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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Welcome to the Foster Care Megathread!



Whatís the point of this thread?

There's a bunch of points! First, my wife and I have enjoyed fostering immensely over the past year. It's rewarding, challenging, and a lot of fun. We'd like to encourage more folks to hop on board. The process itself is rather easy to get into, but a lot of people are intimidated by the prospect. This thread is a place to ask questions about fostering and learn more about the process.

The other main point of the thread is story sharing! One of the best parts of this gig is going into our SPCA and hearing stories from other foster parents. We hope this thread can be another extension of that.



What is fostering, how does it work?

Well, itís going to vary from area to area but generally speaking, fostering is done through animal shelters, or rescue/adoption facilities.

In a good, no-kill shelter, these facilities can often find the need for an animal to be placed, temporarily in a good home. Though many times this is due to the facility being crowded, it can often be due to the fact that the animal needs some socializing so that it can be adoption ready, or it may be a little sick and needs to be separate from the general population.

When an animal meets one of those needs, a foster coordinator will e-mail their list of eligible foster parents, and see who is up for the challenge!

The animal will have a specific goal; oftentimes with kittens or puppies that goal will be to hit a certain weight. Once the goal is achieved, the foster animal can then be cleared for adoption and sent on their journey to find their forever home!



Why should I foster animals?

Fostering can a supremely cool experience. A really good reason to do so is if you love animals but are not necessarily willing to make a potentially 10+year commitment to owning a pet yourself. If youíre interested you should check it out, but firstÖ



Why shouldnít I foster animals?

If youíre a softie, like me, you seriously need to consider your ability to wave goodbye to your fosters. I can tell you that in our house, we fostered one dog and saying goodbye to him melted my heart into a little puddle and I lost tons of sleep over it.
We only foster cats now.

After having 100+ animals pass through our house at this point, it definitely gets easier to say goodbye with each passing visit.

Another thing to consider, how much time, space, and money do I have?

Time: Youíre likely going to wind up taking care of animals that are slightly needier than your typical pet. Not all the time, of course, and youíll certainly be warned when youíre considering your next foster that ďthis cat is very sick and needs and extra bin of attentionĒ, but then youíll see the picture, be smitten and wonít be able to help yourself.

A good rule of thumb is that a foster pet will likely require a solid hour a day of your attention, if youíre fostering a litter of puppies or kittens as opposed to one, that doesnít really change all that much and it can in fact be easier as they wonít be as bored/agitated if left alone.

Space: I know that itís possible to foster without a dedicated foster room, but boy does the idea of that sound unpleasant to me. Thatís our setup anyway; there is a room in our house that serves that one, unique purpose. This is especially important if you already have pets of your own. It can be very stressful for your pets to just have a constant parade of new animals going in and out of their living space. It can be equally stressful and overwhelming for the foster to have to deal with a big house/space right from the jump.

Money: Fostering, at least in most cases, is supposed to be free. But, of course, if youíre the sort who is interested in fostering, youíre likely going to have a hard time containing yourself and will want to buy various treats and toys for your fosters. Youíll also likely have to spend a decent amount of time in your car shuttling your fosters to and from the facility for checkups. So yeah, gas.



How long is a typical fostering experience?

It varies greatly, but youíll almost always have a pretty decent idea of what youíre looking at. Typically itíll be between 1 week and 2 months.



Iíve heard about foster failure, what is that?

Foster failure is when you just canít say goodbye for some reason and you end up keeping your foster. Most places will be cool about this, and though it may tap you out as a foster, most organizations will be OK with you stepping up to forever parent status because they know that means that the foster is getting a good home.



An important note on boundaries, expectations from Alteisen. Please note tha Alteisen fostered terminally ill animals While his experience comes from a unique perspective, it is still largely applicable to the fostering experience:

Alteisen posted:

So I spoke at length about my experiences fostering and there's one thing I wanted to touch on, something I'm sure you're all aware and have had experiences with and that's the state of mind.

It seems to be you all do this because you're wonderful people, because you genuinely care and want to give these poor animals who have nobody to bat for them a good life, make sure their first steps in this world are ones full of love and care.

