Saving Lives Through Education
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A Foster's Tale

My Name is Ruth and I live in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.  This is the story of: HOPE.  On May 25, 2016 my adult son answered the cries of a baby kitten coming from behind our shed and brought this little calico baby to me.  I just knew I had to get this baby warm first.  A local emergency vet sold me some formula and gave me a crash course in feeding this baby with a syringe.  I decided I was going to save this baby on my own even though I had no clue of what I was doing.  I found some videos online which helped immensely on feeding neonatal kittens and how to stimulate for urination and bowel movements.  However, they were of no help when she wasn’t eliminating.
The next day I found The National Kitten Coalition.  I had found other sites and begged for someone to respond because I was so afraid I might be providing the wrong care. The National Kitten Coalition (NKC) responded the next day.  The umbilical cord was still attached and soft so NKC estimated she was born within the last 48 hours.  I learned to put a heating pad and soft blankets under her leaving a cooling spot for her to crawl to.  I learned to make rice sock warmers for her to snuggle up to and how to feed her in an upright position - not on her back.  I learned to weigh her every day using a kitchen scale.  She gained weight pretty steady and when she wasn’t gaining, these ladies taught me how much and how often to feed her.  So many times in the middle of the night or during the day I would message in panic because of diarrhea or dark urine, and I would get a response right away most times.  These ladies walked me through every hurdle I came to including an upper respiratory infection which the vet gave meds and some advice but not in as much detail as these ladies gave.  It was not just advice but emotional support. They were my lifeline.  When she woke up one morning open mouth breathing, I thought she was dying and my heart just broke.  These ladies explained what was happening and to get to the vet first thing.  I found a vet recommended by a local rescue.  She gave me an antibiotic and nose drops and some advice.  I sat in the bathroom with the shower going.  It was such a satisfying feeling to see her thrive.

When it was time to wean her off of formula, Kitten Coalition walked me through that as well and litter training.  To anyone who is pondering the idea of helping out and becoming fosters for these babies, I will tell you that this has been a very rewarding experience.  I also have decided to keep Hope.  She has become part of our family.  I would do this again.  In fact, when I retire I plan on joining the foster team for my vet.  For me, the National Kitten Coalition ladies guided me through each step and celebrated with me.  I have made two new friends who I will probably never meet. I have been so blessed by this experience it is hard to put it into words. 

~ Ruth H.
Canadian kitten foster


Want to help more kittens like Hope? Please consider a donation to the National Kitten Coalition to help us educate and train frontline animal heroes - like Ruth. You can make a difference in a kitten's life!

Giving Tuesday

Love Kittens? Show your Support on Giving Tuesday, November 29!

It's hard to believe we are approaching the end of 2016. This year has been amazing for the National Kitten Coalition thanks in large part to our donors and friends -- that's you! We want to end the year in a BIG way and hope to do so with your help on Giving Tuesday, November 29, which is just a few short weeks away. This global day of giving is celebrated each year the Tuesday after Thanksgiving -- essentially, it kicks off the charitable season when many of us focus on holiday and end-of-year giving. We know you love kittens just as much as we do! Your support combined with our educational and outreach programs provide a lifeline for these tiny felines. Together, we can save kitten lives, help them to grow up big and strong and find adoptive families to call their own. Stay tuned for more information!

On the Road Again!

We're hitting the road -- taking our mission of increasing survival rates of rescued kittens to conferences and workshops this Fall. We hope to see you at one of the following events! To learn more about any of the following or other events, visit our website.

Wednesday, October 12 - Friday, October 14: Attending and Exhibiting at the Virginia Animal Control Association Conference

Saturday, October 22: Workshop hosted by the Loudoun Community Cat Coalition, Virginia

Saturday, October 22: Workshop hosted by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Virginia

Thursday, November 3 - Sunday, November 6: Attending and Exhibiting at the American Association of Feline Practitioners Conference
Help us save more lives!
Donate Now
Did You Know?
Did you see the big paws on the kitten in the photo above?  Some kittens are born with extra toes on their feet!   Polydactylism - also called hyperdactyly - is a genetically inherited trait.  The world record polydactyl kitty had 28 toes!  Other famous polydactyl kitties include those living at Hemmingway's house in Key West, FL.  Do you have a polydactyl kitty?  We'd like to hear from you with photos and stories!  Your kitten photo may appear in one of our future newsletters or trainings!

NKC Receives Maddie’s Fund Grant

We are so happy to announce that the Coalition has been awarded a $5,000 Innovation Grant from Maddie's Fund! We are thrilled to be recognized for our life-saving work by such an amazing organization. Thank you, Maddie’s Fund!

Thanks to this grant, we plan to provide several workshops to shelters and rescue organizations within the eastern portion of the United States. These workshops can be tailored to the specific needs of the requesting or hosting organization. Please contact us at if you are interested in having us teach a workshop. We will select the shelters/rescue organizations and create a calendar within the next couple months. We look forward to meeting frontline animal heroes doing amazing work on behalf of felines and other animals in their communities!

Our mission is to increase survival rates of rescued kittens. We accomplish our mission by educating and training animal shelter staff, rescue groups, volunteers and fosters to provide high-quality, cost-effective care; providing outreach and educational materials to animal-welfare professionals and the public; and promoting cooperation and information sharing within the animal-welfare community.

Can't Get Enough of Kittens?

Looking for more kitten info or just need a cute kitten fix? Check us out on Facebook for educational and fun posts about these tiny felines and how we partner with communities to help with their life-saving work!

Fall doesn't mean the end of kitten season!

That's right. Just because the cooler weather is here, don't relax too much. Cats are prolific breeders and can have almost continuous heat cycles until they become pregnant.  In cooler climates the usual breeding time is typically between January and August, and in warmer climates, cats may go into heat year-round. The typical gestation period for cats is 63-67 days, so a cat that mates at the end of August, or even mid-September if it is still warm, will give birth in October or November!  
Our suggestion is to have cats spayed before their first heat cycle and to otherwise keep an eye out for kittens throughout the year - especially where the climate is warmer.

Copyright © 2016 The National Kitten Coalition, All rights reserved.

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