catKitten season is upon us. Pregnant cats and mother cats with their babies are being dumped in garbage bins and by the side of the road.

“It’s hard to comprehend how anybody can leave a litter of kittens to die, but it is happening too often in the Byron Shire,” said Angela McDermott from Pets for Life Animal Shelter at Billinudgel.

“Just recently a mother cat and her two babies were rescued from a house where they were literally being kicked around the room. They were flea-ridden, abused and suffering malnutrition”.

Although cats can mate all year round, they tend to breed in the warmer months.

Driven by uncontrollable hormones, un-desexed cats start to roam, looking to mate.

Female cats will have between four and six kittens in a litter and can fall pregnant again while they are still feeding their new-born kittens. 

The threat to our native wildlife is great because these cats and kittens become feral and go out hunting.

“Cats can’t book themselves into the vet to have their tubes tied or get a vasectomy; that is the job of a cat owner,” said Angela. 

“I urge cat owners to have their cats desexed. If one person was to de-sex their cat, it would stop the creation of up to 17 unwanted, and then orphaned, kittens each year.”

All cats and kittens at the Pets for Life Animal Shelter are vet checked and wormed on arrival. When adopted they are vaccinated, micro-chipped and desexed. Being a ‘non-kill’ shelter, all cats and kittens are re-homed. 

“With Christmas approaching I ask that people don’t buy cats or kittens as presents unless they know that the animal is very much wanted by the recipient and that it is a commitment for the term of the animal’s life,’’ said Angela. 

“And if people are going on holidays, please make arrangements with a boarding cattery, house sitter or neighbour to look after your cat.”

Angela, who spends her week days as a bookkeeper for Splendour in the Grass, volunteers for Pets for Life every second Sunday.

The shelter is self-funded and run wholly by volunteers. 

“We run raffles, street stalls and garage sales to raise money,” she said.

“Volunteering at the shelter is so rewarding. Last year the shelter re-homed a cat or kitten every three days – it is inspiring to be a part of that”. 

To volunteer for Pets for Life, contact Angela on 0414 719 680 or email cats@petsforlifeanimalshelter.org. Your help will be greatly appreciated. 

If you would like to see the cats and kittens currently seeking loving homes, please visit www.petsforlifeanimalshelter.org