Do you love cats? Then we recommend getting to know Hannah Shaw, the Kitten Lady. In this article, we introduce you to her and all she’s doing to bring awareness to orphaned cats. From caring for neonatal kittens to funding research that could change the landscape of animal welfare for the better, there’s a lot to unpack.
So, let’s jump in!
Who Is Hannah Shaw?
Hannah Shaw is a humane educator and animal advocate. She founded the Kitten Lady project, which is dedicated to providing resources to cat foster parents. And she also founded the Orphan Kitten Project, a nonprofit organization that helps neonatal kittens. Hannah is also a bestselling author, and she’s been featured as an expert on Animal Planet. In addition, she received the Cat Advocate of the Year award from ASPCA in 2019.
Before becoming known as the Kitten Lady, Hannah was a consultant who created training materials for animal shelters. She had fostered pets and begun posting on social media to educate others about the importance of rescue efforts. Her online presence multiplied, and she was able to spread the word about cat adoption, spaying and neutering, and various topics related to animal welfare.
Hannah’s partner in life is her husband, Andrew Marttila, a professional cat photographer. In addition, her dad is Tommy Shaw, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the rock band Styx.
What Is Kitten Lady?
Kitten Lady is the project that all of Hannah Shaw’s work falls under. The project’s mission is to create global change in the treatment of kittens. Kitten Lady provides educational media and training resources and workshops for animal shelters. Hannah strives to do so in fun and engaging ways.
The Rewarding Act of Caring for Neonatal Kittens
Hannah Shaw is passionate about caring for neonatal kittens. Having rescued hundreds of neonates, she’s aware that these kittens are commonly euthanized in shelters due to their required level of care. Often these kittens are also at high risk of disease, which puts other cats being sheltered in danger. So, Hannah has built an organization and physical nurseries to prevent this from happening and save the lives of these kittens.
Her challenge is keeping the felines healthy, especially since some come from horrific situations with crippling medical conditions. But the reward is more significant when a cat gets adoption. Hannah told NPR, “I always say that goodbye is the goal of fostering. My goal always is to get these kittens from being so frail and so fragile and so vulnerable to a place where they’re so strong that they don’t need me anymore, and they can move on to their adoptive homes.”
Fostering a cat or kitten can be extremely rewarding work! Learn how to become a cat foster parent.
Hannah Shaw is the author of several New York Times bestselling books. Her books include Tiny But Mighty: Kitten Lady’s Guide to Saving the Most Vulnerable Felines, Kitten Lady’s Big Book of Little Kittens, Kitten Lady’s CATivity Book, and the Adventures of Fosterland.
You can find a playlist of the Kitten Lady’s instructional workshops on YouTube. The videos range from bottle-feeding kittens to litter training and vaccinations. They’re excellent resources for cat owners and rescuers alike. In addition, they can be used as training tools for rescue organizations and shelters.
The Kitten Lady is all about education for individuals and shelters. Education and advocacy are what makes Hannah Shaw’s work so impactful. Ensuring that more people understand the need to empty shelters, spay and neuter, and get cats adopted is vital to strengthening communities. The Kitten Lady resources are on her website, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
What Is the Orphan Kitten Club?
Hannah Shaw is the founder of Orphan Kitten Club, a nonprofit organization. The project includes programs to help homeless kittens as well as an adoption program.
Orphan Kitten Club’s programs include a kitten nursery, a grant program, and research projects. The neonatal kitten nursery, located in San Diego, California, provides 24-hour medical care focusing on orphaned kittens with medical needs. The neonate nursery is equipped with incubators and equipment to bottle-feed kittens. Once fully weaned, they advance to the clubhouse and learn how to play, climb, and socialize. And when they’re healthy and at least eight weeks old, the kittens are put up for adoption.
The grant program was developed by Orphan Kitten Club to help advance the care and protection of kitten welfare. They’ve awarded over $1.6 million in grants and support over 60 strategic partners across the U.S.
Orphan Kitten Club is also funding and developing research studies within veterinary medicine for neonatal kittens. They partner with research universities to help create innovative treatments.
Orphan Kitten Club offers kitten adoptions in San Diego or within an eight-hour drive of the city. All adoptive pet parents will receive the cat’s health records that indicate it has been dewormed, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. Adoption fees are $150 for a kitten or $200 for a pair.
Watch Hannah Shaw’s Most Popular YouTube Videos
Hannah Shaw has many informative YouTube videos. She’s inspirational and fun and shows the reality of the good and bad sides of fostering and kitten care. Let’s check out three of the most popular.
Ugh. These Kittens Are Covered in Fly Eggs!
Hannah brought home five kittens that were found outdoors. And the poor babies were all covered in fleas and fly eggs. In the video, Hannah shows how she removes them. It’s educational not only in how to remove them but also a good case study of what bugs do when they’re on a kitten.
Reuniting a Feral Cat and Her Kittens!
Keeping moms and babies together is ideal when possible. In this video, Hannah shows a feral cat reunited with her kittens. She takes the family to get them to a point where the kittens can be adopted, and the mom can be sterilized to go back to her outdoor home. In addition, she explains why keeping them together is so vital.
Caring for a Paralyzed Kitten, Chloe (UPDATE!)
In this video, Hannah Shaw gives an update on a paralyzed kitten, Chloe. She was rescued from a local shelter. Hannah fostered her and took her to neurologists, and they did acupuncture which really helped her improve. Watch the video to learn Chloe’s story and how she’s doing.
Are you interested in caring for special needs animals? Learn more.
Turn to the Kitten Lady for Help Caring for Rescue Cats
The Kitten Lady is an excellent resource for help caring for rescue cats. Hannah Shaw is paving the way for innovation in animal welfare that will lead to fewer orphaned kittens in the future. And if you’re near San Diego, you can consider adopting a kitten from her Orphan Kitten Club.
Have you considered adopting a kitten? Check out the best places to get a cat.
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