Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 9, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Last week, I had a chance to attend the grand opening of the first neonatal kitten nursery in the Washington DC area. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington opened its “Kitten Academy” to help kittens that are less than three weeks old, an age when a kitten is the most vulnerable.

Orphaned kittens in shelters have to overcome exposure to disease a well as the lack of a nursing mother, and because most shelters are stretched the limit with resources in general, these kittens are often euthanized without getting a chance. The AWL wants to not only help the kittens coming into their shelter, they also want to educate the public about the plight of these babies and how they can be helped.

Mai Tai in the AWL’s new incubator

The Kitten Academy program operates with dedicated volunteers. The shelter’s goal is to get the kittens into foster homes who have experience caring for neonatal kittens as quickly as possible after they are taken into the nursery. The League regularly  hosts Kitten Care Workshops to train those interested in learning how to bottle feed and care for orphaned kittens. The League’s long term goal is to have dedicated staff to care for the kittens onsite. Currently, volunteers stop in several times overnight to feed these bottle babies until they can go to foster homes.

How cute is this cake!

The Kitten Academy was made possible thanks to a donation of $25,000 from Falls Church residents Ted and Willa Lutz. Mrs. Lutz is a longtime volunteer at the shelter.

kitten names
Of course, I had to get in on the name suggestions!

For more information about the Kitten Academy, please visit

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4 Comments on Animal Welfare League of Arlington Opens First Kitten Nursery in the Washington DC Area

  1. Love this. Was the kitten lady involved at all. I know she is in that area.

    Love fostering those little bottle babies.

  2. I love this. The people who made the donation to make Kitten academy possible are angels. We have a few people in my town working hard for the cats in the area. I have noticed them asking for foster homes for kittens needing bottle feeding. Also a TNR program was recently started.

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