How to Tell if a Mother Cat has Abandoned Her Kittens?
A mother cat can leave her kittens, which is as sad as it is tragic. When it comes to the health of her kittens, a mother cat has extremely sharp instincts, and she may reject them if she believes that they are weak or ill, for example. She may, on the other hand, abandon her kittens for an extended period of time as she searches for food or relocates to a new place. In order to choose whether or not to intervene and provide aid to abandoned kittens, the following are some fundamental guidelines to follow:
How to Tell if a Mother Cat has Abandoned Her Kittens?
The following are the most reliable indicators that a mother Cat has abandoned her kittens:
- If you come across a bunch of kittens while their mother is away, attempt to discover whether or not the mother will be returning before taking any action. Keep a safe distance between you and the kittens because if you go too close, the mother cat may not come to you. If she is frightened by human presence, she may not return for several hours or even days. It’s a good idea to throw flour about the kittens if you have to leave before the mother cat returns
- When you return, look for paw prints. If you come across a solitary kitten walking about on its own, it is a strong indication that it has been abandoned. If you are able to locate her mother, you can attempt to return her to her, but she may reject her once more. When you see kittens that are clean and neat, it is an indication that their mother cat has been grooming them. Being filthy and untidy, on the other hand, is a telltale indicator that they have been abandoned. Furthermore, you should pay attention to how a kitten mews or screams
- A neglected kitten will cry for attention nonstop, but a kitten that is resting comfortably has most likely not been abandoned. Don’t be frightened if you find kittens disappearing one by one
- This might be an indication that their mother is actively seeking a new home.
What to Do if the Kittens Are Abandoned
- If everything in the preceding paragraph leads to a kitten or a group of kittens having been abandoned, it is time for human intervention to take place. If you do not want the duty of caring for them, you can contact a local rescue organization
- However, keep in mind that rescue organizations may deny your request due to a lack of resources. It is possible that they may give you advise and provide you with recommendations on how to care for abandoned kittens even if they cannot take the kittens. It is necessary to find a technique to feed them because they require feeding every few hours, with the frequency varying according on their age. This is commonly accomplished through the use of kitten formula in a bottle. It is also necessary to offer motherly care to kittens that have just been born. Ensure that they are kept warm and that they may urinate and defecate
- Always keep in mind that your veterinarian is the most reliable source of knowledge when it comes to caring for kittens. Inform yourself on the amount and frequency of feeding, how to assist the kittens in urinating and defecating, as well as how to keep them clean and warm, by consulting your veterinarian.
How Do I Know If A Mother Cat Has Abandoned Her Kittens?
Cats are frequently terrific mothers who are willing to lay down their life to protect their young. Every now and again, though, you’ll stumble across a litter of abandoned kittens who need your help. It is heartbreaking when a mother cat abandons her babies. An instinctive reaction by a mother cat when it comes to the health of her kittens is to reject them if she perceives they are sick or weak. A mother, on the other hand, may choose to leave her kittens alone for a long amount of time in order to acquire food or relocate to another location.
In this essay, we will explore how to evaluate and offer the best care possible for an abandoned kitten.
Does A Mother Cat Abandon Her Kittens?
When kittens reach the age of maturity and are able to care for themselves, mother cats often abandon them. They would otherwise be followed around by hundreds of cats that would take their food and energy. They become pregnant around twice a year and give birth to a litter of four kittens on average in each litter. Every year, this translates to eight kittens being born. That is simply too much for anyone to bear.
Why Do Cats Abandon Their Kittens?
Some of the reasons why a mother cat could reject or abandon her kittens before they are fully developed are listed below.
1. When Kittens Are Sick
Mother cats abandon their sick kittens because they are not aware of the existence of veterinarians or antibiotics in their area. She is certain that if one of her kittens falls unwell, the entire litter would perish. Perhaps she is trying to save her milk and energy for her other babies, who have a better chance of survival, or she is simply unable to stomach the thought of her young kittens passing away on her watch. As a result, wild cats abandon their sick young, who are in desperate need of help.
2. Not A Motherly Cat
Almost every cat has a distinct personality of its own. There are several types of mother cats, with some being more compassionate and others being less nurturing. It is certain that kittens will be rejected and abandoned if their mothercat is not loving toward them. This, however, is an extremely unusual occurrence.
3. Leaving The Nest
Almost every cat has a unique personality to express themselves. There are several types of mother cats, with some being more loving and others being less so. They will be rejected and abandoned if their mothercat is not loving toward her kittens. But this is a rather uncommon occurrence.
4. Premature Motherhood
A very young mother who has not yet established maternal abilities may appear befuddled or disinterested in her child. Some mothers begin in this manner and eventually change their ways. Some moms are unable to do so for various reasons.
The birth of an uninterested mother may also have been traumatizing for her if she was not in a safe environment or experienced physical difficulties during labor. If she is very vigilant or anxious, she may find it difficult relax and lie down so that the kittens may suckle from her breast.
