Kitten Season

In Sarasota, Kitten Season starts as early as March or April and lasts through October every year.   

It’s Kitten Season! While this may sound like a cute, fluffy slice of heaven for cat lovers, it actually can be quite a challenging time of year for animal shelters. In Sarasota, we need resources and supplies year round to support the momma cats and kittens that we care for day in and day out.

Your donation will allow us to provide food, shelter, and medical care for Sarasota County’s tiniest feline residents. For every $150 raised, Cat Depot will be able to care for one more kitten this year.  

Last year, Cat Depot rescued 903 kittens each needing medical care, spay/neuter, vaccinations, and often times, extended care in one of our dedicated foster homes until they were old enough to be adopted.

In-Kind Donations

Anyone, anywhere can donate food, litter and other items for momma cats and their babies by shopping on our Chewy Wish List

In-Kind donations can be shipped and delivered to Cat Depot or dropped off during business hours.

Cat Depot
2542 17th Street
Sarasota, FL 34205

Hours: 10:00am – 6:00pm Daily

Name A Kitten

Have a favorite movie, book, place, or name and would like to dedicate it to a tiny, cuddly, fluffy kitten? Visit our Giving Grid and make a $25 donation to submit your kitten names* and to help raise money for kitten season!

*Kitten Names must not include inappropriate, vulgar, or violent language. You may submit multiple names. Names are chosen on a need basis. Names will need to be approved before use. 

Kitten Season FAQs

Kitten season, otherwise known as feline breeding season, takes place during warm months, typically March through October, and many shelters experience the bulk of their cat and kitten intake during this time. Shelters and rescues need foster parents who can provide temporary care for these vulnerable kittens until they are old enough to be adopted. To learn more about Kitten Season and the ways you can help, check out this article from Community Education Specialist, Amanda Ward. 

You can help support Cat Depot during Kitten Season and all year long, not matter your age, ability or resources:

  • Anyone, anywhere can donate cat food, litter, and other items for momma cats and their babies by shopping on our Chewy Wishlist or dropping items off at our shelter. 
  • Not only should all personal cats be spayed/neutered, but by learning more about TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return), you also can help community cats. 
  • It takes less than 1 minute to share a post on social media about Kitten Season, TNVR, or other resources that can potentially help other cats in your community. You can help Cat Depot simply by sharing our posts! #catdepotsaveslives
  • We are always looking for new foster volunteers to help care for our bottle baby and special needs kittens and cats. For more information on our foster program, contact our Community Engagement Manager at volunteer@catdepot.org.

If you found a kitten:  

It’s common to find a litter of unattended kittens or even a single kitten seemingly abandoned by its mother. If you find yourself in such a situation, stop for a moment and remember these tips about helping abandoned kittens: 

  1. Make sure the kitten really is abandoned: Mother cats have to find food, and they can leave for a few hours at a time while doing so. Sometimes a momma cat moves her litter in order to ensure her little ones are safe. She has to carry her kittens, one at a time, from the old location to the new one. If the kittens appear to be clean, plump, and quiet, then they are likely doing well with mom nearby.
  2. Observe from a distance and do not handle the kittens: If you are concerned that mom might not be coming back, watch the kitten(s) but do not get too close (it is recommended to stay at least 25 feet away). If the mom cat is feral and she smells human scent near her babies, she might be too frightened to come back and care for her kittens. Kittens usually need to eat every four to six hours, so if it has been 12 hours since you found the kitten(s) and the mother has not come back, something is most likely wrong and you can take the next step.
  3. Warm them up: Kittens less than three weeks old cannot control their own body temperature and can easily get so chilled they can die, even when outdoor temperatures are warm. A chilled kitten is lethargic and may actually feel cold to the touch. To get abandoned kittens warm, prepare a “nest” lined with bath towels and put a heating pad or hot water bottle under the towels on medium heat. Be sure to leave a place where the kitten(s) can crawl away if they get too hot.
  4. Call for help: During the height of kitten season, local shelters and rescue groups, like Cat Depot here in Sarasota, might have nursing mom cats who may welcome some extra kittens. Mother-cat milk is by far the best nutrition a growing baby can get. If shelters do not have mom cats available, they may have fosters or volunteers who know how to bottle feed and care for newborn kittens, or they might give you instructions on how to do so. 

This chart from the Kitten Lady can help guide you in determining the age of the kitten that you have found and share with you some general milestones and characteristics of kittens at each stage. For more information and instructions on how to care for kittens at each stage, please call us at 941-366-2404. 

We are currently seeking fosters for Bottle Babies. If you are interested in becoming a Bottle Baby Foster, please contact our Community Engagement Manager at volunteer@catdepot.org

The Kitten Lady has put together this great instructional video on feeding Bottle Babies. Even more resources on bottle feeding and kitten care can be found on her website.