Overpopulation of stray and feral cats is a problem in many communities. During the spring, otherwise known as “kitten season”, unwanted litters of kittens are being dumped in the streets, or delivered to rescues and shelters across the nation. This influx of kittens becomes an overwhelming burden for organizations that, unfortunately, results in thousands of homeless cats – many of which are euthanized due to lack of space and resources.
How can you help?
This kitten season, there will be millions of unfed stray felines across North America. Here’s five ways you can help decrease this growing number:
- Spay and neuter your cat. While it might not seem important in the grand scheme of things, one unneutered cat can make a big difference. Ferals can sneak into yards and mate with household cats, creating more unwanted litters and, ultimately, more opportunity for further breeding.
- Volunteer. Contact your local shelter or rescue to determine how you can help. Most organizations gladly accept applicants of all ages and experience to assist in different ways, such as feeding, grooming, or playing with the animals.
- Donate. If you don’t have much time to spare, donating is another great way to help. Many rescues and shelters are non-profit, which means they rely on donations of food, toys, beds and other pet products. If you’re not sure what to donate, consider giving a monetary contribution.
- Foster or adopt. What better way to reduce the number of homeless animals than by giving one a home? Check online for adoptable animals near you, or pay a visit to a few shelters. If you’re not ready for a permanent commitment, fostering offers the opportunity for you to look after a cat in need until he finds his forever family.
- Spread the word. Education is an important method of prevention. Non-profit animal welfare organizations such as Alley Cat Allies offer informational resources and materials to teach citizens how they can help properly manage feral cat colonies. Do some research and share posts via your own social media platforms.