From their tiny bean paws, pink noses to their little squeaks and meows — kittens are without a doubt one of the cutest.
However, during this time of year, more and more of these furry felines are finding themselves at the local shelters. And it’s not just one or two, but as many as 60 and sometimes hundreds over a five-month period.
From March to late summer, shelters are faced with kitten season, the time of year where they see the largest influx of baby felines.
Last year, between April and July, Seguin Animal Services picked up 179 kittens; Schertz Animal Shelter took in 83 and Cibolo Animal Services impounded 43.
Just within the last month some of the shelters have already seen a number of pregnant cats come into the shelter causing several kittens to be born into their care. There are also several orphaned kittens being picked up from the streets.
With the large influx comes a heavier workload for shelter staff who already have limited resources and help.
“One of the challenges is it’s just a manpower thing for us having enough folks to bottle feed those kittens,” Schertz Assistant City Manager Brian James said. “When we don’t have a mother nursing it really spreads that care of those kittens that need to be bottle fed. It’s sort of an on all-hands on deck with our animal services folks.”
While the shelters are doing what they can to care for the kittens in their facilities or getting them to rescues who have fosters available, many of them want the public to know they can play a part in helping decrease kitten season as well.
Spaying and neutering cats that are of age is the biggest factor in helping the numbers go down.
Cats can be spayed or neutered as young as eight weeks old in an effort to eliminate the chance for pregnancy, ASPCA website said.
Not only does spaying and neutering help with overpopulation, but it also has its health and behavioral benefits.
If you’re not a cat owner, then head to the nearest shelter and see if you can lend a hand at being a foster or a volunteer.
Do your part in helping these kittens stay out the shelters and helping the shelter staff themselves.