or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Stray Kitten. Good idea or bad?!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Stray Kitten. Good idea or bad?!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

yesterday i made a wrong turn in a parking lot and by the dumpsters i saw a family of cats with a few kittens.
I've been wanting to get a cat for a long time now but I was always looking at professional breeds but one of these kittens just stole my heart.
After a long moral debate, I concluded as horrible as it felt separating the family, the cat would get a goofy name and loving home.
I called a few friends and by chance we caught it at night (not too harsh). After a lot of cuddling the girls convinced me to let it go to be with its family. But I figured I should let it go and go do some homework before making such a move. Here to ask you good people for professional advice.

Is an alley cat a good idea?
Judging by the picture, is the kitten too young to be separated?
Is it wrong to capture a free animal?
what breed is it?
what are my risks?
Does it matter if its male or female?
Should I call the humane society or animal control in case I want the cat or even if I don’t.
And if its ok to adopt him/her, how should I go about catching and vet
Anything else I should be aware of? Special needs?

Though I know genetics is important, I'd rather change the life of an alley cat than one made to be a pet. But then again I want to be smart about it.

Please share any advice you may have. I had a cat when I was a child but I would consider myself a Newbie.

post #2 of 8
In the best case scenario, a kitten is kept with mum and siblings for at least 12 weeks before being rehomed. This prevents the kitten from having behavioural problems and has a general idea of how to behave around other cats later in life.

Since this is an alley cat, you should contact an animal shelter, preferably no kill shelter to see if you can borrow a trap to trap mum and babies. From there you will have to decide whether to take everyone to the shelter or back to your place.

The risks include, fleas, ticks, worms, being scratched and bitten. If you are even slightly hesitant at the prospect of looking after the entire family until all the kittens are weaned, it would be best to contact a no kill shelter and let them look after them until you are ready to take the kitten you have chosen home.
post #3 of 8
The kitty is gorgeous. Did you by any chance call him Juke?

I'm not sure about Alley Cats. You never see Stray cats over here in New Zealand. But as Mags said there are quite a few diseases to look out for, especially ringworm which yourself can catch.

We seperate our cats normally from their Mother at 10-12 weeks, I'm a registered breeder and we can not sell our kittens less then 10 weeks of age, sometimes if the litter looks like they need to grow we will keep them until they are 14 weeks old. But of course cats son't always go when they are due, because that "ugly" one ( No offence meant here just some cats don't appeal ) can't get a home and some can stay up till 7 months of their life with Mummy!

Juke Said:
professional breeds

I think the word you are after there is Pedigree OR Purebred

Judging by the picture the kitten Does NOT look to young to leave it's family.

Breed. Hmmm it just looks like a Domestic(Not Purebred cat) to me.

You should get the kitten to the VET STRAIGHT AWAY if you are even thinking about keeping it. To get it de-sexed

Keep us updated and a BIG welcome to the site , You'll love it here. Very addictive.

post #4 of 8
Everyone has given you really good suggestions so far. I rescued a kitten in a parking lot (took me 2 hours to get it and it was by itself) and he turned out to be the most wonderful little guy. He was fluffy and loving and very much like a ragdoll in temperament. Cats are like people. They're all different and they're affected by their environment. Some tend to retain more wildness than others. What ever you decide please make sure you're giving the kitten a forever home.
post #5 of 8
The reality of this situation is that the kitten is better off with you than out in the world. No kill shelters and animal rescues are full up this time of year. I would be concerned for the rest of the family. I don't know what you can do, if you can rent a trap in your area, if you want to rent a trap in your area, because once you trap these cats, you have to do something with them.

The mom and the kittens need to be socialized, the kittens should not be that much of a challenge, but the mom might. You would need a lot of time and patience to bond with her, it does not happen overnight. But when it happens it is almost magical. At the very least, if you could start providing regular food and water for this family so they can survive with better odds. But ideally, the mom needs to be TNR and the kittens rehomed to good places.

It is a lot of work, but it is well worth it.

For the kitten pictured in your arms, she is probably not a "breed" but a cross breed. Nothing wrong with that, but she needs a vet visit and he will know what to check for once you tell him how you got her. She needs good nutritious food, and to be checked for anemia from fleas. When it is old enough, you should have it fixed so it can't contribute to the over population problem.

I am also going to put this in the feral forum, you will find a lot of knowledgeable people there that can help you with this. I would also suggest you invest in a Snugglekittie for comfort for this little one who will be missing mom and siblings-

post #6 of 8
what a cutie!! All my kitties were rescues. WE found moe and neo when they were are five weeks old. Neo was too weak to be mean and moemoe was alittle nasty. Anyway they are the BEST cats! I think stray kittens can make great pets. You just have to work with them. And taking them to the vet ASAP is very important.
post #7 of 8
Juke, a litter of kittens turned up in our yard last summer. I didn't know the first thing about cats, and found this site.

Wouldn't you know it, four of those five kittens now live inside with us full-time, and they are the most wonderful pets!!!

Hissy is right. I haven't found a no-kill shelter yet at any time of the year that wasn't full. It will depend completely upon the area in which you live or where you found the strays.

You could also consider calling a number of local vets. Our local vet is very sympathetic to the cause of stray and feral cats, and people without the means and resources to take care of them generally just drop them off with the vet. They let the kittens remain with the mum, but adopt them out after about 7 - 8 weeks of age. Even the vet admits this is too young to separate them from mum, 12 weeks is ideal, but if they go to caring homes, they're better off than they were. We don't live in a perfect world, and the bottom line is that any age is a good age to bring a stray kitten home if the other choice is leaving them outside to fend for themselves, or worse yet, animal control, which depending where you are, generally euthanizes the cats after 3 days to two weeks.

If you want help finding services to take care of the rest of the family, let us know.

We can also help you through bringing your kitten inside, caring for it, handling behavior problems that might creep up, etc.

Best of luck, and if you're still checking out this site, we'd love to know what your family decided to do!

post #8 of 8
Oh - bottom line: GOOD IDEA! (Just remember, indoor cats live 18 - 20 years on average. If your family can't make that commitment, then it is best to let the kitten remain with its family).

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 › Stray Kitten. Good idea or bad?!