A Paws For Pets — Spring time means kitten time at York Adopt A Pet

By Nicci Lawrence, York Adopt A Pet
If you are a cat lover like me, the term Kitten Season sounds absolutely fabulous. I mean who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by a bunch of little balls of fluff with soft round bellies, tiny toe beans and endless energy for playtime? The unfortunate reality isn’t quite so magical for those who work in rescue. Kitten Season means shelters will soon be seeing an influx of kittens who need care.
In early spring, unaltered female cats begin to go into heat and soon start birthing litters of kittens. The average litter size is 4-8 kittens and female cats can give birth to several litters a year. Cats can get pregnant and produce litters starting at around four months of age, so it is important to get your kittens altered before then. Cats can typically be spayed or neutered when they reach two pounds at around two months old.
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While Adopt A Pet receives a steady intake of cats and kittens all year round, the springtime is when we start receiving litters of tiny kittens who need the most care. Kittens cannot eat on their own until they are around four weeks of age and need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate. In addition, the youngest orphaned kittens can have weakened immune systems and need some help regulating their body temperature. Some need fluids, medications and extra support before they can be considered stable and sadly very young kittens sometimes fade and pass away despite our best efforts. This also means they need attention every few hours around the clock from a human foster parent. This is of course very labor intensive for the foster parent and definitely takes a special kind of dedication and love.
You may be wondering how you can help. Here are a few ideas:
* Spay and neuter your pets. Cats can reproduce at a surprisingly young age. As soon as you become a pet parent, speak with your vet and schedule that appointment for your pet to get altered so the first heat cycle doesn’t sneak up on you.
* Donate supplies. Kitten-specific supplies such as KMR Kitten Milk Replacement Formula, Purina Dry Kitten Food, wet canned kitten food, as well as general supplies such as paper towels, cleaning and laundry supplies as well as monetary donations are always appreciated.
* Adopt. Adopting a new cat or kitten (or two) frees up space and resources for more animals that will be coming into the shelter over the coming months.
* Volunteer. Volunteers are always needed at the shelter, just a few hours a month can make a big difference for homeless pets
* Share. Follow York Adopt A Pet on Facebook. Even if you are not in a position to adopt, volunteer or donate, you can help by sharing our posts which feature pets who are looking for their forever home. Your shared post could be just what one of our waiting pets needs to be connected to their perfect forever home with one of your family or friends!
* Save the date: May 3 and 4. The YAAP Garage Sale is back and it’s bigger than ever!
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