How do I feed feral kittens

We have a feral cat in our yard and found her litter of about 4-5 weeks yesterday. The SPCA has agreed to catch the mother, spay her and bring her back as we would like to keep her. We have to take the kittens away from the mother and we would like to raise them for a few weeks until they are old enough to go to a good home (we would like to keep one). How do we go about it and what do we feed them?

Best Answers

  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    Go to www.feralcat.com/raising for some great pointers on raising feral kittens. It would be better to leave them until they're weaned, but I've heard the sooner you start "taming" the babies, the better. My experience with Izzie was that as soon as the mother was gone, the babies scattered and Izzie came to hang from my screen, asking for "help'. Your's are younger so you'll have to act fast once the mom is gone to make sure you get all the babies. She's taught them to hide and stay quiet. You're very lucky that your SPCA has agreed to TNR the mom as most are blasted right now and financially unable to honor most requests. Please know that this is a very labor intensive project that you're undertaking. You will also have to adopt out the kittens you don't keep. Please don't give them away. Ask for the SPCA's help in adopting them out. They can give you pointers in what to look for in a good forever home for the babies. Good luck! 8-)
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    Accepted Answer
    Izzie covered the basics. I would add that most ferals don't wean as early as house cats do, so they are probably still drinking momma's milk. This means that you might want to get Kitten Replacement Milk (KRM) from a pet store. You also want to set aside a quiet but comfortable room that you have kitty proofed. The kittens will be scared at first, but if you get them to eat, they'll relax and start exploring. Now, it is very important for you to gain their kitty trust by talking to them gently and softly, and not forcing contact after you have rehomed them indoors, unless they initiate it. Since they are very young, they might not all be mistrusting of humans. Nonetheless, pet them very gently, with one finger to simulate mommy's tongue. I also suggest you get some long distance toys like a feather pole or wand, so that you can interact with the kittens without getting too close.
  • Emily LangEmily Lang Member Posts: 8
    Accepted Answer
    I just had 3 feral babies. the replacement milk is a must but I had better luck with a syringe than the bottles. one guy did love the long skinny nipple.all 3 have since been adopted with the help of Partners for Pets foster mother.
  • terri echolsterri echols kalamazooMember Posts: 4,758
    Accepted Answer
    a nursing mother needs a calorie rich diet, so putting out kitten food for both her and the kittens would work, early in the morning and at dusk. set it out where they tend to show up, then sit nearby (where you can see them, but not where you could reach them, if you're not that well acquainted yet). then sit still and wait. don't leave until they eat. take the food when you go. gradually, move feeding spot closer to where you are. whenever you come out, bring some treat or other so they associate you with food and good things, but establish a twice-daily (more is better, but she needs twice-daily) feeding schedule and several times a day quick visits with a treat left in the feeding spot and your voice and presence. treats can be anything high in protein...canned food, tuna, boiled chicken...actually you can feed her any of these things, but to keep from breaking the bank i've just always fed nursing ferals kitten food. high protein and some fat content is what you're going for.
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