Kitten Foster Friday: Single Mother’s Club

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This weekend (September 26th through the 28th) we will be waiving the adoption fee on all available adult cats at both Adopt & Shop locations. If you have been thinking about adoption, stop by and meet some of our incredible adult kitties in need of a good home!

As Annie M. pointed out in our #100KittyDays blog, it is not unheard of for California shelters to receive over one hundred kittens in a single day during the height of Kitten Season. With so many tiny, adorable balls of fluff in desperate need of help, it is easy to forget about the other victims of Kitten Season: their moms!


Mom cats and their litters need a safe and quiet place to nurse.

Mom Cats, or “queens”, are frequently surrendered to shelters along with their nursing litters during Kitten Season. Limited resources force many shelters to euthanize kittens that are too small to be spayed or neutered and therefore adopted. Unfortunately, this policy often extends to mother cats with un-weaned babies as well.

That’s where the Adopt & Shop Kitten Foster Project comes in. It is our mission to remove not only orphaned kittens, but also at-risk moms with their litters from shelters and place them in foster care until they are able to be adopted at one of our Adopt & Shop locations. For kittens, that means reaching 2 lbs. in body weight, the required size for a safe spay or neuter surgery. For their mom, that means nursing her kittens until they are old enough to be weaned, undergoing separation from them to allow her milk supply to go down (a 2-week process on average), getting spayed, and then FINALLY moving up to the adoption floor.

Phew! That sounds exhausting. No wonder our adoptable mom cats love nothing more than to relax.


Sometimes mom cats just need a break! Here are some of our mothers enjoying their “me” time.

The trouble we constantly run into is that moms with babies are much more difficult to find fosters homes for than orphaned kittens, despite the fact that a good mom cat will do almost all of the foster parent’s work for them. A good mom nurses her kittens almost around the clock, rarely leaves their side, stimulates their elimination, and eventually teaches them to eat, drink and play.

It’s the perfect opportunity for a foster parent who is gone most of the day. All moms and their litters need to thrive is a small, secluded room to call home and minimal interference from their human foster family until the kittens are old enough for socialization.

Considering the amount of work that goes into saving moms from euthanasia and preparing them for adoption, it never fails to break our hearts when their kittens get adopted far more quickly than they do. Call us crazy, but we really feel like our mom cats sense how close they came to losing not only their own lives, but the lives of their babies as well, and they express their gratitude in more cuddles and purrs than your average cat.

mom cat with kittens

Often times these mom cats are still kittens themselves.

We always have incredible moms and babies in need of foster care, as well as moms that have graduated from our foster program and are now available for adoption. Please consider fostering or adopting one of these sweet girls, and spread the word about spay and neuter and its importance in saving lives.

Have you adopted or fostered with us? Share your story in the comments below or post your pictures on Adopt & Shop’s Facebook page.

4 Responses

  1. AD says:

    I don’t understand how it’s harder to find foster homes for moms and babies! Babies are a lot of work and mom’s really help the fosters! Plus I like knowing I have the mother cat off the street and not on the street creating more babies and not helping the problem at all.

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Ad, We think it is simply a case of “people don’t know”. A lot of first time foster volunteers only want to take one kitten (which we don’t do unless it is a special situation) because they think it will be easier to handle and they are nervous. Really though, having more than one kitten is easier on the foster volunteer and essential for the kittens because that is how they they get proper exercise and socialization. I hope that answers your question. Thanks!

  2. carol crawley says:

    I’d like to help if I can; I have 3 cats of my own, but I have a large townhouse that could accommodate a mother and kittens until the kittens are large enough to adopt out.