About Kitten Season
Kitten season, otherwise known as feline breeding season, takes place during warm months (typically March through October, but varies across the country), and many shelters, such as SICSA, experience the bulk of their cat and kitten intake during this time.
While many of us saw firsthand the impact of COVID-19 on the human population, many may have forgotten some of the pandemic’s tiniest victims: quarantine kittens. With many spay and neuter surgeries postponed or canceled in 2020, an increased number of stray female cats were left fertile. As a result, many of them are now either expecting or have given birth, all while remaining homeless. Each year as the weather warms, shelters anticipate a wave of kittens. However, given the previous year’s lack of spays, they now find themselves preparing for a tsunami. The only hope for these kittens to make it to summer is the combined effort of the entire community. This is where we need your help.
How You Can Help
The best place for kittens to be is with their mother. So, before rushing to “rescue” kittens, please implement our watch and wait recommendations:
- First, please leave them undisturbed and refrain from touching them. It’s important to allow the mother cat to return and care for her offspring. Stay far enough away from the litter that you can observe them but not frighten the mother cat from returning to her kittens.
- We recommend the “Wait and Watch” approach: leave the kittens undisturbed for a few hours (if they are 0-4 weeks old) or overnight (if the kittens are older) to see if the mother returns.
- If the mother doesn’t come back, you can safely remove the kittens.
- If the mother returns, then wait until the litter is weaned (at least 6 weeks old) before you remove them.
- If the mother cat and kittens are friendly and you want to take them home, please call us at 937-294-6505 for helpful tips before removing them.
- Placing fresh water and cat food nearby can help the mother cat while she is nursing, but not too close to their location – it may attract other stray cats to the area.
- If the mother cat or her kittens demonstrate signs of distress or illness, a veterinarian should be consulted.
To read our full article on the "watch and wait" method, click here.
Trap-Neuter-Return-Monitor, or “TNRM,” is the process of humanely trapping community cats, sterilizing, vaccinating against rabies, eartipping, and then returning them to their colony. TNRM also involves a colony caretaker who provides food, water, and adequate shelter, as well as monitors the colony for new cats and cats with health issues. Having a caretaker to monitor the colonies will help to ensure the overall success of TNRM in the community.
TNRM is the most humane and effective method known for managing feral or community cat populations. Spaying and neutering eliminates reproduction and greatly reduces nuisance behavior, including unaltered males spraying to mark territory, roaming and fighting, and yowling and other noises associated with mating. The cats themselves are healthier and less likely to spread feline disease.
To learn more about TNRM, view our informational page here.
Help take care of homeless kittens by becoming a temporary foster. This not only helps the kittens stay in a safe place until we are able to take them into our shelter, but you will provide them with the nutrition and care they need to grow. The best part? SICSA will provide all necessary supplies to take care of the kittens.
To become a temporary foster, please contact our Help Center at 937-294-6505 ext.32.
Looking to find another way to help us during Kitten Season? Donate supplies such as litter boxes, food, and more from our Amazon Wish List. The items will ship directly to our facility and will help us provide much needed supplies to our community.