When I opted to first care for my first terminally ill animal I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, I simply knew the animal would not live as long as most do, but somewhere along the line it became a bit warped in my own head, in some ways I convinced myself that either my presence or sheer force of will could prevent the inevitable and in many ways I made their passing much harder on myself than it needed to be, because rather than accept it as simply the natural order of things, I took it as a failure on my part, I didn't try enough and so on and so forth. Its really messed up, even today despite knowing I did it all right there's this part of me that still blames myself for their passing, like I failed somehow.

So I really urge people to be careful, especially if you ever decide to care for an animal on its deathbed, maybe at the time its not a comforting though, it wasn't for me, but you are doing your best and without you those little animals would have nothing.

Basically, if you foster for long enough, you're going to run into some tough situations. Many of the lovely goons listed below can attest to that fact. Should the worst occur you will naturally deal with some of the stages of grief and you will invariably be very hard on yourself.

What we're doing here is compiling a resource not just for the betterment of the animals, but for ourselves too. I'm a social worker. I know just how important self-care is for ensuring good care of others. This thread is a place to not just ask for help, but to ask for support as well. I've been so happy to see this thread evolve into a place where people have been helping each other!


List of Foster Goons, Shelter Volunteers, and Feral Animal Magnets!

Helpful weight gain recipe for itty-bitty-kitties:

LivesInGrey posted:

I'll leave you all with the recipe we use to help with healthy weight gain. This makes a batch fit for an empty pasta sauce jar.

1/2 cup KMR
1 cup water
1 can A&D wet food
2 egg yolks
You can also add a spoonful of baby food, but not all kittens like it.

Place all ingredients in jar, using funnel not to spill the KMR, and mix with fork to get the worst lumps out. Put lid on jar and shake like hell. There will be lumps still, but with time they dissolve. Syringe feed every 3-6 hours, depending on size and health. Scale to fit containers you have as long as the water : KMR ratio remains 2 : 1.

Chili fucked around with this message at 05:36 on Sep 14, 2018

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

OK, so what’s with this Butterscotch fella?

Good question!

This is Butterscotch:





Butterscotch was our house’s first (and hopefully last) foster failure. He is a truly magnificent beast.

When we got Butterscotch he weighed in at 30 pounds. For a domestic house cat, that is a crazy crazy amount of weight. He was formerly the pet of a little old lady who just couldn't help herself from stuffing him with treats 24/7.

Naturally, I needed to share the triumphant story of Butterscotch with my goon community. He found his first online home in the cute pictures thread, but as time grew on I kinda felt that with each post I made in there he was de-railing the thread. They even re-named the thread after him.

Much in the same way that he has overtaken our bed, and our couch, and our kitchen, and most of our free time, he had overtaken a thread. I felt it was time to find him a new home, and when I realized there wasn’t a mega thread for fosters, I thought this would be a good idea.

So while we all post our foster stories and questions, we also are excited about sharing Butterscotch’s journey to a healthy weight with you.

Butterscotch is currently weighing in at 24 23 19 16 15! pounds. Since we’ve gotten him he’s been steadily losing about a pound a month which is the optimal trajectory for obese kitty weight loss. We’re so proud of him!

From now on, Butterscotch updates, videos, and pictures will be posted here, but if you are interested in seeing some of his antics, you can check out my post history in the cute thread here, about halfway down the first page: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...90&userid=48029

Here are some highlights, for the lazy:

Videos:

Being the best/worst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDbrIO25aZc

Doing the best he can to play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMMiwrzYCP8

derp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-KyqZOen_Y

Smooooooshing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8Wk7aRSOhA

(I've uploaded a bunch more of these on my channel)



Pictures:

The picture posted when he was up for fostering:



After his first bath:



Snorlax Impression:



This:



This is pretty much how he always is when we’re home:



Couch surfing


Chili fucked around with this message at 21:03 on Dec 11, 2017

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe



Another lazy Sunday.

