It's that time of year folks. We are well into "Kitten Season," as millions of unaltered cats are producing litters that average between 3 and 5 little furballs in need of care and shelter. The population of homeless cats explodes exponentially this time of year, but fortunately there are many things you can do to help save lives, curb population growth and care for homeless cats in need. You can start by adopting, fostering or spreading the word to others who might adopt a furballs like those in today's gallery!
I know many of you are partial to the pooches, but I ask that you take a moment to consider the welfare of your dog's furry feline kin. While every animal in a shelter anxiously waits to be loved and adopted into a home of their own, for felines -- especially adults -- the odds of this are tragically low.
Millions of loyal cats are relinquished to shelters each year when people move, suspect an allergy, or their own unaltered cat mates to produce a litter of kittens. In fact, some people bring their cat's kittens to shelters year after year instead of spaying or neutering. There is little that is cuter than a kitten, but we must remain mindful of the millions of innocent felines who lose their lives when even just a few kittens remain unaltered.
How You Can Help...
1. Adopt a cat, kitten or even a bonded pair who prefer to stay together, from a local shelter or rescue group. Feline personalities vary in the same way that canine ones do, so do not assume that all cats are the same if you met only one and were not impressed.
2. Have your own cat spayed/neutered (altered) -- or perhaps help a friend or neighbor accomplish this for their own cat. Altering a cat is not only healthy for the cat population overall but it is in fact much healthier for the individual cat. Altered cats are at far less risk for reproductive cancers and other health complications. Also, altered cats rarely spray, do not go into heat and tend to stray from home less as they are not at the mercy of raging hormones that can make them very anxious.
3. Assist with a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) effort in your area, or volunteer to help feed and maintain a managed colony of altered cats near your home or business. Assisting with such an effort, or alerting a reputable cat welfare group who can help with a TNR program, is a way for one human to save literally thousands, and ultimately millions of felines from a tragic fate.
Our feline companions need our help. I'm hopeful that each of us, even those who identify solely as "Dog People," can foster some of that unconditional love we receive from our canine friends, and then send it in the direction of a feline who desperately needs it.
Dr. Pia Salk