Palm Beach Island Cats’ mission is to prevent future generations of free-roaming cats and to care for the ones here now.

Many remember leaving Taboo and Petite Marmite with leftovers and being confronted with hungry, begging cats on Worth Avenue. At night, fighting cats woke us up. We had more than 1,000 cats and hundreds of kittens were born every summer.

This year only 15 kittens were born.  They were domesticated and adopted into homes and the mothers were trapped, vaccinated, micro-chipped, neutered and returned to their colonies.

Palm Beach Island Cats is happy to report that for 2013, there were only 28 known kittens on the island, and a few of that number were abandoned and not born in Palm Beach.  All of these kittens were medically treated to give them a healthy start to life, and they were all adopted!

Despite the tremendous and successful job that the Field Operations Teams does in Palm Beach, we do get calls about litters of new kittens every birthing cycle, so we must know the age of the kittens before we can begin their wellness care.  Many decisions related to veterinary care are determined by an animal’s age – particularly in terms of timing vaccinations – so it’s important to be as precise as possible. Accurately aging kittens can seem like a daunting job, but a few simple guidelines to determine a kitten’s age makes the task of knowing what care is needed and when.   PBIC determines the age by teeth and weight!

Kitten teeth look like what? Deciduous (baby) teeth start to come in around 3 weeks of age in kittens, and their permanent adult teeth start to come in between 3 and 4 months of age. The middle incisors are the first to come in around 14 weeks of age, with the second and third incisors following shortly thereafter at approximately 15 and 16 weeks respectively. These benchmarks serve as a helpful guideline to know that a kitten is old enough to receive his or her rabies vaccination! 

 

While we know kitten teeth are tiny, it can be tricky to tell if the incisors are baby or permanent teeth.  It’s easier when there are some of both to serve as comparison (see photo at left).  The baby teeth are a little smaller with pointed tips while the permanent teeth are a little wider with flat edges.  Because the first two incisors I the photo are permanent teeth and the third incisors are still baby teeth, the estimated age of the kitten is approximately 15 weeks.  And the weight should be slightly less than 4 pounds. 

 

 

So how much do the kittens weigh?   A kitten’s weight roughly corresponds to the age in months and is relatively predictable until about 5 months of age. As long as a kitten is in good body condition, the safe guess is that a 1-pound kitten is about 4 weeks old and a 3-pound kitten is about 12 weeks old.

Are their eyes open? Kittens are born with their eyes closed and don’t open until about 10 days of age.

Are they walking and playing? Most kittens start walking around 3 weeks of age but take a little longer to gain their coordination. We’re comfortable saying that a kitten walking pretty well and playing is at least 4 weeks of age.

That Paulette Cooper Noble knows how to write the most clever headlines!

In the Palm Beach Daily News, also known as the Shiny Sheet because of the high-quality newsprint, the headline read, “How smart is your dog or cat?”

Well, if your cat or dog is really smart, they will whisper that you need to be a “party animal” and attend the Cat’s Meow Ball March 15th.

In the last paragraph of her March 5, 2013 story, Paulette wrote:

“PET PARTY: Don’t forget that PB Island Cats is presenting The Cat’s Meow Ball on March 15 at Club Colette, $500.  For tickets, call 561-317-6209.”

Paulette is a well-respected reporter for the Palm Beach Daily News.  She is well-known and well-read for her coverage of animals, from show dogs and purebred cats to feral felines who faithfully patrol the island of Palm Beach, Florida.

Bless you, Paulette, for all your work on behalf of our beloved animals!

In 2009 PBIC counted 600 cats on the Island. We have just completed another census and it showed 498 cats. The program is working just as we hoped it would. So far this season we have identified just 26 kittens born and they have all been trapped. Field Director Wink and Feeding Crew leader Damian are diligently trapping to catch the remaining 2 mothers. Please call 512-4884 if you see any kittens.

I spoke to the country’s leading TNR expert, Dr. Julie Levy, concerning new protocols for testing community cats for feline leukemia. I explained where our program is today and learned that she just doesn’t hear about such success. It is due to many factors. We owe it to our donors, volunteers, Board, supportive town government, excellent staff and a big factor is that we are an island that creates a border for our cat population. Thanks to all of you who have helped make this humane program the success it is today.

March 5, 2013

For Immediate Release:

 

Palm Beach, FL – Friends of Palm Beach Island Cats, Inc. (PBIC) were treated to a feline themed kick-off party for PBIC’s inuagural “Cat’s Meow Ball” at the Worth Avenue showroom of Kaufmann de Suisse jewelers on February 28th, 2013.

Kaufmann principal and cat owner, Moneca Kaufmann, issued a warm welcome to guests who enjoyed canapes, cats, and carats. She expressed PBIC’s gratitude to Palm Beach town councilman, Bill Diamond. Diamond, with his wife Regine, will be honored at the Cat’s Meow Ball gala on March 15th at Club Colette, for their steadfast advocacy of PBIC’s feral cat management efforts within the town.

Guests at the event included Bill & Regine Diamond, George Palladino & Jerrold St. George, Elizabeth Murphy, Allen & Zelda Mason, Maisie Grace, David & Gail Leavitt, Therese Mersentes, Donald & Coco Schefmeyer, Michael Harris, Brownie McLean, Leslie Moss, Susan C. Lee, Kim & Paul Puffenbarger, Sue Gibson, Terry Lee Kaly, Cheryl Love, and Sheldon & Florence Berney.

PBIC, Inc. is the only Trap Neuter Release program sanctioned by the Town of Palm Beach to care for feral cats within town confines. Its staff and network of volunteers monitor, feed, and water hundreds of cats daily on Palm Beach Island to care for, and ultimately reduce feral cat colony growth and their impact on the community. The 501(c)3 program relies solely on private donations.

Tickets and tables are available for the Cat’s Meow Ball, by calling (561) 317-6209.

# # #