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Thread: Advice sought: new kitten family...

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    12,916

    Advice sought: new kitten family...

    Dear friends, may I please ask your advice on how I might best help out in the following new-kitten-family situation:

    A woman I know from an organization I belong to told me last week that her boyfriend's cat got out a couple of months ago, came back the next day, and was getting bigger and bigger.. and they realized that.. guess what..

    Sure enough, she called me a couple of days ago with the news that four kittens had been born. She was asking for advice on how to care for the new family. They are under the bed at that point. I suggested she get a box or cat bed with some soft bedding to make a bed or "nest" for them, and said the mom will take care of the kittens right now. Check on them and see that they are all nursing and looking okay. They should start opening their eyes in about a week.

    It has been a long time since I have had any part in watching kitten families develop, so I am writing this to ask for more advice on just how best I can help with this situation. What I'm concerned about is when the kittens start becoming mobile, and when they start eating "non-mom" food, when they start needing their own litter box.. I don't remember ages when all these things start happening, and what kind of environment the owners should provide for the little family.

    Also, there's the matter of the kittens will need homes.. All I can think of is the Humane Society (at which I volunteer), which has an excellent adoption record, but of course with it being kitten season they are bombarded with them, and I don't know if that means some... DON'T ... get put up for adoption..

    I did say, after she first told me about this, "You are going to get her spayed after the kittens are gone, aren't you?" (Like, why hadn't that already been done?) She said they had wanted to before, but they couldn't afford it.. "but I guess we'll just have to get the money together after this.." I said I think the Humane Society has low-cost spay/neuter days and/or low-income specials. Well, I am going to make SURE this happens, even if I have to pay for it myself!

    Thanks for any advice, suggestions, encouragement,

    Love from Pat (and my cats and these cats)
    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark - GMT+1
    Posts
    14,752
    She's lucky to have a friend like you. I really hope she will them fixed! Do encourage her and tell her how many cats she could end up with next year. There's enough cats out there already, with no one to care for them and no shelter. Lots of them suffer.

    If she does find homes for them, tell her to make sure they end up with responsible owners, who can care properly for them.

    Good luck!
    Randi



    "I don't know which weapons will be used in the third World war, but in the fourth, it will be sticks and stones" --- Albert Einstein.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    35,979
    Definitely do check in the kittens, and get them used to human hands, gentle attention for now, but as long as momma is feeding them, and cleaning them, all should be fine. She will be the one to teach them about the litterbox, and it varies anywhere from 4-6 weeks they will start weaning themselves and be ready for kitten food.
    I've Been Frosted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    12,916
    Thanks, Randi and Karen. What kind of food should mama kitty get? Should she have kitten food or some other particular type that's best, so it will pass through her system into her milk for the kittens?

    I will see what I can do as for any personal attention I can give the kitties. At this point it's just verbal advice.

    I do want to be sure the mom gets spayed when it's time, and I am going to research prices for getting that done.

    Thanks again,
    Pat and kitties
    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    trenton, new jersey
    Posts
    7,711
    Pat, is there any possibility that you could go over and check on this new family? Hopefully mommycat is doing all the right things for her babies. As for mommycat getting spayed when the time comes, I'll chip in - just let me know how much you need.
    FIND A PURPOSE IN LIFE.....BE A BAD EXAMPLE

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vicenza, Italy
    Posts
    5,537
    Momma should be eating kitten food and as much as she wants. I gave my Bella (she was a stray at the time) Royal Canin Baby. I also gave this to Misty (pregnant kitty I took in 2 years ago who is now living the good life with my hubby's boss). The one I am feeding now (she won't let me near her and her kittens are already weaned...didn't know she had them at all until they showed up next door about 2 weeks ago), she and babies are getting Forza 10 (it is a vet brand from here given to us by ENPA...they are our SPCA). So, kitten food and the higher the quality the better especially in the first month when they are only feeding from mom.


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