What is Kitten Season?
The feline reproductive cycle is influenced by two factors; warmer weather and the amount of daylight in a 24-hour period? In our local temperate climate, we can experience warm periods of weather at any time during the year, so kittens are born throughout the year. However, the greatest number of kittens are born during "kitten season", which begins in early spring and runs through late fall.
Relinquishing Kittens to the Pet Adoption Center
Determining whether or not kittens can be accepted to the Pet Adoption Center depends on several factors.
- Must be in good health of the kitten (as we do not have a vet on staff, ill kittens would do best in a facility with a vet)
- Foster availability (We are not able to take in feral felines).
Things to Consider if You Find Kittens
A kitten’s best chance of survival is with its mother. If you find un-weaned kittens or a single kitten, don’t assume that they have been abandoned. The mother could be out foraging for food, or in the process of moving the kittens to a new “nest.” The best thing to do is to watch and wait. If the mother does not return in a reasonable amount of time, it is safe to assume that she will not be coming back. At this point, it is time to decide your course of action.
If you decide to care for kittens, be prepared to care for them around the clock. Then try to figure out how old they are so you can provide them with proper care. Use the tips below or visit Alley Cat Allies for a visual chart to help you to best determine their age.
- Newborn: eyes and ears shut, part of umbilical cord still attached.
- 1 -2 weeks: eyes beginning to open, ears shut, baby teeth can be felt
- 3-4 weeks: eyes fully open, ears erect, teeth visible. Kittens are able to wobble around.
- 4-5 weeks: eyes no longer baby-blue, kittens can pounce, leap, and eat soaked food.
- 1month=1 lb.; 2months= 2lbs; 3 months=3lbs
If you find a weaned kitten in a residential area, it is highly possible that the kitten is a family pet who got out of its house. The Pet Adoption Center does not accept stray or lost pets, so the best option is to check the kitten for a microchip and put up some “found” posters around your neighborhood.
Other Ways to Help
Foster parents are priceless resources which enable us to offer a second chance to underage puppies and kittens, injured pets needing special care, and animals needing more socialization. Learn more about Foster Parenting.
Cats can become pregnant as young as five months of age. Fortunately, kittens as young as two months and weighing two pounds can be safely altered. Our Spay/Neuter Clinic makes spaying/neutering affordable.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the humane, effective approach for feral and community cats. Cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal symbol of a neutered and vaccinated cat), and then returned to their outdoor home. The colony’s population stabilizes—no more kittens! Trap-Neuter-Return improves their lives and their relations with the community: the behaviors and stresses associated with mating stop. Learn more about Trap-Nueter-Rerturn from TNR Riverside.
Supplies like bottles, formula and litter are always needed to help our Foster Program. Visit our Wish List page to learn about items that we need.
Open your heart and home to a pet. Check out who’s looking for a new and loving home.
How to care for an orphaned kitten