Midlands animal shelters prepare for kitten season and ask for public’s help

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Early spring means kitten season.

With outdoor cats giving birth to litters of kittens, Midlands animal shelters see an overload of felines this time of year.

“We do get close to capacity,” said Tina Werden, Kershaw County Humane Society marketing director.

“We don’t have the space to hold the cats,” said Victoria Riles, Columbia Animal Services superintendent. “Often times, it leads to shelter overcrowding and ill animals.”

Both Columbia Animal Services and the Kershaw County Humane Society practice a program where cats in the wild are spayed or neutered before being returned to where they were found. 

“But you don’t want to give milk to cats. Dairy products cause digestive issues,” Riles said. “If you are a cat community caregiver, I’d recommend laying out some kibble every day. I would refrain from leaving food out constantly. It will attract more cats and wildlife.”

If you come across some kittens that look abandoned, you might not want to pick them up. 

“If you see very young kittens, do not interfere unless necessary,” Riles advises. “That means really paying attention to the signs in the field about whether the kittens need to be separated from their mother. We do not encourage this unless they are fully weaned kittens.”

If a kitten appears sickly, dirty or crying loudly, they may be orphaned. If no mom is in sight, contact your local shelter. 

“We do try to hang on to nursing moms,” Werden said. “That way if we have kittens that come in without parents and we don’t have experienced fosters who know how to handle bottle-fed kittens, we are able to sometimes get them to latch onto moms that we already have.”

While Kershaw County Humane Society has room for dozens of kittens, staff say that the best place for them is in a home. Spring is a good time to adopt or foster any animal. 

“Whether it’s cats or dogs, the best bet for any young puppy or kitten is getting them out to a foster home,” Werden said. “They are susceptible to infections so we like to get them out. If we can’t find a foster for them… we make sure we’re prepped for all kittens or cats that we get.”

Find out more about the Columbia Animal Services here and the Kershaw County Humane Society here.

Categories: Kershaw, Local News, Richland