Did you find a kitten? Here’s what to do

It’s kitten season! In the summer, we see a huge influx of kittens entering our care, many of whom appear abandoned and are brought to our shelter. A kitten’s best chance for survival is with their mom, and when separated, it can impact their health and wellbeing. Often, when a kitten appears alone, the mom is nearby, typically hunting for food or hiding away. It’s important to recognize when a kitten needs to be rescued or when it should be left alone. We’ve created a helpful infographic to guide you through the steps of discovering a lost kitten.

The first step when you find a kitten (or kittens) is to assess its health. If the kitten appears malnourished or dehydrated, cold, or nonresponsive, act immediately. Create a warm space for the kitten and contact our foster coordinator at (509) 847-5591 between 9am and 4pm for assistance. If it’s outside these hours and the kitten may not make it until morning, take it to an emergency animal hospital.

If the kitten appears healthy, you should assess its age. Kittens develop quickly from week to week, and knowing the approximate age of the kitten will help guide your decision making.

If the kitten is under six weeks old, search for the mom cat. She may be off hunting or hiding from you. Take the time to check on the kitten throughout the day. You can place a ring of flour around the kitten. If the flour’s disturbed, you know the mama cat is there. Or, if you check later in the day and the kitten has a full, rounded belly, it’s being cared for, and you can leave it be.

If there’s no mom in sight, please contact Spokane Humane Society’s foster coordinator for supplies to care for the kitten at (509) 847-5591.  

If the kitten is older than six weeks and appears healthy, friendly, social, and eating on its own, you can help to find it a home! We recommend utilizing social media, animal groups, and your own network to find a suitable adopter. You can also email intake@spokanehumanesociety.org to discuss admission to our shelter. 

Spaying and neutering are vital for keeping animals off the streets or in shelters. If you find abandoned animals like kittens, we offer low cost spay/neuter services that are available for the public. You can also contact a TNR (trap, neuter, release) group for animals that are not in your care. 

Now you’re prepared if the Kitten Distribution System ever chooses you. While it may seem like fate, sometimes they’re best left on their own. If you’re ever interested in fostering kittens, fill out our application: MyImpactPage – Foster Parent Application – Spokane Humane Society (betterimpact.com)