Out on deck, repotting some herbs and saw some motion out to my left. LITTLE gray & white kitten starting to crawl in under my low deck! A little while later, MORE motions... a LITTLE orange/striped kitten! Was able to briefly touch one before it let out a serious HISS and scooted under far enought to be unreachable. Then saw pretty calico (seen a few times over last month or so) scoot out from under on other end of deck.
They're little but totally mobile. June was estimated at about 8 weeks old when she adopted me at local animal shelter... and these kitties are much smaller than she was. Was able to ever so briefly touch one... before it seriously HISSED at me!
Pretty sure momma is the calico I've been seeing the past few weeks. Have NO idea who it belongs to... doesn't seem to have a collar and not much for me getting close to her. Have a feeling she's an indoor/outdoor cat... doesn't look scruffy or underfed. NOT planning to put food out... don't want to attract LESS wanted animals.
Since weather is not fairly nice & they have shelter under deck... not thinking about any immediate plans to gather them up. If they move on after getting a little bigger fine. If they become a pest... neighbor has have-a-heart trap I can use.
My sister told me that... a litter of kittens could have several daddies?? Didn't know that? Also said, adult cats don't generally adjust to a kitten as quickly as an adult dog would to a new puppy. Have NO intention of trying to bring one inside... but if I DID... she said in a CRATE until "tame"... a bit of an oxymoron when it comes to cats!?!
Yep - from what I understand, a litter of kittens can have more than one daddy.
Could you call the humane society and ask the best way to proceed? Mama needs to be fixed and I don't want to think about the life expectancy of the kitties if they aren't wanted by Mama's owners (if she has one).
Have NO idea who the calico belongs to... but thinking she has a "home". Just borrowed have-a-heart from neighbor... he gave me clear instructions. These kittens are SOOO small, they might not set it off?? Gonna wait a few days to see if they show up again. Then, as long as weather is gonna be nice... will set trap. Wouldn't want to catch them if they're gonna be stuck out in the rain!?! Figure if I DO catch them, it'll be at night... would just park trap in garage until after work and then to animal shelter. Shelter always has lots of cats/kittens... sadly, their long-term outlook might not be great... but figure more humane than letting them starve or become a meal for some other animal!?! Just hope that if I do set it... don't catch something ELSE... racoon or possum... highly possible! Crazy/ggod neighbor said he'd take care of anything I caught... other than a cat/kitten.
Boy, thatchairlady, I read your thread earlier and decided not to post then until more information was available. And now, I'm still just as conflicted.
Myself, I would probably leave some food out for Momma so she didn't have to range so far to get nutrients and could nurse her babies in peace under your deck and, then, I would probably try to tame her and the kittens and catch them up. Kittens have a pretty good chance of being adopted; not so an older cat like Momma here.
Do what you think is best...
PS. IMHO, I think you should handle this one on your own and leave out your "crazy" neighbor - your words, not mine. Bothers me a bit that he's offered his services to eliminate "any problems" but that's probably just me. This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
"thatchairlady," Just a few more thoughts on your initial post - yes, kittens from a single litter can have multiple fathers but your sister is WRONG when she says adult cats don't take to young kittens... so very, very wrong.
The truth of the matter is that they are instinctively very protective and loving toward any living being that is smaller than them; bottom line, if you find that one of the "surprise" kittens catches your fancy - chances are June will fall in love with it as well.
No need for "crates or whatever," the kitten and June will bond before you can turn around to ask them what they want for dinner?! Just might be a message from beyond the rainbow bridge - I know you have thought about getting June some company - maybe this is an answer?
OH BOY! When I mentioned neighbor would "take care" of other wildlife I might catch... DID NOT mean it THAT way!!! He said he'll take any possum/raccoon/squirrel SOMEPLACE ELSE!! He'll get a good laugh outta someone thinking he's a "hit" man!!
As for adult kitten... sister didn't me they won't/can't get along... just maybe not quite as quickly as dogs.
And there are at least THREE kittens! Saw a 3rd on the deck this morning... kinda peachy color... really cute! Gonna stop at animal shelter after school today for advice.
I would put the trap out, not set up, for a couple days before you actually want to use it. This will get the cats accustomed to the strange wire box that has never been around before.
As far as June loving another cat...all cats are different. My family had some that immediately bonded with a new kitten and other times it took a little while before they became best friends. There may be some good in doing a slow intro tho..you just have to play it by ear if you decide to bring one of the babies inside to become part of your family.
~*Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence*~
Count is up to FOUR sightings! First 2 scooting under deck on Saturday. Another ON deck this morning. And 4th ON deck this afternoon. They disappear under deck with slightest noise... tapping on sliding door is enough.
