SPCA: Warmer weather brings ‘kitten season’
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.
Kitten season is here and SPCA Auckland expects to field over 100 kittens a day.