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Along with the spring flowers, something else is growing in the warming months…the number of kittens in shelters. 

This time of year, as it’s known by many animal shelters and veterinary offices, is called kitten season. 

“Springtime kicks off  the busy shelter season for the year,” Intermountain Humane Society programs director Lacy Cook said. “March brings about the very first part of kitten season.”

According to Cook, who works with kittens first hand, the season can last all the way through October.

On March 8, IMHS welcomed its first litter of kittens for the season. Mother cat Brie gave birth to three kittens. The whole family is doing a little growing at the shelter before they will be ready for adoption.

The spring is also a busy time for spays and neuters, which can help shelters from getting overwhelmed with kittens in the future. Kittens can be spayed or neutered as early as eight weeks old. The ASPCA outlines many benefits for these procedures, including reducing the risk of cancers in male and female animals.

Some things that local shelters, including IMHS, benefit from most during this time of year are reliable volunteers, local fosters and monetary donations for kitten food and litter. With the volume of animals in the shelter, Cook says volunteers are very helpful during this time of year.

“We get super inundated during kitten season,” Cook said.

When adopting kittens, Cook says the best way is to adopt in pairs from the same litter. That way, the cats have a built-in playmate. To encourage this, IMHS does “buy one get one half off” for kitten adoption fees. 

“They have that social bond, and they’ll play with each other,” Cook said.

During this time of year, cats may have litters of kittens outdoors. If you find kittens outside, the ASPCA has a guide on how to approach the situation to cause the least amount of harm and avoid separating the kittens from their mother. You can follow this set of questions to assess what to do if you find kittens. 

For information on volunteering, adopting and fostering animals at IMHS, visit imhs.org.