Feral Mom and Babies

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2012
Feral Mom and Babies
5
Sat, 10-27-2012 - 8:41pm

We've been feeding a smallish black "Mama Cat" for about 2 months now.  Some days she is around a lot, some we don't see her.  She never lets you get more than about 3 feet away without circling and she has a tiny meow.  Today was the 1st day we saw her kittens.  4 of them.  From the looks I can tell who their dad is.  They were eating and playing in the back of the house.  We had the garage door open.  3 were running around playing, 1 was hanging out in the garage, Mama was just watching.  I was staring hoping the final would come out of the garage so we could shut the door.  Then Mama went flying across the yard to the food.  2 other full size black cats.  It was getting dark, and the kittens all hid in the garage when the other cats came.  Now we have the garage door nearly closed, to protect our stuff from getting stolen, and Mama is hanging out near the house under the patio table.  My boy cat is at the back door on his perch supervising.  I asked if he wanted to come inside and he just looked at me like, no way mom, too much going on out here.  I hope in the morning all the kittens get out of the garage!  I feel bad seperating them from their mom, but what should we have done?  I was also hoping by now that Mama would be letting us touch her so I could take her to the vet or the adoption center.  I hate to try it when she is so feral b/c I am pretty sure they will just put her down.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2012
Sun, 10-28-2012 - 3:46pm

Just an update, no kittens stayed overnight in the garage.  We left the door open a few inches until about 10 last night, then shut it when we didn't see Mama anywhere.  The food we left in there was untouched this morning.  Working outside again today, but leaving the door shut!

Avatar for tiggs_mom
Community Leader
Registered: 07-02-1999
Mon, 10-29-2012 - 8:47am

This can be so hard. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a low cost spay/neuter clinic that will spay the mom cat so you can release her. It is a process called TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) and they will tip her left ear to let others know she is spayed. Depending on the ages of the kittens, if you can catch them and find a rescue to help, they may be able to be domesticated. However, if not, then TNR for them too. If you have a local rescue involved in TNR, you may be able to get some help from them and borrow a live trap. Alley Cat Allies (http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=984) has some great info on how to do this and where to get help.

I have a feral mom that I am feeding and have set up "winter camp" for. I managed to grab her kittens earlier this summer when they were small and they are wonderful and outgoing now (and ready for adoption). She is spayed, tipped and got a rabies vaccine.

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2012
Mon, 10-29-2012 - 5:19pm

Thanks!  When you TNR how does the recovery work?  Does she stay at the vet long enough to be released?

Community Leader
Registered: 03-24-2000
Tue, 10-30-2012 - 10:13am

The few cats that I TNR were just let go when I brought them back.  I tried to leave the last one in a crate over night and he was so scared that I think it is just easier for them to be let go and in their own envoirment.  I have never had one get an infection from the spay or neuter.  They just needed to be alert and not groggy from the anaesthetic.

Good luck trapping the mom and kittens at least.  I hope the kittens aren't really tiny where they still need mom though.

Good luck!

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Avatar for tiggs_mom
Community Leader
Registered: 07-02-1999
Tue, 10-30-2012 - 11:22am

The clinic I use puts the cat back in the live trap. Their vet says keep the cat in the trap overnight. Surgery cause their bodies not to be able to control temp sometimes. However, depending on how the cat is acting, I will let them go sooner....along with Leslie, I agree that sometimes keeping them in the crate is harder on them.

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