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strays cat with possible kittens

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
There are a few strays or ferals living in my neighborhood, all of who have gotten pretty used to sleeping under my decks. A few even have collars, so I know they must have owners. But there are some who, I'm sure have no owners. I live in the country, so I know a lot of horse ranchers have barn cats, so I try to 'live and let live', even though, I really wish these cats were't living in the streets. I chase them, but it's hard to tell which ones have owners and which ones don't. I wish I could save them all, but I know that's not possible. I have one indoor cat, who isn't the healthiest, and in fact had two littermates die from FIP -- so I don't want to bring in another cat, who may have impact on her immune system.

Anyways, there is one black and white one who has been living in the back of my shed. I just recently bought the house, and the previous owner left a lot of junk back there, and I haven't had a chance to completely clear it out. Anyways, I think this cat may have had kittens, because when I was in there, I thought I heard more than one cry coming from the corner. When I approached, she hissed and growled and ran, but everytime I turn my back, she stops just a few feet from me, looks up and and waits for me to leave, and when I do, she runs right back into the shed to the corner.

I guess I'm wondering not only what to do with the strays running through my yard, but also, what if this cat did have kittens? I'm the type of person who gets really attached to animals... I cried for days when I lost those two other kittens. And part of me wishes I could take in this cat, and find homes for her kittens. I just hate knowing that these cats have no homes.

I'm not sure what any of the answers are, if any. I guess I'm just frustrated.

Thanks for reading.
post #2 of 9
I wish I could offer advice, but I just wanted to say I totally understand your circumstances. This is so hard, isn't it? I am dealing with a similar situation right now and I really understand your pain!

Is your house big enough for you to take the mother and the kittens in (when they are a bit older/after the mother has 'shown' them to you) and keep them isolated from your other cat? Like a spare bedroom or something? That way, you could take them in, get them all tested, fixed and socialised. I totally understand not wanting to potentially cause problems for your other cat, but if you are able to isolate them somewhere for a while, you might be able to help them out without compromising the health of your resident cat.

I am sure others will have a load of advice (there is so much experience here...). I look forward to updates!
post #3 of 9
Food helps. If she is a lactating Queen she needs food.
You are most likely right about kittens. That is the same behavior Lucia(my stray) does to protect her kittens. She tries to lure me in the opposite direction.
I would put food down and watch closely for her behavior.

Even if you had a large closet you could bring them in. I have two of my stray's kittens. The others are proving harder to catch.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
There are definitely kittens. I saw one tiny head poke up with tiny eyes opened, but there might be more. Mama kitty was gaurding fierce. So I let the mama see me put some food down, and I let them be.

From the way the mother has been acting and from the size of the kitten, I would say they are about 2 weeks old.

Any advice? How long do the kittens need to stay with the mother? Should I try to take the mother and the kittens inside (separate from my indoor cat?)

Thanks for any tips. This is all very new to me.
post #5 of 9
I think the kittens should stay with the mother in a safe place. If you have a garage or a spare area that would be good. I captured my stray's kittens when they were 6 weeks. I had hoped to catch the whole crew before now but have been unsuccessful.
If you can secure the shed from predators and keep the food coming she may be okay.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I'd like to trap them (and the mom) and bring them all into the garage. It's safer in there, and I'd like to keep an eye on the kittens. They should probably get some socialization so that they aren't skittish around humans, right? I don't want the mother to feel unsafe though.
post #7 of 9
Yes because you don't want them to end up feral and therefore unadoptable. Mine started out wild and are now very socialized. It took Saffron one day and Saachi two.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Would creating a shelter for them inside my shed be a good idea? Or would the mother just end up moving them? The shed is big and holds all kinds of yard tools, cinder blocks, wood piles, etc. Lots of nooks and crannies, and some gaps in the walls to sneak out of.

They are buried under rubble right now, and I'm just so afraid one nasty wind storm is going to knock things the wrong way. But I'm scared that it's too soon to try and lure them into a cage.

To move them, I'd have to lure the mom into a cage, set her up in the garage; and then go back for the kittens, and meticulously take down the rubble, piece by piece so I don't hurt them, then and bring them to her.

Maybe I should just secure the shed, keep the door closed and make sure there are no holes to the outside; that way, they'll just stay in there? I just hate that they are under all that crap!
post #9 of 9
I would get them to a safer location. Once you get the mother you will be able to get the kittens. You will be able to rest easier and not worry so much.
The mother cat sees it as a hidden place to put her babies but she has no idea of the dangers surrounding them.
You can keep a better eye on them too.
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