If you’ve found a kitten, the first thing you need to do is view view this flow chart. It was designed by Alley Cat Allies to help you navigate how to ensure your newfound kitten has the best possible path to healthy and happy life. After reviewing the chart, please reach out to us via the contact page on this site, so that we can log the location for TNR, and help advise you on the next steps.
The first step in caring for your kitten is determining your kitten’s age. This will help you know how much and how often to feed the kitten, and it will help you know if your kitten has a healthy weight. For all things kitten, we highly recommend using Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw’s website as your number one resource for kitten care. View her easy-to-follow Kitten Age guide here.
When fostering a kitten, the best litmus test to a gauging health is by the color & texture of your little one’s pooh. This guide from Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw will help you know what’s normal and when veterinary care might be necessary.
Orphaned kittens, ages newborn to 5-6 weeks old, need us humans to take over the role of mother. We recommend that you immediately purchase a KMR (Kitten Meal Replacement) formula powder from a pet store or Walmart. Please do not give a kitten dairy milk. The lactose & fat content of cow’s milk is not healthy for kittens and can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration leading to hospitalization or worse. The best substitute for a mother cat’s milk is Kitten Meal Replacement. Along with KMR, you will need a feeding bottle, and some know-how. For feeding schedules, step by step written directions, and video tutorials on bottle feeding, please click here.
Everything you need to know to get your kitten from bottle feeding to adoption and all the care & love required in between, please check out Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw’s Kitten Care Resources. If you plan on being a repeat foster parent and/or cat rescuer, we also recommend having a copy of her book, “Tiny But Mighty.”
Thinking of adopting or fostering? We support that decision 100%! If you already have a cat at home, we recommend that you read, watch, and follow Jackson Galaxy’s “Do’s and Don’ts of Introducing Cats”, so that your current fur baby will have an easier time welcoming the newest member of your family to your home.
Jackson Galaxy is one of the foremost authorities on cat behavior. If you have any question about your cat’s behavior such as clawing furniture, obsessive digging in the litter box, or the favoritism / ill-treatment of a select family member, these Jackson Galaxy Resources will not only help you understand why your cat is acting this way but will also provide solutions.
You may be wondering, “Why isn’t catch & euthanize just as effective in controlling the community cat population as TNR (Trap+Neuter+Return to Field)?” The answer to that question, aside from being a less humane approach, is that Trap+Euthanize has no solution for “The Vacuum Effect.”
Trapping all of the cats for euthanasia will create a vacuum or empty space that will soon be filled with either more cats or another species such as possums, rats, or raccoons. TNR, on the other hand, stabilizes the colony with respect to both population and environmental stasis. For a more scientific explanation of “The Vacuum Effect,” please visit Alley Cat Allies’ breakdown located here.
The overpopulation of cats in Polk County begins with pet owners allowing unfixed house cats outside in a state where the breeding season is year-round. Without a winter to slow down breeding, a pair of cats can multiply exponentially into thousands in a few years.
- 1 female cat can have up to 3 litters of 4 to 6 kittens every year.
- Female kittens as young as 4 months old can begin breeding.
- Inbreeding is common.
For animal welfare statistics for both dogs and cats, please visit Best Friends Animal Society’s page here.