Pet lovers would do almost anything to rescue an animal in distress, but not everybody has the experience to care for abandoned animals safely. What would you do if you saw a litter of abandoned kittens on your property?
If you find an animal in distress and need advice, the Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic is here to help. Dr. Neal is a caring veterinarian in Tucson, AZ and a proud member of the community. She founded a charitable organization that provides spay and neuter services and support for pet owners in need.
Dr. Neal has the following advice for anyone who finds abandoned kittens on their property.
Evaluate the Situation
Assessing the condition of the kittens and the environment is a crucial first step in deciding how best to help them:
- Do you see just one or two, or is there an entire litter of kittens?
- Do the kittens seem to be in any immediate danger?
- Are the kittens ill or injured? Can they move on their own and hide from predators?
If the kittens are safe as they are, your best bet might be to watch the kittens but not intervene directly.
Look for Signs of the Mother
If kittens are too young to hunt for themselves, they might fall prey to hunger and disease without their mother to look after them. If you don’t see any signs of the mother around after several hours, the kittens might need someone to take care of them.
Keep in mind that mother cats who live on their own learn to hide from humans who might want to do them harm. If the kittens do not seem deprived, the mother might have come by to check on them without you noticing.
Prepare to Take Care of the Kittens Yourself
Abandoned kittens will need warmth, water, protection from the elements, and a source of nutrition.
Unweaned kittens require round-the-clock care. You can care for them yourself in a box covered with a blanket. One of the most important things you can do for kittens is to keep their body temperature high.
Local animal shelters do not take kittens, but they often provide resources to pet owners who are fostering kittens. After the kittens are eight weeks old, have them spayed and neutered before bringing them to a shelter.
Finding Foster Parents
If you are new to pet ownership or don’t have much experience caring for kittens, consider asking a friend or family member to take care of them. Local animal aid groups or neighborhood organizations might be able to spread the word about kittens who need a good home.
Get Help Taking Care of Abandoned Kittens from the Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic
When you commit to taking care of animals, including newborn kittens, you need access to any help you can get. Learn how to spot common cat illnesses and more information about proper pet care by calling Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic at 520-889-9643.