5. Litter Size
Rejection may also happen from a litter that is too large in size. Mum could reject some of her kittens if there isn’t enough milk to go around for all of them in order to keep milk for the others…. A careful observer is most likely to notice this behavior during the first 24 hours after delivery if they are paying attention.
6. Mother Has Gone To Find Food
If the kitten has only been mewing for a brief length of time, or if you see that the cat’s nest is clean and that it is napping comfortably, it is unlikely that the kitten has been left behind. It is possible that its mother is away from the nest on a lengthy hunting journey. Another possibility is that mother split and concealed her kittens in different areas after they were born in order to reduce the probability of prey killing the entire brood. It doesn’t matter what happens, the mother will arrive on time.
Will A Mother Cat Abandon Her Kittens If You Touch Them?
If the kitten has only been mewing for a brief length of time, or if you see that the cat’s nest is clean and that it is napping comfortably, it is doubtful that the kitten has been left. A protracted hunting journey could have taken its mother away from the nest. Another possibility is that mother split and concealed her kittens in different areas after they were born in order to reduce the probability of prey consuming the entire litter. It doesn’t matter what happens, the mother will return on schedule.
How Do You Know If Your Mother Cat Is Rejecting Her Kittens?
A mother cat may refuse to care for particular kittens in her litter, or she may reject the entire litter altogether, depending on her temperament. After aiding your cat with the birthing process, carefully observe her behavior to ensure that any kittens she rejects will be able to be cared for by you and your family. You might be able to persuade her to care for the kittens that were rejected if you put up some strong arguments. A mother cat should begin feeding her kittens one to two hours after birth, depending on their age.
- If you find the mother neglecting certain kids and refusing to allow them to nurse, this indicates that she has rejected those kittens.
- She may also hiss or bite at the kittens if she feels threatened by them.
- Massage the kitten’s body with a hotwater bottle covered in a towel to help it warm up and increase blood circulation.
- A kitten’s growth increases on a regular basis, but if you notice one that isn’t gaining weight or developing properly, it is most likely because the mother has rejected it.
- After the age of four weeks, it is typical for a mother cat to refuse to milk her kittens any more.
- Excessive handling of kittens under 4 weeks of age may cause the mother to reject them because it removes the mother’s scent from the kittens.
It is necessary to take the rejected kittens and their mother to a veterinarian for a checkup in order to rule out medical issues, infections, or after-birth complications as possible causes of the rejection. Hand-feeding and caring for abandoned kittens is essential.
What Do You Do When A Mother Cat Rejects Kittens?
Some plausible causes for a mothercat’s refusal to milk her kittens include the following: Rarely, the mother cat will start feeding her kittens and then stop immediately after. A second possibility is that the mother cat will never begin nursing in the first place. It is possible that the mother cat will reject some or all of the kittens. It is possible that she would not only refuse to milk the kittens, but that she will also ignore them or respond angrily if one of them approaches her. Immediately after an incident like this occurs, the mother and kittens should be rushed to a veterinarian for treatment.
- Alternatively, you may be required to intervene and provide care for the kittens.
- Remember to take the mother and all of her kittens with you to the veterinarian, regardless of whether any of them appear to be unwell.
- If the mother cat is still unable or unwilling to nurse her offspring, it will be necessary to continue bottle-feeding the kittens.
- Introducing kitten food to your kittens when they are three weeks old is a good time to start.
- When it comes to kitten care, keep in mind that your veterinarian is the most knowledgeable person you can find.
How Do I Bottle Feed Kittens?
The mother cat and her newborn kittens should both be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible if the mother cat refuses to feed her newborn kittens at all. Meanwhile, you must devise a method of providing the kittens with food because they require feeding every few hours, with the exact frequency varies according on their age. This is frequently performed through the use of kitten formula in a bottle. It is also vital to offer motherly care to newborn baby kittens when they are born. Continue to keep them warm and aid them with urinating and defecating.
For the most part, pet supply stores as well as pet supply websites carry KMR in cans or cartons.
Animal milk and human infant formula are not nutritionally appropriate for kittens, and if consumed for a lengthy period of time, they can result in health problems and even death if consumed in large quantities.
Many others, on the other hand, feel that an eyedropper is the most effective tool at first.
Give each kitten a teaspoon (5 mL) of the formula after it has been gently warmed. This amount is for kittens who have just been born. Inquire with your veterinarian about the recommended feeding amounts for the kittens as they grow and progress.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is recommended that kittens be kept with their mother until they are at least 12 weeks old. Mother cats are the most suited to provide for their kittens’ needs.
Will Cats Eat Their Kittens If You Touch Them?
In most cases, mother cats will not consume their kittens if you come close to them. They may not like it if you touch their infants, but they will not eat their babies.
What Is Fading Kitten Syndrome?
Fading Kitten Syndrome is sometimes referred to as “failure to thrive” in some circles. It occurs when a kitten suddenly becomes unwell or unresponsive, even if it has been previously healthy and active.
