Help! Cat is having kittens under hood of my vehicle

gleason

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I have a semi-feral cat that I noticed was pregnant. I used my vehicle this morning and now this afternoon I went out in the garage and could hear a kitten mewing. It sounded like it was coming from under my vehicle. I opened the hood and sure enough there she is. She is down far enough that I can't reach her. I did see a couple of kittens but I don't think she is done yet. I left the hood open. What can I do? I will need the vehicle tomorrow for an appt. I do not have another vehicle to use. Will she move the kittens overnight?
 

shadowsrescue

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Could you do a search on rescue groups in your area and reach out for some help? This is a tricky situation. You certainly do not want to drive the car if there are kittens inside the engine. Do you have the group NextDoor in your area where you could reach out for some help. There may be other cat friendly people who might help you.
 
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gleason

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No Next Door group in our area. We are in a rural area of north central Wisconsin.
 

fionasmom

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Can you look up some cat rescues, even those not in your area and call and ask for advice? If you indicate that you need advice, not necessarily for them to come out and commandeer the whole situation, they may be willing to talk you through this. Local fire department may also be willing to give advice...no, they are not going to show up with sirens blaring, but they may also be able to help.

I wonder if even a mild disturbance, nothing threatening but even you coming and going from the garage or pretending to move something or work in the garage might make the mom move them?
 
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gleason

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In the past, she would come to me but would run away if my husband was around. I did have him come out and I showed him where she was. She saw him. I'm hoping that may get her to move the kittens. She was still birthing when he looked at her. Also, the garage has a pet door that the other ferals can come in for food and water. I'm hoping she will be leery of the other cats and move the kittens tonite.
Unfortunately she is down where you can't reach her. If I could, I would get her out and then get the kittens but that is not possible right now.
 

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See where the mom and kittens are tomorrow. Maybe put a covered box or a large crate outside with towels inside and food nearby and perhaps mom will move them. Please do not crank the car or drive it until you are sure the mom and kittens are safely out of the engine.

Please keep us posted!
 
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gleason

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Well mom and babies were still under the hood this morning. Fortunately my husband was available and we made it to my appt. When we came back I put out some tuna which Dusty (the mom cat) came out to eat. I picked her up and put her in the bathroom with the tuna. Then we tried to get the babies out. Ended up having to jack up the front and my husband was able to reach up and get them. There were 2 living and 1 dead one. I put them in a box with some bedding, went and got mom and put her in. We walked away and a bit later I went to check on her and dog gone if she didn't have them back up under the hood. We left her as I didn't need the vehicle. We are going to try again tomorrow. We're going to put her out in our barn which is just used for storage. We are going to move my vehicle into another closed building for a few days. Hopefully she will adjust to the new location. Fingers crossed.
 

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Your kindness gives me so much hope. Thank you for caring about these abandoned kitties.

Cat's hate noise. If all else fails, you could try drumming on the car - not too loudly, but consistently - or putting a playing radio near where the family is. She might move them.
 

Sarthur2

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Can this cat family live inside your home until mom can be spayed and the kittens rehomed? It would be so much safer.

Do you feed mom regularly? She needs extra nutrition while nursing.

I do hope things works out safely for this cat family. Do keep us posted!
 

jefferd18

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Well mom and babies were still under the hood this morning. Fortunately my husband was available and we made it to my appt. When we came back I put out some tuna which Dusty (the mom cat) came out to eat. I picked her up and put her in the bathroom with the tuna. Then we tried to get the babies out. Ended up having to jack up the front and my husband was able to reach up and get them. There were 2 living and 1 dead one. I put them in a box with some bedding, went and got mom and put her in. We walked away and a bit later I went to check on her and dog gone if she didn't have them back up under the hood. We left her as I didn't need the vehicle. We are going to try again tomorrow. We're going to put her out in our barn which is just used for storage. We are going to move my vehicle into another closed building for a few days. Hopefully she will adjust to the new location. Fingers crossed.
I am so thankful that everything worked out and a special thanks to you and your husband for being so patient with mom and the little ones. I am sorry that one did not make it but that sadly sometimes happens in a litter of kittens, especially if mom is very young.
Please keep us posted.
 

