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Summer kitten season sparks need for fostering, bottle feeding

Hermitage Cat Shelter offering course to train foster caretakers
Posted at 4:51 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 19:51:35-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Each year, approximately 350 kittens pass through the doors of the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter and Sanctuary.

The shelter relies on volunteers to help care for the kittens, and will hold a training on Monday, June 13 for anyone interested in learning how to assist.

"Bottle baby fosters are the hardest to find because of the commitment it requires," said Annette Gries, Hermitage Foster and Adoptions Assistant. "Also, it's scary when you are responsible for a little baby kitten. That's why we decided to offer some classes to help folks get more at ease with bottle feeding and the care of baby kittens."

The class will train volunteers interested in fostering, and will include instruction on how to bottle feed, stimulate and bathe the kittens. This course also provides instruction on how to provide life-saving aid if necessary.

Kittens in the foster care program range from 0 - 4 weeks old. When they are old enough, kittens can be adopted to permanent homes.

Hermitage staff says kitten season typically occurs in the spring through fall, when unaltered female cats have litters in yards, sheds and rooftop spaces—that's when the shelter receives calls from the public asking for help.

Recently, however, they say the calls and finding people to care for the kittens has become a year-round issue.

The constant need for specialized kitten care was part of the reason the shelter decided to begin offering the bottle-feeding classes, according to Gries.

Bottle Babies Foster Class:

  • Monday, June 13
  • 1 - 2:30 p.m.
  • 5278 E. 21st St.
  • (520) 589 - 2734

In addition to learning and volunteering to foster kittens, Gries says the Hermitage is in need for sponsors and donations of food, "sensitive" baby wipes and probiotics.

A complete list of Hermitage volunteer opportunities, upcoming events and their wish list can be viewed on their website.

Anne Simmons is the digital executive producer for KGUN 9. Anne got her start in television while still a student at the University of Arizona. Before joining KGUN, she managed multiple public access television stations in the Bay Area and has worked as a video producer in the non-profit sector. Share your story ideas and important issues with Anne by emailing or by connecting on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.