kitten adoption california

Californians Can Adopt Kittens Earlier


Kittens in California shelters may now be adopted before 8 weeks of age thanks to Assembly Bill 1565, which Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law over the summer. The bill also waives the former mandatory six-day waiting period required for stray cat adoption. The bill was backed by the San Diego Humane Society and the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, among others. Because of their immature immune systems, young kittens are more susceptible to picking up infections and communicable diseases. Quickly moving them out of a shelter environment to an adoptive home lessens the chances that they will become sick.


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14 thoughts on “Californians Can Adopt Kittens Earlier”

  1. This is absolutely awesome!! No reason why they should be in foster-care when they could be with a fur-ever family – as long as they are spayed/neutered when they make weight. I’m sure there are provisions in the adoption agreement about that. Of course, I agree they should stay with mom, but if they go to the shelter and have no mom, then this is an excellent way to keep kittens out of shelters where they often get sick and are exposed to many diseases. This response is for shelter/rescue animals only.

  2. This is just plain wrong. A baby kitten needs their mommy and siblings for at least 8-12 weeks old. They should be put in foster homes until they are strong and old enough to be spayed and neutered if they can’t be in a shelter environment. I can’t believe 2 big rescues are allowing them to be adopted out before 8 weeks. Governor Newsome has no idea what kittens need. This is crazy

  3. This is wrong, 8 weeks is the minimum age kittens should be separated from they’re mother unless orphaned or rejected. A friend of mine adopted one that turned out to be six weeks old, wasn’t well, went to the vet and they said shouldn’t go till 8 weeks, but the kitten was better with my friend than risking it being sold again. I cant believe an animal charity would back this!

  4. Are these two humane organizations getting lazy?
    Kittens should not be taken from their mothers before 12 weeks. If these kittens are orphaned or abandoned by their mother then that is a different situation. Hopefully, adopters are trained or have much experience with young kittens. Our rescue gives a test.

  5. Lot of great comments here. There were two humane organizations backing this bill, where were the cat groups who should have advocated for the kittens and against it? Hope this does not signal a nationwide trend.

  6. When I first read that Californians can now adopt kittens earlier I wondered if that had been proposed and encouraged by retailers selling kittens for profit. I believe it is a huge step backwards and can’t believe it was backed by two Humane Societies. Our local shelter sends young kittens with or without mother cats to foster homes until they have been inoculated and fixed.

  7. Are you kidding me? Why are they not in a foster home till they’re ready to be spayed/neutered which is when they are over 2 lbs? I foster so I know how crucial keeping kittens safe is. Why are they not in a separate area away from adult cats if that’s the case? I can only imagine how crowded your shelters will be after this.

  8. While this may be good for disease prevention, it is not so good for the kittens. They should have more time with their mothers and siblings for socialization. Shorter times may mean more behavioral problems and possibly more cats surrendered later. It would be better to increase resources and support for fostering mothers and their kittens so they would be out of the shelter but still not separated from their families until later.

    1. Agree completely. Kittens need that time with their mothers and siblings, it is essential for their development. Our local shelter doesn’t adopt kittens out until after 12 weeks. Plus they are over their weight minimum and are thus all neutered, microchipped and vaccinated before they go.

  9. This bill doesn’t address the mandatory rule that kittens must weigh 2 pounds before they can be spayed or neutered. Has that been waived too?

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