Bottle Feeding Rescued Kitten

Help! I Found Kittens Outside!

You can assess the kittens’ current condition and decide if immediate action needs to be taken by you.

Finding Orphaned Kittens

Not all kittens need help. The best place for kittens is with their mother, so before you scoop up kittens you find outdoors, it is important to determine if they’re truly orphans or if mom is hiding or hunting nearby.

Don’t Kit-Nap! If mom is nearby (or it’s obvious the kittens are in a protected dry nest), let her be the one to care for them until they are 8-weeks-old. Mom is their best chance of survival so leave them where they are. If you want to help, make sure mom has access to shelter, food, and water. After the kittens are 8-weeks-old, Bond County Humane Society can help you make sure both mom and kittens are spayed/neutered.

Mom might be scared to come back if you’re watching her nest. Try leaving a ring of flour around the kittens and checking back after a few hours to see if you can see mom’s footprints.

Follow the chart below to determine what to do next.

flow chart with text boxes and baby cat photos to help determine age of found kittens and if intervention by humans is necessary

Helping Kittens That Have Been Orphaned

Unfortunately, there are times when kittens become permanently separated from their mothers. In this case, it is important to get them appropriate care.

You’d make a great foster parent! If you’re willing to care for the kittens until they’re two-months-old (or weigh 2 lbs) and can be fixed for adoption*, call our office at 618-664-4068 or email and let us know you’re interested in being a finder foster.

If you’re unable to care for the kittens, we’re still here to help. If you found confirmed orphaned, critically sick, or injured kittens within Bond County, DO NOT bring them to the shelter! Call or email BCHS and we will work to find them a foster within our program or with one of our rescue partners.

Once kittens have reached 8 weeks of age, we encourage you to seek spay/neuter services for TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) or prior to rehoming* the kittens. Bond County Humane Society can talk you through great local resources for low-cost spay/neuter surgeries.

*Please ensure these kittens don’t have an owner already by checking the mom (if possible) for an ID tag and asking a veterinary clinic to scan for a microchip. You can post signs in the neighborhood where they were found with a photo and details about the kittens. We encourage you to check your local laws to see if a found animal report needs to be filed or if notice needs to be given to either animal control or your local shelter.