By Amanda Lindelow for explore.org
Kittens are better for you than chocolate. Be they in your house pouncing on imaginary mice or on a webcam, watching a loveable furball discover the world around her is among the cutest things available to humankind. And in today’s world, who couldn’t use a dose of that?
On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum is a sad fact: millions of cats are without homes each year — and thousands are euthanized every day. Consider this: female cats reach sexual maturity between six and 12 months, the average litter size is three to five kittens and a mature female can have two to three litters per year. No need to do the math; you get the picture.
According to the ASPCA, about 5 to 7 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide each year, about half relinquished by owners and the other half picked up by animal control. And about 70 percent of sheltered cats are euthanized, leaving animal lovers arguing for more humane means of population control.
With millions of feral (undomesticated) cats nationwide, the system of trap, neuter and release (TNR) has surfaced as one solution, while education campaigns at pet stores do their part. To add to the education initiative, explore.org, the philanthropic media organization and division of the Annenberg Foundation is taking a page out of its Dog Bless You playbook — leveraging the love and cuteness of pets to raise awareness and mobilize a community. To do so, the group paired its Cat Bless You Community with Kitten Rescue, a Los-Angeles-based no-kill animal rescue organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of cats and kittens in need of forever homes and together they launched a new live cam, which you can view below:
This high dose of cuteness stands to unite viewers from everywhere as this 2-month-old litter bounces, pounces and basks in the sun. And while the little rascals are live 24 hours a day for viewers’ entertainment, the greater message is in preventing these animals from ending up in a shelter.
Each year, their network of more than 100 volunteer homes rescues and adopts out nearly 1,000 cats, many of whom come from city and county shelters with high kill rates. Less than one in three impounded cats survive, and Kitten Rescue is dedicated to changing the mindset to include alternatives like adoption. They’re also ensuring responsible pet ownership by spaying and neutering, testing for leukemia and FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), vaccinating and “micro-chipping” each cat prior to adoption.
While there are organizations dedicated to controlling feral cat populations, pet owners can do their part by ensuring that domesticated cats don’t outnumber available, loving homes. All of the live cam kittens are adoptable, including the mother, Margarita. Contact the Kitten Rescue for more information.
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- 10 fascinating facts about cats
- Websites for people who really love cats