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Of the 13,000 healthy, treatable pets killed at Los Angeles City animal shelters in 2012, more than 6,000 were neonatal kittens. The tiny creatures, often abandoned at birth or turned into shelters from accidental litters, had very little hope of growing up and getting adopted until the Best Friends center opened a neonatal kitten nursery in February 2013.

Staffed with a dedicated coordinator and supported by a cadre of devoted volunteers who sign up for two hour feeding shifts 24 hours a day, the neonatal nursery, a program of the Best Friends’ No-Kill Los Angeles initiative, has a goal of saving 1,800 lives in 2013. To date, close to 800 precious kittens and 49 nursing mothers have been saved.

Similar to a real nursery, the neonatal cat area features stuffed animals, festive décor, and rocking chairs amongst its many cages and incubator crates.

Volunteers are needed 24/7 to take care of kittens in our on-site nursery. Duties range from bottle-feeding, cage cleaning, food preparation, and socializing. Shifts are needed around the clock, and we would love to have you join us! Email volunteerLA@bestfriends.org to get started.

Once weaned from bottle feeding at about five to six weeks, the kittens are still in critical need. That’s when foster homes become part of the solution.

The foster period typically lasts a short two to three weeks, as the kittens are returned at two months old to be showcased for adoption at the center. All potential fosters need is a room (even a bathroom will do) and the ability to feed and interact with the cats several times a day. Best Friends supplies the food and any necessary medical care. Email fosterla@bestfriends.org to sign up.

Cat lovers can also donate needed items for the neonatal nursery from an online registry. Click here to visit the registry. 

Watch our nursery videos below to learn more about volunteering and take a virtual tour!

 

 

 

 

Newcomers arriving the Best Friends Kitten Nursery can be as young as a few days old. But they're provided with everything they need to grow up– from round-the-clock bottle feeding, to medical care, to ultimately finding families of their own.

Each step is an integral part of helping kittens grow up happy and healthy. Follow Jaguar's journey from his first day at the nursery to his adoption day!

At first, it's all about feeding him around the clock. That's every 2 hours to keep him nourished and growing. Kittens need help with everything, even when it comes to the litter box. Once Jaguar reaches 2 pounds, he gets to go home with his very own foster family. Commence playtime: a truely integral part of kitten development! At six weeks it's time for vaccines and a check up with our vet. At eight weeks, after he is weaned, Jaguar is ready to be adopted!

Jaguar is one of many kittens whose very survival depends on the kindness of people like you. Give today to help Save Them All.