Warmer and longer days mean it’s kitten season!

As the weather starts to get warmer and the days get longer, kitten season begins and female cats start to ‘come on heat’. When this time of year comes around, RSPCA NSW shelters are often flooded with litters of kittens that have been the result of owners not desexing their cats or letting them roam freely outside.

Sometimes, we get 500 to 600 cats and kittens coming into our shelters each week! We’ve put together some information about kitten season, and what you can do to help RSPCA NSW care for your kitty friends at this difficult time of year.

What should you do if you find a litter of kittens?

If you find a litter of kittens, it’s firstly important to check if they’re warm and healthy-looking. If they are, leave them alone and wait to see if their Mum comes back for them, as she may just be away trying to find food. Watch over their development and once they’ve been weaned from their Mum, are self-sufficient and eating on their own, you can rescue them.

Who is responsible for stray cats in the community?

Stray animals are the responsibility of the council, so you’ll need to take them to your local council pound. RSPCA NSW actually acts as a veterinary hospital, taking in neglected, suffering and ill animals. If you find a stray cat, you can search for the phone number of your local council and ask to speak with ‘animal control’.

The importance of desexing, microchipping and keeping cats indoors

There are many benefits to keeping your cat at home. Contained cats are less likely to become lost or injured (like being hit by a car or attacked by another animal), less likely to get into cat fights, and less likely to catch diseases like FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). Keeping your cat at home also increases the time you get to spend cuddling them and reduces their impact on wildlife from hunting!

It’s also vitally important to have your cat desexed to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Research shows that desexed animals actually live longer, are less likely to get certain illnesses (like uterine infections and mammary gland cancer), and experience a reduction in behaviour problems like roaming, aggression and urine marking.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to have your cat desexed, we don’t know what is!

Having your pet microchipped and vaccinated is also an important part of being a pet owner and will ensure your best friend stays healthy and happy. Microchipping will mean your furry pal can always find their way back to you if they get lost, and vaccinations protect them from common animal diseases.

You can help the kitties – become a foster carer!

RSPCA NSW wouldn’t be able to manage kitten season without our fantastic network of foster carers.

We have an emergency foster care program for those who want to rear kittens they’ve found. This is referred to as ‘neonatal foster caring’. We support our carers through the process, providing all food, medication and kitty litter. Once the kittens have gained enough weight (one kilogram) and have completed their vaccination regime, they’re returned to our shelter for desexing and vaccinations.

This really is the perfect way to bring a new kitten into your family! Keep in mind though that , as you’ll need to be providing the kittens with all the environmental and nutritional requirements that their mother would usually provide.

Interested in being a foster carer this kitten season?

Express your interest online today!