To Adopt a Kitten. Animal shelters are always badly in need of homes or foster homes for cats and kittens. Can you help your local shelter?

To Adopt a Kitten or Foster a Kitten

At the local animal shelter the first of the mothers has given birth. Soon the first of the orphans will arrive. Another act begins in the yearly drama called kitten season.

Adopt a Kitten
Animal shelters everywhere struggle from spring through fall to care for an overwhelming number of cats and kittens. After a relatively mild winter, many feral cats will have two or even three litters in a single breeding season. So will many unspayed barn cats and pet cats whose owners have not taken them to the veterinarian for this necessary surgery.

Foster a Kitten
Foster care can make the difference between life and death for kittens who are surrendered to animal shelters. Many shelters do not have enough staff members to provide round-the-clock care for very young, orphaned kittens, and as a result, many homeless kittens are euthanized. But placing homeless kittens with foster caretakers on a temporary basis can save lives and help to improve the kittens’ prospects of being adopted into loving, lifetime homes.

Foster caretakers usually care for kittens until they are eight weeks old, returning them to the animal shelter so they can be made available for adoption. Caretakers who are not available 24-hours-a-day to care for kittens who are still nursing will often take in older kittens who have already been weaned. Or they may choose to foster a mother cat with a litter.

Kittens benefit greatly from the individual attention they receive in foster homes. It socializes them, bringing out their friendly and playful qualities, preparing them to become wonderful house pets. This greatly increases their appeal to the potential adopters who will meet them after they return to the animal shelter. A purring, friendly kitten is usually adopted more quickly than one who has not learned to be comfortable around people.

If you have room in your heart and home to care for a kitten or a litter in need of help, contact your local animal and offer your services as a volunteer foster caretaker. To find an animal shelter near you, check the state-by-state shelter listings at Petfinder.

Article written by Nancy Wennberg.