Community Cat Program
The Humane Society is excited to start up a Community Cat program in Cowlitz County. We still have have a lot of bugs to work out, but here is some information regarding the new program and what to look for in your community.
Kitten season for our area is typically from April – October during warmer months when cats go into heat. It’s important that if you see outdoor cats in your area, to make sure they’re spayed or neutered. You can do this by checking to see if they’re eartipped.
What to do if you find kittens
If you happen upon a litter of tiny kittens outdoors, it’s natural to want to scoop them up and try to care for them yourself or take them to a shelter. But both of those options may actually place them in more danger. To give newborn kittens the best chance of survival, follow these steps:
- Leave the kittens alone and try to figure out if their mom is still around.Observe them from a distance every couple of hours for 12 to 18 hours. If the kittens seem content and are not fussing, there’s a good chance their mom is coming back.
- If the kittens are in dangerdue to their location, move them to a safer spot nearby so the mom can easily find them when she returns.
- If the kittens are dirty, meowing or appear sick, underweight or dehydrated,contact our community cat program. They can help you determine if the kittens are at risk and if you should intervene.
- If you spot the mom, leave the kittens alone. When the kittens have been eating on their own for about four weeks, or are big enough for surgery (typically around 8-12 weeks old), humanely trap the whole family and have them spayed or neutered. The Humane Society of Cowlitz County can help you with the trapping process. After the adult cats are fixed, release them at the location where you found them. TNR is the most humane method of preventing cats and kittens from entering the shelter system. The Humane Society of Cowlitz County can support you in providing resources to keep the family safe, such as pet food or other housing ideas for feral cats.
- If you have the ability to foster the kittens and re-home them on your own, then we recommend dedicating time to kitten socialization. Kitten socialization generally occurs between three and seven weeks of age.
Which cats should come to the shelter?
Healthy cats and kittens should not come to the shelter
Do the kittens look clean, healthy and well-fed? They are being cared for by a mom and can be left alone until a re-homing or TNR plan is created.
Unhealthy kittens should come to the shelter
If the kittens are dirty, underweight, and/or have crusty, goopy eyes and mouths, these kittens are not healthy and require intervention.
How you can help
Care for the mom and kittens
We have a variety of resources available to provide support if you are able to keep the kittens and mom together in your home.
Make a donation
Community support makes our work possible, impacting the lives of thousands of local pets in need. You can make a secure, online gift today and help cats and kittens receive the expert care they deserve. Donate now!
In-kind donations help us provide supplies to the families who care for our most vulnerable pets. Supplies can be purchased through our Amazon Wish List for direct delivery to the Humane Society of Cowlitz County.
Let us know if you are interested in fostering
If you’re able to open your home to foster kittens (or other pets), please check out our Foster page.
There may be opportunities to foster for other local shelters during kitten season, so we suggest reaching out to see if help is needed.
Looking to adopt a cat or kitten?
View all of our available cats and kittens up for adoption!