Contributed to and checked by Dr. Steven Servantez
Did you know that cats don’t add, they multiply?
1 cat + 1 cat = 5 cats!
Kitten season (which runs through three actual seasons) is right around the corner. It starts in the spring, peaks in late spring, runs through the summer, and ends in the fall. This stretch of the year is when many cats give birth, and it’s when animal shelters and rescue groups are flooded with kittens.
Every year, kitten season adds more cats into communities already overwhelmed with homeless animals. Approximately 3.4 million cats enter animal shelters across the country every year, according to the ASPCA. Of those cats, only about 37 percent are adopted; 41 percent are euthanized. And that’s not even counting the stray cat population. Some estimates put the number of stray cats in the U.S. at 70 million!
So, what can you do to help reduce the impact of kitten season and reduce cat overpopulation overall?
Spay or Neuter Your Cats
Dr. Servantez recommends spaying or neutering kittens at 5 to 7 months of age:
"The greatest benefit of feline spay/neuter is that you help eliminate unwanted litters of kittens.
"Spay/neuter also has beneficial impacts on your cat’s health. It helps reduce uterine infections and mammary gland tumors (i.e., breast cancer) in female cats. And since it eliminates the heat cycle, it eliminates female cats’ constant vocalization in heat. For male cats, neutering can help reduce aggression and spraying behavior."
Help Local Shelters and Rescue Groups
Local animal shelters and rescue groups need help year round, but the influx of kittens means added stress on these organizations. Donations of supplies and money can be very helpful, as more animals mean shelters and rescues run through supplies more quickly.
Not sure what’s needed most? Contact a shelter or rescue and ask what’s more helpful. Here are a few local organizations:
- Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin
- Humane Society of Jefferson County
- Friends of Noah-WI
- Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue
- Community Cat
Become a Foster Cat Parent
The influx of kittens can also stress the capacity of a shelter or foster homes. If you’ve ever considered being a foster cat parent, now is a great time to learn more. In fact, Badger Veterinary Hospital will be housing some Friends of Noah-WI kittens in our Bed & Biscuits kitty condos!
Adopt a Cat
Finally, all kittens and cats deserve a loving forever home. Consider adding a feline friend to your family. And if they aren’t already, be sure to spay or neuter your new kitty!
Low-cost spay/neuter for cats is standard at Badger Veterinary Hospital. For more information on spay/neuter surgery for your feline family member, contact us today!