Welcome to Kitten Season

Spring is kitten season here in Miami-Dade County, when more feral cats have their babies than any other time of year. Do you know what to do if you find a litter of kittens? Should you touch them? Move them? Bring them to a rescue? Here are some basic tips to equip you to help homeless kittens in your neighborhood.


Step one: Determine if the mother is around


A feral cat is a cat that has not socialized with people, and therefore does not know how to interact with people properly. Additionally, the young kittens, like any baby animals, need their mother! They may still be nursing and severing the parent-infant relationship will starve them. 


You may not have time to stay for hours and check to make sure the mother is there, so be resourceful, or come back later, to see if she has returned to her kittens. Ideally, you should not leave the litter of cats on their own for over eight hours.


If eight hours have passed and you determine that the mother is gone and has abandoned her litter, or something has happened to the mother, it is time to act: See step two.


On the other hand, if the mother has returned, contact Miami-Dade Animal Services, the Cat Network, or other rescue groups and inquire about getting help trapping the mom and any other cats for its TNR, or “Trap, Neuter, Return” programs or assistance to ensure the adult cats in the community are humanely trapped and spayed or neutered to avoid continuing pet overpopulation. 

Playing Cats - FoMA Pets

Step Two: Pick up the abandoned kittens and provide immediate care


Humans are scary to feral and under socialized cats, especially young ones, so dress appropriately to avoid scratches from the kittens. Once in your care, it is important to keep the kittens warm. Kittens are susceptible to the cold and without a mother looking after them, they cannot easily regulate their own body temperatures. Use a towel or blanket to wrap them up and keep them comfortable. 


The kittens will probably be hungry, so it is important to feed them. If they are older kittens, canned kitten food or canned kitten food mixed with kitten milk replacer is best, but if they are younger, they will need milk. A veterinarian can help you determine the age and dietary needs of the kittens. It is vital that you do not feed them cow’s milk as it will make a cat sick. Rather, get “Kitten Milk Replacer” (KMR) or “21st Century Milk Replacement” which can be purchased at pet stores.

Bottle Fed Kitten - FoMA Pets

Step Three: Make a plan for the litter of kittens


First, you must decide whether to keep these kittens and foster them for yourself or to bring them to rescue so they can be fostered by another household. 


If you have decided to foster them yourself, the real work begins now. There are many steps involved in beginning to take care of this new litter of kittens. Among your responsibilities, if you choose to keep these kittens, will be to have them seen by a vet and vaccinated, spayed, neutered, micro-chipped, etc., and to help them find new forever homes. Make sure that you partner with Miami-Dade Animal Services, The Humane Society of Greater Miami or another reputable local rescue to get the supplies and directions you will need to care for these kittens.


Remember: By donating to FoMA and by volunteering alongside us, we can support efforts to protect homeless kittens and all of Miami’s feral cats.

Newborn Kittens - FoMA Pets


It’s the month of cupid arrows, candy, roses and valentines! February 14th gives us a unique day to celebrate love in all of its many forms, and this month, we encourage you to join FoMA in our mission to save and improve the lives of homeless pets by sharing our new campaign: #AdoptLove. More than just an act of kindness or generosity, adopting a homeless pet creates a bond that is supremely strong, both practically and emotionally, to both parties. Need more reasons to adopt? Keep reading:


Save a Life

In a practical sense, adopting a pet saves lives. Did you know 3.3 million—yes, million—dogs enter shelters each year in America alone. American shelters have staff working around the clock to ensure the health and safety of the animals they take in, but their resources cannot support such a large number of pets, thus leaving many animals homeless, alone, or at risk of losing their lives. Whether these pets were abandoned, neglected, or could no longer be looked after by their owners, we believe they deserve love and a chance at a forever, loving home. Adopting a pet from a shelter saves a life and makes room for more homeless pets.

Living in Harmony 2 - FoMA Pets

Save money

Adopting a pet is financially easier than purchasing one. Most shelters support the adoption of their animals by including microchipping, spaying or neutering and vaccinating in the cost of rescuing the pet, which is hundreds of dollars less than purchasing a puppy or kitten.

Cozy Kitten - FoMA Pets

Stop puppy mills

Along with adopting being less costly, choosing to adopt rather than purchase your pet minimizes the ability of pet stores and breeders to take advantage of animals. Businesses like pet stores get their animals from puppy mills, which specialize in mass-breeding of dogs and focus on maximizing profits, while ignoring the responsibility of properly caring for them. They separate mothers from their puppies and leave the puppies unsocialized and even ill. Meanwhile, dogs live in deplorable conditions. Supporting your local shelter will reduce the business these companies get and help put a stop to mass-breeding and unnecessary suffering and death.

Puppy Prison Break - FoMA Pets

Live a happier life

Adopting a pet can be a highly positive experience for all involved. Many studies show that pet owners are healthier than their non-pet-owning counterparts. They tend to live longer, happier lives because the mutual love between a pet and its owner is extremely positive. It has even been shown that people over the age of 65 make 30 percent less doctor visits than others if they own a pet. People dealing with conditions such as depression or anxiety can feel like they have nobody to rely on in times of need. A pet can play an important role of emotional support in times of stress. 

Happy Retriever - FoMA Pets

Help your children develop responsibility

Lastly, owning and caring for a rescue pet can be one of the most important aspects of your child’s development. Children who grow up around pets learn to play nicely and avoid behavior that could hurt others. It also teaches them to be responsible at a young age by gaining an understanding of how to treat the things they care about. It can also set children up well to enter school and forge bonds with others.

The mutual love of pet ownership cannot be overstated. Clearly, pets are not the only ones benefiting from their relationships with humans. What humans give to pets in care and love, pets give equally in their love and loyalty. FOMA encourages you to #AdoptLove this month by visiting any of our county’s local rescue organizations or the Miami-Dade Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center.

Happy for a Puppy - FoMA Pets