by: Bev Gun-Munro April 22, 2017
If you happen upon a litter of tiny kittens outdoors, it’s natural to want to want to help; scoop them up and start thinking that you need to take them to a nearby shelter, or take care of them yourself.
But both of those options may actually place them in more danger. To give newborn kittens the best chance of survival, read below:
#1. Leave the kittens alone and try to figure out if their mom is still around. Observe them from a distance every couple of hours for 12 to 18 hours. If the kittens seem content and are not fussing, there’s a good chance their mom is coming back.
#2. If the kittens are in danger due to their location, move them to a safer spot nearby so the mom can easily find them when she returns.
#3. If the kittens are dirty, meowing or appear sick, underweight or dehydrated, contact a local rescue organization or a trap-neuter-return (TNR) or community cat program.
#4. Call us at SaveARescue.org, 818.300.4616 so we can find resources near you that can help.They can help you determine if the kittens are at risk and if you should intervene.
#5. If you spot the mom, leave the kittens alone. When the kittens have been eating on their own for about four weeks or are big enough for surgery (typically when they’re between two and three months old), humanely trap the whole family and have them spayed or neutered, or call a local Cat Rescue that has experience trapping, spaying and neutering and releasing feral cats. Local TNR programs are designed to help you with the trapping process.
After the cats are fixed, release them at the location where you found them. TNR is the most humane method of preventing cats and kittens from entering the shelter system.