Kitten season hits every spring and every spring our staff and volunteers are prep for the influx of kittens and mamas that are about to come through our doors. We chatted with our expert cat team about kitten season – lets see what they have to say!
Why does kitten season exist?
Kitten season exists because there are a lot of male and female cats in the community that are not spayed or neutered. Spaying/neutering cats helps control the pet population and would bring down the numbers of kittens we see each spring. On average, a female cat’s gestation period for a litter of kittens is around 63 days. If you do the math, one female cat can have about 32 kittens in a 16 month period. Now think about 10 cats each having 32 kittens, that’s 320 kittens in just a little over a year, and that’s a lot of meows!
How does it effect us at the WCAS?
At Winnebago County Animal Services, it takes thousands of man hours and countless numbers of supplies to take care of these kittens in our care each year. Supplies include food, litter, toys, bedding, vaccinations every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old, de-wormers, spay/neuter surgery, and microchips! Thanks to our foster network, these kittens don’t stay in house long but these supplies are still utilized in the foster homes.
What should I do if I find an orphaned kitten?
Great question. Start here with this reference guide provided by Alley Cat Allies.
How can I help during Kitten Season?
- SPAY/NEUTER: One of the best ways to help is by spaying and neutering cats in their home and neighborhood to help with the pet population. Winnebago County, in conjunction with the Greater Rockford Veterinary Medical Association, offers assistance toward spay and neuter services for pet owners who qualify as low-income. Click here for more information on this program.
- FOSTER: Have a little extra room in your house to care for some kittens and/or moms with kittens? That’s excellent – we rely on people like you! Click here to learn how to get started – you won’t regret it!
- DONATIONS: We are always in need of items to care for these kittens, here are a few items we are in need of. These items can be purchased from our Amazon Wishlist and can be shipped directly to Winnebago County Animal Services.
- Dry kitten food
- Wet kitten food
- Nursing bottles
- Miracle nipples
- Small litter boxes
- Toys without catnip
Source: ARL – Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. 2018 – https://www.arl-iowa.org/