Every summer, BC SPCA shelters are inundated with kittens. Some are the result of an accidental litter, and are surrendered by people unable to look after them. Others are born to cats who have been abandoned, and are brought to us as strays.
“Regardless of how kittens come to us, they all have one thing in common,” says Meghann Cant, BC SPCA animal welfare educator. “They need a safe, loving home.”
A safe, loving home means a home for life. There is no denying kittens are adorable. They are playful, curious and seem to have boundless energy – a definite joy to watch. “When you adopt a kitten, just make sure you are ready for a long-term relationship,” Cant says. All too often, people who cannot resist the “cute factor” lose interest by the time the kitten has grown up and the realities of a 15-year or more commitment set in. “Take time to enjoy the zaniness now,” advises Cant. “Then you can look forward to a rewarding – and slower-paced – relationship with a mature cat in the years to come.”
Should you prefer a calmer companion from the outset, BC SPCA shelters are full of adult and senior cats waiting for homes, too. “There are so many benefits to adopting an older cat,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA. “Compared to kittens and young cats, older cats are generally more accustomed to household life and content to snooze away much of the day.” While they still enjoy companionship, affection and playtime, Chortyk says, they don’t demand the level of supervision of their kitten counterparts.
Furthermore, whether you decide to adopt a kitten or a cat, you are helping bring an end to pet overpopulation. “Cats are prolific breeders, capable of having two or three litters a season,” says Cant. “And what may come as a shock is the fact that kittens can have kittens!” Cats can have their first litter at as young as five months of age, which is why many people are surprised when their kitten becomes pregnant. “The BC SPCA is committed to ensuring all cats are spayed or neutered prior to adoption from a BC SPCA shelter,” Cant says. “That way, we’re not perpetuating the cycle of unwanted animals.”
Should you feel ready to bring a kitten or cat into your life, stop by your local shelter. Our volunteer adoption counsellors can help you find the right match. Your new feline friend is waiting!
Can’t get enough of all things cat? Stay tuned to our website, Cant says, for fun feline-focused events and contests being held across the province this summer.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.