Here Is What You Should Do:
To help with your decision, it is important to know that it might take several hours for the mother cat to return, and healthy kittens can survive this period without food as long as they are warm. Neonatal kittens are much more at risk of hypothermia than they are of starvation.
During spring and summer months, waiting a longer time to see if mom will come back is much safer than during frigid winter months.
The mother cat offers her kittens best chance for survival, so wait and watch as long as you can. The best food for the kittens is their mothers milk. Remove the kittens only if they are in immediate, grave danger from the current environment.
Why Cant I Bring The Kittens And Their Mother Indoors
Even if your home is very nice, a mother cat may become so stressed by being confined in the new environment that it impacts her health and her ability to care for her kittens. Community cats thrive in their outdoor home and the mother cat has likely chosen an ideal space to raise her kittens, so there is no need to intervene.
Adopting Out The Kittens
The final step. Successful socialization is the most important part of the process, so make sure you teach them to trust and like humans as early as you are able! Please spay and neuter them before you adopt them out , they will not only be more attractive to adopters, but it will also help prevent this cycle from happening all over again. Once they are fixed, advertise liberally! Use social networking sites, tells friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances, and get them adopted out as early as you can! The older the kittens get, the harder it will be to find them homes.
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Its Been A Few Hours No Mom In Sight
The kittens appear to be abandoned, what can you do to help?
Once you remove the babies, you must keep them at an appropriate body temperature. Using a box with clean, soft towels, and warming bottles make a nest and place the kittens in the box. Keep them away from drafts and out of humidity. They need a room that stays close to 90 degrees for the first two weeks of age, then the temperature can be lowered to 80 degrees. Unweaned kittens need round-the-clock care and monitoring.
The kittens will need to be bottle fed with milk replacer every 2-3 hours and kept warm and dry.
- 1 4 weeks old: will need to be bottle-fed kitten formula.
- 5 weeks and older: can be offered canned food for KITTENS ONLY but they may still need to be bottle-fed. Canned food must be creamy texture with no chunky food or big pieces. Please try to find the best quality canned kitten food from the pet store.
- If you, a neighbor, friend, or relative are able to take on this responsibility, you can give these abandoned kittens a shot at life! If your schedule does not allow for it, there may be resources in the community to help. Be aware that most local shelters do not have the staff to feed kittens around the clock and mortality rates in these kittens are very high.
Don’t Turn A Blind Eye
If you’ve stepped in, don’t turn away. “You have now become part of this rescue as a result of stumbling upon the situation,” Brown said. “If you turn a blind eye you cause more of a problem. If you can’t do something, alert somebody.
“Keep them safe until you can find a solution,” Brown said. “Just make some phone calls.”
If you find cats you suspect are in a feral community, Alley Cat Allies has resources to help. Click here to watch webinars on kitten care. From information on bottle-feeding and general care, click here.
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Provide Food Shelter And Monitor
It is likely mom is taking good care of her kittens. Provide mom and her kittens with food, a dry and clean shelter, and continue to monitor their well-being. Once the kittens are able to eat wet food on their own, around 4-5 weeks old, you can bring them into your home to provide foster care and prepare them for adoption*. Visit this site for information on how to care for the kittens.
Prepare a Trap-Neuter-Return-Monitor plan for mom that will help keep them out of an animal shelter and set them up for long, healthy lives outdoors as community cats.
If you cannot provide foster care for these kittens or if you need additional support providing a TNRM plan for mom and her kittens, contact your local shelter or rescue to see if they can help.
*Please ensure these kittens dont have an owner already by checking for an ID tag and asking the shelter/rescue or a veterinary clinic to scan for a microchip. You can post signs in the neighborhood where they were found with a photo and details about the kittens. We encourage you to check your local laws to see if a found animal report needs to be filed or if notice needs to be given to either animal control or your local shelter
Has mom returned to her kittens within a few hours?
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What Do You Do If You Find Baby Kittens
Correspondingly, how long can baby kittens survive without their mother?
Furthermore, will a mother cat return to her kittens? Stand far away and wait. A Mother cat will leave her kittens for hours at a time. She will NOT return if you are standing over her kittens. Female cats can become pregnant with a new litter even while they are still nursing, so don’t forget to get the mother cat spayed or you will have more kittens soon!
Also, how do you know if a kitten has been abandoned?
If you have to move them, make sure it is nearby where mom can see or hear them calling for her. Keep an eye on the nest from a distance for 12 to 18 hours to determine if they’re truly abandoned. Depending on how old the kittens are, moms can stay away for hours at a time.
How do you save a kitten from dying?
How to Save a Dying Kitten
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Helping Abandoned, Stray Cats and Kittens
- Make sure the cat or kitten has food, water, and shelter.
- List the cat in your local âfoundâ lists.
- Report abandoned pets to your local law enforcement agency.
- Try to find the abandoned cat a home.
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Second Determining The Age Of The Kittens
Once your kittens are inside in a warm, dry place, try to determine how old they are. Depending on their age, kittens have different needs. There are a few things to look for which may help you:
- Kittens eyes are closed the first week. They begin to open them from about a week to ten days, and somewhere between two to three weeks, their eyes should be completely open.
- A kittens first teeth begin to erupt at around 3 weeks, with the first canines appearing at 3-4 weeks. All 26 primary teeth have usually appeared by 6-7 weeks old.
However, if you are not sure about how old your kittens are, ask your vet. In any case, it is very important that you take them as soon as possible to the vet who can assess their overall health and recommend treatment if needed.
