Stray Kittens

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April through October is kitten season when unaltered stray cats begin to reproduce prolifically. As a result, it is not uncommon to find nests of what may appear to be abandoned newborn kittens. This is normal. We know that you want to do what is best for those kittens, but before jumping to the rescue, please consider the following recommendations to ensure the best chances of survival for the kittens.

What To Do And NOT Do If You Find A Litter Of Kittens

Resist the urge to move them. Instead, observe the kittens quietly from a distance for a period of 12 to 24 hours, as the mother may simply be out looking for food or a better place to move them to and is more than likely to return to care for them.

You can put cat food out for the mom and a box that the mother could use to keep her kittens in. Don’t put the kittens inside it, just put it near them. Let mom decided whether to use it.

Kittens are born without the antibodies that build their immune system to help protect them from viral and bacterial infections. Without those antibodies, their chance of survival is almost nil. The only way they get those antibodies is from their mother’s milk. Separating a kitten from its mother too early can be a death sentence, no matter what support we are able to give them.

When To Contact Animal Control

If the kittens were left in a box, it is likely that they were abandoned by their owner.

If you sense the kittens are in immediate danger or in a dangerous area, such as underneath a car or in an area that floods due to rain.

If you have observed the kittens for 12 to 24 hours and are SURE the mother is not likely to return.

If any of these situations exist, or you just aren't sure, contact Animal Control. They will determine if the kittens are truly abandoned, and if so, they may want to try to locate and trap the mother.

When To Bring The Kittens To The Shelter

We know that you want to do what is best for the kittens, so the best advice is to contact Animal Control. The Animal Control officer will consult with the Shelter to determine what is best for the kittens. It is NOT in the kittens' best interest for you to intervene. Please, for the kittens' sake, leave that to the experts. And, remember, the Shelter will NOT accept litters of kittens from the public without the mother cat.

Questions?

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Porter County Animal Control serves all of Porter County EXCEPT FOR THE CITY OF PORTAGE. All information contained in this section of the website is only applicable to the areas served by Porter County Animal Control. If you live in the City of Portage, you will need to contact them directly at (219) 763-1825, as they may have different policies and ordinances.