Inside The Kitten Nursery That Has Saved 5,000 Tiny Lives

This Kitten Nursery has volunteers and staff caring for kittens year-round, 24/7, from birth to when they’re big enough to be adoptable, which is at about 2 pounds, when they can get spayed or neutered.

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The tiny kittens who arrive at the Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles are typically brought in by people who find litters on their property without the mother nearby (she might be out for food) and are not able to fend for themselves, or even perform basic functions like pee or poop on their own, and without their mother they must be bottle-fed.

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Volunteers will stimulate their bowels and bladder by gently rubbing on their abdomen. Those lucky enough to arrive with their mama get to stay with them in the Mommy & Me room to nurse to their heart’s content instead of heading to the aquariums where the 2-week-and-under kittens are kept between feedings and snuggles provided by the volunteers and staff.

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Fostering is another important component of the Kitten Nursery. According to Elizabeth Pashley, foster care coordinator, “Fosters can take kittens as young as they are comfortable with caring for — we have sent out 2- to 3-day-olds to foster, although more often it’s the older ones at 1 to 2 weeks old.”

The Best Friends Animal Society has a goal of caring for 2,900 kittens in 2016.

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There are currently 179 approved nursery volunteers.

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All kittens are weighed before and after feedings.

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The kittens who don’t have a mama are given stuffed animals for cuddling.

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Awwww, a tiny purr-ito!

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Things can get a little messy when the kittens start eating on their own.

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Volunteers are available 24/7 to help the kittens with whatever they need.

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The world’s best job!

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If you want to volunteer, donate, foster or adopt, visit bestfriends.org.

All images @JESSICA PERALTA
( h/t: TheDodo )
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