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New kittens, a few issues

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
There's a stray cat in my apartment complex who is keeping her litter of three on my porch--again, so of course I'm going to have two cats now. =) I have a few complicated dilemmas:

I have dealt with this same cat before (and will have her spayed using a local program for strays after this litter is weaned, FYI!), and I know she is NOT an indoor cat. These little furballs of joy are just under three weeks old, and there is no way on earth I can keep the mom indoors to nurse. My front porch is not enclosed, and I am not on the first floor--I will not keep her on the balcony in case she gets wise ideas and tries to jump off it. I've barricaded the perimeter of the porch with toddler gates so the kittens can't misstep and fall. Here is my age old problem: I don't want to put them on kitten formula when their mother is available or keep them away from her, but I am nervous about keeping them outdoors, or mom relocating them (she has done this before). I am a big believer in the importance of bonding with mum cat, I've had innumerable problems with prematurely weaned kittens.

I am feeding and watering mother cat, and placed a pet carrier with some blankets in it for the kittens to sleep in at night (which they have actually been using!). I am worried that they have fleas, and I don't really know how to deal with a nursing mom and very young kittens with this problem. I know what a problem just a few pests can be on such a little cat, my current kitty almost didn't make it as a baby due to anemic seizure. Outside of this, they all appear to be in good shape.... but I'm so terrified of leaving them out there and I must do something about the fleas.

Someone, please give me advice!!
post #2 of 11
Sorry, no advice, but someone will come along who can help! Any pics?
post #3 of 11
Personally - I'd find a way to capture mom cat and get her kittens. Bring them in and put them in a dog cage ( large ) and lock them in a room. Let mom feed her babies, and take care of them, keep a good supply of good for mom, and when the kittens are ready spay mom or else she could get pregnant again right away and like you said, she may move her babies.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shepatna View Post
Personally - I'd find a way to capture mom cat and get her kittens. Bring them in and put them in a dog cage ( large ) and lock them in a room. Let mom feed her babies, and take care of them, keep a good supply of good for mom, and when the kittens are ready spay mom or else she could get pregnant again right away and like you said, she may move her babies.
shepatna, that's precisely what I'd like to do, but I don't think it will work... I've had mom inside before, she's an escape artist and becomes panicked when she's confined for more than 30 minutes, I have the scratches to prove it. =(

I *have* tossed around the idea of making a large cage with wood and chicken wire to keep on the porch, of course I would cover the top.... if it were more roomy and outdoors, maybe mother would be more calm about it... and of course I could let her out as often as she liked, and leave the kiddos inside.

I will think of something, please keep the ideas coming! ... anyone think that I can just wash the kittens with mild soap and water often to keep the fleas at bay, until they can be given a stronger treatment? I did this with my last cat, it worked all right... I think I just didn't do it enough. I have some cedar based flea repellent that is kitten safe, I may spray the entire porch with it after I bathe the lot of them to try and discourage them...

Thanks everyone! And I will post photos soon
post #5 of 11
I wouldnt wash the kittens at all till they are older. If you wash them too young, mommy wont like that scent!

large cage with wood and chicken wire to keep on the porch, of course I would cover the top sounds like a fantastic idea to me
post #6 of 11
Use a Flea Comp to get the Kittens of her. My Meeko was 1 Pound at 3 Months and almost died from Anemia. Just a few fleas can make them very sick. I got a phone call that Meeko was very sick and she almost died. Her Sister did die from fleas that same day. Is it hot where those Kittens are?
post #7 of 11
In this situation, I would take the babies inside and bottle feed them even if mom is nursing. The risks of leaving them outside or mom relocating them is too great.

And I'd just get mom in now and spay her even if she is nursing. She will get pregnant again soon while nursing those kittens.

You can wash the kittens in Dawn dish soap and flea comb them when inside.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
In this situation, I would take the babies inside and bottle feed them even if mom is nursing. The risks of leaving them outside or mom relocating them is too great.

And I'd just get mom in now and spay her even if she is nursing. She will get pregnant again soon while nursing those kittens.

You can wash the kittens in Dawn dish soap and flea comb them when inside.
I was afraid that might be the best route to go, though I'm trying to find a way around that line of action.

The man and I think we are going to modify a huge wooden shipping crate (cut out panels on the sides, cover them with chicken wire, make a hinged/locking door, etc.), and keep it on the back porch where it's inaccessible except from inside the apartment... we'll do our darnedest to get mom in there, not only so she can nurse those kittens, but it would be one step closer to getting her wild butt spayed. This may be a complete pipe dream, mom is no fool and doesn't trust any suspicious business worth a lick, but I have milk replacement formula as a back-up... *sigh* My current cat has aggressive biting issues, and I think they are largely a result of being taken away from mother to early, because she starts suckling fingers or toes shortly after attacking them, hence my total dedication to attempting to keep them with mother.

Do you think this is an OK compromise? I'd just like to try it, I'm willing to throw in the towel and hand raise them if it comes down to it...

Also, is unscented Dove soap all right to use? I have used it in the past with success, but maybe dish soap is better.

Thanks everyone for the help!
post #9 of 11
Dawn dish soap seems to work best - regular soap is not the same for fleas.

My fear is mom will get pregnant when nursing kittens. That's why its important for her to be spayed now instead of trying to confine her. You have no control as to her association with the toms with her being free and loose on the streets.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Dawn dish soap seems to work best - regular soap is not the same for fleas.

My fear is mom will get pregnant when nursing kittens. That's why its important for her to be spayed now instead of trying to confine her. You have no control as to her association with the toms with her being free and loose on the streets.
I can't do anything about the mother immediately. She cannot be confined in a regular carrier and taken to the vet, she's an extremely panicky stray and I cannot afford to spay her. There is a free organization in my area that spays stray animals which I will need to contact. I'll get on that today, but I will have to work within their time constraints. The idea was to go ahead and get ahold of mom, because the only catch is that I have to box her. They take care of the rest. My real worry is confining the *kittens*, because my idiot neighbors have killed kittens before by taking away two week old kiddos and feeding them dry cat food. I figured I would incidentally try to keep mother in there so she can nurse, contact this program, get her spayed, and hand raise the kittens when necessary.

Phew. Having kittens on your porch leads to so much trouble.
post #11 of 11
Sounds like you are trying your best, so hopefully everything will work out for all concerned
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