This morning a neighbor's cat had kittens in my tree (a hollowed out hole in the trunk, not out on a limb.) It has rained a couple of days and the tree is wet. The two kittens lay at the bottom of a hollowed hole. Not only do I fear it is too cold and wet, I know the mother has terrible fleas as well.
The neighbor has no concern for the cat at all, their only contribution being the old bag of cat food they had before she ran off. I am faced with several problems. Do I move the kittens out of the wet tree? How do I care for the fleas? They are only a day old. It is not my cat, do I call a vet or take her to an animal shelter? I think we all know what will happen there.
I love animals, but I don't have the money to invest into spaying, shots, flea meds, etc. to a cat that isn't even mine. Oh, lets not forget the three kittens she brought with her from her previous litter. They were a few weeks old, but we were able to give them a flea bath, flea collars, and worm pills since we noticed that mother has worms as well. Please help.
Kathy from Campbellsville, KY
This is just my opinion, but I believe the best thing to do for these poor little things is take them to the animal shelter. They do not put all animals to sleep. Kittens and puppies are very adoptable. Everyone loves them. In our area, they do not put animals to sleep that are still adoptable. If you still can't do this, put an ad in the paper. Remember, everyone loves little furry kittens. They are much more adoptable than older cats.
Is the mother coming back and forth to feed them? If not, they will not survive. You could try mother's replacement milk, but they will definitely need to be bottle fed. You may need to take them to a shelter, no kill if possible. They have volunteers that will foster the kittens. You can also look on line. Try craig's list or Google kitten foster care and put in your location. I would also speak with your neighbor about fixing her cat. If she doesn't agree to fix her, I would call your local animal control or ASPCA to notify them of the problem. She can have multiple births yearly. That's a lot of hungry kittens.
I had a similar instance at the edge of the woods in my back yard. I set up an inexpensive pup tent with a tarp over the front to keep the rain from going in. I took a couple of old pillows and took out about half of the filling. Then I put just a little bit of cedar shavings in them (too much would have been bad for the kittens) and sewed them up. Also, some kitten food (better for nursing mom) and some water. It didn't take long before mom had moved all her babies in there and that's where she raised them.
Several times a day I went out there and just sat for a while to let them get used to having me around. Every few days I'd move a little closer. Then once the kittens were old enough to start being curious, I started playing with them a little at a time until they would allow me to handle them. Then I would spend time every day handling them and taming them. During this time the mom had gotten to know me and trust me enough to play with and handle her babies.
At about 6 weeks I was able to get all the babies and the mom into the pup tent and zip it closed. I brought them out where I could get in there better and slowly got them used to going into a dog carrier that was big enough for them all.
Once I was able to get them all into there, I packed them all up and took them to the vet for check ups and shots. The kittens were easy, and the vet knew how to handle the mom.
By doing it this way I was able to find good loving homes for all the kittens. I got the mom spayed and slowly moved the pup tent up close to the house and onto my back deck. Now she stays close and uses the tent as her home. I am able to keep her treated for fleas and keep her vaccinated because she has gotten to where I can handle her and do most anything with her now. She just refuses to come into the house and the one time I brought her in she freaked. So I let her live outside. But she never leaves my fenced yard now because she's learned she's safe here. (08/04/2009)
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