We're going to try and sort out more fosters tomorrow, if not I'll make another butterypost.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Dick Trauma posted:

I don't think I've seen even one photo of Butterscotch where his fur didn't look very soft. Like his entire body is bellyfur.

Soft as Country Crock.

Though believe me, that ain't on its own. He needs grooming, we use a good brush on him and you wouldn't believe the amount of fur that gets pulled off. He loves that though, so it's win/win.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Safari Disco Lion posted:

What brush are you using? I bought a Furminator a while ago but I'm not very happy with it.

Search for the zampa brush on amazon. I've been very happy with it.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Chiliís house of fosters has re-opened!

Say hello to a bonded pair!

Stinky is the boy.



And Jazzy is the girl!



(We didnít name them, and frankly these are some low tier names, we can call them something different, suggestions are welcome!)

They're around 1 year old.

Stinky is very very frantic, he darts about and is a total attention hog. As soon as either one of us walks into the foster room he glues himself to us.

Jazzy is a little trickier, she spent the better portion of the weekend hiding, but weíve finally figured her out. She likes when things open; cans, bags, what have you. She gets very curious and wants to see whatís going onÖ and then she doesnít eat anything. So she likes when things openÖ but for some other reason than that they may contain delicious contents?

Anyway, our big treatment goal for them are to help ensure that they eat. Stinky is doing really well with that, and weíre coaxing Jazzy into munching on some tuna here and there. The other, equally important goal is basic socialization. Which again, Stinky is fine with, but Jazzy still needs a touch of work on, I was able to convince her to sit in my lap for a good few minutes today, wasnít able to get a picture as sheís still a bit skittish, but weíre getting her there! The plan is to hold on to them for about two weeks provided that we get them to adoptable levels of health/socialization. Not expecting any hiccups on this case, they're pretty straightforward.

Stay tuned for more updates, and seriously these are terrible names, we all can come up with something better Iím sure.



Oh, and Butterscotch:



Sociopastry posted:

How thick is Butter's fur? My kitty Momo is short hair, but he has such crazy thick fur that it's hard to brush all the excess hair off of him.

Thick and Buttery. It's as glorious as you can imagine and running your fingers through the belly fluff is as splendid as skipping through a meadow of daffodils.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Radio! posted:

Gilbert and Sullivan.

(no I'm totally not suggesting this because I have a cat named Gilbert of course not)

I'd be tempted, but we aren't huge fans of their work.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Alteisen posted:

Stinky looks so much like my old russian blue.

Yeah! At first I thought for sure that he was, but he doesn't have a lot of the characteristics that Blues have, can't write in his fur with your fingers, unfortunately. Also, good names so far, we'll go with our favorite offering from the thread tomorrow.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

meteloides posted:

Jazzy was the name of my cat from childhood who passed a few years ago.

Be super gentle with this one and give her all the treats and love while she's still young so she doesn't hate the world like mine did

I just spent a good half hour in the foster room, she's moving right along. Got her playing and demanding rubs and scritches, she's a sweet girl.

Anyway, chose the names. They are announced here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2F_AhaxILk

And yeah, Jazzy isn't that bad of a name, but Stinky certainly is. It may have been an affectionate moniker from a previous owner, but a bonded pair is hard enough to get adopted out, we can certainly try and set Mr. Stinkman up better than this.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Geolicious posted:

We have a bonded pair at the shelter I help at named Tywin and Lancel. And they came from a big hoarding situation raid. Tywin is super outgoing but Lancel is still so shy. And they are both black cats. But they came in as BFFs and they will go out as BFFs no matter how long it takes. (I'm so thankful to work at a no-kill)

Sometimes the clinic staff really picks bad names. Bless their hearts, they're doing their best. But sometimes the volunteers have to submit a request to get a name changed. Like little Morticia who had been there for a long time was adopted pretty quickly after we got her stuff changed to Marilyn. And, sure, the adopters usually change their names, but they gotta have good ones at the shelter.

Yep. Certainly thankful for that too. I'm fairly certain these cats came in to the shelter with these names, so there's probably some flexibility. But regardless, he's Django to me now!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Booger Presley posted:

Maybe you folks can help. We captured two semi-feral cats in our yard, took them to the vet for shots and fixing, now they reside in our spare room.

