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Orphan Kitten Pilot Project

Solano County 4-H | Solano County Status: In Progress Categories: Animal Science, Citizenship, Social and Emotional Health Youth Leader: Kristin | Age: 17

The Issue

The community problem with pet overpopulation is a big issue. The county currently takes in around 5,000 cats per year. Out of those 5.000, 1,200 or more are kittens.  By the Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) standards, kittens that are under 8 weeks of age or under 2 lbs. are not to be held in the shelter for adoption. This is for several reasons: the kittens that are under 8 weeks can’t regulate their body temperature and possibly may not be able to eat on their own.  Keeping these animals in the shelter would be inhumane. If fosters are not available to foster these kittens then the shelter is forced to euthanize them.

How will 4-H help?

The Solano County Orphan Kitten Project is designed to give youth an opportunity to foster orphan kittens and learn valuable life skills. The project will allow youth that might not be able to commit to raising an animal for a lifelong pet the opportunity to gain experience with a domesticated pet for a short time. The most important goal of this project is to teach youth member the need for foster parents to meet the growing problem of pet overpopulation and will the importance of spay and neuter and how it can control the population of orphan kittens in the community.  Youth members will gain knowledge on kitten care, nutritional needs, cat breeds, cat diseases, and how to screen potential adopters. Additionally, members will develop life skills including record keeping, communication, and public speaking. The project members set a project goal in their first project meeting:  they will successfully raise and find forever homes for 50 kittens that would otherwise be euthanized due to age.