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What to do about just-born kittens to feral mom?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I just got a call from a county resident who has some kittens that are a few days old, born to a feral mom, outside her house under a bush.

Her plan was to trap the mom and to grab the kittens, and put them all in a crate in their garage to let the mother nurse them to an adequate age.

I've never dealt with kittens this young -- our are almost always 3-4 weeks before we finally find out about them.

What's the best thing to do? I told her the first step was getting some shelter for them.


post #2 of 4
Yikes! Had that happen to me a few times - our dogs were very good at locating new born kittens around our property. I've not had feral moms tame enough to bring inside with their young so typically I build shelters for them outside or in the garage.

Get a count of the kittens now. If they are newborns, they won't go anywhere unless the mom moves them. Trap the mom first then grab the kittens - make sure you get them all.

Our Humane Society does put nursing feral moms in crates but they are typically very large cages. The cages have the food/water bowls in the front, litter pan on the side, and a box laid on its side with the opening facing the back of the cage. If feral, the mom will want her privacy with her young. Put the bedding behind the box and mom will nurse her kittens there. The set up helps you change the food/water and litter, as the mom has someplace to go as you reach in the cage.

You need to be prepared that if she is very feral, she is not going to like the set up and may stress out. I have opted in some cases to build shelters around the kittens where they were born - I have had moms deliver in my gardens with no shelters around them and they would not take well to cages. This is risky, because the mom could move the kittens at any time and you could lose the opportunity to spay.

Handle the kittens daily if mom will let you, or at least get your fingers thru the bars and pet them. Talk to them at least 15 minutes a day, preferably 10 minute intervals throughout the day. Feed the mom quality kitten food and provide some canned food at set times each day.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
post #3 of 4
[IMG][/IMG] Hi,
I have found that feral "moms" don't react well to being in a cage trying to nurse their babies. They get so crazed that they simply don't take care of their little ones.

I have had to take newborns in and bottle feed them (around-the-clock) until they were of age to eat on their own. Just brought in another litter from our feral mom because these little guys starting leaving the nest and getting lost. I also couldn't bear the thought of them sleeping & eating outside with the bugs and what-not. The kittens seem so much happier to be inside with a clean, safe enviornment.

Unfortunatley, you may have to bring them in & do some foster mothering.

5 weeks old - brother & sister...
post #4 of 4
Wow!! Sorry aboute the double and the size...first time posting with pictures.
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