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Maddie’s Fund Infographic: Kitten Development

For those of you who might be toying with the idea of helping a local shelter or rescue group by fostering kittens, here is a guide full or cuteness.

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Physical and Behavioral Development of Kittens

(Source:  Maddie’s Fund)

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Animal Welfare/Protection, Cat Behavior, Cat Care, Cat Health, Education, Newsletters about Cats, Volunteers | , , | Comments Off on Maddie’s Fund Infographic: Kitten Development

Foster Kitten Update #4: Taking Care of Business

The kittens continue to grow rapidly and are turning into the sweetest little creatures!  As soon as they hear my voice in the morning, they start meowing for attention and gentle pets.  It’s cute and very comical at the same time – very Disney-like.  Even mama Snowy’s attitude has improved and she welcomes attention again.  The kittens play with their toys now as well as with each other.  They are drinking out of their water dish, and this morning I saw a couple trying the soft food.  They’re also using the litter box!

Snowy is a domestic short hair, and I assumed the kittens would be too.  However, several are looking very fluffy, which makes me think their daddy had long hair.  One thing for sure:  all should grow to be beautiful cats—don’t you think?

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(Photos by Keith Willey)

December 12, 2012 Posted by | Available Cats, Cat Behavior, Cat Care, Cat Health, Education, Humor, Volunteers | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Foster Kitten Update #2: Eyes Wide Open

What a difference a week makes! 

If you look back at Update 1 a week ago, the kittens barely had their eyes open.  For the past day or two, these little guys have been crawling, responding to voices, enjoying gentle pets, making a lot of noise (“Mama, feed me!”) and actively checking out everything in their environment.  Mama spends a lot of time up on top of the carrier left in her cage to escape from the kittens but she watches over them like a hawk.  I feel bad when I hear their “feed me” cries and then remind myself that all 5 kittens are just rolly-poly healthy with plump little tummies.  Poor Mama needs a break!  The little calico girl (probably the most active) did manage to climb up on top of the carrier by herself today stalking Mama, so we’re going to have to come up with a better plan this week.  Mama likes the petting too, but can get a little bit cranky.  I wonder if she gets much sleep?

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(Photos by Keith Willey)

November 27, 2012 Posted by | Available Cats, Cat Behavior, Cat Care, Cat Health, Education, Volunteers | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Foster Kitten Update #1

A Watchful Mother

 

Kittens at about 10 days old

Mommy and babies are doing just fine. All 5 babies have doubled in size and several have opened (or are opening) their eyes. I haven’t determined their gender yet, but should be able to figure it out in a week or so. (Determining the gender of kittens can be really difficult—honest!)

I’m thinking of naming Mommy “Snow White” and her babies after the 7 dwarfs. Corny, I know, but about the time Mommy came into my life there was a big promotion of Disney’s Snow White—can you believe it’s been 75 years since that film was made? Anyway, I like to pick names that are a little different, so when a potential adopter is searching Petfinder or the LAPCATS site, my fosters are memorable from all the other sweet faces needing homes.

The first white baby has a black smudge on the top of his/her head. I have no idea yet how we’re going to be able to tell the other two white babies apart.

Mommy has a small sore under her left eye that I will work on this week.  I don’t think it’s anything serious, but she is far too pretty to let even something superficial mar her beauty.

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If you missed the introduction/first post on the kittens (and fostering experience), see Embark Upon A Foster Experience.  Mommy and her kittens will all be available for adoption in 3-4 months through LAPCATS.

November 20, 2012 Posted by | Available Cats, Cat Care, Cat Health, Education | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Embark Upon a Foster Experience

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Last night I brought home a shelter kitty and her 5 brand-new babies to foster for LAPCATS.  She–I’ll call her “Mama” for now—is estimated to be 1 year old, barely more than a kitten herself.  I will pick a better name for her once I get to know her.  She came into the shelter as a pregnant stray on November 6th, and delivered her babies November 9th.  She had 3 white, 1 calico, and 1 tabby kittens, sexes to be determined later.  Mama is very sweet and affectionate, and a good kitty mother.  I’m feeding her pretty heavy as the kittens will really zap her energy and resources.

Kittens are born with their eyes closed.  The eyes begin to open at 8 days and are completely open by 14 days.  According to my cat book, the eyes of shorthaired cats open sooner than those of longhairs.  All kittens are born with blue eyes and adult colors do not appear before 3 weeks or longer.  The ear canals, which are closed at birth, begin to open at 5 to 8 days and the tiny folded-down ears become erect by 3 weeks.

Kittens are sight and sound-oriented at 25 days.  They usually begin to crawl by 18 days and can stand at 21 days.  Soon after, they begin to walk and can feed from a bowl. 

Mama and her kittens are housed in a large wire kennel in our back bedroom, away from our own dogs and cats.  I put the carrier in the kennel and that is where Mama is keeping her babies, all snuggled up to each other in a warm fleece blanket.

Please follow along with me and watch the kittens grow.  I’ll report on their development weekly, and together we’ll turn Mama and her babies into beautiful, socialized, adoptable cats.

November 14, 2012 Posted by | Available Cats, Cat Care, Cat Health, Education, SCACR, Volunteers | , , , , , | 5 Comments