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I am so sorry I was not here to advise but you did great. Keep banging on the hood of the car with your hand and I feel sure she will keep them elsewhere. Getting them into that barn and a safe place is wonderful. Mom cat needs your help right now and I am so grateful to you for giving it to her. I am sorry one baby is lost but you saved the lives of mom and the other babies. Thank you!
 

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Maybe try setting off the car alarm? Press the panic button on the remote. The noise from the horn and flashing lights should scare her out. The panic button will work if the car is off.
 

Sarthur2

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Any luck getting mom and babies out of the car again today? I know you planned to put her in the barn and sequester your car in a garage so she cannot get into the engine again. I’ve been thinking about you and the cat family and hoping all is going well. We’d love an update when you get a chance!
G gleason
 
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gleason

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I have an update. First I would like to thank everyone for your suggestions and kind words. We left her alone under the hood last night so she would settle down. I gave her some tuna and put her in the bathroom again this morning. Then we jacked up the vehicle again and my husband reached in to get the kittens. Sadly one was dead. So there is only one surviving. We made a nice secluded spot in the barn. I put the kitten out there and went and got Dusty and took her out there. We put my vehicle in the other building that is closed. She stayed with the kitten for awhile but soon she was in the driveway crying and wandering around. I'm guessing she was looking for her other kitten. I felt so bad for her. But she finally settled down and stopped the crying. I have a feeling that she laid on the other kitten and suffocated it as she did not have much room under the hood where she was.
I've checked on the baby several times today and so far it is still alive. She has been in there with it also. Dusty was up at the garage to eat before so I went out to check on the baby and found a bunch of flies all over it's face. I was so upset. I thought the baby died but it stretched and moved when I touched it to shoo away the flies. I'm wondering why the flies are on it's face?
Over the years we have had other litters of kittens but the moms have always had them elsewhere on our property so I never knew about them until they were about 4 or 5 weeks old or older.
 

Sarthur2

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It is sad that another kitten has passed. The remaining kitten has likely got some bacteria on its face or skin from birthing that has not been cleaned off yet by mom and is attracting the flies. You might want to clean the kitten with a warm damp cloth.

Can you also check to make sure it is actually latching and nursing?

Since it is just mom and one kitten, could you possibly let her raise it inside your home so both mom and kitten are safe? Then mom could be spayed in a few weeks so that she can no longer reproduce, and the kitten can be fixed as well and/or rehomed.

If for any reason the last kitten does not make it, could you please get mom spayed right away then?

These stories are so sad when outside strays do their best with litters but nothing goes right due to the situations and the elements. It’s such a shame after the moms go through a full pregnancy. Spayed cats live longer, healthier, and happier lives, and inside moms and kittens fair better as well.

Thanks so much for the update, and I appreciate all your and your husband’s efforts on behalf of this mama cat and her kittens. G gleason
 
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Catmoment

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I went out to check on the baby and found a bunch of flies all over it's face. I was so upset. I thought the baby died but it stretched and moved when I touched it to shoo away the flies. I'm wondering why the flies are on it's face?
Hi Gleason,
You and your husband have made a really good and kind effort so far.
I had a kitten with this problem and, if you want the kitten to have a chance of survival, you have to get the flies off it and keep them off. I suggest it's time to take both kitten and cat to the vet!
At least, sponge the flies off, drowning them if you can. I wonder if the flies are, in fact, lice. See if you can work out whether the insects have come off the cat or the immediate environment.
If it's fleas, they can bite the kitten until it dies of anaemia quite quickly.
I pray you can save this kitten but don't be too upset if it dies, as this could easily happen, sadly.
All the best
 
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gleason

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Final update. I went out yesterday to wash the kitty"s face so the flies would leave it alone but Dusty was with the kitty. So I left them alone. I went out this morning to check on the baby kitty and it was dead. Momma cat is fine.
I would like to add. Cats/kittens do not last long here. We live in a rural area and have coyotes, wolves and I recently saw a cougar just a mile from our house. Then there is the owls and eagles. In 2019 I took 7 cats/kittens in to be spayed/neutered. None have survived. A couple were hit on the road and the rest just "disappeared". Right now there are only 4 ferals here. Being retired and on a fixed income, I really have no desire to go thru the expense of spay/neuter at this time.
 

Sarthur2

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Such a sad story but I do understand your situation. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of these cats. Life is not easy for strays; nor is it easy living on a fixed income. Blessings!
 
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