POLK COUNTY, Iowa — May’s warm weather doesn’t only signal spring. It’s also kitten season.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) said this time of year it receives an influx of kittens and their mothers coming through its doors.

Tristan Haag, the ARL’s foster and transfer assistant, said the organization receives hundreds, if not thousands, of cats this time of year. Most of them eventually get adopted out.

She said May is kitten season because people start spending more time outside as the weather gets warmer. Though kittens have been there all winter, people start noticing them in the spring. While people typically try to help a litter of kittens when they see one, she actually advises people to leave them alone and not disturb their habitat.

Haag said the ARL needs help once the cats arrive. People can donate money or buy and donate items using the organization’s “Fetch List.”

The other big way to help is by fostering a cat. The ARL is always looking for people to take kittens home temporarily while staff can find them a forever home.

“We are always looking for foster homes so really the only requirement that we have for you is that you’re over the age of 18, you live within 45 minutes of our main location in case of medical emergencies and also that you are willing and able to bring in and raise some of these kittens this year,” Haag said. “We don’t require much, just some time and energy.”

She said people interested in fostering or adopting should contact the ARL.

“It’s amazing and it’s an experience that we get to share with all of our staff members and all of our foster families,” Haag said. “It’s very rewarding to see them grow and thrive in our care and then move on to bigger and better things in their forever adoptive homes.”