Meet Alfie. He is the first baby kitten we've welcomed to the Bottle Baby Nursery in 2011 and while we're a bit shell-shocked that we are already seeing orphaned kittens this early, we welcomed him with open arms, a cozy bed, and a warm bottle! He is probably about 10 days old, very healthy, and weighed 222 grams when he arrived.
Fortunately for Alfie, within minutes of his rescue a foster was identified who would pick him up late in the day. Our volunteer feeders were on standby and came in to hold, feed & love on this pretty boy. By the time he left the nursery, his weight was already up to 235 grams!
We don't know how Alfie got separated from his momma, but sometimes momma cats relocate their babies, one by one, to new locations they feel are safer. In that process, one can be left alone for a period of time and then found by someone. The best thing to do if you are ever in that situation is to try and find the mom and the rest of the kittens and reunite them. You can pick up baby kittens without fear that the mom will then reject them because of your scent. Whatever the circumstances, we are happy to report that Alfie is now safe in his new foster home.
Bottle Babies can often be mis-labeled as unsocialized, aggressive cats when they are older, but that is definitely not the case with APA!'s kittens. The Bottle Baby Team does a tremendous job of combining kittens of similar age when possible. Since Alfie is a singleton, he will rely on the feline resident in his foster home for socialization. Friendly dogs in foster homes can also provide great socialization for kittens, especially when they reach the 5-8 week age and like to race around. Baby kittens will learn how to groom themselves, play, and wrestle during socialization. This helps them understand when play becomes too rough, and also helps them release their kitten energy with toys rather than the hands of their fosters and future adopters. Bottle baby kittens can also become quite confident in the right environment, but will almost always enjoy the companionship of the humans in their lives. The vast majority of our baby kittens are cuddlers and enjoy being held by people they know.
If you are interested in joining the Bottle Baby Team by either volunteering or fostering, we would love to have you, and so will the kittens!