Kitten Season and How You Can Help
Kitten Season is roughly the end of April through the end of October every year. In many places across the United States, cats mate and give birth in Spring. There are a variety of reasons for this including longer days, better weather and more access to food. The survival rate goes up during this time and, unlike other animals, cats can keep on reproducing. The more litters there are, the more opportunities for homeless and uncared for kittens occur.
Why We Need Your Help
Kitten Season is actually a really difficult time for animal shelters across the country. Kittens as young as a couple of hours old are taken to animal shelters and, until they are old enough to eat on their own (around 4 weeks of age), they must be bottle fed to survive.
Fostering bottle babies is possibly the single most impactful way a person can save a life at an animal shelter. Bottle baby kittens are extremely vulnerable but with proper care and attention, they can grow up to be healthy, happy adults. Without bottle baby fosters, these young kittens often do not survive.
Ideally, bottle baby fosters work from home, are retired, or have the ability to take their little ones to work with them. Bottle babies are very easy as they mostly just sleep but need regular feeding and stimulation for elimination.
Types of Fostering
Orphaned Bottle Babies
- Physical Needs: bottle feed every 2-3 hours; stimulate so that they use the bathroom; keep them clean and warm; weigh them regularly; give meds as needed.
- Socialization Needs: talk to them to simulate mom’s purring; get them used to human touch.
Orphaned Gruel Babies
- Physical Needs: feed gruel every 4-5 hours; maintain clean environment; keep warm; weigh regularly; give meds as needed.
- Socialization Needs: get them used to being picked up; teach appropriate interactions with humans; encourage appropriate play with other kittens.
Orphaned Kibble Babies
- Physical Needs: keep supply of kibble and water flowing; maintain clean environment; keep warm; weigh regularly; give meds as needed.
- Socialization Needs: teach them how to play with humans and toys appropriately; learn personalities to help with adoption efforts.
Mothers with Babies
- Support mom and ensure she has socialization and appropriate medical needs met.
- Ensure that kittens learn to be picked up, held, and touched by humans and how to play appropriately with humans.
Watching your bottle babies grow up to be strong kittens is highly rewarding! Even fostering one litter a year will make a huge difference for our shelter and the lives of our animals.
If you’re interested in fostering, please complete and submit the application and a shelter representative will contact you shortly. Thanks so much for helping us save the lives of more kittens!
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