Kitten Resources

It takes a village to support the hundreds of abandoned neonate kittens that come to us in need of round-the-clock care every year. Being so young with low immune systems means these kittens are exceptionally vulnerable. Keeping them separate from our general shelter population and providing them with a safe, secure environment as they grow is critically important, which is why neonate fosters are so crucial. Hawaiian Humane provides all of the training, supplies and veterinary care for our fosters – we just need YOU and the gift of your time and compassion! There are so many ways to make a lifesaving difference today:

  • Join our trained force of neonate foster volunteers that we affectionately call the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee!


  • Donate much-needed supplies to our Kitten Shower registry!



  • What is Kitten Season?

    “Kitten Season” refers to a time of year where Free-Roaming cats start reproducing and continue to have several litters. In most states, Kitten Season begins around spring and lasts through early winter. However, in Hawaiʻi, Kitten Season can last almost year-round due to our warmer climate. During this time, Hawaiian Humane, and animal welfare organizations nationwide, experience a massive influx of kittens and mother cats admitted to the shelter. 

    Did you know…

    Kitten season is the time of year when female cats are most likely to go into heat, and they give birth to the most litters of kittens. Female cats can go into heat as early as four months old. Data shows that a female cat is able to have over 100 kittens during her reproductive years. 

  • What do I do if I find kittens?

    Not all kittens need help. A kitten’s best chance of survival is when they are 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 just hiding or hunting nearby. 

    • Quietly observe from a distance to determine if the mother is present. 
    • If the kittens are clean and sleeping in a heap, mom is most likely out hunting and will be back to care for them.
    • If you sense the kittens are in immediate danger, move them to a safe area nearby where mom can still find them. Place them in a sheltered area, away from direct sun, rain or traffic and continue to watch for the mother.
    • If you have observed the kittens for 12 to 24 hours and the mother has not returned, then pick them up and care for them. 

    If mom is nearby or returns, let her be the one to care for them until they are 8 weeks old.

    Follow the chart below to determine what to do next:


  • How do I know if a kitten is sick or injured?
  • How can I help kittens that have been orphaned?

    Provide care in your home until they are 8 weeks old.  If mom has truly not returned after several hours, newborn kittens will require human intervention and round-the-clock care, including bottle-feeding and more

    Hawaiian Humane can help to get you started by offering Kitten Kits at no cost.

    Pick up locations for Kitten Kits:

    Hawaiian Humane Adoption Center
    Daily, 11 am – 6 pm

    Ginny Tiu Community Spay/Neuter Center
    Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday: 7:30 – 8:30 am and 4:30 – 5:30 pm

    Hawaiian Humane Admissions Center
    Daily, 9 am – 7 pm

    Hawaiian Humane Administrative Reception
    Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm

    Humane Investigators on the road, island-wide 

    Hawaiian Humane Kitten Kits include:

    • 12oz can of KMR (Kitten Formula)
    • Nursing bottle, extra nipples & a bottle brush
    • 2-3cc oral syringes (for syringe feeding neonates)
    • 2-Miracle Nipples (a special attachment)
    • 2-cans of wet kitten food
    • Cardboard carrier (for transport)
    • Hand Warmers and Hand Towel (to keep them cozy)
    • Training Resource: Orphan Kittens Booklet 

    Other great resources to understand how to feed orphaned kittens:

  • Can I just bring kittens to you at Hawaiian Humane?

    As Oʻahu’s largest animal welfare organization, the Hawaiian Humane Society accepts all pet animals in need of shelter and care. However, newborn kittens less than eight weeks old are at high risk when brought into the shelter environment. Due to the large number of animals housed at animal shelters, underage kittens are some of the most vulnerable and susceptible to diseases that can spread quickly and can often be fatal.

    Underage kittens require round-the-clock care with constant monitoring and feedings that are not best met by the shelter setting. Though we make every effort to provide lifesaving measures for each animal brought to us, like shelters across the country, Hawaiian Humane cannot guarantee that a pet will be fostered, transferred or adopted. We ask for our community’s support in providing care for vulnerable animals until they are ready for spay/neuter surgery and adoption.

  • The kittens are 8+ weeks old. What are the next steps I should take?

    If the kittens are healthy, friendly and social, utilize social media and your personal network to try and place them in homes or email to discuss admission to Hawaiian Humane.  

    Contact a TNRM group or make an appointment for low-cost spay/neuter services at the Ginny Tiu Community Spay/Neuter Center. CLICK HERE  to schedule an appointment today. If mom is present, be sure to have her spayed too in order to prevent future litters. 

  • Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) Resources


    Low-fee Spay/Neuter and Vaccination Resources


    Other Ways to Support Kittens and Animals in our Community