What to do if you discover some abandoned kittens

It’s the season of kittens and local animal shelter the Cat Haven has shared that they are desperate for support whether it be donations, adopting a kitten or signing up to be a temporary caregiver.

They’ve also provided advice on what to do if you discover some abandoned kittens.

Cat Haven urges the community to be aware of the proper steps to take when encountering young kittens without their mother. The wellbeing of these vulnerable babies depends on the appropriate actions of compassionate individuals.

It unfortunately is not uncommon to come across kittens seemingly abandoned by their mother, but before intervening, it is crucial to consider a few important factors:

Observe from a distance: In many cases the mother will be close by. Keep an eye on the kittens from a distance to determine if the mother is returning.

Check for signs of distress: If the kittens seem distressed, malnourished, extremely thin (without round bellies) or are in an unsafe location, it is important to take action to ensure their well-being.

Look for the mother: Try to locate the mother before removing the kittens, she may be close by and separating her from the kittens can be detrimental to their survival. Use fishy smelling cat food to entice her to the area.

If after careful consideration, it is evident that the kittens are indeed abandoned or in immediate danger, here are the steps to take.

Keep them warm: Place the kittens in a small, secure box with soft bedding. Use a warm water bottle or heating pad on low setting to maintain their body temperature.

Contact Cat Haven or a local vet: Seek professional advice, they can provide guidance on feeding schedules, medical care and help you find a foster home.

Do not feed cow’s milk: Contrary to popular beliefs, cows milk is not suitable for kittens. Instead you need specially formulated kitten milk replacers, available from pet stores like PetBarn or via the shelter.

Ways to help prevent more kittens: Get your cat sterilised, under the Cat Act of 2011 it is law to have your cat sterilised by 6 months of age. Another way to reduce numbers is to keep you cat contained in your home or cat enclosure, this also protects native wildlife and increases the life expectancy of your cat.

If you’re looking to adopt a kitten into your life, visit the Cat Haven where there’s lots of candidates waiting.

OIP Staff

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