Avoiding "Teen" Pregnancy
Mom says I can't play with the boys anymore. She is worried my teasing is getting out of hand and will lead to risky behavior. I keep telling her it's all in fun, but she doesn't agree. She says the boys don't see it that way.
They come around anyway, calling up to my window. I look out at them and talk, but that's all I'm allowed to do. I let them know that soon I'll be back out with them, whenever Mom decides to let me go out on my own again.
Mom made an appointment with the doctor, which she says will be very informative. My older sister says it's really ok to talk with doctors about this kind of stuff. When it was her turn, she went in and said it was no big deal. She was about my age, as well.
A neighbor said it's best to see the doctor first, because the alternative is getting pregnant. That's what happened to her when she was a teen. She had to take time away from fun stuff, while she got bigger and bigger. When she finally had her kids, she didn't have any time for herself anymore, because she had to take care of them 24/7. Now that they're grown, she's got her life back.
This is not a human girl talking; it's a kitten. Cats can get pregnant as early as 4 months old. It is safe to spay and neuter at three months, and most veterinarians will do the procedure then. There are low-cost veterinarians and spay/neuter programs available in most areas of the United States, and for some other countries as well. Spaying and neutering is the only way to prevent feline pregnancy, and also lessens the risk of cancers in both males and females.
Mating season is usually February through October, but cats can get pregnant at any time throughout the year. Heat (menstrual) cycles are not the same length, so cats who have just had a cycle can have another one a day later. Cats who have just given birth can be in heat the next day.
Two uncontrolled breeding cats create the following:
Two litters a year... at a survival rate of 2.8 kittens per litter with continued breeding ---
- 12 cats the first year
- 66 cats the second year
- 2,201 cats in the third year
- 3,822 cats in the fourth year
- 12,680 cats in the fifth year and so on
multiplying to a staggering 80,399,780 cats in the tenth year!!!
(statistics from Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County)
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