Beginning in late March/early April and extending through October, thousands of kittens are abandoned to New York City shelters each year (millions nationwide). The animal community has dubbed this six month time period, which peaks in early August, "Kitten Season."
Kitten Season is the result of too many unaltered cats being allowed to reproduce. And while the kittens are absolutely adorable... who doesn't love kittens?... Kitten Season has dire consequences.
During the warm months, more animals of every age and type are entering the shelter. A huge influx of kittens means shelters become strapped for staff and resources. It is nearly impossible to properly care for, and find homes for, so many kittens. Some come in sickly or too young to thrive on their own and are euthanized immediately due to lack of needed resources.
Mature cats also suffer during Kitten Season. People entering a shelter to adopt will gravitate toward the kittens, leaving the moms and other older cats left without homes. These cats may face euthanasia if homes cannot be found.
How Can You Help?
1. The MOST important thing you can do is to SPAY or NEUTER your pets. The average female cat will have 3 litters totaling 12 kittens per year. If those kittens have babies, and their babies have babies.... you end up with serious overpopulation, which is where we are today.
2. Always adopt a shelter cat, never purchase from a pet store. With so many gorgeous and affectionate cats waiting in shelters, there is never a need to buy one from a store or breeder. To find available cats and kittens near you, visit www.nycacc.org or www.petfinder.com.
3. Help provide care for kittens and cats by becoming a Volunteer or Foster. The shelter needs lots of extra hands-on helps at this time. To learn more about becoming a Volunteer or Foster for the City shelter, click HERE.
4. Donate needed supplies directly to the shelter or make a tax-deductible contribution to Partnership for Shelter Animals NYC. PSA NYC will be providing the shelter with much needed supplies, such as: KMR (Kitten Meal Replacement), bottles for nursing neo-nates (aka bottle-babies), canned kitten food, heating pads (newborn kittens without a mother are not able to maintain their own body temperature), eye wipes, waterless shampoo, soft blankets, stuffed animals (cuddle buddies for single kittens), litter boxes for moms to give birth in (pregnant cats are regularly brought in to shelters), toys!, and more.