Saskatchewan

Regina Cat Rescue seeking volunteers to bottle-feed newborn kittens

This year Regina Cat Rescue cared for 28 neonatal kittens with only a few volunteers to bottle-feed them. The organization is looking for more volunteers to prepare for next year. 

'You don’t realize how much mom does. It’s a lot of work for mom,' said bottle-feeding volunteer

Andrea Schmalz feeds one of her neonatal foster kittens. (Joelle Seal/CBC)

When stray newborn kittens are found without a mother, Regina Cat Rescue needs someone else to step in.

The organization is looking for volunteers to bottle-feed kittens as part of their neonatal kitten program. 

This year Regina Cat Rescue cared for 28 neonatal kittens with only a few volunteers to bottle-feed them. They are looking for more volunteers to prepare for next year.

"If there was nobody to do this, they would not survive," said Andrea Schmalz, a volunteer kitten bottle-feeder with Regina Cat Rescue. She does this until they're old enough to eat solid foods — about six weeks. 

From the time a kitten is born until it's about four weeks old, it needs round-the-clock care. Schmalz feeds her four foster kittens a special milk formula from a syringe every three to five hours, depending on their age.

Andrea Schmalz will feed the neonatal kittens from a syringe until they are about six weeks old and able to eat solid foods. (Joelle Seal/CBC)

"You don't realize how much mom does. It's a lot of work for mom. It's lots of feeding and cleaning. You're basically just taking place of mom," said Schmalz. 

Schmalz said even though it's a lot of work, it's worth it. 

"What you put in, you get out and I just find it fills your soul to watch them grow and thrive. It's quite a neat experience. I would recommend it if anybody is looking for some bigger meaning in their life," said Schmalz. 

Volunteers with the neonatal kitten program will help to feed the newborn kittens, as well as help them regulate their body temperature and eliminate waste. 

"Regina has a pretty serious cat over-population crisis, and we've definitely seen that this year with our increase in the intake," said Rachel Molnar, communications and education coordinator for Regina Cat Rescue. 

When stray newborn kittens are found without a mother, someone else has to step in. That's why Regina Cat Rescue is looking for more volunteers to bottle feed neonatal kittens 0:32

Regina Cat Rescue will provide supplies for any volunteers for the neonatal kitten program. They plan on hosting a bottle-feeder Q&A and orientation session in the New Year for anyone interested in learning how to bottle-feed. 

When stray newborn kittens are found without a mother, Regina Cat Rescue needs someone else to step in. The organization is looking for volunteers to bottle-feed kittens as part of their neonatal kitten program. 4:22

About the Author

Joelle Seal is an Associate Producer in Current Affairs for CBC Saskatchewan. Get in touch with her by emailing joelle.seal@cbc.ca or on Twitter @joelleseal.

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