Tuscaloosa, Alabama Shelter Overwhelmed as Kitten Season Commences
An annual baby boom in the feline community known as “kitten season” is currently taking Tuscaloosa by storm. The influx of kitten births this season has left animal shelters overwhelmed with the copious number of new residents in their facilities.
According to the ASPCA, kitten season occurs as the weather begins to warm up in March and typically lasts until about October. Savannah Franklin, the Foster Coordinator at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, says the number of kittens they have already received is “unbelievable.”
TMAS currently has over 80 kittens in the shelter, with 10 to 15 that still need fostering.
“Kittens come into the shelter daily,” Franklin said. “They can be anywhere from a day to 6 weeks old.”
Stray kittens are being found everywhere. According to Franklin, they have been discovered “under sheds, houses, even in people’s cars.”
While kitten season is mostly due to the warm weather, the number of stray cats in Tuscaloosa County is also a contributing factor.
“These strays are never fixed, so that brings even more cats around,” Franklin said.
At TMAS specifically, the greatest problem they are experiencing lies with the neo-natal kittens that still need to be bottle-fed.
“A lot of people don’t have time or experience in bottle feeding little babies,” Franklin said. “Small kittens without their mother are hard to keep alive. We don’t have the manpower to care for kittens that young because they have to be fed every two hours, kept warm, taken to the bathroom.”
Another problem for TMAS during kitten season is a lack of supplies.
“Providing our fosters with all of the supplies is one of the incentives to foster,” Franklin said. “They don’t have to pay for anything. We provide them with all the stuff they need. We also pay for all the medical expenses. It can get pretty costly.”
The best thing for these newborn kittens is getting them out of the shelter.
“They’re immune systems are so low,” Franklin said. “It’s so easy for them to get sick with all the other animals around. Our goal is to get them into a foster home with experienced people who can care for them.”
While kitten season may be overwhelming for the volunteers at TMAS, once people discover an influx of cute kittens, there seems to be no problem in getting them adopted.
“Once they are at an adoptable age, which can be anywhere from six to eight weeks, they get adopted pretty quickly,” Franklin said. “People are always looking for a cute kitten to take home.”
During kitten season, TMAS relies heavily on donations from the community, so if you are looking for a new fur-ever friend, check out the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter right meow!
LOOK: 30 fascinating facts about sleep in the animal kingdom
KEEP LOOKING: See What 50 of America's Most 'Pupular' Dog Breeds Look Like as Puppies