Although kitten season may sound like a term that’s used when someone is making a joke, it’s actually a very real thing. This terms refers to spring, which is when kittens are most likely to be born. Digging into the science behind kitten season and why cats are most likely to give birth during spring is actually quite fascinating.
When compared to humans and dogs, a cat’s cycle seems very unique. Instead of cycling monthly or twice a year, a cat’s cycle is organized by the amount of daylight they get. In order for a cat to go into heat, they need at least 12 hours of daylight. The evolutionary reason for this is to ensure kittens aren’t born during the winter, which is the time of year that traditional food sources for cats like rabbits and mice are hibernating.
While a cat’s heat cycle is definitely different from the cycles of humans or dogs, they’re not the only animal that has it. Hamsters, lemurs and horses are a few examples of other animals that use the amount of daylight to regulate their breeding cycles. Cats and these other animals are known as long day breeders. There are also animals like deer, goats and foxes that are short day breeders, which means their cycles are triggered when there are fewer hours of daylight.
The Impact of Kitten Season in the Modern World
If you notice the presence of a lot of feral cats in your neighborhood during the coming weeks, it’s not a coincidence. Kitten season means cats are quite active. It also means that lots of kittens are born this time of year without a home. This leads to many being taken to shelters. And even though shelters do their best to care for kittens and find homes, there simply aren’t enough available.
Kitten season means several things for people who already have cats or are thinking about getting one. As a cat owner, one of the best things you can do is spay or neuter your cat early on in their life. Your veterinarian will inform you when your cat is eligible for the procedure.
And if you don’t have a cat but have been thinking about getting one, kitten season is a great time of the year to adopt. By adopting a kitten or adult cat from a shelter, you’ll be able to provide a loving home. Just add a Pet Wants food blend to your cat’s daily routine, and you’ll have a very happy and healthy pet!