Warning: Cuteness Overload ahead.
While seasons change pretty rapidly in these parts, there’s one season that really stands out — kitten season. And, it is upon us. More kittens are born between April and June than any time of year, and most shelters can’t keep up.
“We get calls every single day,” says Diana Hoberecht, president of Feline Friends of Moore County. In just one day this week, she took in 14 kittens.
Cats can reproduce as young as four months and they can do so rapidly. We’re not kitten: one cat could have as many as four litters a year. Sadly, the mortality rate for kittens in the wild is 50 percent.
“One of the most important things to do is spay/neuter,” says Diana. “Say you have one cat hanging around your yard that you don’t want to deal with. That one cat can quickly become six and now you have six to get out of your yard instead of just fixing the one.”
If you find a kitten or a litter, try to wait to see if the mother cat comes back. Feral cats will make themselves scarce around humans. If the kittens looked abandoned and in distress, you can give Feline Friends a call. “We always find room,” says Diana. Check out this graphic for more info.
Kittens can safely be weaned at about eight weeks though Feline Friends often get litters much younger, requiring feeding around the clock.
Feline Friends traps, neuters/spays/ and releases around 500 cats a year. These are non adoptable, wild cats. It’s important to still do this though to keep the cat population under control. #SPAYTHISWAY. They adopt-out around 200 cats a year.
If you’re looking to adopt, Feline Friends of Moore County has kittens and cats all year long. The adoption fee is $50, along with a $75 deposit to get the cat spayed/neutered whenever it is old enough.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the Sandhills Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic in Vass. They can even work with people on payment options,” says Diana.
The nonprofit also accepts donations of cat food, litter, cat trees, toys, formula and monetary donations. The nonprofit is also always looking for foster volunteers.
“The hardest part is not being able to save them all. Anything helps,” says Diana.