Facts to get you through this kitten season Posted on December 24, 2021 Every kitten season, cats start reproducing, resulting in an influx of homeless litters at our shelter. It can be an overwhelming time of year which is why we have put together some helpful facts to get you through this kitten season. Cats can have kittens at just four months old! When you hear the term ‘heat ‘cycles’ it relates to when your kitten/cat is ready to mate. These heat cycles can begin as early as the fourth or fifth month of a kitten’s life and last until she is desexed or bred. That’s why at RSPCA NSW, we strongly encourage owners to have their kittens desexed before they reach puberty at four months. For more information on why we advocate for desexing cats before puberty, see here. ‘Don’t be fooled by the term ‘season.’ The lengthening of the days in Spring and Summer often marks the start of kitten ‘season’. However, a cat’s weight, age, overall health, and breed are all factors that influence when a cat goes into heat. As a result, it should be emphasised that cats can come into heat and deliver kittens at any time of year if the circumstances are right. Cats can give birth multiple times in kitten season. A cat can go back into heat before her litter is weaned, and as a result, most cats reproduce many times during the extended kitten season months. On average, each Kitten Season, the typical cats will have two to three litters, resulting in up to 15 kittens each year. And when those kittens grow older, they only add to the problem; a cat and her kittens can have up to 225 cats in two years! Keep your cats healthy and safe at home! Cats kept indoors are less likely to contract infections such as FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). Many owners now provide a safe and adequate environment for their cats at home all day, every day, changing the idea that all cats need to wander outdoors. For more information on keeping your cats at home, see here. Fostering is one of the best things you can do this kitten season. When shelters get overcrowded, fostering cats or kittens is a great opportunity to get more involved. This frees up space and resources for shelters, allowing them to rescue and assist even more animals, which is particularly important during kitten season. It also provides a friendly environment for cats and kittens that have not been adopted to reside in until they can find a forever home. Learn more about fostering here. If fostering isn’t for you- even a small donation goes a long way. If you’ve been thinking about adopting a kitten, now is the time! See our cats and kittens available for adoption here.