The Kitten Nursery at Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles has saved so many kittens-nearly 5,000!—that they went through the alphabet 29 times last year alone just to name them.
Their staff cares for the tiny kitties year-round, 24-hours a day, from birth to when they’re old enough and ready to be adopted.
The kittens who come to the nursery are usually brought into LA Animal Services shelters by people who find litters on their property without a mother in sight. Newborn kittens obviously cannot fend for themselves or even perform basic functions like going to the bathroom on their own. Without a mother to nurse from, they must be bottle-fed or else they won’t survive. If they don’t have their mom, they are given stuffed animals to cuddle with.
Some kittens, however, arrive with their moms. When that’s the case, there is a Mommy & Me room where the mama cats can nurse their babies. Usually people bring litters of kittens right away, but Ellen Buchsbaum, a cat caregiver at the nursery, says it is best to wait a while longer to see if the mother is around first because they are better off staying put with her.
“Kitten season” is typically from April to October. In April 2016, Best Friends LA took in 322 kittens under eight weeks old. Open since February 2013, the Kitten Nursery had saved 4,975 kittens by the end of last year! Kitten nurseries like this one are starting to open up across the country.
Female cats can get pregnant as young as four months old! While these nurseries are important to help these kittens, spaying and neutering is the best way to stop the problem before it even begins.
This past year, they have welcomed nearly 3,000 kittens into their nursery. They currently have 179 approved nursery volunteers to help take care of all of these tiny kitties. These kittens are absolutely adorable; who wouldn’t love taking care of these little guys every day?! Their nursery is full and they are always looking for people to volunteer and foster these kittens. To volunteer, donate, foster or adopt, visit bestfriends.org.