It’s Officially Kitten Season in Gainesville
For most of us in Gainesville, the rising temperature means the ending of a semester and the beginning of the summer. It means more pool days, less responsibilities and perhaps even an adventure abroad.
For Alachua County Humane Society, however, the start of summer means hundreds of kittens will be brought into the shelter.
“Kitten season,” which is when cats typically reproduce, starts around March and can go until September. It peaks during early summer, and the shelters become flooded with kittens quickly. This stretches their limited resources, staff and space thin as the shelters try to accommodate for the hundreds of kittens.
The trouble is that when most kittens come into the shelter, they are too young to be adopted. Alachua County Humane Society implemented a foster system, in which kittens that are too young to be adopted can be taken care of outside of the shelter by fosters until they reach the appropriate age. This frees up space in the shelter, so other adoptable animals can still find their forever home.
“Our foster program is amazing, we couldn’t save as many lives as we do without them,” said Chrissy Sedgley, the director of shelter operations. “They basically come in and open up their homes. We give them kittens and all of the supplies and food that they would need, and they give them the care.”
If you aren’t quite ready to adopt a pet, but still want one around your home, this could be a great option for you. Being a kitty foster parent can be a great test run to see if pet ownership is a good fit.
Alachua County Humane Society also hosts events to encourage people to adopt. On April 23, they hosted “Kitten Shower.” Visitors who brought items from their Amazon wishlist could do yoga in a room full of kittens. There were also free or reduced adoption fees for visitors who donated blood through LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Bloodmobile.
If you are going to be in Gainesville this summer, you can soak up the summer sun and celebrate the local kitten season. Foster, volunteer, donate or adopt.
Just whatever you do…don’t shop!