The ASPCA Reminds the Public That June Is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month

The large population of shelter cats after a prolific kitten season needs help from cat lovers.

Posted: June 25, 2007, 5 a.m. EDT

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The summertime blues: Calvin and Tommy await owners at the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village in Long Beach, California.
June 21 marked the longest day of the year and served as the official onset of summer. The heat of July and August now beckon. With the ASPCA’s designation of June as Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month, cat shelters nationwide are in their busy season in the remaining summer months. The kitten season of the spring months still pose challenges to shelters long past the summer solstice.

 “Cats are wired to begin the breeding season when, from an evolutionary standpoint, it’s warm,” said Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the ASPCA’s Adoption Center and Mobile Clinic Outreach Program in New York, where ASPCA staff witness firsthand the cyclical increase in the number of  kittens needing help. “This is a harder time of year.”

Some shelters arrange for foster care of very young cats in need of more private care, a period of care which allows weak cats to grow and fend off infection and disease before brought into the fold of the more mature cats in the larger home shelters. Buchwald’s ASPCA branch has placed 80 kittens in foster care this summer, and that’s in addition to the more than 250 cats that the ASPCA is caring for in its main facility.

“We are having quite a parade of kittens coming through, and there are kittens being born,” said Gloria Kocjan, an adoption counselor at the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, in Long Beach, California. “It’s a constant this time of year.”

The “village” is the adoption and care complex run by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (SPCALA), a southern California animal welfare organization that is nearly as old as the ASPCA. As the last week of June looms, the village watches over 65 cats.

Will Haas is a volunteer at the village, which is actually a state-of-the-art complex for rescued cats and dogs. He and his wife Kathryn are foster cat owners, and they experience the summer kitten boom personally. For much of the past winter, they had no kittens to tend to, but now they’re putting up nine cats: two queens and their litters.

“Our purpose is to try to save as many lives as possible,” Haas said.

Foster care of cats may not be limited to high summer, however. Buchwald, warned that female cats can give birth to two litters in the same year. Queens can wean their offspring and still mate in time for the birth of a new litter in the fall. So even though June is the ASPCA’s official cat adoption month, in reality any month is good for welcoming a new cat to the household.

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The ASPCA Reminds the Public That June Is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month

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Reader Comments

Doreen    Eureka, CA

6/25/2007 11:38:02 PM

I'd love to adopt Calvin and Tommy, but I live too far away, and I don't think my husband would like another cat. I have 2 indoor cats and 2 outdoors that I'm feeding currently. I hope these two will find good homes soon!

debby    oxford, NC

6/25/2007 4:55:10 PM

I sure wish I could adopt more kittens or cats but I have five now...I would love a house full!

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