The Feral Kitten Dilemma

Remember:

  • Screaming, unkempt, lethargic, scrawny, stinky, or cold warrants interference.
  • Sleeping contently, spotless, alert, fat, warm, clean means usually, no help is needed.

You can watch the litter from a distance without interfering, waiting for the mom cat to come back.

Watch the situation for a day or so to see if the mother returns before coming to the conclusion that they have been abandoned. Even if they seem to have been abandoned, do not move them, but call the proper authority (St. Thomas City Animal Services 519-631-7430) first. They will be better able to assess the situation.

It will most likely fall to you to look after these kittens, if you decide to rescue them. Since every shelter is filled with cats and kittens and is unable to, due to lack of space and funds, cope with any more cats and kittens without putting the ones already in their care in jeopardy.

So you have to ask yourself: Can you dedicate the time and effort necessary to rescue these kittens? Young kittens need to eat every few hours, because their tummies are so small. You must get proper Kitten Milk Replacer from the vet.

Never feed a kitten cow’s milk or human baby formula as this will cause stomach upset and severe diarrhea. If a kitten is already dehydrated, this could prove fatal. This includes condensed/evaporated canned cow’s milk!

The Feral Kitten Dilemma

When kittens belong to a feral mom, you face another dilemma. Do you leave them or take them? Feral cats are domestic cats that have lived their whole lives without human contact, and have the same fear and distrust of humans as any wild animal. Between the ages of two to seven weeks feral moms teach their offspring to fear people. Once kittens learn that lesson, socializing takes much more time and patience. Feral moms will instinctively move their kittens when people take an interest in them. After that, you probably won’t have a second chance to rescue the kittens from the difficult life of a wild kitty.

Submitted by Michaela

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