Farm Cats, Need Guidance.

Goldehwolfeh

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Hello, I know I haven't been on here for a long while... Since I had basically raised a momma and her 4 kitties...
Today, I was working on my girlfriend's dad's farm (He rents space until he can buy his own). There are feral cats that roam, some love humans and some don't which is usual. Today was like any normal day. Feeding cows, Bottle-feeding Calves, lastly rest of the milk going to the cute kitties.

I was walking through the barn and when I got close to the calves all I heard was a little kitty cry, as if it was crying for momma. Of course I couldn't just ignore it, I went over to check it out and to see if it was what I thought it was. Sure enough, It was a baby kitten. Eyes still closed, could lift its head, Must of been maybe a couple days old to a week. I looked up, it could have fallen, and my instincts just told me to pick it up and try finding where it could have come from. I looked everywhere and even showed some of the female barn cats the kitten... as if I was asking it "Is this yours?" and there was one I showed it to and she just stared at it and well growled.

I ended up putting it back where I found two other kittens (Close to where it had fallen) hoping that it wasn't rejected... So I come here to discuss it, get ideas on what to do so I can then discuss it with my girlfriend and manage to come to an agreement with her...

So far I've come up with one solution,

1) In the morning my girlfriend will be going up there to feed. I'm going to have her bring a box with her and check the spot throughout the times that she is there. If it has fallen and still alive and no mother to be seen anywhere like today, I'm going to have her bring it home. I'm going to treat it for fleas when I get home from work and I'm going to obviously get kitten milk replacer once more and do what I can until I can take it to the shelter (I also may just keep it depending on how attached I get to it).

But please give me some ideas, I will be asking the farmer tomorrow if I see him if I can care for the barn cats. (Defleaing, cleaning, feeding). My heart just hurts for these guys and especially that kitten!.
 

Maria Bayote

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If the eyes are still closed then they are only days old kitties. I hope the mama comes back or else you need to bottle feed them (or syringe-feed) every few hours, 2-3 hours is more advisable.

When the kittens have reached their 3rd-4th week they can be fed with the formula on a shallow dish plus kitten food softened with water. This should be done in 4-6 times a day.

As they get older you can decrease the amount of formula that you feed them and transitioning them more on kitten wet food.

Thank you for considering the time and resources for these poor babies. You are their hero. :)
 

golondrina

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Hello Goldehwolfeh. How old are the kittens with whom you have placed the little one with the closed eyes? If their mom has not come back it is very important that they are kept warm besides being fed. Could you post a pic?
 

StefanZ

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Beware of taking to a shelter. If they cant easily find a foster they will just pts it.

Safest you are the foster - possibly cooperating with shelter.

Can you get raw goats milk?
 

Lola3791

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My family has a dairy farm with feral cats and I've had a lot of experience with barn cats and their kittens.
If you handled the kittens then there's a good chance the mother will reject them because your scent is on them. If you only handled one kitten she may only reject that one kitten. Sometimes barn cats will leave their kittens when they go hunting. The mother probably will find them especially if they are crying.
The best thing for you to do is to leave the kittens alone.
Check on them at a distance. If you check there throughout the day and the mother is there leave them alone. If they are not there, mother cat probably moved them because she could smell humans on them or she saw you.
Be 100% sure the mother is not around before you take them. If she sees you she may be too scared to go to her kittens.
If you don't see any cats near the kittens throughout the day, then they are probably rejected.
Just for future reference, if you find kittens again, leave them alone. Barn cats make the best cat mothers and know what they are doing.
 
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Goldehwolfeh

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If the eyes are still closed then they are only days old kitties. I hope the mama comes back or else you need to bottle feed them (or syringe-feed) every few hours, 2-3 hours is more advisable.

When the kittens have reached their 3rd-4th week they can be fed with the formula on a shallow dish plus kitten food softened with water. This should be done in 4-6 times a day.

As they get older you can decrease the amount of formula that you feed them and transitioning them more on kitten wet food.

Thank you for considering the time and resources for these poor babies. You are their hero. :)
You're very welcome, I just think it is unfair to the little guys to keep falling off their area and not be helped. They could be eaten by the farm dogs and/or they could decide to kill em and as an Animal lover, I cannot allow that to happen. They're innocent and deserve better.

Hello Goldehwolfeh. How old are the kittens with whom you have placed the little one with the closed eyes? If their mom has not come back it is very important that they are kept warm besides being fed. Could you post a pic?
I currently do not have any pictures, but they seem to be a couple days old.

Beware of taking to a shelter. If they cant easily find a foster they will just pts it.

Safest you are the foster - possibly cooperating with shelter.

