One could argue that year-round is always a good time to have your cat fixed. While this is true, we are also approaching the time of year when we will start to see pregnant cats and litters of kittens. It is cold now and the days are short, and though it may seem as if winter will never end, the weather will warm up as it does every spring. And kitten season will also arrive as it does every spring.
As you anxiously await more sunlight and warmth, animal shelters and rescues anxiously prepare for the influx of kittens that always happens. Like clockwork. Every single spring. Usually March. Now sometimes when Mother nature blesses us with a mild winter, we will have kittens even earlier.
Kittens are a lot of work for shelters and rescues. Especially if they are very young and not old enough to be away from their mom. These kittens require around the clock feeding with a bottle and milk replacer. If they are old enough to thrive on their own, they are highly susceptible to the “kitty cold” which is so common in the shelter environment.
It is so easy to prevent litters of kittens. Spay and neuter! If you have an intact cat, right now is the best time to have them fixed. Yes, it’s true that female cats have the litters, but there must be a male cat involved for them to get pregnant; so it is important to have male cats neutered as well!
Did you recently have a friendly cat “adopt” you by hanging around your house and you just couldn’t resist to give a home? Or did you get a kitten this past year that is getting old enough to start coming into heat? A cat can start coming into heat as early as 5 months old! If you have never experienced a cat in heat, trust me that you don’t want to. And male cats can become quite stinky as they mature and mark their territory.
Are you frustrated or overwhelmed by the number of barn cats or feral cats you have on your property? Humanely trap them, then spay and neuter a few at a time and have them ear-tipped to easily identify them as fixed.
If you’ve ever seen a stray cat and thought, “Someone should do something about that,” please know that you can be the someone to help. Please do your part to help us to reduce the pet population, specifically kittens this time of year. We cannot adopt this problem away. Spay/neuter is the only solution.
~Karen Gillette, Veterinarian
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