It is highly noble of you that you have decided to adopt a small kitty from an animal shelter or straight from the great outdoors. The little ball or balls of fur would be forever indebted to you for this act of kindness and would express gratitude through their beady little eyes when words fall short.
Bringing up a cat from scratch is quite a big deal to be honest, and also quite fulfilling at the same time. So, how to find newborn kittens outside?
No matter which household you visit these days, a kitty is sure to be seated on the living room sofa, or at least be ready to see one grinning at you from across the hallway. It is a popular pet to be adopted (no offense to other pets!).
Once you have made up your mind about adopting one or more than newborn kittens, you can either contact an animal shelter or inform your neighbors that if they spot abandoned newborn kitties, to let you know. You can also post your interest on social media.
Spotting abandoned or with-mother newborns in the corner of the street somewhere is not surprising. If you have spotted any, and if the situation demands an immediate rescue, then you can trap them using humane box traps which do not harm the animals in any way.
Once you have brought them home safely, feed them unless they grow bigger and can fend for themselves. Keep reading for more information.
How To Find Newborn Kittens Outside?
Spring and summer are cat’s mating seasons, therefore, chances of finding kitties abandoned and going astray are high during these months. There is no fixed place to find kitties.
You may contact the local animal shelter or your neighbor or post an adoption post on social media—you can be certain you will get countless responses.
Or wait till you can grasp a chance encounter with a bunch right across your neighborhood street. You are going to the groceries and may find kitties meowing at the corner of the street, hidden in a bushy area. You might be in the middle of the road jogging and might find a bunch huddled up inside a throw-away carton or box.
Sorry sight as it may be, but once you spot a group, they would tug at your heart and challenge your humanity and you will not be able to resist at least going nearer and taking a closer look at their condition.
The point is, you may spot a bunch of newborn kitties almost anywhere, but that place most probably would be a warmer, darker, safer spot, away from threats like larger animals. This spot had been chosen for them by their mother.
The second thing you should take note of is the number and type of possible threats to the kittens. Is it raining or snowing the time you have happened to spot the kitties, or are there larger animals near them?
Evaluate carefully because this will determine if you should take the kitties to a safer spot immediately or you should wait for the mother kitty to show up.
Threatening conditions are an emergency and at times like these, you have to act as their immediate guardian. So you must jump to the rescue at once and carry the kitties to a safer spot, if not to your home. Safer spots could include a box, or a bushy area, or abandoned pipes, where dripping water or snow will not bother them.
Make sure the place you have chosen for their safekeeping is dry and a little warm because newborns are susceptible to hypothermia. And also make sure that they are not shifted to a location too far from the original spot where you had found them initially so that when the mother cat comes back, she can easily spot them when they cry out.
So why choose a safer spot in the outdoors when they could be taken to the comfort of your own home? It is because the mother may come back after some time.
Therefore, the third most important step would be to step back and wait for the mother to show up, because chances are she might be near somewhere looking for food for her newborns, or she might be away looking for a new place to shift her kittens to.
A very important thing to note here is that mother cats do not like humans or other animals hovering about near her litter because they are possessive and protective like mothers are usually.
Therefore without taking offense, stand at least 35 feet or farther if possible, away from the kittens because if the mother cat has already spotted you near her bunch from afar, chances are she is not going to come near her kittens and feed them, therefore it is crucial at this point that you make yourself unsightly.
Mother cats may take 30 minutes to one hour to return depending on when they had set off before you arrived at the spot, where they had set off to, and for what purpose.
If the mother cat has come back after an hour or so, let it wean its kittens—don’t go near now, because you will scare off the mother cat. The best thing to do at this moment is to let them be because separating the kittens forcefully from their mother is never a good idea.
However, if, with the help of a friend, you can lure the mother cat into a cage, then you can bring both the mother and her babies safely to your house and shelter them there.
However if the mother cat does not arrive, even after a period of 1-2 hours, and there is danger nearby or the weather is cold and wet, wrap the little furballs up in your jacket or a blanket, and bring them to your home.
Ask a vet about their age. If they are at least 6 weeks old then the kittens can be bottle-fed or spoon-fed. After eight weeks, they can be neutered and vaccinated. If you have managed to bring the mother cat home too and is planning to keep it along with the kittens, then ensure you spay the mother cat as soon as possible or else she will give birth to a new litter very soon.
How to trap newborn kittens outside
According to animal-health and rescue organizations, if the mother cat is not present and if the newborns are at immediate life-threats or health risks, then only you are supposed to rescue the kittens.
Also before trapping them in order to rescue them, make sure that the kittens are at least 8 weeks old because it is alright to separate them from their mother at this age.
On the contrary, if you find that the kittens are safe where they are with or without their mother, and there is no immediate danger, it would be best to leave them as they are.
Newborns are specifically easy to be trapped. Newborn kittens cannot see since their eye-lids remain closed shut, therefore they can only hear.
When they hear footsteps approaching them, they may panic and call for their mom, but you can easily grab them softly with your hands (wear gloves in case you fear they will bite) and transfer them to a cage or a box.
They will try to run away from you, but cats of that age, are too small and too slow to outpace you, so you can relax.
If you want to trap the mother cat, however, that can get a bit tricky. For that, avail yourself a humane box trap—they simply look like small bird cages and are called humane because they do not harm the animal trapped in any way. Animal rescuers use trap boxes like these to trap animals for neutering and vaccination.
Lay a box trap nearby the area where the family is located, with the front gate open. Cover the box trap with a blanket so that the cat cannot understand that it is a confinement.
For help, you can place the cage containing her babies just behind the first trap, that also blanketed, so that the mother understands that if she enters the trap she would be closer to her babies.
You can also use cat meow recordings and place inside the trap if nothing else works. Alternatively, place something alluring inside, like cat-treats or chicken meat. The mother would doubtlessly be starving, so once she smells the food, she would not think twice.
As soon as she gets in, she would step on a trigger that would automatically close the front door, and there you have the mommy cat safely inside.
Now if only you could tell her not to panic, because you will be taking her to a safer and warmer spot, and hope that she would somehow understand! Witnessing a panic-stricken mother cat is a sympathetic sight.
Newborn kitties are completely defenseless. They cannot see, and therefore can sense their surroundings only via touch and hearing. If you want to adopt abandoned and helpless kitties from the streets, then you might like to know how to find newborn kittens outside.
During summer and spring time, when cats breed, there is a high chance for you to spot newborn kitties down the road somewhere, underneath a bush, or inside a pipe. If you think they are safe where they are, it would be best if you leave them alone. But if you sense immediate danger, then bring them to your house.
Waiting for the mother cat to arrive is crucial. You can wait for her for an hour or longer if possible, and if she does not show up, you can ask the neighbors to keep an eye and inform you when she comes back. In the meantime, you can rescue the newborn kittens and take care of them.