Where Do Community Cats Live
Community cats are predominantly found near where people live or work. They can thrive in densely populated areas, where there is easy access to food and shelter, as well are rural settings, where they are often called barn cats. Many of these cats, especially the social ones, are considered to be at home by residents in the area they live. Community cats may live alone or in pairs or congregate in groups. Rarely do you find cats living in remote areas in the U.S., surviving without the help of humans.
What To Do If You Find A Stray Kitten
- University of South Carolina
Springtime doesnt just mean warm weather and longer days it also means kittens. And lots of them. With the number of feral cats in the United States estimated to be in the tens of millions, the Humane Society estimates that thousands of kittens are born each day.
If you come across one of these adorable bundles of fur, your first instinct might be to scoop it up and take it home, but the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals cautions that this isnt always in the best interest of the kitten.
Before you rescue any kittens, wait to see if their mother returns. The better-fed and healthier the kitten seems, the more likely it is that a stray kitten’s mom is around. She could be hunting nearby, and taking the kittens away from her puts them in a critical situation, one that requires time-consuming care to keep them alive. However, if a kitten seems critically sick or injured, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
What If The Kittens Are Not Tame And Will Not Let Me Handle Them To Bottle Feed
You should be able to handle the kittens even if not tame if they are under 4 weeks of age. Wrapping them in a small towel while feeding will help. If you cannot handle them mix some KMR with canned food and make it available to the kittens every 3 hours or so. The kittens will let you know when they are hungry by meowing. When they are full they will stop eating and then the food dish should be removed.
Have You Found A Stray Cat Or Litter Of Kittens Here Are Some Resources That May Help
Stray and Feral Kittens are an Epidemic: Between the months of March and September, every shelter in the region will be overrun with kittens, both orphaned litters and those with a mother. Many of these litters are either strays or ferals. Neither one has a legal owner however, the difference between a stray cat or a feral cat is that a stray cat is accustomed to people and a feral cat has lived in the wild and has been self-sufficient with little to no contact with people. For more information on caring for neonatal kittens,
Stray cats can often be socialized and then adopted. Feral cats generally cannot be easily socialized and adopted. However, kittens under four-months old can often be socialized and adopted even if born to feral cats.
Kittens 8 Weeks Old And Older
Kittens of this age are weaned from their mother, meaning they dont rely on her milk and are eating on their own. So, dont hesitate: Take them to a veterinary clinic for spay or neuter!
Spaying or neutering kittens when they are 8 weeks old and at least 2 pounds is ideal for their health and wellbeing. You can learn more at alleycat.org/2Months2Pounds.
If the kittens mother is with them, spay her at the same time. This is critical so she does not become pregnant again. We have tips for trapping a mother cat and kittens for a Trap-Neuter-Return program at alleycat.org/TNRKittens.
As you are preparing to spay or neuter the kittens and/or mother cat, you have a choice:
Return the kittens outdoors.¯Returning kittens to their outdoor homes as part of a TNR program is 100 percent okay! Like all cats, they will thrive. Be sure they are eartipped during their spay or neuter appointment. If a mother cat is not socialized, meaning friendly and accustomed to people, return her to her outdoor home as part of TNR as well.
Foster and adopt the kittens. If you have the means, you can foster the kittens for adoption, or adopt them yourself. You can also do the same for a mother cat who is socialized. We have a guide to find the perfect adoptive home at¯alleycat.org/AdoptionTips.
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What Do I Do If I Find Young Kittens Who Have A Mother
Ask your neighbors and put up fliers to determine if this is a cat who has a home or if this is a stray cat. If this is a stray cat you want to catch the mother cat and her kittens. Kittens benefit from their mother’s milk and attention. Keep them together in a confined area with a box or other shelter inside this area where the mom cat can hide . The kittens will come out to see you and the mom cat will hide in the box/carrier. Handle the kittens daily to get them used to people and then put them back with mom. If you have them confined and you can’t touch the kittens because the mother cat is protecting them, then remove the kittens from her at 5 weeks of age and begin taming them. Read more about taming/socializing kittens.
The most important thing you can do is get the mother spayed so she doesnt get pregnant again. She can be spayed safely while still nursing her kittens and she can also get pregnant while nursing her kittens, so dont wait too long to have the surgery done.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Stray Cat Veterinarian Care
You must sign up a pet for health insurance coverage in order to reap the benefits of the insurance. Therefore, if you find a stray cat in need of veterinarian care, you cant just tap into an insurance policy and have the vet services paid for. However, if you decide to keep a stray cat that you find, you can sign them up for health insurance and then start using said insurance as soon as your policy is activated.
So, you might pay for vet services at first, but if you sign up for insurance right away, you could get financial help within just a couple of weeks. Any surgeries or other such treatments could be put off until the insurance kicks in if the veterinarian whom you are working with doesnt find such treatments to be critical at the moment.
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Do Cats Have A Legal Right To Roam
The law on letting your cat outside Unfurtunately, there is no clear-cut countrywide law on letting your cat roam freely. There arent usually statewide laws, either. While the US does have countrywide and statewide laws on things like animal cruelty, your city or county sets laws regarding free-roaming cats.2021/06/11
Stray Cats May Not Be Spayed Or Neutered
Sometimes people abandon their cats because they do not want to pay for spaying or neutering. This is not necessarily a reason in and of itself to not take in a stray, but you do have to be cognizant that your cat may need to be fixed. Taking in a stray might instantly translate into vet bills for spaying or neutering.
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Lets Get Trapping How To Trap Mother And Kittens
The good news is that it can be easier to trap kittens than adult cats. Since most weaned kittens are naturally curious they often arent as cautious around traps and are eager to investigate.
Keep kittens safety in mind.
