Finding Orphaned Kittens
Not all kittens need help. The best place for kittens is with their mother, so before you scoop up kittens you find outdoors, it is important to determine if they’re truly orphans or if mom is hiding or out getting food.
If mom is nearby, let her be the one to care for them until they are weaned (about 6- 8-weeks-old). Mom is their best chance of survival. After the kittens are 8-weeks-old, LBACS can help you make sure both mom and kittens are spayed/neutered by providing you with spay/neuter vouchers to help offset the cost of spay/neuter.
Mom might be scared to come back if you’re watching her nest. Try leaving a ring of flour around the kittens and checking back after a few hours to see if you can see mom’s footprints.
Follow the chart below to determine what to do next.
Unfortunately, there are times when kittens become permanently separated from their mothers. In this case, it is important to get the appropriate care.
You’d make a great foster parent! If you’re willing to bottle feed and care for the kittens until they’re weaned (6 - 8 weeks old and eating on their own), email AnimalCare@longbeach.gov to make an appointment to bring kittens in for vaccines, flea treatment, and a kitten care kit to help you care for them. These kits are generously donated by Helen Sanders Cat PAWS, one of LBACS’ transfer partners who saves hundreds of cats and kittens each year at our shelter. Here is a great video that will show you how to properly bottle feed kittens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebDPivG16HE&t=18s
If you haven’t found kittens but are able to help in other ways by fostering kittens, Long Beach Animal Care Services partners with Little Lion Foundation to find homes for kittens from the shelter. Little Lion Foundation operates a kitten nursery and saves hundreds of kittens from the street and from local shelters each year. If you would like to volunteer at the either Little Lion Foundation nursery or foster kittens from LBACS, send emails to either: Little Lion Foundation: https://www.shelterluv.com/form/volunteer/LLF/21-nursery-volunteer-form LBACS: PetFoster@longbeach.gov
If you’re unable to care for the kittens, we’re still here to help. If you found confirmed unweaned, critically sick, or injured kittens within the cities of Long Beach, Cerritos, Signal Hill, Los Alamitos, or Seal Beach, call 562-570-7387 (PETS) and we have an officer pick them up. Alternatively, unweaned, critically sick, or injured kittens may be brought to the shelter without an appointment during business hours, Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 3:30 pm. We will work to find them a foster within our program or with one of our rescue partners.
Once kittens have reached 8 weeks of age, we encourage you to seek spay/neuter services for TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) or prior to rehoming the kittens. You may request a spay/neuter voucher for any found cats or kittens by emailing AnimalCare@longbeach.gov. to let us know you are interested.
If you are unable to foster but still want to help, check out our wish list for the most needed supplies: https://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/2L6EIBBBE8JLL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_ws_Cux3ybYC3MTZW