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Raining Cats and ... More Cats: How Global Warming Affects Kitty
From wine grown in the Swiss Alps to vines over-taking the earth, I'm getting accustomed to hearing about bizarre ways that global warming has started to affect our planet.
But who knew that it's also causing a kitten boom?
According to LiveScience, animal shelters around the country report a staggering 30 percent spike in the number of cats and kittens coming into the shelter. Cats now outnumber dogs by 13.5 million and, already this year, they're reporting a seven percent increase.
So can you guess how their numbers relate to global warming?
It seems that cats breed in warm, frisky springtime climate. The shorter winters and warmer weather overall might have triggered a year-round breeding cycle.
At least that's the theory offered by the experts at Pets Across America, one of the country's oldest and most reputable animal shelters. And earlier this spring, Treehugger reported that Canadian shelters were amazed to see kittens in January. The Toronto Humane Society also attributed the kitten boom to climate change.
Cats aren't the only species who've had their breeding habits go a little haywire. LiveScience noted that migratory birds and penguins also seem off-kilter. I'd guess that the heat and changing landscape is also affecting several other species. Hopefully, no one will need to put them on an ark anytime soon.
Another strange animal phenomenon is that squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and other small rodents have started heading for higher ground. Scientists think their search for higher elevations is related to warmer temperatures.
I discoverd this fact on an interesting top ten list and slideshow of Suprising Results from Global Warming. (The cat boom hasn't made the list yet, but my guess is that it will soon enough.)
One small silver lining is that kittens are so loveable that I'd like to think that they get adopted quickly and go to happy homes. (No need for a reality check. We all know that sometimes that's not the case.) Honestly, just looking at some kittens on the web tempted me to go down to an overcrowded shelter near me and adopt one of my own.