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TIK seeks MAC: Tiny infant kitten seeks mature adult cuddler to share precious moments with. I love sipping warm milk, short walks across your shoulders, nose bump kisses. You scratch my ears, I'll purr in yours.

Feeling cuddly? We have a great program at the shelter to help handle the tremendous influx of adorable kittens that need a little TLC. The shelter "Kitten Cuddlers" program is designed help save the lives of hundreds of kittens that come in without mothers, needing more than just basic care. Aside from love and socialization, they need to be hand fed, have their little bellies stimulated, be brushed, wiped clean and generally tended to like the tiny babies they are.

Kittens four weeks and under need maternal care. At that tender age they depend on their mother for everything, so when mom is no longer

in the picture, they are at grave risk. They start trickling in to the shelter in February or March and by May it's a deluge. One day last week we took in 11 newborns, five with their umbilical cords still attached. For the most part, kittens under four weeks of age can't eat on their own and can't be kept at the shelter because the infants must be bottle fed every couple hours and the toddlers must be helped along with a slurry of formula and canned food every three or four hours. If we can't find placement in a cat rescue for them, we send them into foster homes, or in many cases, our staff takes them home at night and then brings them back to work with them in the morning.

It's too much for our regular staff to take care of them and do their regular work during the day; this is where our volunteer "Kitten Cuddlers" come in to save the day!

The two- to four-week-old kittens are usually a little easier to feed as they learn to eat gruel from a bowl, but of course they tend make quite a mess while they're learning. Some of our kittens may be able to eat all by themselves but need our Cuddlers to socialize them if they have not had human contact during their first few weeks of life.

No matter what type of support the kittens in our nursery require, it truly is the difference between life and death. If they can't eat, they can't survive. If they aren't socialized, no one will adopt them. With the help of our volunteers, by the end of October, this program will help save the lives of hundreds of kittens. Volunteers are needed for various time slots during the day, every day of the week; you can spend an hour, a morning or an afternoon, whatever works with your schedule. Go online to sjras.org or stop in to the shelter for details.

Source: Volunteer to become a cuddler and save a baby kitten

Posted in 2019, SJRAS Articles
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