June 8 (Xinhuanet) — A pet adoption group in the United States claims global warming is the reason behind a huge increase in the number of kittens and cats showing up in animal shelters nationwide. Several shelters operated by a national adoption organization called Pets Across America reported a 30 percent increase in intakes of cats and kittens from 2005 to 2006, and other shelters across the nation have reported similar spikes of stray, owned and feral cats.
The cause of this increase is an extended cat breeding season because of the world’s warming temperatures, according to the group, which is one of the country’s oldest and largest animal welfare organizations.
“Cats are typically warm-weather, spring-time breeders,” said the group’s president, Kathy Warnick. “However, states that typically experience primarily longer and colder winters are now seeing shorter, warmer winters, leading to year-round breeding.
“Basically, there is no longer a reproduction lull with cat breeding cycles, and unfortunately, it seems more people are bringing boxes of kittens into our agencies during winter now,” she added.
Studies have shown global warming is changing the breeding seasons of other animals, including migratory birds and penguins.
One possible solution to stem the tide of cats is to make sure pets are spayed or neutered.
“We have long discussed the benefits of spaying and neutering cats,” said Pets Across America Vice President Bob Rhode. “It is likely that global warming is probably not going to be slowing any time soon, therefore, it benefits everyone when pet owners take action and spay and neuter their pets.”