Every year as the weather changes, adult cats begin to mate and give birth to litters of kittens. We call it kitten season! In Chicago, kitten season can begin as early as April and last all the way until October. That’s a lot of kittens. Pretty cute problem to have, right?

In one year, one cat can have 12 – 18 kittens.

Those kittens can have 12 – 18 more kittens within six months.

And that’s just starting with one cat! Animal shelters become easily overwhelmed during kitten season. All those kittens in need of homes or rescue mean our resources are stretched to the limit. 

Learn More About Kitten Season

This year, we hope to save more kittens than ever with your help. All season, we’ll be featuring the care our team dedicates to rescuing, nurturing, fostering, adopting, and caring for kittens.

Adopting Kittens

While we feature the kittens in our care throughout kitten season, they are not adoptable until they’re on our adoption floor! We know kittens are cute, which is why you’ll see them featured on our website and social media, but please refrain from inquiring about a specific kitten. The only way to adopt or meet a cat in our care is to visit us in person during our walk-in adoption hours.

Spay/Neuter Services

The first step to saving kittens is saving their parents! Our Community Cats program performs TNR in target communities, and our Veterinary Wellness Center offers spay/neuter to cats of all stripes. Learn more about community cats and TNR here, or book an appointment at the VWC here.

Spotted a Kitten?

It’s natural to see a kitten and want to scoop them up and bring them to us. Unfortunately, that’s not always the best for the cat and not always possible for us. But you can still help!

Watch this video from Best Friends on what to do if you’ve found a kitten outside.

Foster Care

Once kittens arrive in a shelter, they’ve got some growing up to do before they’re ready for adoption! We only have so much space and so many staff members, though. More than ever, we rely on foster homes to help us bottle feed neonate kittens. Interested? Learn more!


Just like human babies, kittens require a special diet and some unique supplies. KMR (kitten milk replacement) allows kittens to get all the nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong. Check out our wishlist for kitten supplies here!


Of course, once the kittens are healthy and ready for a home, we’d love for you to meet them! Though adorable and rewarding, kittens are still a responsibility! Our adoption and support counselors will guide you through how to care for a new kitten. Start your adoption journey today!