Mom will likely return. Please don't intervene.
When we find a litter of kittens, our good-hearted instincts tell us to rush to the aid of these fragile felines. Thankfully, human intervention is typically not required. In fact, the best thing to do is leave the kittens alone. Mom will likely return shortly. It's critical that the kittens remain in her care, as she offers the best chance for survival. If you find kittens and are extremely certain that they are orphaned, you can then step in and help by caring for the kittens yourself until they're old enough to find homes.
During kitten season, shelters are overrun with kittens and don't have adequate resources to care for them. It is best to care for the kittens in your home until they're 8 weeks old. TPAS does not have enough space to provide kittens the care they require, but our compassionate volunteers and staff came up with a solution!
We've launched the Milk Man program designed to make it convenient for people who care for newborn kittens in their home. TPAS will provide all the necessary tools (including starter care kits, resources for vaccinations and bottle feeding, and spay/neuter surgery) to ensure these little felines get off to a healthy start and help you find them forever homes when they're ready.
It is a question that gets asked hundreds of times throughout kitten season. Since kittens require overnight care, most shelters are unable to care for kittens who may be unsocial or too young to be put up for adoption.
Here are five easy steps to help you navigate kitten season, while also making a difference in the lives of our feline friends.
1. Stop & Wait
At first, keep your distance to determine if the kittens have a mother, who may just be out gathering food for them. You don't want to scare her away. The mother cat will always offer them a better chance of survival. If you don't see the mom within 8 hours, they are most likely orphans.
2. Care in Place
If mom is around, leave the family together and provide food, water, and shelter until the kittens can eat on their own. If there is no mom and kittens are able to eat on their own but too young to be spayed or neutered, you or someone you know can help care for them in place. Visit kittenlady.org for more information on caring for kittens. Visit alleycat.org for a list of supplies you'll need to care for a kitten.
Low-cost or no-cost spay/neuter services are available through TPAS. Once the kittens are of age (approximately 8 weeks old), be sure to get them spayed/neutered. It is also imperative that the mother cat be spayed as well, or you may find yourself in the same predicament in just a few weeks. Females can go into heat and get pregnant while nursing.
4. Help Find Homes
Nationally, almost 75% of people take in cats from their neighborhoods or surrounding areas. If you have the time and resources to help kittens as they grow, be on the search for friends, family, coworkers, or neighbors who are looking to adopt a loving feline. They should be spayed/neutered before they leave your care to ensure the cycle doesn't continue.
If the mother cat and/or kittens are not tame or able to be handled, use a humane trap and schedule a spay/neuter surgery with TPAS. After the cat(s) have been spayed/neutered, return them to their natural environment where they can live out the rest of their lives as community cats.
For more information, please call (985) 873-6709.