We have finally reached the beautiful season of Spring again. Whilst most of us are enjoying the warmer weather, for our cats it can be a very different story!
Cats are seasonally induced ovulators, this means they come into “heat” during the warmer months but they won’t release the eggs until they have been mated. This can sometimes take several matings (including their brothers and fathers) over a few days.
During this period, the queen (un-neutered female) can become quite a flirtacious character. They will reach sexual maturity at 4 months which can be quite a shock for new owners. Behaviour changes for a queen can include rolling and rubbing on the floor, marking and “calling” (making a demanding rising and falling pitch noise, all rather unpleasant and easily confused with signs of illness.
Now let’s talk about the boys! Toms (un-neutered males). These guys are on a mission, quite often with lots of local competition too and they all want to succeed. They will search out a queen well before we’ve even noticed what’s going on. This can lead to several Toms congregating around your home, spraying (very unpleasant smell) around your garden and home as well as “calling” and fighting.
All this is happening around our neutered feline friends too, causing them a lot of stress. Thus causing our pets to fear being in their own homes/gardens, sometimes enough to make them run away to avoid the confrontation.
Of course kittens are cute, but with the population of cats ever-increasing with unwanted pregnancies, re-homing centres are often full to the brim in Spring/Summer months. The stray population can also carry diseases, parasites and health conditions causing many problems. It can also increase the risks of our own feline friends contracting these conditions. So here’s our advice:
- Neuter! This can be done from 4 months old/once over 2ks in weight. Castration for the boys and spay for the girls.
- Vaccinate! So important to protect your beloved pet from diseases.
- Keep up-to-date with parasitic treatments.
- Microchip! Always ensure your details are kept up-to-date. If your cat does run away make sure you report them as missing.
- Provide a “safe place” for them at home and in the garden. Including hiding places, easy get aways and access into the home if they feel scared. Use microchip/magnetic cat flaps if possible to keep those unwanted visitors from their home.
- Report any strays to your local RSPCA/CPL who are helping to capture and treat the population.
Remember we are always here if you have any concerns or would like any advice.