UPDATE PAGE 2-DH found kittens in our basement. Help!!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by krystalleigh1, May 23, 2008.

  1. krystalleigh1

    krystalleigh1 DIS Veteran

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    What a week it's been. Today my dh was in the basement packing some stuff up and found a kitten. It's small, we're thinking abut 4 weeks. It's eyes are open, ears open, it seems alert and can move around but is pretty scared. The last few months there's been a stray cat that keeps getting into our basement and apparently she either had kittens down there or moved them there recently (it's been really rainy the last few days). My dh left the kitten there but went back later to investigate further and there are 3 kittens total.

    He brought them upstairs to show ds and they aren't use to people at all. Not fighthting us but very scared, one even hissed at us. He took them back downstairs in case the mama came back. Well, I just went to check on them and there's only 1 there now. I guess the mama cat is moving them?

    I'm a real animal person and hate the thought of just leaving these kittens down there. The mama is taking really good care of them, they seem fat and healthy . . . but I'm now worried that she'll move them somewhere where people are not as understanding about cats and kittens as we are. There are pleanty of people who would find baby kittens in their basement and kill them. Also, there are enough stray cats in our neighborhood that I almost feel obligated to take them with us to our new house (we're moving in a week-BTW) and try to find homes for them.

    I don't know how wild the mother is. I've never been able to get close to her she disappears quickly when she sees me. But she's a new stray within the last 6 months or so. I'm thinking that maybe someone dumped her or maybe someone moved and didn't take her along. Poor thing.

    Ideally I'd take the mama and kittens with us and find homes for all of them. But I'd also worry that maybe we'd leave a kitten behind, esp. now that she's been moving them. Plus the mama seems a little wild so I don't know if I'd ever catch her.

    So those of you that know about mama cats and kittens. What do I do now? Just leave them? Do I try to get a hold of the kittens and care for them myself? WWYD?

    BTW-I already have 3 cats so not looking to keep any, but I do feel obligated to do SOMETHING.
     
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  3. bdcp

    bdcp DIS Veteran

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    First, how is the cat getting into your basement? A cat needs a decent sized opening. I'd be worried about what else could get in. Second, I wouldn't touch the kittens or the mother as cats carry all kinds of diseases, especially feral cats. If I were you I would call animal control and let them deal with it. She could also make your own cats sick. Feline leukemia is a big issue.
     
  4. Danemom

    Danemom <font color=blue>My trouble is that I don't rememb

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    We had a feral cat have kittens in a neighbor's bushes. One thing I do remember about it was that the sooner the kittens can get used to people the better. After a certain age (it was young, maybe 8-10 weeks) there is almost no chance they'll ever be "tamed". I'd be tempted to go ahead and take them but that may mean you'll have to bottle feed them, depending on their age. There is a group called Alley Cats (I think it is national) that you may want to check out. They help with feral cats and may be a good place to get some help and advice. Good luck!
     
  5. krystalleigh1

    krystalleigh1 DIS Veteran

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    We know how she's getting in. It's an old house. We can't really fix it and don't want to as we're moving in a week anyway.

    Our own cats are indoor/outdoor (about 90% indoor) cats and do have all their shots including feline lukemia.

    We don't have animal control here (small town). We do have a humaine society but don't think they'll do much. They have a policy where people who surrender animals have to list an ad in the newspaper for a week (or month maybe, can't remember) before surrendering any animals to them. And I don't think they'd come out and get them.

    I am tempted to just go get the kittens. I've bottle fed kittens before successfully. My oldest cat (now about 9 yrs) we got when she was about a week old. Her mother died. Bottle fed her and she's just the sweetest cat ever.
     
  6. sunnyday123

    sunnyday123 <font color=blue>Someone hand me my drool towel<br

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    I would feel the same way you do ( see my sig line, I am a sucker for a sob story!) My 2nd cat was found when she was 4 months old-feral- and now is a very loving cat. But she is different from my other two. My male cat wants to be carried everywhere and the "baby" walks on a leash. :) I would keep an eye on them, kittens can hide very very well when they want to. I would try to earn the Mom's trust and then take 'em all with me. I know Furever Friends and Forgotten Cats are nationwide ( I am pretty sure ) and they can help out. good luck.
     
  7. HopingToGetEngaged

    HopingToGetEngaged Yeah... Not so much...

