Yay, kitten season! Wait, what's that you say ... that, actually, kitten season is not the best?
As it turns out, this is a really rough time of year for animal shelters, which receive a boom of feral kittens yearly between spring and early fall and always struggle with the surge. And it's not great for all the kitties either who struggle to find homes.
If this makes you as sad as it made us, there are actually ways you can help alleviate this (adorable) annual problem:
1. Adopt one (or two)!
If you were already considering adopting a cat, now is the time to get serious. Also keep an eye out for the kitty twofers that many shelters offer during this season — like dogs, kitties love at-home BFFs.
Not only do you get a kitty to love and play with, even brief fostering can help kittens avoid euthanization, according to PetSmart Charities. Win-win!
If fostering even for a little bit is too much commitment, how about cuddling some kittens? Yes, "kitten cuddlers" are a real volunteer opportunity at many shelters, and part of the duties may include learning to bottle feed them. Could you die? (Don't die.)
4. Spay/neuter your cat
"If you’re thinking you’ll simply keep her inside, away from any tomcats, you may be in for a bit of a life disturbance," writes Dr. Nancy Kim on Pet Health Nework. "Cats in heat have been known to drive their humans crazy by vocalizing 24 hours a day, constantly being under foot, rolling around on the ground, and, for all practical purposes, shouting out to the world, 'I am in heat!!' This will go on for weeks at a time." Don't make your neighbors loathe you.
Consider making a donation of any size directly to your local Humane Society, or you can also look out for stores with giving initiatives. For example, California chain Pet Food Express has an annual Kitten Season Fundraiser in their stores where you can purchase and donate specific supplies requested by partner organizations. It's raised half a million dollars in just a few years.
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