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‘Kitten season’ begins, pushing shelter to capacity

Every spring, as the flowers bloom and the weather warms, animal shelters everywhere prepare for a unique problem. What has been coined “kitten season” begins and with it an exponential increase in feline populations, pushing shelter resources to capacity. Female cats can become pregnant at less than six months of age, and one female can easily give birth to over a dozen kittens a year. With the lack of homes for this volume of kittens, shelters can become swamped with intakes and calls for help.

Often, kittens are separated from their mothers when they are not yet able to care for themselves. Kittens who do not receive their mother’s milk for at least the first four weeks of life have less immune protection and lower survival rates, requiring special care.

When GMHS receives a call for a kitten in need, the first thing we ask is, “Where is the mother?” Often, people think a kitten or a litter of kittens is abandoned when, in fact, the mother is nearby hunting. Other times, aler...

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