Local rescues are your first port of call for kittens

Joseph Bulmer

It's kitten season! In fact, cats can have up to three litters a year, spring is the main breeding season, and cats can fall pregnant at six months old - but this is very dangerous and often ends in fatalities for the kittens or sometimes the mum.

At Feline Network, as well as vaccinating prior to going to new homes, we neuter at 12 weeks if they weigh enough. Most vets now do this, the recovery time is much quicker.

Then the kitten can leave for their home with no prospect of getting pregnant or being that spraying Tom we all know so much about.

Neutering is essential, there are many unwanted cats living rough, many are cats who went searching of a female, got lost and end up living a horrible life on the street.

You only need visit Hector’s House in Torquay for evidence of this.

Kittens are born blind and deaf, solely reliant on mum, when they are six weeks they can walk, see, hear and eat unaided.

Mum teaches them to use the litter tray. It tickles when people advertising kittens mention they are litter trained – like it is something they as humans did!

Kittens learn a great deal through play, to hunt and kill, defend themselves etc. What to us looks like fun is to them learning of essential life skills.

It is a fallacy that cats need to have one litter, it is better for them to have none.

Over the years we have been called to some horrendous births, aborted kittens, kittens stuck, strangled with the umbilical cord, still born, deformities etc, this is the reality of breeding.

Often those kittens or the mum end up in rescue because the owners cannot, or do not want to, meet costs.

It is also worth mentioning that the queen can be impregnated by multiple toms, so there is no way to determine the colour of kittens. We recently had a lovely black girl who gave birth to four tabbies!

If you are looking for a kitten, make the local rescues your first port of call.

You can be assured they have been seen by a vet and received the shots they need.