If you come across a litter of kittens abandoned outside, please be patient and do everything you can to assist them. While it’s tough to say no to a litter of gorgeous, furry kittens, sometimes letting the mother take care of them is the best course of action for everyone involved. In addition, if your cat is reluctant to accept her newborn kids, you should speak with a veterinarian to identify the best course of action to take. Send us a message in the comments area if you have any further questions about these cute hairy tiny critters.
Kitten season is in full swing, and shelters are already swarming with kittens of all ages and breeds of all sizes. Many of these are ‘orphans,’ who have been abandoned by their mothers and taken in by the government. As little as a few hours old, these kittens require round-the-clock attention and bottle feeding in order to thrive. Because many shelters lack the resources and foster homes necessary to give this care, many kittens are slaughtered because there is no one available to provide them with the care they require, which is a tragedy.
Please be certain that the kittens in a litter of ‘abandoned’ kittens are, in fact, abandoned before you take them in.
If you come across a solitary kitten walking about on its own, you should take it in right away.
If you come across a litter of kittens congregated in a nest, you should:
- It’s possible that the mother cat is out hunting for food, or that she has been scared away by your presence and is hiding nearby, waiting for you to depart. Taking her kittens will cause her much distress, and unfortunately your efforts to’save them’ may potentially result in their death if the shelter you send them to does not have a foster family available.
- If the kittens are not in immediate danger, it is best to wait and monitor them from a safe distance for one or two hours. In the event that you are concerned about them getting chilly, you may place them in a little box with a Coke bottle, or something similar, filled with hot water. Mother cats will not reject kittens who have been touched by people
- You may try throwing flour about the kittens and then walking away from the location for a short period of time. When you return, keep an eye out for paw prints in the flour. Cats who are clean and resting comfortably are most likely not abandoned, according to the experts. Kittens who are filthy and wailing are most likely hungry, and they may have been abandoned and need to be saved. The fact that kittens start screaming and begging for food very immediately after they wake up should not be overlooked. If you poke them and they start to scream and crawl about, this does not necessarily indicate that they are hungry. That’s exactly what they do when they first awaken!)
- If there is no sign of a mother cat after many hours, or if the kittens appear to be in imminent danger or suffering, the kittens should only be taken from their nest and placed in a safe place. If they are actually abandoned, they will require immediate care, which will include keeping them warm and giving them kitten formula—not cow’s milk—to keep them alive. If you’re transporting them to a shelter or rescue, do all you can to keep them warm while you’re driving.
If you come across a mother cat with kittens who appear to be in good health, the best thing to do is to allow the kittens to remain with the mother cat. The mother cat should be saved with the kittens if she is amicable toward you, and the kittens should be rescued together if at all feasible. She may, however, be feral (meaning she was born outside and has never been around humans), in which case she should be left outside with her kittens until she is no longer a danger to you. You should give her as much space as you possibly can and avoid interfering with her activities at all costs.
- You may build up some form of shelter nearby in the hopes that she would take use of it, and she will certainly enjoy having a consistent source of food and water available to her.
- Kittens should remain with their mother until they are able to consume solid food, which should occur between the ages of four and six weeks.
- They can, however, be spayed or neutered (together with their mother!) as part of a trap-neuter-release (TNR) program as soon as they weigh two pounds, which is around eight weeks after birth.
- Contact us at 412-847-7004 or go to www.ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/Feral for more information.
If you are unable to foster, try contributing some kitten milk replacer, which is quite expensive and is required by a large number of kittens. Animal Friends expresses gratitude to Community Cats Maryland for providing the information contained in this article.
How To Tell If Kittens Are Abandoned
cat, orphaned animals, pet safetyPosted by:thatpetblog in Animal Rehabilitation,Animal Rescue,Cats, orphans animals, pet safety 23334 views on May 12, 2015 Hello, my name is Tricia K. and I’d want to introduce myself. I presently have three cats: Bubba, who is five years old, Firefly (called Bug), who is three, and Scrappy, who is seven or eight months old. I have been volunteering for a rescue organization called “Lost Paws of Lancaster” for almost three years, and I have been fostering for around two years.
- I appreciate learning new things about all animals and putting what I’ve learned to good use in order to assist others.
- This is the time of year when we begin to receive phone calls from people requesting that we take in pregnant or nursing mothers and their kitten litters, as well as their babies.
- In reality, your mother may be keeping an eye on you.
- It is at this point that they decide to take matters into their own hands and “assist,” which is not usually in the best interests of the kittens.
