While the term “kitten season” may bring to mind visions of adorable, fluffy kittens pouncing and playing with toys in the grass… the reality isn’t quite as cute.
Every year, at the beginning of Spring, female cats who haven’t been fixed can give birth to multiple litters of unwanted kittens.
Some of these kittens live on the streets, procreating themselves, or wind up in the shelter system.
The amount of kittens that flood the shelters during this time of year is extremely overwhelming and leads to massive stress and strain on resources and personnel.
Additionally, it can lead to the euthanization of other healthy cats for space.
So now that we know the ugly truth…what can we do to help?
I’ve compiled this list from HumaneSociety.org. Please do anything you can and send me a note if you have any other great ideas or stories to share!
1. Spay or neuter your cats
Cats can become pregnant as young as five months of age. Fortunately, kittens as young as two months and weighing two pounds can be safely altered. Many people ask their veterinarian to spay or neuter their pet. If you have trouble affording the fee, check this list of groups offering spay/neuter assistance. And while it’s always safest to keep your cat inside, it’s especially important to do so before the cat is spayed or neutered. Keep your cat happy indoors and learn how to provide safe outdoor time.
2. Help your local shelter during kitten season (and all year)
Donate supplies, money or your time. Contact your local shelter to find out what’s needed most. You can also volunteer at your local shelter’s adoption events or promotions.
3. Care for homeless or feral (not tame) cats in your area
Work with your local animal control or feral cat group to help manage your neighborhood’s feral and stray cat populations. More about helping feral cats »
4. Become a foster cat parent
Contact your local shelter or rescue group to learn more about becoming a foster parent for cats or kittens in need.
5. Adopt a cat
Open your home to new cat or adopt a playmate for your existing pets. Check out The Shelter Pet Project to find a new feline friend!