This article was published in the Lamorinda Weekly, on August 29, 2012
By Julie Schmoll
An adult cat waits for a new family at a recent adoption event Kitten season is upon us once again, bringing an abundance of wiggly kittens vying for new homes. Sounds great, right?What could be so bad about kittens?
Maybe more than most of us realize.
Due to Lamorinda’s mild climate, kittens are born year-round and an un-spayed cat may have up to four litters of kittens a year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) website. The organization estimates the number of kittens an unspayed cat and her offspring could produce in seven years could reach more than 91 million.
Local rescue groups such as Community Concern for Cats (CC4C) focus on adoption and trap-neuter-return programs for feral cats to keep the population down. “Lamorinda is a dangerous place for kittens in the wild. Coyotes, hawks, owls and raccoons all prey upon them day and night,” says Moraga resident Candace Olsen, long time CC4C volunteer.
CC4C sometimes get dozens of calls to their hotline each week, says CC4C Board of Directors member Jennie Richards. “We usually get between three to ten calls a day. We never want to turn away cats in need, but we just don’t have enough people available to foster.”
Overcrowding in shelters sometimes results in adoptable pets being euthanized, but like many rescue
foundations, CC4C never euthanizes animals, except in extreme medical situations, says Richards. “When the cat is suffering and dying, there’s no question that it is the best thing to do.”
When kittens flood the shelters, older cats are overlooked in favor of the new kittens. “We are able to adopt out one adult cat a week,” says Richards. “Families just like to start new with kittens.”
Richards recommends becoming a foster family, or adopting a pet. “It’s a great way to help out if you aren’t ready or willing to make a 20-year commitment to a pet. It’s fun for the family to have a kitten or two in the home and it allows the cat to grow before being adopted. We try to pair people with a cat that fits their household’s needs. People with young children should get a slightly older kitten because they are less vulnerable and fragile,” Richards added.
“Many Lamorindans have adopted these homeless little ones,” says Olsen. “It’s fun to drive around Orinda, Moraga and Lafayette and remember: ‘An adopted cat lives there’ or ‘I placed two kittens in that home.’ It’s a great feeling to know I’ve helped turn around the lives of these animals and added a loving presence in these homes.”
The main way people can help is to spay and neuter their pets, says Richards.
Olsen says a situation in Orinda got out of control because one female cat was left un-spayed. “When we were called to help the yard was overrun with that female’s offspring: three adult females and ten kittens,” she says. “Community Concern for Cats trapped and fixed the adults and found homes for all the kittens.”
If you’re interested in adopting a cat or kitten, the rescue holds adoptions in three locations every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Petfood Express in Lafayette and Pleasant Hill, and at Petco in Walnut Creek, or you can contact the organization directly.
“I personally don’t mind people coming to visit a cat in my home,” says Richards. “Our number one goal is to find every cat a loving home.”
Copyright: Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA