What to do if you find a litter of kittens
Hello neighbors, as some of you may know, we are a local cat rescue based in Gladstone, Oregon City and Milwaukie.
We are all volunteers in our community providing emergency cat rescue, trap/neuter/return of feral cats and rehoming stray/abandoned friendly cats. We have helped many find their lost cats, and we also help with kittens who were born to feral mamas by trapping mamas to spay and placing kittens into homes, versus them becoming feral. Most likely, we will always be able to help you with a cat or cats who need help.
We come to you and never charge for our services. We are a nonprofit organization registered in the state of Oregon, and rescue is our mission.
You may also wonder, "Should I feed this new cat who showed up?" Our answer is yes! You can go door-to-door to inquire yourself, and if no results, we can help. To avoid critters, bring food in before dark.
What to do when you find baby kittens, instead of snatching them up and taking them to a local shelter?
Now appearing in a backyard, shed or crawlspace near you: Often the first instinct is to grab the kittens, take them inside, and start making phone calls for help. Very important, before you do this, remember that unless you are absolutely sure the mother is dead or removed from the area, she will probably be back shortly to care for her kittens. She may be eating, hunting or hiding, hoping you'll leave so she can come back to her nest. Kittens need their mother until at least six weeks of age. She feeds them exactly the right food, keeps them clean and teaches them valuable feline life skills. If the mom cat senses you intend to move them, she'll probably do it herself and you may not find them again. So do not disturb the kittens, no matter how irresistible they look. Leave food in the area of the nest but not right next to it, so predators aren't drawn to the babies by the food. Keep an eye on the kittens from a distance. If the mom cat hasn't returned and the food is still untouched in 24 hours, then call us and we will help you through the next steps. It's expensive, tiring and time-consuming to bottle-feed a litter, so you don't want to take that on unless the kittens are truly orphaned. If the mom cat does come back, give her plenty of high-quality food and fresh water. If she seems friendly, you may able to bring her and the litter inside. At that point you can call Our Community Cat Rescue.
There are many who can help with fostering if needed. If the mother isn't approachable, continue to provide food and water and contact either Our Community Cat Rescue or the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon for advice on capturing and caring for her and the kittens. There are some who always think the babies are "orphans," but please, follow the steps above, as most likely that is not the case. The babies will cry when mama isn't coming back.
This is information we use from another local rescue located in Portland. We are always welcoming new members for fostering cats/kittens on a short-term basis, transport, fundraising and outreach. Help us with trapping and assessments, or just enjoy being in our group.
We are having our annual fundraiser yard sale on July 26 and 27 in Gladstone. We are welcoming donations for our yard sale currently. We are happy to pick up or welcome deliveries. Our space is limited, and if you could hold until July that would be awesome.
Janice Saban is president of Our Community Cat Rescue, a nonprofit organization based in Gladstone.