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 firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to bring kittens in for vaccines, flea treatment, and a DIY Kitten 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. 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 on Spay/Neuter page.
Long Beach Animal Care Services is always in need of foster homes to care for unweaned kittens. To become a foster parent, email PetFoster@longbeach.gov. Other great organizations we partner with are always looking for foster parents too. Helen Sanders Cat PAWS, the provider of our DIY Kitten Care Kits, accepts foster applications here: You can also become a foster parent directly through Helen Sanders Cat PAWS. Sign up at https://helensanderscatpaws.com/catpaws-fostering/
Another extraordinary LBACS partner, 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, visit them at https://www.shelterluv.com/form/volunteer/LLF/21-nursery-volunteer-form
- Bottle feeding is easier than it sounds. 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’re unable to care for the kittens, we’re still here to help. Timing is everything. Please bring kittens to LBACS as early in the day as possible. Waiting till the end of the day often results in very little time for the shelter to find a foster home and kittens may need to be euthanized. If you found confirmed unweaned, critically sick, or injured kittens within the cities of Long Beach, Cerritos, Signal Hill, Los Alamitos, or Seal Beach, they may be brought to the LBACS’ Animal Admissions entrance without an appointment during business hours, Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 3:30 pm. If you are unable to have the kittens brought to the shelter, please call 562-570-7387 (PETS) and an officer will pick them up. We will work to find them a foster within our program or with one of our rescue partners.
Support Our Kittens and Foster Homes
If you are unable to foster but still want to help, check out our wish list for the most needed kitten supplies.