Kitten season is upon us


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We’ve written about this before, but the message bears repeating: Warm weather yields a bumper crop of kittens each year, usually starting in late spring and peaking by summer.

‘Considering that in just six short years, an unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 67,000 kittens, we –- like most animal shelters across the country -– have our hands full during Kitten Season,’ writes Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Los Angeles.


What causes the overflow of kittens like the one above, a 3-week-old bottle-feeding at a Los Angeles shelter last April, is another question, according to the Humane Society:

‘The warm weather coincides with female cats’ heat cycles,’ says Cory Smith, program manager of animal sheltering issues at the Humane Society of the United States. ‘When female cats go into heat, male cats come running from near and far. Cats’ reproductive hormones are very powerful.’

The result: a flood of kittens into animal shelters and rescue groups, making spring and summer the best time to adopt.

You can browse listings of kittens in need of homes at L.A. Animal Services and spcaLA. If you live out of the L.A. area, try Petfinder.

Another way to help out is to become a foster parent, providing a temporary home and bottle-feeding a kitten until it is old enough to be adopted.

-- Tony Barboza