Preventing Unwanted Kittens

As cute as they may be, unfortunately every year we see large numbers of unwanted kittens. Nobody wants to see kittens that have been abandoned, so preventing cats from becoming pregnant is ideal. As you will read below, now is a great time to think about this.

When do cats come in to season?

Many people are unaware that there is a “kitten season “. Unlike dogs, cats only come in to season at certain times of the year. They are long day-length breeders meaning they start coming into season from August onwards - in the clinic we have certainly already seen cats that are showing signs of being in season. They cycle most strongly in late winter and spring, tend to have a lull over the peak of summer and then have another less intense period of cycling in late summer and autumn.

Cats are most certainly born to breed – they will continue to come back in to season every 2-3 weeks until they fall pregnant. Pregnancy lasts for 9 weeks so cats that are mated now will have kittens in mid-October and wean them by Christmas, just in time to get pregnant again in the autumn!

How do you tell if your cat is in season?

Owners often report that their cat has started acting very unusually when they are in season. Initially they become very affectionate and start smooching everything in sight. Later they become very restless, roll around on the ground, crouch with their bum in the air (especially when patted) and vocalize – it is not uncommon that owners even mistake this for pain.

When is the best time to get your cat speyed?

Now! In order to prevent unwanted kittens it is best to spey your cat now before they become pregnant. Ideally cats should be 5-6 months of age although they can be done earlier if necessary – just talk to your vet if you have any questions regarding this.

What should I do if my cat is already pregnant?

It is possible to spey cats that are already pregnant however the earlier this is done the better – as all mothers can appreciate, late term pregnancy is hard on the body and makes both the surgery and anaesthesia much harder to cope with. If you do end up with unwanted kittens, we also have a Tiny Tiger programme where we spey the mother at a discounted price and then neuter, vaccinate, worm, deflea and rehome the kittens.