It's that time again: kitten season.
Humane Society of Silicon Valley is looking for temporary homes for 1,000 kittens, the number expected to roll in as this year's cats start dropping their litters.
"People hear them, they find them," said Kelly Grant, spokeswoman for the Humane Society of Silicon Valley in Milpitas. They bring the cats in or call the Humane Society, Grant said, and in a flash, kitten season is underway.
Spring is kitten the beginning of the season, peaking in late spring or early summer, according to The Humane Society of the United States. Cats can begin breeding at 5 months old and each year start giving birth during spring's longer, warmer days.
Those that show up at the Humane Society can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks old. Some are still nursing their mothers; others need to be bottle fed. Still others already are weaned.
On a recent afternoon, Kelley Fredericks and her two daughters drove over from Los Gatos to pick up a litter of stray kittens and get them used to human contact. She said the family fostered kittens a few years ago, and now is back for more.
"It was a lot of fun. It was a good way to experience kittenhood, raising kittens, without the long-term commitment," Fredericks said.
The motivation behind the family's rescue efforts, Fredericks said, is her daughter Lauren, 14. Lauren already pushes her friends to adopt shelter animals instead of purebred pets, and did her middle-schoool research project on the problems with puppy mills.
"It was so much fun before," agreed Lauren. "I get to show my friends. I like to show them how great the rescues can be."
Grant said the Humane Society still needs families to help raise kittens and get them used to people so they can successfully be adopted later. Are you interested? Sign up for Kitten Foster Training.