While they might look cute and helpless, it is not a good idea to pick up litters of kittens that you see on the streets or out in nature.

The Arizona Humane Society is urging people not to “kit-nap” stray kittens as their mother is likely hunting for food but will return soon to care for them. While you might think you are helping, you are actually giving the kittens their best chance of survival if you let them stay with their mothers.

Visit the Arizona Humane Society online at azhumane.org/foundkittens to learn more about what to do if you see kittens unaccompanied by their humans, in case their mother does not return in at least eight hours. AHS has Care-In-Place kits it can provide you to care for the kittens if their mother has been gone a while and they are old enough to be brought into the Humane Society’s offices for spay/neuter and adoptions.