Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kitten season returns to Portland

Tiny kitten sleeping in a large dog bed
A previous foster kitten, affectionately known as Katie TriMet.
Run a quick search at the local shelters and you'll quickly discover that kitten season has returned. Every year it seems that cats go into heat all at the same time and deliver gobs and gobs of kittens, all at the same time. This means that shelters are overcrowded with babies, and some of the older cats get passed by when potential adopters come calling.

There's an obvious solution to this, of course: Neuter your pets.

Having a litter of kittens isn't a rite of passage for a cat, and it won't make a female cat more loving or parental. It will just add to the severe cat overpopulation problem we face all around the world.

This advice doesn't end with the cats you own.

If you have stray cats in your neighborhood that have kittens, year after year, contact the Feral Cat Coalition and ask about their trap-neuter-release programs that can stop that cycle cold. In July, they'll do those surgeries for free.

And if you're looking for a pet, now's the time to head to the shelters and spend time with the older cats. These cats have just as much love to give as a kitten, and they are less likely to tear up your furniture or keep you up at night with their antics. They'll be mellow companions, ready for a life of luxury.

To see some of these older cats in action, visit the House of Dreams cat shelter. These unwanted cats are overwhelmingly older, and they're still quite playful and loving.