Right now, a big beautiful dog is waiting for a devoted and caring family! Love large with $25 adoptions for adult dogs over 40 pounds at our Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center and Ellis County Animal Care Center through December 31st. Come meet your new best friend!
The Mary Spencer Clinic is open for spay and neuter surgeries for dogs and cats. Make an appointment today.
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Spring has arrived.
Soon the flowers will be blooming, the weather will be getting warmer, leaves will be returning to the trees … and animal shelters far and wide will be dealing with an influx of “abandoned” kittens.
This is known in animal welfare circles as “Kitten Season.” It happens every year, beginning in March and running through the fall season. The season coincides with adult female cats going into heat again, so the specific time frame may vary by region due to temperature differences. The kittens will arrive in droves, with rescuers looking for help with the abandoned youngsters.
The only problem is — in the vast majority of cases — the kittens were not abandoned at all. While it is extremely rare for a mother cat to completely disown her litter, it is very common for her to leave them for a time to hunt or otherwise provide for her family. Those who find a litter of healthy kittens should monitor the situation for at least 24 hours to see if the mother is coming and going sporadically. Some use flour around the site to check for paw prints.
Healthy kittens should be left in their mother’s care until they are at least 8 weeks old. No one can take better care of them than she can. If needed, food and water can be set out for her.
The SPCA offers a convenient guide for dealing with found kittens on its website.
If kittens are indeed abandoned, and they are healthy, it is a better idea to foster them at home instead of taking them to a shelter. Shelters are overrun during kitten season, and many simply cannot keep up with demand. In the North Texas area, there are several resources available to help a concerned kitten lover through this process.
Even in the case of adult cats, great care should be taken before bringing them into a shelter. More than 50% of cat owners let their cats roam outdoors. There is a high probability that “rescuing” a loose cat will just be separating it from its family. Once taken to a shelter, less than 2% of cats are eventually reunited with their owners.
One thing to look for with an adult cat is whether their ear is clipped or notched, indicating that it has been spayed and neutered. Feral, or “community” cats can greatly benefit from a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) program. The upsides for both the cat and the community are numerous, including better health, less stress and a happier coexistence with other cats and humans in the area.
Traps can be borrowed from the SPCA of Texas with a refundable deposit.
Of course, the most important thing to remember about Kitten Season is that the shelter is already full of cats who need a good home. The SPCA of Texas encourages cat lovers to do the best thing possible for their feline friends … love and care for them.
All the doggone news? Cute cat pictures? Ways you can get involved? You bet.
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