This creates a big problem for animal shelters, which simply don’t have the space for all those kittens. In 2012, L.A. Animal Services took in 21,880 cats, nearly half of them between April and July. They expect similar numbers this year. Many will be newborn kittens, who need bottle feeding and extra care from the staff. Shelter cats already face long odds of being adopted. Over forty percent will be euthanized, simply due to overcrowding. That number goes higher during kitten season.
So what can we do about it? Spay and neuter as many cats as possible to reduce the number of unwanted litters. Many groups in Los Angeles, like Spay Neuter Project L.A. (www.snpla.org) and Fix Nation (www.fixnation.org ) are working hard to make that happen. On the Found Animals Foundation website (www.foundanimals.org ), you can find low-cost clinics in your area by entering your zip code. The Best Friends No Kill Los Angeles program (www.nkla.org) even has a Neuter Cruiser, to transport animals to nearby clinics.
In the meantime, shelters and rescue groups like Much Love need help. Volunteer your time, donate money, or foster a litter of kittens at home. Spread the word about adoptable cats. Encourage everyone you know to adopt instead of buying a pet. The kitties are counting on you!