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Of the 6,097 cats and dogs killed at the Los Angeles Animal Services in 2015, more than 4,300 were underage kittens (two months of age or younger), simply because they didn't have safe places to call home. The tiny creatures, often abandoned at birth or turned into shelters from accidental litters, have very little hope of growing up and getting adopted but together we can change that.
Best Friends Los Angeles opened a neonatal kitten nursery in February 2013. The nursery is staffed with a dedicated nursery lead, nursery volunteer coordinator, rotating cat team members and supported by a cadre of devoted volunteers who sign up for two hour feeding shifts 24 hours a day to help the kittens grow and thrive. In 2016, the neonatal nursery, a program of the Best Friends’ No-Kill Los Angeles initiative, has a goal of caring for over 2,950 kittens, these are kittens that come from our partner at Los Angeles Animal Services. To date, more than 3,700 precious kittens and 175 nursing mothers have been cared for in our nursery.
Similar to a real nursery, the neonatal unit has strict protocols to ensure the health of the kittens, as well as stuffed animals, festive décor, and individualized feeding stations among its many cages and incubators to provide lots of love.
Volunteers are needed 24/7 to take care of kittens in our on-site nursery. Duties range from bottle-feeding, cage cleaning, and food preparation. 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. This is an ideal time for a foster home for these kittens.
Foster homes are an integral part of the solution to saving these kittens. The foster period could be as long as 6-8 weeks if you can take the tiny bottles babies which require round the clock feeding but most foster homes typically last a short two to three weeks for those kittens that have started eating on their own 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 email@example.com to sign up.
Cat lovers can also donate needed items for the neonatal nursery from an online registry. Click here to visit the registry.
Best Friends Annual Kitten Shower
Thank you to everyone who has helped us get ready to welcome 2,900 kittens into our nursery this year!
COMING SOON: Kitten Shower dates and times for 2017!
At the kitten shower, you can take a tour of the nursery, enjoy cake and punch, play kitten shower games, learn how to volunteer in the nursery or how to become a foster parent to a litter of kittens, and more. Fun for the whole family!
No need to RSVP. All are welcome!
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.