The “IT” I am referring to is what we call “kitten season” and I only wish it was as cute as it sounds.
Kitten season typically starts in the warmer months when unspayed female cats go into heat and are impregnated by unaltered male cats. While I can remember years when it used to be a late spring/summer event, now the season begins earlier and extends way into late fall and even early winter. This is unfortunate, as kitten season is a real strain on organizations like Bideawee.
While we wish we could take every in every kitten and mother in need of a home, there is never enough room or enough staff and volunteers to handle the number of requests we receive during this time. Often times, kitten season brings increased illness to our shelter population, and the influx of animals and desperate pleas puts an incredible amount of stress on our staff and finances. Kitten season is tough. But there are ways to make it easier. And that includes help from people just like you. Think you can’t do anything as one person? I’m here to tell you that you are wrong.
If one female cat can breed three times a year and have an average of 4 kittens per litter, in just seven years, one unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens. Therefore, if you help spay or neuter a cat, you could be saving 420,000 plus lives. You CAN have a huge impact, and as a team, we can have an even greater impact on helping to solve this immense problem.
Unfortunately, New York has NOT solved the cat overpopulation problem and we NEED to.
So, here are a few simple ways in which you can help: Sign Up to Be a Bideawee Foster! It is only through our incredibly special foster network that we can save even more lives. During kitten season, our fosters are our lifeline. And the lifeline for many cats and kittens. Fosters take in nursing moms and kittens, bottle babies, and others who need a little more time before they are ready for their forever home.
Spay and Neuter! I am hoping this goes without saying, but if you have a cat from somewhere other than Bideawee or another rescue (all of our pets are spayed and neutered before going to their forever home), then please spay or neuter them.
Get Involved in a Local TNR Group! Feral cat groups use TNR (trap, neuter, release) to reduce the number of unwanted kittens. They rely on dedicated volunteers to help make this happen and you can learn more about this through The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and their Feral Cat Initiative.
Donate to Your Favorite Animal Shelter Like Bideawee! Like I said earlier, kitten season strains all of our resources and every donation helps us open our doors to another cat or kitten in need.
Adopt a Homeless Cat or Kitten! Any time of year is a good time to adopt a new family member, but especially during kitten season! Every animal that goes out makes room for another animal to come in.. Help us save even more and bring home your new family member today.
Every year, thousands and cats and kittens succumb to illness, injury, and cruelty on the streets, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Together, we can provide these sweet animals with the care, shelter and love they need to become loving, cherished companions.