Helga & Her Kittens
ARTICLE BY: Jed Dolwin, Ten Lives
“Kitten Season” doesn’t happen by accident; the warmer, spring-weather tells cats that it’s breeding season, and the resulting wave of kittens from undesexed cats often causes many problems and heartache.
The first litter of kittens brought into Ten Lives at the start of our 2020 kitten season belonged to Helga. Helga is a lovely cat who had a very big day on 1st September 2020. She was found locked in a cat carrier, abandoned behind a business in Glenorchy, covered in faeces and very heavily pregnant. Thankfully she was quickly brought in to Ten Lives where she started delivering her kittens, even as she was being surrendered.
Unfortunately two of the babies didn’t make it, but she was left with four healthy little ones, and she was a perfect mum tending to her newborns.
At just two days old, the new family were put into foster care, where they eventually ended up with foster carer Caeley Fenney. Caeley did a great job, using a tent in her lounge to provide a safe, secure place for Helga to raise her kittens. “It was fantastic, but tense as you’re anxious for them. Helga was a great mother though, which made it quite easy” said Caeley. Helga raised and trained them in the essentials of life, like grooming and using a litter tray, but all too soon the kittens were mature enough for adoption and Caeley was called to return them to the Centre to find their forever homes – which the cute little kittens did very quickly!
Kittens are desexed once they reach the safe and appropriate stage, generally after 10 weeks old and at least 1kg in weight. With a gestation period of 2 months, a single cat can birth up to 5 litters a year, and kittens can have kittens when they are as young as 4 months old.
On 1st December, exactly 3 months after she was found, Helga was also adopted! At just over 2 years old, she’s a lovely, playful cat, despite her stressful ordeal. She is ready to enjoy the next chapter of her life without having to worry about any more litters of kittens, which she is probably very relieved about!
Ten Lives doesn’t judge the circumstances under which cats are brought in to us.
We are here for the welfare of cats and kittens, and accept all stray, unwanted and abandoned cats. Helga’s story could have gone a very sad and different way had she not been found and brought in when she was. We encourage anyone who is no longer able or willing to care for their cat or kittens, to instead bring them in to Ten Lives. We accept surrenders Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm by appointment – please call us on 6278 2111 to get some advice or arrange to bring your cat in.
You can also read our helpful Fact Sheets for dealing with cat issues at home here.