Kitten Season is Here – What You Can do to Help | Lola The Rescued Cat
Monday, April 12, 2021

Kitten Season is Here – What You Can do to Help

Welcome to the fourth post in our Community Cat Awareness series. After a long winter, spring has arrived – flowers are blooming, the grass is greener, and the weather is warmer. But those aren’t the only things that are happening. Spring marks the beginning of kitten season, a time when shelters across the country are inundated with thousands of homeless kittens.

In today’s post, we’ll be discussing kitten season and things you can do to help cats and shelters during this time.



Kitten Season is Here - What You can do to Help



What is Kitten Season?

Kitten season (also known as feline breeding season) is that time of year when there is an increase in the number of births of cats, which usually lasts from spring to mid-autumn (March through October, but the time can vary across the country.) Shelters and rescues become overwhelmed because they receive the bulk of their cat and kitten intake during this time.


Why is There a Kitten Season?

Kitten season usually corresponds to when cats go into heat. This can be attributed to several factors, which include longer days, better weather, and more access to food. These factors mean there can be a much higher survival rate for the kittens. Unlike other animals, though, cats can keep on reproducing, having litter after litter right up until the weather turns cold again.

Kitten season can last even longer in warmer climates, such as southern California. According to the  Michelson Found Animals Foundation, these climates can experience “two kitten seasons because it is less cold.” 

During kitten season, thousands of kittens can enter shelters nationwide, “making kitten season the most challenging time of the year in shelters around the country”, says Best Friends Animal Society





How Can You Help?

There are many ways you can help shelters and rescues during kitten season. Here are a few:

  • Of course, adoption is number one. If you’ve been thinking of adopting a cat, kitten season is a good time to do it. Space will be opened up at a shelter that will allow them to save another cat, and you will be giving a kitten a second chance at life.
  • Shelters and rescues desperately need fosters year-round, but especially this time of year. Kittens can provide you with endless entertainment and fun. Fostering two kittens will help them become well socialized and ready for adoption. “With kitten season threatening so many kittens, fostering is essential to protect their lives as well as ease the strain on overcrowded local shelters,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA president and CEO. For an idea of what it’s like to foster kittens, read this great first-hand accountTwo of our blogging friends, Random Felines and As The World Purrs, foster kittens on a regular basis. For the Random Felines kittens, check out their blog and Instagram accounts. For As The World Purrs, you can visit their blog here and their Instagram account here.
  • Donations are always needed, but even more so now that the demand is higher. Check out your local shelter’s website to see what items they need. They may even have an Amazon wish list, which makes donating even easier.

Photo by Feral Cat Focus of WNY

  • Monetary donations help shelters and rescues get cats much needed medical care. Many feral litters are unhealthy, and it is not uncommon for kittens to have conjunctivitis and upper respiratory infections. Although both of these illnesses are easily treatable, infected kittens are often euthanized unless a rescue is able to take them in and get them medical care.
  • Volunteering helps the shelter and is rewarding to you. Many kittens have to be bottle fed, and there are not always enough hands to get the job done. If this is something that interests you, contact your local shelter and ask if you can be trained to bottle feed.

Photo by Donald S. Craig via Getty Images

  • Social media can be a powerful adoption tool. (That’s how I found Lola.) Share, share, and share some more!
  • Spay/neuter is the number one way to avoid kitten season, and practicing TNR in your area will reduce the number of births. Many organizations offer TNR training and provide traps for people to borrow. If you're not ready to trap on your own, an offer to assist in a trapping project would be very appreciated. 





I hope you found this information helpful. Stay tuned for the next installment in this series to find out what to do if you find a kitten. If you've missed any of our Community Cat Awareness posts, you can catch up on them here

Are there community cats where you live? Tell us about them.
Dawn



Sources: 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Great info, thanks! I highly recommend fostering kittens, there is not a more rewarding experience than caring for the little sweethearts, watching them grow, socializing them and just snuggling the little cuties!

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  2. Great post. There are so many kitties in need, I wish I could save them all. XO

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  3. This is vital information! Many in my area are taking care of feral colonies and spaying and neutering, but there are still more with kittens out there. We feed several spayed and neutered ferals.

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  4. Very good information. All of us were rescues - mostly from the streets. We wish people would spay and neuter. It's so sad to see homeless cats and kittens.
    Midnight & Cocoa
    Mini & Fluff
    Tyler & Marty
    Beeb, Bella & Beanie

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  5. Yep, we never look forward to kitten season but we're here to help if they need us.

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  6. Kittens are everywhere. Even with our local vet doing free spay neuters for the barn cats we still have people from the big city dumping unspayed cats here in the country. And these kittens that have just been born will have kittens before the end of summer. Thanks for your post!We loved it! We hope you Lola and your family have a marvellously happy day!

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  7. OH it's just heartbreaking and so unnecessary. If people would just spay and neuter.

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  8. Thanks for the reminder we are Dad is going to see what we can donate this month

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  9. Thanks for sharing this incredible information with us. We hope that everyone reading this will be able to spread the word on the importance of so many kittens that will be born soon and the ways we can all do our best to help. Have a great rest of your day and thank you for this wonderful article.
    World of Animals Rittenhouse

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  10. Great post, Dawn! Kitten season has definitely started here in CT!

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  11. They're so awwdorable. Granny wishes she could save them all😸Pawkisses for a Happy Day🐾😽💞

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  12. Thanks for the shout out. Nicely said....while kittens are cute, this time of year is tough on rescues

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  13. Very good information! I hope to one day foster again.

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  14. Charlee: "Hey, we were kitten season kittens back in 2017!"
    Chaplin: "Yep, we lived in a big cage at the Humane Society for a little while, then came to live with our human mom and dad, and we've been there ever since!"

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