It is so important that members of the public do not delay in seeking assistance for kittens after they are first spotted, because the sooner the kittens can get into foster care, the more easily we can socialize them, and the better their chance of getting to live their life as someone’s pet rather than as a feral. We want the public to understand that trapping kittens is an urgent matter, and so too is trapping heavily pregnant cats because then they can have their litters in safety. It is so disappointing when someone contacts us about kittens that are 4 months old and that they have known about since the kittens were only 6 weeks old. That delay would mean the difference between a tame life as someone’s companion and a feral life lived outside for that kitten.
Anytime a person finds kittens (in a forest, in a barn, under a porch, anywhere), she should grab them right then and there if the kittens are not yet fast enough to run away. Even if the kittens are newborns, grab them. We are capable of raising even very tiny kittens.
Please do not think that the kittens are best left in the wild to nurse from their mother and be caught when they are older. They could very well die of cold, disease, hunger, or predation, or if they live, they could very well be too old to enter foster care by the time they are caught.
Once non-mobile kittens are discovered, do not leave the scene and return with a cat carrier or a cardboard box because the mother cat can moved some or all of them in just the few minutes that you are away. Instead, scoop out the bottom of your shirt and put the kittens into the pouch of fabric created. This may very well be the only chance to rescue those kittens; if they are not grabbed at the first opportunity, they may never be seen again – or, if they survive being raised in the wild, they may not be seen again until they are too old to tame.
So, the golden rule is: you take what you can take when you can take it. It might be your only chance.
Give the kittens a heat source. This is crucial because kittens cannot generate their own body heat, and if they get cold their bodies start to shut down. Whether or not a kitten became cold in the hours before it reached CCR is often what makes the difference between whether it will live or die in foster care. So, give the kittens an electric heating pad, or even simply a plastic bottle filled with very warm water, because this will generate heat. (It is insufficient to give the kittens a wool blanket or styrofoam because these things only insulate heat but don't generate heat. Kittens can't generate heat, and therefore these items would be insulating nothing.)
Take them to a veterinarian straight away so that they can begin caring for the kittens. If the kittens are taken to one of our vets they will care for the kittens while we quickly work out a foster placement for them. Outside
of vet hours, please contact us through a private Facebook message or by email about your urgent kitten situation.
Anytime a person finds kittens who can run and are too fast to grab, she should contact us immediately. Also, the kittens should be given food – canned cat food mashed with some water at least once a day in the same location every time.