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    :hug: I am going to be no help what-so-ever, but how wonderful that you wish to help the cat & kittens out!

    Funny story about kittens:
    I lived in an on-campus apartment when I was in college. One night in October my friend and I were heading in the apartment, and the tiniest kitten ran in. She was absolutely adorable! My friend couldn't take her as she had 2 cats of her own, I didn't want to put her out, and I knew I really couldn't keep her - no pets allowed in the dorms! But, I didn't have the heart to put her out in the cold, plus there's a shady Chinese restaurant behind my apartment - so I was scared that she might end up as someone's dinner! And yes, I said cold - it's north east Ohio - we've tricker-treated in thigh deep snow! So we ran to petsmart and go all the necessary stuff for a kitten. I can tell you that my roommate was none too thrilled. I kept her for like 4 days before my RA said anything to me. It's a kid I went to high school with, so I knew he wasn't going to "turn me in". But, by that time - my eyes were so puffy and red, and I was so stuffed up -(I'm allergic) I told him I was taking back to our humane society in our home county. He thought it was a trip that I would keep a kitten that I knew I was allergic to just because she's cute! I had kept her so long because I couldn't find a shelter/ humane society to take her. I lived in a city which has wayyyy too many strays, and no one would take her with out euthanizing her. :scared1: I knew that given the chance- someone would adopt this adorable creature! So...
     
  8. labdogs42

    labdogs42 DIS Veteran

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    Maybe you could put out some food for the mom cat to win her over and get her to keep the kittens in the basement?
     
  9. krystalleigh1

    krystalleigh1 DIS Veteran

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    I did put out food and water for the mama.

    I don't know if I'll win over the mama but we move in a week. So the new owners of this house may not be as forgiving toward a mama and kittens as we are.

    I think at this point I'm leaning toward waiting until moving day (in 1 week) and if they're still there, taking the kittens with me. I don't have much time to win over the mama-PLUS since she is now moving the kittens if I do take mama along with us what chance at survival do any left behind kittens have?

    So that's what I'm thinking of. Waiting a week and then taking whatever kittens I can find with me. They'll be about 5 weeks then (I'm guessing). So still a little young to be away froma mama, but they'll make it.
     
  10. sunnyday123

    sunnyday123 <font color=blue>Someone hand me my drool towel<br

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    You could get one of those traps they use to trap feral cats. Then you could take everyone with you to the new house, find homes for the kittens, and Mama cat could maybe be an outside cat?

    See, I told you I would be no help.
     
  11. krystalleigh1

    krystalleigh1 DIS Veteran

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    Well, my ONLY problem with that is that what if we left a kitten behind? At least if I took the kittens with me and left the mother behind IF we left any kittens behind they'd be taken care of. But if we took the mama and whatever kittens we could find-any kittens that were left behind would have NO chance.

    Plus bringing her with us so soon after having the kittens, if she were an outdoor cat wouldn't she just try to return to the old house anyway? I'd have to keep her inside for a month (or more) and if she's ferral I don't know if I want that.
     
  12. buzz2400

    buzz2400 <font color=teal>The TF waves to buzz2400's DS

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    I just recently adopted three kittens and I found the organization through animalshelter.org. If you research it you can find an organization that takes care of cats. The one that I found actually goes out and picks up the kittens and mother cat if they could catch her. If they can't catch her, they wait until the kittens are old enough to take from the mother. One thing that is very important with kittens is that they have to have contact with humans as soon as possible so that they would be adoptable. It is best that you find an organization that can help you because the mother cat has to be fixed so she can't have any more babies.
     
  13. krystalleigh1

    krystalleigh1 DIS Veteran

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    I'll do some research now. I agree-spaying that mama cat is a MUST. I always have spayed or nutered my animals. Always. There are just too many unwanted animals as it is . . .
     
