Most people refer to warm, sunny months — when the grass is green, flowers are in full bloom, and the days last longer — as summer. But at Animal Humane Society, we know them by a different name: kitten season.
400 more kittens each month
100 more kittens each week
14 more kittens a day
1 kitten every two hours
All season long
It's our busiest time of year as stray, orphaned, and abandoned kittens flood our shelters.
Of all the animals that come to AHS, kittens are among the most vulnerable. Newborn felines enter the world weighing as much as a deck of cards. They rely completely on their mother for warmth, food, and protection.
When kittens are separated from their mothers, the task of caring for them often falls to humans. At AHS, this committed group of kitten lovers are known as Bottle Baby volunteers. Each year, these volunteers partner with shelter staff to provide specialized care, including round-the-clock feedings, a constant source of heat, and help going to the bathroom, which the kittens can't yet do on their own.
It’s hard work, but it saves lives.
As kittens grow, they transform into the energetic bundles of joy we know and love. At 5 weeks old, kittens can see, hear, and make the transition to solid food. Once they’re healthy and old enough for sterilization surgery, they’ll return to AHS ready to find new homes.
Kitten season sounds cute, but there’s nothing cute about a homeless kitten that’s not receiving the care they need. Thanks to people like you, these delicate animals find support at AHS.
Four things you didn't know about kittens:
- Kittens can't see or hear for the first 10-14 days of life. Their eyes are sealed shut and their ears are folded in.
- Cow's milk isn't good for kittens. It can actually cause life-threatening complications. Kittens should only drink Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR).
- Kittens can't regulate their body temperature until 4 weeks of age. They require a constant heat source to stay warm.
- Kittens can become pregnant as young as 5 months old. AHS spays and neuters all kittens before adoption to decrease the homeless cat population.