Preparing for Kitten Season - Spay and Neuter Your Pets and Keep Them Safe and Indoors

Kitten receiving an exam by a veterinarian

Kitten Season Will Soon Be Here: Are You Prepared?

Every spring and summer, animal shelters throughout the U.S. are inundated with litter upon litter of kittens. Many organizations resort to drastically reduced adoption fees and creative promotions to find homes for as many cats as possible. Unfortunately, there are never enough homes for all of the kittens born during the season. Luckily, cat owners can do something to reduce the number of unwanted kittens by taking a few of these steps.

Spay and Neuter Your Pets

Spaying (for female pets) and neutering (for male pets) prevents them from becoming pregnant or impregnating another animal by removing their reproductive organs. Contrary to popular belief, having at least one litter offers no health benefits for cats.

In fact, spaying or neutering can help protect your pet's health. Males benefit from reduced rates of testicular cancer, while females are less likely to develop breast cancer and will never develop pyometra, a potentially life-threatening uterine infection.

Spayed and neutered pets are also less likely to roam or spray urine to mark territory. The ASPCA notes that both cats and dogs can be safely spayed and neutered starting as young as 8 weeks old.

Keep Your Cats Indoors

Outdoor cats can get into all sorts of trouble when they wander. Although pregnancy is certainly a concern, any cat that ventures outdoors is also at increased risk of being hit by a car or poisoned, either accidentally or intentionally, or being attacked or killed by another animal. Contact with other animals can also increase your pet's risk of developing rabies, feline leukemia or other contagious diseases.

If you want to your cat to experience the great outdoors, you may want to consider one of these options:

  • Screening in a porch or patio
  • Purchasing or buying an outdoor cat run that's enclosed on all sides
  • Walking your cat using a harness and a leash
  • Adding diagonal panels to the top of your backyard fence to prevent your cat from escaping from your yard
  • Planting grass in pots for easy snacking
  • Installing a cat shelf or perch near a window with great views of the outdoors

Avoid Mass Breeders When Looking for a New Pet

With so many cats and kittens in need of homes, there's no need for mass breeders. Every time these breeders sell a kitten, other animals are deprived of a home. The next time you're ready to add a bundle of fur to your family, check out the cats available for adoption at animal shelters, humane societies, and veterinary offices. If you visit a pet store, make sure that the animals available for adoption come from shelters, not mass breeders.

Be on the Lookout for Stray Cat Colonies

Stray cat colonies are responsible for many litters of unwanted kittens, as most of these cats aren't spayed or neutered. Since cats can reproduce three times per year, the population of these colonies can increase dramatically in just one year.

If you're aware of a stray cat colony in your neighborhood, get in touch with an animal shelter or other organization that offers a trap/neuter/release program. These groups humanely trap cats in the colony, spay or neuter them, then return them to their original location.

Once the cats can no longer reproduce, their numbers will eventually dwindle. Trap/neuter/release programs usually ask that neighbors continue to feed stray animals and provide adequate outdoor shelters in exchange for spaying and neutering the cats.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Social media offers a simple way to spread the word about the plight of unwanted cats and kittens. Urge your friends and followers to spay and neuter their cats and adopt, rather than buy, a cat or kitten when they're ready to open their home to a new pet.

Whether your cat is ready to be spayed or neutered or it's time for your new kitten's first veterinary appointment, we're here to help you take care of the healthcare needs of your pets. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

ASPCA: Spay/Neuter Your Pet

Humane Society of the United States: 10 Tips to Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors

ASPCA: A Closer Look at Community Cats

Call to schedule your pet's wellness or urgent care exam now: (952) 758-6722

Testimonials

  • We have been clients of New Prague Animal Care for over 13 years. They have provided exceptional and compassionate care for our “pack” (6 dogs and 3 cats). As a professional dog trainer, breeder of Best in Show and Master Hunter Retrievers as well an owner of multiple kennel/ doggy daycare facilities (30+ years), I have worked with numerous veterinary clinics both in the Twin Cities and nationwide. Dr. Steve and his crew rate among the finest I have worked with. The clinic has all of the fea

    ...
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  • My dad has taken all of his dogs there for years, and I take mine there as well. Dr. Lavalle's bedside manner is amazing, and his staff are so genuine and caring. I always have, and will continue referring people to take their pets here. They are hands down the best veterinary care in the area!

    - Amber C
  • Have taken our dogs to Dr. Lavallee for over 10 years and he is great with each of them. He and his staff are very caring and helpful.

    - Barb S
  • Middle of a snow storm a few days ago. My little puppy was injured. I live in Faribult. Vet offices were closed in town. They actually called me while in route to see if I was ok. They were so good with the puppy. The cost was very reasonable. Called today to see how everything was going. I really was very impressed with this office. I recommend this place.

    ...
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  • Awesome experience! My pets love the care they get from Dr. Lavallee and his staff! They are not just a number; they care for them like my babies are family! Would highly recommend them!

    - SGGM
  • Found a 6-wk old kitten on the side of the highway and brought it in at 7pm on emergency basis. I was blown away by the compassion of Dr. Johnson's team. What a great experience. True animal people!

    - Anna H
  • Moved to New Prague and found this place for our dog.. Such great service, friendly staff, amazing Dr. and very accommodating to all of our needs!! Highly recommended by my pet family!!!

    - Kerri N
  • We love New Prague Animal Care, they are always so kind and caring, from the phone calls to when you walk in. We take our Siberian Husky Bandit in and he gets so much attention, well loved. We've had to take him in twice for emergencies, the in house testing was great, Dr. Johnson was able to resolve the issue almost immediately. I wouldn't take him anywhere else.

    ...
    Read More - Myra C

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