Mordecai and Rigby
Last week, a family found a pair of kittens in unstable condition by the side of their house. When the pair was brought to Valley Animal Center, our cat care associates immediately warmed them up and fed them.
“They were stiff and cold,” Maritza Lopez, our animal care operations supervisor and foster care coordinator said. “One was half way out the door.”
Mordecai (26711), compared to his brother, Rigby (26710), was in terrible shape. Thankfully, with the love and care our staff provided, the two adorable blue point kittens are now in stable condition. Still, they have a long way to go before they fully recover. According to Maritza, the best thing we can do for them right now is keep them hydrated. Our cat care associates are working on improving their diet and helping them gain weight.
Although Mordecai and Rigby are not out of the woods just yet, Maritza is hopeful that when they make a full recovery, they will find good homes.
Unfortunately, welcoming into our care kittens who are ill is not uncommon, especially during “kitten season.” During this time, many kittens throughout the community are left defenseless and those who wish to help them survive seek rescues like ours for help.
About Kitten Season
Kitten season generally occurs during the warmer months and can start as early as March and end as late as October in the Central Valley. Shelters and rescues quickly reach full capacity by the number of kittens that come through their doors. Unfortunately, many of these organizations, including ours, do not have the staff to provide the kittens the round-the-clock care they need to survive.
Kittens (and puppies) under eight weeks old are in a very delicate stage of their lives; they aren’t ready for adoption but they also don’t have a mother to take care of them. During this time, we rely on foster parents to help us care for and love kittens until they’re ready for adoption.
“When it comes to ‘kitten season,'” Alisia Sanchez, our marketing manager said, “our greatest need is foster parents. We estimate that one foster parent can comfortably foster at least four kittens at one time. This year, we hope to rescue 300 kittens but to rescue 300 kittens, we need 75 foster parents.”
Currently, we have about 30 foster parents and 100 kittens in foster care. This week alone, Maritza welcomed about 30 kittens into our Foster Care Program, and she continues to see requests from community members.
Unfortunately, when we don’t have foster parents, we must turn those community members away, a task that can be difficult for them to understand and one that is heartbreaking to our staff members.
“We’re trying,” Maritza said, “but it’s never enough.”
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, we welcome you to submit your information HERE: https://valleyanimal.org/get-involved/foster/. Maritza, or another Valley Animal Center representative, will respond to you as soon as possible with more information and your next step.
Please know that when you become a foster parent, you are not alone. We are here to support you throughout your foster journey. Thanks to our supporters and donors, all the basic tools necessary to care for these precious, innocent babies are provided to you at no cost. All we ask from you is your time, dedication, and love.
7 Things To Do If You’ve Found Kittens
- Take a moment to assess the litter and determine if the kittens are in danger. It is likely the kittens were not abandoned by their mother. She may be searching for food or a new location.
- If the mother does not return after a few hours, you must make the decision to intervene. Reach out to any local animal shelters or rescue groups and notify them you found a litter of kittens. Of course, if you find kittens that look like Mordecai or Rigby, take action and reach out to us at (559) 233-8554 or firstname.lastname@example.org. While we may not always be able to take in the kittens, we are always available to provide you with additional resources. Getting the kittens the care they need is important to all of us, and please trust that we’re here to help.
- To estimate how old the kittens are, visit www.alleycat.org/resources/kitten-progression/.
- At Valley Animal Center, we feed our foster kittens Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR) by PetAg. You may purchase KMR, a bottle and nipple via Amazon or a local pet supply store, such as Kelley’s Pets or Whitie’s Pets located in Fresno and Clovis.
- When you’re ready to bottle-feed the kittens, do not place them on their backs. Keep them in a natural belly-down position. It may take a few tries before the kittens latch. Be patient.
- When you have finished feeding a kitten, wipe off its face with a wet wipe and stimulate the kitten to pee and/or poop. To stimulate the kitten, simply use a soft cloth and gently rub the kitten’s bottom in a circular motion. Feed and stimulate the kittens every 2-3 hours.
- When the kittens are about 4 weeks old, you may begin the weaning process and litter-box training. When they are between 6 and 8 weeks old, it’s time for their first set of shots and spay/neuter. For a kitten progression guide, please visit www.alleycat.org/resources/kitten-progression/.
Can’t Foster But Would Love To Help?
As mentioned, we welcomed about 30 kittens this week. In addition to foster parents, we are in need of some kitten care essentials, such as:
- Miracle nipples
- Non-automatic shut-off heating pads
- Pop-up play pens
To find a full list of supplies needed, head to our Foster Care Program Amazon Wish List HERE: https://a.co/ftN3STp
We thank you so much for helping us save the lives of hundreds of innocent kittens this kitten season.
Valley Animal Center is dedicated to serving animal companions in the Central Valley and beyond. Our mission is to unite dogs and cats with loving people. We believe every animal deserves a loving family and furever home. Donate to support our endless mission as we care for hundreds of homeless dogs and cats.