Kitten season is officially in full swing! Kitten season is the time of year between spring and fall when cats most frequently give birth. A feline pregnancy lasts for about 64 days, which means that they can have multiple litters per kitten season, with litters typically between 3-8 kittens. With so many kittens being born, animal shelters across the country are flooded with tiny felines – and there are ways that you can help!
- Foster kittens! One of the most effective ways to help shelters during kitten season is to sign up as a kitten foster home. Fostering is a temporary arrangement in which a shelter pet (or litter of pets) is cared for in a volunteer’s home prior to adoption, typically for between a couple of days to a couple of months. Roice-Hurst Humane Society typically welcomes at least 5-10 kittens each week during kitten season, which would very quickly overwhelm the shelter without help from foster families. In any environment with a high volume of animals with unknown medical histories and little to no prior vaccinations (like an animal shelter), the risk of illness increases despite having a hardworking team constantly cleaning and caring for them. Getting kittens out of the shelter and into loving homes greatly decreases their chance of illness, increases their sociability, makes room in the shelter for even more pets in need, and sets them up for a healthy and successful life once they’ve found their forever family. Supplies, vet care, and training are provided when you foster through Roice-Hurst Humane Society. Until September 21, Roice-Hurst Humane Society is on a mission to find 100 new foster families in conjunction with Mesa County. Visit RHhumanesociety.org/foster to learn more and sign up!
- Adopt a kitten! This time of year, there is no short supply of kittens in need of loving forever homes! When you adopt a kitten from an animal shelter like Roice-Hurst, you transform the life of a kitten and making a lifelong best friend. As kittens seemingly endlessly flow into the shelter, you also make space for even more pets in need. The adoption fee for a kitten at Roice-Hurst Humane Society is $135, which includes all age-appropriate vaccinations, microchipping, deworming, spay/neuter surgery, a free veterinary exam at one of our partner veterinary offices, a month of free behavior counseling, and of course, lifelong companionship. See all of our available pets at RHhumanesociety.org/available-pets!
- Donate money or supplies! If you have a busy schedule, are allergic to cats, or do not have an appropriate living situation to care for kittens, you can still help! From now until September 21, all donations of $150 or more mentioning the Mesa County Foster Pet Challenge will count toward our goal of finding 100 foster families in 100 days, which allows us to provide supplies and medical care to the pets currently in foster care. We also greatly appreciate in-kind donations of supplies. Items often needed during kitten season are kitten milk replacer, wet and dry kitten food, kitten bottles, specialty products like Miracle Nipples and SnuggleSafe Heating Disks, and even items like cardboard flats which are used for disposable litter boxes.
- Spay and neuter! Preventing feline pregnancies is the most effective way to control the bursting population of kittens. Make an effort to spay or neuter your cats and any other cats in your life – your mom’s cat, your friend’s cat, your neighbor’s cat, or even stray cats you’ve seen around your house or work. Kittens can become pregnant as early as 4 months old, so don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. It’s estimated that 80% of all kittens born are born outdoors to community cats, so trapping and neutering outdoor cats and then releasing them back to their outdoor is an important and effective way to prevent feline pregnancies. This is called Trap-Neuter-Return and it is the only effective and humane method to control the population of outdoor cats. Controlling the outdoor cat population can improve the health of the entire colony by reducing the spread of illness, and it can reduce unwanted behaviors like fighting and spraying. Roice-Hurst provides humane cat traps by request, as well as free spay/neuter surgery vouchers for community cats in the 81501 ZIP code!
For more information about how you can help kittens in western Colorado, please give Roice-Hurst Humane Society a call at 970-434-7337!