Pet Project Mallorca

Every week we aim to re home an animal currently being cared for by an animal refuge on the island. The project is supported by professional photographers from around the island, the PR firm Phoenix Media, and The Majorca Daily Bulletin.

Tag: new born kittens

Pussycat, pussycat

by petprojectmallorca

By Vicki McLeod

Sometimes you can think that the human race are just about the meanest bunch you will ever come across and that really the only friends you should try to cultivate are the four legged furry type, and then you meet someone like Nicky Morgan and the rest of the gang from the Cat and Kitten Rescue Group and you realise perhaps you’ll give Homo Sapiens a second chance. Despite busy and demanding work and personal lives the volunteers at Cat and Kitten give up a large chunk of their time to caring for abandoned felines in Majorca. And they do a great job.1607096_654790964567707_976461568_n

I went to visit Nicky at her home in El Toro where she constantly has a batch of “babies”. Nicky is well known in the animal rescue circles as a “mummy” to tiny kittens and is skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to rearing by hand. Look in her cupboards and you will find stacks of veterinary and health supplies for her little charges. She has been known to take the kittens with her to work to make sure they are getting their scheduled feeds on time, and that also means around the clock, so there’s no slacking off even when it is 4am. “I was looking on the Natura Parc website when I saw these two little babies. They weren’t doing very well there, and I could see that they needed to be somewhere warm and dry so I went and got them, “said Nicky, indicating her two youngest house guests. “When they first arrived they were very frightened and wouldn’t come near me, but they soon settled in and now they are doing very well.” If you look closely at the photos you will see that one of them really does have a jumper on!

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“Well, she was so poorly that she needed extra help to keep warm”. By the time of printing it’s quite likely that at least one of these lovely cats will have already been adopted but if you would like to contact Nicky about them or any of the other kittens that she is fostering then call: 699 532 267.

Nicky is supported by her local vet surgery in Clinica Veterinaria El Toro and she has nothing but the highest of praise for Asuncion Jaime Servera. “Together we always manage to sort out the babies,” she says, “they are so kind to me and the kittens there.”  Of course fund raising is an important 1546380_654790904567713_1569487249_nelement for the group’s survival and they have received plenty of help from the Majorca Daily Bulletin agent Jaquie Buttle who sponsors the group’s marketing materials and posters. “Jaquie is brilliant,” said Nicky, “She’s done so much for us; she does all of our printing and laminating. We couldn’t do without her!”

If you would like to support the Cat and Kitten Rescue group there will be a Quiz night at Aroma in El Toro on February 15th There will be a raffle, food and fun. Get a group together with a minimum of three and a maximum of six per team. It’s 2.50€ per person to enter.  If you are a Facebook user then please LIKE Pet Project Mallorca to keep up to date with news and you will find a link to the Cat and Kitten group there if you would like to volunteer to help them.

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It’s kitten time!

by petprojectmallorca

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Bottle feeding is a round the clock task.

kittens

It is important to isolate the rescued cats from any of your other pets.

 

It’s that time of year when animal rescue centres become inundated with abandoned kittens. If you want to help by fostering or hand rearing any kittens or if you find some or a mother cat about to give birth then read on for some advice from a very experienced “Cat Lady” Cati Salva.

“If you see kittens inside a box next to a rubbish bin it’s clear that they have been abandoned. It is not so clear if you find them somewhere odd (a plant pot, or in the middle of the street). In this case I advise people to do this:

1) Don’t ever touch them. It could happen that the mum is moving them from one place to another and if they catch your scent some mother cats will reject their babies.

2) Watch from a distance. Stay around somewhere where you can see the kittens but are not scaring the mum in case she comes back for her kittens.

3) If you don’t see any adult cat around in about 30 minutes to an hour (depending on how busy the area is) then yes, you may go ahead and take them because the mum is most likely not coming back for them. Something might have happened or not, but a baby cat can’t stay for long without the warmth of its mother.

“If you take them home you have to keep them separate from your other cats if you happen to have any. This is extremely important. Even if they seem healthy they could have a stomach bug or some other ailments and you need to protect both your own animals and the babies.

“Things vary from caring for a four month old kitten or a new born. The older kittens will have wide open eyes, sharp teeth and be quite mobile creatures. They will most likely be eating by themselves. You can soak some dry cat biscuits in water and see if they will eat. Younger kittens need to be bottle fed. Their eyes will be open at 15 days of age but they won’t be able to move around very easily. If you are unsure as to the age of the kittens then take a visit to a vet to make sure.

“If you are bottle feeding kittens the most important thing is to keep them warm. Until they are a bit older they can’t control their body temperature so they have to have blankets. I usually use one of those electrical pillows on a low setting to keep them warm enough (be sure you’re not burning them of course!). Make sure the electrical cable is tucked away and put a cloth on top of the device to avoid warm plastic on their skin.

“Another very important thing is: no, cats can’t drink cows’ milk! Not even lactose free cows’ milk. They have to have special cat milk which can be bought at the vets and most pet shops. There are a lot of brands and it doesn’t matter which one you chose as long as you don’t change it once you have started. Baby stomachs are quite delicate and sudden feeding changes may cause diarrhoea and subsequent dehydration.

“To feed them, prepare the formula as indicated and use a baby cat bottle. Some cats don’t latch on to bottles at first, so you have to be persistent and patient. Sometimes they can’t get the milk out, so you may squeeze the tip a bit (or make the hole slightly bigger) so they get to taste one or two drops and get motivated to suck themselves. Some other cats don’t like bottles and people feed them with small (needle free) syringes, but this is dangerous as you could accidentally place milk into their lungs. They should never be placed belly up like human babies It is ideal if they can eat on their paws in a hard surface (you can put a blanket in between). Just think about how the kittens would feed from their mums: that’s the ideal position. After their meal the babies need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate.  If they were with mum then she would usually lick their bottoms. You don’t have to do that! Instead you could use a piece of wet, mildly warm gauze and wipe the area.

“You should expect them to be hungry every 2 to 3 hours at first. Yes, it’s just like having a human baby and can be super tiring work. You can try to make the “night feeds” a bit more substantial by making a slightly thicker formula, but don’t overdo it. The kittens may need bottle feeding up until around six weeks of age. Sometimes they eat at four weeks, but some others don’t. Some vets advise to give the kittens chamomile between feeds and others tell you to prepare the formula with chamomile instead of water. That is completely up to you.

Nicky Morgan

Nicky Morgan with one of her rescued cats

“If you can’t be in charge of the feedings because you work, ask your local shelter if they know of anyone that could. They can’t take them into shelters because most of them are not open 24 hours a day, but sometimes they know volunteers that can take them home. You can ask at your local vet too, or even on Facebook groups like “Cat and kitten…” and “Furry friends…” Or get in touch with Nicky Morgan, pictured at The Kitten House on Facebook. Or get in touch with Pet Project either via the Majorca Daily Bulletin or online at http://www.petprojectmallorca.com Every week Pet Project tries to help or rehome a homeless animal in Majorca. Pet Project is supported by the Majorca Daily Bulletin, the PR business Phoenix Media Mallorca and several professional and amateur photographers around the island. You can get in touch with Pet Project at http://www.petprojectmallorca.com.