ASPCA Kitten Nursery Helps 10,000 of New York City’s Most Vulnerable Animals With Support From Foster Caregivers

Since opening the city’s first and largest high-volume kitten nursery dedicated to the care and treatment of neonatal kittens in 2014, the ASPCA has provided lifesaving support to 10,000 kittens in New York City
July 8, 2022

NEW YORK – In honor of National Kitten Day on July 10, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced a significant achievement by caring for its 10,000th kitten through the ASPCA Kitten Nursery in New York City, which relies on the help of supportive foster caregivers to provide lifesaving care to kittens in need. Since launching in 2014 in support of Animal Care Centers of New York City (ACC), the ASPCA’s facility has served as the city’s first and largest high-volume kitten nursery dedicated to the care and treatment of neonatal kittens who are often too young to survive on their own. This milestone comes during the height of feline breeding season, also known as kitten season, a time of year when shelters nationwide are overwhelmed with vulnerable and newborn cats.

The 10,000th kitten, named Zanzibar, a 10-week-old tabby kitten with orange fur, arrived at the ASPCA Kitten Nursery from ACC at four weeks of age in need of specialized medical support for an upper respiratory infection. After being assessed by an ASPCA veterinarian, she was placed with an experienced foster caregiver who provided bottle-feedings, medications and socialization to help Zanzibar gain strength and prepare for life in an adoptive home. Zanzibar is now healthy and strong thanks to the support of her foster caregiver and will soon be available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan.

“Reaching this 10,000-kitten milestone demonstrates how much we can accomplish when animal welfare organizations, foster caregivers, and veterinary professionals work together to address a life-threatening animal welfare challenge with the utmost compassion and determination,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “We’re proud to provide Animal Care Centers of NYC with critical assistance and encourage the public to continue adopting and fostering animals to help their local shelters manage the ongoing seasonal surge of vulnerable kittens.”

The majority of kittens helped through the ASPCA Kitten Nursery are transferred from ACC, the only open-admission shelter in New York City, to help alleviate pressure on the city’s shelter operations. Kittens are also taken in from individual rescuers throughout the five boroughs.

“The ASPCA Kitten Nursery is an essential part of ACC’s mission to end animal homelessness in New York City. The ASPCA has taken thousands of kittens from ACC over the years and provided the care and compassion needed to ensure their survival,” said ACC President and CEO Risa Weinstock. “The partnership between the ASPCA and ACC has been key in our pursuit to make New York City the most humane city for animals in the nation.”

Vulnerable kittens under eight weeks old often require round-the-clock attention as they mature, a resource that many shelters don’t have, so foster programs that support frequent bottle-feeding for the youngest of these kittens and medical check-ups are crucial to help them grow and find loving homes. Thousands of shelter animals across the country—such as vulnerable kittens, including those who may have been unintentionally orphaned by well-meaning members of the public—require specialized care, and in some cases, continued support after they have been adopted, due to medical or behavioral needs.

In addition to the ASPCA Kitten Nursery, the ASPCA has cared for close to 9,000 kittens through its Los Angeles Kitten Foster Program, launched in 2016, which supports Los Angeles County Animal Care Centers.

New Yorkers and animal lovers across the country are encouraged to make a difference this season by fostering vulnerable kittens. At the moment, the ASPCA Kitten Nursery has a particular need for foster caregivers who can provide frequent bottle-feeding and support for kittens who may require regular baths or treatment with medication. To learn more about how to foster kittens in New York City and to complete an online application, please visit