When is Kitten Season? Puppy Season? How you can help...

March 21st, 2022
When is Kitten Season? Puppy Season?
Kitten Season
With there being a large population of outdoor community cats, typically unaltered, hundreds of litters are born in our area each year.
  • Kitten season occurs throughout the warmer months; typically March or April through October.
  • Female cats go into heat for roughly seven days at a time, and will go into frequent heat cycles until they become pregnant. Cats will have multiple litters throughout the year unless spayed, or kept separate from intact male cats. 
  • Cats are pregnant for around two months (on average 64 days) and have four to six kittens at a time.
  • Thousands of kittens are born during kitten season months. As a result, shelters become inundated with homeless kittens, greatly increasing the time and resources needed to care for them.
So, if you are thinking about adding a kitten to your home, this is the best time of year to adopt!.
What should you do if you find a kitten outside?
Before picking up the kitten and bringing it to the shelter, assess the age and condition of the kitten.
 0-5 weeks
  • Uncoordinated
  • Closed or baby blue eyes
  • Unweaned; dependent on nursing
Kittens should be left with mom until weaned. Kittens with a mom cat present will appear clean and healthy and should be left alone. You may not see mom, but that doesn’t mean she’s not there! 
Kittens that are dirty, thin, or appear to be sick need extra care. They should be brought into the shelter, with mom if present.
5-12 weeks
  • Playful and coordinated
  • Able to walk and run
  • Eating food independently
These kittens are at a great age for socialization. If kittens appear healthy, call the shelter to make sure there is space to properly accommodate them!
12+ weeks
  • Typically 3+ pounds
  • No longer nursing
  • Proportionate or lanky body
Call the shelter (828-264-7865) to create an intake appointment 
How Can You Help During Kitten Season?
Take care and Foster
Kittens are the most vulnerable population at the shelter, as they can not be vaccinated until 6 weeks of age. They also require a significant time commitment that staff is unable to provide in a shelter environment.
  • Fosters allow kittens to gain confidence in a home environment, as well as get them out of the shelter.
  • Kittens are most at risk of becoming sick in the shelter, especially if they are too young to be vaccinated. 
  • During kitten season, shelters will be overcrowded and need space. Getting the most vulnerable cats and kittens out of the shelter allows for an overall healthier population of cats. 
  • Fostering frees up time and space for employees to focus on the animals who require more immediate assistance.
Generally kittens are in foster until they are 8 weeks. Length of foster is dependent upon age and health of the kittens.
Can’t foster? Donate!
With more kittens comes more mouths to feed! The most used items are non fish based wet food, kitten milk replacement formula, and blankets. Don’t forget, monetary donations are always welcome!
Adopt a kitten (or maybe two!)
Kitten season is the perfect time to add a furry friend to your home! If you are thinking about adopting a kitten consider adopting two. There are numerous benefits to adopting in pairs; including socialization, a built in playmate and twice the love for you!
Is There a "Puppy Season" for Dogs?
The short answer is no.
Among the many changes domestication has brought into the lives of our canine companions, reproduction has also been affected. Female dogs have bi-annual breeding cycles, and male dogs are willing to mate any time a female is in heat. This causes puppies to be born virtually at any time of the year. 
Unlike cats, most dogs are owned and therefore it is rare to find a litter of puppies that are truly wild. Most puppies that come into the shelter tend to be owner surrenders from unwanted litters due to a lack of spay/neuter.
However most puppies tend to find their way into homes before even making it into the shelter.