Pet of the Week: Winchester SPCA seeing influx of kittens

WINCHESTER – The Winchester SPCA is experiencing an unusual trend right now – it’s still seeing kittens being brought to its Rockaplenty Adoption and Education Center, and a lot of them.

The influx of the tiny felines is a rarity for this time of year, said employee Stephanie Magbanua, who noted that the shelter typically sees a significant drop-off in its number of kitten residents around October and November.

“Usually by now we have no kittens and we still have more that are in the intake building that haven’t come over yet because they’re getting medical treatment,” said Magbanua, who estimated the Winchester SPCA is housing about 54 cats in its Rockaplenty facility alone. “So it’s kind of a weird thing that we’ve seen kittens right now.”

Magbanua said the mild weather that has kept temperatures unseasonably warm in the local area is likely to blame for the high number of kittens the Winchester SPCA has available for adoption.

She said it’s “pretty crazy” that Rockaplenty has so many young kittens available this far into January.

“It’s nice one day, it’s cold the next, so I guess it’s confusing the cats and they’re still mating and doing their fun thing because the weather, they’re not like in hiding trying to stay warm,” she said. “So we definitely have a lot more kittens this year at this time than I think we ever have.”

The situation has impacted the adoption rates for some of the older cats residing at Rockaplenty Adoption and Education Center, as Magbanua said prospective cat owners have been surprised to find so many kittens available for adoption and tend to leave the facility with one of the younger felines.

The Winchester SPCA is running a special sale on cats aged 1 year and older on Saturdays and Sundays in January.

“We’re doing a certified pre-owned cat sale on all the cats that are a year and older, and instead of $95 they’re $29.99. So there’s a big price break on that,” Magbanua said.

Though the Winchester SPCA is trying to promote the adoption of its felines of all ages, Magbanua said prospective cat owners with young children or other pets are likely better suited for a kitten.

“The good thing about kittens for the most part is like if you have kids or you have other animals at home kittens are better to take home than taking home an older cat,” she said.

Magbanua noted that those wishing to adopt a kitten must be Virginia residents, as state law prohibits people from transporting non-spayed and non-neutered kittens across state lines, she said.

The Winchester SPCA’s Rockaplenty Adoption and Education Center is located at 111 Featherbed Lane in Winchester and can be reached by phone by calling 540-662-8616 or by email at spca@winchesterspca.org. More information can also be found online at winchesterspca.org.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com

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