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Shelters Brace For Kitten Season, Look For Euthanasia Alternatives

Feral cats waiting for adoption at Bradshaw Animal Shelter in Sacramento, CA.


Animal shelters are bracing for the annual flood of felines. Springtime is kitten season. Meanwhile, a nationwide effort to save a million cats from euthanasia - that started in the Sacramento area - has hit a milestone.

Sacramento County Animal Services says when it gets warmer in the summer, cats mate. In the springtime, their kittens are born.

"Right now we've got kittens that are starting to trickle in," says Kim Nava with the county. "And so that's indicative that kitten season is starting."

Nava with the county says the Bradshaw Shelter has joined about 400 shelters throughout the country in a five-year campaign to save a million cats from euthanasia called the Million Cat Challenge. That includes a barn cat program.

"...where feral cats that can't be family pets as well are put to work helping ranchers, farmers, business-owners help with all-natural pest control," says Nava.

Million Cat Challenge co-founder, Dr. Kate Hurley of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical School, says another part of the campaign is making it easier for people to adopt cats.

"Removing every possible barrier to getting a cat," explains Hurley. "If it's because people hesitate to come to the shelter, making sure that there are cats outside of the shelter, there are cats when you go to the pet store or when you go to the grocery store or when you look online."

Hurley says this week, the campaign reached a milestone: 500,000 cats saved in two-years.