Column: It’s ‘Kitten season’ at Pasadena Humane


Pasadena Humane is getting ready for kitten season! We expect thousands of very young kittens to come through our doors this year, all in need of extra care. We are now recruiting foster volunteers to help care for these kittens, as well as asking for donated supplies. Plus, social media influencer and kitten care expert Kitten Lady will be joining us for a “Kitten Shower” on Sunday, March 24, at the shelter. Learn more about how you can make a difference for these tiny felines at

We welcome the arrival of spring this coming Tuesday. And with it, we are preparing for the start of another season — kitten season.

By now, many of my regular readers know all about kitten season. It’s the extended period of time spanning March through November when thousands of kittens come through Pasadena Humane’s doors in need of extra TLC.

Don’t get me wrong. In our warm climate, kittens can be born year-round. But, we definitely see a proliferation starting this time of year, a full blown kittenpalooza in the summer and fall, and then a brief reprieve in the winter months.

Many of the kittens entering the shelter are neonate orphans we call “bottle babies.” Some are only a few hours or a few days old, with their umbilical cords still attached and eyes closed.

Because these tiny felines are not yet eating on their own, they need to be fed a special kitten formula around the clock.

The feeding schedule starts at every two hours then gradually extends to every five hours as they are slowly introduced to solid food. Weaning begins when the youngsters are 4 to 5 weeks old.

Bottle babies are one of the most vulnerable types of animals in our care. They are not able to regulate their own body temperature, so they must be kept warm at all times.

Luckily, since they are not mobile yet, it’s safe for them to stay in a confined space — like a carrier or crate — with a heating pad set to low.

As you can see, raising these itty-bitty kitties without their moms is a lot of work. And we are fortunate to have an army of foster volunteers to help.

“Pasadena Humane could not save these tiny kittens without the support of fosters,” explains Pasadena Humane’s foster program manager, Nadia Cubias. “By fostering a kitten, you are truly saving a life.”

In 2023, a record-breaking 1,621 kittens graduated from our foster program, a true testament to the dedication of our volunteers.

Despite the demands of fostering, it is an incredibly gratifying endeavor.

In the first few weeks of life, kittens go through many important developmental milestones. In the blink of an eye, they transform from helpless infants into full-fledged mini cats jumping, running and climbing with abandon.

Kittens stay in foster homes until they weigh enough to undergo spay or neuter surgery. That’s usually between six and eight weeks. Then they come back to the shelter where they can be placed for adoption.

Pasadena Humane is now recruiting kitten foster volunteers for both bottle babies and weaned kittens. Anyone can become a foster parent to kittens in need. No previous experience is necessary.

We provide all the supplies and veterinary care, and we are available to provide step-by-step guidance while you foster.

To help us prepare for kitten season this year, we are throwing a “Kitten Shower” next Sunday, March 24.

We’ll be joined by Hannah Shaw, an award-winning kitten rescuer, New York Times bestselling author, and social media influencer popularly known as “Kitten Lady.” Shaw will lead two workshops on fostering and kitten care and offer meet-and-greets for fans.

Other Kitten Shower activities include a kitten-naming station, a raffle, and sign-ups for life-saving heroes interested in becoming kitten foster families.

We are also collecting donations for our foster program through our Shelter Shop and Amazon Wish List.

We need the support of our generous community to donate essential supplies like kitten milk replacement (KMR), specially formulated kitten food, bottles, nipples, baby wipes, heating pads and more.

Kitten Shower with Kitten Lady, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 24. Tickets $35; $75 VIP (choose a time slot for this ticket type). Purchase tickets on Eventbrite:

To learn more about fostering, donating kitten supplies and getting tickets to our Kitten Shower with Kitten Lady, visit


Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane. 

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on March 15, 2024.