It's coming into 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, shelters and veterinary hospitals 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 several litters of kittens handed into us each week!

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. Your local veterinary hospital is able to take in injured 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.