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It's Raining Kittens

Kitten at Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare waiting for a home or rescue (photo courtesy Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare)

There are certain seasons we celebrate, the holiday season, peach season, and ski season to name a few. But kitten season is no cause for celebration. Kitten season generally begins in the spring, peaks in summer and tapers off in the fall. It's that time of year when cats give birth, flooding shelters and rescue groups with homeless kittens. My cat Zella as a kitten In my downtown Macon neighborhood we have a long established feral colony. My cat Zella is actually a former member. She was found on a sidewalk lethargic,weighing in at just nine ounces and needing to be bottle fed. she's not alone. Recently twenty sick kittens were discovered underneath a neighbors home. Sadly they were taken to the shelter suffering from upper respiratory infections and euthanized in order to avoid spreading disease to other animals at the shelter. Neighbors are helping to fund a spay and neuter program for the remaining adult cats. So called TNR or Trap, Neuter, Release programs have been successful in reducing the number of kittens born to stray mothers. Chart showing the number of cats produced from just one breeding pair Sadly there are fewer cat rescues in Georgia than dog rescues. Many people have unfounded ideas about cats when in reality they make excellent pets. They don't need to be walked, they are easily trained to use a litter box and contrary to what people think they can be affectionate and engaged with their families. Every day I see kittens in my local shelters needing homes and hours from euthanasia. The numbers are heart breaking and preventable. The Humane Society of America has five tips for how you can help 1. Spay and neuter your cats 2. Help your local shelter during kitten season by donating food, money or time 3. Care for the homeless pets in your area 4. Become a foster cat parent 5. Adopt a cat