Stray Mom and Kittens Urgent Question

fionasmom

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I have routinely done spay/abort on any feral I trapped who was safely eligible for the procedure. She has had too many litters and is fortunate to have found you to help her. I lost an untrappable feral mother years ago ( I even hired a professional trapping company) who had back to back litters. The last one presented with huge complications and she and the kittens did not make it despite my neighbors rushing her to the hospital.
 

IndyJones

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With back to back litters her body will simply start to shut down. Eventualy she will be so exhausted her milk will dry up and her litter could even spontaniously terminate. Its also not unheard of for depleted mothers to kill their own kittens, it is the law of the wild and a primal instinct for survival nothing personal.
 

StefanZ

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I agree spaying asap prob the best. That late spaying is no big difficulty for an experienced vet, whom had done this before.

But may be difficult for an inexperienced vet!
 
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Kittymom35

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Thank you all for this information. I didn’t realize how serious this situation could be. I called several numbers on the Feral Friends list I have and unfortunately none of the ones for TNR resources were still in service but I did reach out to a cat rescue one city over and the woman there was wonderful. She said I can send Mama Cat with their next batch of spays and neuters on Sunday to the vet they use. She told me he has done many spay/aborts and they trust him. She will be transported to a vet about an hour and half from where I live and I can pick her up on Tuesday afternoon. I am really sad to separate her from her kittens but she assured me she thinks they will be okay for two days.

They eat solid pate and kibble and she suggested I add KMR to their wet food while she is gone. Does this sound like a safe plan? Is there anything else I can do to keep the kittens healthy and comforted while she is gone?

Thank you all for your time. I know there are many other with questions too and I appreciate each of you for taking the time to read and reply to my many questions.
 

StefanZ

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Sounds good.

During the time, an insight did come to me. IF she is back to back with 3 batches, and now a fourth on way, she must be essentially emaciated.

So you must treat her as such, an emaciated convalescent. The only difference is, she MAY eat full portions. With a freshly found thin emaciated you would need to give small portions of easy digested nutrients. But now Im digressing a little.

She must have nutrient rich food... Extra calcium too. Perhaps goats milk (cheaper than kmr), or yogurt to drink.
Fat rich kitten type food...
Probably also some type of a vitamine paste! Whatever they have in pet shop nearby you.

Ps. Mice and rodents are really good food for cats, if they are enough much. :)
They are really why cats on farms survive, although many farmers give them just cheap low quality cat food... But they get this extra of animal proteins and fats from mices they catch... :)
 

Sarthur2

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Mama may be terrified and confused going on the vet visit and being gone for 2 days, but she will be very happy to return to her kittens and the comfort of the arrangement in your home.

The kittens may miss mama, but they will be fine. Adding KMR to their food is a good idea. They need to stay with mom for a good 16 weeks.

Thank you for doing the due diligence required to find a reputable vet to perform the surgery! I am impressed by all your efforts on behalf of mom and her kittens!
 
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Kittymom35

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I am happy to help her. I’ve always loved all animals since I was a child. I’m sure we all (or most of us here) have that in common. I feel like she found me for a reason so I’m going to do my best to help her and her kittens. The only downside is how hard it is to part with them when they go to their forever homes. I will definitely make sure to feed her well and get her extra nutrition. Maybe this is why it seems she has been so hungry and eating a lot. Thank you all again.
 
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Kittymom35

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I am so sorry to bug you all again. Today one of the kittens or all of them have very mushy poop. Not liquid but like super mushy and sticky and it smells terrible. They are using the litter box and I haven’t been able to see who it is that has it. It’s a little lighter in color than normal poop and I don’t know if this is okay.
I have a camera in there and I have seen them
Playing and wrestling and being kittens so they seem to feel okay. I still cannot touch them. They run from me if I get too close when giving food or changing the litter box or water or cleaning.
I feel like I need to try to get them to the vet sooner than I thought but they are in a big crate, like the biggest dog crate size with one door open to a large wire playpen I zip ties to the crate so they’d have more room. There is also a zip tied screen across the top.
I don’t know how I can possible get them into a carrier to take them to the vet. I’m really worried and I could not sleep from worrying. Any ideas as to how I can move them into a small carrier or do for them to help would be so appreciated.

I did order vitamin paste and KMR and will pick that up in a couple hours. I also have the Bene something probiotics for our other cats so I can give them that. I’m going to call the vet and ask if they be willing to test a stool sample or something without me having to take them in today. I’m really not sure what to do. I’m also going to call a vet in our area who does house calls and see how much that would be and if she could come today.
 

StefanZ

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Good planning.

BeneBac is a very good probiotic, useful for both momma and kittens.

ps. You say momma is friendly, and you can pet her at will? Make sure you pet her when the kittens see that, and that momma comes forward voluntarily to you... It will accelerate their process...

Compare this with situation where you take care of a shy momma with kittens. In THIS situation fostering of the kittens is more difficult... Some shy mommas allows the human to foster her kittens, so its usually doable... :)
Still, it becomes easier if momma is friendly with the caretaker.
 

