How to help shelters with cat overpopulation during kitten season

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Kitten season started in April and is showing no signs of slowing down. As a result, shelters across the Valley are jam-packed with cats and it’s getting overwhelming.

Angels for Animals said the cat problem is simple — cats are continuing to have kittens. The solution, however, is difficult due to a lack of resources available to help stray cats.

Mania doesn’t even begin to describe the cat situation at Angels for Animals. It’s got hundreds of adoptable cats and takes in 20 to 30 strays every day.

It’s only getting worse.

“Toward the end of October when the weather gets cold and people start to panic about the outside cats, there will be days of 80 or 100 cats left,” Diane Less said.

Alice Marchione and Lynn Mitchell are considered “lifers” at the shelter. They’ve been volunteering in the cat wing for 25 years.

They say kitten season is emotionally draining.

“It’s hard because we want to save them all and it’s tough because there are so many,” Marchione said.

Mitchell agrees that it’s overwhelming but she doesn’t think it’s getting worse.

“I think we’ve taken care of a lot of the problem,” she said.

But cat overpopulation still persists, largely in part because of a lack of cat-friendly resources. Unlike stray dogs, there are no licenses, pounds, specific laws, or wardens to care for stray cats.

“There’s nothing for cats unless private shelters like Angels for Animals come forth and offer that help for them,” Less said.

In the meantime, Angels for Animals is begging people to take the next best option — spay and neuter.

“People have got to get the cats fixed. I mean, even if they fix them and then they turn them loose, at least they’re not producing,” Mitchell said.

Angels for Animals said it’s happy to help anyone interested in trapping and spaying a stray cat. Visit Angels for Animals’ website for information on getting a trap.

The shelter is also in desperate need of volunteers to help with the madness that is kitten season. To volunteer with Angels for Animals, fill out an online application form.