Cats on Two Coasts Embody the Essence National Kitten Day

July 10, 2024

Banjo and Fluffy

In celebration of National Kitten Day on July 10, the ASPCA announced that over the past 10 years, we’ve provided lifesaving support to more than 23,000 of the most vulnerable kittens in New York City and Los Angeles.

With the crucial support of foster caregivers, the ASPCA has saved 11,000 kittens through our ASPCA Kitten Nursery in New York City and 12,000 kittens through our Los Angeles Kitten Foster Program.

NYC Kitten Nursery

The Nursery launched in 2014 in support of Animal Care Centers of New York City (ACC) and is 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 kitten season, a time of year when shelters nationwide are overwhelmed with a surge of vulnerable and newborn cats.

Banjo and Fluffy

Banjo, left, in New York, and Fluffy, in Los Angeles.

The ASPCA has had operations in Los Angeles for 10 years, and our partnership with the L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control – one of the largest municipal sheltering systems in the country – has resulted in thousands of kittens saved since 2017.

“Municipal shelters are particularly busy during kitten season. when there’s a surge of newborn kittens requiring specialized, intensive care,” says Tina Fried, Senior Director of Feline Programs for the ASPCA in Los Angeles. 

In New York and Los Angeles, the ASPCA routinely takes in kittens under eight weeks old who are too young to be cared for in shelters, placing them with foster caregivers.

Banjo’s Tale

The first bottle baby of the 2024 kitten season in NYC was Banjo, an orange tabby who arrived on April 10, from ACC’s Brooklyn shelter. Banjo weighed just 215 grams and three days later, was placed with an experienced foster caregiver, Andrea Z., on April 13, who bottle-fed him every five hours and cared for him until he was neutered on May 23. He was adopted on Memorial Day weekend.


“He transitioned to wet food very well and is a good eater,” says Andrea, who fosters for other organizations including Animal Care Centers of NYC and has had upward of 50 fosters.

“They’re with you for two months; you really are their mother,” Andrea adds. “You’re waking up in the middle of the night and sleeping in three- to five-hour increments. You get attached, but that’s OK because they’re getting ready for a home and you’re helping them get to where they need to be.”

Andrea says Banjo would climb up to her shoulder and then fall asleep. She called him her “little parrot.”

“He’s such an outgoing cat and wants to be friends with everyone,” she says. “I introduced him to friends and family. He’s very curious and explores things. He’s one of the quickest learners I’ve had.”

Fluffy’s Story

On May 13, a tiny grey-and-white male kitten was dropped off at the Downey Animal Care Center in Downey, California, by a good Samaritan who found him with no other siblings or a mama.


Sarah L., an ASPCA foster for the past two years, fostered Fluffy along with another kitten.

“Fluffy is social, he is very talkative and loves to play with his foster friend, another kitten who hasn’t been named yet,” says Sarah, who lives with her mother and brother who help her foster. She also has a Siamese cat named Handsome. 

“Fostering kittens is more than a compassionate act, it’s a lifeline,” says Hella Tyler, Senior Manager of Foster Care in Los Angeles. “In a city with countless vulnerable kittens, fostering transforms their future, giving them a chance at a loving home and healthy life.”  

Both Andrea and Sarah have fond memories of their fostering experiences. While it’s never easy to let them go, “it does get easier,” according to Andrea.


“The best thing about fostering is all the love and cuddles from the kittens and being able to give them a temporary loving home,” says Sarah. “The hardest thing is getting attached and saying goodbye.” 

“It’s hard work but it’s rewarding,” adds Andrea. “And seeing them move on to their next chapter is a positive thing to celebrate—for both of us.”

Fostering or adopting just one animal helps shelters make room to save another animal. We call that The Rescue Effect. Visit to learn more about how you can make an impact that ripples throughout shelters nationwide!