Can you get raw goats milk?
That was my other plan, was to cooperate with the local shelter and foster until they are adoptable. Sadly I rent a place and I think I might have to pay extra rent.

My family has a dairy farm with feral cats and I've had a lot of experience with barn cats and their kittens.
If you handled the kittens then there's a good chance the mother will reject them because your scent is on them. If you only handled one kitten she may only reject that one kitten. Sometimes barn cats will leave their kittens when they go hunting. The mother probably will find them especially if they are crying.
The best thing for you to do is to leave the kittens alone.
Check on them at a distance. If you check there throughout the day and the mother is there leave them alone. If they are not there, mother cat probably moved them because she could smell humans on them or she saw you.
Be 100% sure the mother is not around before you take them. If she sees you she may be too scared to go to her kittens.
If you don't see any cats near the kittens throughout the day, then they are probably rejected.
Just for future reference, if you find kittens again, leave them alone. Barn cats make the best cat mothers and know what they are doing.
The other barn cats were curious about them, but none of them seemed to appear motherly to do that little purr mothers do to calm their kittens down. Some seemed avoidant about them. (My girlfriend's words, as I wasn't at the farm this morning)

It is very kind of you to want to care for the barn cats. Barn cats have a tough life and anything you can do for them will only help. Your plan sounds good to me, and I hope your friend will agree! Do keep us posted! :)
I will for sure keep you posted!, Will be getting them tonight I hope!
 

mani

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My family has a dairy farm with feral cats and I've had a lot of experience with barn cats and their kittens.
If you handled the kittens then there's a good chance the mother will reject them because your scent is on them. If you only handled one kitten she may only reject that one kitten. Sometimes barn cats will leave their kittens when they go hunting. The mother probably will find them especially if they are crying.
The best thing for you to do is to leave the kittens alone.
Check on them at a distance. If you check there throughout the day and the mother is there leave them alone. If they are not there, mother cat probably moved them because she could smell humans on them or she saw you.
Be 100% sure the mother is not around before you take them. If she sees you she may be too scared to go to her kittens.
If you don't see any cats near the kittens throughout the day, then they are probably rejected.
Just for future reference, if you find kittens again, leave them alone. Barn cats make the best cat mothers and know what they are doing.
I do need to step in here and say that cats do not reject kittens that have been touched by humans... even very feral cats. They simply wash them and take them away.
Goldehwolfeh Goldehwolfeh please don't feel you've done the wrong thing. It's wonderful you're trying to help :)
 

Norachan

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I do need to step in here and say that cats do not reject kittens that have been touched by humans... even very feral cats.
:yeah: Some animals will reject their young if they smell of humans, but not cats. There's no reason to worry about the mother taking the kitten back just because you picked him or her up.

It is unusual for mother cats to leave their kittens alone for any great lengths of time when they are so young. Sometimes if the mother decides to move her litter to another nest one kitten may get dropped and forgotten. Could she have been relocating her kittens?

I guess you will know by now if the kittens needed help or if the mother is still around.

If there are a lot of cats at the barn maybe you could persuade your girlfriend and her father to start doing TNR? The barn cats will be much healthier and do a better job of controlling rodents if they are fixed and vaccinated. Unfixed cats roam, get into fights, get sick and have litter after litter of kittens. It's much easier to care for a small colony of healthy TNR'd cats than it is to deal with all the problems that come with unfixed colonies.

Do you need help finding a TNR group or a low cost clinic in your area?

Please keep us posted on the kitten.

:goodluck:
 

di and bob

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Most animals, deer, rabbits, and cats, do NOT reject their offspring because of human scent, they are too used to being around it. They will clean the baby to remove it. I think this started as a way to get people to not take baby animals away from the spot they are in. Because more then likely mama left them there. A tiny newborn found in the open with no parent around is NOT normal, and I would do all I could to reunite them with the family. Especially baby birds blown out of their nest., or tiny kittens before they can see or really get around. There is teh possibility that tehre is something wrong, genetically or otherwise, and the mama is abandoning it. Or she could have been moving it and got scared into dropping it. Please keep us posted!
 
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Goldehwolfeh

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Update:
Thanks everyone for the guidance, the kittens are being cared for by their mother. Haven't been able to go to the farm as her father does not want me to work there at the moment and I refuse to start back up again if I don't get to with my girlfriend. As I started working with her, I feel as if I would be more comfortable doing so again.

On the other hand, Her father is renting space at this farm as these farmers were about to give up. The cats are theirs and I can hopefully persuade the owner of the farm to TNR them.

I appreciate the information, and the guidance during this.
 

Sarthur2

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Are the cats being fed daily? Thank you for your concern for these kitties! :)
 
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