Kitten season kicks into high gear - Albuquerque Journal

Kitten season kicks into high gear

A 3-week-old kitten is fed formula at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. In anticipation of “kitten season,” or the influx of newborn cats starting in the spring, the shelter is staging a supply drive for donations of food, supplies and money. (Courtesy of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – It’s raining cats and dogs in Santa Fe, and the Santa Fe Animal Shelter is seeking help caring for over 500 animals expected to be born this spring until they are ready for adoption.

The young animals are brought to the shelter by families that don’t have the resources to care for them, or they are strays.

On Thursday “we got an arrival of seven 6-week-old puppies that were dropped off,” said Murad Kirdar, public relations officer for the shelter. “They just couldn’t care for them anymore.”

Those puppies will spend the next two weeks in foster care before they are old enough to be spayed and neutered and adopted out.

The shelter is asking for help with the 2022 Kitten Season Supply Drive with donations of food, supplies and money.

The shelter is also looking for foster families for the upcoming kitten season, he said.

“There are a lot of community cats out there, a lot of stray cats, they have their babies wherever … and then someone finds them and they bring them to us,” Kirdar said.

He advises the public that if they find a kitten or kittens that the mother is usually close by, so don’t disturb them but wait a day and then bring them to the shelter if the mother doesn’t return.

Neonatal kittens, especially those that are from 1 day old to 1 month old, need around-the-clock care with feeding every two hours.

When the shelter receives a neonatal kitten they tap their foster care base to find a foster parent to care for the kitties. That’s where the supply drive comes in.

“We supply the fosters with everything they need,” said Kirdar, which includes the food, toys, kitty litter and the small bottles the kittens are fed with. The shelter is collecting kitten and puppy supplies, including kitten milk, special dry and wet food, puppy pads and nurser kits to care for the spring arrivals.

“We want to give the fosters all the supplies so all they have to do is give their attention to the animal, give them the love that they need and the care,” Kirdar said.

The shelter is always in need of foster families for puppies and kittens.

Animals available for adoption can be seen on the shelter’s website and no appointments are needed at the shelter for meetings with kittens and puppies.

Two day-old cats at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter will be raised until they’re old enough to be adopted out. (Courtesy of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter)

Puppies have to be at least 8 weeks old and kittens need to weigh 2 pounds before they are available for adoption.

The adoption fees are about $150 for kittens and about $250 for puppies and include the spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations and their microchips. Those contemplating an adoption need to realize “it’s a commitment,” Kirdar said. “It’s a lot of work,” especially for puppies, he said.

“Having a puppy at home or a kitten at home, they’re adorable but it’s a lot of work, a lot of care,” Kirdar said.

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