One of them, Emma, has adapted well and loves to be scratched and enjoys play sessions; a wonderful loving cat. Luna tolerates our presence but is still visibly scared. She stays in the cat tree while we play with Emma and she watches cautiously. We don't approach or pressure her and hope that over time she will begin to trust us, but I don't see much progress. She doesn't respond to toys and rarely watches anything but the human in the room. (We never go in together so there's no human overload.)

Our huge breakthrough with Emma came when she was chasing a toy and I touched her and she didn't notice. After three or four of these she noticed and never looked back. Since we aren't getting a play response from Luna, I'm stumped and don't want to reverse what little progress we have.

Any ideas?

Best thing I've found when socializing a very skittish cat is just being in their space, while doing your own thing. When I've got new fosters I typically like to go in their room with a book and just lei down and read. Their curiosity typically gets the best of them after a few sessions of this. Once they start to take a more active interest, I'll keep one hand on the book and place the other towards them, but leave it passively on the floor, still letting them decide when it's time to check things out further.

Seems like you may be a bit further along than that, however. You can get a little more direct with some cats, Jazzy actually comes to mind with this tactic. I just straight up picked her up, and put her on my lap. She seemed a little freaked out at first, but wasn't hissing or getting aggressive. And after about 10 seconds of gently but securely holding her, she just calmed right down, curled up in a ball, and started purring. She then stayed there on her own for about 20 minutes and would whine when I stopped scratching her head.

Each cat is different, so there's a big YMMV warning with any bit of advice but what I have definitely noticed is that cats pick up on your confidence. If you tried to pick up a cat on your lap and have any hesitation about it, you're likely going to get a good scratch out of it and that's about it.

It's awesome that you're working with these kitties though, keep it up and feel free to ask more questions!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Organza Quiz posted:

I'm curious about this. I'm not fostering a cat but trying to convince one I've already adopted that I'm not so scary, but similar things apply. I've had her for about four months now and we're at a point where she's confident being out in the open around me and she won't skitter away into hiding if I stand up or move around as long as she doesn't think I'm actively approaching her. Her food bowl is right next to my foot when I'm sitting at my desk and she'll happily eat an inch or two away from it, but if I reach my hand towards her she skitters out the way. She'll come over and sniff me sometimes or investigate what I'm doing but again I can't show any interest beyond looking at her or talking to her (although that's a massive improvement in itself) or she's gone. Every bit of advice I've seen advocates not trying to grab her or hold her and just letting her slowly come to me at her own pace, but I have to say it is a really tempting thought that all she needs is for me to actually pick her up and show her that all I want to do is pet her.

I should note that when I first met her she was in a room that she wasn't comfortable in and was hissing at everyone including her foster lady, but when her foster lady picked her up she calmed right down and tried to burrow into her lap, which is part of why I brought her home in the first place, since I could see that even though she was scared she was taking comfort from her person and I was prepared to put in the effort to make her comfortable in a new place.

Well, I will tell you you're not gonna find a lot of people agreeing with that advice. Most folks will advocate for a hands off/let the kitty come to you, type of attachment building.

The majority of the time, that is the correct way to go about it. But sometimes, a kitty can be receptive to other things. We've fostered around 20-30 cats and kittens at this point and there just simply aren't any absolutes. Different things work for different cats.

Worst case? Your cat doesn't like it, lets you know with a swipe, and you move on.

The one thing I'd be careful about though is that you mention your cat comes out for food. I wouldn't advocate handling her while he's eating. And hell, if she's food motivated have some treats handy for when you do approach her. After she calms downs and you can pet her, give her a treat. Also, how old is she? Some behaviors/demeanors are really hard to break once you get far away from kittenhood.

Again, I'm expecting some push back on this, but all I'm doing is sharing my experiences and we've managed to socialize some really tricky cases.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Aye. Honestly go with your gut. If your gut is saying it won't work, it won't work.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

luloo123 posted:

When I adopted my cat, Snicket, she hid under the bed for a solid two weeks, only sneaking out to use the litter box and eat a little.

