Friday, December 16, 2005

"Lost" Kittens and mother cats

We have a sudden resurgence of people writing in again to say they're picking up kittens and cats. People say that the kitten is wandering around,they wait around for 10 minutes and see no mother cat, so they swoop down and pick it up and bring it home, then realise they cannot bottle feed it. Please, PLEASE don't do that. As I've blogged about, and which CWS puts on the FAQ, kittens without their mothers have a much slimmer chance of survival. While you can get milk substitutes (including possibly donated breast milk! :)), the cat does the best on mother's milk which has colostrum.

Even if you go back and put the kitten back where you found it, the mother cat may not take to it again because of your smell on the cat. One woman wrote in and asked me why the mother was so 'irresponsible' and wouldn't come claim her kitten because the woman was standing over the kitten and the mother cat was right there. She said that a responsible mother cat would have run to her kitten's rescue. The fact that the mother cat is already braving your presence is saying a lot.

So please, unless the kitten has obviously been in distress for a while, then you may need to remove the cat. If the kitten is meowing for a few hours, it's calling for its mother who has in all likelihood gone to try and find food. Don't stand over the kitten constantly or the mother may be waiting for YOU to leave.

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