The breeding season in cats lasts almost year-round. Heat cycles can start as early as four or five months in a female kitten. Heat cycles in cats repeat every two to three weeks until the cat is spayed or becomes pregnant.
This means that rescue agencies have a constant flow of kittens arriving in shelters and needing homes. People who neglect to desex their cat are not only doing the cat a dis-service but also actually, in many states, breaking the law. In Qld, for example, animals that are sold/adopted must be desexed unless they are going to a registered breeder.
Sadly most of those people who don’t desex either believe:
- “My Cat is an indoor cat- no Tom is getting to her”– cats are extremely fast and where this is a will there is definitely a way. Leave a fraction of a gap and puss is out the door and off on an adventure. When she returns, it’s almost a safe bet to assume she will be carrying extra “baggage”.
- “ Its not good for a cat to not have a litter” – there are no health reasons that support this theory and, in fact, it’s actually better to spay a female cat. It completely eliminates her chances of getting ovarian cancer, pyometra (infected womb) & breast cancer.
Some find the cost of desexing too much but to be honest, if you cannot afford to desex your cat, how can you think you can afford to keep a cat? Desexing is not a mortgage-busting cost and you can go to places like the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League that do it for less than the vet. Often they have promotions to push the desexing and do cut price operations to help keep numbers down. All adoption centres/rescues and shelters are now required to desex the animals before putting them up for adoption.
All in all, desexing cats helps the numbers of animals being euthanised and the shelters/rescue agencies being full to overflowing.
Ideally you will go here to these rescues to get your ideal feline companion. Each kitty that is adopted makes two lives saved…. Your new kitten and one that is either just born or part of a litter-to-be from an accidental pairing.
I have 3 rescue cats, all have been with me for almost 10 years and they are my little love bugs. All moggies and I adore them – rescue truly is my favourite breed.
I have a very dear friend who is a strong advocate of rescue, runs a rescue (my cats come from this rescue) and owns Brisbane’s Cat Cuddle Café.
The Café houses cats/kittens from her rescue and visitors can adopt from the café. She also is not a fan of buying from a breeder. I made her sad when I wrote last week on how to buy from a breeder but I explained that I want to cater for all buyers and had to give the pure-breeds a “hearing”.
You may have a breed you would love to own and you can get a kitten and sometimes a cat that has done their bit for motherhood and now is a retired mum wanting life as a pet for someone.
If, however, you have your heart set on a particular breed, like dogs, do your research. Contact the national Feline association for breeders of your chosen type of cat and, like dogs, read forums, ask questions and get recommendations.
Like dogs, there will be good breeders and not-so-good ones – ones that are all for the cat and ones that want the almighty dollar using these beautiful animals as the way to get it.
To breed an animal you need to do more than put boy & girl in the same room. You need a basic understanding of genetics & also what diseases your chosen breed may have. For example Persians “can” have PKD. Any responsible breeder would know this & they would also know that you could test both parents before breeding & therefore not breed kittens with this terrible disease. You must screen both parents for FIV & FeLV, both of which kill 100% of the time. This is why you need to do the research – you need to ensure your chosen breeder has done their homework and their testing to ensure your chosen kitten doesn’t die a painful death way to early.
You can, of course, get a kitten from a neighbour who has neglected to desex their pet and now has a sign on their front fence “Kittens for sale or “Free Kittens”.
This little sweetie may turn out to be the perfect cat for you and if so, that’s great! You will have this baby for their life which could be 14+ years – remember, though, that this kitten doesn’t come with the desexing and worming. You will need to organise this yourself and as a responsible owner, you will do this- right??
Enjoy your new kitty – they are a bundle of amusement and joy – if you are worried they will be bored while you are away at work each day, get two!!!
Cats are like potato chips- you cant have just one!
Getting a kitty? Hope this helps you choose where to go to get your cat or how to get more advice on a type of cat. If so, please pass on to another friend/workmate or family member who is thinking of doing the same.