Did you know? What is Kitten Season.

What Kitten Season is and how you can help.

Author: Community Pet Coordinator, Miranda Ward

Kitten season is known as the time that unfixed cats are most likely to have kittens.  Kitten season is typically between March and October. Cats can have litters any time of year, but in the warm months, the number of kittens born alarmingly increases. Cats are very prolific creatures; they reach sexual maturity as young as 4-5 months, have an average of 3-8 kittens per litter, and can have between 2-5 litters per season.

One unfixed female cat can have more than 100 kittens in her lifetime, and assuming that half of those kittens born are females, she and her offspring can go on to have upwards of 300-400 kittens in 7 years. Multiply this by the hundreds of community cats in the area, and that number grows exponentially. The fact of the matter is that there are not enough homes to care for all of the kittens born each year, which is why we want you to know how you can help prevent unwanted litters, and support the litters that are born each year.  

How to help Animal Shelters During Kitten Season

The great news is that we have tons of contacts, resources, and programs to help combat this issue. Here’s how to help!

  • Spay and neuter your pets. The cost to get your LHS pet spayed or neutered is included in our adoption fees! If you have a pet that isn’t an LHS Alum and you’re looking for a low cost option, our Spay/Neuter Clinic is a fantastic choice! Click here for information about the services offered by our Spay/Neuter Clinic.
  • Consider donating to support the cost of care for our kittens! For those interested in making a monetary donation, visit our donation page! Here, you can peruse options for donating such as our Community Cat Fix program which helps subsidize the cost of the thousands of spays and neuters of community cats performed at our Spay/Neuter Clinic, as well as our Shelter Medicine program, which supports the care of every pet who comes through our doors. 
  • Support TNR programs! TNR stands for Trap, Neuter, Release. Dozens of volunteers all over our community find colonies of unfixed outdoor cats and work with local vets and clinics to perform low-cost spays and neuters, treat and vaccinate, and release the pets back into their colonies where they are happiest. If you have a cat colony you would like help with, consider contacting Stray Cat TNR at (434) 515-0456, or visit Central Virginia Regional Rescue’s TNR Assistance page here!
  • Beware of kitten napping. Mother cats move their litters frequently in order to keep them safe. When kittens are very young, their best chances of survival are with mom. If you find kittens alone, give them some space and wait awhile! Mom may be in the process of moving the litter, searching for food, or she may be hiding from you. If the kittens are in unsafe places like parking lots, drainage ditches, or under vehicles, or mom hasn’t returned after several hours, make sure they’re warm, and then reach out to your local shelter or rescue group for help. That may be us, or if you live in a different county, it may be one of our neighboring organizations! 
  • Become a foster! The LHS Center for Pets has a bustling foster program ready to support the several hundreds of kittens we get each year. We provide all supplies free of charge to our fosters and are ready to teach new families how to become Kitten Warriors! From sick orphan bottle babies to healthy, plump kittens with a mom, all our underage babies need foster care. We are always searching for the best match based on our pets needs and our foster families’ preferences and abilities, so we always have the kitten for you! No experience is needed; we have a community of Coordinators and other fosters ready to help you! If you’re ready to become part of this life-saving mission, apply here!

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