Prepare Now for Kitten Season

Group urges cat owners to spay/neuter cats ahead of the springtime rise in kitten populations.

Posted: January 30, 2012, 3 p.m. EDT

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Young kittens in blanket
Spring kittens are conceived in January and February. Act now to spay/neuter your cat before unwanted kitten litters occur.
Alley Cat Allies offers tips to help prevent "kitten season." Each spring, warming temperatures create "kitten season," when millions of kittens are born and brought to cat shelters nationwide. Unfortunately, few of these kittens find adoptive homes. Many are killed in shelters.

Cats have an approximately 60-day gestation period, so spring kittens are being conceived right now, in January and February. In addition, cats can become pregnant as early as age four months of age, so last year's kittens can be producing this year's litters.

"Before the ice thaws, the cats are already pregnant," said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. "The time for prevention is now — preventing new litters and preventing the needless deaths of millions of cats in animal shelters."

Alley Cat Allies urges community members to have their pet cats spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Not only does neutering prevent new litters of kittens, it improves the cat's health.

"This is also a crucial time to neuter neighborhood stray and feral cats," said Robinson. "Through Trap-Neuter-Return, we are able to stabilize the population and decrease the number of cats entering shelters. The cats that remain no longer undergo the stresses of mating and pregnancy."

Trap-Neuter-Return is a long-term program that can stabilize the feral cat population humanely. Cats are trapped, neutered, vaccinated and returned to their outdoor homes. TNR is official policy in cities from Washington, D.C. to Chicago to Oklahoma City, and it is successfully practiced in every landscape nationwide.

Alley Cat Allies provides a number of resources on their website including step-by-step instructions and videos on how to carry out TNR. Individuals can find more help or request a list of local resources and feral cat organizations.
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Reader Comments

Troc    city, CT

2/28/2012 6:01:53 AM

Kitties are so much fun!

CAT CRAZY    denver, CO

2/27/2012 3:46:16 PM

I love cats and kittens so muuch!! It is super dooper sad to see these poor baby kittens born each and every by irresponsible owners and are just tossed in shelters just like trash! IT makes me so sick. Cats are wonderful creatures and i am a responsible owner of 13 ccats! I love cats and kittens and every cat, kitten, dog, and puppy deserver a loving home!

debby    raleigh, MN

2/16/2012 7:06:17 PM

it is sad when you get a kitten but don't get it fixed before it can get pregant. there are so many cats that need home we don't need anymore unwanted cats. people need to be more responseible

S    3 Oaks, MI

2/8/2012 11:46:38 AM

I know a cat who got pregnant while she was still nursing her first litter of kittens! Cats need to
be fixed!!

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