newborn kitties - mom not nursing?
Hi all!! I have two cats and just within the last couple of days a feral cat (who we've seen around the neighborhood for a while) came into our office and wouldn't leave. We thought she was a kitten (well, she probably is) and she looked as though she were starving, so we fed her. Oddly enough she wouldn't go back outside - she wouldn't let us near here but that didn't surprise us. (It's a 2-family home and our other cats don't have access to the part of the building that she's in.)
Well, this morning I went down to check on her and I followed her when she ran to a corner. I moved a box so I could see her and give her the food I brought - that's when I heard the scratching and meowing of the babies. Fearful that I had squished them when moving the box (it had heavy items in it), I removed the babies. I found a little blanket and put all three of them together right there in front of the mama cat. Then I heard the 4th - found her in another box several feet away and put her with the others.
But I'm not sure that the mama cat knows to feed the babies. I've seen her in the basement a couple of times today (before finding the babies) and each time she was sleeping on top of a box - not near the kittens. I'm worried that she doesn't know what to do because she's so young.
What do I do and how long can I wait to let nature take its course? The mama kitty is skin and bones - I took her some milk as well as the water and food she's had, but she wouldn't drink the milk. Maybe she will since I left. I don't want to further traumatize the mama cat - I realize after the fact that I did quite a bit of that when I moved the kitties, but I haven't dealt with feral cats before.
Thanks for any suggestions you might offer.
PS - should I put this in a different part of the forum?