Animal shelter said do NOT try to grab them... I'd likely be the loser, even tho they're teeny. Suggested I talk to township animal control. Nobody immediately available, but they have all my info. Told them I didn't need to be at home and they had easy access to backyard. Just wanna make sure they get a description of the "suspects"... in case they get something that I haven't already seen.
And have had a MAJOR DUH moment!?! Think first time I ever saw another cat in my yard was a month or 2 ago... and there were THREE at just about the same time. Calico (aka mamma??), a smallish all-black and a larger longer-hair gray/white... DUH!?! Don't know anything about gestation length for cats... know dogs is something like 9 weeks... have suspicions about who the "baby daddy's" are!?!
Cats gestational period is 63 days (9 weeks) and it is pretty regular so you probably DID see the event take place!
So, four so far? Sounds like they are all cute and, if they are big enough to be climbing onto your deck and starting to explore their surroundings, it's possible they are nearing the 3-4 week mark. A few ways to tell age: since they are mobile, are they wobbling or getting a little more sure-footed? What about their ears? Totally up-right or still bent down a bit?
I completely agree with animal control that you should not try to grab them - tame them a bit if you want - grab them, no. But not because you would be hurt since that's unlikely but, because if they get scared, Momma will probably try to move them and that could make an already precarious situation worse.
All I know is that you have been thinking about getting a companion for Junie while you are gone for some time - and I remember that you had lost your beloved dog of many years when you went to the shelter to look at other dogs and came home with June - a moment of someone or something guiding your actions?
Can't say for sure but it sure seems coincidental to me - having kittens born under your back deck is as close as it gets! Only thing closer would be someone sliding open the back door and putting your new family member into the house!
PS. Glad you clarified about your neighbor - too funny - and happy that anyone who has a "have-a-heart" trap lives up to the description!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
I'll share my experience with you. For the last 2 summers I've had kittens under my deck. For the first litter, I was able to start petting and holding 3 out of 4 of the kittens. My SIL took two of them. The other 2 hung around for a while and then left after a few months. both were boys and I haven't seen them in over a year. Last summer there was another litter (same mom) under our deck. They hid as soon as there was any noise. never could socialize them at all. Sooooo, I got a havahart trap and started putting their food in it. After about 2 weeks I decided it was time to try and trap them. I rigged the trap with a piece of twine to hold the door open. I set the trap by one of our windows by the deck and ran the twine through the window, just barely keeping the window open. I put their food in it and then kneeled inside by the window to wait, holding the twine. After a couple of minutes, one kitten went in. Then the next. I debated if I should just catch 2, when then next 2 went in. I dropped the door and caught all 4. Wow! I took them to the ASPCA. They were a bit sickly, so I'm sure they weren't adopted, but it's more humane than letting them starve or adding to the over population.
I also caught mom and the tom and had them fixed. However, since I had fed them, even more cats have shown up. one is pregnant, so I hope she has her kittens elsewhere!!!
I hope you can catch the kittens, just get them used to the trap, and food being in it. Good luck.
thatchairlady has Kittens Hope you can leave some food out, interact with little guys and get them rounded up. Do you have a "no-kill" kitty shelter near you?
Had visions of your neighbor making some sort of critter stew
#1 Pesky Cat
Neighbor is "crazy" in the best way! He is a hunter but not in the same group as Swamp People?!?
Shelter doesn't euthanize unless animal is sick or severely injured or extreme over crowding. Gonna drop off my description of the cat/kittens at twp bldg today so anmial control will be on look-out when they stop by.
That would be nice is animal control would catch them. What I've found in our area is no one wants anymore strays. my vet has been the most helpful doing the spay and neuter at a reduced cost.
BTW, if you do catch them in a trap, make sure you have a blanket or a couple of towels to throw over it because the kittens will go ballistic
I would also check to see if you have a rescue group in your area. The animal shelter in my area is absolutely overwhelmed and could not deal with ferals.
And another option for you, though it is tough, is to do the "Trap, neuter, release" program. The kittens go in for neutering and vaccinations and are released back "into the wild" to be ferals. Depending on your location, even though kittens are adoptable, it could be very hard.
Final thing, no matter how you proceed, you HAVE to start feeding the kittens and mom, or you will never be able to trap them or get close to them. Unless you plan to just leave them feral and unneutered.
Township left message... animal control will be out as soon as they can... no time line there. Suggested I try to trap them myself... no fear of the trap, but PETRIFIED of catching something unwelcome... especially chances of a skunk!
