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I Found Kittens! Now What?

kittens

Kittens comprise a big percentage of the animals Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) cares for each year! This is due to the large number of intact feral cats that roam the city of Alameda and produce dozens of litters each spring and summer.

If you are reading this during a "kitten season," chances are great you will either stumble across a wild litter at some point or hear that FAAS needs kitten volunteers me-ow!

If you would like to help raise or find homes for this season's kittens, following are some kitten tips, resources, and opportunities. 

Don't Assume Kittens Are Abandoned
You hear mewing, go looking for the source -- and find kittens! Left all alone!

But wait. Before swooping in for the rescue, don't assume they're orphans. Mother cat might be out looking for food or in the process of moving her litter to a new location.

As long as kittens aren't sick or in immediate danger, they will be fine until an absent mom returns. Watch from a distance – at least 30 feet -- and she should be back within three or four hours.

Kittens are healthiest when raised by mom. She provides just the right amount of warmth, love, and nutritious milk around the clock. It’s best if she does the job. But if we have to, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) can raise newborn kittens, thanks to our tireless volunteers and donations from the public that help pay for kitten formula.

Do bring us a kitten if it:

-          Is sluggish and cold to the touch;

-          has a dirty, matted coat;

-          has eyes encrusted with mucous;

-          is so infested with fleas its gums are pale;

-          is in grave danger such as in a road or busy pathway or under attack by another animal.

mother cat

If you have found a healthy litter, try to keep an eye on the family as the kittens mature. When they are five or six weeks old – they will have teeth and be walking and playing -- call FAAS at 510-337-8565 to arrange to bring them in. 

As for feral mom, please consider taking the next step and arranging to have her trapped and spayed. Adult females can become pregnant before they finish nursing their current litter, adding to the cat overpopulation.

Fix Our Ferals (fixourferals.org) or Island Cat Resources and Adoption (www.icraeastbay.org) can tell you exactly what to do.

Kitten Fostering 2020
FAAS soon will be needing foster families able to home-raise kittens for a period between one and three weeks. Once kittens reach two pounds, FAAS can make them available for adoption to the public.

Due to the pandemic, FAAS currently is not planning to offer its usual kitten classes for beginners. If you have never cared for underage kittens before, following are some helpful tutorials.

Bottle feeding newborns
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dH0uyboY2U
 
Safely bottle feeding a kitten
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebDPivG16HE
 
Saving the tiniest bottle kitten
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGnR9MFLmPA

Two ways to bottle feed a kitten
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2vJwjsnRyg
 
Pee and poop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGKFqz-dpVc
 
Litter training
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKe0otXH3Ck
 
Aging kittens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_w-vOR0TuE
 
Setting up your home to foster kittens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUFsGUtTvTc
 
Kitten "butt bath"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP19u71Yi54

Join the Bottle Brigade
To join a wait list of kitten foster families, please email Nanou at nballou@alamedaanimalshelter.org 

Copyright © 2020 Friends of The Alameda Animal Shelter.