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.