Before the Neonatal Ward even knew what was happening, the volunteer feeders, foster coordinator and team manager suddenly realized, "The Kittens are Here!." Compared to last year, we have hit the season in full sprint.
Many people wonder, "There's a season for kittens?" And the answer is YES! Primarily between April-September, our community sees an influx of kitten births, and our mild winter has many non-spayed & non-neutered indoor/outdoor or primarily outdoor cats making friends in the neighborhoods!
Since the start of the year, APA! has rescued:
33 unweaned kittens, ranging in age from two days to five weeks old.
6 of the youngest kittens have been placed with nursing mom cats.
36% of the orphaned kittens have been just a month old, which is around the time that they are eating on their own and transitioning to dry food.
But the Neonatal Ward doesn't just take the babies since there are many pregnant female cats that end up in shelters. In fact, APA! has rescued 15 moms so far in 2012! Some have had their babies in foster homes, while one mom had her babies in our medical clinic the day she was rescued. Others have a bit more time and are getting settled so that they can queen in a calm and quiet place in a loving foster home.
So, how can you help?
Sign up to foster. All you need is a small bathroom, closet or laundry room to house a kitten or family for a few weeks.
Sign up to volunteer. As soon as our foster homes are full, kittens will live in our nursery full-time. This means that we need transporters, feeders and those to assist the manager with intake exams. Babies need feedings every 2-3 hours, so feeders are the most critical need when the nursery is full. All volunteers must complete the volunteer application and attend our main orientation, but we can get you trained and ready to help our babies right away.
Spread the word about the benefits of spay/neuter. There are many low-cost options in Austin, including Emancipet.