Hot To Trot: Warmer Weather Equals Kitten Season!

KayKay kittenIs there really a “kitten season?”   Aren’t kittens born all year?  In fact, a cat can have up to five litters in a single year, with an average of four to eight kittens each.  But the start of warmer weather in the spring brings more female cats into heat, when they can become pregnant.  In colder areas, cats often don’t go into heat during the winter, and only begin to have kittens in April or May.  Even in temperate Los Angeles, cats do have more litters as the temperature goes up. And Much Love is getting calls and emails every day from people who have found stray cats and kittens.

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.

gypsySo 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. ( and Fix Nation ( ) are working hard to make that happen.  On the Found Animals Foundation website ( ), you can find low-cost clinics in your area by entering your zip code.  The Best Friends No Kill Los Angeles program ( 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!

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