During the spring and summer, kittens pop up seemingly everywhere. When we see these adorable, tiny furry friends, it is tempting to scoop them up and bring them home or to a local shelter. While sometimes this is the best move, sometimes it causes more harm than help. Check out these tips for when you stumble into a litter of kittens.
- Don’t immediately scoop them up, unless they are in danger (on a highway, being stalked by a predator, etc). Young kittens have their best chance of survival with their mother; just because you don’t see the mother, doesn’t mean she’s not there. She may be searching for food or a better home and be returning soon.
- Observe the babies from a distance for 12- 18 hours. If the mother doesn’t return, it is safe to assume the kittens are on their own. If the mother does return, leave them be until they are eating on their own - this will give them the best chance at survival.
- If there is no mother or the kittens are weaned (eating on their own), you can gently scoop the babies up and bring them to a warm, safe environment, separate from other animals until a vet can assess them.
- Be prepared to foster the babies yourself. Often shelters will do what they can, but may not have space currently to bring in the babies. Do not give the kittens cows milk or baby formula - if they still need formula, pet stores and vets have kitten specific formula. If they are old enough, you can feed kitten food.
- Get the cats and kittens spayed and neutered. If possible, capture the mother and babies and take them to be spayed or neutered. This will prevent further overpopulation of cats in the city. There are a few low cost clinics as resources including Emancipet (https://emancipet.org/philadelphia/). If you need help trapping the mother or kittens, check out this helpful resource through Project Meow- https://projectmeow.org/our-services/
Let’s work together to make sure cats and kittens get the best care they need. If you have any questions about this information, feel free to call or email us!SOCIAL SHARE