Found a litter of kittens? Here's what to do | News |

2022-05-21 17:51:04 By : Mr. Lee Li

TUCSON (KVOA) — Kitten season is in full swing in southern Arizona and local animal shelters are asking for your help.

Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter and Sanctuary said it has around 100 kittens in foster homes on top of the almost 200 cats that are in the shelter already. Pima Animal Care Center said it's in need of 10 foster homes immediately.

Kitten season starts in March and lasts through the summer. It's one of the busiest times of the years for shelters.

If you see kittens, the first thought might be to take them to a shelter—but that's not always the best thing to do.

"The most important thing is for those kittens to be with their mom," said Ashley Davis, foster coordinator for Hermitage. "They're chance of survival is best when they're with their mom."

Experts say it's best for kittens to stay with mom to nurse for a minimum of six weeks. If you see a litter of kittens without a mom, leave them there. She might be out hunting or taking a break. You can help by making sure mom has access to shelter, food and water.

To see if mom comes back, leave a ring of baking soda around the kittens and check in a few hours to see if there are any of mom's footprints.

"We can do the very that we can do but we're not momma kitties," Davis said. "We're not a substitute for momma kitties."

If mom and kittens are there and are friendly, you can try to get them all into a shelter. If mom and kittens are not able to be easily picked up and handled (under-socialized or feral), they should be taken directly for spay/neuter surgery to stop the cycle of births. 

If you can't catch the mom or kittens, contact PACC's Community Cat Program for assistance with trapping and neutering: (520) 724-5983 or here.

For more information about the types of kittens with helpful images, click here.

Interested in fostering? Visit PACC, Hermitage and Humane Society of Southern Arizona.