A paint bucket filled with two-week-old kittens. It wasn’t what the shelter was expecting. But that’s what they received when someone dropped them off in late summer near Oakland, California.
Fortunately, rescuers from Feral Change took in the kittens, minus the paint bucket. Without immediate round-the-clock bottle-feeding, these kittens stood no chance of survival without their mother. But first, they needed a warm bath and lots of love to become stabilized before feeding. That way, they can digest their food properly.
“Huddled together in a paint bucket, these kittens were two weeks old, wet, hypothermic, dirty, and covered in fleas when they arrived with us,” they shared on Instagram.
“What a difference a bath makes! They are now dry, warm, safe, and loved. Although we don’t know the story of how they ended up left in a bucket at the shelter, we know that their next chapter is going to be great!”
Video and images via Instagram and Facebook/Feral Change
Kitten Season in Oakland
By late September, it’s still kitten season in California due to the warmer climate. When the rescuers have people willing to foster them, they can save kittens like those below, the second batch rescued from a feral cat colony. Thanks to TNR (trap, neuter, return) efforts, they can dramatically lower the number of births and prevent kittens like these from needing rescue. Left to struggle on the streets, they face extremely high mortality rates and suffering.
“These cuties are the second batch caught at this colony, bringing the total fluffy kitten count to five from this location. Mom is also now fixed, which is so important to [stop] the cycle,” they shared. “It’s been an incredibly tough kitten season, and we can only bring kittens in when we have a foster available or a transfer partner with space to help out. We are so grateful to everyone who has opened up their homes to kittens this year. Thank you!”
Earlier in the spring, the rescuers took in these six adorable kittens, named after sauces. Since they were only a few days old, each had to be bottle-fed around the clock. Fosterers need to wake up every two hours to feed them and ensure they are always warm, clean, and dry. Without their mother, it’s a challenge, but fosterers from Feral Change are willing to have sleepless nights to watch these cuties grow up and start a new life.
“How many kittens can you count in this photo? These are our sauce-themed kittens that came to us when they were only a few days old: Bechamel, Tahini, Teriyaki, Aioli, Chutney, and Ponzu. They are just over a month old now,” they shared.
“Bringing in kittens this young is very challenging and we are grateful to all the fosters who wake up every two hours to feed our tiniest of kittens and make sure they get the best shot they can!”
TNR in Oakland, California
For Giving Tuesday, a team of people for Feral Change took the cats below to be spayed and neutered. Each of the colorful covered crates represents a group effort to save the feral cats and ensure they won’t bring thousands of starving kittens into the Oakland area. But it also means improving the quality of life and health for each adult cat too. Not to mention, it helps the overall community in many ways.
“It’s Giving Tuesday, and we started the day before the sun rose, dropping off twenty cats to get spayed and neutered. But the journey for these cats didn’t start this morning,” they shared.
For each cat TNR’d, a team of people made it possible. What an inspiring and important effort Feral Change is undertaking, and it’s all possible thanks to the caring community!
“Each of these cats has someone who reached out for help, someone who coordinated the clinic appointment, someone who transported, someone who filled out the paperwork, someone who will do the surgery, someone who will help with their overnight recovery, and many others. It truly does take a whole team to make this happen – and that includes you! Not one of these cats would be possible without our supporters.”