Safety is always important while trapping, but take particular care when trapping kittens. Their small size raises additional considerations:
- A kitten-sized humane box trap may be best. Yes, they are available! Smaller traps are not only easier for a kitten to trigger, they also encourage only one kitten to enter the trap at a time.
- Take care with larger humane box traps. These traps work, too, but keep in mind that more than one kitten may go inside. That can be a problem if a kitten steps on the trip plate while another kitten is still in the trap entrance. Consider manually triggering the trap instead. Youll find details in our tips below.
Trapping kittens first can be helpful in trapping their mother.
Once kittens are in the trap, their mother will likely hear their meowing and come to see whats happening. Shell try to get close to her kittens, which can be the perfect incentive for her to enter another trap. Another tactic to try is using a recording of meowing of kittens to attract mother cats into a trap.
What Is A Community Cat
Community cat is the term we use for domestic cats who live outdoors and have no indication of having an owner. Their behavior can range from fearful and wary of people to friendly and open to human interaction. Older terms for these cats include feral cats and alley cats, but as those cats may not be feral or live in alleys, the animal welfare field has shifted to using the broader term “community cats.”
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S To Observe To Take A Stray Cat To The Vet
Before taking a stray cat to the vet, there are some necessary preparations youll need to put in place. These will ensure safe carriage to and prompt response from the vet. They include:
Lost And Stray Kittens
Unless they’re in immediate danger or sick, kittens should stay where they are.
Many well-intentioned animal lovers unintentionally orphan stray kittens whose mother may be in the area. Kittens who are able to stay safely with their mom have a much better chance of survival. Once they’re in the shelter, young kittens will only survive because of the expert care of our foster volunteers.
This helpful graphic can assist you in determining if kittens are in need of rescue. Please review the information below for details about bringing kittens to HSSW and other resources available to support kittens in need.
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Why Shouldnt I Let My Cats Roam Outdoors
Allowing your cat to roam freely outdoors comes with risks. When outside, cats face dangers such as being hit by a car, being harmed by another animal or person and certain diseases and parasites. Additionally, your cat may cause conflicts between neighbors and injure or kill wildlife. Why take the risk?
Approximately 71% of the estimated 80 million pet cats in the U.S. are kept indoors and more owners are realizing that their cats are safer and can lead happy lives indoors. You can transition your cat indoors and provide safe outdoor time with a catio or by taking your cat for a walk on a harness and leash. Its always a good idea for your cat to wear a collar with identification that would help reunite you should they become lost or be picked up by a neighbor or animal control.
Additional Costs To Anticipate
You never know what additional costs might be quoted when getting veterinarian care for a stray cat. If the cat is injured, surgery might be necessary, which could cost you anywhere from $300 to $2,250. If a stray cat must have a tooth extracted due to disease, it could cost anywhere from $300 to $1,300.
The only way to know what costs will come into play is to have the cat checked out by the veterinarian. They will determine what kinds of tests are necessary and eventually, what kinds of treatments, if any, will be needed. The veterinarian may accept a payment plan, so you wont have to come up with the cost of all needed vet services up front.
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How Can I Tell If A Cat Is A Stray
Overall Appearance Their coat should be neat, clean and well kept. They also normally have a collar. A stray is a cat that is lost or ran away from home so they normally have unkept or grungy coats compared to feral cats They should also be thinner since they dont know or arent used to hunting for themselves.
How Do I Know Whether A Cat Is Stray
The most critical initial detail to understand is whether the cat you have found is indeed a stray. After all, the last thing you want to do is take in someone elses pet and deprive them of their beloved pet. The easiest step to take here is to check the animals neck for some kind of tag or collar. Most people invest in such collars with the pets name and the owners contact details. However, just because there is no tag does not mean that the cat is a stray.
If the pet is friendly enough to pet and does not seem violent, the next step should be to take them to the local veterinarian. They should be able to scan them for microchips here. If one is found, the true owner can be contacted and the problem is solved. If there is no chip and no collar, the animal may be a stray. When the pet is too violent or timid to be taken to a veterinarian, you can attach a collar around their neck that asks the owners, if there are any, to contact you. Make sure that it is a break-away collar so that the cat does not become injured by the collar. If you do not receive a call/text, it is possible that the pet does not have an owner.
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What Happens When I Take A Stray Cat To The Vet
At your visit to the vet, it is important to explain every event that led to your visit and the observations youve made about the cat. This will give the vet a good idea of the best way to handle the cat. After the necessary protocols have been observed, the vet will firstly scan for a microchip. Afterward, they can check if the cat has been spayed or neutered and also scan for possible internal and external infections such as ear mites, feline leukemia, and feline immunodeficiency virus among others. After checking for possible infections, the vet may start the cat on immune-enhancing drugs. They can so recommend immune-boosting diets for it.
How To Determine If A Cat Is Feral Vs Friendly
It can be hard to determine initially if a cat is feral or friendly . Even a friendly cat may be skittish at first until the cat learns to trust you. A friendly cat will usually warm up to a human within a few days if you are providing the cat with food and water and you are patient and non-threatening. It can be harder to determine if a mother cat with kittens is feral because she is likely to hiss and spit if you approach her kittens. So more time and greater caution may be needed when trying to determine if a mother cat is friendly or feral.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Stray Cats Permanently
10 Ways to Get Rid of Stray CatsRemove Shelter. All wild animals need a secure place to sleep and to raise their young. Remove Temptation Unaltered males will be attracted to any female cats in heat. Use Commercial Repellant. Contact the Owner. Call Animal Control. Use Humane Traps. Work With Neighbors.2021/12/03
Dont Take Kittens Or Their Mother To An Animal Shelter
Most shelters do not have programs to provide the care¯unweaned¯kittens¯need¯to survive¯and thrive.¯As a result, there is a risk that the kittens¯will 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.
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