Spotted 2 of kittens and mamma under deck when I got home from school this afternoon. Weather forecast is for rain... maybe big t-storms later... MAN! Have a spare litter box with lid. It's totally clean, so thinking of setting it out as a temp shelter?? Maybe put small bowl of food for mama and some water? NO litter... don't want to encourage THAT! At the least, want to find something to lay over deck area where I have seen them to provide a little protection from rain tonight.
Good idea, thatchairlady, to cover the deck so the rain doesn't soak the kittens and Momma. Glad you are considering leaving some food/water for Momma as well. It's not really like encouraging her to be there -she's already there - and, right now, she has to go further and further away each night to forage something to eat so she can continue to produce milk for the kittens.
Sad situation all around but think you are doing a great job dealing with it! Myself, I probably wouldn't be worried about the trap OR what you might catch in it - my biggest concern would be not catching all of them and leaving a kitten or two alone to fend for themselves....
Wishing you luck here - keep us posted!
Came home to a card in front door... call me about the cats. Guy is on his FIRST day workinig for my township after retirement of previous person. He set 2 traps. They each have a roof, so if it rains, not a major problem. I described the kittens... size probably to small to set off trap by one alone... and can't picture all 4 (that I've seen) standing on that trigger mechanism at the same time. Said if he get mama, could use her to lure out babies?!? Or set squirrel traps... more sensitive, I guess?!? He said NOT to go checking on traps or might scare mama away.
The bowl of food that I set out under lid to spare litter box... pretty much gone, so maybe she'll come back lookiing for more in same spot... trap is right there. Guy said he'd be checking trap around 8-9 tomorrow morning and then again some time in afternoon. Guess will just have to wait and see what the night will bring?
Calico tripped trap at about 8 o'clock! Sounded like I had a RHINO on deck!! She was NOT happy, but settled down after about 10 minutes. Weather will be mild-ish and since top of cage is covered... animal guy says she'll be fine till morning. Said if I see kittens tomorrow morning (might come out looking for mama)... do nothing. He'll be by tomorrow morning to decide what's best to do next.
You are so lucky that someone is helping you with this! I couldn't get anyone to return my calls, let alone do something.
I'm picturing these tiny cute little kittens and I can't imagine not being able to just march under there and pick them up!
I hope your guy gets all of them together quickly. Without mama cat to protect them, the babies could be in danger.
Animal control guy took mama to shelter early this afternoon. He found no signs of kittens after a thorough search... deck is LOW LOW. One portion is barely a step off the grass. Other portion only high enough for something small to scoot under. He left 4 small traps... think for squirrels, so just have to wait and see. Seems mama musta moved them... maybe yesterday after he was setting up larger traps?? I'll be keeping my eyes and ears open for them.
thatchairlady, PLEASE put out some milk in low saucers and some canned catfood as well for the kittens as they won't be able to survive on their own now that Momma has been taken away. They may very well be still there - just hiding. You may still be able to tame them with the enticement of food...
sad to read that only Momma was caught Kittens on the deck means they can climb prolly searching for water, milk and food. Hoping thatchairlady can entice the kitties with food and round 'em up and get them to the shelter
I support the no-kill shelter where I found Melvis ~ donate stuff for their shop, make nip pillows/toys for the inmates and for shelter to sell (all the ** goes to the shelter), buy two for one cat food & litter ~ one for Melvis, one for the shelter. Lousy at knitting, crocheting and quilting......so the kitties get some very odd looking blankets ~ but they don't care as long as they are warm and snuggly
#1 Pesky Cat
Auto-Gumby bleeped me all the dallors go to shelter
#1 Pesky Cat
"thatchairlady," Please call whatever shelter animal control took the Momma calico cat to and ask them NOT to euthanize her just yet - she has kittens who need her - and that you might be able to find some of them.
Such a sad, sad ending that I don't think you were anticipating when you started this thread or called animal control and left it up to them to handle.
Unless the shelter is run by PETA, the cat will be examined before any final decisions are made. If she delivered in the past three weeks they will look for kittens. This is the way the humane society is suppose to handle it.
Any word on those kittens??????? Without mama, they'll starve or be attacked.
Well, WWanda, OP spotted the kittens - a "little grey/white and an orange striped kitten" along with Momma on Sun, May 6th - then 2 more on Monday, the 7th - the third one was "really cute - a peachy color" and then she saw the 4th one.
OP called animal control that day, they set the trap on Wednesday, the 9th, and OP heard Momma get trapped that same day. Animal control came and took Momma Calico Cat away the next day (Thursday) leaving her kittens abandoned and alone with the permission of the OP...
I have to say that this is one of the cruelest acts I have ever heard against fur/four legged critters.
