The stray cat that I have been feeding gave birth to a liter of five kittens two weeks ago. The box that they were living in was too small and smelled awful so my neighbor and I decided to transfer the kittens into a bigger box. We used the same bedding as the old box and moved them rather quickly as the mom was eating.
Now two of the five kittens are missing and mom won't go into the new box to feed the remaining three. What do we do now?
By Bobby from Philadelphia, PA
You should move the other three back to where the mother has moved the 2. Use gloves tho so as little of your scent as possible gets on them. She felt safe in the original box. With strays like that, you should leave them where they are. If the smell is offensive to you, just grin and bear it till this litter is grown out of it, then you can clean it up and replace it if that's what you want to do.
If the mother still won't feed the other three, you'll have to become a step-mom to them and bottle feed them yourself. You can buy kitten milk at pet stores, and sometimes Wal Mart has it too. Good luck!
She is stressed and will keep on moving them. I would take the kittens that are not getting fed and bottle feed them and put them in the bathtub on some blankets or rags that keep them from getting on the cold porcelain and put a heater in the bathroom, using caution about fires, and also put a sock filled with rice knotted and microwaved about a minute or more and cover that with a rag or a hot water bottle. I like to keep it warm in there but not hot..each time you go in there, change any soiled areas, and wash bed blankets frequently. I like this because I can assure myself they are having bowel movements and are not dehydrated. I would bottle feed them all if she is going to abandon them which strays often do. Here is my favorite homemade formula, better than store bought.
Baby Kitten Formula
1/2 cup evaporated milk
enough homemade pedialyte to make it liquefy
Spoonful of Mayo, real mayo.
Three small drops infant vitamin drops from the store
I had about nine kittens to feed so I would mix t his up and feed them with an eyedropper or bottle you really have to cut the hole in the nipple pretty bi or they cant get it out if you buy a bottle from the vet.
After I would put it in a eyedropper and later little tiny bowls for them to lap it up. I would clean their faces and paws with aloe baby wipes and go over their pee pee area with a piece of toilet tissue, wet, and hold their butts over the trash can and see if they pee. The really young ones will just leave a wet mark on the tissue and the older ones will have a stream.
They will die without this. Also go over their butts and pee pee areas each time they eat. Tell them they are so good when they are peeing, it scares them. always lovingly talk to them.
Love them all through this whole thing, this is scary. Use aloe baby wipes to bathe them and it repels fleas in young kittens.
Have fun loving these babies and when they are about seven weeks or six weeks, put them on freecycle.org, choose towns nearby, and offer to deliver or meet halfway at a grocery store parking lot, and specify a good home only and don't give them to the first one who replies, go over each email and screen them by looking at what kind of environment they will be going to.
Excect for freecycle, if you put an and in the paper, charge an amount so there will be no bunchers, fighters or otherwise undesirable people collecting them. If you have the time write the local humane society or call and ask if they have vouchers for neutering or spaying and don't do the surgery before they are mature..it stunts their urethral growth.
I always kept mine in the tub until someone had to bathe and then they would go to a large plastic tub, the kind you store things in, with blankets in there and when the person was through they would go back in the bathtub.
I have kept litters in tubs, the plastic ones, but I like the bathroom bathtub better. It would be great to find an old bathtub and use it for them. It is so nice! Blessings, Robyn
Now there are two kittens in the box and three missing. Mom is back in the box and nursing the two of them, but where are the others.
There was most likely something wrong with the three kittens that are no longer there. I know it sounds awful but it's animal instinct to take the weak or sick ones away to die :-( It's also possible that mama has her own nutrition deficiency. In that case she would definitely choose the strongest babies that she knows will survive with her own limited resources to feed them.
Please just leave them alone and let nature take it's course unless she completely abandons the remaining babies. Once they are completely weaned you can take them in and find homes for them.
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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.
Good luck to all. (08/29/2008)
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)