Summer Lovin’

Brown tabby kitten playing in string heart garland

Brown tabby kitten playing in string heart garland
Rescue kitten Lovey
Summer Lovin’ is here and so is kitten season.  Blame it on the weather, they say that the heat acts as a catalyst. It is a fact that between the months of May thru October,  an intact female kitten can go into heat every three weeks, resulting in at least two litters during these months. Unfortunately many of these litters are euthanized due to lack of space in shelters. Hard to believe these cute, little, purring bundles of joy would be killed due to lack of space.  You would think that since they are so adorable they would get adopted right away. But that is not the case.  If you have ever visited a county shelter in the height of kitten season, months of July, August, you would be astonished at the numbers of kittens up for adoption.  It’s sad knowing that not all of these cute little critters will get homes.
Feral cats and kittens have it worse. Most feral litters aren’t healthy. It is very common for kittens to be found with conjunctivitis and upper respiratory infections. Both of these illnesses are easily treatable with medication, however infected kittens are usually euthanized immediately unless a rescue takes them.  Shelters simply can not afford to treat sick kittens.
Here’s how you can help.
    • Donate time, money and supplies to your local cat rescue.
    • Practice and teach responsible pet ownership by spaying and neutering your own pets, even if they never go outside. As soon as a kitten is 8 weeks old, and two pounds they can be safely altered with a speedy recovery.
    • Practice TNR- which means trap, neuter, return.  If you know where a feral colony exists, be proactive and become a responsible community member by helping to trap them, have them spayed, neutered and vaccinated, and release them back into their habitat. If just one female cat is left intact, she and her offspring can produce thousands of cats. If you don’t help, who will?
    • Volunteer for an animal rescue. If possible, foster an entire litter, or volunteer to bottle-feed homeless kittens. Or even better yet,  foster hard-to-place adult cats, who seldom get adopted during kitten season.
    • Adopt your own cat, especially an adult one. If you opt for kittens, keep in mind that 2 are better than 1!
Kelly Richardson volunteers as a kitten foster and photographer for no-kill cat rescue Cats-Can, Inc. If you live near the Orlando Area and are interested in helping to support area cats/kittens, and would like more info on how to TNR, donate and/or volunteer please contact Cats-Can, Inc at kittyrescuetnr@gmail.com