what if you find kittens?
Rescuers and cat lovers alike know that springtime marks the start of “kitten season”. Kitten season is a term coined by animal welfare organizations to describe the influx of kittens being born and found during the warmer months. Kitten season typically ranges from March-September in Ohio, however kittens can be born year round. In this blog I want to prepare my fellow Weirdos with the knowledge of what to do if you were to find a single kitten or a litter of kittens.
When finding a litter of kittens or a single kitten, take note of where you find them. In the middle of a yard or sidewalk without shelter? In a woodpile, shed, or under a porch? Acknowledging where you have found them can help you determine how to proceed.
Next, visually assess their body condition. Are their umbilical cords attached? Are their eyes open? Are they crying? Can you see their ribs? If they are in a healthy and normal body condition, the next thing you will want to do is wait for mom.
You will want to constantly be monitoring the kittens for about 2 hours. During this time you can provide them with a heat source (a warmed water bottle, warmed sock filled with uncooked rice, or a blanket). If you are worried about them wandering from the nest, you can place them in a shallow tub or box to contain them. It is important to understand, neonatal kittens have the BEST chance of survival when with mom. Not all kittens that are found without mom are abandoned. If mom is not initially seen, she could be hunting for food or simply out of sight as to not attract predators to her nest or because she is scared of you. If they are of good/healthy body condition when found, wait for mom! A neonatal kitten’s best chance of survival is with mom. Wait. For. Mom.
If they are in poor body condition, the first thing you would want to do is reach out to your local animal shelter or humane society for advice on how to proceed. Neonatal kittens need to be fed on a schedule that is determined by their age and weight, which may not be feasible for most finders. Many local animal shelters are unable to accommodate neonatal kittens due to lack of foster homes. Unfortunately, many times, neonatal kittens in shelters may not survive because there is lack of supportive care. This is something to consider when finding kittens.
The Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland website is home to ample resources for veterinarians and shelters to consult should you find neonatal kittens. Kitten Lady is also an amazing resource to show you how easy, but important it is to save neonatal kittens. Her website illustrates life savings tips like how to bottle feed, how to stimulate kittens to urinate and defecate, and more. As always, the leadership team is always available to help any member facing a situation where they find neonatal kittens. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Mews and thank you’s for reading,
Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland Administrator
2/21/2023 12:00:44 pm
Loved reading this thank yoou
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