The Estevan Humane Society (EHS) is sharing steps the public can take now that stray cats are giving birth to more kittens.
Kendelle Lesiuk, who is a public relations student with the humane society, said if people find a litter of stray kittens, the mothers of the kittens will typically return within three hours to feed her young.
If the babies are clean and quiet, then Lesiuk it is best to monitor their location and make sure the mother returns. Once the mother is back, contact the city’s animal control to trap both the mother and kittens together.
If the babies are dirty and crying, it's likely they have been abandoned or the mother has been injured. In this case, contact the EHS or animal control as soon as possible so that proper care and feeding can be administered.
“At this time of year, when the warm weather starts, you tend to see more cats outside, and more pregnant cats as well, or ones that have given birth,” said Lesiuk.
Lesiuk urged people to use caution with stray animals and to not remove kittens from their mother unless absolutely necessary. The chances of neonatal kittens surviving are much better when in the care of their mother.
The Estevan Humane Society has already started to see an increase in the number of stray cats at the shelter, she said. On Friday alone, they had a pregnant cat was brought in, and then a litter of kittens were taken to the shelter. The mother of the kittens was brought in later in the day.
They had 46 cats and kittens at the animal shelter at one point on Friday, but after the cats were brought in, they have more than 50.
“Usually we end up going a little bit over just because there are always so many around here,” said Lesiuk.
Included in their numbers are three cats that are pregnant and three more that are nursing.
Lesiuk said they are able to accommodate the number of cats they have right now, but it is a bit of a strain.
The HS is always looking for suitable people who can adopt a cat or kitten, she said, and they are also in need of volunteers, donors and people who can spread awareness about spaying and neutering cats.