How To Tell If Kittens Are AbandonedNeed Your Help
- If the kittens are not in immediate danger, there is no need to transfer them. Mom may simply be out grabbing supper or having a break from the house. (You’d need to take a break as well if you had so many children at the same time!) If you must relocate them, make certain that they are in a location where Mom can see or hear them begging for her. Keep a watch on the nest for 12 to 18 hours from a safe distance to discover whether they have genuinely been abandoned. Moms can be away from their kittens for many hours at a time, depending on how old they are. It might be difficult to tell whether your mother sneaks in and out while you’re not looking. To determine whether or not the mother has returned, it is helpful to scatter flour about the location. Do not be concerned if any of the kittens go missing since mom will leave paw prints in the powder if she returns. This is most likely a positive indicator. Active If a mother believes her kittens are in danger, she will relocate them from one location to another. If hours have passed and the kittens are filthy, irritable, and noisy, it is reasonable to assume they have been abandoned. The importance of waiting a sufficient period of time and remaining cool cannot be overstated. A lot of people are panicked and want to scoop up the kittens and take care of them as soon as possible. Caring for kittens, especially those that are too young to ingest solid food, is labor-intensive, and most individuals aren’t up to the task of taking on this responsibility. Additionally, kittens growing up without their mother and the warmth and milk she offers are at greater risk of being precocious. Keep your mother in the picture whenever feasible.
What if Mom Doesn’t Return? What now?
- If you have actually abandoned kittens and you are not prepared to take on the duties of motherhood, please contact one of your local rescue organizations for assistance. Consider that kitten season is one of the busiest times of year at our facility. Rescues deplete their resources in a short period of time, and you may be denied. As a result, foster homes for bottle babies (kittens without mothers who have not yet learned to chew solid food) are always in short supply since they need a great deal of effort. It is possible that rescue organizations will have a waiting list that you may be placed on in order to aid your kittens and lessen the burden on you if you are able to foster the litter.
Even if the rescues are unable to accept your litter, they may be able to provide you with advice and tactics to make your experience as a mommy cat much more enjoyable. Please be patient throughout this kitten season and do everything you can to assist in the best way possible. While it’s difficult to say no to a mound of gorgeous, fuzzy kittens, sometimes it’s best to step back and let Mom manage the situation herself.
Check out some of the previous posts by A collection of posts by the pet specialists at That Fish Place – That Pet Place, the Pet Blog showcases their collective expertise. Contact us via the above links, or leave a comment on this page.
Signs of a Cat Rejecting Kittens
A mother cat may refuse to care for certain kittens in her litter or she may reject the entire litter if she feels strongly about them. After assisting your cat through the delivery process, pay close attention to her behavior to ensure that any kittens she rejects will be able to be cared for by you and your family. You may be able to persuade her to take care of the kittens that were rejected under certain conditions.
Mother kittens may reject kittens they believe will not flourish in order to protect the survival of her other kittens, depending on their health. Kittens born with a medical condition or anatomical deformity may be rejected by their mothers. Cats that give birth to a big litter of six or more kittens may not be able to nurse all of the babies and may reject some of the kittens out of need in order to nourish the bulk of the kittens in the litter.
In addition, a mother cat suffering from disease or malnutrition may be unable to properly care for her kittens, resulting in her rejecting the young ones.
After giving birth, a mother cat should begin feeding her kittens every one to two hours for the first one to two hours. Cats are protected from sickness and provided with plenty nutrition by their mother’s milk after birth. Colostrum is a substance found in the milk produced after birth that includes antibodies that help protect the kittens from illness while also providing them with ample nutrition. If you notice that the mother avoids particular babies and refuses to allow them to nurse, this indicates that she has rejected certain kittens.
She may also hiss or bite the kittens if she feels threatened.
A kitten that is frigid to the touch may be rejected by its mother. Warm up a chilled kitten by placing it on top of a hot water bottle covered in a towel and massaging its body to improve circulation. Check with the kitten’s mother to determine if she would take a chilly kitten that you have warmed back up. A kitten grows in size on a daily basis, but if you find a kitten that is not gaining weight or developing appropriately, it is most likely because the mother has rejected it. According to the Purrfect Companions website, undersized or warm kittens which the mother has pushed aside and refuses to nurse require bottle-feeding; if you place the entire litter back in the nest, she may reject the entire litter.
A mother cat refusing to feed kittens above the age of four weeks is considered typical behavior; kittens are weaned from their mother’s milk and introduced to solid meals between the ages of four and eight weeks, respectively. Do not handle kittens under 4 weeks of age excessively, since this may lead the mother to reject them because the aroma of the mother has been removed from the kittens. Hold them for 10 to 15 minutes at a period under the watch of the mother cat, and then put them down.
Hand-feed and care for rejected kittens who have been rejected by their mother.
Pets, money, crafts, cooking, home repair, shopping, and becoming green are just a few of the topics she covers in her writing.
Paretts graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master of Professional Writing degree.
What to do (and NOT do) if you find an abandoned kitten or litter
Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998 and currently resides in Las Vegas. Pets, money, crafts, cooking, home repair, shopping, and becoming green are just a few of the topics she covers in her articles.
Her essays, short tales, and reviews have featured on the City National Bank website, as well as on The Noseprint magazine’s website. At the University of Southern California, Paretts earned his Master of Professional Writing.
5 Reasons A Mother Cat Might Abandon Or Reject Her Young
The image is courtesy of Getty Images. Another lovely sight to witness is a mother cat lovingly caring for and feeding her kittens. Even in shelters, abandoned kittens are occasionally placed with a nursing mother who would adopt and raise the motherless kittens as if they were her own children. So, what would cause a mother cat to reject or abandon her kittens is a mystery to me. It’s distressing to think about a mother cat refusing to accept her kittens, and you might be wondering why this happened in the first place.
