BOISE -- It's kitten season, the time of year when there's a big boom in cat population and that means you could find a litter of kittens around your neighborhood.
The Canyon County Animal Shelter told KTVB they're almost running out of room for cats. The shelter said the number of stray cats has gone up dramatically from last year and wants people to know they don't have to actually adopt a cat to help out.
Stacy Watson works with the Canyon County Animal Shelter. She said the shelter has been overloaded with cats.
"They're walking in in droves and boxes with just kittens with their eyes unopened," said Watson.
She said cats tend to breed in the warmer seasons and that's why there are more stray cats seen in the summer months. This year, she said there's been an explosion of cats around Canyon County.
In the same period last year, the shelter took in only 114 cats. This year, they've already taken in 726. This has left the shelter scrambling to find enough space for all the cats.
"It can be hard," said Watson. "It's trying. You have to really check into your resources and find space for them in crates and other places of the area."
What could be making the problem worse is that people don't recognize stray cats around their neighborhood.
"Nine times out of 10, it's probably just a cat that's been left behind, you know, and not being taken care of," said Watson.
She also said Canyon County Animal Control does not monitor cats the same way they do with dogs, which leaves many more of them out on the streets.
This month, the shelter is stepping up its efforts to find cats a home by waiving cat adoption fees and reaching out to people on Facebook. Watson wants more people to know that they can help the shelter by simply fostering cats so there's more space for new animals.
"When you have a foster person step up, they take a mom with a litter of babies and they take them home until they're done nursing," said Watson.
The Canyon County Animal Shelter said that it is short on supplies for cats and is asking people for donations. It also wants to remind people to spay and neuter their pets.
You can find more information about adopting a cat from the Canyon County Animal Shelter here.