Kittens are coming: Managing Litters­

This time of year brings kittens, but this season is not typical. How do you navigate kitten season during a national pandemic? Animal Humane New Mexico is here to provide you with the necessary steps to take if you come across a kitten litter. We thank you for your help and support to ensure these small, puffballs-of-fur are given the care they need.

If you find stray kittens:

STEP 1: Are the kittens healthy?
Leave them if they are clean, have a full belly and are sleeping. Their mama cat offers them the best chance for survival with her milk.  (Go to step 2)  

If they are severely skinny, sick or in immediate danger: Please contact the following facilities for emergency intakes:
City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department:
Emergency intakes from 8 am – 6 pm, 7-days-a-week at the East Side Shelter, 8920 Lomas Blvd. NE ABQ, 87112, and the West Side Shelter, 11800 Sunset Gardens SW, ABQ, 87121, Call: 505.768.1975 or 311.

Rt. 66 Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Center:
Accepting all injured/sick strays, open 24 hours, 7-days-a-week during the COVID-19 crisis.

STEP 2: Wait and Watch
You might have come across the kittens while their mama cat is looking for food or finding a more suitable home. Stand far away from the kittens (>35 ft) or leave kittens so you don’t scare mama cat away. It might take several hours for their mama to return.

If their mama cat returns:
Please leave the kittens alone with mama until they are weaned. You can offer a shelter and regular food to mama.

If their mama cat does NOT return:
Please take them to your home and start caring for them (how to take care of neonates: Caring for orphaned kittens is one of the most rewarding things to do, especially during a time of social distancing and when stay-at-home orders are in place.

STEP 3: Caring for Kittens
Please follow the resources below for basic care of kittens, such as how to make bedding, bottle feeding, how to make gruel, how often and how much to feed, etc.

“Orphan kitten care how to” by Maddie’s Fund:

“How to stimulate oprhan kittens and puppies” by Maddie’s Fund:

“How much to feed” (PDF chart) by Maddie’s Fund:

“Physical and behavioral development of kittens and puppies” by Maddie’s Fund:

As we navigate COVID-19, we understand that families may not be in a position to provide care for stray kitten litters, please contact the following agencies to surrender stray kittens and puppies:

Animal Humane New Mexico’s Pet Admission:
We are open for emergency admissions of stray kittens and puppies and sick or injured dogs and cats, 7-days-a-week, 10 am – 4 pm by appointments only. To make an appointment, please call 505.938.7861, leave a message, and a member of our Team will get back to you.

City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department:
By appointments: 8 am – 6 pm, 7-days-a-week. Please call: 505.768.1975 or 311