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There is nothing cuter than a bunch of kittens, unless you find a litter of stray kittens and all of a sudden, you have a rather large, yet definitely cute problem on your hands! A lot of people choose to turn away from the kittens simply because they are not sure of the appropriate actions to take. The thing is if you leave them to their own devices and they are strays that do not have a mother to speak of; they are more than likely going to die, either from starvation or from natural predators. It only takes the smallest segment of time out of your life to help these fluffy critters, and you could be making the world of difference to these kitties.
There are a few steps that you should take to ensure that you are doing the right thing by the stray-appearing kittens that you have found:
• Make sure they are actually strays! They could belong to a family that live nearby or there could me a mother stray cat out looking for food. The last thing that you will want to do is take these adorable fluffy creatures from their loving home, or running the risk of being scratched half to death by a very angry stray cat that is fearful you are a predator to her babies. Have a good look around, judge the situation and act accordingly.
• How old do you think the kittens are? Remember that they will often be much smaller than they should be for their age when they grow up “on the streets”, but this is a vital piece of information that you will need to judge before you do anything else. If they are too young, you are taking them away from their mother’s milk and they could die. This also means that they will be too young for solid food. Also, you will need to have a rough idea when and if you decide to call a vet or shelter.
• It’s time to pick the kittens up. There are a few things that you should remember here – firstly, they are tiny so handle them with caution. Secondly, they are going to scratch and mew; you are a predator to them. If you have a blanket handy, use that. If you have scraps of food and they are old enough to eat them, win them over with the scraps. You should also remember that they are strays so they may have fleas, ticks or diseases, so always be careful!
• Keep the kittens warm, regardless of what you have decided to do with them. A box with a hot water bottle and a blanket will be sufficient for just now, but remember to make the box a large one if you are going to use a water bottle – they will need space to move away from the heat to avoid getting too hot.
• What are you going to do with the kittens once you have found out they definitely are strays? Are you going to keep them? If yes, this will mean trips to the vet, buying food, litter trays, toys etc. you will also need to take into account the vaccinations they will need as well as micro-chipping, spaying/neutering etc. It can be an expensive process. If you don’t want to keep the kittens, or simply do not have the resources to do so, take them to a shelter. These cute critters will soon find new homes!
In addition to the below general information about stray cats, I've also written these helpful articles:
Top 10 Most Common Problems Caused By Stray Cats
Should You Feed a Stray Cat?
How To Catch a Stray Cat
How to Adopt a Stray Cat
What Should You Do If You Find a Litter of Kittens?
How Many Stray Cats are in the United States
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