Some of the reasons why a mother cat could reject or abandon her kittens before they are fully developed are listed below.
Leaving The Nest
- (Image courtesy of Getty Images. ) ) For starters, many individuals stumble upon litters of kittens outside and believe they’ve been abandoned when, in reality, their mother is nearby, most likely looking for food. Outdoor or stray mums may disperse their babies to escape being preyed upon by predators. If the kittens appear to be properly fed and in a safe environment, and if they fall asleep after wailing for a short period of time, mom is most likely there. It’s recommended to keep an eye on a nest for a couple of hours to see whether the mother bird returns. A failure to do so may indicate that she is sick and unable to return, or that she has been murdered. Kittens can sometimes become separated from their mothers and become lost or trapped in situations where they cannot be rescued. Either indoors or outside, this can happen at any time. So if you observe a mother pacing around uncomfortably or a kitten wailing in a strange place, it’s possible that they’re attempting to locate one another.
Illness Or Deformity
- (Image courtesy of Getty Images. ) ) A sick kitten may be rejected by its mother in order to prevent the sickness from spreading to the other kittens. It is not always the case that the “runt” is unwell. An otherwise healthy kitten with physical deformities, such as a “Janus” cat, may be rejected by its mother even if the kitten is otherwise completely healthy. Experts advocate removing any entirely rejected kittens from the litter in order to prevent mom from rejecting the rest of the litter.
- (Image courtesy of Getty Images. ) ) Mastitis, an infection of the mammary gland, can occur in certain nursing mothers. The scratching can occur spontaneously or as a result of kittens clawing the tissue during feeding. Swelling, hardening, and burning to the touch characterize the nipple’s appearance. As a result, it may appear that mom is rejecting her infants when, in reality, it is simply too painful for her to allow them to nurse.
- (Image courtesy of Getty Images. ) ) A litter that is too big might also result in rejection. Mother may reject a few kittens if there is not enough milk for all of them in order to preserve milk for the rest. A attentive observer would most likely detect this behavior within the first 24 hours following a child’s birth
- However, it may take longer.
- (Image courtesy of Getty Images. ) ) A very young mother who has not yet established maternal abilities may appear befuddled or disinterested in her child. Some mothers begin in this manner and eventually change their ways. Some do, while others do not. The birth of an uninterested mother may also have been traumatizing for her if she was not in a safe environment or experienced physical difficulties during labor. The combination of her hypervigilance and anxiousness may make it difficult for her to relax and lie down in order to allow the kittens to nurse.
Any species can find motherhood to be a difficult task. Give these cat parents your sympathy, care, and assistance if they require it, just as you would any other suffering mother would appreciate it. Call your local shelter, rescue group, or veterinarian for assistance, and remember that, despite the fact that kittens are lovely, over 4 million animals are killed in the United States each year as a result of overcrowding. Please have your dogs spayed or neutered. Have you ever witnessed a mother cat reject her kittens?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
- When It Comes to Kittens and What to Expect
- Why Do Cats Kneel? Listed below are five reasons why your cat kneed you.
Help! I Think I Found Abandoned Kittens! What Do I Do?
The discovery of a nest of unattended kittens or a solitary kitten that appears to have been abandoned by the mother is not uncommon during kitten season, which occurs in the spring and summer. You want to lend a hand, don’t you? Not so fast, my friend. We understand that you are an animal lover, and the thought that these puppies are in danger may be quite upsetting. However, before you panic and rush to the aid of these unfortunate kittens, please take the time to study the following facts and follow our suggestions to the letter.
Possible Situation: The mother cat is just temporarily away from her kittens
It’s possible that you came discovered the kittens when their mother was out looking for food or in the process of relocating them. Determine whether or not their mother will be returning for them, or whether or not they are actually orphaned.
Here is what you should do:
- Keep a safe distance of at least 35 feet between you and the kittens. Getting too near to the mother will result in her refusing to approach her kittens. It is possible that you may need to leave the area completely before the mother cat will return to tend to the kittens. Perhaps many hours will elapse before the mother cat returns, or at least until she no longer perceives the presence of people lurking near her litter. You should consider if the kittens are in urgent danger if you have to leave before the mother cat returns:
- Is it pouring or snowing right now? In your neighborhood, are there dogs or wild creatures that may hurt the kittens who are roaming free? Is there a possibility that the kittens may be harmed by children or adults in the neighborhood? Whether or not the kittens are situated in a location with a high volume of foot or automobile traffic
It is crucial to understand that it may take many hours for the mother cat to return, and that healthy kittens may survive this period without nourishment as long as they are kept warm. This information will assist you in making your decision. Cats in their first week of life are significantly more susceptible to hypothermia than they are to malnutrition. Waiting a longer period of time to see whether Mom returns is considerably safer during the warm spring and summer months than it is during the freezing winter months.
The kittens’ best source of nutrition is their mother’s milk.
