Kitten Season is Upon Us

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Although it is difficult to differentiate the seasons while living in Los Angeles (an aside: I recently thought summer starts in May but the calendar tells me otherwise), I noticed on my calendar and from the Google Doodle that spelled out “Google” with beautiful spring flowers that we have officially entered spring season. And in the animal world, spring season is synonymous with kitten season.

3 tabby kittens

we know it’s kitten season when our office fills up with these

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to common questions about kitten season:

1. What is kitten season?

Kitten seasons are periods of time during the year when cats have kittens. Kitten season occurs usually twice a year, and in colder areas, once a year. California is unique in that we have kitten season on average twice a year because of the warmer weather. It is possible that cats can have kittens in other times of the year, but animal shelters see an influx of kittens come in during April and September.

2. Why is there a kitten season?

Kitten season is usually in line with when cats go into heat. November, December, and January are colder months, and cats usually go into heat when the weather gets nicer. Most cats are in heat in April and September.

3. What does being in heat mean?         

When a cat is in heat, the cat is ready to meet a mate and conceive kittens. There are only certain periods of the year when cats are in heat and that is in line with the weather, as described above.

4. What is a litter?

A litter is a number of kittens that a cat can have through a pregnancy. On average, a cat can have anywhere from 4-8 kittens. Because a cat can have on average 4-8 kittens during on pregnancy, and a cat can be pregnant several times a year, the cat population gets bigger at a faster rate than the dog population. This is a reason why spaying or neutering your cat is important.

5. How many litters can a cat have?

A cat can have more than 1 litter through one pregnancy. During the average 7 day period when cats are in heat, cats can have encounters with multiple male cats and be impregnated by multiple male cats and have the multiple cats’ litters all at one time.

a 6 week old kitten with a 3 week old kitten

brothers from other mothers

This is just an introduction to kitten season. Do you have anything to share about kitten season and cat mating behavior that others may find interesting?


1 Response

  1. Jayne Ure says:

    Could you please provide some figures pertaining the number of litters and therefore estimated number offspring one unspayed cat can produce over her lifetime? I once read this information somewhere and the numbers were astounding!

    Thank you.