Help! I Found a Kitten
Found kittens outside and don’t know what to do? This flowchart will help you take steps to make the best decisions for their care!
If kittens appear to be ill or injured, bring them to the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA immediately or call 626.792.7151.
Click here to download the flowchart.
FOUND KITTEN DOs & DONTs
DO monitor the situation
Before you act, watch the kittens from a distance. The mother cat is probably nearby. If she doesn’t return within 4-6 hours, they may need assistance.
DON’T move the kittens
Unless they’re in danger, it’s best to leave unweaned kittens outside so the mother cat can care for them. If you must do something, you can place the kittens in a crate, but do not change their location.
DO be careful when handling kittens.
Baby kittens have a developing immune system and you may inadvertently give them disease. Older kittens may not be friendly and may scratch or bite you if startled or scared.
If you are unable to care for unweaned kittens and they are truly orphaned, we can take them in.
DO volunteer to foster the kittens.
If you determine the kittens are orphaned and you decide to care for them, we can provide resources to make your experience successful.
DO keep orphaned kittens separated from your pets
This is to prevent fights and minimize the transmission of disease and parasites. Be sure your pets are up to date on vaccines.
DON’T let the cycle continue!
The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA accepts animals from the cities of Altadena, Arcadia, Bradbury, Glendale, La Cañada, La Crescenta-Montrose, Monrovia, Pasadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena. If you have found kittens outside of our animal control service area, please contact your local shelter.
determining a kitten’s age
Click here to download the kitten age chart.
BASIC KITTEN CARE
kittens under 4 weeks
For bottle feeding kittens (0-4 weeks old), it is ideal to keep them confined in a carrier or crate with a heating pad on LOW (heating pad should be under towels/blankets and not in direct contact with the kitten). Kittens need the heat to stay warm. As kittens grow you will increase their amount of space.
Formula: Bottle baby kittens eat kitten milk replacement (KMR), which can be purchased at any pet food store or online, along with kitten bottles.
Directions for Mixing KMR powder: Gently stir or shake one part powdered KMR into two parts warm water (a part may be a teaspoon, tablespoon or cup). Do not mix more KMR than can be consumed in 24 hours. Do not use a blender. Be sure the formula is lump free! Reconstituted KMR should be kept refrigerated.
Position: Lay the kitten in a natural, belly-down position — never, ever on his/her back. Gently slide the bottle into the kitten’s mouth and slowly drip formula onto the tongue. The kitten should begin to swallow. Very slowly continue to drip formula into the mouth. If the kitten latches on and is suckling, that’s great! Just make sure that she isn’t eating too quickly; help the kitten keep a slow and steady flow.
MANUAL ELIMINATION (STIMULATION):
Kittens aged 0-4 weeks old will need help eliminating. You can use baby wipes, a warm, wet washcloth, tissue, or gauze to help stimulate their genitals. Rub the material in a circular motion on their stomach and move down to their genitals. It may take lots of tries and effort to get them to go! If you need some support, check out kittenlady.org/stimulation. Kittens should be stimulated before and after every feeding.
KITTENS OVER 4 WEEKS
At 4 weeks old, kittens can be transitioned to using a litter box and eating wet kitten food. Place a shallow litter box near them and watch them figure it out! Introduce wet kitten food by making it available in a shallow dish or placing it in their mouth. Continue bottle feeding KMR as needed. When the kitten reaches 2 pounds (approx. 8 weeks), contact Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA for a spay/neuter appointment.
We are here to help! If you have questions about kitten care, please contact our foster department at firstname.lastname@example.org.