With the warm weather coming, we are preparing for kitten season! It sounds like a magical time, but it can be overwhelming for shelters.
Seeing a litter of kittens all alone outside will make you want to grab them and take them in right away, this could be helpful, or it could be kitten-napping!
Most times, their mom is just off finding food with plans of coming back to care for her kittens. Just like human babies, kittens NEED their mom, and no one can replace what a mother cat can give her kittens.
How can you tell if the kittens need your help?
If kittens are in a location that puts them in danger – high vehicular traffic or predators in the area, for example – call your local animal shelter immediately.
Touch the kittens to judge their temperature. If they are warm, their mom was there recently. And, if they meow loudly and wiggle around after being touched, they are alert and active, which means they were probably fed recently.
If you find kittens that seem warm and active, leave them alone and come back to check on them throughout the day. Keep in mind that if you are lingering, the mother may be reluctant to return to her kittens. Leave the area and come back later. Call your local shelter to talk about catching the mother and coordinate bringing in the mom and kittens together.
If you know there is a mother caring for them, try to contain the mother so that you can bring her and her kittens into the shelter together. This gives the kittens a much better chance of survival by keeping their mother with them, and it allows us to take care of mom and find her a new loving home too!
If kittens are cold, not meowing and not moving much or if they appear physically injured, they need help! If you find kittens in this condition, contact your local animal shelter for further assistance.
Thank you for helping the animals in your community. Please share this article on your social media and encourage friends and family to read it. Together, we can increase the success of kittens by keeping kittens and moms together and happy.
Animal shelters have limited space and struggle to accommodate all the animals coming in, especially in summer and fall months. By calling the shelter before you bring in kittens, you give us an opportunity to prepare a space for the kittens or get a foster home ready in advance.
When in doubt, it is best to call us! We are always happy to help and offer our assistance in situations where you aren’t sure what to do. Never be afraid to call and ask us questions!