Kittens, cats and other animals needing ‘forever homes’ are up for adoption this weekend at local PetSmart stores.

Kittens, cats and other animals needing ‘forever homes’ are up for adoption this weekend at local PetSmart stores.

Weekend pet adoption blitz in Victoria highlights ‘kitten season’

Victoria PetSmart stores aim to find forever homes for kittens, cats and other animals during the May 5 to 7 promotion

Visit Greater Victoria’s PetSmart stores this weekend for a feline-focused adoption blitz.

Friday, May 5 to Sunday, May 7, PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekend welcomes pet lovers to the Victoria location, 3501 Blanshard St., and Langford at Millstream Village.

While the event will help find forever homes for a variety of pets, this time of year – “kitten season” – highlights the need for adoptive families for kittens and cats.

Awareness is also key. A recent online survey of 1,000 Canadian pet owners found 87 per cent believed fewer than one million homeless pets enter shelters each year in North America. In reality, the number is closer to 6.5 million.

In all, it’s hoped more than 24,000 pets find homes this weekend across Canada and the U.S. Nearly half of the adoptable pets are expected to be cats and kittens.

“At PetSmart Charities, we’re committed to finding forever homes for all pets, but at this time of year, the need for finding adoptive families for kittens and cats increases exponentially,” notes veterinarian David Haworth, president of PetSmart Charities.

Cats can become pregnant at just five months of age and can have up to three litters of one to eight kittens per year. That means one cat could potentially have more than 100 kittens in her lifetime – and why it’s so important to spay or neuter pets. Most pets adopted at PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekends are already spayed/neutered, veterinarian-checked and vaccinated against illness.

Other fascinating cat facts from PetSmart?

Cats are great communicators – Cats make more than 100 different sounds, and only meow to communicate with humans. To communicate with another feline, cats will most often purr, hiss or spit. Cats are such great human-to-pet communicators that they’ve been known to change their meow to help pet parents understand their needs. Some experts have theorized this explains why the sound of a cat’s meow when they are asking for food sounds very similar to a crying baby.

The cat-healing benefits of purring – Most people think cats purr because they are happy, and that may be true, but cats also purr when they are nervous and sick, too. Veterinarians like Haworth believe cats use purring as a self-soothing method that may even help them heal. The frequency of the vibrations caused when a cat purrs is the same frequency that promotes increased bone density and muscle restoration.

Cats can be a righty or lefty – It’s not just humans who are right-handed or left-handed – cats have a preferred paw, too. Most female cats prefer using their right paw, while male cats are more likely to be lefties.

Not a cat person? You may also find puppies and dogs, rabbits, reptiles, guinea pigs and more this weekend. Searching for a particular kind of pet? Call the Victoria or West Shore PetSmart store to learn what kinds of pets their adoption partner expects to have on-site.

PetSmart’s Pet Supply Drive also continues to May 28. When shoppers purchase any bag of dog or cat food, PetSmart donates a meal to a pet in need through its Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program.

Visit PetSmart Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more at petsmart.ca.

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