The warmer temperatures this time of year also brings kitten season. Due to Arizona’s climate, kitten season lasts several months, and it is not uncommon to see cats, especially kittens, flooding local shelters from April to October.

It is also not uncommon to happen upon a litter of kittens, or even a stray, that at first glance may appear abandoned. If you find a stray kitten, the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA (AAWL) says, “please leave them be.”

AAWL says that the best thing you can do is leave the kittens alone. The mother will likely return shortly, and it’s critical that the kittens remain in her care as she offers the best chance for survival.

If, however, the mom has not been back for at least eight hours, then, says AAWL, residents can step in and help care for the kittens until they are old enough to find homes. This time of year, Valley shelters are especially overcrowded.

Care in Place kitten care kits are available from the Arizona Humane Society ( Contact AHS’ Pet Resource Center at 602-997-7585, Ext. 3800, for a free kit (limited to one kit per client per season).

Another resource, So Many Cats (, offers tips on how to care for and feed young kittens and has a guide for figuring out how old the kittens are.

In instances where the mom is still with the kittens, AAWL says to let her care for her kittens until they are eight weeks old, then get both mom and the kittens spayed. Contact the Spay/Neuter Hotline at 602-265-7729 for information, then help the kittens find homes with friends, family or neighbors who are looking to adopt.

For additional information and resources, visit AAWL online at


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