Your Cat Good Causes has donated a brand-new incubator, from The Incubator Shop, to Hector’s House Cat Rescue to help them look after the increasing amounts of vulnerable, stray kittens taken into their care.
Hector’s House Cat Rescue is a local cat rescue based in Devon, working predominantly with stray cats who, through no fault of their own, cannot easily be housed. Because of this, most other charities cannot give these cats the help that they so desperately need.
Hector’s House is formed of volunteers who have previous experience working with cat rescues, but have a passion for strays. In Devon especially, there are some great local charities who do amazing work to help all animals who need it. Unfortunately, because of the huge demand for these charities, strays can sometimes fall through the gap.
With several years of training and experience, their team of volunteers respond day and night to calls from the public concerning the welfare of cats, and they often spend hours patiently working to rescue the strays.
Ashleigh Whiteman, from Hector’s House, said: “The amount of phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages we receive from people asking to scan a stray varies from day to day. Some days we will be quiet and other days it feels like we don’t have enough hands-on deck! I would say currently because of the cold weather, we are probably getting asked to scan about 3 — 5 cats a day.
“Some of the cats have microchips and have been reunited with their owners. Some don’t have chips, but the finder is happy to provide shelter and food until we have a space available, and others due to the cold weather, we take in because the alternative doesn’t bare thinking about.”
Asheigh joined Hector’s House at the beginning of 2022 and started to foster kittens around May. “During the height of the summer last year, I believe we had 80 kittens at one point being cared for by Hector’s House kitten fosterers. We probably expect even higher figures next year,” she explained.
“Hector’s House is so grateful for the donation of an incubator from Your Cat Good Causes! It will go a long way to helping poorly kittens and cats who need it.
To support Your Cat Good Causes in helping more kittens like Flash and Flare, sign up to the Your Cat Membership, where a portion of your payment will go directly towards more good causes like this.
How does a cat rescue use an incubator?
Ashleigh explains the various ways Hector’s House use the incubator:
- If a young kitten comes into our care that is unwell or cold, we will place them into the incubator to keep warm.
- We use the incubator if a newborn kitten for some reason needs to be separated from its mum. Usually, we would only do this when kittens aren’t feeding or gaining weight. One of our fosterers is dedicated to hand-rearing and will bottle feed the kittens (this can range up to every two hours!), so they need to be kept warm 24/7.
- Sometimes if we have a cat come in that is dreadfully cold, we will pop them into the incubator to help keep them warm and comfortable.
As you can see, there are a lot of instances where an incubator might be needed, so having this third incubator donated from Your Cat Good Causes is very handy, as even a single litter of kittens may need to be separated from each other.
How is the new incubator being used?
Case study: The Birdies (above)
Three kittens who are already making use of an incubator are Wren, Puffin, and Robin, nicknamed ‘the birdies’, who arrived at Hector’s House aged two weeks old, with their parents Skylark and Falcon.
Ashleigh explained: “Skylark and Falcon were both unneutered and used for breeding purposes. Skylark and Falcon were separated (so no more kittens would be made), and mum and babies went off to one of our foster homes.
“It became apparent quite quickly that, unfortunately, Skylark wasn’t very interested in her babies, and that they were not gaining weight from her. Usually, mum cats have quite large mammary glands filled with milk, but we believe that due to over breeding, Skylark was struggling to produce milk, and we quickly decided that the three baby birdies needed some extra help. They went to one of our specialist fosterers who primarily looks after young kittens who need hand feeding.”
Since then, the three kittens are doing well and have moved on to feeding themselves. Skylark and Falcon have been neutered and have been rehomed together. The kittens have now also been adopted, but aren’t quite ready for rehoming, as they await their neutering and final vaccinations.
Case study: Flash and Flare (above)
Hector’s House has used the donated incubator to help kittens named by the rescue as Flash, Flare, and Flicker, as they needed to be kept warm and receive special care.
Ashleigh explained: “We had a young pregnant cat in who was only about a year old herself, and unfortunately, she wasn’t motherly inclined to her three babies. We moved Flicker first, as she was the smallest and was struggling to gain weight, but unfortunately, she didn’t make it.
“We then moved Flash and Flare over and they are slowly getting there. They are currently being tube fed as they aren’t able to take a bottle; which shows you just how poorly they have been. It’s wonderful that having the extra incubator has allowed this extra care to happen.”
Hector’s House has many ways people can fundraise or donate. Find out more on their website: www.hectorshousecatrescue.co.uk Anything and everything will be greatly appreciated.
Special offer from The Incubator Shop
The Incubator Shop are offering a fantastic 10% off their ‘Rcom Bird Brooders’ and ‘Curadle Pet Brooders’ to independent cat rescues across the UK, to help them look after the vulnerable kittens in their care. Use the exclusive discount code YOURCAT10 at the checkout: www.theincubatorshop.co.uk