Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When to socialize kittens

It is amazing to look back on the last 15 years. Petfinder is fifteen but so are several other resources that provide us with options we did not have before.

For example, feral cat groups.

This morning when I opened my mail, there was a newsletter from Alley Cat Allies. ( In that newsletter was a link to their page of socializing kittens.

It provides all sorts of information that I had to figure out on my own in the past, for better or worse. Some of it wasn't an option back then. TNR, for example. It was socialization or death for feral kittens 20 years ago. Spay/neuter was rarer, and it was hard enough to get tame cats fixed, let alone wild ones.

ACA has grown up over the years (Well, so have I). I remember how offended I was when they released printed material that discouraged taming kittens, outright. Their understandable reasoning: if you have limited resources, spend it on TNR. If you have limited homes for shy cats (and all of us do), don't get stuck with unadoptable cats who were once shy kittens. They have since learned how to say the same thing without hitting you over the head with it. I have also changed. Twenty years ago, taming kittens was what I did. Nowadays, I don't have time. I can tame them up, but I don't have enough people coming and going to get them used to strangers. I don't have a husband around, getting them used to men. There are kittens I would TNR now, that I might not have 15 years ago, especially if they are in a safe location.

ACA now says that ultimately, the decision to tame or TNR is up to you, and then give you their tools for making that decision.

All groups will have vital resources that will benefit your work, and reading their web pages will help you remember there are other people out there who care about the same things you do.

If you haven't visited the Alley Cat Allies page in a long while, I would suggest a visit to remind yourself of what is there, and see what is new. For example, they have a great series of photos of kittens at various ages.

I'll be posting on other groups throughout this week--not so much to educate you about them, but to remind you they are there before kitten season rolls down upon us.

If it has not already.

1 comment:

meowmeowmans said...

Great post! And a great reminder about Alley Cat Allies and other feral cat groups. Yes, kitten season is definitely coming (!), and we are so thankful for all the great work you do.