Kittens of all shapes and sizes have arrived at Humane Animal Rescue, and that mean that kitten season is upon us! What’s that? Each spring and summer, kittens inundate shelters across the community because warm weather encourages feline reproduction. We call this kitten season­– a very busy time for the staff and volunteers here at Humane Animal Rescue.

Keeping ahead of kitten season is truly a community effort. We often receive questions regarding how to help. The answer starts with you: DON’T BE A KIT-NAPPER! When we find a litter of kittens, our good-hearted instincts tell us to take them to our local shelter. Unfortunately, we may be doing more harm than good to these kittens by removing them from their nesting place.

The best thing we could possibly do for these kittens is to leave them alone. Momma cat knows what is best for her babies. Because of this, it’s critical that they stay with her. Often she is out hunting and will return to check on and care for all of her babies. We suggest giving her at least eight hours to return before stepping in. In the meantime, you can watch for her from a safe distance, but please don’t hover over her babies. If she sees you, she may be scared and not return.

Kittens should stay with their mothers until they are at least eight weeks old when they are able to get spayed/neutered and find their forever homes! You can call one of our two Wellness Clinics for low-cost spay/neuter and veterinary services.

If the mother cat does not return to her kittens after eight hours, please call our Pet Helpline at 412.345.0348 or consider caring for the babies in your home until they are eight weeks of age. Unsure of their age? Check this kitten aging chart for help! If you notice that the kittens or mother appear to have health issues or if you suspect a litter of kittens has been abandoned, please call our Pet Helpline at 412.345.0348.

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