Feral Cat & kittens - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Feral Cat & kittens

I have 8 to 10 feral cats that live in my backyard. One has 4 kittens. On the way to work this morning, close to the house, I noticed that the mother had been hit by a car and was dead. What do I do about the kittens? They are old enough to walk around because about 5 days ago, they were in my alley walking around, but you could tell they couldn't see very well. They were kind of staggering and ran under me when I squatted down thinking I was their mom. I was even able to pick a couple of them up and put them back where their mother was.

My question is how can I tell how old they are and when are they old enough to live without their mother's milk? They were really small, but I have never seen any of them that small walking around before. The mother's usually hide them until they are a lot bigger than this and they are usually already so scared, that I can't get near them.

Let me know if you need additional information. I don't want them to die, but I am not sure if I am going to be able to find them. They stay under a storage shed that can't be moved. I guess they will start wandering out if they get hungry??? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 06:32 PM
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Re: Feral Cat & kittens

I took in a litter of five kittens when their mother was killed in front of my house by a car. The kittens were only 9 days old when their mother was hit. It took me two days to find where the mother cat had hidden the kittens. I was able to bring them all inside and begin bottle feeding.

The kittens you are telling us about, seem a little older, but still too young to survive on their own. Get an area set up in your house, I like to keep kittens in a bathroom. A place for them to sleep, like a covered box so they feel safe and have small kibble dry kitten food, water and a litterbox handy. Go to where you saw the kittens, with a cat carrier with a towel in the bottom and call for the kittens. Make a sound like this: Mert-myrtle, mert-myrtle. This is a mother cat's cry to call her kittens to her. Or make hi pitched mewing kitten cries. When the kittens come to you, gently (but firmly) grab them (scruff) and put them in the carrier. Sometimes you can lure them to you with good smelling canned food.

If they are old enough to run/stagger about, they are probably just old enough to wean to canned food. When they are around 7-9wks old is when they can be fully weaned, and they would be much more coordinated than the kittens you are describing. A plus, is that kittens this young are very easy to handle and socialize.

Good luck and I hope you are able to catch them, without you they will die with their mother gone.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 02:14 AM
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Re: Feral Cat & kittens

its hard to tell from your description how old they really are. You need to go get them right away. They will not survive past a day or two without eating and drinking.

If they are really young you will need to bottle feed them round the clock. You need to use KMR or make the home made version and have some baby food meats. It important you keep them warm with a heating pad and use a syringe to keep them hydrated with pedialite at first. Then feed them every 3 hours if they are really young.

Are their eyes fully open? Do you have pictures so we could guestimate their age and know how to better advise what they need food wise at their apx age.

If you have 10 ferals in your backyard I would suggest getting them all spayed and neutered. Is there a TNR group who could work with you on this.

I hope this helps to get you started. We're here if you have more questions. Its alot of work to do kittens but they also are a lot of fun and little bundles of love.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feral Cat & kittens

Thank you for your comments. I CANNOT find the kittens anywhere. I am so upset. I used all of your suggestions and still no kittens. All I can hope for is that those kittens were another cat's kittens and they are being taken care of, but I am almost positive that they are the cat's kittens that was run over.

I am new to this. Just moved to this house and the feral cats were here. I will look into the TNR group you told me about to see if I can get some help. Financially, I would not be able to afford to spay and neuter all of those cats, but I was not aware of the help you can get. I will check into it and let you know.

Thanks again
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 09:14 PM
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Re: Feral Cat & kittens

Oh, I'm sorry you cannot find them. I remember being very upset when I couldn't find the orphaned kittens. You can only do what you can do, and if the kittens don't come to you, you cannot help them. I think it was wonderful that you at least thought about and tried to help them. It is more than most people would do.

I TNRd many cats on my property after we moved here. I trapped and fostered over 40 kittens (two orphaned litters requiring bottle feeding) who went through the adoption program at PetsMart and TNRd about 7 adult cats. I kept all but one of the adult cats as they were too feral to go through the adoption process. The one adult cat who was able to go through the adoption process was a very friendly calico manx who brought her 2 kittens to me in a rain storm, I suspect she was abandoned and dropped off because she was pregnant.

It had been several years (probably 3 or 4) since I'd seen any new cats around. A few weeks ago I did see a thin and lanky tabby on the front porch. It ran off after it made eye contact with me through the window and I haven't seen it since.

Please don't feel bad, you did all you could.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 10:27 PM
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Re: Feral Cat & kittens

I know this must be heart breaking. Perhaps you could get some help. Sometimes we can't do everything we want to do. Thank you for trying.


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