We received a very spooky package last week, consisting of one neonatal kitten in a box!
While we know there was good intention present to bring a kitten to a place they feel is safe, we’d like to remind everyone that it’s important to keep neonatal kittens with their mothers. The mortality rate of kittens separated from mothers is very high, and their best chance of survival is through mom, even if that is outside. Don’t try to separate kittens younger than 8 weeks old from their mother unless there is a medical emergency.
Neonatal kittens cannot regulate their own body temperature, or eliminate waste on their own. Mama does this all for them, and also gives them life saving antibodies in her milk. Mama knows best, and mama is best! You may not see mama, but she likely sees you and will not return to her offspring until you’ve left. Found one kitten alone? Mama also scatters her kittens to ensure if a predator comes, they do not get her entire litter, and she will often move them as she sees fit. To learn more about what to do in the event you find a kitten, please visit Alley Cat Allies!
We are now into what we refer to as “second summer” here in Virginia. The weather is still warm enough for kittens to be found outside. Cats go into heat cycles several times a year, and will develop into sexual maturity before they are even a year old. With such a short gestation period, cats can have up to 3 litters of kittens per year! Reach out to your local shelter or email info@Fredspca.org for information on low cost spay/neuter!
To cap this week off, we received 3 more neonatal kittens in need of care who had been abandoned or taken from their mothers den with good intentions. Most shelters, including our facility, does not have a kitten nursery with 24/7 care set up. If you would like to learn about fostering bottle babies, email foster@Fredspca.org. If you would like to make a donation to the care of bottle babies, we are in need of KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement), Miracle Nipples and Snuggle Safes/Heating pads, and Fortiflora! Those can be found on our Amazon wishlist, which comes directly to our doors!