Image by Dorothea OLDANI

What to do When You've Found Kittens

Thank you for caring about these kittens. Below is a quick-tips guide to use for what to do when you find kittens

Determine their age 

We recommend this article to help you determine if the cat you have found is friendly or feral. If the cat(s) you have found is/are feral, finding them placement in a rescue or shelter environment can be detrimental to their health and well being. For feral cats, the best solution and most humane option is to perform TNR and to provide care for them in the outdoor environment they are comfortable in.

Step 1: Find Mom

No matter the age of the kittens, the most important thing to do is to locate their mom to either keep them together, or have mom spayed to prevent future litters

More often than not, un-weaned kittens are stolen from their mothers by well-meaning people. Many think that because mom cat isn't around, that she has abandoned her kittens but she is most likely looking for food to feed herself and her babies, or hiding nearby because a big scary person has showed up! The chart below will help you assess the kittens to determine if intervention is needed, or if they need to be left with their mom who is able to provide them the best chance of survival. 

 

Step 2: Keep them safe and find placement

Due to the length of intake waitlists and the high volume of animals needing placement, immediate surrender to a shelter or rescue is not always possible. With a lack of volunteer and foster space, we desperately need the community to chip in too. The following tips can keep the pet safe until placement is found.

• Reach out to local shelters and rescues - This can be one of the most difficult steps, as it often involves being told "No" or "Not right now" quite a bit. It's worth reaching out to multiple organizations in case they are able to put you on a waitlist. Even if the waitlist seems long, it is better to get on the waitlist than to not have any options at all. Best case, they call you quicker than they originally said they could. Worst case, you're on the list and will be contacted as soon as space opens up. To find shelters and rescues by location, visit Adopt-a-pet.com

• Foster the pet in a room away from your pets - Without knowing the kittens health status, it's best to keep them in a bathroom, bedroom, or other room that can be closed off from other pets in the house. Some organizations will be willing to accept kittens into their program if you agree to foster for the duration of their stay. 
 

• Ask friends and family if they're able to foster - If there are extenuating circumstances and the kittens cannot be kept at your home, a friend or family member may be willing to help too.
 

• Reach out to the community to find a foster - If no family or friends can foster, update your posts on social media or make new ones asking if someone else in the community can step up and hold onto the kittens until safe placement can be found.

• Post the pet on Adopt-a-Pet's Rehome site -
After the kittens are weaned you can post them for adoption directly through Adopt-a-Pet. This allows individuals looking to adopt a pet the ability to see that the kittens you've found need placement, and will walk you through the steps shelters and rescues take to find safe placement. 

TNR - If indoor placement can not be obtained, perform TNR and provide community cat care- even for kittens! By ensuring each kitty is spayed or neutered, you can prevent having many more kittens to find placement for in a few more months. Many organizations offer TNR for free or at a highly discounted rate. We recommend OARUCAN, and The Humane Society of Greater Dayton. We also recommend Alley Cat Allies website for information on providing care to community cats. Even if the cat is intended to be placed in a home in the future, performing TNR and returning the location the cat was found will give them a better chance at finding a home and free up shelter space for animals without other options in the mean time. 

Still need help?

If after trying the steps above you still need help with found kittens, you can fill out our stray animal surrender request at the link below