Spring is in the air, and with it comes the cutest season of the year – kitten season! While this time of year may be adorable, it’s also the most challenging for shelters. Cat and kitten overpopulation is a significant problem, putting a strain on resources and staff.
Becky Collins, the General Manager of Shelter Operations at the HBSPCA, explains that spring and summer are the peak times when the shelter receives kittens. People often bring in litters of kittens, and despite the shelter’s robust Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) program, there is still a lot of work to be done. Some cats outsmart the traps, and the results (although adorable) contribute to the overpopulation problem.
Community Cat Caregivers who are registered with the HBSPCA keep a watchful eye on outdoor cat colonies, and when they notice litters of kittens being born, they give us a call. They continue to monitor the kittens until they are eight weeks old and are able to be safely transported to the shelter.
From a low of six in March to a high of 58 in July, we saw all sorts of tiny paws come through our doors last year. We’ve also noticed that kitten season isn’t as predictable as it used to be, thanks to climate change and warmer weather. This means we’re seeing higher numbers of litters being brought in even later in the year.
For staff and volunteers, these numbers mean extra mouths to feed and dozens of little ones to care for. But you can help! Here are some ways to make a difference:
- Donate food and supplies: Check out our Amazon wish list to see what items we need most.
- Become a Foster Parent: Fill out our form to become a foster parent and provide temporary homes for kittens until they are ready for adoption.
- Become a Monthly Donor: Make a monthly donation to help us care for the cats and kittens in our shelter.
- Have your cat spayed or neutered: Spaying or neutering your cat is an essential step in reducing cat overpopulation. Learn more about our spay/neuter program here.
- Adopt a Cat: If you’re looking for a furry companion, adopt from the HBSPCA.
Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly to care and find loving homes for all of these kittens and their mamas. But we need your support. Make a donation to help us ensure that every kitten gets the chance to live a happy, healthy life.
If you’re aware of an unhomed cat or have a litter of kittens that needs to be rehomed, please reach out to the HBSPCA at 905-574-7722 ext. 105.