Volunteers to focus on under-socialized kittens

As spring slowly begins to show itself here in New England, it means the weather will be getting warmer and kitten season is upon us.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will soon be seeing an influx of kittens who will be rescued from a life on the streets and adopted into loving forever homes; but before that can happen, these kittens must first learn to trust humans.

This past week ARL’s kitten experts met with more than two dozen volunteers to discuss the process of “Taming Tiny Tigers” which are kittens between 8 weeks and 4-5-months-old.

Kittens without any previous human interaction are likely to be frightened; which often leads to hissing, scratching, biting, and defensive body posturing.

It’s the job of staff and these special volunteers to move these kittens past the fear, build trust, and allow their true personalities to shine through.

This cute snap shot doesn’t happen without proper socialization.

Hands-On Approach

Constant contact is key to properly socializing these tiny tigers, and volunteers will be responsible for 15-minute socialization sessions with following rest periods of 45 minutes, where the kitten is pet, scratched, enticed with food, and talked to calmly.

Each session will be meticulously documented, noting all body language and behavioral signs – both positive and negative.

As these sessions continue, the kitten will gradually lower its guard, allow more contact, and will eventually reciprocate with a purr, headbutt, kneading, or any of the cute and loving things that kittens do.

Each kitten’s personality is different, and some may become trusting in a short period of time, while others may take a while longer.

The end goal will be to find these kittens forever homes where they can continue to learn, socialize and be loving, amazing companion animals!

Volunteers make the difference

With approximately 550 volunteers, ARL relies on these special individuals to accomplish a number of daily tasks and could not offer the vast number of services ARL provides without their help.

In 2018, volunteers donated more than 27,000 hours of their time to help animals in need, and for more information and to submit an application to join our volunteer team, click here!