It is certainly, definitely, without a doubt, Kitten Season at the SPCA Albrecht Center. We have 55 kittens in our care right now. Their ages range from a few days old to a few weeks. Some are being bottle-fed by foster volunteers or staff members, some are in our shelter with mother cats, and some older kittens are here without mothers.
Cute and sweet as cuddly kittens might be, the reality of this time of year isn't all that endearing. Kitten season is the period of the year when kitten births peak as a result of unaltered cats mating. This surge of kitten births means animal shelters and rescue groups become flooded with homeless or abandoned litters and are in desperate need of donations, supplies and space to care for them all.
An estimated 20 million kittens will be born this spring alone, and there are never enough homes for them all, not to mention the adult cats already in our shelter and shelters all over the country.
There are a few things you can do to help. If you have a cat, please make sure it is spayed or neutered. Cats can get pregnant as early as 4-6 months, and male cats of the same age can slip out and be ready to prowl, so don't wait. Our Veterinary Care Center makes it affordable and easy, just give us a call: 803-648-6863, ext. 1.
Know of a stray cat or colony? Help prevent more stray cats by participating in the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. TNR is endorsed by both the American Humane Society and the ASPCA and has been described as "the most humane, effective and financially sustainable strategy for controlling free-roaming cat populations." Learn more at LetLoveLive.org/TNR
Help us care for the many kittens coming through our doors by donating supplies. Our second annual Kitten Shower & Supply Drive is May 7th from 11am until 2pm. We'll have baby shower type snacks and plenty of kittens to cuddle. Can't make it? You can drop off donations now at our shelter. We have a pack 'n play in the lobby filling up with needed items. Learn more and see a wish list at LetLoveLive.org/KittenShower.
Not really into the kitten scene? Consider opening your heart and your home to an adult cat. Right now, adult cat adoption fees are reduced to just $25. That includes each cat's spay or neuter surgery, up-to-date vaccinations, testing and a microchip.
We have young adult cats, 1-3 years old, who have learned to appreciate the value of more cat naps but still love to play too. We have senior cats who are great companions for a quiet, laid back family or individual, and their adoption fee is only $6 for anyone age 60 or older. All of them need loving, forever homes and will show you a lifetime of love and affection.
Visit our website at LetLoveLive.org or call us at 803-648-6863 to learn more about our adoptable cats (and dogs!), spay/neuter and our full range of veterinary services, the Trap-Neuter-Return program, Kitten Shower and more.
Sarah Neikam is the Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her husband, Tom, mother, Cheryl and three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady.