Feral kittens becoming problematic for shelter - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Feral kittens becoming problematic for shelter

Mallette says many kittens brought to the shelter have to be put to sleep. (Photo source: WLOX) Mallette says many kittens brought to the shelter have to be put to sleep. (Photo source: WLOX)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

With spring well underway, cats are in heat and the kitten population in Jackson County is exploding. 

"Here at Jackson County Animal Shelter we have 40 kittens here and in foster," explained Adoption Coordinator Maridee Mallette. "We probably have 75 kittens in the county that we know of that we have to deal with and get fixed and find homes for." 

While the shelter gets new kittens in daily, the tiny creatures haven't been abandoned. 

Cats and other small animals will often find secluded areas to have their babies. If that place happens to be in a neighborhood yard, they should not be moved unless they are in immediate danger. 

"Don't do anything yet and see if mama comes and moves them," said Mallette. "If you take the babies away and momma comes back, then they're gone...Momma may have been right there, just right down the road."

Separating young kittens from their mothers can often be a death sentence.

"Unfortunately, if we don't have space - and we don't have mamas for some bottle babies - we have to put some down when they first come in. We usually try to find fosters and keep them as long as we can and find them homes, but what can you do when you can't find anybody to foster them? You can't leave a bottle baby alone in a cage."

If kittens are younger than eight weeks, they need to stay with their mothers, as long as they are in safe location. The best thing to do is bring them food and water and call animal control.

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