Giving up your kittens for adoption

During the summer months, Battersea tends to see a higher number of pregnant cats and kittens coming through the doors, all needing new homes. If you have kittens looking for a new home, find out why it's best to bring them to Battersea.

Bringing your kittens to Battersea

At Battersea we fully understand that circumstances can change and respect how much of a difficult but responsible decision it is to bring your kitten(s) to us. We are not here to judge and just have the animal's best interest in mind.

Battersea's core mission is never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help, and we are committed to ensuring that every dog and cat receives the highest standards of care.

If you would like to bring your kitten(s) to one of our three centres please call us first:

CentreTelephoneEmail
Battersea London0207 627 9308cat.intake@battersea.org.uk
Battersea Old Windsor01784 494 462bowcat.intake@battersea.org.uk
Battersea Brands Hatch01474 875 112bbhcat.intake@battersea.org.uk

*Calls cost 5p per minute from a BT landline, mobile charges may vary. All income donated from these calls will go toward the care of the dogs and cats at Battersea.

What happens to kittens when they arrive at Battersea?

What happens to kittens when they arrive at Battersea

More detail

Just like every animal that arrives at Battersea, they are given a thorough health check by our Veterinary team. As well as treating any medical conditions, we make sure all kittens are vaccinated, microchipped and neutered.

The kittens will then be settled into their temporary home, either at Battersea or with a dedicated foster carer, so they can receive the round-the-clock care they need until they are ready to be rehomed.

Our expert foster carers play a vital role in helping kittens get used to domestic life by ensuring they get all the food, cuddles and playtime they need. Then, at nine weeks old, if they’re healthy and ready to move on, we’ll spend time matching them up with the perfect family for their individual needs.

Whilst many pregnant mums will stay on-site in our special cattery maternity ward, pregnant mums will also sometimes stay in foster homes, to give them the quiet space they need to give birth and a social home environment to nurse their young. Newborn kittens are incredibly vulnerable, so our foster carers will always remain close at hand should anything not go to plan.

Socialisation

The socialisation of kittens is vital.

The close ancestors of the domestic cat are solitary living predators that don’t have any need for social companionship (and in most cases will actively avoid it). If a domestic cat does not receive the right type of human interaction and handling during the cat’s ‘sensitive’ period for socialisation (around two-seven/eight weeks of age), which is then also followed up with positive social experiences as the cat matures, a cat is unlikely to develop the capacity to be sociable towards people later in life.

In essence, cats are not born liking people but must learn to see them as something positive and non-threatening, and this can only happen if they are appropriately socialised at the right time.

If kittens are exposed to more than one person and have positive experiences in terms of interactions and handling, they are more likely they are to become sociable adult cats that enjoy being around people. The more positive experiences a kitten has (with people, other animals and their physical environment) at the right time, the more likely they are to develop into a content, relaxed and confident cat around people.

Here at Battersea, we ensure all kittens in our care receive the positive socialisation they need before going to their new home.

The Battersea Catteries

Here at Battersea we have state-of-the-art facilities to take on and care for all kittens, no matter their needs.

What do I do if I find a litter of abandoned kittens?

It can be easy to intervene at the first sight of an unattended kitten or litter of kittens; however, it is important not to rush into the situation. Here are some tips on what to do if you find unattended kittens:

Ask around

If the mother and kittens have turned up in your garden or nearby, ask around the neighbourhood first to determine whether they are owned or if others are aware of them. If this is unsuccessful then contacting a pet charity or a rehoming centre can help to get the relevant advice.

Leave the kittens undisturbed

It may seem that the mother is not around however she may be roaming nearby or seeking out food. Often the mother will return within a couple of hours. In this instance, all attempts should be made to leave the kittens undisturbed, avoiding any contact or handling as this could deter the mother. A safe distance should be given from the kittens, enough to observe them, but not too close that the mother feels she cannot return. If the kittens are in imminent danger, then they can be carefully moved to an outside sheltered area.

Avoid feeding

Try to avoid feeding the kittens unless consulted to do otherwise. Cats are lactose intolerant so in no circumstances should they be provided with cow’s milk. Instead, water should be provided, ensuring levels are not too high that they could fall in. Kitten food can also be placed in front of them but please do not attempt to feed them personally, they need to be able to do this on their own.

Seek out a vet

If the mother has not returned after a couple of hours, and the kittens are very young they may still be reliant on their mother’s milk and will need hand rearing. In this circumstance, seek out a vet or pet charity as a matter of urgency.

Consult with a rehoming centre

If the mother has returned and all are in a safe place away from danger, then consult with a rehoming centre on what to do. By giving the rehoming centre as much information as possible (such as how old/big the kittens are, where they were found and the temperament of the mother) means experts can provide better advice on how to manage the situation and steps going forward.

Medical attention

If a kitten(s) has clearly been abandoned/dumped then contacting a local pet charity would be the first port of call. If the kittens are in urgent need of medical attention then they should be taken to a local vet where they can receive the subsequent care needed.

Do not keep them

Despite how much it may be tempting, if you find a litter of kittens, it is important not to keep them. They will need vital care through worming, vaccinations and neutering before being rehomed. Pet charities and animal rescue centres are well equipped for these situations to provide them with everything they need.


Buttercup's story

Buttercup was found by a dog walker who on passing heard Buttercup’s cries from a closed storage container in a field. She was found alone and hiding under some old furniture after which she was brought to Battersea at Old Windsor.

Although in a good condition, Buttercup was obviously shaken by the ordeal. She was estimated at being five weeks old, which is far too young to be separated from her mother and litter. From her behaviour, it was evident that she had been socialised by people and with no route for her to enter or leave the container, it is believed she was abandoned.

Due to her being so young and on her own, Buttercup was placed into a foster home to benefit from consistent positive handling and to gain confidence with sights, sounds, smells and activities in a home environment. Buttercup grew in confidence, with her affectionate and playful temperament coming out. At around nine weeks of age, after being neutered, microchipped and vaccinated she passed all her medical checks and was successfully rehomed.

Now called Pebbles, she is enjoying her life with her new family.

Report it

If you find a litter of kittens and Battersea is one of your local rescue centres you can report it to us and we will do our best to ensure a happy reunion or rehome.

File a report

OUR INTAKE POLICY

Our core mission is never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help

Read our policy