KittyFriday

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Worth a call to the vet just to ask.

Could you put the smaller carrier into the pen with them, and start putting their food inside so they have to go in to eat it? That might make them more familiar with the carrier and you may have an opportunity to just slowly close the door once they are all inside and eating.
 
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Kittymom35

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Hello StefanZ StefanZ fionasmom fionasmom Sarthur2 Sarthur2 and other fiends :) I hope you and your furry family members are all well. I have an update and a question. I didn’t want to start another thread so I will post here.

Mama Cat, whose name is now Birdie, has been spayed and is fully recovered. They said she was not pregnant. Her kittens were reunited with her after her 2-day absence and they were all so happy to be back together. Four weeks have past and she still seems to let them nurse on occasion but they are completely on wet food with access to dry.

The shelter I am working with is currently full so I was happy to keep all of them until they have room or are ready to post them on their pet finder page for adoption.

I have been struggling to socialize the kittens. One of the kittens lets me and my daughter hold her and pet her but doesn’t seem comfortable yet. All 3 still run away if they think
I am going to try to pick them up. The two other kittens are slowly letting me pet them as they eat or if they are just lying around. They no longer run when I enter the room but they do not approach me on their own. I play with them daily, at least a few times a day.

I am really worried they aren’t adoptable yet and we will go from 3 cats to 6 or 7 cats.

What are some other ways I can get them used to being held and actually come to me? I have not tried treats or food because they have sensitive stomachs and I don’t want to cause diarrhea. I also feel like chasing them around causes them a lot of stress and may not be helping them trust humans.

I know some of you mentioned the myth of not being able to socialize past a certain age so
I’m hopeful but I also feel like I’m failing at this. They are very independent, playful little babies but they are not at the point where they can be handled by a potential adopter. Any guidance or advice would be so appreciated.
 

fionasmom

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Some mother cats will allow nursing to continue and it is more of a comforting activity than a nourishment one. Your first post was about a month ago, which is not that long in the feral kitten socialization continuum. To me, it sounds like they are moving toward becoming socialized since you can pick one up and the other two let them at least touch them. If this were hopeless in the sense that they were going to remain true ferals, you would not be that far along. I have mentioned my avatar and her sister who are now cuddly indoor pets, but it took time to get there. With my avatar we went from playing with a little ball that she would bat back to me, to getting a few treats (which I agree you don't want to overdo, but it may be something to keep in mind), to letting me touch her. The sister was more shy, no ball games or treats, but is ironically the most affectionate now. The other sister, a black and white kitten, was TNRed and she is outside with the other two ferals. I have never touched her or been near her and to this day if I step outside, put down food for her, freshen up her bed, and change water she acts like she has come face to face with the devil and hisses and spits.

My experience with completely unsocialized ferals is that they never even start to become friendly, so it is not like it started and then they backslid. This is why I think that your kittens have a chance over time.

How are they toward you when you play? What do they play with? You might look for some kind of treat/food that is okay for them to have a very small amount of and see if that works. It can even be food that is good for them, but different so that they think it is a treat.
 
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Kittymom35

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Thank you for sharing your story and encouragement. You helped me gain some perspective. It has only been about a month and they are making progress, even if it’s slower than what I imagined.

I play with different toys. Some soft balls with bells in them, some large spring-like ones, and their favorite is the long wand with a fish on it by Go Cat. I think they are called lures or something like that.

They do get very close to me when we play and I can get a pet or two in. I will definitely look into what food I can give them as a treat. I have seen freeze dried chicken for cats and I know there are kitten treats as well.

Your cats sound lovely and your story about the black and white one outside made me laugh out loud. Thank you for your positive and helpful message.



Some mother cats will allow nursing to continue and it is more of a comforting activity than a nourishment one. Your first post was about a month ago, which is not that long in the feral kitten socialization continuum. To me, it sounds like they are moving toward becoming socialized since you can pick one up and the other two let them at least touch them. If this were hopeless in the sense that they were going to remain true ferals, you would not be that far along. I have mentioned my avatar and her sister who are now cuddly indoor pets, but it took time to get there. With my avatar we went from playing with a little ball that she would bat back to me, to getting a few treats (which I agree you don't want to overdo, but it may be something to keep in mind), to letting me touch her. The sister was more shy, no ball games or treats, but is ironically the most affectionate now. The other sister, a black and white kitten, was TNRed and she is outside with the other two ferals. I have never touched her or been near her and to this day if I step outside, put down food for her, freshen up her bed, and change water she acts like she has come face to face with the devil and hisses and spits.

My experience with completely unsocialized ferals is that they never even start to become friendly, so it is not like it started and then they backslid. This is why I think that your kittens have a chance over time.

How are they toward you when you play? What do they play with? You might look for some kind of treat/food that is okay for them to have a very small amount of and see if that works. It can even be food that is good for them, but different so that they think it is a treat.
 
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