The annual ‘kitten season’ is now in full swing with dozens of unwanted litters being handed over to RSPCA WA. 

The organisation is inundated with kittens every year from mid-Spring to late Summer, putting a strain on its Animal Care Centre in Malaga and slowing down the adoptions of older animals, as more people opt to take home a cute and cuddly kitten.

The majority of litters are brought into RSPCA WA by concerned members of the public who have discovered the kittens in or around their homes, often in their roof space where a feral or stray cat has sought shelter to give birth.

People will sometimes try to care for the kittens themselves, but soon realise they are unable to cope with the demanding task of hand-rearing an orphaned litter.

Executive Manager of Animal Services at RSPCA WA, Jess Moore-Jones, explains why kitten season is a difficult time of year for animal welfare and rescue organisations.

“Kitten season is a challenge we’re faced with every year, and it’s frustrating because we put a lot of effort into educating the community about the importance of desexing pets.

“If cat owners desexed their pet as instructed by the Cat Act (2011), there wouldn’t be so many young orphaned kittens battling to survive their first few weeks of life. 

“Rarely does a mother cat arrive at RSPCA WA with its litter, so the younger litters have to be hand-reared by foster carers or staff; most of whom are already caring for other animals leaving a shortfall of suitable carers to help.”

The Cat Act (2011) states that all cats over 6 months of age must be sterilised, microchipped and registered, unless the owner holds a breeding permit which exempts them from having to sterilise their cat. The Cat Act (2011) is enforceable by local Councils and on-the-spot fines can be handed out to those found not to be in compliance.

The arrival of every litter at RSPCA WA takes up space and resources that the charity would typically reserve for animals who are sick or injured and can’t get help elsewhere. As with stray cats, abandoned kittens can be reported to council Rangers. 

“If you discover a litter and are worried the kittens appear to be sick or injured, take them to your local veterinary clinic for help,” said Mrs Moore-Jones.

People interested in becoming a foster carer for a litter of kittens can fill in this form and email to

A kitten rearing training session will be provided to people who foster a young orphaned litter, to teach them how to provide additional care such as bottle feeding the kittens.

“It’s a tough but very rewarding experience to help save tiny lives,” added Mrs Moore-Jones.

Media contact: Hannah Mattock, Media & Communications Coordinator, RSPCA WA, (08) 9209 9327 or


The chance of survival for young kittens is at its highest when they are being cared for by their Mother, so it’s important not to separate them if the Mother cat is still around. If the Mother cat appears to have abandoned her litter, and the kittens aren’t in need of urgent veterinary care, monitor them for a short while in case the Mother returns, as she may have only left them for a brief moment to find food for herself or if she’s been startled by something.



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