SPCA: Warmer weather brings ‘kit­ten sea­son’

Manukau Courier - - HEALTH & BEAUTY - STAFF RE­PORTERS

Four cute fur­balls sig­nal the start of an un­prece­dented - and un­sea­son­able - in­flux of kit­tens.

Just two weeks old, this lit­ter was brought to the SPCA’s South Auck­land shel­ter after their stray mum was hit by a car. Their ar­rival points to a wider prob­lem in New Zealand - ‘kit­ten sea­son’ is start­ing ear­lier than ever and end­ing later. With warmer weather tak­ing hold ear­lier than usual, the Auck­land SPCA now ex­pects up to 100 kit­tens through its doors ev­ery day.

Head of vet­eri­nary ser­vices Shalsee Vigeant said the prob­lem caused by cat own­ers not de-sex­ing their pets is set to get worse.

‘‘Pre­vi­ously, we found that kit­ten sea­son ran from about Novem­ber un­til March. Now we are find­ing that each year, the sea­son is start­ing ear­lier and end­ing later.’’

A fe­male cat can start re­pro­duc­ing as early as four months and have up to four lit­ters of up to six kit­tens ev­ery year. Thou­sands more kit­tens, which Auck­land SPCA es­ti­mate make up 75 per cent of all an­i­mals brought in, will put the reg­is­tered charity’s re­sources un­der pres­sure. De­sex­ing is a ‘‘key way’’ to pre­vent ‘‘thou­sands of an­i­mals be­ing ne­glected and abused each year,’’ Vigeant said.

SPCA

Kit­ten sea­son is here and SPCA Auck­land ex­pects to field over 100 kit­tens a day.

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