Kitten Season is Here! What to do if you Find Stray Kittens

As the weather gets warmer, an influx of stray cats give birth, marking the beginning of Kitten Season. Kitten Season is arriving early this year, prompted by a milder winter. This led to an uptick in phone calls from concerned citizens about stray kittens and cats they have found.

“Kitten season brings an influx of kittens into our community, but discovering a litter does not necessarily mean they are in distress,” said Juli Ulvestad, Pet Resource Director at the Humane Society of Utah. Ulvestad emphasized the importance of understanding the needs of these young felines, stating, “In the first few weeks of life, kittens’ best chance of survival is with their mother.”

You’ve Found Stray Kittens. Now What?

HSU advises the public to leave stray kittens where they are found in most cases. We know this advice can be difficult to heed after so many years of hearing that kittens should be brought to the shelter. However, data shows that kittens have a much better chance of survival if left where their mother cat can care for them. Even kittens who appear unattended likely have a mother cat looking out for them. Should her kittens go missing, the mother will be distressed.

There are a few cases in which leaving stray kittens may not be the best course of action. If the kittens are cold, malnourished, overly dirty, or appear sickly and you haven’t seen a mother cat return within a few hours of finding them, HSU suggests either fostering or contacting your local animal services. Should you feel equipped to care for and bottle-feed the kittens until they are old enough to be spayed or neutered, fostering may be a good option. If not, your animal services department will help you determine the next best steps for the kittens.

What About Adult Cats?

In the case that you are finding stray adult cats, HSU suggests a Trap Neuter Return program. TNR programs humanely trap cats and bring them to a shelter to be spayed or neutered. Next, the cats are then returned to the area where they were found. HSU offers humane trap rental and a TNR program for stray cats, learn more and sign up at