News 3 Viewing Area (WRBL) – National Kitten Day is rapidly approaching, and kitten season is here. The ASPCA says kitten season populates hundreds of thousands of kittens across the country every year, and the shelters need help.
What should be the first steps of action after discovering stray kittens in your area?
Lee County, Ala. – When surrendering stray kittens in East Alabama, Lee County Humane Society has a checklist of information needed before bringing the animal.
- Is it in LCHS jurisdiction? Although the shelter is named Lee County, they do not service the entire county due to being funded by the city.
- How old does the cat or kitten appear to be?
- Does the cat or kitten seem feral? Feral is defined as, in a wild state or resembling a wild animal.
- If it seems feral, is the animal capable of being trapped in a humane animal trap? These can be purchased or rented from animal control or local feed stores. In preservation of employees safety, feral cats and kittens can only be taken in by LCHS in a trap.
- Make an appointment. With an abundance of stray intakes, staff asks people looking to surrender or turn in stray animals to make an appointment with intake.
Other ways to be involved
After stray animals are taken in, LCHS looks to the help of fosters to help house these cats and kittens. It is preferred that kittens are placed in foster homes while they are being vaccinated. This process typically lasts two weeks for them to get at least two vaccines and a test for FIV and FELV.
Kittens typically go into foster homes litter trained. However for those with extra time there are the occasional bottle babies who need help being fed and taught how to use litter. LCHS provides step-by-step training on the feeding process and stimulation tips to litter-train.
Cat and kitten fosters are always needed to help socialize them before entering their fur-ever home. LCHS thanks all of their fosters who have previously housed feral kittens because their work helped get them ready for adoption.
Looking for something more permanent?
When looking to adopt a fur-ever friend, there are a few things to remember. If you live outside of Lee County, the kitten is required to be spayed or neutered before the adoption is finalized. However, the kitten must be at least two months old and weigh a minimum of two pounds before a veterinarian will perform surgery. The time span on this process cannot be predicted beforehand, and adoptee’s are reminded to be patient if they are set on adopting a kitten.
How to be involved, hands-off
People can still be involved without fostering or adopting, donations help out the shelter, fosters, and adoptee’s.
- Purina one kitten food- teal bag
- Purina cat chow
- Canned wet food
- Cat treats
- Cat toys
- Cat wands with feathers
- Non-clumping litter
A more inclusive list can be found on LCHS website and donations can be dropped off at their shelter location or made online.
Columbus, Ga. – Animal Ark
Local animal shelter, Animal Ark Rescue, says stray kittens could have a mother nearby and may not be stranded. This step by step process will help you decide what to do if discovering a stray kitten.
- Wait and observe the kitten from a distance. Mother cats often are looking for food, a new home, or going to round up the rest of her babies and it is advised to first be on the lookout for a kittens maternal figure.
- Use good judgement, with the help of these quick tips.
- Kittens are more likely to survive with their mother.
- Before introducing any stray cat or kitten into your home, they should be evaluated first by a veterinarian for any diseases or underlying health problems.
- Kittens should be kept with their litter for social development until at least eight weeks of age.
What to do if kittens are found with their mothers
If the mother returns to her kittens, judge her temperament before moving her with her kittens. Indoors are the best place for kittens until they are weaned, spayed/neutered, and adopted. Mother cats should then be spayed and adopted or returned to where she was originally found with her litter.
Fosters and those interested in adopting can find more information about these processes on their website. Kittens are received almost daily during kitten season and shelters are always in need of foster homes.
Shelters in the East Alabama area
Lee County Humane Society (Auburn, Ala.)
Chattahoochee Humane Society (Valley, Ala.)
Russell County Humane Shelter (Phenix City, Ala.)
East Alabama Humane Society (Phenix City, Ala.)
Shelters near Columbus
Animal Ark Rescue (Columbus, Ga.)
PAWs Humane (Columbus, Ga.)
Troup County Humane Society (LaGrange, Ga.)
Some photos provided by the Lee County Humane Society.