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Old 05-10-2009, 03:22 PM
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 15,860,499 times
Reputation: 3305


A stray cat had kittens under our shed. I'd guess they're about 4 weeks old. 2 have crusty stuff on their eyes. So I've been wiping their eyes with a wash cloth and that helps for the day. One other only has one crusty eye, and the fourth one is fine. We can't take them to the vet. For one, we can't afford that. We're putting off a chiropractor appointment as it is. And my dad won't let me take them to the vet anyway.

They eat dry cat food. The mama is pretty skittish. The kittens aren't as bad. If I can catch them, then sometimes I bring them inside, pet them, clean their eyes if they need it. I haven't gotten close to the Mom yet. She always runs away.

When they're old enough to adopt out (6 or 8 weeks) should I try to give them away? Or take them to a shelter? I don't know what to do about the Mom. You simply can't catch her. I guess I could see if a shelter (there's a couple in this area) would set a trap for her, but I don't know. We have no ASPCA. There's a building that says ASPCA on it, but they're a kill shelter and won't take animals outside their county (we live in a different county). There is another shelter in the area. When they're old enough, and if they're tame enough, should we try to give them away, or should we take them to the shelter? They haven't had shots or anything, and we don't have the money to take them to the vet. My cat (a neutered male, not the mother) needs more shots and the dogs need to get checkups. We can't afford 4 kittens on top of that.

Any advice? Take them to a shelter or try to give them away? They're strays, but fairly tame. They haven't tried to bite or anything, and they're fairly calm. What about their eyes? What should we do about the Mom? We can't catch her. If she sticks around, she'll just have more litters. And we can't afford that. I'm not sure if the kittens are male or female. It's hard to tell right now. Here's some pics:

Crusty eyes (after I wiped them):

The other two don't have eyes that are that bad.

One of those same two kittens, after wiping its eyes.

This one seems to be the least afraid. It nearly came to me, then walked back to the shed.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:10 PM
Location: "The Sunshine State"
4,334 posts, read 11,673,201 times
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Yikes, Those poor kitties. Call your local Petsmart, the rescue group there may take them or can advise you. Call Petsmart tomorrow and get the number of the rescue group. They are only in the store on Sat.'s for adoption day from 11 to 4 pm. Good luck!
Keep putting food there for now so the Mom does not move them.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:26 PM
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 15,860,499 times
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We don't have a local PetSmart. We have a Petco an hour-and-a-half away.

I'll try calling a local shelter and maybe seeing what can be done about this. Maybe they can take the cats. I don't know if they can catch the mother.

Thanks for your advice. I'm not sure what we can do. I'm a college student with no money, and our family is a bit short on cash right now. Dad won't let me do anything for them that costs a lot of money (I understand why). Every time I talk about the animals Dad says "they're not ours."

Here's a pic of momma by the way. This is as close as I got.

This was taken about April 15.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:35 PM
1,331 posts, read 3,464,393 times
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Gosh---I understand the situation. In rural areas there is not a lot of help. Mom can be caught with a trap but she may be so wild she may not be adoptable. Could you try some vets within say a reasonable drive to see if any would put the kittens in the office for adoption. We have a vet that does that and they usually go fast. If a vet or rescue group would put up the money for a spay maybe the mom could be spayed and released. She would probably do ok if she didn't keep having kittens.(Or perhaps the whole group could become barn cats on a farm??) make lots of phone calls!
Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:36 PM
Location: Lakewood OH
20,208 posts, read 21,372,686 times
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Try calling all the rescue groups in your area and explain the situation. Call the Feral Cat Coalition if you have one in your area. They will try and trap the mother cat. They need to be taken care of. Crusty eyes can be a sign of distemper or it can be a simple cold.

Keep trying and good luck.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:42 PM
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 15,860,499 times
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Thanks. We had a cat years ago that we took to the local ASPCA (except that it is a kill shelter). They said they could not take it because it was not born in this county. Mom said (she wouldn't do this), "Well, I guess we'll have to leave it on the side of the road." The guy who ran the pound said, "Okay, but don't do it in this county or this guy," (he points to the cop in the room) "will get after you." There have been a lot of complaints about that pound. There are a few shelters around here, but not like it bigger cities. I'll make some calls tomorrow.

And that particular cat was adopted by a friend. She's living in an big abandoned house and catching birds and mice now.

I don't know if our local vet would take them to adopt them out or not. She's adopted out animals before, but I don't know how often she does it.
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:29 PM
Location: Rural New Mexico
557 posts, read 2,211,488 times
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Yes, you'll need to make some phone calls. Best to get mama and her kittens rounded up (hopefully there's an animal shelter willing to do that) because wild and feral cats carry disease and put YOUR cat at risk unless your cat is fully vaccinated. Sometimes in rural areas, it's tough to get animal control to come out but do your best--even if you need to figure out a way to safely (for you, too!) trap mama kitty. Looks like kittens are much too young to be separated from their mama.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:00 AM
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 13,169,089 times
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I've sent an e-mail to a cat rescue in Kansas, MO. I'm not sure where you are other than SE MO. I've asked if they could head me toward a rescue that does TNR. If they have room to take in the kittens they're a great age for domesticating and re-homing. The mother can be trapped, spayed, and returned to her home. I'll check back if I hear further!
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:29 AM
Location: Los Angeles
283 posts, read 685,522 times
Reputation: 205
To the OP. It's great that you are trying to save these kittens. It really shows what a kind hearted person you are . I understand that you are financially strapped. Rescue groups are the best option. If you don't know any, check the local vets to see if they can refer you. These kittens look like they have an eye infection. I hope mrs1885 hears back from rescue groups as well.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:00 PM
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 15,860,499 times
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My aunt suggested trying to give the kittens away ourselves. With a shelter sometimes you don't know what's going to happen to them. But if you take them to a shelter they can also be treated, vaccinated, and spayed/neutered. Anyway, I haven't really done anything yet.

One of the kittens is very sweet. I think it's a female. I put her down and she cries. I pick her up and she purrs. When I pick her up she lays her head back expecting to be scratched under the chin. I checked on them a little while ago. I peeked around the corner and the momma was nursing, so I sneaked away. The momma saw me, but she didn't run.

I haven't made any calls yet. I probably should pretty soon. My cat sniffed one of the kittens today. He didn't try to hurt it, but he wasn't thrilled either.

I'm sure we'll have to call a rescue group anyway. I can't catch the momma cat. In the past 2 years, this is probably the third stray cat that has been here, either dumped or just wandered away. I'm not sure. My cat we have now was a stray. Now he's neutered and inside. But Dad says we can't keep any of these kittens. I understand why.

There are a few shelters around here, but I haven't called them yet. I want to make sure it's a no-kill shelter of course. We've given away cats before. We had a cat that had 3 litters years ago. We've also given away puppies. One day my sister found a chihuahua puppy and border collie puppy in a bucket of their own urine. Anyway, we cleaned them up and gave them away.
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