Yes, you read the title right and no that does not mean that there is a season specifically named after kittens! Kitten season is specifically, the time of the year during which your adolescent or older cat is going to start going through its menstrual cycle called estrus in cats. Therefore, we can say that this is the period in which cats go ‘into heat’ and for someone who cares for cats, it is important that you manage your cat well in this period.
If your female cat has been sprayed and any companion male cat in the household neutered, you aren’t going to have too much trouble in kitty season because cat hormones are going to be under control. This primarily applies for cats that haven’t been put through this process because they’ll exhibit a lot of erratic behavior and attempt to find a mate in this period so if you have a cat that is currently in the heat during kitten season, you’ll need to do some things to help your kitten out.
Kitten season typically occurs during the warmer months of a particular year. Although specifics are likely to vary, the months are likely to extend from March up to October. Cats have evolved to give birth in the warmer months because it increases the likelihood of kitten to survive, given that winters can be quite harsh on infant animals. Therefore, in order to deal with the behavior of your cat or even to help your kitten go through pregnancy and give birth, you’re going to have to make preparations in advance of the warmer seasons.
I should preface the last point somewhat though; some cats can go into heat again immediately after giving birth and this raises the likelihood that before kitten season ends, your cat is going to give birth to a few litters as opposed to just one so if you’re thinking of letting your cat get pregnant, be ready to handle a barrage of kittens. Cats can easily give birth to 50 kittens and its kitty count can extend up to over a hundred too! So if you are considering letting your cat get pregnant, you might want to give it a good thought or two before jumping into it.
So what are the things you can do in advance of kitten season to help your cat manage better? Well, first of all, kitten season is going to have your cat going into heat several times throughout the season so you’ll have to be wary of how your cat is likely to manage it. As a general rule, cats in this period are going to be desperate to mate and if you are trying to restrict them indoors to prevent unwanted pregnancies, then be sure of the fact that your cat is going to look for every nook and cranny inside the house to go outside and go mate hunting.
Therefore, primary preparations for kitten season should always involve restricting outdoor access from the house. You will want to keep your windows completely shut, nail shut dog doors and fill up any unwanted openings to prevent your cat from going outside. This is a way to not only keep your cat away from unwanted pregnancies but as a general rule, cats in the heat will get more excitable in the presence of male cats so this will help keep them calmer too. So make sure your own feline friend does not spot its neighbor next door; it’s going to give you a really hard time if it sees you keeping it away from a potential mate!
Additionally, in this period, your cat is going to become more irritable and aggressive in different periods when it goes into heat. Therefore, unless you want to get into a scratch fight, you’ll want to give your cat some lone time too. A good way to go about this is to have a dedicated place for your cat around your home where no one is going to go nosing into its business. Build a small and comfortable shelter for your cat around the house so that your cat can get the lone time it craves away from people in a nice, warm and cozy place. Also, you shouldn’t take this behavior personally. Your cat is only going to be excited by prospective mates so don’t expect it to be too friendly with you. You’re not a cat after all!
To deal with the added irritability and aggression, you’ll want to give your cat toys and other things that it can go after and vent its pent-up aggression towards. Having yarn balls, toy mice, etc. are good for this because they’re all toys that your cat can run after, and attack and no one would get hurt in the process. Cats are predatory by nature so it really shouldn’t be of any surprise to you that aggressive behavior in cats is going to involve lots of hunting or hunting-like activities. And hey, as long as it’s just a few toys and play balls that are getting hurt, is anyone complaining?!
Something slightly more unorthodox that you can do is compiling a collection of calm and soothing music. Auditory stimulation is a thing for cats as well and having calm and soothing music around in kitten season can help your cat calm down when it goes into heat. If you have old records of slow music lying around, this is going to be a good time to bring them out. Hey, you’ll get to bond with your cat over some nice, soothing music so are you really complaining?!
So I guess by now, you have a general idea of what kitten season is like and how to put up with it. It lasts a lot of months but it’s going to go into heat several times during the season and in this time, you’ll need to have the preparations beforehand to have a smooth season.
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