The Need for TLK

tlk-tiggerToday, the SPCA and veterinary offices that handle any form of adoption will typically only accept kittens that are at least 6 to 8 weeks old. Prior to this age, their care is tremendously time-consuming. Additionally, kittens cannot be tested for disease before that age, so that they cannot yet be safely offered for adoption.

This means that, until now, anyone finding and wanting to rescue an underage kitten may have had nowhere to take that kitten for help. Animal shelters and the SPCA and Veterinarian Offices must often turn those kittens away for very practical reasons. Even where these organizations have a process for trying to find care for underage kittens, they have difficulty meeting the demand. The important services that these organizations provide for older kittens and cats are incompatible with the demands of younger kitten care, so they cannot take them themselves.

Most people who find underage kittens don’t know how or simply don’t have the time to provide the care needed. Underage kitten care is very time consuming, requiring several bottle feedings in a day and special supplies as well as food. Because their rescuers cannot find help to care for these kittens, underage kittens are frequently returned to where they were found – an unhappy solution. Even if the mother is still there, they are simply being returned to a place filled with danger for them, where they become part of an already existing over-population problem.

Clearly, an alternative form of service is needed. Three Little Kittens was established specifically to provide this.

The TLK (Tender Loving Kittencare) Philosophy

tlk-kittensSome argue that kittens should remain with their mothers for at least the first two months of life and that they will be healthier and happier adult cats if they do.

We disagree. Although it is true that kittens, just like humans, gain immunities from their mothers during those weeks, in the case of feral cats, they become more difficult to rescue and socialize after this age. Although the conferred immunity is certainly a good thing, we strongly believe that it does not outweigh the positive of being able to remove them from the overcrowded feral population. Kittens can be rescued easily at a young age and they become pets that will socialize beautifully with people, because they grew up with them.

Contrary to popular belief, a feral cat is just a domestic cat that has no home and lives outside. Cats are domestic animals and, in urban and suburban populations, should live indoors where they are safe from cars, other animals or other dangers of the world. The only truly successful full-time outside cats are farm cats. They have plenty of safe space to live in and mice to eat and they are valued by the farmer for the rodent control work that they do.

In a perfect world, every cat should live indoors, have a comfortable couch, plenty of food, lots of toys and one or more other cats to share it with!!

Three Little Kittens exists to make this the reality for as many “at risk” kittens as possible.

Our Approach

tlk-dee-kittensWe offer true “home care” for kittens. Our kitten nursery is not like a kennel or most shelters, where animals are isolated in separate cages in barren rooms with sporadic, if any, human contact. Ours live in a kitten nursery while under eight weeks of age, and graduate to the “kids’ room” after that, where they share life with other healthy older kittens. We handle the kittens frequently each day, talk to them, introduce them to the mysteries of “home life”, and engage them in play with toys to socialize them to humans in preparation for adoption.

Three Little Kittens maintains rigorous standards of hygiene to insure that our kittens are not exposed to contagious diseases while in our care. This means using sterilized feeding bottles and nipples (or dishes, when they are older) and frequent laundering of kitten bedding as well as disinfecting of other kitten care equipment.

At about six weeks, all of our kittens are combo tested for FIV (Feline Aids) and Feline leukemia. Before adoption, they have also been tested and treated for worms and fleas, use a litter box, and have been seen by a veterinarian.

This approach assures that we adopt out healthy, well-adjusted kittens. Check our Newsletters for “success stories” and Kitten Corner from those who have adopted our kittens.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: