Kitten Season is quickly approaching!

Although the name “kitten season” sounds precious, the reality of the strain it puts on shelters isn’t so cute. When warmer months hit, female cats go into heat and litters upon litters of kittens are born. For newborn kittens found without a mother, they face a treacherous path. The most vulnerable are neonatal kittens (newborns to 4 weeks of age), otherwise known as “bottle babies”. Kittens this old cannot fend for themselves, necessitating round-the-clock care from kind and giving humans. Care that includes bottle feeding every two to three hours and helping the babies with what their mother would typically do.

Looking to help? You can donate items, give us a gift, or become a foster. Keep reading to learn more!

Become a bottle baby or kitten foster!

With hundreds of tiny kittens coming through our doors, we need willing fosters to step up and take these animals into their care. Without fosters, shelters around the country like ours are overwhelmed with tiny felines that cannot survive on their own. We count on our foster volunteers to be the safe, warm homes that this abundance of “bottle babies” needs. Bring a willing heart and we can give you all the supplies and training necessary for success.

APS of Durham foster volunteers find the situation to be very rewarding. One kitten foster mom said, “I’ve enjoyed seeing these tiny kittens blossom into happy, healthy little beings who move on to wonderful homes that love and adore them. You know you’ve done right in the world and feel good. Then you get to start over with a new kitten or 2 or 3!  If you’ve ever thought about fostering, don’t hesitate any longer, it really is a great opportunity to help kittens AND make your heart swell.”

Foster Steps and Process:

Step 1. Join us for a Q&A (these sessions have been completed) or read up on what was covered by clicking the PDF below.

Step 2. Ready to commit? Fill out an application!

If you are ready to commit to being part of our foster program, please fill out this application. If you have already filled out this application, you do not need to do it again. Please keep in mind this is our general APS foster application. Our system will automatically filter you into the proper categories based on your interests. On your application, it will ask you what type of animals you are interested in fostering. This will help us best contact individuals and groups when there is a need. Once you fill out the application, you will receive an automatic response, shortly after, from our volunteer system saying you are approved. If you do not receive this message, please reach out to Larissa at

Step 2. Training!

All fosters, new and returning, will be required to complete an online training module prior  to picking up kittens from APS. This is to ensure both the foster and kittens have a successful experience while in our program. Please remember that if you joined us for the in person skills lab on April 9th, does not exempt you from completing the online training. The online training can be found here. A certificate will need to be sent to after completion. You will find that certificate at the end of the training!

Please join us for an in-person training/skills lab on Tuesday, April 9th at 6:00 pm at APS. If you are not able to make this, we will be offering a virtual training, required of all new and returning fosters before they can pick up kittens. This training will include information about bottle babies and older kittens. We’d strongly recommend coming to the in-person training, however, doing so will not exempt you from completing the online training. The online training can be found here.

Step 3. Kitten Shower!

Join us for our kitten shower! Sunday, April 21st, 1:00-3:00, at APS. Donation drive, meet and greet, games, and light refreshments. This is a great chance to meet new and returning fosters and get excited for the season to come!

Step 4. Be on the lookout!

As kittens trickle in, we will contact fosters via text, phone, and email. It truly all depends on the need at the time. When there are quite a few kittens, we often cast a wider net through email. When there are just 2-3 kittens that need help, we will contact someone directly. Please bear with us as our forms of communication truly depends on needs, staff time, and availability.


Donate supplies or give a monetary donation!

To care for a litter of bottle babies or kittens, it costs around $500 in supplies. Seeing hundreds of tiny kittens a season, we are in great need of your support.

We supply each of our fosters the necessary supplies to care for their tiny kittens, and we need your help to collect those supplies. Please consider making a donation to our program or visit our Amazon wishlist and pick out something for our kittens. You can also print our PDF and bring it with you to the pet store! Amazon sends these items directly to us and you are always welcome to drop off supplies at the shelter during business hours.



What to do if you find kittens in your area. Help us spread the word!

Information courtesy of The Humane Society of the United States.