If you like animals, please adopt and/or foster! PAWS is a great place to start if you live in Philly and aren’t sure how to help. Volunteering is a big help, but fostering is even better since it greatly expands PAWS’s capacity and reach. Here are some things I learned when I started fostering:
- Get a play-pen: Tiny kittens really can get into tiny nooks and crannies. E.g. this one. Have lots of spare towels to pad the floor.
- Learn the treat-socialization technique: Unsurprisingly, cats trust people who feed them, and if you sit very still with a treat you can take advantage of their trust by kidnapping and snuggling them.
- Learn the toy-socialization technique:Similar to above, but with a cat toy to distract them from the fact that they are about to be stolen and snuggled.
- Learn the cat-burrito technique: Sometimes you need to “encourage” shy kittens to be around humans by wrapping them up in a towel and holding them for a while.
- Don’t be weirded out by them suckling on…everything: Sometimes kittens miss their mommies and appropriate soft things like blankets as mothers.
- Know cures for common diseases: E.g. dewormers come in syringes and can be injected orally without professional help.
- Know where the emergency room is: Sometimes kittens get really sick, and sometimes you just need to rush them to the doctor.
- Wet food smells terrible: Unavoidable (kittens can’t eat dry food), but true.