  14. tazdev3225

    tazdev3225 <font color=darkorchid>I sucked my thumb up with t

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    If the kittens are about 4 weeks old, they should be playing with each other and somewhere around the length of your hand in size. I have two 9 week olds, two 8 week olds and four 4 week old kittens. Long story but every time I tried to get the moms fixed they would disappear. Two of the moms disappeared completely and the third has taken to being a mama to them all. If they are really about 4 weeks old they will be able to survive on their own in another week or so. It will be early but cats are resourceful. I had a mom cat raise her kittens under a car in my driveway and the kittens were very feral no matter how we tried to acclimate them to humans. I will also bet the mama is very close by keeping an eye on them all. Keep an eye on the situation and try talking to the new owners they may be willing to help. Good Luck
     
  15. sunnyday123

    sunnyday123 <font color=blue>Someone hand me my drool towel<br

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    That is true...you really don't know how many kittens there are or where they are. :guilty: And leaving behind one or two would be terrible. I guess the best you can do is keep an eye out and try to see the comings and goings. Taking the kittens ( what you can find ) is probably the best option, but I would worry about who was left behind. :hug:
     
  16. 7165red

    7165red DIS Veteran

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    Can you get a "Have A Heart trap"? i live in the country and have many stray cats come by and have kittens. We put tuna in the cage and trapped the mother and took her to the vet and had her fixed for want of a better word. after a while we were able to trap the kittens and we were able to stop the cycle. try to keep the kittens if you can and perhaps you'll be able to find homes. I am a animal lover and i know how you feel.
     
  17. Muushka

    Muushka <font color=red>I usually feel like I just stepped

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    My latest cat Lucy is a feral. And I socialized her when she was at least 6 years old. I have had her for 4 years now. As far a kittens, the best thing to do is wrap them in a towel, speak quietly and just scratch around their ears. They feel safe in the towel and will calm down pretty quickly. When all the growling/hissing is over, they should be pretty easy to hold. Older cats are way harder!
    There is a lot of info on the internet on socializing feral kittens.

    I wish you luck and hope the mama can get spayed.
     
  18. krystalleigh1

    krystalleigh1 DIS Veteran

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    It just breaks my heart seeing animals who don't have homes. That's why I feel so compelled to help this mama and her kittens. All of my animals are rescue animals (2 dogs, 3 cats).

    I did call my local humane society. They will accept them as long as I can bring them in. They said the police department can give me a live trap to catch the mother cat. So I'm thinking I'll at least try catching her-that way I know if she really is ferral or tame. Then if she's tame maybe it will be easier finding out where she's stashing her kittens. Then we can take them with us when we move or at least surrender them to the humane society. I think a mother cat and kittens have a pretty good chance of being adopted. And at least if I do that I know they'll all get spayed and nutered.
     
  19. BrerMom

    BrerMom DIS Veteran

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    Baby kitties suddenly appear in YOUR basement? It's meant to be! ;) What a gift!

    (or at least, that would be my excuse to keep them :rotfl: )
     
  20. homemaker

    homemaker Mouseketeer

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    We currently have 5 kittens that are about 5-6 weeks old. They are eating regular kitten food and we give them the kitten milk in a bowl. The vet says that is fine and they are doing well.
    My parents found them under their deck and they were covered with flees and ticks. They were scared and did nothing but hiss. If they are ever going to be someones "pet" they will need to be healthy and friendly. So the animal lover in me took them in. We got them cleaned up and flee & tick free. They are now loving it here. It has only been a week and they purr everytime we pick them up. As for the mama cat, she is a stray. She has been coming and going but has not been caught yet. Hopefully the animal control will find her soon. I'm sure she is just as covered with fllees and ticks and will need some tlc.
     
  21. neatokimmo

    neatokimmo DIS Veteran

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    I have a stray that dumps kittens in my yard twice a year. Wednesday I found her last batch (4 but one really pitiful one died) and they are about 4 weeks old.

    You need to grab the kittens and tame them and remove them from the Mom. That is awful to think about, but they need to get used to not being wild anymore. Get some tear free baby shampoo, hold them by the scruff and bath them daily. Wrap them up in a wash cloth and pet them all over. I carried one sickly kitten (who is now a 15 pound monster) wrapped up in a wash cloth tucked into the top of a sport bras to keep him warm. He'd purr all day long, and he's a stinker to this day.

    Don't worry about the hissing, it will go away. Just make sure you get them by the scruff and teach them you are the mama and you mean business. It took just two days to get these three ready to be adopted.

    And I know what you mean about being worried you are leaving a kitten behind. But if you know there are three and you can get three, you can't beat yourself up later on if you discover there were four. Those three kittens can do some major damage having kittens of their own. You have to do what you can do and not worry about the what ifs.

    Hey does anyone want a kitten? lol I am in TN! lol

    [​IMG]
     

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