Feral Kittens

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KittyCat
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Feral Kittens

Post by KittyCat »

Hi
A few weeks ago our vet asked us to take in 3 feral kittens. We were concerned about the mother but the people who found the kittens said she appeared to have moved on. Tonight I had a call from them saying she has had another litter of 9. They are about 1 week old and look fed and cleaned. One issue is they are on ground level and as such are very vulnerable. I am reluctant to trap them so young as mother is so very scared of people and don't want to stress her so much she stops feeding. What would you advise? Try and make them safer, monitoring them from a distance until say 4 weeks, give mum food and then bring them in? or bring them in now.
thanks for your help
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Lilith
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Re: Feral Kittens

Post by Lilith »

How old are the kittens you've got?

You couldn't trap one week old kittens as they don't move out of the nest. And if these people have been close enough to count them couldn't they be got out and rescued after trapping Mama? Often the mother cat may move the litter around 10 days to minimise smell/predator awareness; even domestic pet/breeding cats do this instinctively.

Nine? :o (Though the Guinness Book of records reports 19 in a single litter!)

Just keep on feeding Mama until a trapping/rescue is achieved is all I can advise - double rations! Blimey.

Good luck with this lot and all the best, hope other people are along soon with more advice. :)
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bobbys girl
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Re: Feral Kittens

Post by bobbys girl »

I think Lilith is right. Trap mum and collect kittens. Get them to a safe place and as soon as possible neuter mum to stop it happening again! Poor little thing must be exhausted.

Wish I could be of more help. Best wishes for all you are doing.
KittyCat
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Re: Feral Kittens

Post by KittyCat »

The first batch must be about 16 weeks now. Obviously just a best guess. They were brought to the vets at 6 weeks and have done really very well. Brave little souls that they are.

Sorry I was using the term 'trap' quite loosely. yes we can get them out after trapping mum - but I'm more worried that she'll get totally stessed out and stop feeding them. The place she's had batch number 2 in is very close to where she gave birth previously so I feel if we don't disturb her too much she may stay there.

Nine? yup I don't envy her. The people who found her are going to start feeding her tomorrow. 19 is too many to even think about.

Advice from another forum is to leave them till 4 weeks - not sure about that either. Worrying about them all, worrying about foxes, worrying about upsetting mum/kitten relationship.
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Lilith
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Re: Feral Kittens

Post by Lilith »

Bad lass - my maths aren't good but 9 weeks is the gestation period so those kittens must have been about 6/7 weeks when Mama went off courting again. This just goes to show how important it is to get cats of either sex neutered, but there will always be strays, like this little lass.

I wouldn't worry about her refusing to feed the kits if trapped - the maternal instinct is very strong. But in such a big litter, if this count is accurate, there may be runts who don't survive (though I do hope I'm wrong!) Like you I wouldn't be happy about leaving them for another few weeks; I'd say, get them out asap especially as she's likely to move them soon. Try some tuna in that trap, they usually go mad for it. And she'll be HUNGRY! Do hope she accepts help and gets spayed now, and a good home and the kittens too.

All the very very best - please keep updating :)
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Crewella
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Re: Feral Kittens

Post by Crewella »

I don't have a huge personal experience of kittens, but I tend to agree with Lilith. I frequently speak to the lady that traps a lot of the mums and kittens for our rescue, and I've often heard her wishing that she'd managed to trap them earlier because the mum has suddenly moved the kittens. She catches mums with young kittens often, including ferals, and the protective instinct does seem to be strong enough for them to keep feeding the kittens. Good luck!
Stook
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Re: Feral Kittens

Post by Stook »

bobbeys girl wrote:I think Lilith is right. Trap mum and collect kittens. Get NordVPN to a safe place and as soon as possible neuter mum to stop it happening again! Poor little thing must be exhausted.

Wish I could be of more help. Best wishes for all you are doing.
Would be interesting to get an update on the kittens and the mother cat.
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