Feral Kitten, should I rescue it?

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llma_0
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Feral Kitten, should I rescue it?

Post by llma_0 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:51 am

We were made aware of the kitten's presence in our backyard the other night. It was meowing pretty loudly and while I immediately wanted to help, my parents figured that the mother may be close by still, and interacting with the kitten might do more harm than good.

The following day my father and brother both noticed a fully grown cat meandering about the lawn, finally perching on the wall nearby where the mewing, now much louder, was coming from. The way my brother put it, it seemed as if the cat (could it possibly have been the mother?) had deliberated for a bit before leaving the backyard altogether.

After this my brother had decided that he wanted to take action, assuming that the mother had decided to leave the baby for good. He spent a while coaxing it out of the bamboo, and tried leaving water out for it, but from the looks of it the kitten may not know how to feed itself at all. I got home pretty soon after with a can of shredded tuna, unaware that the cat probably wouldn't be able to eat it anyway. After two hours of coaxing, I was able to take Min (which I had named it by now) by the skin of its neck and place him in a box lined with old clothes and a soft rag for warmth.

It seemed after a while that Min had fallen asleep, and my brother and I planned on taking him (her? i wasn't able to check) to a shelter we knew of come the weekend. However, later that evening when I came back down to check on Min before bed, the cat from before had returned. She was sniffing around the planter box, most notably in the places where Min had spent the most time.

I took Min out and placed him on the ground a little ways away from the planter box, and waited inside. A little while afterwards I peeked outside and the cat had seemingly begun nursing Min, and so I assumed that she would take the little bub under her care. This morning, though, he is back in the bamboo.

Is it normal for a mother cat to plant an offspring at a rendezvous point where she can visit and care for him in between intervals? Should I take him back in?

llma_0
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Re: Feral Kitten, should I rescue it?

Post by llma_0 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:55 am

UPDATE: The bamboo cluster he's currently in is pretty dense; at first I thought he was seeking shelter there, but now it seems as though he's stuck. The sounds he makes when I call out to him are increasingly distressed, is there any way I can lure him out? Not sure what to do, my brother hosed him out of the bamboo last time but I don't want to traumatise him any further, nor risk hypothermia.

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lilynmitz
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Re: Feral Kitten, should I rescue it?

Post by lilynmitz » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:08 am

Whatever you do, DO NOT HOSE HIM DOWN WITH WATER!!! Yes, this WILL traumatise him and destroy any hope of him trusting humans, and you rightly point out he may die of exposure through being saturated. Young kittens are extremely vulnerable and can go downhill very quickly. Don’t feed him tuna either, he is far too young for that type of food. It sounds like the visiting cat may be his mother, and yes they do leave them to go and find food for themselves, although I do wonder where the rest of the litter are if this is the case. This one might be the only survivor? Who knows. Keep an eye on him and if momma cat doesn’t return then try to find a gentler way to tempt him out or burrow your way in and catch him. I would suggest you contact your local rescue centre to see if they can offer advice or assistance in retrieving him.

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Re: Feral Kitten, should I rescue it?

Post by llma_0 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:18 pm

Okay so yesterday was quite a ride! I found out that the bamboo was, in fact, her safe space (I checked, Min's a girl). I was able to coax her out with some kitten food my father and I bought while we were out (no hosing this time), and she seemed very, very eager to eat. From what I know of the area we live in, strays are rampant and food is scarce in the open, so my guess is that the mother has had to make the decision to leave her alone for extended amounts of time in order to scavenge for enough food.

Weirdly enough the little guy doesn't seem particularly jaded in terms of being hosed down previously (though I'll be sure to warn my brother against it in the future), and I think I might have made a new friend. Today I was able to coax her out with just my voice, which was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately tonight I fear that mom might not be returning to feed, as she normally shows up a little after dinner but seems to be out of sight even hours after. My brother and I may in fact have to extract her and bring her to the shelter I mentioned before.

Last night I really thought that the mom was going to stay for good, she even ate the tuna that I'd placed outside after she turned up, but I did notice a male cat hanging around for a bit. Is it possible that the male's interference drove the mother away? We've made up our minds to take Min in, if mom doesn't show up tomorrow night.

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Re: Feral Kitten, should I rescue it?

Post by lilynmitz » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:50 pm

I'm so pleased you are earning her trust. I'm not that experienced in raising young kittens, so I'm not the best to advise on feeding, so it would be well worth popping her along to your local vet as soon as you take her in to make sure you're getting everything right, and then when the time comes, get her spayed so that she and any little kittens she may end up with don't have to go through this. Do keep putting food out for momma cat too - and if you can, get her to the vet to get her spayed as well, (even if you then release her again) so this doesn't keep happening to her and all her unspayed kittens she would otherwise keep having.

Well done you for caring. Keep us posted.

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