Spring is on its way, which means warmer weather (thank goodness!) and... KITTENS! Yup, spring is definitely kitten season at animal shelters, which often go from average to overflowing in a matter of weeks! The sudden flood of kittens that comes around March not only means that shelters might need a hand fostering some kittens, but also that older cats up for adoption are way more likely to be overlooked in favor of the irresistible little furballs in the next cage!
Did you know that Hill's has a program called Hill's Food, Shelter & Love ™ that helps out shelter animals 365 days a year through donations of awesome high quality pet food? So far they've donated over $275 million wort of food to over 800 shelters across the country! How cool is that? We can all do something to help out, though - anything you can do to help your shelter during this super busy season will make a big difference!
How can you help out your local shelter during kitten season?
- Consider fostering! If you're an animal lover but not ready to adopt right now, fostering kittens is a fantastic way to help out! You free up some space at the shelter for a few weeks, the mother cat and kittens get extra attention (which will make them friendlier and thus more adoptable!) and a quieter environment to keep the momma cat less stressed, and you get the fun of hanging out with cute kittens for a while! It's a win-win-win! Fostering is also a great time to get the kittens off to the best possible start in life by providing them with high quality nutrition, like Hill's Science Diet Kitten Healthy Development Food! (Want to learn more about kitten nutrition? Hill's has a great article here!)
- Volunteer at your local shelter! Most animal shelters can always use an extra hand with caring for the animals, including things like playing with kittens to get them used to being around people. (Tough job, someone's gotta do it!) I spent some time volunteering at a nearby shelter taking photos of the cats up for adoption so that they could be posted online. It was a lot of fun, since I got to hang out with some awesome cats and make notes about their personalities to give those searching online for a new feline friend a better idea of what they were like!
- Short on time? Shelters definitely appreciate donations of supplies, especially during kitten season! Beyond obvious things like food and litter, they can also use things like your old, clean blankets and towels to provide the kitties with a cozy place to snuggle up!
I can't believe that it's already been over six years since I found Jasper at an event a shelter was having at the pet store I stopped at one day with no intention of leaving with a kitten! I will never forget how when I took him aside to play and get to know each other, and I pulled a pen out of my purse to wiggle around for him to play with since I forgot to grab a toy, he pounced on it like a boss, but then when I commented "Oh, you're so fierce! Grrrr!", the growly noise scared him and he ran to try to hide! How could I not fall in love instantly? We've been best buds ever since! (He's asleep at my feet as I'm writing this!)
It's hard to believe he was ever so little!
He got better at that whole "hunting" thing eventually.
Still BFF's all these years later! (And yes, he likes to wear a coat sometimes in the winter. He can't help being super stylish.)
Have you ever adopted a pet from a shelter, fostered shelter pets, or volunteered? I'd love to hear your stories!