Spotlight on... kitten season
What is kitten season?
Kitten season is the time each year when the most kittens are born (typically April to October) - and brought to shelters. Female cats typically go into heat once the days start getting longer, and from early spring to fall they can have multiple litters of kittens (their gestation period is only 65 days!). Humane societies and animal shelters see their biggest intake of kittens during this season, which typically peaks sometime during the summer.
Why is it an issue?
With an average of 2-4 kittens in each litter, and female cats able to have multiple litters in one year, this can amount to a lot of kittens, just from one cat, and contributes to the overpopulation problem.
This puts an enormous amount of strain on animal shelters and humane societies, who often reach maximum capacity during this time of year. With newborn kittens requiring a lot of care - including a bottle feed every two hours, veterinary appointments and of course, all the love and care that kittens typically need - it’s a tough time for these organizations and their volunteers.
What can we do to help?
A kitten as young as six months old can be impregnated (sometimes even earlier). Neutering or spaying your pet ensures fewer unwanted pregnancies - and unwanted kittens left in shelters.
And remember - If you’re considering getting a new cat, think about adopting a kitten from your local shelter during this time of year when they are at maximum capacity.