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The Science Behind Kitten Season

mother and kittens

Thousands of cuddly friends are coming to shelters every day but this season can be a dangerous time.

What is kitten season?

Kitten season is the large increase of kittens being born in the late spring and summer. The kitten season has three peaks: first in the spring, then late spring though early summer, and has its final peak in the fall. These cats are generally feral or community cats and because they live outdoors, run the risk of living in dangerous conditions.

The large influx of cats leads to massive amounts of cats and kittens being euthanized because of limited resources of municipal shelters.

cats have a lot of babieas

Why does it happen?

Kittens are born in such a high rate when cats who are not spayed and neutered mate. Cats go into a cycle called “the heat”, which means a cat is able and ready to mate. Although cats can breed nearly all year long, the heaviest heat season runs March through September, which has to do with the increased daylight hours of the spring and summer.

During the heat, the cat’s hormones rage. The cats can turn into hormonal versions of their once cuddly selves and will even sneak outdoors to find a mate. The mating creates a domino effect and thousands of more kittens can be born from just a few unaltered cats.

Did you know…

Cats can become pregnant and give birth to kittens when they are not much older then kittens themselves. It is different for every cat, just like for every human, but cats generally reach adolescents by 5 or 6 months, some can even give birth to a litter as early as 4 months.

sweet kitty

How to help:

Overwhelming numbers of kittens are brought to shelters every day in kitten season. As many as 50 cats can be delivered to a shelter in a single day.

There are more kittens being rescued then there is food, money, and fosters. To help, make sure your cats are spayed a neutered, volunteer time or money to your local animal shelter, and adopt or foster cats to give them a forever home.

For more information on our Feral/Community Cat package, please call our Spay/Neuter Clinic at 803-465-9100.

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