Free kittens. How would you react? This is why the BC SPCA developed the Kitten Box Project, an initiative that takes a lighthearted approach to highlighting a big issue facing our province: cat overpopulation.
Every day in B.C. thousands of kittens are born to family pets, stray cats living on the streets and feral cats.
A big box with ‘free kittens’ in big letters on the outside was set up in locations throughout the Greater Capital Region on Vancouver Island. The box was quick to draw attention, attracting curious passersby to see the kittens.
“The reason we started this initiative is is to get people to think about cat overpopulation in a new way,” says Amy Morris, BC SPCA manager of public policy and outreach.
“Looking through the peepholes, instead of free kittens they found messages raising awareness about B.C.’s cat overpopulation problem and the importance of spaying and neutering cats.”
The initial reactions to the box were varied, with some people disappointed not to have kittens on site while others were shocked at the idea of free kittens being handed out. Upon reading the messaging people, walked away with a stronger understanding of the issues facing cats in the province and how they can help.
“Hundreds of people came by and engaged with the box. A unique encounter like this like this will encourage them to spread the message about the importance of spaying and neutering,” said Morris. “Raising awareness about free-roaming cats and kittens in B.C. is critical, as the population booms and kittens suffer.”
Volunteers helped with everything from planning the event to painting the Kitten Box. “We want to thank the volunteers who have made this project possible for their time, talents and dedication,” Morris added.
Kittens can get pregnant as early as five months and across B.C. there are more kittens being born each year than there are homes to care for them. Find out more about how BC SPCA is addressing cat overpopulation and what you can do at spayneuter.ca.