Wait 'Til 8 Kitten Program FAQs
Additional Resource from Orange County Animal Services:
I plan to bring a kitten(s), or a mama with nursing kittens, to Orange County Animal Services (OCAS). What will happen?
Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) is an open-admission shelter. That means they do not turn any animal away. However, kittens less than eight weeks old are at extremely high risk being brought into shelters. Due to large amount of animals housed at the animal shelter, underage kittens are more susceptible to diseases that can spread quickly and affect these vulnerable animals heavily, and often fatally. Underage kittens would be in need of foster care with constant monitoring and feedings. Animal Services can never guarantee that a pet will be fostered or adopted from the shelter, although every effort is made.
I want to care for the kittens during this vulnerable age but can not keep them long term. What are my next steps?
Due to the vulnerability of kittens in a shelter environment, Orange County Animal Services has partnered with Kindness for Cats, Inc. to empower citizens in the community to help through the Wait 'Til 8 program. Through this program, Kindness for Cats Inc. provides resources to care for the orphaned kittens until they are at an age that is safer to survive in a shelter and become a potential adoption candidate to find their new loving home.
What is the Wait ‘Til 8 program?
Wait ‘Til 8 means to wait until kittens are eight weeks old before turning them into a shelter. This program is designed to empower you to care for kittens in your home until the kittens are old enough to return for spay/neuter and adoption.
What animals is the Wait ‘Til 8 program intended for?
The Wait 'Til 8 program is intended for kittens, found within Orange County that are under two pounds, with or without an accompanying mother cat, and includes neonatal kittens, so long as the kittens are healthy.
How do I qualify for the Wait ‘Til 8 program?
To qualify for the program you must be an Orange County resident, age 18 or older that agrees to the following:
- Be able to safely house kittens and/or mama cat with nursing kittens for the duration of the program - typically until the kittens are 8 weeks of age and weigh at least 2 pounds. (Exception - if the mother cat is a "community cat", then she can be spayed and released back to her outdoor home as soon as the kittens are weaned, typically at five weeks of age.)
- Give adequate and age appropriate food, and fresh water, every day.
- Provide clean bedding and litter box. If needed, Orange County Animal Services and/or Kindness for Cats, Inc. can help with start-up supplies.
- Spend time each day socializing the kittens. In order to be an ideal adoption candidate, kittens need to be socialized and friendly.
I want to sign up for the Wait 'Til 8 Program. How do I do that?
If you’ve found a kitten or a litter of kittens and aren’t sure if they are old enough, to exist in a temporary shelter environment, you can bring them to OCAS. At Animal Services, our intake staff can help weigh the cats to determine if they are a candidate for the Wait ‘Til 8 program. If they quality for the program, the Intake Officer will help enroll you, as well as provide you with a kitten care kit (see below for what it includes) to help get you started! If you are unable to make it to the shelter, please reach out to Orange County Animal Services via email at OCASvolunteer@ocfl.net and they can assist you further in determining if the cats will qualify.
Upon sign up at OCAS, you will receive a bag containing the following supplies (subject to variation):
- 1 can of Kitten Milk Replacer (“KMR”), 1 kitten bottle, 1 syringe (3mL), canned kitten food, 1 disposable litter pan, 3 puppy pee pads, kitty litter or feline pine, the Wait ‘Til 8 (WT8) program flyer with contact information for Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) and Kindness for Cats, Inc (KFCI), and The Kitten Lady’s Orphan Kittens Booklet
Will I receive additional supplies from OCAS after my starter kit supplies are depleted?
OCAS does not provide additonal supplies beyond the starter kit. However Kindness For Cats does provide additional supplies such as wet food & dry kitten food, litter and de-worming medicine available for pick-up at another location. Please email OCASvolunteer@ocfl.net for more information on picking up additional supplies when needed.
Does Orange County Animal Services provide any veterinary services?
The OCAS Clinic does not provide any veterinary services until the time of the cats spay/neuter. At the time the kitten/cat is spayed /neutered they will also receive FVRCP vaccine (and rabies vaccine if 3 months or older), feline leukemia/aids combo test, microchip, topical flea treatment & de-worming. If a kitty that is part of the WT8 Program needs immediate veterinary care the participant may take it to a veterinarian at their own expense. If you do not have a vet then we suggest Pet Alliance for low cost vet services as well as Michigan St Animal Hospital.
You can find more info for Pet Alliance at https://petallianceorlando.org/veterinary-care/
and for Michigan St Animal Hospital at https://michiganstreetanimalhospital.com/
I don't have a scale and can't weigh the kitten(s) to see if they are 2 pounds.
You may take your WT8 kitties to OCAS Cat Intake for weight checks during the following hours:
Sundays 2p -4p (walk-in) and Tues, Wed & Thu 1p-5p (walk-in)
My Wait ‘Til 8 kitten(s) is two pounds and ready to go into the OCAS Adoption Program. What are my next steps?
Congratulations! Your kitten(s) are ready to find their new forever home!!
You bring the kitten(s) back to OCAS Cat Intake area and advise the Intake Officer that you are a participant in the Wait 'Til 8 and are returning them to go through the OCAS adoption program. At that time the Intake Officer will take the kitty(s) and they will be put on on the spay/neuter surgery schedule, and be placed for adoption
My Wait ‘Til 8 kitten(s) are two pounds, AND I have decided to keep the kitten(s) or have found someone else to adopt him/her!!
How exciting and congratulations!! Please email the Wait 'Til 8 volunteers at OCASvolunteer@ocfl.net to let them know that the kitten(s) are ready to be spayed/neutered AND that you or someone else will pick up the kitten(s) after spay/neuter surgery. The Wait 'Til 8 Volunteer will then schedule a spay/neuter appointment with OCAS for your kitten(s). The scheduled surgery date must be at least 2 weeks from the date of requesting the the appointment. And available days for OCAS spay/neuter appointments are Tue, Wed, Thu & Fri.
The kitten(s) will be assigned an "Animal ID" at the time the spay/neuter appointment is scheduled. This ID identifies your kitty when you bring him/her in to be spayed/neutered, so be sure to have that with you when you drop the the kitten off for surgery. The kitten(s) will be spayed/neutered as well as receive FVRCP vaccination (and rabies if 3 months or older), tested for Feline Leukemia/Aids, micro-chipped, de-wormed and receive a topical flea treatment.
What makes a kitten an adoption candidate?
A healthy kitten is ready for adoption when they are two pounds or eight weeks old. They also need to be litterbox trained and friendly with people for them to be a good adoption candidate.
Additional WT8 Guidelines/Procedures:
WT8 Spay/Neuter Appointment Instructions
Additional Resource from Orange County Animal Services: