By Janet McAfee

Kittyland Cat & Kitten Rescue 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 without a plan for them. 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.


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.

THE RIVERSIDE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS PASSED A RESOLUTION IN MARCH PROCLAIMING THEIR 4 PUBLIC SHELTERS WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT ADULT CATS. Private organizations like Kittyland are desperate to figure out how to respond and pay even more veterinary expenses.

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 and in fields. Sadly, the lack of spay & neuter services during the pandemic meant that more animals were born at a time when there are 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 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 includes changing litter boxes and getting the cats out for fun and socialization. You can include this volunteer experience on your employment resume, yet another benefit! Complete the volunteer application on their website If you can’t volunteer at the shelter, consider fostering kittens.

This week Kittyland rescued the gorgeous young Russian Blue cat pictured below. They named her Isis. This sweet feline was out in the streets and in heat which meant she would soon add to the overpopulation crisis. Isis needs to be spayed, vaccinated and microchipped and veterinary costs have increased.

IF YOU CANNOT VOLUNTEER, PLEASE DONATE ANY AMOUNT TO THIS WORTHY ORGANIZATION. Kittyland needs funds to replace the old infirmary building with a new modern structure to house additional animals now that kennel space is not longer available at our large county shelter. You can make a tax-deductible donation online at You can mail a check or needed supplies to Kittyland at 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!