Kitten Season – the rescue cycle begins

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While volunteering for Cats-Can, Inc. last week at Petsmart, an interested person asked, where do we get our rescues? Here is an article that details how we rescue, care for, socialize, and vet our kittens/cats through to their adoption day.
Orlando, FL –   March 1, 2016 Welcome to kitten season … Cats-Can rescue already has two sets of newborns that were found abandoned by community members last week, settled in two separate foster homes, umbilical cords still attached. Their foster moms are busy making bottles and feeding every 3-4 hours.   Another two 5 week olds, will be picked up tonight. The rescue has calls and emails in daily.  Another plea for help just came in over the rescue group text – “Is anyone available to trap kittens now? There are 6 five week olds who are going to get run over in Tuskawilla, and 2 pregnant mommas.”  The kitten season rescue cycle begins…
All these rescue cats/kittens will need a deworming, flea treatment and, in most cases, medication to kill parasites present in their tummies. They will be settled in a foster home with caring, and loving foster parents who will have to quarantine them to ensure they are healthy before they can be around other pets. They will be well fed, played with, socialized and will have all of their needs provided for in their happy new “nursery” foster homes.  The rescue and foster parents will provide the medicine, the kitten milk replacement, the bottles,  the wet food, the dry food, the litter, the toys, their homes and love and care for as long as needed until the kittens are adopted.
All of the rescued cats and the kittens over two pounds are taken to the favorite Orlando area non-profit vet clinic  SpayNSave where they are “vetted”.  They are dropped off in the morning by their foster parent. While at the vet, they will be spayed/neutered, tested for feline diseases, given their first set of shots and/or rabies if applicable, micro chipped, nails trimmed and given a 30 day flea treatment. They are picked up in the afternoon by their devoted foster parents to recover, and within days they will be available for adoption.
The cat’s foster parent brings them to the adoption event every saturday at Petsmart from 11-5 until they are adopted. The foster will place them in a cage for the day, and will come back to pick them up. They will have a cage card and will be available for adoption to approved families. They will meet, play with, get hugs and love from the curious children and Petsmart patrons who come to visit each Saturday.  And they will eventually meet their forever family when they are chosen.
They will get their photo taken the first time they come to Petsmart. A photo shoot takes place every saturday from 1-4 during the adoption event. Fellow foster and volunteer, Kelly Richardson (- that’s me! -) sets up the in store photo shoot with a cardboard box in the kitten room using a soft fleece blanket, a few fun, decorative holiday props, available flourescent light, her Canon Mark III and her favorite fixed lens 100 mm macro. With the help of Cats-Can high school volunteers, they set to work placing one kitten at a time in the box, playing with feather teasers and making funny noises to get the cat’s attention until the purr-fect photo is taken for their web page.  photoshoot tutorial: How to Make a Photo Box
“We take anywhere from 10-20 cats/kitten photos a week during kitten season. One day, I photographed 22 cats and kittens. Last weekend we photographed 12 and kitten season is just starting! The photos really help get them adopted. Many people are shopping online and the website that Cats-Can uses feeds into popular pet search sites. I edit and upload the new kittens and cats’ images onto the site within days of the photo shoot and almost immediately we start getting online applications from families that want to adopt. Seeing the families come to pick them up, knowing the kittens are going to live indoors in homes with good families, seeing the smile on their faces when they find their purr-fect friend- makes my day!” – Kelly Richardson.
Here are a few favorite Cats-Can rescue pet images that were photographed at Pet Smart 2-27-16 by Kelly Richardson. All of these images, advertisements,  along with weekly photo shoots are donated by Kelly Richardson.  Advertisement above created by Kelly Richardson for Cats-Can Rescue website and Cats-Can Facebook page. © Kelly Richardson 2016.