Lots of kittens are born in the summertime, and local animal shelters tend to get overrun by unwanted kittens, and they aren’t able to save each and every unfortunate cat someone may want to bring them. You often find litters that are abandoned or single kittens could show up in your yard. Most people who love cats then want to help these poor creatures. However, prior to rushing to do so, it’s vital to think about the situation first. Here’s 5 things you must do if you find some stray kittens:
5. Provide Top Care
When you decide to rescue a litter of stray kittens, they are now your responsibility to care for! If you do not have enough time or don’t want to take that responsibility, then you must find another person to care for them. You could try an animal shelter, but as we said in the beginning, they are usually too full during the summertime. They will also usually kill baby kittens less than 2 pounds, and you don’t want that to happen! And rescue groups also get overrun during this timeframe. So, if you are going to help them, you must feed them, give them fresh water, and make sure they are treated for fleas or other pests. And once they get old enough you will additionally need to get them neutered or spayed so they won’t be contributing to the problem of more stray kittens!
4. Do Not Do Something Too Fast
Firstly, if you find some stray kittens, you need to watch them for a while and see what happens. Their mother might be gone to try to find some food or could be hidden waiting for you to leave. If you take them from their mom, they could be in more danger than you may know. Stay a few yards in the distance and watch for a while to find out if the mom cat appears. If it’s been many hours and there’s no mom in sight, likely she isn’t going to appear. However, if the mom does show up, then you’ve got both the mom and babies to think about saving.
3. Find out if the Mother is Feral or Not
If the mom cat show up, then you need to figure out if she is feral and is scared of people, or a stray cat someone’s dumped who relies on people to survive. Determining which it is won’t be difficult. If the mom cat allows you to come near or seems interested in you, then she is a stray cat, but if she runs away and won’t come no matter if you offer food or encouragement, then she is a feral cat.
You can rescue a stray cat and try to find them a home, but if she is feral, you are better off contacting groups that do what’s called TNR or Trap, Neuter and Release. These groups trap feral cats, and will then spay them and return them to the area you found them in. If the babies are too small to be without their mom, then you should just leave them alone. You can bring them food and watch over them, but if they need their mom’s milk then they need to stay with her to survive.
2. Evaluate The Conditions
If you figure out the mom cat is not feral, and she’s a friendly stray or there’s no mom cat in sight, then you can go ahead and attempt a rescue. However, prior to gathering the kittens up, be sure to determine how old they are and if they are healthy or not. Kittens get weaned at about a month old, and if they can’t eat solid food yet, you will have to bottle feed them if they don’t have a mom. If they are newborns, that means eating every two or three hours, which is quite an undertaking to commit to! You should also take them to the veterinarian right away so their health can be assessed or if they won’t eat, seem weak or otherwise not well.
1. Find Forever Homes
If you don’t plan on keeping the kittens, then you need to find them forever homes where they will be loved and cared for. You should talk to relatives, friends, or neighbors. Also, you can post something on the Internet to try to reach more potential homes. Some groups on Facebook are dedicated to finding homes for strays.
Be sure to screen the potential homes and ask for references from their veterinarian, as sometimes people go around hunting for free pets for bad things like dog fighting or even snake food. Ask for a small fee and that will ensure the people are more likely to want to give the kittens a good home. You could donate the money to a shelter or rescue group or use it to offset what you have spent on the kittens, or even offer to pay for spays or neuters.
It is not as simple as catching those stray kittens and taking them home if you want to rescue them! You have to assess the whole situation carefully and always remember these little darlings are living and breathing creatures that need love, compassion, and care. Do things right and you can save some lives and make sure they live long and happily in a loving home.
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