At the same time of year when the world shrugs off its brown muddy leaves and dons the lush, verdant cape of spring and summer, an audible mewing sound joins the melody of nature’s song. It’s kitten season! Kitten season begins in early spring and continues through late summer. During this time, unfixed female cats can go into heat several times a week and can give birth multiple times. It’s a busy season for outdoor cats and while an influx of kittens might seem like the cutest thing next to a basket of puppies, shelters must often deal with the repercussions, seeing their numbers of cats skyrocket in a short period of time.

Why Are So Many Cats Crowding Shelters?

The reason is two-fold. Many adult cats are not neutered or spayed and far too many cats are let outside to become outdoor cats where the world becomes their playground. This outdoor lifestyle allows them to reproduce fast and as often as they want since they have the opportunity to meet many other eligible unfixed male and female cats. Currently, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, located in Madison, NJ has 188 cats, and they aren’t alone. Animal shelters all over New Jersey and the U.S are inundated with an overwhelming number of homeless cats and kittens every year.

What’s being done to curtail this dilemma? St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ is offering low-cost vouchers for areas in Northern New Jersey that suffer the most from an over-population of cats. These vouchers allow kind care-givers of stray cats the opportunity to spay or neuter these cats for a minimal fee. The vouchers micro-chip and even provide vaccinations for the strays.

How Can You Help?
If you have a cat, make sure you spay or neuter your frisky friend. If it can be avoided, keep your cat indoors, it is much safer and will in all likelihood increase the longevity of your feline. Make sure to adopt your cat. Shelters are over-run with felines and need your help in caring for these graceful creatures. Right now, if you adopt a cat at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, you can receive a gift certificate for use at Morris Animal Inn. June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, so what better time?! If you are not ready to make the jump, foster a cat until the shelter is able to place it in a forever home. St. Hubert’s rescues a number of kittens during this season and could also use item donations to help nurture the kittens. Morris Animal Inn will be a drop-off location for these items. The items on their wish list are:
-Kitten milk replacer (KMR)
-Canned kitten food (no fish flavors)
-Toys
-Baby wipes
-Baby food (no onions or onion powder)
-Soft blankets
-Heating pads

Join the cat crusade and help our whiskered friends find homes, comfort, and the warmth of love!

Resources:
-http://www.rescueguide.com/
-http://www.examiner.com/pet-rescue-in-national/spring-marks-the-beginning-of-kitten-season