By Janet McAfee

Kittyland is the only private shelter and sanctuary exclusively for homeless cats and kittens in the Coachella Valley.  Located on 2.5 acres in Desert Hot Springs, this volunteer based non-profit organization rescues, socializes, and provides medical care for homeless cats, lovingly preparing them for adoptive homes. Adoption hours are 10 am to 12:00 noon Monday through Saturday, (760) 251-2700.  Come by and meet the “cool cats” at Kittyland, located at 67-600 18th Avenue in Desert Hot Springs.

Upon arrival at Kittyland, every cat is given appropriate medical treatment.  Each is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped.  Mother cats with underage kittens are placed in foster homes where they receive extra care.  Kittyland also helps senior and disabled cats, some of whom are available for adoption, while others live their lives out receiving loving care at the sanctuary.

How do cats in need find their way to Kittyland?  Some are found roaming the desert, a dangerous place for felines.  Some become homeless when their owners die or enter assisted living centers.  Sometimes people move to a property where the landlord does not allow pets.  Tragically, some animals are tossed out of cars or thrown in dumpsters.  Kittyland also rescues cats and kittens from our overcrowded Riverside County shelter in Thousand Palms.

Founder and president Ann Woods arrived in the United States from her native England in 1989 with two cats in tow.  Ann states, “These magical, independent creatures have always been close to my heart.  We want Kittyland to become a haven of comfort and joy for Coachella Valley cats that are abandoned and/or injured.”  Private no-kill rescue groups like Kittyland offer a life-saving alternative as cats coming into open admission crowded public shelters are often in danger.

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Winston Churchill famously advised his countrymen to “CARRY ON” during World War II.  It seems like we are at war again with the current cat overpopulation crisis.  Calls pour into Kittyland about stray litters of cats on residents’ properties.  Sadly, the lack of spay & neuter services during the pandemic meant that more animals were born at a time when there is not enough homes.  More volunteers are needed to join the army of rescuers at Kittyland to help this wonderful facility meet today’s challenges.

Your reward comes when you hold a sweet fur ball kitten or when a grateful senior purrs as it brushes across you ankle. Taking a crated cat to a veterinary appointment to help restore its health is another great experience.  Cleaning kennels, changing litter boxes, and mopping floors might not be as much fun as socializing the cats, but it is essential to keep everything sanitary and the animals healthy.

In addition to shifts at the DHS shelter, volunteers are needed to help at PetSmart in Palm Springs where Kittyland’s adoptable felines are showcased.  An adoption counselor staffs the site from 11:am until 4:00pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. “Kitty helpers” are also needed for various 2-hour shifts that include changing litter boxes and getting the cats out for fun and socialization.

Contact Gail Reed Kibe, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator, by text at (760) 219-5528 for more information about volunteering.  You can include this volunteer experience on your employment resume, yet another benefit!  Call today to become part of this winning team.

Gail is a major player in Coachella Valley animal welfare.  She tells us, “For me, it’s all about the wonderful cats!  I love all of God’s creatures and have volunteered my entire adult life to help animals.  Volunteering at Kittyland with these cats is one of the best experiences.”  Contact Gail and become part of winning team.

If you can’t volunteer on site, consider fostering kittens.  If you have no time to help, donate to this worthy organization.  The organization needs funds to replace the old infirmary building with a new modern structure to help rescue and house additional animals. You can make a tax-deductible donation online at www.kittylandrescue.org. The adoptable cats are also featured on the website. LIKE Kittyland on Facebook and share their cats.  You can send a check or package of needed supplies to:

Mailing Address: Kittyland Rescue, 1717 E. Vista Chino, Suite A-7, P.O. Box 499, Palm Springs, CA 92262.

I’ve visiting Kittyland many times and am always impressed with their program.  Large rooms with cat trees allow the cats to exercise and enjoy each other’s company.  The cats give this lovely place a 5-star meow!

Janetmcafee8@gmail.com