As kitten season is upon the region, Fayette Regional Humane Society (FRHS) is already fostering very young kittens.
FRHS Chief Humane Agent and Outreach Director Brad Adams explained, due to age, those kittens are currently in foster care and are not yet ready to be adopted.
To follow adoptable animals and when kittens become available, follow FRHS on its website, www.fayetteregionalhumane.org/, or on social media @fayettehumaneohio.
FRHS Executive Director Dr. Lee Schrader said, “cats are seasonal breeders. So, they breed when the days are longer and the light is longer, and it’s warmer. So most cats, if left to their own devices, will have two litters a year usually in the spring and the fall. Then usually there is a break.”
Schrader further explained that this year the break lasted approximately a month before calls started coming in.
“We often get calls about orphaned kittens that maybe mom has left for whatever reason,” said Adams.
Adams provided insight that if young kittens are seen without a mother, sometimes it is because the mother has to leave to get food for herself.
“It’s okay to observe them. Make sure they are of course out of danger and harm’s way. But just observe a little bit in case mom did leave to get food for herself. Sometimes, I think it’s the nature in us that we want to grab animals and want to save them all and, sometimes, you’re doing more harm than good. Sometimes it’s best to just keep an eye on it. Of course, if they are in danger give us a call. If you don’t see mama cat in awhile, give us a call,” said Adams.
Another type of animal FRHS tends to get calls about are baby rabbits. Mother rabbits only attend to the nest approximately once every 24 hours — typically at night. Once rabbits open their eyes, exit the nest and are hopping around, at that point they tend to be on their own, according to Adams.
A third type of call that increases this time of year is about baby birds having fallen out of nests. Adams explained that mother birds typically have the babies in sight or may come down to pick the baby birds up.
So far this year, FRHS has taken in approximately 250 animals total. Of those 250 animals, 235 were cats and 12 were dogs. Adams explained they have recently accepted guinea pigs and rabbits.
At one point this year, a lizard was discovered inside a packaged plant at the local Home Depot and was brought in to FRHS. Adams explained the lizard was not native to Ohio, but they researched and purchased what was needed for a habitat to keep the lizard alive and, as they had no viable way to get the lizard to its natural environment, were able to adopt the lizard out.
Any and all donations are welcome to assist FRHS continue to provide services; however, Adams identified scoopable cat litter and canned, pate style cat food as especially helpful with kitten season coming up.
Adams also noted that when there is an incident with wild animals, especially injured wild animals, the Ohio Wildlife Center should be called at 1-800-945-3543. Different organizations have different resources to better assist certain situations.
To assist with the increase of kittens expected to occur during the season, FRHS is accepting and in need of more foster homes. If other animals are in the household, the foster home must be safe for both the household pets and the animals being fostered.
As kittens require regular care, there must be time for the foster home caregivers to be attentive.
“It is definitely something that is a round-the-clock deal with feeding them every two-to-three hours,” said Adams.
Those interested in fostering can stop by the FRHS adoption center, located at 153 S. Main St. in Washington C.H., to sign paperwork.
In other news from FRHS, the volunteer program (which has been suspended since March of last year due to the pandemic) will once again be restarted. Volunteer orientations will begin in a couple of months, according to Adams.
Later this year, both the Fur Ball and the Walk Against Animal Cruelty are planned to be in-person. According to Adams and Schrader, they are excited as the events had to be cancelled or moved to virtual events last year.
“There’s a lot of awesome things that are exciting for this year, and I am excited,” said Adams. “With COVID, we’ve learned so much on what we can do virtually that can be time savers or more convenient for people — maybe that can even increase our volunteers so they don’t have to come at a certain time but can watch a video or do it on Zoom. We’re going to explore that idea this year… 2021 just gives us a lot of hope.”
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.