The kittens have started to arrive! The APA! Bottle Baby Team has begun seeing an influx of kittens, and APA! is seeing many pregnant cats at the shelter. The numbers will only go up. Kitten season typically runs from March to September, and will mean anywhere from 600-800 kittens will leave the city shelter for APA! foster homes and adoption events. Many of these kittens will be bottle babies between 0-4 weeks, orphaned, and require around-the-clock care to keep them healthy, warm, and safe. The team is already on high alert and poised to begin shifts as more and more kittens arrive.
How can the public help? Well, the team needs a number of supplies to sustain appropriate care, as well as more volunteers!
Nebulizers – these aid in the treatment of kittens with respiratory issues, helps clear their airways, and speeds recovery from the most stubborn infections. They can be found at a variety of medical supply places, such as People’s Pharmacy.
Snuggle Safe Discs – these discs are free of electrical plugs and wires, are heated in the microwave and last up to 12 hours. Tiny kittens cannot maintain their own body temperature and don’t have a mother to keep them warm (103 degrees). Discs can be found online from a variety of stores.
Hamster Cages – these cages are small and enable the Bottle Baby Team to maximize the space at the nursery. They are ideal for baby kittens who often weigh only 90 grams. The cages have narrow openings that prevent kittens from getting stuck in the wires or escaping. Cages must be at least 10” wide with an opening at the top. ($18 at local pet stores).
Digital Scales – frequently weighing kittens is essential in monitoring the growth of kittens. They cost anywhere from $10 (at CVS) to $30 (at office supply stores). The ideal scale is the Dymo postal scale.
Supplies can be delivered to the South Congress Adoption Site at the corner of S. Congress and Gibson.
$7200 buys formula for 600 kittens
$3000 buys enough Snuggle Safe Discs to ensure all our babies this season stay warm
$500 purchases scales for weighing and tracking growth of our babies in foster care
$400 buys enough hamster cages to maintain full capacity at our nursery
Feeders – attend several training sessions and become familiar with feeding & sanitation procedures. Great hands-on opportunity with babies!
Transport Team – join the transport team and pick up kittens during the day from the shelter and take them to our medical facility.
Foster – visit the APA! website to complete the application. Once screened you’ll attend training and become a caregiver for kittens in your own home. You’ll also be assigned a mentor to help you with questions you may have. All medical care is provided free of charge by APA! until kittens are adopted.
Laundry/Cleaning Team – periodically visit our nursery to keep it clean and do laundry.
Every single volunteer opportunity helps save the life of a kitten, regardless if it involves actually feeding a kitten. All things contribute to helping these babies survive & thrive! For any of these opportunities, visit the APA! website and complete a volunteer application to get started!