Should I bring in kittens I find?
During the height of kitten season (spring, summer, and early fall), you might discover a nest of unattended kittens or a single kitten seemingly abandoned by a mother. Before coming to their rescue, please follow these steps to determine if the kittens are truly in danger and need your assistance:
First, watch and wait to see if a mother cat is coming back for them.
To effectively monitor for a mother cat, stay far away from the kittens. If the babies are clean, active, and plump, chances are their mom is nearby and caring for them and is simply hiding from you. Feral cats do not stay with their babies throughout the day and leave them unattended most of the time to hunt for food. A feral queen will not approach if she senses someone is nearby. It may be several hours or more before the mother cat returns. Remember, feral cats are most active at night, so you may not catch a glimpse of the mother at all.
If the mother cat returns, leave the kittens alone until they are weaned.
Their best chance of survival is with their mother. You can offer shelter and food to the mother cat but avoid handling or moving the kittens. Try to offer food and shelter to the mother away from the kittens. The mother cat may choose to move her kittens to another area if other cats are attracted to the food source. The optimal age to remove kittens from their mother is between 6-8 weeks. If you’ve been monitoring a mother cat with kittens and they have reached 6-8 weeks, please attempt to trap the mother along with her kittens, or she will quickly become pregnant again with a new litter. Many local organizations can assist with lending you a humane trap, like thefelinefix.org.
If you know the mother cat is not coming back, and the kittens appear to be in danger, please bring them to the Adams County Animal Shelter/Adoption Center (ACASAC).
ACASAC has a small number of volunteers who can assist with bottle feeding, but foster space is limited, so please do not remove the kittens unless they are in grave danger. Arriving with the kittens early in the day (before 1 p.m.) will give the kittens a better chance to find placement in a foster home.
If you would like to provide more assistance to newborn kittens in your community, please consider joining our foster team as a bottle baby foster or donating to our kitten program.