Saving Lives Through Education
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NKC Inaugural Newsletter

To all of you who are saving kitten lives every day… thank you! Ten years ago, many kittens weren’t given a chance at life – especially if they needed bottle feeding or if they were sick, but that has been changing! Today, the future for kittens in the United States is looking brighter than ever thanks to the dedication and hard work of individuals – like you – across the country. The National Kitten Coalition has been privileged to provide life-saving workshops and to work side-by-side with amazing people in animal welfare – and together we are making a positive difference for all kittens. We look forward to a time that all neonatal, sick and other at-risk kittens are given a chance to grow and thrive through life-saving educational programs and positive partnerships among shelters, rescues, veterinarians and the public.
Thank you for your continued support of our mission and for the progress that has been made so far. Together, we will continue to increase survival rates of rescued kittens!

          ~ Rosemarie Crawford, LVT
              Executive Director

A Foster's Tale

I was a new kitten foster who always seemed to have sick kittens, so I signed up for an all-day National Kitten Coalition workshop at a shelter in Northern Virginia.  One segment was how to help a mama cat give birth to her kittens.  When the shelter I foster for asked me to take a mom-to-be, I said, “sure.”

I asked the shelter’s staff for advice and all they would say was “just stay out of the way, Tuxie will take care of everything.” But thanks to the workshop, I knew there could be more to it than that.  I brought Tuxie home, dug out my workshop handouts and slides and poured over the instructions.  I got her “nest” ready and a supply of other items the workshop suggested I have on hand:  gloves, dental floss, scissors, etc. Over the next two weeks Tuxie got bigger and bigger, until she looked like she’d swallowed a bowling ball. 

Then it happened: at 1:00 in the morning, teeny meows emanated out of the bathroom. I put on my gloves, laid out my supplies -- and stayed out of Tuxie’s way.  She popped out one kitten after another.

But Tuxie did not take care of everything.  She did not chew them free from the placenta.  All became a tangled mess of umbilical cords attached to this slimy placenta sac which she was most certainly not dealing with.  In fact, Tuxie was not quite sure what to do with the resulting wad of kittens.  But thanks to the Kitten Coalition workshop I did!  I grabbed my scissors and started snipping away, counting the kittens as I went: eight!  I placed them onto a clean no-pile (as instructed) blanket in the shower stall. Then Tuxie “got it:” she went over to them and they started nursing.

All eight grew to be happy, healthy, adopted kittens. The National Kitten Coalition gave me the tools – and confidence – I needed to take on what has turned out to be the most amazing kitten fostering experience I’ve ever had.

~ Laura B.
Washington DC area kitten foster

Help us save more lives!
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Kitten Care Tip

Never feed a kitten who is cold, severely dehydrated or unresponsive; warm and stabilize first. If the kitten still has a swallow reflex, you can syringe feed warm Pedialyte or water. However, do not force as aspiration of the liquid into the lungs could occur. Immediately begin warming the kitten and get to a veterinarian or trained neonatal foster before offering formula or food. Hypothermia and dehydration are extremely dangerous for kittens.

Did You Know?

Kittens too young to eat on their own or too young for adoption are one of the largest groups of animals euthanized every year in animal shelters across the United States. We know that many animal shelters do not have the resources and/or knowledge to care for these vulnerable populations. The National Kitten Coalition provides education and training to animal-welfare professionals and volunteers to help these front-line animal heroes with their life-saving efforts. For more information about our educational programs, visit our website or contact us at

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.

Join us this Thursday, June 2 for "Do More 24," an exciting 24-hour online giving event! With your help, kittens will grow and thrive through the life-saving education we bring to animal shelters and rescue organizations across the country. Together, we can save more kitten lives!

Copyright © 2016 National Kitten Coalition, All rights reserved.

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