Every year, springtime signifies the arrival of “kitten season” in Southern California. Tens of thousands of kittens arrive at shelters in need of new homes. Overburdened shelters may have trouble finding homes for the influx of cats, even the young and highly adoptable ones.
The good news is that this preventable. Spaying and neutering cats, both owned and free-roaming, greatly reduces the number of unwanted and stray litters brought to shelters and lowers the number of homeless pets.
Kittens can be safely spayed and neutered as young as two months old. Early spay and neuter is key because female cats can have their first heat cycle as young as four months old, resulting in litters of at least 3-5 kittens.
Spay and Neuter Options
There are many options to spay/neuter cats and kittens. Those adopted from a shelter are spayed/neutered before they go home. For the many cats and kittens who find new homes through other means, there are clinics and mobile vehicles that bring the services to the community. For low-income pet owners, vouchers are also available for low or no-cost surgery. Clinics may offer reduced fee and free promotions or may have grants that waive the surgery cost.
Spaying and neutering is among our best tool to keep pets out of the shelter and in loving homes where they belong.
Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA is offering a reduced cost – details are here.
For a shelter near you, visit NBC4 Clear the Shelters.
Volunteer to be a Foster Parent
Kitten season is also the time when shelters and rescue organizations need help to foster kittens until they have permanent homes. One group, Best Friends Animal Society, takes in thousands of orphaned kittens each year. Many are just days or weeks old and require bottle feeding. The organization welcomes volunteers to foster a kitten (or more) in your home. The group provides the supplies, veterinary care, and guidance...you provide the love! This is a short-term commitment of several weeks to two months. Learn more by visiting Best Friends Animal Society. For Quesitons, email fosterLA@bestfriends.org.