Let Sleeping Kittens Lie

To a human, a lone kitten may appear to be in danger.  However, attempting to render aid may cause more harm that good.

It is nearly impossible not to worry when stumbling upon a tiny, blind, deaf, nearly naked, alien-looking creature in the grass.  I’m not talking about our Disney friend Stitch here, but a newborn kitten.

Spring is the time of year when momma cats give birth to baby cats.  At the clinic, we saw a large number of stray kittens and there are not enough homes to go around.  While this can be helped by spaying and neutering outdoor cats, there are other ways you can help as well, whether you own a cat or not.

Should you be outside and stumble upon that ugly (but adorable) creature described above, PLEASE…leave it be.  Make a note of the location you saw the kitten but DO NOT DISTURB the area.  In many cases, momma is most likely moving the litter.  She probably has a few kittens and she can only carry one at a time.  Most of the time, she will return for the remaining kitten if it has not been disturbed.  If it smells like trouble, she will not return for it which is why it is imperative that the area not be disturbed.

However, if you return to the area in an hour or so and momma has not returned for baby, there are ways to hand raise kittens.  Having helped raise three neonates myself, I would caution the faint of heart (or those who enjoy sleeping).  It is a long road of hourly feedings, piddling, bathing, socializing, and…basically raising a human baby that is much smaller but equally as noisy and smelly.

If that sort of thing is not for you then LEAVE THE KITTEN BE.  If the area has been disturbed and momma did leave the kitten behind, contact your local veterinarian for information on animal shelters in your area.


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