Kitten season is a time where all too often, well-meaning citizens accidentally turn kittens into orphans by bringing them into shelters. Much of the time, kittens that seem abandoned are simply waiting for their mom to return from searching for food!

A kitten’s chance of survival drastically plummets if they are taken away from their mom too soon, so it is absolutely critical to be 100% sure that the mom cat has actually abandoned them before removing them from where you found them.

If you are sure the kittens need help, before you bring them to a shelter, wait! A shelter is honestly not a great place for kittens under the age of 8 weeks. Their very best shot at survival is a foster home. From 0-4 weeks, kittens require round the clock care like frequent feedings, stimulation to go to the bathroom, and a heat source. Most shelters are simply not equipped to care for these tiny orphans, who will be dependent on another foster to step up in order to save them. From 4-8 weeks, they may be eating on their own, but their undeveloped immune systems make them vulnerable to becoming sick in a shelter environment.
If you have found kittens and want to help them, consider fostering them until they are 8 weeks old and big enough to safely be brought to a shelter and adopted. We can typically help out with supplies like formula and bottles in these situations.
Check out our handy flowchart to find out how to proceed if you find orphaned kittens, and if they do need help, considering fostering them until they are 8 weeks old!