Spring is just around the corner and that means kitten season. Kitten season is the time of year when cats give birth. The season runs from the beginning of spring to the end of fall. Of course kittens can be born any time of the year, but the seasons of spring, summer and fall are the busiest. Shelters, rescue organizations and humane societies are flooded with kittens. Many of these cute bundles of joys will be euthanized because of lack of space in shelters.
Many unspayed female cats can go into heat 2 or more times each year. This is such a stress on their body. Unspayed females who are repeatedly allowed to go into heat are at risk for breast infection, breast tumors as well as uterine and ovarian cysts which also can lead to cancer. Living with an unspayed female cat is also very stressful. Her behavior of yowling and trying to escape as well as attracting every unaltered male in the neighborhood will drive a family crazy. Kittens as young as 5 months old can become pregnant.
Unaltered males will spend most of March-November looking for a mate. They will wander for miles, fight, spray and yowl in attempt to mate. The unaltered male has no control over his actions as they are completely hormone driven. It is very difficult to keep an unaltered male inside as his hormones will drive him to escape or the family will be forced to set him out due to his behavior. The fighting that occurs between males during mating season can result in painful abscesses. There is so much suffering involved with cat fights that could easily be avoided.
The simple answer to putting a stop to the suffering of unspayed female cats and unaltered male cats is to spay and neuter. It is unwise to think that keeping an unspayed or unaltered cat inside the house does not contribute to the problem. Most of these cats will at one time escape outside. Cats can be spayed/neutered as early as 2 months and/or at the weight of 2 lbs. Low cost spay and neuter clinics are available in many areas as well as reduced prices through local human societies. In some areas there are even free clinics or vouchers available.
Another way to help the problem is to educate others. Do you know friends, family or others who have unspayed or unaltered cats? The number of unwanted cats around the world climbs each and every day. The solution starts with educating communities and making sure all cats are spayed and neutered.