Do Not Disturb The Kittens
It is best to 1st observe from a distance for a few hours to determine if mom is returning to her nest. The mother cat may be out searching for food, taking a break, or even hiding from you. If you see kittens and no mom, wait a few hours before trying to rescue them. The kittens have a better chance of survival with their mom. If mom returns, the best thing you can do is place some fresh cat food and water out for her. It is best not to continue to check on them more than once a day as not to disturb the nest.
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Cleaning And Flea Control
After each feeding session, you should also give them a full-body, once-over wipe with a barely damp washcloth, using short strokes like a mom-cat would use. This keeps their fur clean, teaches them how to groom, and gives them the attention and mothering they crave. Kittens will often get very dirty and mucked-up in between cleanings. Its okay to wash a kitten with warm water under a sink faucet, but try to focus only on the areas where they need it. A simple butt-bath will usually do the trick, but if you must get a kitten wet over more than half of its body, its safe to dry kittens over one week old with a hair dryer set on low and used very carefully, avoiding their faces.
You should also check their ears regularly for dirt and especially after initial rescue ear mites. Dirt can be cleaned gently with a cotton ball or swab. Consult your vet if you find the tell-tale ear mite coffee-ground type dirt.
If you dont have a safe flea spray, you can wash the kitten with a gentle dishwashing soap like Dawn or Palmolive , or a citrus-based shampoo, and comb all the fleas out afterwards. Make sure water temperature is lukewarm so as not to chill the kitten. Dry the kitten, if old enough, with a blow dryer or you can towel-dry it, then put it in a carrier and aim the blow dryer into it the carrier to gently dry the kitten with warm, circulating air.
Unable To Care For The Kittens Yourself
DoNOT take the kittensto an animal shelter. See if a friend or family member can care for them, or contact local rescues, animal protection groups, or advocates. You may be able to find such advocates near you through Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network®. Find a member in your area at alleycat.org/FindFeralFriends.
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Dont Take Kittens Or Their Mother To An Animal Shelter
Most shelters do not have programs to provide the careunweanedkittensneedto surviveand thrive.As a result, there is a risk that the kittenswill be killed.Shelters in general are not good environments for mother cats and kittens. Even in the best of shelters a mother cat can become so stressed that her healthy is affected, as well as her ability to care for her kittens. The shelter environment can also be dangerous for kittens because their immune systems havent fully developed, and can easily catch diseases.
Heres What To Do If You Find A Litter Of Kittens
You’re likely to hear them before you see them.
They’re alone and afraid. No mom in sight.
The sound of kittens meowing.
With springtime just around the corner comes the warmer weather, the flowers, the showers – and, unfortunately, litters of unwanted kittens.
It’s the time of year when unspayed cats give birth. Rescue groups and shelters nationwide become overrun with litters of unwanted kittens who are often euthanized due to lack of space and not nearly enough people to foster and adopt them.
“We are embarking on kitten season,” Eric Brown, cofounder and vice president of Arizona’s Homeless Animals Rescue Team , told The Dodo. “The biological clocks of cats have realized that it has started warming up, and cats are now in heat or already pregnant. There is a 64-day gestation period. And we are almost there. There will be throngs of kittens any day.”
So what should you do if you find a litter of kittens? For starters, it depends on how and where you found them, whether their mother is around, and how old they are.
Approximately 3.4 million cats enter shelters nationwide every year and 1.4 million cats are euthanized yearly.
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What To Do If You Find An Abandoned Kitten Or Litter
As we go into 2016 my strongest wish is that we wont have any abandoned babies to raise this year. As much as I love these tiny bundles of joy, I can never give them what their mother can, no human substitute can and babies belong with their mothers when at all possible. There were numerous litters that were brought in last year that shouldnt have been by people that meant well but interfered too soon
Before you scoop up a litter of abandoned kittens, please be SURE the kittens are actually abandoned.
How do you tell? If you find a single kitten wandering on its own or a litter dumped in a box or bag, you should rescue them immediately. They were probably abandoned by an unscrupulous and heartless human. In cases like this they will need urgent care, including keeping them warm and feeding them kitten formula NOT cows milk! In an emergency goats milk can be used for a short period of time, it doesnt provide all the nutrients the kittens need but it wont give them diarrhea and dehydrate them like cows milk does. Please contact your vet or us for help or instructions on hand raising kittens.
You should give her as much space as possible and not interfere with her. You can set up some sort of shelter nearby in the hopes that she might use it, and of course she will appreciate a steady source of food and water. Nursing mothers need lots of extra calories, so its best to feed dry kitten food if possible.
What Do Kittens Eat Besides Milk
Once your kitten is about 3.5 to 4 weeks old, you can start weaning them off of the bottle. This is a gradual process that takes time and practice. The process usually looks something like this:
- Begin by offering your kitten formula on a spoon.
- Later, start offering your kitten formula in a saucer.
- Gradually add canned food to the kitten formula in the saucer.
- Increase the canned food in the saucer, adding less and less kitten formula.
If your kitten doesnt take to the spoon or the saucer right away, you can continue to offer the bottle.
As you progress through the weaning process, monitor your kitten and their stool to ensure that they digest everything well. If your kitten is doing well and isnt experiencing digestive issues , then you can gradually introduce more and more food.
At this stage, its also important to offer your kitten a bowl of fresh water to make sure that theyre staying hydrated.
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