kitten

Resurgence in shelter’s kitten intakes generates need for foster families

Since the beginning of the year, Placer County Animal Services has taken in 260 kittens, an increase of nearly 25% compared to the previous year to date. Most of these young kittens require a few weeks of foster care before they are ready for adoption, leading to a critical need for foster families.

Placer County is looking for volunteers willing to foster kittens until they are old enough to return to the Animal Services Center for adoption. PCAS currently has 10 kittens looking for fosters, but has been receiving up to 20 kittens on some days. Immediate fosters are needed to help more kittens and keep them out of the shelter.

“…kitten intakes are rebounding and we can’t always meet the need for fosters…”

Katie Ingram, program manager

“Our cat and kitten intakes were down substantially last year, and we signed up a good number of new foster families in 2020. But for many, their availability may be declining as families return to normal activities,” said program manager Katie Ingram. “Meanwhile, our kitten intakes are rebounding and we can’t always meet the need for fosters, meaning more of these very young kittens are remaining in the shelter.”

Placer County Animal Services partners with local nonprofit Kitten Central to care for neonatal kittens who are so young they must be bottle fed or require other specialized care. But many other kittens simply need a safe, temporary home until they are old enough for adoption – at about eight weeks old or when they are over two pounds. A shelter is not an ideal environment for younger kittens whose immune systems are not yet built up and who need regular interaction with people to be social and adoptable.

basket of kittens

Most kittens who need fosters are healthy and do not require special medical care, though potential foster families willing to take on kittens with special needs are also welcome and will receive extra support.

Fostering a kitten comes with no obligation to adopt, though foster families will receive priority if they wish to adopt their foster kitten. Training, food and supplies are provided.

Email smullane@placer.ca.gov for more information and to sign up.

Many cats and kittens ready for adoption are available at the Placer County Animal Services Center, located at 11232 B Avenue in Auburn, or view adoptable animals online at placer.ca.gov/animal.