can advise the books Kaus Guide to Better Grazing and Caring For Your Ill Kau. If you adopt your Kau when he is very young, you may want to read Raising Young Kau.
These guidelines work well for most Kaus, but of course there are some Kaus that should be treated in a very different way. I will give a brief summary on the differences with some special Kaus.
Maraquan Kaus: As you will probably have guessed, Maraquan Kaus prefer to live underwater. If all you want is a Maraquan Kau, you'd better go live in Maraqua or Kiko Lake. You should take care not to scare the Kikos, though; they may be scared of the horns of your Kau. The main food for a Maraquan Kau is kelp.
Fire Kaus and Magma Kaus: Fire or Magma Kaus have a very difficult life. They like grass, just like most Kaus, but they have to eat very carefully. If they are careless, the grass may catch fire, and eating something burning is not comfortable! You yourself will have to be cautious when playing with a Fire or Magma Kau as well! So if you want to adopt one of these Kaus, you should be sufficiently careful.
Royal Kaus: Unlike other Kaus, Royal Kaus don't really enjoy running through fields and getting themselves dirty. If you adopt a Royal Kau, you should be prepared to collect plenty of grass yourself, to feed your Kau. In this case, it may be more useful build a bigger Neohome as well, since a Royal Kau enjoys his or her space and privacy.