Cat Haven expansion opens in Baton Rouge at the peak of kitten season

What season is it? The answer depends on whom you ask.

Ice cream-armed kids wish their favorite, school-free season would never end. With an eye on tropics, Gulf Coast residents warily weather another hurricane season. For LSU Tiger football fans, it’s pre-season. But, animal advocates know beyond a shadow of a doubt that summer is the height of kitten season.

By some estimates, 10 times as many kittens are born from late spring to early fall than during the rest of the year. The warmer weather and longer days cue female cats’ reproductive cycles to kick into high gear.

Amped-up kitten production presents a particular problem in the Louisiana because the mild climate promotes breeding season almost year-round. Each year, shelters and rescues struggle to find homes for the tiny tabbies, torties and other darling baby felines dumped on their doorsteps.

So, the opening of Cat Haven’s newly renovated shelter could not be better. For many years, Cat Haven has occupied half of its building on North Harrell’s Ferry Road. Through this year’s Capital Campaign, the city’s only exclusively feline rescue is redesigning the existing space and furnishing the remainder of the building.

The expanded space includes the addition of three colony rooms (wide-open areas in which six cats roam freely rather than living in cages), medical intake rooms and an isolation room. But, the real excitement is in the renovation’s innovations.

Besides the brightly painted walls, “Eight of the colony rooms have windows that look outside, which reduces stress in cats,” explains Executive Director Wendy Decker. “The remaining three rooms feature solar tubes as a natural light source.”

“Twelve Cats,” a mosaic tile piece by local artist Simon Baxter, will soon be installed in the reception area. As part of Cat Haven’s Capital Campaign, individual tiles can be purchased for a $100 donation.

But, these days, you don’t even have to go to Cat Haven to appreciate the amenities or overdose on kitty cuteness. All you have to do is log on to the Cat Haven Kitty Cam. But, be warned: Right now, there’s enough kitty kryptonite to weaken a resolve of steel.

At the shelter and in foster care, the non-profit has an estimated 150 adorable, adoptable felines—and, nearly 100 of those are kittens. That includes not only domestic American shorthairs but Russian blue, Orientals, Bombay, Maine Coon, Siamese, Snowshoe, Himalayan and other exotic mixes.

“There are so many cats and kittens available this time of year,” Decker says, “you’re nearly guaranteed to find the right one—or two—for your family.”

For more information on hours, visit cathaven.org.

Creature feature

These are among the fabulous felines now available for adoption at Cat Haven. 

LillianLillian (16CH0348) is a 3-month-old Siamese mix. She and her siblings were born to a stray mother and were taken to Cat Haven by a Good Samaritan, who was concerned they’d get hurt. Lillian is shy and needs some help with social skills.


FredFred (16CH1120) is a 3-month-old medium-haired orange tabby. His mom and siblings were at the city shelter before being rescued by Cat Haven. Now, Fred’s ready to find a forever home.



LillyLilly (16CH1126) is a 2-year-old with medium hair. She and her kitten were rescued from the city shelter. Now that her kitten is old enough to find a home of his own, Lilly is ready for a forever home, too.



SamSam (16CH0383) is a 4-month-old kitten. This great little guy gets along great with other cats and children. While he has never been around dogs, he should adapt well with the proper introduction.



TinaTina (16CH1103) is a 2-year-old tuxedo torti. She and her kittens were rescued from the city shelter.




These pets have all been vaccinated, spayed/neutered and FeLeuk/FIV tested. Many other adoptable cats and kittens are available at Cat Haven. Call the shelter at 636-2680 to make an appointment.