I'm friends with her previous owner, so I know her backstory to some extent. For much of the time she was with my friend, she was a sweet, affectionate kitty. She was bullied a bit by their other cat, but she was sweet and moderately outgoing. Then her previous owner had a baby. Overnight, Snicket went from being outgoing to being reclusive and shy. She would hide in the basement all the time and pee on the baby's stuff any time she could. Because of the changes in her behavior, I think the bullying from the other cat got worse as well. The owners took her to the vet and she got a whole battery of tests, but nothing was abnormal. The antisocial behavior continued. They gave her a year to settle down, but she never did. She had lost a lot of weight (at one point she was an overweight 14 pounds. When I took her to the vet she was 6.7 pounds). They took her to the vet again, and all of the tests were still normal. I was in the office and overheard my friend saying that she had scheduled an appointment to surrender Snicket to a no-kill shelter. I had wanted to get a cat, so I said that I'd take her.

Aside from the moment that Snicket was released from her carrier, I barely saw her for the first two weeks she lived with me. I'd catch a glimpse of her, but that was about it. Her food and water would disappear and waste material would show up in her litter box, so I knew that she was eating and drinking. After two weeks of this, she jumped on the bed at 7am for scritchies. I was overjoyed. She had ten minutes of scritchies and then hid under the bed again. This became our ritual. Every day at 7am she would get scritchies and then hide again. This continued for another two weeks. She started spending more time in the living area and begging for scritchies. These days, she begs for scritchies all the time, yells at me when she wants fresh water (I have never seen a cat drink as much water as her), begs for treats, meets me at the door when I get home from work, and gives me attitude when she's mad at me for some imagined slight (It's not my fault that you coughed up a hairball in your favorite box, Snicket). It took us over a year to get to this point, and three years before she was comfortable enough that she wouldn't hide when people came to visit. She's still terrified of other cats though.

TL,DR: Be patient. Keep doing what you're doing, and hopefully she'll come around. It sounds like she's already started.

The only problem with this post is that there are no pictures of Snicket.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

luloo123 posted:

I can totally fix that. I have so many Snicket pictures. Unfortunately, nearly all of them are crappy cell phone pictures.



"Tuna? Tuna for me?"


I put bananas in "her spot" (all spots are her spots).


Fluffy face.


How to deactivate a Snicket: Put a hat on her.


She is a good cat.

This is grade A catte.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Krampus Grewcock posted:

I bought one on your suggestion and it works great on my fluffy assholes.

Right? It actually feels like you're doing something when you groom them.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe


Was on my phone earlier so I wasn't able to check this out. But this is amazing and I'm going to leave it on while I'm at work and need (perpetual) pick-me-ups.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Most definitely. We're out today but I'll have some soon.

For now here's a direct link as I'm phone posting.

http://i.imgur.com/kIN4xOP.jpg

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe



Does anyone still believe me when I say that Butterscotch is a very happy cat?

Also, he does... this weird thing. He likes to nurse, or... well... try to nurse... on blankets.

Typically he's very vulnerable when he tries this but we just got a new blanket and he we was so into it that he didn't seem to care that we documented it.

Without further ado: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDHUpu8FcI0

When he's done with this, the blankets are always totally soaked through.

Such a weird little fucker.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Seat Safety Switch posted:

How much does he weigh now? He's looking trim.

Oh my goodnes! It hadn't occurred to me that we hadn't weighed him in a while. Your post prompted me and he weighs 23.5 pounds now! Down a whole pound since his last weigh in! Thank you for reminding me, this just made my day!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Good News:

Django and Jazzy were returned after a succesful stay!

Better News:

MOAR KITTEHS

6 two week old kittens and one very good, very responsible, mama cat.

Check em out!









Pictures hardly do these little buggers justice though, so we filmed an unboxing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI_iqzdCVOY

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Banded and named!

