It’s that time of year when animal shelters receive countless cute kittens and the search for forever homes begins

The city’s animal shelter is set to be overrun with an abundance of the most adorable little kittens you’ve ever seen and every single one of these cute critters is looking for a forever home.

While the pregnancy period for a cat is significantly shorter than that of a human, with a typical pregnancy lasting about 65 days, it’s plain to see that in the wintertime our furry friends like to seek out companionship, just like us. So every springtime, the world is once again blessed with litter upon litter of the most loving little kittens and that in turn means the animal shelter reaches its full cat quota.

“Kitten season is the term used from April to August, spring into summer,” Elizabeth Noble, Chair, Santa Monica Animal Shelter Foundation says. “The shelter receives animals all year round and always has kittens in their care. However, it is during this time of year that they see a higher volume of kittens both being brought in and mama cats who are about to have their litters.”

The Shelter has kittens ranging from hours old to months old and Noble explains that there are three main ways that kittens arrive at the shelter. The first is that someone finds the kittens within the city limits and they bring them in. The second way is that a resident brings their pregnant cat to the shelter and the third is that someone calls the shelter and reports that there is a kitten, or cat family, that needs their help and the Animal Control Officers will come to their rescue.

“They recently received a call for a kitten that was heard by someone meowing loudly and was all alone in a bush. This kitten was very young, they estimated just a couple days old. There was no sign of a mama cat or any other kittens and this little guy would not have made it if the shelter hadn’t helped it,” Noble says.

While intervention will clearly make the difference between life and death for these fragile felines, Noble stresses that the best thing anyone can do is to call the shelter for assistance. “We had a resident call who thought they were helping when they found a litter of newborn kittens and placed them in a box for the Animal Control Officers to pick up. However, if you find a litter of kittens do not remove them from where you found them,” Noble says.

“The mama cat is going to come back and if you remove them, she can’t find them and you will scare her off from returning. When you separate kittens, you lower their chance of survival. I know that people want to help, but we need to pause and make sure what we’re doing is right.”

The kittens at the shelter need months of care before they’re going to be old enough to be available for adoption. Anyone can contribute and all donations are very gratefully received. The best way to offer assistance is to make a monetary donation at smasf.org to help cover the cost of veterinary care, surgeries and additional medical needs as they arise. But with all of those little hungry mouths to feed, the shelter also needs kitten food and you can help, even if it’s just a little bit, by shopping their wishlist on chewy.com.

Finally, the second annual shelter Open House Fundraiser is on June 3, 2023, from 12-3pm at the site (1640 9th Street) that will include live music from a local band, face painting, a raffle, a super-cool auction and other fun activities for the whole family. All funds raised help the Santa Monica Animal Shelter and make a massive difference in the care and well-being of the animals.


Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.