September 28, 2020

Book Review: Tiny but Mighty

Tiny But Mighty: Kitten Lady's Guide to Saving the Most Vulnerable Felines
Hannah Shaw
336 pages

From Kitten Lady, the professional kitten rescuer, humane educator, animal advocate, and owner of the popular Instagram @kittenxlady comes the definitive book on saving the most vulnerable--and adorable--feline population: newborn kittens.

Hannah Shaw, better known as Kitten Lady, has dedicated her life to saving the tiniest felines, but one doesn't have to be a professional kitten rescuer to change--and save--lives. In Tiny but Mighty, Hannah not only outlines the dangers newborn kittens face and how she combats them, but how you can help every step of the way, from fighting feline overpopulation on the streets to fostering unweaned kittens, from combating illness to combating compassion fatigue, from finding a vet to finding the purrfect forever home. Filled with information on animal welfare, instructional guides, and personal rescue stories of kittens like Chloe, Tidbit, Hank, and Badger--not to mention hundreds of adorable kitten photos--Tiny but Mighty is the must-have kitten book for cat lovers, current-and-future rescuers, foster parents, activists, and advocates.


Tiny but Mighty: Kitten Lady’s Guide to Saving the Most Vulnerable Felines


Wow. Just wow. Tiny but Mighty: Kitten Lady’s Guide to Saving the Most Vulnerable Felines, by Hannah Shaw is one of the best books about cats I’ve ever read. This hardcover book, published by Plume Publishing, sells for $25 and in it you’ll find everything you ever wanted to know about caring for very young kittens. It is 300 pages of full color photos, charts, and personal stories of kitten rescues.

The book deals with neonate kittens from newborn to about four weeks old; tiny kittens who can’t make it without help, and that help Hannah Shaw not only provides, but with this book, she tells the reader how to do it, too.

I don’t have cats and don’t plan to start fostering kittens, but I found the book fascinating. The author writes clearly and her personal anecdotes, scattered throughout the book, are insightful. Typically, animal shelters are not equipped to deal with neonates and many veterinarians see mainly older kittens and cats and so may also not be as prepared to deal with such small kittens. Shaw’s mission as the “kitten lady” is to save neonates, and to teach others how to foster these tiny kittens until they are old enough to be adopted.

Secondarily, Shaw in very involved in trap, neuter, return (TNR) as a way to slow the flood of kittens at shelters each summer. When called to rescue kittens, she also attempts to trap any adults in the area so they can be spayed or neutered and then returned to their colony.

The book includes information on how to trap cats and kittens, how to feed neonates, and what you should know about diseases and parasites. There are charts on kitten growth and information on how to sanitize an area and, through the entire book, Shaw continually presents an upbeat, optimistic approach to rescuing these vulnerable kittens. There’s even information on how a rescuer should take care of herself so that she doesn’t burn out. It can be overwhelming when there seems to be an endless stream of tiny kittens who need help.

If you love cats, you will like this book just for the personal stories scattered throughout. If you would like to foster kittens, but don’t know where to start, start with this book. I can’t say enough good things about a truly remarkable book by a truly remarkable woman. Neonate kittens have a strong champion in Hannah Shaw.

Review by
Susan M. Ewing
Past president, Cat Writers’ Association
Past secretary, Dog Writers Association of America
Award-winning author, 14 animal books
“Cats! Train Your Owner” (Flash Cards)
Numerous magazine articles
Pet columnist


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