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Smitten for Kittens: Shelters will soon be crawling with felines

This litter of kittens and their mom will be up for adoption soon at Tree House Humane Society.
This litter of kittens and their mom will be up for adoption soon at Tree House Humane Society.
Photo provided by Jenny Schlueter.

The bees are buzzing and flowers are blooming, which means it's the beginning of kitten season. Female cats' heat cycles coincide with warmer months, so as the temperature rises more litters of kittens are entering the world. Kitten season can be particularly taxing on animal shelters, as many of the stray kittens end up there, leading to overpopulation and stealing the attention of potential adopters from adult cats.

“We take in kittens all year long, but starting now - late April and early May - our kitten admission requests start to increase dramatically, peaking in mid-summer and lasting until late fall,” says Jenny Schlueter, director of development at Tree House Humane Society. “We take in the vast majority of our kittens between April and October. I'd say about 70 to 80 percent of our kittens come in during these months. We usually admit around 250 to 300 kittens per year - all strays and most sick or injured.”

To help prepare for the peak of kitten season, the Tree House Bucktown Branch is hosting its first Kitten Shower on Sunday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The party will feature games, kitten naming, food, prizes, and playtime with their adoptable kittens. Tree House is also in need of kitten related supplies, like Nurturall-C Kitten Formula, kitten toys, and scratching posts.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, spaying and neutering cats, donating supplies and volunteering at local animal shelters, and pet adoption are some of the ways people can help out during kitten season.

For more information on the Kitten Shower call 773-784-5488 ext. 238 or visit