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Thread: Advice sought: new kitten family...

  1. #1
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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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  7. #7
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    I don't really have any advice but I just wanted to wish you good luck with everything.
    Owned by Sky, Pearl, Ziggy Stardust, Alani, Blaze, Colby, Finnegan, and Summer.


    My Rainbow Bridge Babies:
    RB Pepper 3/17/97- 2/3/03 RIP Sweet Pepper
    RB Starr 3/22/05- 7/1/09 RIP Sweet Starr
    RB Sunny 8/25/00- 2/28/10 RIP Sweet Sunny
    RB Storm 1/11/96- 8/2/12 RIP Sweet Storm

  8. #8
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    Thank you, Eileen and Michelle and Tracey. I called the Humane Society of Huron Valley (the local one, hshv.org) this morning and learned that they charge $75 to spay a cat ($125 if vaccines - some required by law - are administered also), and it can be done after she has finished nursing the kittens (usually between 2-4 weeks).

    I then called Debbie (whose boyfriend has the cat and kittens) and left her a message telling her this and asking how the kitten family are and would she please call me. She hasn't called me back yet. I just called again, got the recording again, left another message about the spaying, said if the money was a problem I'd help and a friend offered to help too (thanks, Eileen! ). I also told her to give the mom kitten food and named a couple of places that have good quality food, and I asked if I could come see the kittens, I'd love to see the little family. I said (again, I also had earlier), once the kittens start walking around to be sure and keep them in one room and keep the door shut, so they don't get lost somewhere else in the house. (I have no idea what this place is like.) I left my phone number in case she'd mislaid it. We'll see if she calls back, and if so, what she says. I'll probably see her on Thursday, but I hope I hear from her sooner than that.

    Pat
    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

  9. #9
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    Pat- there must be a better deal in town then the one you just quoted from the humane society. We have two local low cost places, and I think both max out at $45. This person may be way overwhelmed, and to hear these prices- it might push her away.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Cataholic. I will see if I can find anything better than the $75. I did call the "Affordable" vet, but the price there is $155.

    I finally got to see Debbie today. She said she'd gotten my calls but had been too done in by the heat wave to call me back. She said the kittens and the mother are doing well. The kittens are starting to get around on their own, and they are being careful to keep the door shut.

    She is really worried because their other cat, who is quite old, was being beat up by the mom (protecting her babies) and now isn't eating or using the litter box. I said "He needs help. This is serious." I told her to keep them in separate rooms, and she said they're doing that. I then told her to get some tuna fish, Fancy Feast, different wet, juicy, tasty, smelly foods and see if he'll eat some of that, and if he doesn't, let me know. I said this is really serious, and if he doesn't eat, his body could start consuming its own tissue and he could die. (Jessika or anyone else knowledgeable, did I get that right?)

    I asked, who is your vet? And she said they don't have one. Can't afford it. (I don't know what the financial situation is or what kinds of things they do afford. Debbie is disabled and I imagine on disability. I don't know anything about the boyfriend Ron's income. They do not live together: she lives with him on weekends but with her mother during the week. The old cat is his, and the mom and kittens are hers.)

    I said, let me know if he eats or not, and if he doesn't, I'll find somewhere to get him taken care of, and I'll help with the money. This is the first I knew there was another cat in on all this. She said he IS neutered, at least.

    I asked her what their plans were for the kittens when they were old enough to be on their own. She said they were going to find real good homes for them. She knows someone, a woman who is living alone after her boyfriend moved out,who would like a pet, and she's quite sure that woman would be a good adopter. And they know lots of other people. I said, please be careful checking out anyone who says they'd like to adopt one. And tell them to get the kitten spayed or neutered. (Or maybe they can be fixed before being put up for adoption!.. have to check that.)

    I told her, DO NOT advertise them on something like Craigslist and how that is prime picking for the kind of dirtbags that want them to do experiments on or to use as bait for training their fighting dogs, and they know how to seem like the kindest, most responsible people you could ever meet when they come to see you about adopting kittens. Debbie was shocked to hear that, and I think I got through to her about it.

