The Susquehanna SPCA is overflowing with kittens, according to a recent media release.
“Kitten season is in full swing,” the release said. “Recently, we have had an influx of cats and kittens of all ages that need our help.”
The spring season often brings with it batches of new kittens, according to the release.
“Just before spring, unspayed cats often go into heat. Approximately 60 days later, they begin giving birth to litters of kittens. Between the months of March and October, animal shelters like the SQSPCA become overwhelmed with mother cats with their kittens and even orphaned kittens that need care around the clock. This is what we call kitten season.”
Female cats can get pregnant at the young age of 5 months.
While nursing a litter, it is possible for a mother cat to become pregnant again resulting in even more kittens to care for. A normal litter can be as little as one kitten or as many as 12 kittens. If left unaltered, all of the kittens from the litters will go on to reproduce, thus creating kitten season and overpopulation problems.
Stray kittens can sometimes be found outdoors or in buildings other than houses. According to the SCPA, if they are in a safe spot people should not touch them as the mother cat may have run off for food and will be back to care for them shortly. Check back in a few hours to see if she came back to care for them.
Kittens under 8 weeks of age that are being cared for by a mother cat have a higher survival rate than orphans. To every extent possible, take all necessary steps to keep them with their mom, the release said.
Help is needed, according to shelter officials.
People who want to help can:
Foster a cat. Kittens with and without mothers of all different ages are coming into the shelter daily.
Donate goods. With the influx of cats and kittens the shelter is running low on the following items: dry kitten food and cat food, canned cat food (paté preferred), paper towels, garbage bags
(39-gallon or larger).
Volunteer. The shelter can always use the help of volunteers to clean and provide enrichment.
Go to www.sqspca.org for more information or call 607-547-8111.