Dallas Animal Services

DFW Kitten Network

The DFW Kitten Network is a partnership between local animal shelters and rescue groups designed to work together to save the lives of area kittens. Each Spring, Texas shelters and rescues begin overflowing with homeless kittens in need of care and adoptive homes; our goal is to optimize our lifesaving efforts by working hand in hand with each other and the community.

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​DFW Kitten Network

​Community Cats

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to COVID-19, DAS is NOT taking in healthy community cats at this time; we are ONLY taking in emergency cases, including kittens. DAS considers sick or injured cats and kittens and confirmed orphaned bottle-baby kittens (not weaned or eating solids) to be emergencies. We are not taking in healthy moms and litters, healthy kittens that are weaned and eating solids or "gruel" or bottle baby kittens that are not confirmed as orphaned. Any kittens with a mother should be monitored until 8 weeks of age rather than brought to the shelter. See below for more information regarding nursing or orphaned kittens.

Wondering what to do about community cats and kittens? Click here and see below for more information.
Click here for more information!

Are you already the manager of a community cat colony? Fill out this application so that we can keep track of the community cats in Dallas.

Finding "Orphaned" Kittens

Not all kittens need help. The best place for kittens is with their mother, so before you scoop up kittens you find outdoors it is important to first determine if they're truly orphans or if mom is hiding or hunting nearby.


Helping Kittens That Have Been Orphaned

Unfortunately, there are times when kittens become permanently separated from their mothers. In this case, it is important to get them appropriate care immediately.

You'd make a great foster parent! If you're willing to care for the kittens until they're two-months-old (or weigh 2lbs) and can be fixed for adoption, call 311 and let them know you're interested in being a finder foster.

If you're unable to care for the kittens, we're still here to help. If you found orphaned, sick, or injured kittens within the City of Dallas, call 311 and we will work to find them a foster within our program or with one of our rescue partners. (**If you're unable to care for kittens, please call 311 to report kittens in need of care. Do not bring them to the shelter. Due to COVID-19 and our adjusted shelter operations, the only non-staff permitted inside the building are those who believe we have their missing pet.)

Didn't find them in the City of Dallas? Reach out to one of the groups in the right-hand sidebar for help! (Some services for these groups may have changed due to COVID-19.)

Once kittens have reached 8 weeks of age, we encourage you to seek spay/neuter services for TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) or prior to rehoming the kittens. Spay Neuter Network and SPCA of Texas are both great local resources for low-cost spay/neuter surgeries.

Lots of groups in the DFW community are providing support for kittens! If you're able to help, check out their wishlists for their most needed supplies.

Cat Matchers: 
Click here for wishlist.

Dallas Animal Services: 
Click here for wishlist.

Feral Friends: 
Click here for wishlist.

Rockwall Pets: 
Click here for wishlist.

SPCA of Texas: 
Click here for wishlist.

Resources to Help You Care for Orphaned Kittens

Fostering orphaned kittens is fun, adorable, and rewarding! But, like all babies, kittens are fragile and need specialized care. That's why we have gathered a variety of resources to help ensure you have access to all of the information and best practices you need to successfully raise your kittens!

Determining Your Kitten's Age


For more detailed information, visit Alley Cat Allies' website.

How Kittens Grow


Bottle Feeding Kittens

Bottles are often too big for newborns, so start with syringe feeding. Make sure they're always laying flat on their bellies during meals to avoid aspiration, which can be deadly. 

Once they're ready for a bottle, transitioning is easy! Make sure they're always laying flat on their bellies during meals to avoid aspiration, which can be deadly.

Helping Bottle Babies Go Potty
They've eaten successfully -- congratulations! But remember, newborn kittens can't go potty on their own; their mother stimulates urination and defecation through parental tongue baths. Kittens being raised by humans still need to go potty, so it's critical that you stimulate urination and defecation by wiping their genitals and anus areas with warm water on a cotton ball or soft cloth after every meal. This is one of the most important and most overlooked steps in kitten rearing.


Weaning Kittens
At three weeks of age, it's time to begin the weaning process. Congratulations -- you now have "gruel babies"! Gruel babies are more independent, more active, and naturally, a little messier -- but they're also absolutely adorable!


Litter Training Kittens
At three weeks, it's also time to start introducing your kitten to the litter box. Most kittens take to the litter box instinctively, however, some need a little more TLC to learn the ins and outs of the proper potty protocol.

Determining the Sex of Your Kitten
At around three weeks you should be able to determine whether your kitten(s) is a boy or a girl.

Kitten Vaccinations

The organization you're fostering for will take care of medical care for you, all you need to do is bring them in for their appointments with the shelter's veterinarian or the rescue's selected vet office.  Still, it is helpful to understand what your kittens are being vaccinated against to help safeguard their health.

Killing Fleas on Kittens

Baby kittens are too young for flea medications, but that doesn't mean you have to live with fleas!   


 Socializing Feral Kittens
Feral kittens may have never interacted with humans, so they're naturally defensive. With patience and cautious persistence, you'll be able to make them lap kittens in no time!