Spring has sprung, which means warmer weather, blooming flowers and the birth of hundreds of kittens, fueling the city’s mounting stray cat problem.
Although strays are a year-round problem in Edmonton, the warmer weather of April means the birth of a countless number of kittens that will soon be invading a backyard or alleyway near you.
“A lot of cats tend to mate around that Valentine’s Day mark,” said Shawna Randolph, spokeswoman for the Edmonton Humane Society. “You can almost count to the day or the week. Anyways, six weeks after that is when we really start to see the numbers coming in.”
During “kitten season,” as Randolph calls it, anywhere from 50 to 70 cats are brought in by animal control or the public daily. If the humane society is lucky, 20 cats will go out. As cats keep coming in, it doesn’t take long for the EHS shelter to reach its capacity
Most of the cats found within city limits come to the EHS from Edmonton Animal Care and Control centre. Animal Control officers are on the city’s front lines walking the streets and that gives them an opportunity to not only capture stray cats, but to also observe their behaviour.
According to Animal Control, when the winter is warmer and drier, as it was this year, kittens are born in greater numbers.