Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Humane Society Caring For Mother Cat With 11 Kittens

An 11-kitten litter is pictured at the San Diego Humane Society, August 8, 20...

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Above: An 11-kitten litter is pictured at the San Diego Humane Society, August 8, 2019.

The San Diego Humane Society announced Thursday that its kitten nursery is currently looking after a cat with a litter of kittens that is more than double the average litter size.

Average kitten litters range from three to five kittens, according to the humane society. The unnamed cat in the kitten nursery gave birth to 11 kittens and also has 11 nipples, more than the six to eight found on an average cat.

"A healthy litter this size is incredibly uncommon and certainly not something we see every day in the nursery," said Jackie Noble, the kitten nursery's manager.

The mother cat and her kittens are all in good health, the humane society said. A resident found the mother and her kittens in a dumpster downtown and promptly brought them to the humane society. The litter did not appear to be dumped by a previous owner and the mother cat seemingly thought the dumpster would be a safe place to care for the kittens.

The humane society said the mother's case highlights the need to spay or neuter domesticated animals, but cats in particular. Because cats can conceive a litter of kittens roughly every three months, a single female cat can have more than 200 kittens in her lifetime. The humane society offers free spay/neuter services, vaccinations and ear-tipping services for identification for stray cats at each of its campuses.

The mother and kittens will remain in the nursery until the kittens are ready to be adopted and the mother can be spayed. The humane society did not say if the mother also will be put up for adoption or returned outdoors as a so-called "community cat."

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.