Kitten Season is Here!
Kitten Season Comes Every Year. Why?
Sammie's Friends Foster Care Program is designed as a lifeline for animals who have a chance at survival, but are simply too young for adoption, or may be recovering from an injury or illness, and cannot yet enter the general population of the shelter. With the love and care of devoted foster parents, these helpless animals are given a second chance for life.
Most of the animals in our foster program are cute, cuddly underage kittens. Our foster homes are dedicated to giving these young animals a second chance at life. Without the help of these volunteers, opening their hearts and homes, over hundreds of animals annually would not find their way into loving adoptive homes.
Your help is invaluable to these animals.
As spring and summer roll in, our need for foster homes more than doubles. Each day, we are met with new underage kittens in need of a safe place to be fed, cared for and socialized until they are old enough to be adopted.
Yes. They are cute.
Have you heard of "Kitten Season"? If not, this is the time of year when every unspayed, queen (female cat) is likely to have a belly full of babies, or a litter of youngsters by her side. It is during kitten season when humane societies and animal shelters are teeming with youngsters of all shapes, sizes and colors. It’s a great time to adopt from a shelter!
Why do kittens arrive seasonally?
Kitten season occurs seasonally because the queen has evolved into a “seasonally polyestrous” creature, meaning she comes into heat only during a particular time of year— during this time she is capable of having multiple pregnancies. In the Northern Hemisphere, the feline breeding season begins in very early spring and may persist throughout the summer months. Peak seasons are February through March and May through June. Throughout the rest of the year, the reproductive cycle goes into a state of dormancy referred to as “anestrus.”
Why are cats so prolific?
The domestic cat has long been recognized for her fertility. In fact, the feline was worshipped as a symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt. Bastet, the Egyptian goddess of fertility, was portrayed as a cat.
Unspayed kitties typically experience their first heat cycle (estrus) sometime between five and nine months of age. A queen who is in heat is exceptionally likely to become pregnant for the following reasons:
• A female cat will repeatedly come into heat, approximately every two weeks, throughout the entire breeding
• A queen who is in heat is quite the precocious creature. She will do whatever it takes to find herself a tomcat,
and she will breed with multiple males.
• The domestic cat is an induced ovulator— her eggs lie in waiting until 30 to 50 hours following copulation, at
which time they are released from her ovaries. This timing ensures that the eggs and sperm cells encounter one
• During the breeding season, queens quickly come back into heat after giving birth, even before their kittens are
All of these factors greatly enhance the likelihood of producing a litter, or two, or three during a breeding season. Allowed to breed naturally, a queen might easily produce in the range of 50 to 150 kittens over the course of ten years. Unfortunately, many of these kittens will end up in shelters or euthanized.
"What Is Kitten Season?"
Article by Dr. Nancy Kay, DVM, DACMIM
How can you help control kitten season?
All of this information makes a strong case for spaying your female kitty before she ever comes into heat. If you’re thinking you’ll simply keep her inside, away from any tomcats, you may be in for a bit of a life disturbance. Cats in heat have been known to drive their humans crazy by vocalizing 24 hours a day, constantly being under foot, rolling around on the ground, and, for all practical purposes, shouting out to the world, “I am in heat!!” This will go on for weeks at a time. During kitten season, it’s not uncommon for sleep-deprived cat lovers to arrive at the veterinary hospital in a state of desperation pleading, “Please, spay her right now!”
Did you know you can get your cats spayed and neutered for FREE under the "2019 Nevada County Cat Crisis" program Sammie's Friends is running??
Just call a local veterinary, ask for the "Cat Crisis Fund" to pay for your spay or neuter, make your appointment and take your cat(s) in! IT IS THAT SIMPLE!!
The Joys of Fostering Shelter Cats and Kittens
Become a Foster Family!