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Is It Ok To Move Ki...
 

Is It Ok To Move Kittens and Mom After Birth?

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Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 1
11/05/2024 8:20 am
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Hi have cat that is just over a year old , and she got  pregnant  a few months ago she liked being outside more than inside . Anyway she just four little kittens a few hours ago in the bushes outside of my apartment . I’m pretty sure done with the labor part and resting right now . But last night I spotted a full grown raccoon eating her cat food and I think I scared it off because I haven’t it since . My question is how do I move her inside my apt where it’s safer for her the babies . Just ling should wait and us it a good idea touch them if she lets me ? I’m new at owning a cat. 

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Joined: 4 years ago
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16/05/2024 11:16 pm

@earlefelkins Hi Earle In addition to the wonderful suggestions made by Dr. Chris Vanderhoof. Determining the kitten’s age is vital to deciding how to help. Kittens under four weeks old (neonates) need special round-the-clock care; hence, leaving them with their mother outdoors and avoiding disrupting the scent of the nest, particularly in the early days, is essential. Provide food, water, and either a pre-built or DIY cat shelter ( https://www.alleycat.org/resources/feral-cat-shelter-options-gallery/), and monitor the family daily. If mum and kittens are in danger (if they need medical attention or the environment is about to be destroyed), bring the whole family inside to a quiet, small room like a bathroom. You can also provide another nesting site outdoors if the queen wants to move the litter. If you bring them indoors, avoid areas with drafts and noise sources such as washing machines. If you believe the family’s original environment will never be safe, you can find a new outdoor home until you reach out to a rescue. Generally, you can begin handling the kittens between 3-6 weeks to ensure the kittens develop positive relationships with people. Positive distractions like feeding the mother can be used for queens who show any sign of anxiety at having their kittens handled. This helps the queen keep her calm and distracted while handling the kittens.

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Joined: 4 years ago
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16/05/2024 12:19 pm

Hi Earle,

This one could be a little bit tricky, because how much you’re able to help may depend on the willingness of the mom to accept your hospitality. 

I would not have a great expectation that you can just bring her inside and expect her to adjust quickly to that environment change. I would say to try putting in a cat door but if you don’t own your residence, that’s probably not an option. 

She may already have a sheltered area other than just the bushes, but if you don’t think so, you could try to provide her a place of shelter. One simple way to do that is to get a large storage container with a lid, flip it upside down, cut a hole in one end big enough for the mom to get in and out, and add a couple more ventilation holes on the sides. Try placing it in a shady area near your residence. You’ll want to leave it alone for the mom to trust it as a safe area.

To protect the food and water, you could try doing something similar with a smaller container placed near the larger one that you can regularly change in and out. It may not fully prevent a crafty raccoon, but it could at least discourage them.

Ultimately, it may be possible for you to make friends with the kittens, although the mom may still keep her distance. This was the case with my own cats. They were used to me from only a couple weeks after they were born. Their mom kept her distance but she didn’t mind the kittens interacting with me. 

Ideally, you’d try to wait until about 6 weeks to remove them from mom. If you watch them closely, you may notice that she starts to wean them by not letting them nurse anymore and she may take them out on trips to learn to hunt with her. If you plan to adopt them, this is around the time to do that when they are done nursing and able to do more on their own. We typically start vaccinating and deworming kittens around 8 weeks of age.

For mom, I think the best you can do is offer her opportunities to come inside if she gets close, but allow her to leave when she wants. Ideally you’d want to get her vaccinated for rabies at the minimum, but the stress of trapping her and taking her to the vet may lead to her no longer trusting you and leave. A local rescue group may be helpful and may work with you to help her get vet care after the kittens are weaned.

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