In the United States alone over 4 million more animals are produced every year than there are homes for. A large majority of these are kittens. This statistic is from the United States Humane Society in regards to how many excess animals are destroyed in shelters, it does not account for the thousands of others who are killed by their owners – farmers often drown or shoot surplus animals such as kittens, and their have been cases where they put these animals in bags and toss them on the highway.
As a person who has worked in an animal shelter for 5 years, I know how important it is to spay all female cats, and neuter the males. I know that all unfixed animals should be kept indoors only and away from members of the opposite sex. As such all by cat are spayed, or neutered, so you can imagine the horror when I came home May 23 and saw two kittens poking their head out of our barn door and meowing.
I called to my daughter “We have kittens here” and she promptly headed to the barn where one tiny little rascal jumped up on a tire and hissed and her. She saw two more running away. She grabbed the hissing kitten, and tried grabbing another, but it was even more hissy, and when I got there she was struggling to hold it. The third had hid.
To make a long story short we eventually captured all hissing kittens. They are probably 4 to 5 weeks of age, which is younger than they should be taken away from their mother, but with no mother cat there are no other choices. To be fair even if we saw a cat mom around, we would not have left the kittens there as they would only grow up and become feral. At least this way they can be tamed.
All kittens are female, we could tell without even checking, since their colors are sex linked and only seen in females, one is a calico, one is torbie and white, and the other is a torbie. The calico seemed the most relaxed, actually it was too scared to fight, my husband is in charge of holding her several times a day to help her learn how to be social to people. My daughter is in charge of taming the torbie and white kitten, while I have taken on the kitten who is the most hissy, the torbie one.
What to do with the Kitten Monsters?
We don’t want to keep them, we already have six kitties, and are on a tight budget. Giving kittens away is always so risky too. You never know if people are going to be good owners or not. A shelter can screen potential owners but the animal shelter nearest us refuses to take cats from “country” people, and only takes cats from people in the city.
Lots of people are keen to take free kittens, but some will not spay or neuter their kitten when it is old enough. In my books these people are not good owners since these cats will then add to the cat overpopulation problem which is what forces shelters to euthanize so many millions of pets every year.
So at this stage we are not sure what to do with our cute kittens, but you can see why this is the last thing we needed.
By the way, as this happened after a holiday long weekend we assume a city person abandoned the tiny kittens as we live very near a popular park.