Ask A Vet: What is That Yowling in the Night?


Welcome to our weekly 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' feature on Dr. Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB is a board certified veterinary behaviorist who counsels guardians whose pets’ issues are beyond the scope of training. Think of her as a pet shrink…at your service. Ask your own questions in the comments!

Q: For the last few weeks, I’ve heard the most atrocious yowling from somewhere in the region of my backyard. At first, I thought it was a baby crying. Then I thought it was some kind of animal being mauled. My boyfriend informed me it was neither of the above. It is kitty sex. It is seriously so loud, it wakes me up from a dead sleep. What do I do?

A: Funny you should ask! Cats get frisky when the weather is nice. Unlike those of us who grew up on John Cusack movies, cats don’t think it is romantic to make out in the rain. After a spell of lovely weather, like what we’ve been experiencing, we see an explosion of kittens. We call it kitten season and San Francisco can have 2 or 3 a year. Shelters end up overflowing with kittens. And as cute as they are, it is a really detrimental thing for shelters and rescues. Enter, Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs. Ours is called Community Cats. We trap the ferals in backyards, parks, and parking lots, and spay/neuter them, then release them back to their colonies where volunteers feed and monitor the health of the cats on an ongoing basis. All you have to do is tell us where they are.

Find out more here and share, share, share. 415-522-3539,

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