Cheryl Wicks: Here come the kittens — lots of kittens
Every year, around this time, the kittens start coming in droves and keep right on coming until October.
We call it “Kitten Season.”
If anyone at AnimalSave or the Grass Valley Shelter is reading this I’m sure they know what I am talking about. Why oh why does this happen?
There are many unspayed/unneutered cats in our community and they mate and mate and mate and mate some more. A female can have three litters a year. The litters can be anywhere from three to six kittens, and sometimes larger. The gestation period for a cat is 63-65 days long.
If you see your cat mating, take her immediately to be spayed. There is no time to waste. Cats can get pregnant as early as 4 months old (yes, 4 months old).
That is disgraceful. That is like your 10-year-old child being pregnant. Many unspayed cats are pregnant at 5 to 6 months old.
We hear so often “I didn’t know she could get pregnant that young.” She can. All of this can be avoided by getting your kittens spayed/neutered. They can be spayed/neutered at 8 weeks old.
Besides curtailing reproduction, spaying/neutering will allow you to have a better family pet, not prone to carousing and cat fights and injuries and other maladies that distract your kitty from being your adorable family pet.
Every year Sammie’s Friends receives about 400 kittens that have nowhere else to go. Many of these kittens are so young they must be bottle fed. Can you imagine starting your life with no mother to comfort you? We have had kittens brought to us that were left in someone’s mailbox or in a bag along the road or on a doorstep. Sometimes they are nearly dead from the heat or the cold and so, so hungry. Thanks to our wonderful staff and volunteers at the shelter. And, thanks to the wonderful people who foster them so they can have a life and eventually get adopted and make someone very happy.
We also get mother cats with their litters, so young they don’t know what to do and don’t feel very motherly towards their kittens.
We cannot equate the miracle of birth that we as humans experience with the experience a cat has. When a female cat is in season, every tom cat will mate with her whether she likes it or not. They will grab her neck and bite her so she cannot move.
This is not making love and being close. This is impregnating and moving on. Next the mama gives birth and keeps her kittens, if she’s lucky, until they are weeks old. They are weaned and she never sees them again. Unlike us, who most likely keep our children in our lives for a life time.
Please help stop this miserable mess. There are two low cost clinics that you can go to.
1. Animal Spay and Neuter Clinic in Auburn 530-889-8800.
2. AnimalSave in Grass Valley 530-477-1706.
If you live in Nevada County and are low income, you can pick up vouchers at Sammie’s Friends that will pay for most of the spay/neuter expense at one of these clinics.
Please be responsible and make life good for everyone in this community, including our feline friends.
We love them and they deserve the best. Thank you.
Cheryl Wicks is the Co-Founder and President of Sammie’s Friends.
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