Friday, March 28, 2014

Kittens:Best Friends offers tips on what to do if you find litter outdoors

Roughly 70 percent of the cats who end up in America’s shelters are killed (National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy Shelter StatisticsSurvey, 1994-97). Most of these are community cats (stray and free-roaming). In response, Best Friends is working to save lives by implementing innovative trap/neuter/return (TNR) programs across the country. Through TNR cats are humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian who spays/neuters the cat, vaccinates them and tips one ear as a visual signal that this cat has been sterilized. The cats then are returned to their outdoor home to live out their lives. 


   
“Right now we are in what is known across the country as ‘kitten season’ and shelter employees everywhere are bracing themselves for the influx of babies,” said Dankert. “At Best Friends, we hear from shelters all over the country that are overwhelmed with the arrival of kittens still weeks away from being old enough to be weaned, spayed or neutered and adopted. Some arrive without mothers and need to be bottle-fed every two hours, and the workload almost immediately outweighs what shelter staff can take on.

“What I don’t think most people understand is that most animals shelters simply do not have the resources to care for neonatal kittens, so well-meaning people who ‘rescue’ a litter of kittens by taking them to the shelter have in almost every instance inadvertently signed the kittens’ death sentences.” Dankert said.

Best Friends Animal Society offers the following tips on what to do if you find a litter of kittens outdoors:

First of all – don’t panic. Observe and leave the kittens alone - make sure they have been abandoned before you take action. You’ll often find that their mother is simply out looking for food or for a good place to move them. Take note of the exact location so you can share the address and description of where the kittens are located if you find that they have been abandoned.

Contact your local animal shelter to get the contact information for your local community cat or TNR program.  These groups will be able to determine if mother comes back in a normal time frame or if the kittens will need to be bottle fed. 

Though it may go against your instincts, don't immediately scoop kittens up and take them to the shelter.
If the mother does not come back and you are willing to volunteer with your local group to care for the kittens, please first read Best Friends’ resource article “Feeding and Caring for Bottle Babies” . 5. If the mother does return, keep your eye on her and the kittens until they are old enough to be trapped, spayed or neutered and returned to the area they came from. TNR is not only the most humane method of preventing cats from entering the shelter system, it’s the most effective.

Want to help community cats?
Best Friends Animal Society has volunteer opportunities in Los Angeles, San Antonio, Baltimore, Albuquerque, DeKalb County, Georgia, St. George, Utah and the Four Directions program for rural southern Utah.

The Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network of local animal rescue groups and shelters has more than 250 groups nationwide that are involved in helping community cats.
Your local animal rescue groups and shelters can put you in touch with the community cat programs that are not affiliated with Best Friends, you also can do an internet search to find groups in your area.“Bottle feeding is a very rewarding but also incredibly demanding endeavor, so make sure you have the time, resources and a suitable home to care for the kittens,” said Dankert.
 
​“​ And please also remember how important it is to spay and neuter your pets. This is the single most important thing we can do to prevent unwanted litters. Best Friends has an education campaign called Fix at Four  and you can enter your zip code to find local veterinarians and low-cost spay/neuter clinics.”

About Best Friends Animal Society®
Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement since its founding in 1984, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as life-saving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from 17 million per year to 4 million. Best Friends has the knowledge, technical expertise and on-the-ground network to end the killing and Save Them All®.

Like Best Friends Animal Society on Facebook
Follow Best Friends on Twitter



We were not compensated for this guest post. We were sent this information and chose to share it because of it's high importance.

37 comments:

  1. It's great that this is getting multiple posts - humans need to know!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's good to see this information getting out. Kitten season means that it needs as much reinforcing as it can get!

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOL silly staff thought you meant rubbish at first. Durrrh. Great post for this time of year. Many of those points can apply to different animals. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's always good to start the morning hearing about a great organization like this!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! I`m a vegan because I love animals and I don`t wanna hurt THEY never! I respects double persons who love animals!!! great job !!!!!!!

    xoxo from Spain dear!
    www.thegrisgirl.blogspot.com.es

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great advices, it's impawtant to raise awareness about it. Purrs

    ReplyDelete
  7. We thought you meant kitty litter, by the subject line. LOL.