Mama came to us as "Sophie" which is fine on its own, but this litter is our Candy bunch:

Yellow Band = Peep
Blue Band = Warhead
Orange Band = Peanut
Green Band = Apple
No Band = Tic Tac
Red Band = Ludo (luden's drops)







Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

GUYS GUYS

Tic Tac:



I just can't

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Butterscotch redefines "romp and frolick" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb9Xo6teY7Q

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Imagine being there live. I was pretty hysterical.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

He likes being outside, he frequently paws at the door. What he may take issue with, however, is being far away from the house. Our other car is like that too.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

SneakyFrog posted:

Op you got a nice thread here, mind if i throw in some photo infodumps from my experiences doing rescues, im not the best foster, i usually keep em, but rescues are kinda their own thing so i can do a different thread if youd prefer.

Go right ahead!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Alteisen posted:

Hey Chili maybe you can help me out, I have a pretty large cat I'd like to give a bath to, he's not butterscotch size but he's pretty big and is all muscle, this is a cat that could beat my rear end if he wanted to and sent me to the hospital once with a bit so vicious it came out the other side of my hand.

Normally he's a sweetheart though except when it entails anything that isn't pets or food, giving medicine, cleaning his ears any of that sort requires at least 3 people and even then its nuts, anyway me and my mother would like to give him a bath but we don't know how to approach it, we don't have a bathtub or anything we mostly bathe the cats here in the spare sink next to our washing machine.

Mom would also like to give a bath to our oldest who is 12 but she's afraid something might happen to him, not sure if you can have any advice for that.

My best advice bere is to stick with pet friendly wipes. Baths will lead to maulings.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Sneaky frog, you are clearly an animal wizard.

As for Chili's house o' fosters, I do apologize for going dark for a bit there.

It wasn't for lack of fostering, however. In fact, just the opposite.

My wife and I had to go out of town for the weekend so we dropped off our current batch at the SPCA. When we came by to pick them up, we were informed of another litter that needed help. So we cleared out the guest bedroom and set up foster room number 2.

Upstairs we've got the fabric batch (Cashmere is the mom, and Cotton and Velvet are the kittnes)

And downstairs we've got the candy batch (Sophie is the mom, Warhead, Peanut, Apple, Ludo, Tic Tac, and Peep are the kittens)

Pictures!

Peanut



Peep



Tic Tac



Velvet & Cotton



Cotton being a lion



And of course....



And in case anyone is counting....

12. There are 12 cats in our house right now.

It's somewhat crazy but I'm getting surgery on my foot soon and we'll be unable to look after fosters for a bit, so we're getting it all in now.

Also, I'm so happy you guys are all posting about your own experiences, keep fostering/rescuing!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Jack Gladney posted:

Do we know Butters' opinion on foster kittens?

Yes. His opinion fluctuates from "these look tasty now watch my eyes fill with murder" to "holy poo poo why are these things here now watch my eyes fill with murder."

When we let the kittens roam the house, Butters is sequestered in our bedroom. Our other permacat, Monty, is a sweetheart though and doesn't seem to mind them.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

SneakyFrog posted:

Well I kept meaning to get back to this but life got interesting this weekend. Which I guess can be both good and bad.

Ok so when we last left our intrepid adventurer, a itty bitty dogge was in the recycling bucket.



It was hungry and thirsty and definitely an abandoned pet

The poor pawsies (hidden for the faint of heart)



Washed and treated her paws, and scheduled a vet visit. She was about 2.5 pounds.

The vet said her age was about 6-8 years. Half of her teeth required extraction due to no/poor diet and decay.

goddamn people quit abandoning pets. its utterly hosed up.

even at full health the problem was her size. She is just way too small for the pack in the house. The puppy was doing her best "LETS PLAY" with the little dog and almost crushed it on at least 6-7 times, and while i can mitigate things, i was getting a bit stressed out about her getting killed by a puppy trying to play.



Well i thought of a coworker who is in the middle of a really hosed up divorce and figured HEY COMPANIONSHIP, here take this ugly little dogge who is sweet but will get crushed in my house.

He loves her to death, named her Cayenne. got her a collar, and little shoes and sweaters and little hats..

its kinda adorable, he takes her everywhere.

This just made my day!

