KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The KC Pet Project has taken in more kittens this summer than ever before. And now, the nonprofit is looking for help fostering and bottle feeding the small felines.
"In 2020, we fostered out around 2,500 cats and kittens, including having a couple months where we sent 800 out [to foster families] in one month," Tori Fugate, KC Pet Project chief communications officer, said. "We’re going to be well over 4,000 cats and kittens this year."
Fugate said one explanation for the increase in kittens is that during the pandemic some veterinarians limited their hours, and many large spay and neuter clinics in the Kansas City area were put on hold. To make space in their shelters and help bottle feed the youngest kittens, the shelter relies on fosters till the animals can be adopted.
"A lot of people think you need a lot of qualifications to foster kittens, but really there’s not much that you need," Fugate said. "If you have a spare bedroom or a bathroom that’s not being put to good use and would just love to be able to provide some temporary care for these kittens, that’s really, they just need a little bit of space. We provide all of the supplies."
Fostering, according to Fugate, also is a great bonding experience for families, teaching children how to take care of pets, while also helping socialize kittens at an early age.
Fosters can help in several ways. They can take in animals from one to eight weeks, and work with kittens – ranging from those that need to be bottle fed every two to three hours to caring for slightly older kittens that are able to eat solid food.
But KC Pet Project's greatest need is for help bottlefeeding, and they'll host a Bottle Baby Kitten Foster Info Session at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the K.C. Campus for Animal Care, 7077 Elmwood Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri.
Those interested in volunteering also can apply online.
KC Pet Project also is need of foster families willing to take in large dogs. The shelter expects to take in more than 11,000 animals this year.