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Charlotte’s new kitten nursery is a success...but now, city has tons of kittens

An Animal Health Technician at CMPD Animal Care and Control, feeds a 5-7 day old kitten at the facility on Wednesday.
An Animal Health Technician at CMPD Animal Care and Control, feeds a 5-7 day old kitten at the facility on Wednesday. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The creation of an orphaned kitten nursery this past spring has handed Charlotte’s Animal Care & Control Division a fall challenge: what to do with all those cats.

There is no danger of the cats having to be euthanized, says Melissa Knicely, spokeswoman for the division. However, she’s asking — no, make that begging — for the community to come adopt some cats. Fees are being waived as encouragement, she added.

“We are at capacity,” said Knicely. “We’re not panicking, but we want to get the buzz turned up a bit. Come and get ‘em.”

The Humane Society recently took 20 kittens off the division’s hands, but there are still about 140 cats looking for homes, she said.

Waiting in the wings are couple dozen more kittens still in the nursery, all too young to be adopted.

The glut of cats is a good problem to have, Knicely adds. The nursery was started in April because many of the neonates (kittens between the ages of a day and a few weeks old) weren’t surviving.

“These kittens must be bottle fed every two to three hours in order to survive,” said Knicely. “Over 2,000 members of the Charlotte community applied to volunteer in the kitten nursery. We were overwhelmingly thrilled with the show of support for this life-saving program.”

Without those volunteers, some of the kittens would likely have been euthanized because of a lack of capacity to care for them, officials said.

The agency’s kitten nursery was created with $11,000 grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Thirty kittens at a time will be housed in the nursery.

Melissa Knicely of Animal Care & Control said hundreds of kittens are born each spring in the county, and they cannot be adopted out until they're big enough to eat solid food.

To find out more

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care & Control Division is at 8315 Byrum Drive. Phone: 704-336-7600. Hours: Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday thru Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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