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

tower time posted:

I was wondering if anyone had any advice for helping a foster beyond what I am already doing. Yeserday took a litter of 6 off the local shelters hands, to be raised for a few months until they are old enough for adoption. At the moment I'd say they are 4 weeks old - they can walk (although a bit wobbly), eat wet food, and their eyes are open (but have not turned colors). Five of them are developmentally where they should be, with size, weight, and growth of teeth. The sixth is not. He is about half the size of the other cats, and his teeth are very small. The first day I got them, he barely moved and would not eat wet food.

So I went and bought some kitten milk replacer, and last night was able to get him to lap it up in small amounts by dropping it on my finger (the dropper was too large for his mouth). His body temperature is good and warm, and today he drank about a tablespoon worth of milk replacer over a half hour. Since then he is a little more active, at least crawling and standing a little bit. I think when the shelter has him the kittens just had wet food so he had not eaten anything in at least a day or two. Anything I have missed to help the little guy?

Runts can scare the life out of even the best fosters.

Your already in good shape, and are pretty much doing what you need to do. Here are some other things:

Keep giving him attention and keep up with the milk replacer. Are you using KMR? If not, that's the way to go and you can probably get some from the shelter.

Also, consider two things to ensure proper monitoring. First, switch from spoons to syringes. Feed the kitten by using the syringe nearish to the back side of their mouth. Follow the directions on the label for how much to feed, or consult with the shelter on the right amount. Once a day works, twice a day is better. But using syringes gives you the distinct benefit of monitoring precisely how much the kitten is eating each day, and it doesn't give the kitten a choice. Kittens are really dumb and they can effectively kill themselves by electing not to eat for REASONS. Eating is non-negotiable for kittens under 2 pounds, it has to happen every day, and ideally the recommended amount. Eventually you can transition to a "gruel" substance which can consist of mixing the milk with wet food, or simply putting the milk on top of the wet food. Additionally, to help promote eating sometimes runts just need space. If there's a way to separate the kitten from the litter and feed him on his own, he may no better when it comes time to eat without your assistance.

Edit; I see that you mention that the dropper was too small, there are absolutely syringes that should fit your kitten. We just got through syringe feeding some of the teeniest little kittens we've ever had. As long as your feeding along the side of the mouth, toward the back, it should be fine.

Also, for the sake of the kitten's health and for your peace of mind, weigh your kittens every day. This includes the ones that are presenting as healthy. If you don't have a scale that can register their weight, chances are you can get one from the shelter or you can just get a sensitive food scale for cheapsies from your grocery store. Keeping an eye on the weight of your kittens is utterly critical and gives you the most information possible about their health. Kittens should be putting on roughly 1/4 pound a week, if that's not happening, contact the shelter.

Any idea of his current weight?

Chili fucked around with this message at 19:40 on May 18, 2016

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

SneakyFrog posted:

runts are the best though

I do love runts, and they always end up being my favorites in the litter. Makes all the more scary though. Being a foster for itty bitty kittens can be an emotional roller coaster at times.


tower time posted:

My best guess for his weight is in the range of 4-5 ounces. He is quite little.

Right now I am using hartz Kitten milk replacer. He absolutely won't eat from a spoon/dish - it has to be either from a dropper with a nipple (bought him one recently which he kind of understands, although its a tad large for his mouth) or he will lap it off a hand/finger with vigor. He doesn't need encouragement eating once he starts really, he just goes slowly. He ate about a teaspoon's worth for breakfast this morning (for a four ounce cat the can recommends 2 teaspoons a day in total) so he must have been pretty famished. I just hold him in my hand while his siblings eat on the floor.

I put a warm water bottle in the cage, and he sat near it while napping earlier. When i got home from doing errands he got up and walked over to the front door of the cage, which is the longest i have seen him really walk/stand so far

I'll try to weigh him later using one of my old shop scales.

