What should you do if you find a litter of kittens?

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Are you the kind of person that likes to help a littler of stray kittens rather than walking right on by and leaving it for someone else to sort out? If you are the kind of person that wants to help these cute little critters, there are a few things that you will need to bear in mind. Regardless of whether you decide to keep them as your own and try to find them new homes, or take them to a shelter or association to get them looked after, there are steps that you should take.

Firstly, before you attempt to go anywhere near the kitties, you should have a good look around and make sure that there is no mother cat around. If you go near the kittens and the mother spots this, especially if she is a stray, she is likely to get rather aggressive with you. You don’t want to be taking kittens away from their mother – this will cause them to starve and die, especially if they are still nursing. At the same time though, you will need to make sure that that the stray kittens are being cared for.

If there is no mother cat around, it’s time to pick up the kitties. This can be a difficult task, especially if there are a few of them, but you will want to pick them up with care, and ensure that you do not injure them. Remember, they are likely to make squeaking “meow” noises, and may try to scratch you with their tiny claws – this is because they are scared. You are much bigger than they are, and to them, you are just a predator. If you have some scraps of food to hand, you can try to “butter” them up a bit so they know you are a friend and not an enemy, and if you are lucky enough to have a blanket handy, this will make transporting them a much easier process.

You will need to try and figure out how old the kittens are – this will help you when you need to call the shelter or phone a Vet. This can be hard for someone that is not used to having pets, but you can always use the assistance of a trusty internet search engine to help. Remember – they are strays and may be hungry little critters, so they may be a lot smaller than they should be for their age.

You will need to make sure that the kittens are kept warm throughout their new journey, whether you are taking them home to keep them for yourself, or taking them to the shelter for them to be re-homed. The good news is that kittens are normally snapped up by prospective new owners fairly quickly, so if you do not have the available resources to care for them yourself, they are more than likely going to find a happy new home. A blanket, again, will help to keep them warm, and you can even try a hot water bottle in a box, but always make sure that there is a place within the box that they can get to where there is no heat to prevent them from becoming too hot.

You do need to make a decision – are you going to keep the stray kittens or not? You will need to take the right steps to ensure they are strays after all, and there is not a family missing its kittens, but you do need to know that homing kittens yourself, or trying to find them new homes will be a costly process. They will need feeding, micro-chipping, spaying or neutering, and that is before you get into the vaccinations and other care that they will need in order to be healthy.

Stray, or feral cats are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of occupying public places in high numbers, fighting and spraying. The most common complaints include the following:

  • Stray cats occupying public areas
  • Stray cats around facility dumpsters
  • During mating season, foul musk scent
  • Stray cats fighting or mating loudly
  • People concerned about stray cat population
  • Strays posing a threat to pet cat


If you need to trap and transport stray cats, read my guide to stray cat trapping.

Here are some other articles about stray cats:
stray cat removal
how to catch a stray cat
catch neuter release of stray cats
how many stray cats in America
common problems with stray cats

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