When the kitten season comes, you may easily find a litter of kittens hidden behind the garden lawn in your neighbourhood. What can we do to help with these little things?
If the mother cat is not around, it doesn’t mean they are abandoned.
Mother cats will not stay with the kittens all the time. They have to hunt nearby to get enough food and nutrition needed for breastfeeding. When someone approaches, most of the mother cats will choose to run away first. If you persist to stand by, the mother cat will not appear again.
Kittens with their mothers have a higher chance of survival
The nature has its own rule.
If you find a kitten that looks clean and healthy, no wounds on the body, seems unable to survive on its own and needs to breastfed, please leave it alone. The mother cat must be somewhere nearby.
Breastfeeding can provide the kitten necessary nutrition which cannot be replaced by human being’s care. There is a higher chance of survival for the kittens to stay with their mother.
What kind of kitten needs your help?
If the mother cat didn’t show up in the past 24 hours, pack the kittens in a cardboard box and call the closest animal shelter or rescue organization, or ask the nearby vet hospital for help.
If the kitten looks weak, please contact a vet as soon as possible. Remember do not feed the kitten with milk, which may cause diarrhea and vomiting.
If the kitten looks injured or sick, even the mother cat continues to come back and breastfeed, contact the local animal service for help.
What to do if you have already brought the kitten home?
First, make sure whether the cat mother is still around or not.
If so bring the kittens and cat mother together home or to the rescue, feed them properly and wait for the kitten to be weaned. It is also very important to spay the mother cat and find a permanent home for them later.
If the mother cat is missing and you want to take care of the kittens yourself, please make sure to buy the cat milk with KMR, not cow milk, goat milk, or ordinary cat milk. Only KMR milk can provide kittens needed antibodies against germs.
You have to feed the kittens depending on the age. The newborns need to be fed every two hours and always being kept warm. You will need to wipe their anus to help them pee and poop. Kittens cannot go to the toilet on their own when they were little.
Don’t attempt to take care of the kittens if you are not experienced. Kittens are very fragile and may die easily due to improper care within a few hours. Ask help from the professionals when needed.
If the kitten and the mother cat survive well on the street, how can we help?
You can provide clean water and food with the mother cat, so that she does not have to hunt hard. However, you’d better make sure there is no other animals nearby because the food could attract wildlife. otherwise, it may cause danger to the kittens.
In addition, you can set up a cat house or shelter for the kittens to protect them from the wind and rain. Or even a small cardboard box with towels could help a lot. Remember do not move the kittens by yourself! Let the mother cat do.
When the kittens able to walk on their own (usually more than one month), you can capture them and bring them home, make them familiar with people from their childhood. Don’t forget to arrange vaccines and future sterilization for them. You can also seek help from the professional rescue agencies like SaveFurPets.
If the mother cat is friendly, you can take it to the vet for sterilization and find a home for her. If it is a feral cat with aggressive personality, you can use a live trap to catch it and then bring it over to the local animal service/rescue to arrange for sterilization and then TNR.
The TNR stands for Trap-Neuter-Return, meaning after sterilization, the cat will be put back to where they come from. Usually the TNR cat is ear-tipped for identification.