Spring in Southern California isn’t much different from any of the other seasons in the area. We hear birds chirping and cawing and screaming all year, and if our neighbor has hives (the honeycomb-containing sort), the bees buzzing, too.

There is a difference, though, for residents participating in TNR (trap/neuter and spay/ release). Even before the equinox, they also hear the sounds of humane small-animal traps springing shut in the evening and cheesed-off cats yowling their vocal displeasure immediately after and into the next day.

Kitten season is officially here. Every year during the warmer months, cats go a-roaming and engage in speed dating. Several male cats can impregnate any one female cat, and the results times the number of females total up to thousands upon thousands of kittens. Many of them are brought to shelters where, if they’re lucky, they’ll be pulled by rescues. Many others, sadly, will be subject to euthanasia.

Because of Southern California’s warmer climate, kitten season begins earlier and ends later, generally from February through October. Some TNR volunteers agreed that the season seems to have started a little later, hopefully because of TNR efforts, but they also mention a large number of requests for help with pregnant mother cats. Expect a tsunami of kittens.

National adoption event gives local rescue an umbrella for kitten season

Like every year at this time, a lot of the Scratching Post adoption columns will touch on kitten season, things you can do to mitigate it, what to do if you encounter kittens without mother present, and, of course, adoptable kittens in shelters and rescues. This column, though, focuses on another sad consequence of kitten season: overlooked adult cats.

Even the most vocal of cat haters will agree that kittens are at the very least less evil than grown cats, and some might grudgingly acknowledge their relative cuteness. When people want to adopt a cat, more go for the cute, playful littles than the more sedate adults who might already be set in their ways. This is sad for the adults, all of whom were once cute kittens themselves.

Helen Sanders CatPAWS is one of the local rescue that pulls numerous kittens from the shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services, but they boost the adults, too.

“We believe all cats deserve a home and love, especially older ones and those with medical conditions, who may have a harder time finding homes,” CatPAWS volunteer Deborah Felin-Magaldi said. “Their chances for adoption, already disadvantaged, decline as attention is turned toward kittens.”

In an effort to help the shelter get some of the harder-to-adopt cats into forever homes, the rescue sponsored the adoption fees of 50 cats, which came to nearly $5,000. The program recently reached its goal, sending a lot of the cats home, including a 15-year-old Persian fellow and a Siamese who wouldn’t let anyone near her until someone found the key to her heart.

To help Helen Sanders CatPAWS accomplish its goals, access this link to donate.

white cat with light-green eyes stares at camera
Krystal, a senior who was with the shelter for months, was discovered by someone who loved her at first sight. Here’s a section from a letter that CatPAWS got from Krystal’s adopter: “I am one of those fortunate and loving owners that you are talking about. Krystal, the white cat, is now mine to adore and love. I have become a good friend of Susan, [a cat volunteer] at the shelter, and have urged her to get the word out that all these great cats are available at the shelter for people to consider bringing home. Your Facebook story is exactly what we needed to accomplish this, so thank you!” Courtesy photo.
Virtually pets

To help a CatPAWS cat get home, access this link to see them all, and fill out an application. Here are a few of them, still cute after all these months and years.


Pebbles is a lovely, affectionate little tortie. She has a condition called wobbly cat syndrome (aka cerebellar hypoplasia) that makes her walk wonky. It’s typically acquired in utero and affects the fetal kitten’s neurological development. It would be incorrect, though, to say that she “suffers” from it—Pebbles’ walk may be rocky, but she has all her marbles, loves to play with said marbles and the little red laser light, and is a loving, sweet kitty who needs a loving home. The only really special needs these “special needs” cats have are to be loved.

silver tabby with white chest and paws lies on a rug with black, tan and white patterns and stares at camera.
Bellamy is movie-star handsome, with bright amber eyes and a white bib against elegant gray stripes He was rescued along with his sister, Nisha, from a city shelter. He’s an affable guy, ready for his next adventure in a home of his own!
silver-brown tabby stand on a patterned rug and looks longingly into the camera.
Nisha‘s kohl-rimmed golden eyes reveal an inquisitive, youthful spirit. Smart and engaging, Nisha was rescued from a city shelter along with her brother, Bellamy. She’s a perfect age–she’s beyond the sometimes frenetic energy of kittenhood and is still young and full of energy and joy. Ask about adding this beauty to your home!
orange cat lies sprawled on her white bed over a pawprint-patterned red blanket Her leg is stretched as far as it can go!
She’s refreshing and oh, so bubbly! This sweet, 1-year-old petite beauty is Mimosa! She’s that rare ginger girl, so easygoing and friendly. LIke her namesake, she’s a perfect treat on a lazy Sunday morning–and any day!
Great Furballs of Fun

Cat Wellness Clinic: 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 1179 E. Wardlow Road, Long Beach, free event.

The Little Lion Foundation will sponsor a clinic for Long Beach resident cats only, offering free microchips, FVRCP vaccines and flea meds. A pet pantry and other resources will be available. Make an appointment here.

Adopt, adopt, adopt

Long Beach Animal Care Services open Sundays, with no appointment necessary

The shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Service is now open without any appointment necessary on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for adoptions and for intake of healthy stray dogs. The shelter has also been open since June 2021 for redemptions of personal pets without an appointment during regular business hours and also accepts any sick, dangerous or injured animal without appointment during regular business hours. Appointments are still required to surrender a healthy owned animal or to adopt a pet during regular hours, excluding the above-mentioned Sunday hours. If you can’t come Sundays, make an appointment to adopt one of these sweet animals at [email protected] or call 562-570-4925.

Final Fridays with Felines! 5-7 p.m., Friday, March 25, Assistance League of Long Beach Thrift & Vintage Shop, 2100 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, $125 adoption fees, or adopt two for the price of one.

Looking to grow your fur family? Or begin one? Visit CatPAWS and fall in love with your next fur baby! All cats are vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped and on flea treatment. Not ready to adopt just yet? CatPAWS is always looking for volunteers and fosters!

Foster for awhile—or furever!

If you’ve always wanted a pet but aren’t sure if you’re ready for a lifetime (the animal’s) commitment, or if you’re past the pet-roommate days for any reason, fostering might be a great way to go, especially with one or more of the kittens popping up during kitten season. Every one of the organizations listed below is in desperate need of fosters who’ll social them and help save their little lives. Who knows—maybe one of those lives will change your mind about the not-ready-for-roommate thing!

These nonprofits also regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. As of now, adoptions are mainly by appointment. Click on the links for each rescue in case of updates or changes. These organizations operate through donations and grants, and anything you can give would be welcome. Please suggest any Long Beach-area rescues to add to the list.