If you have one stray cat hanging around, chances are you will get more. Take responsibility and step up. Unfortunately there are people out there who do not take responsibility for their own pets and it becomes everyone else’s. Hopefully the following advice can help us all.
The stray cat outside may very well belong to someone and it could be lost. If it is friendly, then chances are it does belong to someone. No tag or collar? Stray cat looks pregnant? If you think it may be pregnant, then chances are it is. Capture the cat or kitten and bring it into a vet or shelter. Ask them to scan for a microchip. Vets rarely charge for this. At the same time the vet or tech has a chance to quickly check out the cat and can give you some health advice. They can tell you the sex and approx. age as well. Many times they are willing to help if you step up and ask for it.
If the cat or kitten has a microchip, then you have found their owner. It’s that simple. If the kitten or cat does not have a microchip then the situation is different and other steps need to take place.
You have found Baby kittens and hopefully the momma cat: PLAN ahead before attempting to capture. Make sure you have a setup and a plan. In this situation, capture the momma cat first. Bring her inside and give her a quiet room with privacy. She may very well try to get out, maybe jump out a window, so take precautions and prepare. Once you have momma cat you can get the babies. Reunite them asap. Feed momma cat wet food. She may not be too friendly at first so have her food, bedding, litter box preset for her in the room. Once you reunite them, the babies will go right to momma and vice versa.
You found baby kittens and no momma: Do not take the baby kittens away from their momma ever. They need their momma. Watch carefully for a momma cat. If you know for sure there is no momma cat then capture the babies and bring them inside. One way to make sure there is no momma, capture the babies in a cage and have the cage outside. Momma cat will hear her babies and come get them. At that point you can capture momma by using a live trap. There is no perfect way to do this because all animals react differently to stressful situations. You need to remain calm and patient. Do not start this capturing at night unless you have time to finish it up at midnight as it may take that long.
If you capture a female cat and you notice she has nipples that are slightly enlarged, then she has babies somewhere. Look for the babies and if you do not find them, let the momma go and she will show you where they are. You just have to hide and watch her. Set food out for her. Wet food is the best.
What to do after you have captured momma cat and kittens or just kittens? Make sure they are safe and warm. Give them food. DO NOT give kittens MILK. It makes them sick. Feed a dry food and a wet food. Give wet food especially to the kittens as they may be dehydrated. Dehydration will kill a kitten very quickly. Call a shelter or rescue group and ask them what to feed them. They will always give you good advice.
That adult cat in your hood: Chances are the adult cat, even the older kitten in your hood has not been fixed and will soon either become pregnant or get another pregnant. It is never good just to think the problem will go away, because it won’t. It will become your problem especially if you begin to feed a stray cat and do nothing more to save it. Feeding is a good thing, but stepping up and dealing with the situation saves the cats. It also saves you from collecting and becoming a hoarder. Follow the above advice about capturing them.
You can’t keep the stray or you need help with babies and momma? If you cannot keep the stray, call your animal control and several rescue groups. Some may be able to help by taking them in as fosters. Not all can take them in as there is overcrowding, especially during kitten season. Of course they can also help with advice and that is always free. Preventing overcrowded shelters begins with you taking the right steps. It becomes everyone’s problem when others do not spay and neuter their pets. Unfortunately that is a reality we see every day.
Spay and Neuter: There are several low cost spay and neuter clinics. Some as low as $10. Do research and yes it takes effort. Check out these sites for more information of the clinics: www.catadoptionteam.org;
These websites can lead you to the low cost spay and neuter clinics in Oregon.
LIVE TRAP: Ask your veterinarian, feed lot, shelters, rescue groups for a live trap you can borrow. Many times they are willing to help in this way. Just return the traps. Tell them you will put down a deposit. You can always purchase your own and share it with your neighbors.
Are you feeding all those stray cats? Well they do multiply and before you know it you have many cats on your property. Most of the cats go untreated for medical issues and they suffer greatly. You are not doing them any favor by just feeding them.
If you are just feeding them, it would be far cheaper to bring them into the low cost clinic and have them fixed! Think about it and do the math. $10.00 for a spay/neuter vs. months (years) of feeding 15 strays. If you are feeding stray cats, by law those cats are legally considered yours. If you really want to help them, then take the steps. It is not always simple and fun, but it is rewarding knowing you helped save a life.
Watching cute kittens: Are you watching and feeding the cute little stray kittens because you think they are cute or you are in love with them? If you wait too long to call for help and these cute kittens become 4 months old and are fearful of people, you have done them a great dis-service. Please note: The sooner you ask for help and do something to help them, the better chance these kittens have in being placed in foster homes and shelters. Please do not become a hoarder. It’s not pretty nor is it healthy for any animal.
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