or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Oh, No...I think I might've messed up
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Oh, No...I think I might've messed up

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Guess what? A litter of kittens has been born behind our garage again (in the fishing boat). Well, I actually think this cat that gave birth could possibly be Lucky's sibling. I just remember that the kittens from last year were: tortoiseshell (Lucky), a black and white one (which we thought had been killed) and a grey and white one (which disappeared). I think this gray and white one (who had the babies this year) could be the baby from last year. Anyhow...lately a cat has been hanging around here - so we put food out for it hoping to catch it in the live trap and take it in for spay/neuter and release. Well, I watched where she went yesterday and when she went over the fence, I went into our back yard and peered through the slats to see her nursing 4-5 kittens. They are actually pretty big. When hubby got home, we went back there to get the kittens and hope to trap the mother today or tomorrow. However, we managed to only get 2 of the kittens. They look extremely healthy. Momma cat ran off and the other kittens found hiding spots where we couldn't get to them. We took the 2 in to the Humane Society, who told us we had to take them to Animal Control (which was already closed for the evening). Then, we were told to take them to the Police station as they have access to Animal Control after hours. We did that (thinking we were doing a good thing). Anyhow...today I called Animal Control to find out what will happen to these kittens and they told me they'll hold them for 7 days. Then, the Humane Society will take them and evaluate them and if they feel they are adoptable - they'll be put up for adoption (after being spayed/neutered and given shots, wormed, etc). Anyhow...if the evaluation isn't considered acceptable for adoption, they will be put to sleep. I told her we'd come and pick them up and tame them ourselves, but was told that once they are at Animal Control - we cannot get them back. UGH! I'm hoping they will be calm enough to be considered adoptable. I won't know for another 5 days. Now we don't know what to do with the remaining kittens when we catch them.

I feel terrible...
post #2 of 13
Sandi, sadly this happens this time of year. The shelters are full and many do not have the manpower of the time to hand feed two young babies. Depending on their age, they need to be fed every two hours like clockwork, and stimulated so they move their bowels, kept warm and dry. It is a lot of bother for shelters who have to unfortunately look after the cats that are deemed adoptable. I would leave mom and the remaining kittens alone for now. i would provide food and some sort of shelter for them but I would let her have them and raise them and try to bond with her using food and routine feeding times. Once the kittens get old enough for solid food, then she will bring them to you and you can bond with them as well.

Animal Control is just that- control, they will probably put these kittens down because they are feral- and for some folks feral means trouble and low adoptability factors. It's sad, but that is how they feel. I feel bad for the two that are now separated from their mom and siblings, and just hope the officers put them in the same cage for that little comfort.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
They are in the same cage, so at least they have that comfort. They were pretty old already - so I don't think they'd need to be fed that often. Actually, they seemed quite old to be nursing. We did find parts of rabbits back there as well, so maybe she was teaching them to hunt? I think we may have acted to quickly before actually thinking out a long-term plan.

I'm planning on calling the Humane Society to see if something can be worked out on that day they evaluate those particular kittens. Like, if they feel they aren't going to be adopted, if we could just take them back (maybe even doing the spay/neuter/release thing). I just find it so hard to believe that if someone is willing to give them a chance at a life that anyone would just put them down.

Also - it looks as if the mother cat has moved the kittens to a different location. We checked on them tonight and I put food out, but the boat is empty and I didn't see the momma at her normal feeding time. Next time (if there is one) we'll know better.
post #4 of 13
Well good to know they are older, they stand a better chance that way.

You won't find the kittens for quite awhile, momcat is spooked and she has hidden them better to keep them safe. As far as you are concerned, you are now her predator. So just keep putting food out for her at the same times in the same spot- and hopefully she will come out when she is hungry.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Hissy. We'll keep doing that.

So, I guess we shouldn't try to trap her and have her spayed, right? Not quite yet anyhow. We just don't want her to have another litter anytime soon - being that cat overpopulation is such a problem already - why add to the existing problem. I do feel terrible about all of this - we really meant well, but I would say it backfired a bit.
post #6 of 13
Sandi, I don't have any advice or suggestions for you but it does sound like you need a big hug.
post #7 of 13
Hey it happens, and at least the kittens will be able to find a home- don't beat yourself up on this issue- your heart is in the right place-
post #8 of 13
Aw, Sandi, I'm so sorry! You tried to do what you believed was the right thing, and that's what counts. It is so difficult learning the hard way, sometimes, isn't it?

What we did with the litter of kittens that turned up here last year was to let them nurse with mum until they were about 12 weeks old. We "found" them when they were about four weeks old or so, and I found TCS about a month later.

For the future....

The best thing to do, in the future, is just put out food regularly. If you want them to get to know you, stay to watch them eat, but a safe distance away. Gradually get them used to your presence. Over time.. sometimes not so long! The kittens will come to trust you, and the mother will just keep an eye on you.

This process makes it MUCH easier to trap the mum after you're sure the kittens are no longer weaning.

She'll disappear with them for a day or two at a time, taking them on excursions, teaching them things. But if you keep putting out the food, they'll be back.

Once they're no longer weaning and the excursions are becoming more frequent, then you can trap mum to get her spayed. I've just been reading various studies that show it is just as safe to spay and neuter kittens at that early age as it is to wait until they're 5 - 6 months.

In the meantime, they become at least somewhat socialized as you hang out with them outside.

I'm sure the mum and the other kittens will be just fine. I hope they do return after a time so you can take care of them!


post #9 of 13
I just wanted to add... You should be proud that you did something, even if it didn't work out the way you'd hoped. To stand by and do nothing is worse!!!!

Again, LOTS of hugs!!!!!!!

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much you guys. I haven't seen any sign of the momma or remaining kittens - but the food is always gone in the morning. I'm so hoping it is them and not the raccoons or opossums or the like. I have a feeling it may be momma as the dish is in the same place (not moved all around like I'd expect a raccoon to do).

And Shell - thanks so much for the (((hugs))) - I really did need them and you brightened my day! (((HUGS))) right back at ya'.
post #11 of 13
Sandi,I just read this,is there anymore new's?
post #12 of 13
Can you get someone, a friend maybe, to go to the Animal Control Center an "adopt" the kittens and bring them back to you? I am speaking no experience on ferals here but is it a possibility to get them back that way?
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Nope, no news. I had tried calling Domestic Animal Control and they said they had so many kittens that had been dropped off there lately (gray and white, as well as black and white) that they wouldn't know which one's to look for. I told her they would've been picked up from the police dept. She said the only ones picked up from them were tortoiseshell kittens. Now, I know what a tortoiseshell cat/kitten looks like, after all Lucky (our one year old feral) is a tortoiseshell. Anyhow...I've been checking the Humane Society listings each day to watch for them. I did attempt to get the kittens back from Animal Control, but I was told once they had them there - there is NO WAY to get them back - unless the Humane Society deems them adoptable and we'd have to get them that way. Unbelievable. I learned a valueable lesson here. Now I wish we would've kept them and tamed them - then found them loving homes. I still cannot get that little gray kitten's face out of my head. I will let you know if I see them on the HS site in the future. After all, they'd need to be spayed and neutered first...so I'm hoping I'll see them in the next few weeks.

The momma cat is gone (with the remaining babies). Another cat has taken over this area - looks like a cross between a cat and a raccoon. Maybe the male?? We've been feeding him and hoping to livetrap him and get him neutered. He's pretty skittish and runs off if you move a muscle.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Oh, No...I think I might've messed up