Cat Tales Rescue
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Solano County Animal Shelter(707) 784-4720 2510 Claybank Road Fairfield Tuesday-Saturday
Cat Tales Rescue
Solano Kitten Network
Solano County Friends of Animals
Whiskers, Tails and Ferals
Information about newborn kittens:
Can newborn kittens survive without their mom?
To help with your decision, it is important to know that it might take several hours for the mother cat to return, and healthy kittens can survive this period without food as long as they are warm. Neonatal kittens are much more at risk of hypothermia than they are of starvation.
First: Wait & Watch
You might have come across the kittens while their mother is off searching for food, or is in the process of moving them to a different location. Try to determine if the mother is coming back for them, or if they are truly orphaned.
To do this, stand far away from the kittens — 35 feet or more. If you stand too close, the mom will not approach her kittens. You might need to go away completely before the mother cat will return to attend to the kittens. It might be several hours before the mother cat returns — until she no longer senses the presence of humans hovering near her litter.
If you need to leave before the mother cat comes back, carefully evaluate whether the kittens are in immediate danger: Is it raining or snowing? Are dogs or wild animals that might harm the kittens running loose in the neighborhood? Does the neighborhood have kids or adults who are likely to harm the kittens? Are the kittens located in an area with heavy foot or car traffic?
To help with your decision, it is important to know that it might take several hours for the mother cat to return, and healthy kittens can survive this period without food as long as they are warm. Neonatal kittens are much more at risk of hypothermia than they are of starvation. During spring and summer months, waiting a longer time to see if mom will come back is much safer than during frigid winter months.
The mother cat offers her kittens’ best chance for survival, so wait and watch as long as you can. The best food for the kittens is their mother’s milk. Remove the kittens only if they are in immediate, grave danger.
If mom returns and the area is relatively safe, leave the kittens alone with mom until they are weaned. You can offer a shelter and regular food to mom, but keep the food and shelter at a distance from each other. Mom will find the food but will not accept your shelter if the food is nearby, because she will not want to attract other cats to food located near her nest.
Six weeks is the optimal age to take the kittens from the mother for socialization and adoption placement, and any time after eight weeks for Trap-Neuter-Return (spay/neuter, vaccination, eartip, and return to their colony). Female cats can become pregnant with a new litter even while they are still nursing, so don’t forget to get the mother cat spayed or you will have more kittens soon!
*If we have a space available in one of our foster homes, we can take in the kittens if mom does not return. In some cases we can take in the mom with kittens. If mom is feral, she will need to be TNR'd once the kittens are weaned.
*You may also sign up with our self foster program.
If you find a kitten/cat, it must first be scanned for a micro chip to see if the kitty already has a family that has been looking for it. Check the shelters and FB pages to see if anyone is missing a kitty. The shelter has a lost and a found book so please make sure to look through it.
Cat Tales Rescue does occasionally get appointments to spay/neuter feral, stray and pet cats. Please email us for information.