What Is Kitten Season and How Can You Help?

Now that the days have been warming up and getting longer our female felines are going on heat, meaning they’re ready to breed and birth litters of kittens. During this time of the year our cat shelters and cat management facilities are flooded with unwanted kittens and there simply aren't enough people to adopt them.


A female cat can have two or more litters, with an average of four kittens per litter, every year from the age of four months!? That’s just one cat alone! If we don’t take action this kitten season, the number of cats without homes will continue to multiply - very quickly!


The number one priority as a cat owner is to have your own pet desexed. This is both female and male cats; preventing your female cat from getting pregnant and stopping your male cat from breeding with female neighbours. If everyone did this, we would see a dramatic improvement in the number of cats without homes. We have debunked the myths of having your cat desexed here.


What To Do If You Find a Litter of Kittens

Firstly, it’s important you don’t interfere with the kittens. Carefully check that they are warm and healthy, if they are, wait to see if their mother comes back. It’s best the kittens stay with their mother until they are old enough to care for themselves. If the mother doesn’t return or you believe their life is at risk, you can collect the kittens and take them to a cat shelter or cat management facility. Similarly, if you find kittens with their mother, it is best if they are all taken to a cat management facility or shelter until the kittens are self-sufficient and ready for desexing and adoption. If possible, it is best to seek advice from a shelter or cat management facility before taking action, to ensure the best steps are taken to ensure the kittens welfare.


Adopt A Kitten

If you’re thinking about getting a cat, adopting a kitten is a great way to help. Kittens from a shelter or cat management facility should come desexed, vaccinated and microchipped. It’s a win win for everyone, you get yourself a loving companion, your kitten gets a loving home and you free up space in the animal shelters that are bursting at the seams!


Become A Foster Carer

Not everyone is in a position to take on the responsibility of caring for a cat full-time or long term, but you can still help out by becoming a foster carer. Taking one or two kittens out of the shelters for a little time helps the shelter to better manage, gives you a companion for a little while without the commitment, and gives the kitten a break from a busy shelter with some much needed love.


Often fostering involves taking care of the kittens until they are old enough to be desexed and adopted. Fostering a kitten is also a great way to see if you are prepared to take on the responsibility of becoming a pet owner without making the commitment straight away.


If you have any further questions, feel free to read our FAQ’s or contact us so we can work together to best manage our cats in Tasmania.

© Tasmanian Cat Management Project 2019

TassieCat is a state-wide initiative to promote and facilitate responsible cat ownership and management in Tasmania. The project is supported by Cradle Coast Authority NRM, Kingborough Council, and NRM North through funding from the Tasmanian Government.