What is kitten season? When is it? Why is it important? Kitten season might sound like a blast, especially for cat lovers, but it’s actually a huge strain on shelters like Adopt & Shop, our Kitten Foster Project and Catty Wagon. We are in urgent need for volunteers and foster parents. It’s an important service to both us and the kitties who depend on us. And it’s fun! Still have questions? Here’s everything you need to know about kitten season and why we need your help! Click here to apply to be a foster!
So What’s Kitten Season?
As the warmer months arrive, unaltered (not spayed) female cats go into heat. If impregnated by a male cat, a female cat gives birth to a litter of kittens only 60 days later. This is the perfect time to volunteer at a shelter or foster baby kittens until they’re big enough to be spayed or neutered and then adopted. We are also looking for foster parents for bottle baby kittens. And, of course, this is also a good time to adopt a cat of your own.
When Is Kitten Season?
Kitten season is generally when most unaltered cats go into heat. This lasts primarily from March through October. Warmer climates, like ours in Southern California is unique. SoCal experiences two kitten seasons because it is less cold. A female cat can go into heat at any time of year, but the majority do during kitten season and that’s why it puts such a strain on animal shelters and rescues.
What Does Being “in Heat” Mean?
A female cat in heat is ready to meet a male mate and conceive kittens. Female cats are only in heat during certain times throughout the year. This is usually during kitten season. A cat can first become pregnant at 4 months of age so it’s important to spay and neuter your cats when they’re still young. In fact, you can generally spay or neuter your cat once they weigh at least 2 pounds, which is usually when they are about 8 weeks old.
What Is a Litter?
After pregnancy, a female cat gives birth to a group of baby kittens called a litter. A cat in heat eventually gives birth to an average of 4-8 kittens. So not only are large numbers of cats giving birth during kitten season, but they’re also each giving birth to several babies. Kitten season, and the pressure it puts on shelters, is why it’s so important to spay and neuter your cat.
How Many Litters Can a Cat Have?
A cat can also conceive more than one litter at once! Yup, you read that correctly. A cat can give birth to kittens with multiple fathers at the same time. This is a result of mating with different male cats within a period of seven days.
Thank you for reading and call our stores today to ask how you can help us out during kitten season! Click here to apply to be a foster online!