“We currently have 28 feral or unsocialized kittens on-site, with more arriving daily,” said Stacie Haynes, Executive Director. “Our new ‘Feral to Friendly’ program is designed to give volunteers the opportunity to meet and help socialize these kittens, and also to lighten the load for staff as the shelter enters its busiest season.”
Early socialization, including gentle handling for 15-40 minutes a day, helps kittens learn to interact with people and increases their chances for successful adoption into a home. Kittens that are undomesticated and remain feral will likely become working cats in a barn, garage or workshop.
“The socialization period for cats occurs between 2 and 7 weeks of age, but can extend up to 14 weeks,” said Haynes. “The majority of kittens brought to us have had very limited exposure to humans, so our animal care staff works with them as much as possible in between cleaning, intakes, dog and cat meets, and adoptions,” she said.
Volunteers can call and sign up to play with kittens at the shelter, or those with experience handling feral cats and kittens can foster. For more information, call 607-547-8111, extension 102 to learn more and schedule a time to help out.