The last few months have seen our world change in ways we never would have considered imaginable a year ago, and for many people this has involved the addition of a new furry friend to their lives. While spending more time at home, the room for one more has been found by families across the world including here in Australia. We work with shelters across south east Queensland taking animals who are on death row, however the high demand for cats has meant that there is no longer a death row list at many shelters and thousands of cats have found their forever homes.
But where do the cats in our care now come from?
The answer is Northern Queensland!
While we may love the year-long summer of the north, one of the unexpected side effects of the warmer climate is a never-ending kitten season.
Cats follow the same breeding patterns as other mammals with mating season starting in August in the southern hemisphere and continuing through the spring and summer months. They are informed by the temperature – with the warmer days in the transition from winter to spring telling them when the perfect conditions for mating are.
For those months of the year, shelters across Australia are flooded with litters of kittens with thousands of families welcoming home their new furry friends. However, as the kitten season comes to a close, most shelters see almost no kittens until the next year.
But in the north where the warm weather lasts all year, cats decide that the breeding season should too!
It’s not only the temperature that informs cat breeding – the length of the day also plays a role in informing cats of the perfect breeding conditions. As Northern Queensland is situated close to the equator there is less of a difference between their summer and winter daylight hours. Cats become convinced that it’s breeding season all the time when the days are long and warm year-round. This creates an issue for shelters in northern Queensland as instead of having a rush of kittens towards the end of the year they are constantly receiving litters and the demand for them does not match.
But now with empty shelters here, we have been able to take kittens from Northern Queensland and find them homes on the other side of the state from where they were born. We have had several litters of kittens come in and out of our care recently including the Madagascar gang (Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria who were adopted as pairs) and Lucius and Maximus. Nobody can resist an adorable kitten and pre-adoption is common for these cuties.
If you’re interested in adopting a Northern Queensland kitten of your own, follow us on our social media platforms to keep up with when we have kittens available for pre-adoption!
Photo created by freepic.diller - www.freepik.com