As the days grow longer and the nights warmer, feline thoughts turn to ... making other little felines.
Kitten season, which starts in early March and continues through late fall, is upon us. And nowhere is that more evident than at the Save Our Cats and Kittens shelter in Fort Walton Beach.
Just two months into the season, the shelter has 41 kittens in foster care.
SOCKS Board President Nancy Schimmer said last year the shelter took in more than 200 kittens during the season.
Considering a female cat can go into heat as young as 4 months and could have two or more litters per year, Schimmer said she expects to see a lot more kittens before the end of this season.
"We can't adopt our way out of this," said Schimmer. "The people who haven't had their cats spayed or neutered need to get that done."
To that end, SOCKS has partnered with Pensacola Humane Society and the national organization Alley Cat Allies to help cat owners get their animals fixed. For a requested donation of $25, cat owners can have their feline spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated against rabies and FVRCP.
Cats must be dropped off at the SOCKS shelter at 498 Carmel Drive, on Tuesday evening, May 7. SOCKS staff will transport the animals Wednesday morning to the Barbara Grice Memorial Spay and Neuter Clinic in Pensacola for surgery and bring them back to Fort Walton Beach for pickup that evening.
The program is open to both owned cats and community/feral cats and SOCKS has a limited number traps for loan. There is space available for up to 62 cats and reservations need to be made by Monday, May 6.
To make arrangements, contact the SOCKS shelter by phone at (850) 863-5756 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.