Possible Situation: The mother cat returns…Recommendation: Leave the kittens with their mother
If mom returns and the environment is somewhat secure, you should leave the kittens with her until they are weaned from her milk supply. You may provide Mom with a place to stay and regular meals, but you should keep the food and the shelter at a safe distance from one another. Mom will locate the food, but she will not accept your offer of shelter if the food is in close proximity to her nest, as she does not wish to attract the attention of other cats to food that is near her nest. Take the kittens away from their mother for socialization and adoption placement at six weeks, and any time after eight weeks for Trap-Neuter-Return (spay/neuter, immunization, eartip, and return to their colony) at any time after eight weeks.
Learn how to socialize kittens and how to properly catch a mother and her offspring in this informative video series.
Possible Situation: The mother cat does not return…
It is necessary to remove the kittens if you learn that mom has been struck by a car or if it looks for whatever reason that she will not return. This is critical to the survival of the kittens. Nevertheless, if you decide to intervene, you must be prepared to see this initiative through to completion!
Why Can’t Fat Kitty City Take the Kittens?
It is doubtful that Fat Kitty City will be able to assist you if you decide to take the kittens in. We do not have any regular employees, and, like many other rescue groups, we have a limited number of volunteers who are willing to take on bottle-feeding responsibilities on short notice. Some groups do have expert bottle-feeders on hand, but careful logistical planning is required in advance of the event. Would you want to become an FKC Volunteer and assist us in instances such as this? To become a volunteer, please contact us right away!
You can reach us at 916-939-3418, and we will make every effort to locate a bottle-feeder for the kittens.
If we are successful in finding someone to bottle-feed the kittens, you may still be responsible for returning the kittens when they are no longer in need of bottle-feeding.
In the end, you may be in charge of finding permanent homes for the kittens that you have rescued.
Kitten CareBottle-Feeding – First Steps
Be prepared to provide bottle-feeding and adequate care before picking up the kittens from the street. If you feel compelled to bring the kittens in, wrap the carrier or container you will use to transfer them in a towel to keep them warm. Make sure to leave the air holes open so the kittens do not suffocate while in transit. Check to determine if the kittens are comfortable and warm. This is more vital than simply eating yourself. Never provide food to a kitten that is chilled! In order to prevent the kittens from becoming overheated, you must gradually warm them up.
Placing your finger in the kitten’s mouth is a good idea.
This is a life-threatening situation that requires quick attention.
By comparing the kittens’ photographs and descriptions on the How Old Is That Kitten?
website, you can determine their age and breed. The Kitten’s Development: This page on the Alley Cat Allies website provides an overview of the organization. Newborn kittens must be fed and encouraged for elimination every three hours, throughout the clock, to ensure a healthy development.
As a result, you must bottle-feed them around the clock and stimulate their genitals after every feeding so that they can excrete. Neonatal kittens (those under four weeks of age) cannot consume ANY solid food (not canned, not dry) and they cannot pee or defecate on their own. Consider the following scenario: If you have kittens less than one week old, they will require feeding and stimulation every three hours. You will be responsible for them eight times a day, for example at midnight, 3:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m., and other times as necessary.
When kittens are underweight, skipping feedings or overfeeding can induce diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration, which can be deadly in young kittens (not to mention a hassle for you to clean up after).
As the kittens grow older, the quantity of feedings they require each day decreases.
What Do I Feed the Kittens?
Powdered kitten milk replacement formula is preferable to canned liquid kitten milk replacement formula for kittens. To avoid diarrhea, we recommend that you use solely powdered kitten milk replacement formula from the beginning — or as soon as possible — to prevent it from occurring. There are two primary brands of formula available: PetAg KMR® Powder and Farnam Pet Products Just Born® Highly Digestible Milk Replacer for Kittens (both available from Farnam Pet Products). Both brands are available in both canned and powdered form, depending on your preference.
It is available for purchase in pet food stores, veterinarian offices, and on the internet.
Some sources for these products (call the stores first to make sure they have it in stock)
Your neighborhood veterinary clinic PetcoWalmartOnline:Amazon Check to see that the powdered formula you are using is still fresh by opening the pop-top and taking a whiff of the container. It should have a somewhat pleasant scent, similar to powdered milk. If it has a strong odor, such as that of rotten frying oil, cheese, or chemicals, it is rancid and should not be given to the kittens to consume. After the expiration date has passed, do not use any type of formula. kitten milk replacement formula (whether canned or powdered) must be chilled immediately and stored in the refrigerator after it has been opened.
Consider it to be similar to fresh milk.
Pedialyte is available at the majority of pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide.
Bottle-Feeding Guidance for Beginners
A visit to your neighborhood veterinary clinic PetcoWalmartOnline:Amazon Ensure that the powdered mixture you are using is fresh by opening the pop-top and inhaling the scent that comes from inside. You want it to have a somewhat pleasant scent, similar to powdered milk. This means that food is rancid and unsafe to feed to the kittens if it has a strong scent, such as that of poor frying oil, cheese, or chemical compounds After the expiration date has passed, do not utilize any type of formulas.
