Spring Showers Bring the Summer of Kittens!Posted by on June 19, 2014
As many of you know, Howard and I are the proud parents of six adopted cats —Walter, Apple, Leon Bear, Charlie Boy, Bella and our newest addition Yoda. And we have also fostered over 50 kittens since last summer. Currently we have five little nuggets living with us and Yoda looks after them like a Grandpa (it seriously is the cutest thing to see). Some people might call me a crazy cat lady but I love it!
As much as I love the cuteness of kittens there is 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.”
Kitten season is the time of year when the most kittens are born. Because of the 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 6-8 million animals, including dogs and cats of all ages, enter U.S. shelters each year, and 3-4 million 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.
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. This is why I stress the importance of not only spaying and neutering but also of adoption! The more people that adopt rather than go to a pet store the less animals have to be unfairly euthanized each year.
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 North Shore 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.
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 six (like Howard and I), how about considering a dynamic feline duo? Two really is better than one!