As the weather gets warmer, more community cats begin having litters of kittens. Frequently, people assume that the kittens are abandoned and in need of help. But litters of newborn kittens found by humans are seldom abandoned or orphaned. Mother cats frequently take breaks away from their litter to find food or rest. The best place for kittens to be is with their mother. So, before rushing to “rescue” kittens, please implement our watch and wait recommendations:
- First, please leave them undisturbed and refrain from touching them. It’s important to allow the mother cat to return and care for her offspring. Stay far enough away from the litter that you can observe them but not frighten the mother cat from returning to her kittens.
- We recommend the “Wait and Watch” approach: leave the kittens undisturbed for a few hours (if they are 0-4 weeks old) or overnight (if the kittens are older) to see if the mother returns.
- If the mother doesn’t come back, you can safely remove the kittens.
- If the mother returns, then wait until the litter is weaned (at least 6 weeks old) before you remove them.
- If the mother cat and kittens are friendly and you want to take them home, please call us at 937-294-6505 for helpful tips before removing them.
- Placing fresh water and cat food nearby can help the mother cat while she is nursing, but not too close to their location – it may attract other stray cats to the area.
- If the mother cat or her kittens demonstrate signs of distress or illness, a veterinarian should be consulted.