During the summer feline breeding season, known as kitten season, animal shelters across the country are flooded with homeless and newborn cats. To accommodate this seasonal influx of felines, the ASPCA opened a new facility in 2014 dedicated to the care and treatment of neonatal (newborn) kittens.
The city’s first high-volume “kitten nursery” provides care for felines too young to survive on their own. Caring for newborn cats is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process, as these young animals require round-the-clock attention. The nursery serves both nursing cats with litters and orphaned kittens that are taken in by Animal Care Centers of New York City throughout the five boroughs on a daily basis. The ward is designed to house over 200 adjustable cages, each with the ability to accommodate a combination of orphaned kittens or a litter and nursing mother, and has the capacity to safely house and care for up to 2,000 kittens during a full feline breeding season (April through September). The nursery cared for 1,743 kittens in 2016.