If you spot some kittens that you think might be alone, you want to first determine if the mother has truly abandoned them or if mom is just off getting food. How do you do that? Wait and Observe. ( Be sure to stay out of sight and observe from a distance) She will return within a few hours if she is still caring for them.
Now that you have spotted her, determine if the mother is unsocialized to humans; if you cannot handle her; and the kittens are too young to be separated from her; the best thing for the family is to leave them where they are for now, provided the location is safe. Remember, the mother is best able to care for her kittens. Provide food, water, and shelter. Monitor the family daily and make the environment as safe for them as you can.
The sad fact is that unweaned kittens turned into open intake shelters without their mothers may be killed. These shelters need to rely on foster homes that will bottle feed the kittens, a resource that is often limited.
Visit our links page for more resources. And be sure to have mom spayed once the kittens are weaned to stop the cycle of reproduction.
*photo credit to echoe69, Snuggled up with mom, www.flikr.com
Did you know?
Removal and killing of outdoor cats is never ending and futile. Colonies that are involved in TNR diminish in size over time. Mating behaviors cease such as; roaming, yowling, spraying and fighting. The cats’ physical health improves. No new kittens!
TNR stops the breeding cycle of cats and therefore improves their lives while preventing reproduction.
(reference: alleycat.org, 2016, “Why Trap-Neuter-Return Feral Cats: The Case for TNR”)
We named this very pretty girl “Jazzy”.
Jazzy showed up recently at one of our feeding stations. An alert volunteer reported her to our founder so that she could be trapped and spayed. Turns out Jazzy was friendly and already spayed- clearly some unthinking person abandoned her to fend for herself.
Thanks to Foundation for Homeless Cats she is headed for a local rescue group that was willing to take her in and find her another –this time forever home.
We have a very supportive business owner who has welcomed three cats making their homes on their business lot.
Bully (grey cat), has lived at this business for many many years now, and Elsa (white/orange girl in back) joined him a few years ago. He took a little while to accept her but they get along nicely.
About a year ago we suspect that someone dropped off several kittens in this spot, since they appeared suddenly. We trapped them and they were all spayed and neutered, but unfortunately they were to ‘feral’ to be placed with a rescue group for adoption. Out of those kittens, one Little Dude (darker) decided to live with Bully. It took a while but they are a balanced colony. With the help of our wonderfur volunteer colony caregivers, they should live long and healthy lives.
Waddell is one of the many cats that our volunteers look after each day.