Flowers aren’t the only thing that bloom in spring. The lengthening days also bring a notable spike in breeding among the Oahu’s free-roaming cat population, according to the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Hundreds of kittens are dropped off at the agency’s shelter each month during peak kitten season. Many may seem as if abandoned and are “rescued” by well-meaning cat lovers.
The Hawaiian Humane Society wants to make sure you know what you’re getting into before you bring home stray kittens and offered these tips:
RESIST THE URGE TO INTERVENE
Many people are tempted to rescue kittens they think are abandoned. More often than not, the mother cat has gone off to find food or take a break. Kittens may need help if they meow loudly, breathe with their mouths open or the mother cat has not returned in over eight hours.
BE PREPARED FOR KITTEN CARE
Since animal shelters and veterinary clinics often cannot provide the intensive care required, rescuers should be prepared to see the intervention through. Newborn kittens need to be fed every two to three hours and also need help with their waste. Free Kitten Kits with feeding supplies, special formula and a litter box are available at the Hawaiian Humane Society’s Admissions Center.
FOLLOW UP AND SPAY/NEUTER
Once the kittens can eat on their own and are healthy and large enough, at about eight weeks or 2 pounds, they should be sterilized.
During the Humane Society’s Spring Fling, March 23 to April 1, adoption fees for all animals are half off. And if you’re 60 or older, you can adopt any cat or dog age 6 or older for free any time.
For more info, visit hawaiianhumane.org.