It may be the dog days of summer, but it is also kitten season, a time of year when thousands of homeless kittens flood animal shelters across the country.

Kitten season, also known as feline breeding season, is the time of year when unaltered (not spayed) female cats go into heat. If the female cat encounters an unaltered (not neutered) male cat, a litter of kittens is likely to be the result about 60 days later.

Kitten season takes place during the warmer months. Typically, in our area, kitten season runs from early April through late October/early November.

Unless you have worked in an animal shelter, it is unlikely you have heard the term. In our newsletter this month, APS-FH focuses on cats and how everyone in our community can help prevent unwanted litters.

Help, I Found a Cat Outdoors!

Example: You come across a cat outdoors, perhaps in a parking lot, or behind your favorite local store, or even in your own backyard. You may want to act, but what do you do?

The answer depends on the cat! Cats can have unique needs based on many factors. In most cases, finding a cat outdoors is nothing to be concerned about. Cats have always lived outdoors, ever since the species Felis catus (domestic cat) came into existence, and they always will, even while some cats live indoors with us.

Cats fall into three categories: owned, stray and Community. Each category will determine what action should be taken.

As a side note, kittens, especially under four weeks of age, have special needs that differ from adult cats. Please call APS-FH, if you have found a kitten.

Owned, Stray or Community?

The chart below will help you make the right decisions in the cat’s best interest (click to enlarge). Please keep in mind, not all cats found outdoors need to be “rescued.” If you are not sure, please call us (360) 378-2158. We are happy to walk you through the steps to help determine if the cat needs help.