Why is it so hard to get a kitten?

A message from our Executive Director: Why is it so hard to get a kitten?

We realize your frustration in trying to get an appointment to adopt a kitten. We appreciate that you are trying to adopt from us and we know our list of followers is growing by the 100’s every time we post a picture of a cute companion animal in need of a loving home. We appreciate the support you have shown us and we WANT to adopt to YOU.
We are a relatively small shelter with three office staff members who run the adoption appointments. We have 48 kennels and 6 maternity suites; 8 kennels are in our main cat room, 8 kennels in our smaller free roam room, 4 in our treatment room and 28 are in our isolation area (not ready for adoption).
When you come in for your adoption appointment, we provide you with an adoption experience like no other. We have free roam rooms for cats and kittens, and often they are working alongside us in the offices. Your 30-minute adoption appointment is just for you. You and your family can take the time to get to know the cat/kitten you’re interested in. The staff take the time to tell you the companion’s story, about how they act in the shelter, what their previous family life was like, and what type of home they would do best in. Our staff spend time with each pet and get to know them, then provide feedback as to what type of family in needed and where they would do best in their next home.
Our vet comes to visit us on Tuesday and assesses our cats and kittens. They determine which cats/kittens will go to the clinic for spay, neuter, dental, or any other procedure required. We have a limited number of surgery spots each week with our three partner clinics, and sometimes those spots are forfeited for emergencies or change depending on the animals we have in our care. The animals are then available for adoption depending on how the surgery went, follow-up medication, and their general overall health and mental well-being.
We book appointments for every day that we’re open, with 12 spaces available each day Tuesday-Friday and 8 spaces available on Saturdays. Our appointments book fast, and we often book 2-3 weeks in advance as the demand for kittens and appointments is so high.
We do not keep lists of people interested in certain colours or types of pets. Imagine if we had that list, how long it would be, and how it would take a staff member hours to go through and update that list every time we received an animal. That precious time is better spent on helping animals or doing adoption appointments.
I’ve been asked many times what’s the best way to get a kitten. I saw a cute kitten on FACEBOOK or the WEBSITE and I want it, how do I get it?
I wish I had the answer. For now I say book your appointments, view who’s available for adoption, and if no one fits your family – rebook for another appointment.
We are doing our very best to provide care, compassion and find the perfect home for the companion animals entrusted to us.
Liesje Somers-Blonde
Executive Director | Bide Awhile Animal Shelter