Caterpillar milk substitute formula that has been opened can deteriorate if left out of the refrigerator for more than a few days.
The use of unflavored Pedialyte electrolyte solution instead of water when mixing the powdered formula for the first 24 hours of feeding helps avoid diarrhea and makes the transition from mom’s milk to commercial kitten milk replacement formula easier.
Pedialyte is available at the majority of pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide..
As you can see, attempting to save abandoned kittens is a time-consuming, and at times, heartbreaking, endeavor to undertake. Rescue groups and animal lovers like you are put under a great deal of stress. This just serves to emphasize our message that cats should be spayed or neutered BEFORE they reach sexual maturity, which occurs much sooner than one might expect! A female cat can give birth to kittens as early as 5 to 6 months after mating. Please assist in spreading the news that pets should ALWAYS be spayed or neutered.
What to Do (and NOT Do) If You Find a Newborn Kitten
While kitten season is in full swing, it is not uncommon to come across a nest of neglected kittens or a lone kitten that appears to have been abandoned by his or her mother. (Photo courtesy of Ken Hanly) by Valerie Sicignano, NYC Feral Cat Initiative (Photo courtesy of Ken Hanly) The discovery of a nest of unattended kittens or a solitary kitten that appears to have been abandoned by the mother is not uncommon during kitten season, which occurs in the spring and summer. You want to lend a hand, don’t you?
- Determine whether or not their mother will be returning for them, or whether or not they are actually orphaned.
- Getting too near to the mother will result in her refusing to approach her kittens.
- Perhaps many hours will elapse before the mother cat returns — or at least until she no longer perceives the presence of people loitering near her litter.
- What is the situation in the neighborhood in terms of dogs or wild creatures that might harm the kittens?
- Is the location of the kittens in a busy area with a lot of foot or automobile traffic?
- This information will assist you in making your decision.
- Waiting a longer period of time to see whether Mom returns is considerably safer during the warm spring and summer months than it is during the freezing winter months.
The kittens’ best source of nutrition is their mother’s milk.
Wait as long as you safely can for the mother cat to return before taking the babies from their mother.
What if the mother cat shows up?
You may provide Mom with a place to stay and regular meals, but you should keep the food and the shelter at a safe distance from one another.
Take the kittens away from their mother for socialization and adoption placement at six weeks, and any time after eight weeks for Trap-Neuter-Return (spay/neuter, immunization, eartip, and return to their colony) at any time after eight weeks.
How to socialize kittens and how to properly catch a mother and her kittens are covered in this lesson.
It is necessary to remove the kittens if you learn that mom has been struck by a car or if it looks for whatever reason that she will not return.
Nevertheless, if you decide to intervene, you must be prepared to see this initiative through to completion!
Some groups do have expert bottle-feeders on hand, but careful logistical planning is required in advance of the event.
You can reach out to the NYC Feral Cat Initiative at [email protected] or (212) 330-0033 x5 and we will make every effort to locate someone to bottle-feed the kittens; however, this might take days or weeks, and we may not be successful in finding a feeder at all.
Also possible is that you may be liable for the cost of veterinarian appointments, which may involve emergency medical treatment and will almost certainly require spaying or neutering surgery, disease tests, and immunizations.
It is possible that the NYC Feral Cat Initiative will be able to assist you in finding low-cost veterinary treatment and finding new homes for the kittens, but it is your duty to see that these chores are completed on time. Kitten Care is very important. The First Steps in Bottle-Feeding
- On occasion, during kitten season, it is not uncommon to come upon a nest of unattended kittens or one unaccompanied kitten that appears to have been abandoned by his or her mother. The New York City Feral Cat Initiative (photo by Ken Hanly) was founded by Valerie Sicignano, who is a photographer. The discovery of a nest of unattended kittens or a solitary kitten that appears to have been abandoned by the mother is not uncommon during kitten season in the spring and summer. Surely, you’d like to assist? Consider the following suggestions before rushing to the rescue. First: WaitWatch It’s possible that you came found the kittens when their mother was out foraging for food or in the process of relocating them to another area. Determine whether or not their mother will be returning for them, or whether or not they are actually orphaned, before proceeding forward. In order to accomplish this, you should stand at least 35 feet away from the kittens. Standing too near to the mother will cause her kittens to become hostile. Before the mother cat will return to tend to her babies, you may need to leave the area altogether. Until the mother cat returns, it may take many hours before she no longer perceives the presence of people loitering nearby her litter. If you have to leave before the mother cat returns, make a cautious assessment of whether the kittens are in imminent danger. Do you want to know if it is raining or snowing? What is the situation in the area in terms of dogs and wild creatures that might harm the kittens? Is there a chance that the kittens may be harmed by children or adults in the area? Is the location of the kittens in a busy area with a lot of foot or automobile traffic a consideration? It is crucial to understand that it may take many hours for the mother cat to return, and that healthy kittens may survive this period without nourishment as long as they are kept warm. This information will assist you in making your decision, and Acute hypothermia is a far greater concern for newborn kittens than it