Spring is already in the air. Grass will start growing, flowers will be blooming and tiny, squeaking balls of feline fluff will start arriving at the Best Friends Kitten Nursery in Salt Lake City.
And then more kittens will arrive — then more, and still more.
To keep plenty of supplies on hand, Best Friends created a kitten nursery wish list at Amazon. That way, anyone in the community can help provide care and healing for these littlest fur balls in less time than a lunchbreak. (Although we bear no responsibility for time spent distracted by the adorable array of snuggle buddy stuffed toys you can buy to keep single kittens company.)
It won’t take long to fill up the 220 spaces in the nursery with hungry, mewing, mostly orphaned mouths to feed.
“The nursery starts taking in kittens in March, and will likely fill up by the second week of April,” says Lawrence Nicolas, adoption manager for Best Friends Pet Adoption Center and the kitten nursery. “It will pretty much stay at capacity until the end of October.”
The facility stays open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s because kittens need around-the-clock care. But that also makes it convenient. The very moment orphaned kittens and cats with nursing litters show up at a No-Kill Utah partner facility, shelter staff can bring them straight over to the nursery anytime day or night.
Over the last year, some 1,400 kittens and nursing moms depended on the kitten nursery to survive. That’s why Best Friends is preparing now.
More than fluff and fun
“I think when people think of the kitten nursery, they think it’s all fuzzy and cuddly, but it definitely operates more like a medical facility than people realize,” says Arlyn Bradshaw, executive director of Best Friends–Utah. “Volunteers get plenty of training and function more like vet techs.”
That’s because the kittens coming in aren’t the blazing balls of energy we think of as kittens. These guys are the ones who might not yet have even opened their eyes. They definitely still need momma’s milk. Instead, they get around-the-clock feeding from the dedicated volunteers. Their weight is checked routinely, medicines are given and strict protocols are followed to ensure the safety of kittens whose immune systems haven’t yet developed.
How you can help orphaned kittens
Bottle warmers and sterilizers, heating pads, cleaning supplies, toys, food — you name it. These tiny munchkins need it in order to grow up strong and healthy. Everything they need is all on the Amazon wish list. The nursery will automatically pop up in your address book for delivery. Saving lives has never been so easy.
Thank you for all that you do to help Save Them All.