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Could You Be A Kitten Midwife?

15 September 2015

UK - Yorkshire Cat Rescue has issued an urgent appeal for people across the region to step in as foster families for pregnant cats and mother cats with young kittens.

With 11 pregnant cats and young cat families amongst hundreds of other adult cats in need on the charity’s waiting list, and more than 100 kittens in foster care already, Yorkshire Cat Rescue is struggling to cope.

The centre was heading towards a record year even before the kitten season kicked in and now, its existing network of foster carers is at breaking point.

“We are receiving several calls on a daily basis from people who either know of or have themselves found a pregnant cat or mum with young kittens in need of help,” says Sam Davies, centre manager at Yorkshire Cat Rescue.

“We are blessed with the most wonderful group of foster carers but even they can’t cope with demand at present. This has become an even bigger problem during the summer holidays when people have been away and therefore unable to commit to raising a young cat family over the course of a month or two.”

The work of foster carers is vital in providing pregnant and nursing cats a safe place to raise their young – not least those that need special assistance, as Sam explains: “Most pregnant cats are able to give birth quite successfully without human intervention, and of course it can be an amazing experience to witness tiny new-borns. Sometimes, however, fostering is a little more demanding such as when mum or kittens get ill, but this is when it is even more important that they are in a safe home environment.”

Without the intervention by the charity and its foster carers, many kittens simply won’t survive to see the day they get a home of their own. Only a few weeks ago, the centre took in three day-old kittens that had been abandoned in a taxi rank by their mother, most likely because she became frightened and ran off when trying to move them.

Cold and hungry, one of them also had a condition called Contracted Tendons.

“The back paws of the kitten who we named Vassily were curled back which means he would effectively have to walk on his knuckles. If we had not been able to find him a safe foster home, he would not have received the necessary treatment to straighten his paws. Vassily would have been destined to a short life in pain as the fur on his paws wore off and his paws became infected. His story will now have a happy ending but so many others might not be so lucky if we don’t manage to find more foster carers.”

According to Sam, foster carers play a vital role in socialising kittens to life as family pets.

“One of the most important aspects of being a foster carer to kittens is showing them what life is like in a home environment; introducing them to the noise of vacuum cleaners, the TV and doorbell. If they are not handled, played with and cuddled on a daily basis, kittens can become shy and aloof, and no one wants a pet like that. Families with children especially love the job of being temporary foster carers, without the stress of having to find them all new homes when the time comes.”

Fostering for Yorkshire Cat Rescue is flexible and does not require an ongoing commitment. New fosterers will receive an induction, and join a dedicated network run by the charity’s most experienced foster carers. Yorkshire Cat Rescue pays all associated expenses.

Sam says: “Cats and kittens are placed in suitable foster homes according to the carer’s level of experience so no one will hopefully find themselves out of their depth.”

If you are able to open your heart and home, please go to the website or call the centre on 01535 647184

ThePetSite News Desk

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