Kitten season is here

Posted 4/15/24

According to Best Friends, nearly three times the number of felines enter shelters...

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Kitten season is here


Warmer weather is upon us, and shelters and rescue groups are already seeing an influx of kittens in their facilities. Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of cats and dogs in America’s shelters in 2025, encourages people to educate themselves about what to do if they find kittens, and how to help their local animal shelters.

According to Best Friends, nearly three times the number of felines enter shelters in the summer months compared to the number being admitted during the winter. Each year from April through November is what’s known in the animal welfare community as “Kitten Season”, or the period in which unspayed female cats give birth to most of their kittens.

“During kitten season, young cats are often brought into shelters which can cause a strain on a shelter’s already limited resources,” said Dr. Erin Katribe, director, National Veterinary Programs, Best Friends Animal Society. “Young kittens require specialized, around-the-clock care making them one of the most at-risk populations at shelters, which sadly results in them losing their lives simply due to their age. One way to get ahead of this is through targeted Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR) programs to fix more cats before kittens are born.”

Best Friends is offering the below tips for what steps community members should take if they find kittens:

• Observe the kittens to see if the mother cat is still tending to them. If there is a mother cat, once they’re old enough, humanly catch and bring them all in for spay/neuter surgeries.

Please note: kittens should not be immediately brought to a shelter as this may cause unnecessary stress to the facility or organization, and large shelter populations can increase the risk of illness or stress-induced problems.

• If a mother cat is present, don’t interfere with the cat and kitten’s habitat unless it is going to put them in danger. If moving them to a safe space is necessary, do keep it close to the original location so the mother cat can easily find them.

• Once the kittens are about 2 months old, people may safely trap the mother and kittens so they can be spayed, neutered, vaccinated and returned outdoors.

Have feline friends of your own? Get ahead of next year’s kitten season not only by spaying and neutering your own pets, but by participating in local trap-neuter-vaccinate-release programs to help curb community cat populations and relieve stress on local shelters.

To learn more about how to help this kitten season and beyond, visit

About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters and make the country no-kill in 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 400,000 last year. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,600 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit

Best Friends Animal Society has the most comprehensive, accurate data for sheltered dogs and cats in the United States, which is collected from over 7900 shelters and rescue groups.

Alina Hauptman is the Senior Public Relations Manager of Best Friends Animal Society.

kittens, shelters