Sunday, November 27, 2011

Trapping Orphaned Stray and Feral Kittens


The only time that one should trap  kittens before they are weaned is in an emergency; mother is injured, or she rejects or abandons her kittens.  Then it is imperative that these orphaned kittens are rescued by trapping as it will save their life.





Trapping Kittens

A wounded queen feral cat brought her kittens to my shelter.  The queen cat needed to be trapped for medical care.  So I also needed to trap her kittens that had not been weaned.

 The 3 kittens that I took from their mother were six weeks old and they were all traumatized from the separation from their mother.  They meowed loudly for their mother and refused to eat. The mother cat was also under stress at the animal clinic. She was pacing in the crate, charging the crate, and hissing.  The feral queen cat was under great stress from the separation of her kittens.  

The animal hospital called to say that they could not treat her as the mother cat was trying to escape the crate. The stress was affecting her health as the veterinarians could not treat the queen cat.  We decided to reunite the mother cat with her kittens.


I set up a medium sized live animal trap by lining it with folded newspaper and then setting some canned fish kitten food in the back of the trap.  I then covered the trap with a cotton twin blanket and sat in the back of the shed.  It took less than an hour to trap all three kittens as they all entered the trap at once.  They were not stressed inside the trap as they were too busy playing with the paper.  I covered the trap with the blanket and kittens laid down to sleep.

I brought the kittens to the clinic and they were reunited with mother cat. The mother cat was at ease, she cleaned all of her kittens and all were at peace.  The kittens were weaned while at the animal clinic and mother cat received the treatment that she needed.

When to Trap Feral or Stray Kittens

Sometimes a feral cat will abandon her kittens and you must trap to save the kittens life.
Every spring my husband and I watch for queen cats that may be pregnant.  We document them by taking a photograph and we make note of their daily activities.

We will hike into the woods to make note of thicket den or hallow tree where the queen will give birth to the kittens.  When a queen cat is noted we immediately set up a feeding station.  By doing this we are bonding with the cat.

If there is a problem and the kittens need to be trapped then we will rescue the orphaned kittens.   Otherwise we will wait until they are weaned at approximately 7 to 12 weeks old before trapping them for spay, neuter, worming and shots and socialization.


Video on raising orphaned kittens








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