What to do with new litter of feral kittens......HELP!

by Donna Greiner
(Riverside NJ)

Dear fellow cat family, how are you?

Well, Mommycat had a new litter of 4 kittens on April 8. BEAUTIFUL does not do them justice....She once again had them in my back yard. This past Tuesday they were 9 wks old.

At what age does the mother cat leave the kittens to fend for themselves??? Last year she left them at about 3-4 months. If you recall, my neighbor tried to trap Mommycat and the 5 kittens while I was on a weekend vacation. He "caught" 3 kittens but not Mommycat. I have been dedicated to her and her litter, feeding her well during her gestation, and now while she is nursing. I began to put out Purina kitten chow nurture for the kittens at their weaning age. I know from observation, she has caught and fed them birds, rabbits, and a chipmunk. They already hiss at me!

Mommycat is a wonderful mother. My concern is their welfare after she leaves the nest. If you recall, I rescued 2 kittens from last year's litter. I still have them, inside, of course.

My neighbors are already aware that there are kittens again, and the female won't even speak to me due to her "gardens"....they never go in her yard anyway, I'm like/am their second mom. Mommycat needs to be spayed, that would solve the problem....but she is wise to the whole trapping process. So, now I have 8 cats total...6 of which are outside cats. I had DADDYCAT neutered this past February.

The no kill shelter charges $100 to surrender each kitten, and I cannot afford that at this time. My health has not been good, and isn't improving. After watching the beauty of nature unfold again, it grieves me to think what may happen to these gifts from god. Any suggestions for this worried "Mom"?

The real problem is the neighbors, and a boy in the apartments next to my property has a BB gun, I was told by a child that he shot a squirrel. What a world for the cats.

Sincerely,
Donna Greiner

RESPONSE:

Donna,
I empathize with you. You are facing a tremendous challenge keeping up with the Mommycat and her continuing litters. Now that Daddycat is neutered this should stop unless she is still wandering and finding other mates. As for your neighbors, is there a urine smell in your yard that wafts over to them? This would intensify their dislike for your kindness to the ferals.

Please read my article on Feral Cats. There is a link to Alley Cat Allies and if you phone them they may be able to give you some suggestions. I believe they are very helpful and I give an automatic donation to them each month because I believe they are so dedicated to helping our feline friends and also providing information to those of us who try to make a difference.

I wish you well with your continuing attempts to help your feral kittens.

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