MANATEE -- With kitten season almost in full swing, Manatee County Animal Services is having a Kitten Shower to get donations.
The public is being asked to donate KMR kitten formula, kitten bottle kits, soft blankets, top loading pet carriers, kitten wet food of any type and small electric heating pads without timers.
The shower will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the downtown adoption center, 1002 B Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.
"The shower gives the community a chance to help out and educate the public what to do when you see a kitten," said Debra Starr with the nonprofit Animal Network. "We want to educate people and help people who are willing to put time in and effort to give formula and supplies that they need."
With people donating time to foster the kittens, this allows the shel
ter to also give necessary supplies to the fosterer, Starr said.
"We are making it a community effort," she said. "The more we are able to provide fosterers with the supplies the more fosterers we imagine we can have. It is directly saving lives that may not otherwise be saved."
The Kitten Shower allows people who may not be able to foster or adopt a kitten to get involved, Starr said.
"We are all about collaborative alliances in the community," she said. "This is another way to allow people who want to help."
If people find a litter of kittens in the community, it is best to watch them from a distance, according to an Animal Services fact sheet.
"Though the mother stays continually with her litter for the first day or two after giving birth, she will need to leave them for short periods of time to find food so that in turn, she can feed her young," according to the sheet. "It is common for a mother to move her kittens to a new 'safer' location. ... Do not interfere with the kittens or the space they are occupying as this may stress the mother and actually cause her to abandon her family."
Should it be determined that the mother is socialized, then "the best approach you can take is to take her and the kittens indoors until the kittens are old enough to be weaned, sterilized and adopted," according to the sheet.
The Kitten Shower will also help with awareness, Starr said.
"It's bringing the awareness to kitten season," she said.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.