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It’s springtime for many of us, which means of course, it’s kitten season again.

As adorable, lovable, and sweet as tiny kittens are, there are too many. Kitten season is in full swing in the U.S., and shelters and rescues will be overwhelmed with homeless kittens from March through October because cats who are not spayed or neutered will be mating and reproducing.

Did you know that a female cat can become pregnant at 4 months of age? That’s why spaying and neutering before adoption is critical to reducing feline overpopulation. Healthy kittens can be safely spayed or neutered between 1-1/2 and 2 pounds, typically at 8 weeks of age.

If you see outdoor cats or kittens, contact your local animal shelter, rescue organization or Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) group for advice and assistance. If you’re contemplating adopting, look no further than these community partners. If you can foster some cute and cuddly little balls of fur, you’ll be welcome allies in their additional lifesaving efforts.

Fosters are a truly critical link in the life cycle of a kitten. We all know that thousands of animals, the majority of them felines, are cared for by animal shelters, rescue organizations and TNR groups every year. The National Kitten Coalition is working to help organizations and individuals provide the best care for kittens so they have the chance at a happy and healthy life.

Additional resources

What to do if you find a litter of kittens outside? (Best Friends Animal Society)

Feline Fix by Five Months (United Spay Alliance and Marian’s Dream)

The National Kitten Coalition Kitten Nursery Manual (Free, downloadable PDF)

Effectively Managing Feral Community Cats with Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR): Considerations for Moms and Kittens (The National Kitten Coalition Blog Post)