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kittens found in garden, what to do?

(80 Posts)
MysweetAudrina Tue 08-Oct-19 10:10:53

My dh found a young female cat with 2 kittens in our open shed on Saturday. They were up high in a box. The mothers is not tame and she scampered. I didn't pick up the kittens but they appeared to be quite young. My problem is that we have a Tom cat and I am worried that he might harm the kittens. We have been leaving food for the mother and we have observed her eating it from a distance. She is very skittish. My cat is aware they are there and he spent some time sitting in the shed yesterday but not really bothering them or looking to bothered by their presence.

I am just wondering what the best thing to do is. I don't want to remove the kittens from the mother as they are too young and she probably has the best chance of protecting them. I would hate however if my cat hurt or killed the kittens.

Any advice please?

TheQueef Tue 08-Oct-19 10:13:30

@thecatnueterer is the poster to advise you on feral kitts.
Think it's spelt like that.

Gertrudesgarden Tue 08-Oct-19 10:14:08

Could your lad be daddy? If not, he doesn't sound to me like he's being aggressive, just curious. Maybe speak to a local animal rescue though, to get them neutered and homed.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Oct-19 10:16:24

I agree - a local rescue will give you advice. The one I got my kittens from last year has a "feral section" so they obviously deal with them regularly.

FurrySlipperBoots Tue 08-Oct-19 10:21:14

Ring cats protection or the RSPCA. Even if mum is feral she needs spaying, and the kittens can be tamed and found homes for.

MysweetAudrina Tue 08-Oct-19 10:27:37

tbh my 2 kids will not be letting me rehome the kittens any time soon so it looks like we will now have 4 cats. Atm I am trying to build up some trust with the female by feeding her regularly and giving her space. My intention would be to handle the kittens once they get a bit older and tame them with the intention of getting them cats spayed and immunised once they are ready. It's just in the meantime I want to try and keep the kittens as safe as possible without interfering with the mother.

MysweetAudrina Tue 08-Oct-19 10:28:38

I will give my RSPCA a call and see what they advise thanks.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Oct-19 11:40:25

I'm told that taking photos is a good first step in the taming process...


FurrySlipperBoots Tue 08-Oct-19 18:04:47

That's brilliant OP, I'm so glad you're willing to take them on! Is your boy neutered?

FAQs Tue 08-Oct-19 18:08:38

You’re crazy, that’s how we ended up with four cats, 8 years later they are still here, fed, watered, living in the house, bossing the dog around, not to mention four lots is spaying fees and insurance every month. We are clearly mugs.

ScreamingValenta Tue 08-Oct-19 18:11:35

Agree @thecatneuterer is your person for advice. Wishing you luck.

Rachelover60 Tue 08-Oct-19 18:28:19

He probably won't bother the kittens. I had kittens (not me personally) at home, three of them and the mother wasn't much more than a kitten. My big neutered tom cat was fascinated but a bit scared and observed from a distance, after a while he co parented them which was really funny and sweet, they loved him.

You could phone the cats protection league for more advice and they may even take mother and kittens away to one of their centres.

MsMustDoBetter Tue 08-Oct-19 18:48:03

Definitely take and share photos.

How old are they? I presume if the mother is feral you will have to put a lot of work in early to tame the kittens?

You are wonderful for taking them on.

Dollywilde Tue 08-Oct-19 18:50:29

We adopted our boys from a family who had a similar situation, sounds like you’re doing the right thing OP.

I agree photos are necessary to confirm this grin

thecatneuterer Tue 08-Oct-19 19:16:46

Hi OP. I wouldn't worry about your boy cat harming the kittens. Sometimes unneutered tom cats do harm kittens (so that the mother will come into heat again meaning that he can mate with her and the resulting offspring will be his), but as long as he's neutered I wouldn't worry.

Don't touch the kittens. The most important thing here is that the mother cat can be caught and neutered, and if the kittens are taken away then she will disappear.

Where in the country are you? If you're in London, Essex, Liverpool or North Wales then I can suggest who to call. If you're anywhere else then Cats Protection is probably your best bet. The RSPCA do not help with feral cats and kittens.

Also try this website to find rescues near you. You will need to find ones that do feral cat trapping. I'm really hoping you're in London.

In the meantime feed the mother cat and leave the shed open with some nice bedding.

Floralnomad Tue 08-Oct-19 19:20:11

I’d get in touch with a local rescue anyway as they may be able to help out with costs for neutering them all , including your existing Tom , otherwise you are going to be overrun .

JorisBonson Tue 08-Oct-19 19:21:40

I am very interested in this story and believe that we could send good vibes via kitten pictures

thecatneuterer Tue 08-Oct-19 19:26:28

Oh, and if you have already called the RSPCA then whatever they have advised I would probably ignore. They frequently give the most dreadful advice in most cat welfare situations and thankfully many people then call us rather than following it. If they had followed it the consequences would have been dreadful.

thecatneuterer Tue 08-Oct-19 19:28:37

While I wouldn't touch the kittens at the moment you will need to socialise them if you have to wait a long time for help. In which case, once they have their eyes open and are toddling, then it would be a good idea to interact with them and touch them when mum cat isn't around, but don't move them.

MysweetAudrina Tue 08-Oct-19 19:45:07

Ok, positive update but no pics yet. Mammy cat stayed in the box and purred while I looked in. She was comfortably feeding babies. I went to get a soft blanket and she let dd touch her head. She growled a little when I placed the blanket in but didn't hiss or try to bite or scratch.
Dd also managed to get a look at their faces and their eyes are open so they might be a little older than we first thought.

I am less concerned about my cat harming them now as we found them on Saturday and he hasn't shown any signs of aggression towards them.

My plan is to try and build up the trust of the Mammy cat over the next few days and maybe at the weekend have an attempt at lifting out the kittens.

Thanks for all the tips.

thecatneuterer Tue 08-Oct-19 19:47:28

Well that's great that mum cat isn't that feral. But why are you aiming to lift out the kittens?

Where in the country are you?

Please read my posts above.

MysweetAudrina Tue 08-Oct-19 19:50:33

Also I am in Dublin not the UK but the DSPCA is up the road from me. I feel they will be ok and that I will just make an appt with my own vet for the Mammy and then later the babies. The Mammy is a little black wide eyed cat and dd reckons one of the babies is like her and the other has dark tabby stripes.

Didiusfalco Tue 08-Oct-19 19:52:21

Aww that’s lovely. I have no useful advice because you seem to be handling it brilliantly.

MysweetAudrina Tue 08-Oct-19 19:52:54

When should I handle the babies ? Is it not better that they get used to humans so that they are tamed?

thecatneuterer Tue 08-Oct-19 19:59:32

Yes it's better that they get used to being handled, as long as mum cat doesn't get worried and move them (and herself) to somewhere else. That's why it would be better to get help to catch mum cat first.

Do you think you will be able to get mum cat to a vet yourself? Will you be able to get her into a carrier? The best course of action would be to get mum cat first and get her done, then work on getting the kittens tame. Have you any idea how old the kittens are now? Are their eyes open? Are they walking? Are they eating solid food?

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