Operation Kindness Blog

A new kitten nursery

A new 24-hour kitten nursery | Operation Kindness

Why create a kitten nursery?

The short answer is: to save more lives.

According to Shelter Animals Count, more cats than dogs entered shelters in the United States in 2021. Of those intakes, the majority are kittens. The data also shows that cats are more likely to be euthanized than dogs in shelters. To save as many lives as possible, Operation Kindness is expanding our resources for cats.

Kitten season spans from roughly March to October. During this time, orphaned kittens overwhelm shelters across Texas. Neonatal kittens need intensive, round-the-clock care. Until about 4 weeks old, kittens cannot eat on their own and must be fed every few hours – a resource that many shelters don’t have.

Neonatal kittens are especially at risk of being euthanized in shelters because they are too young to take care of themselves. They are also weeks or months away from being eligible for adoption, as they need to be at least 2 months old and weigh 2 pounds. With weakened immune systems, they are more likely to contract disease than other animals in shelters.

Our new kitten nursery will bridge the gap for this vulnerable population of cats by providing lifesaving care for kittens that have nowhere else to turn.

What does a kitten nursery do?

The new nursery will open this spring in the Charles Jones & Madelaine Pfau Cat Wing at Operation Kindness. The nursery features warmers, incubators, bottles, formula and dedicated, 24-hour trained nursery staff to feed kittens and keep them warm, clean and dry.

The kitten nursery will be a valuable resource to our rescue partners. Operating the kitten nursery will allow us to accept neonatal kittens from other shelters, even if we do not yet have a foster home lined up.

Fosters for young kittens will continue to play a vital role in lifesaving. We will place nursery kittens into foster homes as quickly as possible. Once they are healthy and old enough, kittens will be available for adoption.

What to do if I find abandoned kittens?

If you stumble upon cute and fuzzy newborn kittens, your instinct might be to swoop in and save them. But, human intervention isn’t always best for the kittens who rely on their nesting place and mother to survive. Follow our guide to see what you should do if you find kittens.

How can I help?

> Donate to the kittens

To make sure the kittens have everything they need, we’ve set a goal of raising $30,000 for their care. Please donate today to ensure kittens have a safe place to land.

> Become a foster

Foster families are a critical component of caring for neonatal kittens. Kittens will stay in the nursery for a short time until placed into a foster home. Caring for them in a home protects cats and kittens from illness. They are also able to receive diligent care and socialization.

When you foster with Operation Kindness, we’ll provide all the supplies and training needed. We recommend signing up now!

You can also read more about fostering kittens to get prepared. 

> Send kitten supplies

Caring for young kittens requires a variety of specialty supplies. Orphaned kittens need bottles, formulas, and warming discs. Nursing mothers need comfy beds and lots of nutritious food. All cats and kittens need litter, litter boxes, and toys!

You can help by donating supplies from our Amazon Wish List. Your donation will help make sure a foster family has everything they need to help cats and kittens.

> Adopt a cat or kitten

Of course, the ultimate gift a cat can receive is a loving home! Adopting a cat or kitten makes space for more animals to be saved.

If you’re interested in adoption, browse our adoptable cats online. Or stop by the shelter to meet them in person!