BABY KITTEN FOSTER CARERS

Keen to take on the exciting challenge of fostering baby kittens (those kittens under 6 weeks of age and generally on the bottle)?  RSPCA Mackay is recruiting now. 

Prerequisites:   You do NOT need to be an experienced feline foster carer, however, you do need to attend Basic Foster Care Training and then a 2½ hr Fostering Baby Kittens workshop. 

What type of kittens will you be fostering?  When we talk about "baby kittens", we're referring to those kittens who are orphans (i.e. they come into the RSPCA without a mum).  All orphaned kittens coming into the RSPCA are assigned to one of the following groups:  Neonates (0-2weeks), Early Transitionals (2-4weeks), Late Transitionals (4-6weeks) and Socialisation kittens (>6weeks). If you have attended Basic Foster Care Training, then you are able to foster Socialisation Kittens (6wks to desex age). 

To foster baby kittens (neonates and/or transitionals), you do need to attend a Fostering Baby Kittens workshop.  Please be aware that baby kittens need to be fed every 3, 4 or 6 hours depending on their age (yes, throughout the night as well).

When you come to the workshop, you will be taught how to care for neonate, early transitional and late transitional kittens but you will then be asked which baby kittens, if any (this is an “obligation free” workshop), you are putting your hand up for e.g. neonates only, late transitionals only, all three.

Emotional preparedness:   Baby kittens have a higher mortality rate compared to older kittens.  There will be kittens that, despite your best efforts, will fail to thrive and who will die or need to be humanely euthanased.  You need to be emotionally prepared for these occurrences. Obviously without your efforts, many more kittens will not survive.  We will continue to remind our carers that they need to focus on all the lives that they save and to remain resilient when there are sad outcomes.  Are you mindful of the possible emotional consequences of this type of fostering?

Equipment required:  The RSPCA will provide you with milk replacement, bottles, teats, heating mats, dry kitten biscuits.  You will need to provide digital kitchen scales, sterilizing equipment, kitty litter and a suitable play enclosure for transitional kittens.

What now?  Read the fostering FAQs on the RSPCA Qld website and then, presuming you are happy with what you’ve read, complete the online expression of interest form (alternatively email fostering@rspcaqld.org.au and we’ll email you the information and form).  Be ready to attend basic training and then attend baby kitten training.  Be ready to save lives!!