Orphan Kitten Project

Orphan Kitten Project is a student run non-profit organization at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Orphaned and abandoned neonatal kittens under 4 weeks of age are taken in from the community and given a complete physical exam by the project coordinators. These kittens are then fostered by veterinary students or giving members of the community who bottle-raise them in their own homes. The kittens are weaned, vaccinated, FeLV tested, spayed or neutered, and dewormed vaccinations before they are put up for adoption, usually by 10-12 weeks of age.

The purpose of this Project is twofold: 1) To reduce the feral cat population by rescuing stray kittens and providing them with foster homes as well as the necessary medical attention, vaccinations, deworming, and de-sexing prior to adoption 2) To train future veterinarians in the husbandry and medical care of feline neonates.

None of our foster kittens are involved in invasive medical research and no healthy kittens are euthanized because a permanent home cannot be found. All kittens remain in the program until they are adopted out. Our most recent statistics are provided in the table below:


2018 (up to August)



Total Number of Kittens




Live Release Rate





43% from local shelters, 15% from veterinary hospitals, and 42% from Good Samaritans

65% from local shelters and rescue organizations, 35% from Good Samaritans

72% from local shelters and rescue organizations, 28% from Good Samaritans

% Adopted




How do I adopt a Kitten?

Call our Orphan Kitten Hotline at 530.752.9407 and leave a message on our machine or email us at orphankittenproject@gmail.com. Calls are usually returned within 48 hours. We do not have a physical address, but potential adopters can meet kittens through individual foster parents.

The adoption fee is $100.00 for each kitten, 180$ for two. This fee includes the kitten's first 3 FVRCP vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, deworming, and FeLV testing. The adoption fee actually does not fully cover the cost of raising kittens which also includes formula, food, medications, bottles, carriers, and other supplies.

You can see our kittens at the Farmer's Market or at Pet Food Express in Davis on select Saturday Mornings. Any questions you may have can be answered by a project coordinator at our booth. Also, please see our listings on petfinder!

*The Live Release Rate is the number of live outcomes divided by the number of total outcomes (i.e. total number of kittens OKP has taken in that year). Because we take in mainly kittens -including neonates- some do pass away or are humanely euthanized to end suffering due to incurable disease.