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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Helping the stray family (Update and Questions!)

After finding a rescue group about an hour away, I'm finally finding some help for the kittens living under my house. The woman from the rescue center is coming tomorrow to get 2 of the kittens (the grey and caramel ones) who have been spoken for by a foster home. She encouraged me to call the local shelter about the mom and 3 other kittens (black and white tabbies). The shelter is a "kill" shelter. But, would it be best to call there and hope for the best or just let them be?
She said that she's TRYING to find a foster home for the 3 kittens and their mom, but a lot of their foster parents are gone b/c of military deployment. So what do I do if they DON'T find homes?

Also, will the family suffer any depression or sadness over the missing siblings?

She wants me to feed them some dry food too. Will they eat dry food if they aren't used to it? And at what age to kittens start eating dry food?

I can't believe this has fallen on me. I have so much work to do, but can't think about it because I'm so worried about this family! Please help.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 05:42 PM
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Lola, It is often quite difficult to place an adult cat. The shelter might keep the kittens for a few weeks, but I'm afraid they'll give mother cat only a few days. It would be best to keep the little family together until the kittens are 12 weeks, but shelters want younger kittens, so they're in the "cute" stage. The public doesn't know that 6-8 weeks is far too young. The kittens learn so much before and after they're weaned.

I wish I could give you the solution. Every shelter worker around the world faces these problems daily. You are probably the best source of help for the family. You could get them their shots, get mother cat spayed, and ask the vet if he knows someone who wants a cat or kittens. Don't give them away, because they could end up in a research lab or killed and used as snake food. It's a heartbreaking problem. It's the reason so many of our members get upset when people allow their pets to mate.

You can place an ad in the paper, but be sure you ask all the right questions to rule out irresponsible people. They should get spayed or neutered, get regular vet visits, stay indoors where it's safe--basicly all of the things you would want to know if it was your own cat you were allowing them to take. Please speak to friends, neighbors, and double check the list of no-kill shelters. I know this is a huge strain on you right now, but you're really their only chance to live. I wish I could reassure you, but I can't. The kittens will and should nurse for a couple of months, but they can adjust to dry cat food at about 5 weeks. I always start by moistening it until they can crunch it. I wish you the very best of luck. Please keep them if you possibly can--until you get them a home. Otherwise they might all get PTS. If you can place the kittens, but not mother cat, try to get her spayed at an animal rescue. She'd have a better chance at life, even if it was life outside of your home. My heart is with you and the little family. I pray that there will be a happy ending to this story.




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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Jeanie, thanks for your warnings and advice. I've been so worried about these little ones that I just broke down this evening. It's so frustrating not knowing the absolute RIGHT thing to do!!! I'm trying to be a good cat mom and take care of these kittens (who aren't mine) in the best way. But what is that best way?!

The thing is this: time is a factor, here. The older the kittens get, the less likely it is that they will make good pets. Also, we will be moving from this house in about 3 weeks, so what happens to them if the new tenants or the landlord comes around, sees the cats, and decides they don't WANT cats on the property. Who would be their first call?: Animal control. I don't want to risk either of those things, so I'm moving as fast as I can to make sure these babies are taken care of.

The woman coming tomorrow is from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah. She finds foster homes for animals who need love. They screen all potential adopters and don't just give animals away. So, I trust her. Here's a link to the organization's website: http://www.coastalpetrescue.org/
I have neither the time or the money to invest in 5 kittens and getting a female spayed, so I am asking for as much help as I can. I know I can't do it. Hopefully, since it's unlikely that the mom will be adopted, we'll be able to find somewhere who will spay and release her. She's a gorgeous girl, but probably wouldn't make a good pet.

I'll let you know what happens tomorrow. The lady is coming with the kittens' foster mommy to get the Grey&White and Caramel kittens. They still haven't found a place for the 3 Black&Whites, but I'm still hoping. And it turns out that my neighbour knows someone who places in-need cats with foster homes, too. So, maybe we'll figure something out.

Keep thinking of us, please!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 11:38 PM
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I meant to tell you that if you put them in the paper, charge for the vet's fees and shots. People who wnat them for research will not want to pay for them, so they're somewhat protected. Hopefully, you'll be able to place them within the week. I certainly hope so! My thoughts are with you. You are their angel.




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