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Find a litter of kittens outside? Here's what you should know.

San Angelo Animal Services gives advice at the start of 'kitten season.'
Credit: Morgan McGrath

SAN ANGELO, Texas — During the springtime, it might be common to stumble upon a litter of kittens in a park, neighborhood or other public place. 

When this happens, is it best to approach them directly or is it better to avoid the felines all together?

April 1 marks the start of "kitten season," when more babies are born than usual. 

"Not only do we see more kittens being born, we just see more cats being active," City of San Angelo Neighborhood & Family Services Assistant Director Morgan Chegwidden said. 

"They are migrating farther, they are taking more risks trying to reproduce...we definitely wanna encourage spay-neuter in advance of this." 

In places like Texas, cats reproduce even in winter because of warmer temperatures but according to Chegwidden, there is still a heavy uptake in the spring months. 

Often, kittens are found in secluded areas like bushes, sheds or piles of wood and brush. 

The mothers tend to try and keep their kittens hidden but sometimes, they end up being discovered. 

When this happens, Chegwidden says it's best to leave the cats alone. 

"If you happen upon a litter of kittens, if you see that you have a mom that is in your neighborhood [or in another public space, or if your own cat gives birth to a litter]...the vast majority of kittens don't need your intervention, right?"

"If they are clean, if they have fat, round bellies, their mom has taken care of them and she has gone off to hunt to take care of herself now and she will be back," she said. 

Another piece of advice is "Wait Until 8," a program created by Alley Cat Allies where it is encouraged for a cat to be at least two months old before taking them to a shelter. 

This is because kittens are more susceptible to diseases in shelters so often, fostering is recommended until they reach a certain age. 

Concho Valley PAWS also offers spay/neuter vouchers, a "Good Sam" program, a "Lost & Found" and more. 

Most importantly, Chegwidden wants to help as many cats as possible. 

"We know that folks are intervening because they want to help, because they want these animals to have the best chance at life-saving and we want that, too." 

Go to cvpaws for more information and resources.

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