Kitten Season

posted on Friday, March 30, 2018 in Pet PSA


Kitten season is upon us, and our staff and volunteers are prepping for the influx of kittens and mamas we are about to see come through our doors. We chatted with our expert cat team about kitten season - lets see what they have to say!

Why does kitten season exist?

Kitten season exists because there are a lot of male and female cats in the community that are not spayed or neutered. Spaying/neutering cats helps control the pet population and would bring down the numbers of kittens we see each spring. On average, a female cat’s gestation period for a litter of kittens is around 63 days. If you do the math, one female cat can have about 32 kittens in a 16 month period. Now think about 10 cats each having 32 kittens, that's 320 kittens in just a little over a year, and that’s a lot of meows!

How does it effect us at the ARL?

At the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, it takes thousands of man hours and countless numbers of supplies to take care of these kittens in our care each year. This includes food, litter, toys, bedding, vaccinations every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old, dewormers, spay/neuter surgery, and microchips! Thanks to our foster network, these kittens don’t stay in house long but these supplies are still utilized in the foster homes.

How many kittens did the ARL serve in 2017?

In 2017, the ARL placed 198 bottle babies, 450 weaned kittens, and 213 moms with kittens in approved foster homes. We also placed kittens in foster homes for behavior modification work, medical care, and crisis foster care. Overall, the ARL’s foster networked helped 951 kittens in 2017 alone. Without the help of our 200 foster homes, we wouldn’t be able to care for so many orphaned kittens in need.

What should I do if I find an orphaned kitten?

Great question. Start here with this reference guide provided by Alley Cat Allies.

How can I help during Kitten Season?

  1. SPAY/NEUTER: One of the best ways to help is by spaying and neutering cats in their home and neighborhood to help with the pet population. The ARL offers low-cost spay/neuter programs for those who qualify, and that includes programs for owned cats and community cats, click here to learn more about these programs.
  2. FOSTER: Have a little extra room in your house to care for some kittens and/or moms with kittens? That's excellent - we rely on people like you! Click here to learn how to get started as a foster home - you won't regret it!
  3. DONATIONS: We are always in need of items to care for these kittens, here are a few items we are in need of. These items can be purchased from our Amazon Wishlist and can be shipped directly to ARL Main.
  • Dry kitten food
  • Wet kitten food
  • Milk powder for kittens
  • Nursing bottles
  • Miracle nipples
  • Small litter boxes
  • Pop-up tents
  • Toys without catnip