I cannot even begin to understand the mind-set that would allow a nursing mother to be separated from her kittens - I understand not wanting to have strays around - I just don't understand the cruel mind-set that would deliberately take her away and leave the kittens to perish....
So I read the previous post this morning and have been FUMING all day! This cat and kittens were NOT mine, but I tried to do what I thought was best for them. The animal control guy knew what he was doing and did everything but crawl under the deck in search of the kittens I had seen... mom must have moved them somewhere before she was trapped. He set additional, smaller traps in hopes that kittens would go in if still in the area.
The fact that the mother was allowed to roam free... UNSPAYED... is NOT my doing. The fact that the kittens may have already died somewhere or could at any time in the future is NOT my fault.
I did what I thought was the best thing to do at the time and it seems like there's not "storybook" ending to this "fairytale"... but SH happens. Of course, I'm sad about the final result but DO NOT feel any blame!!
Thatchairlady, I just re-read all the posts again. some folks (like myself) don't really seem to read all the posts totally before shelters, humane siciety and animal control is mentioned. You clearly stated what you thought, and did not seem to ask if you should rid the kittens from your yard. Sounds like your main post was about these kittens and what you thought. THis is why I never ask for advice on things like this here. It seems some folks with extremely limited experience in certain areas like to post a lot of not so "personal or knowledgeable" info
I just want to wish you the best of luck in whatever you do decide to do.
Looks like you need to read this entire thread one more time, Shelties Mom. OP already made her decision several days ago and the consequences are real - no more time to consider what to do.
The Momma Calico-Cat was trapped last Wednesday evening and taken away on Thursday by animal control with OP's permission leaving the litter of kittens alone. Not much chance that they have survived without food or water over this amount of time - a full week - even though many of us posted - encouraging her to set out some very basic water/food to save at least one or two of them.
And, yes, OP, I did read your post that she wasn't your cat, you didn't ask for the kittens, and so on... so it was fair and right to have animal control come trap the Momma Calico and leave her kittens to slowly perish from dehydration/starvation because, after all, you weren't responsible. Right?
Fuming? Well, so am I... there were any number of other ways to handle this situation. You elected one that I would never have chosen. I have been fuming ever since reading your first post on this thread.
But it doesn't really matter now - after 7 days, I am quite sure that all four kittens are no longer alive. Seems sad because they might have had a chance had they been gentled just enough to be taken to a shelter.
Forgot, you turned it over to a "professional" on "his first day on the job" with animal control. Why didn't you tell him "NO!" when he said that he was going to take the Momma Calico-Cat away from her kittens? Just wondering????
Very, very sad ending to what might have been something good.
Silly me IR...I forgot all your valuable advice and was responding to her response regarding all of the responses to her post that upset her
KUDOS to CHAIR LADY!
granted I haven't read every post; IMO unproductive to be side tracked by overly emotional comments, or engage in petty squabbles.
Regardless where we live, animal lover or not, governmental agencies and animal rescues do not have the resources (and BUDGET) to handle a growing problem.
Last week's news was about a little boy who found aninjured puppy; tonight's news, authorites rescued a horse - in the Pacific ocean! followed by a local cat HOARDER - residents were evicted, CATS abandoned. AC director stated only 5 adult cats & several kittens seem healthy; several sick cats will be euthanized. more adults are un socialized & will be evaluated. Video showed feral cats hiding behind junk on the property
Spay & neuter, don't litter!!! This message has been edited. Last edited by: tessa89,
I think you are being a little harsh.
Last winter/spring, I started working with a rescue group to trap/neuter/release some ferals in my neighborhood. Long story short, we didn't get one female in time and she had 3 kittens.
When I found out, my trapping friend came (and first indication that the animal control person was not experienced - wrong cage!) w/ the specific cage used for trapping moms & kittens. She has been doing it for years (literally, years) and still got only 2/3 kittens plus mom.
She and I both felt sick about itbut she worked for hours that evening and couldn't get all in the cage at the same time and did the best she could that night.
I spent hours (once again, literally hours, about 40 over 3 days) calling to the last kitten to get her to come and get trapped. But, I had the time to do that. And I know that my trapping friend was very grateful that I got that last kitten (plus working with a rescue group that has time/resources for taming/adoption of feral-born kittens which most humane societies don't).
With the new trapping person for animal control probably not knowing what he was doing and for someone not experienced (by the time the kittens came, I had been working with my friend for about 4 months), it is very very easy to muck it up.
Real Quiet, I'm glad you posted. You and the others involved in the work you describe have my admiration and respect. Yes, it is difficult to do and it doesn't always work out the way one would want but, to me, the difference is that you TRY and that is what counts. Thanks for all you are doing....
Why isn't reading fundamental?
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