or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Kittens Born by Feral Cat
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Kittens Born by Feral Cat

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm new to all this stuff so bare with me. I trapped a pregnant feral cat a few weeks ago. We have been keeping her in a large dog crate in our garage. The plan is once the babies are old enough to get them all spayed and neutered and find homes for them. We already have someone that wants mama cat. Anyway! She had four beautiful babies last night! We are so excited! Unfortunately we can't even get near the cage without her hissing and spitting at us. I put a box in the back of the crate but she decided to have her kittens up front by the door in her litter box!!! I really don't like the idea of the kittens being in such a dirty place. Plus she is going to need to go potty soon! She almost got me this morning when I tried to reach in for her food and water dish since she is right by the door. I really want to get mom and kittens in the other box but don't know how. Does anyone have any ideas? I tried putting a peice of chicken in the box to see if she would go in and check it out but hasn't moved so far. I don't know how to handle a feral cat so I'm a bit leery! I would like to keep my hand! Thanks for any advice you guys might have!

post #2 of 10
Welcome to TCS

Do you have maybe a small room where she could stay by herself ? Maybe a bathroom could do .
I am sure some one pretty soon who know more about ferals will see this thread and give some more advice for you to help .
post #3 of 10
Becki, how large is the crate? Unless it is at least 3' by 3', it will be too small for her and the kits. Normally I wouldn't recommend interfering with a feral mom-cat's kittens but you need to do that here. Get yourself some leather gardening gloves, put a long-sleeved, thick sweater on, reach in and, ignoring the mother-cat's hissing, move them out of the litter-box and into the box at the back of the crate. Then, without doing anything else for now, leave her be for a few hours to clean her kittens and get used to them being in the box. After that, you can go in with your protective gear on again, clean the litterbox and give her some food. Because she's nursing, you need to feed her kitten food. You can also feed her kitten glop, which is full of calories and vitamins. You'll find the recipe for kitten glop halfway down this page. Good luck with the mom-cat and her kittens.
post #4 of 10
I don't really have anything to add..but I wanted to provide the site of a woman who is in California and works with kittens. You may want to contact her since she is in your state and she is very helpful.


Good Luck.

post #5 of 10
I would suggest that you put the crate along with the mom and the kittens in a small room. Provide a place for her to take her kittens, put the litter pan well away from the food, the water and the other kittens. Do not put a water bowl in this crate, for you run the risk of a kitten falling in and drowning. You need to find an alternative place for this family, be it a bathroom, a closet blocked by a baby gate or something.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Her crate is about 5' by 3'....I haven't measured it but I know it is at least that large. We have a box with a towel in one corner, her box that she is in now in another corner, her litter box that I just put in and her food dishes. Plus she has tons of room to walk in the middle of the crate. I think it will be nice and big for all of them for awhile at least. I just got done putting in another box for her litter. I went ahead and left her in the box that she is in now and put the box I would like her to be in next to her. I'm hoping once she is rested she might move the kittens in there. My family is freaking out saying that if I touch the babies she might kill them or somthing so they don't want me to try and get them. But at least now she has a new litter box. I was worried about where she would be going potty! Anyway. They seem to be doing okay so far. Since she just had them last night I guess I will just leave her alone for awhile. I started feeding her a mix of kitten food and cat food before she had the kittens since I heard it was better for the mom...more vitamins. Also...I was told that I should take the babies away when they are about three to four weeks old so they don't turn wild like mom? Does that sound about right? I have bottles and formula so I am all ready to feed them once they leave mom. I know I will have to feed them until it is time to wean them plus help them go potty. I'm reading all I can on taking care of kittens just in case I have to do this. Does this sound about right? Thanks for all your advise I really appreicate it!!!

post #7 of 10
NO...NO...NO...NO...NO...NO...NO..NO.. whoever told you that is way off base. Leave the kittens with her ideally till they are 12 weeks old, but you can adopt them out by 8 weeks old. That is a large crate, if there is anyway you can put some sort of shelf on the top to create a place where the litter pan can be away from the food and the kittens, that would be great. She won't kill the kittens if you touch them, but she will probably do you great damage. Right now she is in full protective mode and anyone getting near her and her family run the risk of getting seriously bit and scratched, and cat scratch fever is a real concern. She may abandon the kittens if she is a true feral and fears human scent after you touch them. You should just leave her be for awhile unless she isn't being a good mom.Bring food to her on a regular schedule- make up a batch of kitten glop and feed her that, or kitten food.feed her small amounts, 5-6 times a day if you can. When you are near her, talk non-stop very softly- recite a poem whatever, but just keep a gentle tone in your voice and don't make eye contact with her. If she is a good mom, you won't need the bottles at all, the kits will go from nursing her to eating canned food and KMR mixed in. The bottles are only in case she decides to stop nursing a kitten. She may, if a kitten is sick, take it away from the group and abandon it. If that happens, get that kitten to the vet Immediately!

Good luck!
post #8 of 10
You have alot good advise here Good luck Good work
post #9 of 10
Hi Becki! I replied to your other thread, but just read this more detailed one. Any update? How're things going? Also just wanted you to know I think you're an angel for what you're doing with this family.
post #10 of 10
Hi Becki!

Glad you found TCS! I'm with Hissy on the question of separating kittens. Yes, some folks on other lists may advise this because it seems to be the classic rescue's response to when a cat has kittens. However, we've fostered a couple pregnant feral cats, and they've been terrific mothers, AND have raised the kittens to be perfectly nice little house pets -- in fact, all those kittens have been adopted within a few months of being old enough.

It CAN be a bit harder "marketing" these "older" kittens than the 8-week old models :-( however, you could take a deposit on the kitten from prospective adopters, and maybe offer them "visiting and socialization" rights after 6 or 7 weeks. It IS great to have the kittens see a few different people, they will grow up very comfortable having company at home, and so on. Mama cats and littermates teach kittens a TON between 8 and 12 weeks, like, how NOT to bite to hurt, how to share, and so on. Try hard to insist on adopters adopting TWO kittens at once, please. It really is win-win to do this -- less trauma of separation for the kittens, same amount of effort for the adopters, and a long-term "friend" for each kitten. (But oh, it's so hard to see 'em leave, I admit!!)

PS Becki -- sorry, I forgot to let you know I wasn't near a computer this past weekend.
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 › Kittens Born by Feral Cat