    Good info from Best Friends, as the first instinct for most kind-hearted humans would be to "rescue" the kittens.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great info! Thanks for sharing this today!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    ReplyDelete
  9. LOVE you for sharing this! We were at Best Friends in Los Angeles last week and toured the neonatal kitten nursery….it was amazing!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post! I will be sharing this for sure! So important.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree with the others. It's a great post.
    We have the same problem here in France.
    Near where I live there is a no kill shelter (Assistance aux Animaux). But most of the SPA shelters (Société Protectrice des Animaux) do a lot of killing.
    The best thing to do is to leave kittens with their mother and to feed the mother.
    Bonne soirée.
    Nat à Chat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! It was thanks to Best Friends and NOT me :)

      Delete
  12. My dad is doing this TNR as he has been feeding the ferals all winter where he lives in the US,xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Speedy YAY for your Dad! So cool! Where in the US is he? xoxo

      Delete
  13. Thanks for all the good advice. I work with a TNR/Rescue group so always have help if I need it, but this is good for those who don't know anything about rescue. Have a great weekend. XO, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are welcome! Oh I know that so many of you know what to do, but for those who don't, it is much needed (as you know!) I was "unplugged" all weekend so am just seeing this now. Hope you had a great weekend!!

      Delete
  14. Very important post. Thank you.
    Sue B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue you are most welcome, thanks to Best Friends for sharing it.....thanks for reading!

      Delete
  15. It is vital for people to be aware that as mentioned in the article, that the mother could be away from the kittens in order to find food or a new home and that kittens shouldn't automatically be removed until it is conclusive that the mother won't be returning.Great post!


    the critters in the cottage xo

    ReplyDelete
  16. That’s good advice. When TW met her BFF, she had a cat named Daiquiri, who her Dad saved when he found her abandoned. He bottle fed the kitten like every 2 hours with an eyedropper and they adopted her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh CK that is so sweet!!!! I did the same thing when I was 15, I fed the kitten for a month and we kept her in our basement. My mother (who I have no relationship with), HATED cats and when the kitten was old enough she made me give it away (she ran an ad in the paper0 I was devastated and that is when my obsession with cats began.

      Delete
  17. Great information Caren & Cody!! We are so glad to be back to blogging!
    Howdy from your TX furiebds,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we are soooo happy you are back! We missed you! xoxo

      Delete
  18. Best Friends is just awesome, and this is great information. Thank you for sharing it, Caren and Cody!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing this invaluable information. Sure do hope one day that kitten season will be a thing of the past...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb you are most welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read it. I was happy they shared it with me. I sooo agree, I pray that "kitten season" will one day be a thing of the past!

      Delete
  20. We did TNR with our outdoor colony - spay/neutered 34 cats in two years - we inherited all of this from moving in at the end of 2007. Best Friends is so great!

    For those reading this, check out my cat blog archives for archived stories about the cat abandoned/feral colony I manage.
    http://homelesscatcare.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Those are great tips to help the helpless little ones!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Good advice :)
    Recently, a co-worker and I were trying to feed a skinny stray. We got a few feedings in before we lost contact. We liked to think the kitty found a cozy home with lots of cushions and kibbles.
    It helps me to sleep at night. Keep up the great posts!

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a great post for this time of year! Back in BC, the nearest city has had their cat shelter totally full for the last 2 months. Wes is sad that so many peoples does not spay or neuter their pets!
    Asd wes loved your interview with G|lowgirly and no, wes did not get a card...
    Kisses
    Nellie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nellie check your spam......it was from sloppykisscards....I have so many emails for your mom that I never know which one is correct! lol.

      Delete
  24. This is valuable advice, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is very important information, thanks for posting it. As someone who works with a TNR group I am at the shelter often. Last season a person brought in a litter of day old kittens. She had not taken the time to wait to see if mom would come back. Everyone, including myself, tried everything possible to feed the babies and keep them alive. Unfortunately our efforts were unsuccessful. People need to know that mama cat is probably nearby. Her milk is what the kittens need. They need to call before scooping them up and bringing them to a shelter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh my this was just heart breaking. THANK YOU for stressing that point to NOT remove kittens because Mama cat is probably near by and needs to care for them!

      Delete

 
Designed By: Wacky Jacqui's Designs