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What to do if you find an orphaned kitten and how you can help

Arizona Humane Society is already over capacity with ICU babies
Posted at 11:26 AM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 11:01:13-04

PHOENIX — It’s kitten season and all of these babies need your help!

Arizona Humane Society announced Wednesday it is in need of help caring for “bottle babies,” or orphaned kittens. The humane society says it is over capacity in their Bottle Baby ICU.

Last year, AHS says they cared for more than 2,000 kittens under 8 weeks old — many who require 24-hour or extensive care from volunteers and staff.

How you can help:

  • Become a Foster Hero: You’ll step in to be a “mother” to kittens in need, providing special care around the clock. They’ll need to be fed every few hours before they transition to solid food. AHS provides all medical care and supplies — you’ll just need to provide the attention and a loving space for them to grow.
  • Donate items from the Virtual Kitten Shower to help AHS fully care for its kittens and give them a chance at survival before finding loving families. They need items like heating pads, kitten food, diapers, and other supplies.
  • Check with your local animal shelter or rescue for volunteer opportunities.
  • Care for orphaned babies in your own home to help overcrowded and busy shelters and rescues.

What to do if you find a kitten:
AHS says most of the time, human intervention isn't necessary. It's best to leave found kittens where they are and wait for their mother to return. However, if the mom doesn't return after more than eight hours, the kittens are likely orphaned.

AHS says it's best to care for them in your home until they’re eight weeks old if you are able.

Contact AHS and they'll provide care kits and resources for vaccinations, spay and neuter surgeries, and find them their forever homes when they’re ready.

How to care for a kitten:
There are many online resources to help you along the way. You can figure out how old a kitten is with this guide, learn how to make emergency kitten formula and find out how to feed them,

More resources for found/stray cats:

  • If you see adult cats in your neighborhood, please arrange to have them spayed/neutered (Trap, Neuter and Return) by calling 602-265-SPAY (7729)
  • Surrender a stray cat to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (for a $96 fee) - 602-506-7387
  • If an animal is sick or injured, contact Arizona Humane Society at 602-997-7585
  • Heads up: Maricopa County says “there are currently no state statutes or ordinances against free-roaming or feral cats, nor against feeding them. MCACC does not have the authority to enforce against feral cats in the county.”