Did you know? Winter is the ideal time to spay and neuter community cats to get ahead of kitten season and end the breeding cycle before it starts.

Every year animal shelters experience a rise in the number of kittens brought to the shelter throughout spring and summer. It’s a difficult time for animal shelters in communities across the country because most shelters are not equipped to care for multiple litters of young kittens. Neonatal kittens require around-the-clock care from trained shelter staff or foster homes. Without a network in place to care for neonatal kittens, many, if not all of them, will be killed in shelters.

Our analysis of ten years of data from our Northern Virginia spay and neuter clinic showed pregnant cats brought to the clinic peaked in March—indicating that the cats were breeding in the winter and birthing their kittens in the spring and summer. Cats can become pregnant as early as four months of age, so spaying and neutering as soon as cats are ready–at 2 months old, or as soon as they weigh two pounds–is also important.

Communities that embrace a Trap-Neuter-Return program see fewer cats entering animal shelters, allowing shelters to focus their efforts and taxpayer dollars on adoption programs and community outreach and education. You can find local TNR resources and get community cat advise at http://www.alleycat.org/Assistance.

Read the press release.