All About Kitten Season

Kitten season is the phenomenon where animal shelters become overwhelmed with an influx of momma cats and their babies, roughly from April to October. As the weather warms in early spring, feral cats come into heat. 60 days later they will give birth to their young in our communities. Though these kittens are quite cute, it can be challenging to take on so many fragile lives, depleting resources and requiring around the clock care.

What To Do If You Find Kittens

Do not Kit-Nap Kittens! It’s a natural response to see a kitten all on its own and want to pick it up or immediately deliver it to the nearest animal shelter. But without their mother, these tiny lives need a specialized formula every two hours, along with around the clock care to make sure they remain healthy. Young kittens cannot defecate on their own, and need assistance going to the bathroom for their first critical weeks. In a shelter overflowing with an influx of felines, a lack of fosters and resources can prove fatal.

So what should you do if you find a kitten?

  • Are they visibly injured or sick? There’s a chance that it may need your help! Contact your nearest animal welfare organization or shelter and explain the situation. If that isn’t possible, you can take the kitten to your nearest veterinarian.
  • Are they in danger? If mom has chosen a dangerous location for her babies, move them to the nearest safe spot. Keep them as close to their original location as possible, so mom can find them.
  • Do they seem content? Leave them alone! Mother cats will often leave their babies for a few hours to find food. Observe from a distance every couple of hours for the next 24 hours. Mom will not return for her babies if she feels threatened by humans, so staying as far away as possible is key. So long as the kittens aren’t fussing, extremely dirty or seem dehydrated, it’s highly likely that their mother is caring for them.

If mom hasn’t returned to take care of her kittens within 24 hours, it’s safe to assume that they’ve been abandoned. Reach out to your local animal welfare organization or shelter to assess the situation and see if intervention is needed!

Become A HERO For Kittens

There are numerous ways to help your local animal shelters during kitten season! From becoming a life-saving foster, to spreading the word about TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return), you can make a massive impact in your community.

  • Become a Foster. Getting kittens out of the shelter and into a foster home as quickly as possible is essential for saving their lives. CLICK HERE to learn about fostering at Great Plains SPCA.
  • Donate Supplies. As the number of kittens climbs, shelters are quickly depleted of necessary kitten-rearing supplies such as formula, bottles, and heat packs. CLICK HERE to view our Amazon Wish List.
  • Support Monetarily. With monetary donations, shelters are able to cover the cost of care for their pets and purchase supplies. CLICK HERE to support our shelter pets.

Kitten season may seem like a mind-boggling challenging to take on. But thanks to supporters like YOU, Great Plains SPCA is able to continue our mission of saving lives.

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