    Then she told me about someone she knows who has cats that keep having kittens, and when the kittens are old enough to be adopted, she puts a sign out front of her house saying "Free kittens available for good Christian homes." And that these are not feral cats hanging out around her home but her pets that she lets roam free and get pregnant over and over. HOW COME SO MANY PEOPLE SUCK SO MUCH?????

    Those cats desperately need to be spayed, but I can't save the world. At least Debbie is trying to do the right thing, and maybe I can help with her cats.

    Last edited by phesina; 07-19-2013 at 06:51 PM.
    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

  11. #11
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    This whole situation is so sad. Are there any rescue groups or TNR groups that can help out with spaying and neutering of these cats? Are there any vets in your area that offer low cost spaying & neutering? Some vets will do this especially for feral cat colonies. Many people say they will fix their cats and then things come up and they never get around to it and then more kittens are born. I hope that all of the kittens and the mother cat will be able to be fixed asap and that something can be done about the other cats that keep on having kittens.
    Owned by Sky, Pearl, Ziggy Stardust, Alani, Blaze, Colby, Finnegan, and Summer.


    My Rainbow Bridge Babies:
    RB Pepper 3/17/97- 2/3/03 RIP Sweet Pepper
    RB Starr 3/22/05- 7/1/09 RIP Sweet Starr
    RB Sunny 8/25/00- 2/28/10 RIP Sweet Sunny
    RB Storm 1/11/96- 8/2/12 RIP Sweet Storm

  12. #12
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    Thanks, Tracey. I stopped by Petco this afternoon thinking there was an adoption event and I might be able to find out about lower-cost spay/neuter services. There was, but it was yesterday, so I asked one of the employees. He said the Humane Society would spay a cat for $42. I told him I'd just phoned them and was told $75. He said someone who works at the Humane Society who'd been there (Petco) earlier told him $42. I need to check that out further tomorrow. That would sure help if their price IS $42! (Maybe the $75 is for a dog spay, but I thought I said cat when I called.)

    I'm going to do whatever I can to see that Debbie's cat gets spayed when the kittens are weaned. And if the kittens can be done really young before they're adoptable -- something else I need to check at the Humane Society -- I'm going to do what I can to get them fixed too. I'll offer to come to her house to get the cat/kittens, bring them in, then bring them home after.. and pay for whatever share they can't afford, I'm guessing..

    As for this woman who lets her cats roam wild and get knocked up, and then she looks for good "Christian" homes for the babies (but doesn't have the Christian charity to alleviate her own animals' suffering by getting them spayed), I'm going to ask Debbie how well she knows this person and if she (Debbie) would give her some information, whatever I find out, about lowest-cost spay/neuter. Probably won't do any good, but you never know.
    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

  13. #13
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    I just checked the Humane Society's web site. Cost of an exam for a cat or dog is $42. Spay or neuter for a cat is $75. I will call them tomorrow and ask if they have any special prices for low-income people.

    The Humane Society runs a big TNR program around here. Maybe that's why their spay/neuter costs for the regular customers are higher; help cover the TNR costs.
    Last edited by phesina; 07-21-2013 at 08:04 PM.
    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

  14. #14
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    Mar 2006
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    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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    I've found that a local group called Kat Snips will do it for $10 a cat.. I think the owner and her boyfriend will have the mother done, and I hope I can get them to have the kittens done when they're old enough, too.

    I also found out that the Humane Society will do the spay/neuter plus rabies shot for free but ask $25 to add the distemper shot.

    I told Debbie that, if it would help, I'll pick the cat(s) up and take them in, then bring them back home, and if money is a problem I'll pay the excess.

    I really want these kitties to be fixed up!

    Last edited by phesina; 07-26-2013 at 10:56 AM.
    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

  15. #15
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    Sad to say a ot of people care more for their stupid games and their teephones , mans inventions than they do for the animals of our All Mighty Lod God.
    We are parying fo those Kittens Pat, I wish I coud help but Terrance Jeffrey and Cinderella Colby were quite a bit.
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    MIA AND ORANGE BLOSSOM ANGELS HAVE ADOPTED TUXIE , TROOPER , SONGBIRD AND LITTLE BITTY KITTIES MIA-MI BLOSSOMER, TUXEDO AND DASH AS THIER ETERNAL KITTENS.
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