Did you know that KC Pet Project sent more than 2,414 kittens and cats into foster homes in 2023? Caring for kittens is a huge part of what we do, and on this page, you'll learn all about our kitten program at our shelter.

What is Kitten Season?

Is this a real thing?

Yes it is! Kitten season for our area is typically from April-October during warmer months when cats go into heat. There are times when 3-5 litters of kittens will arrive in a day at KC Pet Project. It’s important that if you see outdoor cats in your area, to make sure they’re spayed or neutered. You can do this by checking to see if they’re eartipped.

More information on Kitten Season

What To Do If You Find Kittens

We’ll start with the basics: if you find kittens, what do you do?

If you happen upon a litter of tiny kittens outdoors, it’s natural to want to scoop them up and try to care for them yourself or take them to a shelter. But both of those options may actually place them in more danger. To give newborn kittens the best chance of survival, follow these steps:

  1. Leave the kittens alone and try to figure out if their mom is still around. Observe them from a distance every couple of hours for 12 to 18 hours. If the kittens seem content and are not fussing, there’s a good chance their mom is coming back.
  2. If the kittens are in danger due to their location, move them to a safer spot nearby so the mom can easily find them when she returns.
  3. If the kittens are dirty, meowing or appear sick, underweight or dehydrated, contact your local shelter or a trap-neuter-return (TNR) or community cat program. They can help you determine if the kittens are at risk and if you should intervene.
  4. If you spot the mom, leave the kittens alone. When the kittens have been eating on their own for about four weeks or are big enough for surgery (typically around 12 weeks old), humanely trap the whole family and have them spayed or neutered. A local TNR program may be able to help you with the trapping process. After the cats are fixed, release them at the location where you found them. TNR is the most humane method of preventing cats and kittens from entering the shelter system.

More on caring for kittens.

Thanks to Best Friends Animal Society for this content.

Which kittens should come into the shelter?

Kittens that Should NOT Come to the Shelter

Healthy Kittens

Do the kittens look clean, healthy and well-fed? They are being cared for by a mom and can be left-alone until around 12 weeks old. Then you can TNR the whole, little family.

Kittens that SHOULD Come to the Shelter

Unhealthy Kittens

If the kittens are dirty, underweight, and/or have crusty, goopy eyes and mouths, these kittens are not being cared for and should go to your local shelter.

How You Can Help

Sign up to be a foster

There are a number of foster opportunities to help us care for the kittens that come to our shelter:

  • Bottle Babies (Neonatals)
  • Moms with kittens
  • 4-8 week old kittens
  • Medical/Behavior foster support

Donate In-Kind Supplies

It takes a lot of support to care for thousands of kittens each year. Donations made toward our Kitten Foster Program helps us provide supplies to the families who care for our most vulnerable pets. Supplies that are needed:

  • Canned food (Wellness brand preferred)
  • Litter scoops
  • Dry kitten food
  • Miracle Nipples
  • Warming disks
  • Kitchen scales
  • Kitten formula (Breeder’s Edge brand preferred)
  • Karo syrup

Donations may be dropped off at our locations or purchased directly from our Kitten Amazon Wish List.


The Kitten Program at KC Pet Project is generously supported by Orphan Kitten Club

Orphan Kitten Club