Md. animal shelter holds ‘kitten shower,’ hopes to attract more foster families

Meet Nugget, one of the kittens in need of a foster family at Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Meet Nugget, one of the kittens in need of a foster family at Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
(WTOP/Kate Ryan)
(WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
(WTOP/Kate Ryan)
(WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nugget explores a new setting. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nugget explores a new setting. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nugget likes the comfort of a shoulder while checking out new spaces. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nugget likes the comfort of a shoulder while checking out new spaces. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nugget's resting purr face. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nugget’s resting purr face. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
This unnamed kitten is one of the youngest at the center. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
This unnamed kitten is one of the youngest at the center. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Janey gets some much needed TLC. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Janey gets some much needed TLC. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Janey checks out the camera. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Janey checks out the camera. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Janey gets reassuring snuggles as she checks out new spaces. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Janey gets reassuring snuggles as she checks out new spaces. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Meet Fodor, another kittes in need of a foster family at Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Meet Fodor, another kitten in need of a foster family at Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
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Meet Nugget, one of the kittens in need of a foster family at Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
(WTOP/Kate Ryan)
(WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nugget explores a new setting. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nugget likes the comfort of a shoulder while checking out new spaces. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Nugget's resting purr face. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
This unnamed kitten is one of the youngest at the center. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Janey gets some much needed TLC. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Janey checks out the camera. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Janey gets reassuring snuggles as she checks out new spaces. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Meet Fodor, another kittes in need of a foster family at Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

DERWOOD, Md. – A local animal shelter came up with a novel idea to draw attention to the annual population boom known as “kitten season” by holding a “Kitten Shower.”

Shelter officials say that shelters tend to be inundated with litters of kittens around this time of year — some so young, their eyes aren’t even open yet.

Just like a baby shower, guests are welcome to bring presents. And at the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center in Derwood, they’re accepting gifts of fleece blankets, kitten bottle kits and all the supplies that are needed to take care of the tiniest kittens that are often brought to the center.

Miranda Hitchcock, program administrator at MCASAC, explains that the event is a way to draw attention to the need for foster parents to help the kittens get off to a good start.

“We can’t adopt out kittens until they’re a certain age because they have to be big enough to be spayed and neutered before being adopted,” she said.

That’s where the foster parents come in.

They care for and nurture the kittens until they reach the appropriate size to be safely spayed or neutered. But Hitchcock said fostering also allows for the kittens to explore their world in a setting where they can be socialized ahead of being adopted.

Another reason for having kittens in foster homes in advance of finding a permanent home is that it safeguards them against communicable diseases.

“Obviously when you have a ton of animals in a small space, it’s easy for things like viruses to get passed around,” Hitchcock said. “So we want to keep them out of the shelter environment as long as we can to make sure that they’re safe and healthy until they get their first and second round of vaccinations.”

And by that time, they’re ready to be adopted.

The Kitten Shower is taking place on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. If you can’t make it to the shower, you can still help out by donating items needed to take care of the kittens.

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