Kitten season is always an exciting time at RMFR. The soft mews of young kittens filling the shelter, their tireless play as they wreak havoc in the kitten room, the joy of adopters as they interact with our littlest furriends.
This kitten season has been no less rewarding than our previous 30, but significantly more challenging, which is why we need your help.
From early season calls of distressed, motherless litters, to challenges we could not have anticipated when pregnant or queened cats came into our care. Challenges requiring immediate attention, funds and treatment as well as routine care. Two of these litters forced us to decide if we were living our mission, and how we wanted to proceed as a shelter.
Here at RMFR, we don’t back down from a challenge because of the expense. Instead, we reach out to our amazing community of supporters, adopters, and cat lovers to share these stories and raise funds for their care. We humbly introduce you to these two litters, and ask you to step up to the challenge and donate to help us continue to care for these 13 sweet kittens and other high need litters until they are ready for their furever homes.
Meet the Harveys
When Wilma came to us, a beautiful and pregnant, but malnourished polydactyl princess, we did not know what to expect from her litter of eight. As they developed it was clear there were a myriad of congenital anomalies. Two of the littermates were lethargic with impacted bowel, and showing little to no signs of development. After an emergency stay, resulting in x-rays, blood work, and life-saving surgeries with our shelter veterinarian to clear bowel obstructions, our veterinarian diagnosed these two kittens with Congenital Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism in cats can cause stunted growth, already evident in their tiny bodies, and lifelong treatments to maintain appropriate thyroid activity levels.
In addition to the challenges of thyroid disease, several were diagnosed with minor to moderate Eyelid Agenesis. The condition, which can only be fixed through surgery, causes hair and other debris to rub against the cornea, causing pain, ulcers and other lifelong problems.
Extended and emergency medical for these kittens, while expensive, are necessary to give every kitten that comes into our care a fighitng chance. Your donations will help cover the cost of those expensive emergency visits and surgeries, as well as pay for the costly diagnostics for another litter in our care, the Cryptosporidium kittens.
Cats and Kittens and Parasites - Oh My!
We work regionally to help identify shelters who are at maximum capacity for cats in their facilities, and bring them into our care. Unfortunately, due to the high number of cats in these facilities, intestinal parasites can spread quickly between cats. More commonly seen parasites, such as Roundworms and Giardia are fairly easy to identify and treat. While we are prepared for common shelter illness, we could not have anticipated receiving a litter of kittens with Cryptosporidium.
Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that can affect a cat or kittens’ GI tract. It is contagious between mammals and is highly resistant to normal disinfection procedures. It causes diarrhea, lethargy and loss of appetite. Most cats will show no clinical signs of Cryptosporidium, but can still spread the parasite. Diagnostics are expensive, making it uncommon for shelters to diagnose and properly treat. However, after treating this adorable litter of car-themed kittens for more common gastrointestinal parasites, and their health continuing to decline, we had to make a decision for the health and safety of these kittens.
While routine fecal exams help our medical team identify the most common parasites, Cryptosporidium requires PCR, or Polymerase Chain Reaction testing. This type of testing identifies pathogens by identifying DNA or RNA in a specimen sample - in this case, a fecal sample - from the affected cat to confirm the presence of an organism. Proper diagnostics put these six kittens on the right medical track for a slow and steady recovery. Over the last three months, the litter of six have received daily medications, requiring extra precautions from our team to avoid transmission, including but not limited to, extensive personal protection equipment, seclusion from the rest of our of “hospital” kitties, with their area being on a unique cleaning schedule to help contain the parasite. But they haven’t lost their spunk, eager for attention from anyone near, and always ready to play.
As we mentioned, proper diagnostics, urgent care and emergency surgeries are priceless but pricey care. Your donations will go directly to the cost of care for these two litters as well as help us care for the most-in-need cats in our care. At RMFR, we believe no challenge is too big to take on when it comes to caring for, rehabilitating and rehoming cats and kittens in the greater Denver area, without the help of government of municipal funding.
But our mission needs your help. Will you accept the challenge and help us save lives? Donate today!
Donations to RMFR are used to support the general operations of the shelter, including but not limited to the kittens mentioned in this campaign.