By Clova Abrahamson, Bartlesville
As the days get longer, one topic needs to become a part of community conversations. We ought to be talking about preventing the annual “kitten season” that puts such a hardship on animal shelters in the spring and summer.
Every unspayed female cat 4½ months old or more will go into breeding season during the longer days of February. Cats that have never set foot outside a house will dart out of an open door when they are in heat. When a female cat is in season, males from far and wide will suddenly appear.
A pregnant cat can be safely spayed, but some owners won’t know the cat is pregnant until she is ready to deliver kittens. Shortly after weaning the first litter, an unaltered cat will become pregnant again.
Unplanned litters are given away and become the next wave of breeding cats. Some are abandoned. Many are taken to the nearest shelter, which will be scraping for the funds to care for the avalanche of unwanted kittens.
The misery of “kitten season” can be prevented by cat owners and cat feeders having cats 4½ months and older spayed now. The rest of us can help by sharing the facts before another kitten season slams shelters that are already overcrowded with cats.
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