Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Kitten Season 2021 and counting…

HIYA!!  SAVANNAH HERE!!!

I’m sure most of my readers know what “kitten season” means, but just in case—let me give you the 411 (info) in short. Kitten Season amongst those of us who do Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) with abandoned community cats is a dread time of year. Spring through Summer and into Fall, until cold/wet weather shows up, male and female cats find each other to breed. Mom L , Dad P and me started our Delta View Cats all volunteer group to try to address at least the part of the “iceberg” we can find in our home town of Pittsburg, CA.

I thought you might be inner-ested in seeing some of the little dear kittens we have been able to at least trap and get them spayed and neutered, flea treated, vaccinated and microchipped. If they are older than 10 to 12 weeks, they are usually already too feral for a foster to attempt to socialize. And another “411”—fosters for kittens/cats are as scarce as those old hen’s teeth!!

Here are a few kittens that we could only TNR. We had no one to foster them or they were already too feral. You can see one Mom cat nursing a kitten in the red chair.

Other kittens were more fortunate ‘cuz we could find a foster or our partners at Community Concern For Cats(CC4C) took them in and found fosters. CC4C also provides most of the medical care for any kittens we can help to get socialized and they then go through their adoption program. The itty bitty kitten actually fell from above a front door. Mom cat was moving her kittens and he got restless and slipped from the roof above the front door. He is fine! The photo with some oranges actually has FIVE in it. Four kittens and their mom. I tried to draw circles around each one, let me know in comments if you could find them all. The cutie Snowshoe Siamese kitten was found stuck to a cactus!! No kittening around!! By a city resident and they unstuck her and she is now in foster care, but feral still. And the tabby kitten is with CC4C and doing very well.

Delta View Cats (DVC) has two volunteers who feed every other Sunday at our waterfront park colony. They also live in a large apartment complex and were happy to help an experienced cat trapper in trapping a dad cat and four kittens. Once they saw the kittens in the traps, their hearts melted and after our county animal services spayed/neutered etc., these two wonderful volunteers decided to foster the two sister and two brothers. The happiest day in the last five weeks since they took these sweet, but semi-feral kittens in, is TODAY!! YES!!! The bounded sisters, Luna and Xochitl, found their forever family today!! WOOT!! The girls are in the photo with the rainbow nip tow.

Now comes the most frustrating 411 I have. Kitten season is always an incredible challenge for all of us in California’s Contra Costa County. We have “breeding weather” a good part of the whole year. In the past we were able to receive support from our county’s Animal Services because they had a large network of kitten fosters and so they would intake healthy kittens of almost any age. If the kittens were very feral then of course they did not. BUT—under the cloak of “COVID”, our county animal services is no longer intaking ANY healthy kittens, friendly abandoned adults like they did before. We all understood why they could not intake such cats during the shut down from COVID, but they are now operating almost at 100% and they have established a “new” policy to not intake ANY healthy kittens, friendly adults going forward, forever.

Now you ask—” But what about dogs?” And I answer that our county animal services, during COVID, was able to spend funds to build another lovely, large exercise area for the dogs. But nothing has been done for the cats. Their position is that “animal sheltering says that cats do not do well in a shelter environment”. Right, dogs do not do well there either. BUT, Mom L, Dad P and me have been able to pull over 30 cats in the years before COVID, off the streets and get them adopted in to loving homes through our county animal services.

Somebody please help me understand why our county has stated that all us “small non-profits must manage our county’s over population of abandoned community cats”??!! WAIT!!! WHAT??? Many cities in California have actually started to INVEST city and county funds in TNR and their cities and county’s are providing leadership to get the small non-profits together to humanely address this over population.

So let me know in comments what’s up in your area about addressing the over population of abandoned community cats.

PAW PATS, SAVANNAH

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14 thoughts on “Kitten Season 2021 and counting…

  1. Pingback: UPDATE: Happy Tail Endings | Savannah's Paw Tracks

  2. We try and help all we can and in fact our new cleaning lady handles a whole town of ferals and has about 50 feeding areas. She also does TNR and helps find homes for those who can be socialized through several local groups. What a job. We will see how we can help when we get our Taxes paid. Yeah no kids but Killed by School tax but that is the same everywhere. Purrs and Prayers be with you

  3. Lu Anne on said:

    The next county over, the county government have determined that cats are free roaming, & so aren’t picked up unless they’re injured, or kittens. They are then pretty much immediately transfered to other cat rescues in the county. The county’s basic reasoning for not taking cats was to save money. 😕. The good thing is that there are several TNR groups & the communities have created some Facebook groups for ppl to list lost or found pets. The groups are pretty active & so everyone keeps an eye out & pets are found & returned. There’s also a cppl volunteers that pick up carcasses that are checked for micro chips so that possible owners can be notified. The issue whether or not to let your cat outdoors, tho,is just as much a heated topic as anywhere & of course, one of the 1st things they’ll tell you is cats are legally allowed to roam freely in the county- like it’s some kind of legit excuse. Unfortunately, the county’s in high plains dessert, so alot of animals get dumped out in the dessert, especially cats, which is very heartbreaking. Probably for every 2 cats that are found/return home, Any 3 are killed/or never seen again.

  4. Edith Chase on said:

    In Worcester county, Massachusetts, we have a local shelter that runs low cost clinics for area residents. Plus we have a TNR group that tnrs strays and ferals in the area. We still have a handful of community cats, but I know where they live, their people just keep them outside all the time.

  5. Sadly it’s all volunteer here too. The money all goes to line the pockets of corrupt politicians.

    • Why Brian is it so hard for our local governmental agencies to step up? This is a national crisis, especially in the midst of COVID. And the “new” Vet Med School “Shelter Medicine” teaches—”shelters are more harmful to intake of cats/kittens than leaving them out to flounder about looking for food forever”.??? Why not just return to euthanization???

  6. Covid really did a number on TNR in our area because the low cost spay/neuter clinic had to close down for awhile. There are SO many kittens now at our shelter and in foster homes. Many are finding homes which is good. But the clinic is still behind in allowing the spaying/neutering of many ferals.

    • I so hear you my friend The Lady with the Yellow Hair! In my county, we do not even have a true “low/no cost high volume S/N clinic for abandoned community cats”. Our county funded animal services always haults supporting any such clinic UNLESS it includes DOGS! The stray dogs still get picked up and impounded at this shelter. Not “stray” cats.

  7. catladymac on said:

    Our county animal shelter stopped taking in cats several years ago. One of the cities in the county just began a TNR program. Several no-kill cat rescues operate in the county. Blessings on all who help care for these cats no matter where they aare !

  8. We don’t know what’s being done on a civic level about TNR. All I do know is that when I told my human about the kittens living in our backyard (yes, I actually did find them for her!), she got one of the rescues to help her with traps and trapping. So far we’ve got the mom and two of the three kittens. We have one kitten left to trap, and if we are lucky, the dad (he’s older, and very sketchy). Our neighbor actually is taking on the responsibility of regular care for them, and pretty much already considers them hers.

    • Yay for you and your human Summer. Actually the city of LA is investing a considerable sum of money into a city wide effort for TNR. It was a long hard battle but Best Friends, Jackson Galaxy and others finally got something through.

  9. we are afraid that the problem will be solved here the “elimination” way… there are sadly tooo much things what are more important to the authorities than to take care for animals… sigh…

    • Unfortunately, our county is sentencing all the kittens we have to return once we get them fixed to a miserable life and likely death by so many dangers. Might as well have just euthanized them. It is so so so very disheartening

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