is for malnutrition. Waiting a longer period of time to see whether Mom would return is considerably safer during the spring and summer months than it is during the freezing winter. You should give the mother cat as much time as you possibly can to ensure the survival of her kittens. In order for the kittens to thrive, they need to be fed exclusively by their mothers. Only remove the kittens if they are in urgent and terrible danger. Wait and observe as long as you safely can for the mother cat to return before removing the kittens. She is the best source of nutrition and protection for her young. What happens if the mother cat reappears… Assuming mom returns and the surrounding region is somewhat secure, keep the kittens with her until they are weaned. You can provide Mom with a place to stay as well as regular meals, but you should keep the food and the shelter separate. Because she does not want to attract other cats to food that is situated near her nest, Mom will discover the food but she will not accept your shelter if the food is close. Six weeks is the best time to remove kittens from their mother for socialization and adoption placement, and any time after eight weeks is the best time to do Trap-Neuter-Return (spay/neuter, vaccine, eartip, and return to their colony) procedures. While breastfeeding, female cats can become pregnant and produce a fresh litter of kittens, so make sure to have the mother cat spayed or you will have more kittens in no time! How to socialize kittens and how to properly catch a mother and her kittens are covered in this article. The mother cat will not return if this is the case…. It is necessary to remove the kittens if you discover that mom has been struck by a car, or if it looks for whatever reason that she will not return. Survival of the kittens is dependent on their ability to do so. Nevertheless, if you decide to intervene, you must be prepared to see the project through to completion! If you decide to take the kittens in, it is doubtful that you will be able to locate an organization with available staff or volunteers who will be willing to take on the bottle-feeding responsibilities on short notice if they are taken in. However, previous logistical planning is required for some groups that have experienced bottle-feeders. In most cases, animal shelters and veterinarians will not accept newborn kittens because they do not have the necessary staff to feed and stimulate them for elimination on a continuous basis. You can reach out to the NYC Feral Cat Initiative at [email protected] or (212) 330-0033 x5 and we will make every effort to locate someone to bottle-feed the kittens
- However, this might take days or weeks, and we may not be successful in finding a feeder in time. It is possible that you will be responsible for returning the kittens once they are no longer in need of bottle-feeding if we are able to locate someone to do so in the future. The cost of veterinarian appointments, which may entail emergency medical treatment and will almost certainly include spay or neuter surgery, disease tests, and immunizations, may also fall on your shoulders as well. In the end, you may be in charge of finding permanent homes for the kittens who have been abandoned. It is possible that the NYC Feral Cat Initiative will be able to assist you in finding low-cost veterinary treatment and finding new homes for the kittens, but it is your duty to see that these duties are completed. Take Care of Your Kittens The First Steps in Bottle-Feding
Newborn kittens must be fed and encouraged for elimination every three hours, throughout the clock, to ensure a healthy development. (Image courtesy of Valerie Sicignano) FeedingElimination Neonatal kittens (under four weeks of age) are unable to ingest solid food (neither canned nor dry) and are unable to urinate or defecate on their own, therefore you must bottle-feed them around the clock and stimulate their genitals after every feeding in order for them to be able to excrete. Consider the following scenario: If you have kittens less than one week old, they will require feeding and stimulation every three hours.
If the kittens are exceptionally little or ill, they may need to be fed every two hours for a period of several days.
A trip to the veterinarian is required in the case of diarrhea.
You may begin weaning your baby as early as four weeks of age.
To avoid diarrhea, we recommend that you use only powderedkitten milk replacement formula from the beginning — or as soon as possible — to avoid introducing other types of formula.
PetAg KMR ®PowderandFarnam Pet Products Just Born ®Highly Digestible Milk Replacer for Kittens by PetAg KMR ®PowderandFarnam Pet Products Both brands are available in both canned and powdered form, depending on your preference.
It is available for purchase in pet food stores, veterinarian offices, and on the internet.
Check to see that the powdered formula you are using is still fresh by opening the pop-top and taking a whiff of the container.
If it has a strong odor, such as that of rotten frying oil, cheese, or chemicals, it is rancid and should not be given to the kittens to consume.
kitten milk replacement formula (whether canned or powdered) must be chilled immediately and stored in the refrigerator after it has been opened.
Consider it to be similar to fresh milk.
Bottle-Feeding Instructions for Complete Beginners
- For extensive information on bottle-feeding orphaned newborn kittens, please see the NYC Feral Cat Initiative website. Call (212) 330-0033 x5 and leave a voicemail with your name, address, and a description of what instructions/information you want, or send an email to [email protected] describing what instructions/information you require.
a little about the author Valerie Sicignanois is the Community Relations Director for the New York City Feral Cat Initiative and has been working with feral cats in New York City since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Spanish. Awarded the “Animal Guardian Award” by theManhattan Pet Gazette and the “Companion Animal Guardian Award” by In Defense of Animals for her work with animals, she has a Certificate in Humane Education from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.