Who knew there was such a thing as having too many cats?
With kitten season in full swing, the Prince William County Animal Shelter reached maximum cat capacity last week.
The shelter has 72 cages to hold individual cats and three kennels to hold multiple kittens. However, the shelter is currently housing about 80 cats.
The numbers usually rise around this time of year, but this year was “a little strange,” shelter manager Suzette Kapp said.
“In years past, we’ve usually seen a large rate of cats in April,” she said. “This year, it was pretty much June by the time we started having housing issues with a large number.”
The shelter does not euthanize animals for space, and has issued a temporary policy to limit the number of kittens and avoid overcrowded, stressful conditions that could lead to disease.
Owners looking to give their cat to the shelter are asked to call in advance to be placed on a waitlist, according to a press release.
“We’re doing the best we can to get all these animals out of here and into new homes,” Kapp said. “It’s important that we’re able to adequately care for these animals and not put them into conditions that are bad for their health.”
If an owner is considering giving up their cat due to behavioral issues, they can contact the shelter for advice on how to re-home their pet or be referred somewhere else for help, Kapp said.
If there’s an emergency, the shelter will do its best to accommodate the cat.
“We’re going to take in any that are sick or injured [and] any cruelty cases in the meantime, but we’re trying to limit that until we get these numbers under control,” Kapp said.
The policy is expected to last through the summer and late fall, since cats continue to produce litters in the warmer months, Kapp said. The shelter is asking people to spread the word, volunteer, adopt or foster kittens.
“If anyone’s looking for a cat, come on in; we have a wide selection,” Kapp said.