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ARL says the number of kitten births among outdoor ‘community cats’ is on the rise

American Rescue League

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is reminding the public to be on the lookout for stray cats and kittens, amid a “drastic” increase in the number of outdoor cats the organization has taken in this year.

“ARL now sees dozens of kittens come through its doors every week and is working diligently to provide medical care, behavioral assessments and place these animals in homes as quickly as possible,” ARL said in a news release Wednesday.

ARL, which has a special community cat program, said it has taken in 129 kittens so far in 2024, including 62 kittens in May alone.

“While 2023 was a record year with 885 community cats and kittens, 2024 will be even busier, especially when it comes to kittens,” ARL wrote in the release.

The ARL said kittens born outdoors are “extremely vulnerable” and many do not survive due to factors including changing weather conditions, predators and disease.

Cats or kittens are most commonly found under decks, in basements, woodpiles and doghouses, or “anywhere a mother cat can provide relative safety and warmth to her offspring,” according to ARL.

If an outdoor cat is found, the ARL advises residents not to move it, but to call ARL Field Service at (617) 426-9170. The organization provides veterinary care to outdoor cats and evaluates them for adoption potential.

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