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Suesmews Forum

Temperent testing kittens

Recently someone I know was hired on at a shelter full time. They were happy to think they were finally able to make a difference in the lives of animals. I tried to help encourage this by telling them about a potential adopter for 2 kittens but they were looking for a spacific type I did not have but thought they might. I was  very disappointed when I saw the glum look on their faces rather than the eager look of someone with a plan. I asked what was wrong and they said the shelter had lots of kittens but none would be available until the shelter finished their "temperment tests".
It seems that when there are a large number to choose from the shelter thins them out by selecting the "most adoptable in temperament". I knew from that look I didn't really want an answer but I asked anyway and got what you would expect as a reply.
The kittens (some as young as 6 weeks) were expected to be model kittens. They had to be playful- but not agressive. They could not be shy or hiss at strange people. They could not hide or squirm when held. In short... they could not be kittens and live.
This whole disgusting practice should be banned! Who is such a clairevoiant authority that they know how a kitten will turn out! A child is the product of environment and training.... not predisposition from birth.
Any rescuer can tell you kittens from a feral environment are just as loving and more deeply bonded to humans than any animal bred for the home.
I have pulled dozens of these cats from shelters over the years and any of my adopters can tell you they are the best pets they have ever had.
A shy or hiding kitten just need a safe place to gain confidence( not a crowded shelter). Some kittens play rough because they had no siblings to learn limits with and just need a little training in a structured environment.
Please contact your local shelter and ask them to stop this practice. Volunteer to socialize these special needs cases or offer to foster one. Encourage them to send these kittens into foster care.
Maybe there are no great deeds to be done....only small deeds executed with a lot of love.

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