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Animal Welfare Asks Public for Help When They Come Across Kittens this Spring

Information and resources for what to do if you find a kitten this spring

Most litters of kittens are born between April and October, making this time of year an overwhelming one for City shelters. If you find a kitten or a litter of kittens, Animal Welfare Department is asking for your help and providing resources and information on what to do.

If you find young kittens without their mom, it does not necessarily mean they have been abandoned. The mother could be out looking for food or finding a more suitable home for her kittens. If you find one or two kittens, their mother may be in the process of moving the family and is on her way back for the others.

Wait and observe from a distance for an hour or two. If possible, observe the site for several hours to be sure the kittens are truly abandoned. If you determine the kittens are in danger or truly abandoned, you can help save kitten lives and keep your local shelters from reaching capacity by becoming a foster parent!  For more information about being a foster parent, please email [email protected].  For additional assistance on caring for kittens,  [email protected]

Those who cannot foster can call 311 to make an appointment to bring the kittens to the shelter.  If the kittens are weak, or have not eaten in 3 hours, the situation is an emergency. Please head to the East side shelter location Intake entrance, call the Intake desk phone number posted at the door and someone will assist you.

Tips for Judging a Kitten’s Age

  • Under one week: Eyes shut, ears flat to head, skin looks pinkish. Part of umbilical cord may still be attached.
  • 1 week-10 days: Eyes beginning to open, ears still flat. A kitten this age is smaller than your hand.
  • 3 weeks: Eyes are fully open, ears are erect, and teeth are visible. Kittens this age are just starting to walk and will be very wobbly.
  • 4-5 weeks: Eyes have changed from blue to another color and/or kittens have begun to pounce and leap. Kittens this age will begin to eat gruel or canned food.
  • Kittens under 7 weeks of age are TOO YOUNG to be away from their mom.  If you have found a kitten who is too young and have confirmed that a momma cat is not caring for him/her, this is an EMERGENCY.  Kittens too young to be without mom require special care and are accepted at both AWD shelter locations through our intake desk.

7 weeks: Best time to bring them to the shelter as kittens of this age are ready to be away from their mother cat. These kittens will start to eat crunchy kibble/food and are very active and playful.  Kittens this age run, jump, and are very mobile.