Crazy For KittensPosted by on June 10, 2013
Although you might think I’d be insulted, I absolutely love it when someone calls me the crazy cat lady. As many of you know, Howard and I are the proud parents of four adopted cats from North Shore Animal League America—Walter, Apple, Leon Bear and Charlie Boy. And you never know when another fabulous feline might find their way into our hearts and home.
But there’s nothing heartwarming about the overabundance of cats and kittens without homes, and it’s an especially big problem during this time of year, often referred to as “kitten season.”
Simply put, kitten season is the time of year when the most kittens are born. With the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures, many pet owners let their unspayed or unneutered cats roam freely. Nature takes its course, and in the next several months, shelters are overloaded with kittens. Plus, there’s the ongoing problem of feral cats and their litters.
The statistics tell a very sad story: About 8 million animals, including dogs and cats of all ages, enter U.S. shelters each year, and half of them are euthanized. Most of these precious animals are healthy and affectionate, but because many shelters lack the space, money and other resources to care for them until they are adopted, they are destroyed.
Although no figures exist that break that down by age of animal, it’s estimated that about 70% to 75% of those euthanized are felines. But whether it’s a cat or kitten or dog or puppy, every single animal who is killed because he or she has no home is one too many.
I’m proud to say that, because of the leadership of North Shore Animal League America, euthanasia as a means of population control has actually decreased dramatically since the 1970s, when 20 million animals a year were killed.
But there’s so much more work to be done.
How can you make a difference and move us toward a no-kill nation? First, make sure all your own pets are spayed or neutered, and encourage your neighbors, friends and family to do the same with their pets. This is true even if you keep your cat indoors (or your dog is in a fenced-in yard). Pets do sometimes get out unintentionally, despite our most careful parenting.
Also, please follow the advice of Animal League America’s experts and keep your cats as indoor-only pets. That will not only help reduce accidental litters, but also keep your animals much healthier, since they will avoid fights and exposure to diseases.
And (you knew I was going to say it), always adopt from a shelter or rescue group, and encourage everyone you know to do the same! Join me in being an advocate for a no-kill world by spreading the message of the Mutt-i-grees® Movement to everyone you know, whenever you can.
While it’s always the perfect season to add a kitten (or cat or puppy or dog) to your home, there are more than ever who need you right now. So, even if you don’t decide to fill your home with four, how about considering a dynamic feline duo? Two really is better than one!