A woman up the road has two little black kittens. They're adorable, but don't seem to be very well looked after. This morning, one of them followed my two into the house, barged my big adult male cat out of the way and ate his breakfast. I know cats are very good at trying it on, but this one looked genuinely hungry.
SIL, who lives near us, has been trying to tempt them in, and I posted in AIBU recently and had pretty much unanimous agreement that she shouldn't be doing this, they belong to someone.
SIL and BIL now have fleas in their house. They don't have pets of their own and are very houseproud, so there's a limit to where the fleas might have come from.
The kittens always appear hungry, but are really friendly so I don't think they're being actively ill-treated. We're worried that they're not being fed and they're clearly not being de-fleaed. They're approximately neutering-age but haven't been done.
What, if anything, can I/should I do? I don't want to steal them, I've got my own cats. I just don't like the thought of kittens being neglected and unfed. Any suggestions?
Yes exactly. Do you know where they came from and approximately how old they are?
Can you speak to the owner about them? You can mention the fleas and ask if they know about good flea treatments. You can do it without being confrontational. That way you should be able to find out more about them - particularly how old they are and if they're planning to have them neutered and when. If you're not happy with the answers then ignore AIBU completely and kidnap them and get them sorted out yourself.
I don't know where they came from, and I'd guess they're about 4 months old. Both boys. I'm on "hello" terms with the owner, but no more than that. She lives about 6 houses up from me, so we occasionally pass in the street, but I don't know her name or anything really about her.
BIL lives a bit nearer, and he's spoken to her - he says they're her kids' cats. Her kids are very small - the oldest is at nursery I think and the youngest is a toddler, so it's not that the kids are able to take any responsibility for the cats, but it suggests that she's got them on purpose. As far as I know she hasn't got any other cats.
Next time I see her I'll start an "aren't they cute" type conversation and see if I can get anywhere that way. I could tell her that the vet does a good value pay-monthly flea/worm/jab scheme, that might be taken as helpful rather than confrontational.
Go and knock on her door. They come in your house so that's a good enough reason to start a conversation. Mention the fleas and say you wondered if they were perhaps using Frontline, as that has stopped working for a lot of people/cats, and suggest they try Advantage or Stronghold instead. As you say - you can do it in a 'being helpful' sort of way. And make sure you find out about the neutering.