Skip to main content
Cat in a bed full of kittens

It’s kitten season!

Q: Is it my imagination or is there such a thing as “kitten season”? When I visited the shelter last winter to adopt a kitten, there were none. The shelter staff asked me to check back this spring or summer, when they said they’d be flooded with kittens. Are kittens born during only part of the year?

A: It’s not your imagination but the extraordinary feline reproductive cycle that creates “kitten season” during the spring and summer.

Female cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means their heat cycles repeat continuously—but only during seasons with increasing daylight. To add to their reproductive intrigue, cats are induced ovulators: They release eggs for fertilization only with the stimulation of breeding, not spontaneously like almost all other species (including dogs and humans).

These two characteristics mean that unsterilized female cats are in heat at the same time, and they get pregnant when bred. Since females can get pregnant as young as four months of age and pregnancy lasts just two months, it’s no wonder that shelters are inundated with kittens during spring and summer.

When you visit the shelter, consider adopting more than one kitten. Their antics will entertain you for years.

Editor’s Note: Spaying your cat as early as possible can help reduce certain health issues and pregnancy.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com

Protect your pet from the unexpected with Figo Pet Insurance, rated “Best Pet Insurance” by Reviews.com since 2017.

Man sitting on bench with his dog

We believe that seeking out the best...

Small dog being examined by veterinarian

At Figo, we hear this question often...

What do the Cockapoo, the Puggle, the...

Dog receiving treat from woman

August 8th is #NationalCBD day! At Figo...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...

Cat scratching on a cat post

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...

Woman with dog looking at tablet

Since 2017 Americans have spent between $17...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

Small dog sits in front of steps of house

Moving from a 2 bedroom condo in the city to...