You're doing all the right things. As far as syringes go, the nipple one that "kinda fits" seems like an odd thing. The syringe we use looks like this:



The diameter of the whole thing is no bigger than a pea. No kitten has been to small for this to sneak into the corner of their mouth. I'm not sure how readily available that type of thing is for you though.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

LivesInGrey posted:

The rescue I volunteer with doesn't just do TNR. People will give us strays that are friendly so we can spay/neuter them and pass them off to no-kill shelters. Today, they got a kitten named Harry and were assured he was well-socialized. His previous humans lied. He's terrified of pretty much everything especially being alone, so my wife and I took him to get him more socialized and less afraid and nervous. He may be away from siblings. He's definitely away from his mother because his prior humans thought he was old enough and calm enough.

When we got him to our apartment, he ate and peed normally, but then began screaming with all the annoyance an 8-10 week old kitten can. He will not shut up unless he's being held. He'll doze off in our arms and get put in the carrier we're using for the night, only to wake up within moments and start screaming again. I just sprayed the blanket in his carrier with Feliway, but haven't put him in with it to see if it helps. We always keep our tiny fosters in carriers and rabbit hutches to prevent them from getting places they shouldn't, such as underneath the dishwasher. None of our previous 4 have had problems with this.

How can we get a scared, lonely kitten to calm down and go to bed? Placing a heating pad underneath the carrier is an option in case he's missing family body heat, but we're not sure if it'll help him or annoy him since our apartment retains heat like an oven.

Unfortunately, it really does seem like you're doing all of the right things, which makes answering your question tricky.

Solo kittens are the hardest to foster, especially when they have been with siblings recently and are used to a certain level of stimulation. This is a YMMV situation, but some kittens do really well with playtime before bed. As heartbreaking as it may sound, and someone else should weigh in on this, you may want to start the wean the kitten off falling asleep in your arms. It's not realistic that the kitten will have that after he moves on from you, and though you can certainly indicate that he's a cuddle bug when you fill out his pre-adoption forms, he'll have sometime in the shelter between you dropping him off and getting adopted, and that's not going to be easy for him if he's not ready.

I don't know exactly what your layout is but if you have a separate room for the kitty and a nice floofy kitty bed and a heating disc, that should be more than enough to help the kitty sleep. Kitty goes on bed, gets some scritches, and that's that. If he leaves the bed put him back on. So in short, be with the kitty but keep some boundaries, it'll likely help in the long run.

Feliway is good and I was going to recommend that as well.

But yeah, the big question is does he play/have you figured out how he likes to play?

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Ofecks posted:

I would like some footage of Butterscotch, please.

I will see what I can do. Unfortunately, I just had some foot surgery and I'm in recovery at my parents house, without my Butters . I'll see if I have any oldies.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Here we go, not the strongest submission I've made, but it's something:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VooLRWO5S4o

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Sorry for the stall in updates, the foot surgery I had last week has rendered me very limited in mobility and it's made life tricky.

One nice thing about staying home in recovery is play *oh sorry, Butterscotch wants to say hi*



3wedDSSS

AND APPARENTLY CAPS LOCK IS ON NOW AND THERE'S NOTHING i CAN DO ABOUT IT.

Ok, he shifted a bit.

Anyway, he's been such a good velcro-cat. He won't leave me side and he keeps me nice and warm.

I've been able to write and play video games and do all of the things I want because whenever a random thought pops into my head, he's there to listen to it.

It's pretty great you guys.

Go rescue a fat cat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MRgeJkHxxY

Ruining puzzles, posts, and video games-still the best.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

A picture of a shelter cat that you volunteer at?

How dare you!

Seriously though, that post just made my day and mad up for a semi-lackluster game of thrones episode.

Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Epilogue of the great laptop war:


Butters became quite taken with the cute and uplifting thread:



So much so that he decided that we would not be visiting any more websites for now:



I took a break to stretch my legs and check on our other, better behaved friends in the house. When I came back...



What a goonlord.

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Chili
Jan 23, 2004

College kids ain't shit


Fun Shoe

Safari Disco Lion posted:

I like how there's another cat sniffing around the box of puzzle pieces.

That's one of our current fosters, she's incredible and I'll try and get some shots. She is pretty much always sprinting her rear end off, may be tricky.

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