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Kitten Season is coming – beat the heat by spaying and neutering your cat

Published on March 21, 2024

Kitten Season Graphic

Every spring and summer, Huntsville Animal Services sees a dramatic increase in the number of kittens being dropped off at the shelter. It’s a challenge because multiple litters of young kittens require extra care and neonatal attention. Unfortunately, there are never enough homes or foster families for all the kittens born during the peak kitten season.

Beat the Heat: Spay & Neuter

To head off the late winter breeding cycle, there is a simple solution for cat owners to reduce the number of unwanted kittens: spay their female cats and neuter their male pets.

“People are often surprised to learn that a cat can become pregnant as early as four months of age, so being proactive about spaying and neutering is important,” said Interim Director of Huntsville Animal Services Virgie Graham. “Cats can safely have the simple procedure at about two months old or as soon as they weigh two pounds.”

Contrary to popular belief, allowing a cat to have at least one litter offers no health benefits. In reality, spaying or neutering can help protect a cat’s health. Males benefit from reduced rates of testicular cancer, while females are less likely to develop breast cancer and will never develop pyometra, a potentially life-threatening uterine infection.

Spayed and neutered pets are also less likely to roam or spray urine to mark territory.

Keep Your Cats Indoors

Outdoor cats can get into all sorts of trouble when they wander. Although pregnancy is certainly a concern, any cat that ventures outdoors is also at increased risk of being hit by a car or poisoned, either accidentally or intentionally, or being attacked or killed by another animal. Contact with other animals can also increase your pet’s risk of developing rabies, feline leukemia or other contagious diseases.

Fix Your Pet for only $5

For financial assistance with spay and neuter, learn more about the Fixin’ Alabama Spay/Neuter program at huntsvilleal.gov/spay-neuter. If you live in the City of Huntsville and you are on Medicaid, WIC, Food Stamps or Social Security Disability, or if your annual income is less than $35,000, you quality for the discount rate.

For additional information on adoptions and fosters, visit Huntsville Animal Services at HuntsvilleAL.gov/animal, call 256-883-3782 or email animals@huntsvilleal.gov.