Great informational articles can be found in the Best Friends
Animal Society Resource Library. Here are some additional resources -
We cannot come and get the cats/kittens.
You will need to make arrangements to bring them to the intake/foster
coordinator when/if space is available.
Cats/kittens accepted for Intake must be tested for FIV and FeLV. Testing may be able to be arranged to be
done by an SCB volunteer.
This is a combination blood test. Every
adult cat must be tested. With a
mother and very young kittens, the kittens do not need to be tested if the
mother is negative. With a litter of
kittens, only two need to be tested if both are negative.
If the cats/kittens will remain outside they could be exposed to FIV/FeLV
after testing, so testing should be done when we are ready to take them.
Bring the cats/kittens inside if you haven't already.
This may seem difficult or impossible to do, but remember this
arrangement is only temporary. Consider
keeping the rescued cats/kittens in a spare room, basement, or garage.
They can be confined in your house inside a large cage, dog crate or cat
playpen if you need to restrict their access to other areas of your home.
We can offer advice and assistance on trapping a wary or frightened cat.
We have a few traps that can be loaned out with a refundable deposit.
Kittens are very vulnerable to accident, predation, and
disease. They should not be left
outside. Every day they remain
outside they are also growing more feral (wild). It
becomes increasingly difficult to socialize kittens that are more than 8-12 weeks
old. Bring kittens inside now and
begin socializing them. If possible, do not separate nursing kittens from their mother.
Resources for care of young kittens and socialization of kittens can be sent to you upon request. Realize that very young kittens (generally up to around 6 wks) require specialized care if they are not nursing with the mother cat.
If not cared for properly, their condition can turn quickly and they can die.
The age of kittens can be approximated as follows -
-Under one week: Eyes shut, ears flat to head, skin looks pinkish. Part of umbilical cord may still be attached. Weight < 4oz.
-1 week-10 days: Eyes beginning to open, ears still flat. A kitten this age is smaller than your hand. 4 to 6oz weight.
-2 weeks: Eyes open bright blue color, kittens will crawl a bit on their tummies,and basically just sleep and nurse. No teeth yet. 6 to 8oz. weight.
-3 weeks: Eyes are fully open, ears are erect, teeth are becoming visible,
may just be begining to come through the gums Kittens this age are just starting to walk and will be very wobbly. 8 to 12 oz weight
-4-5 weeks: Kittens have begun to pounce and leap. Kittens this age will begin
to eat regular cat food, and will begin to use a litter box.
They are still quite small at this age. they will weigh anywhere from 1/2 lb to 1 lb.
-6-7 weeks Kittens are quite active and weigh about 1 pound to 1 an 1/2 pounds
Their eye color, changes from Blue to it's permanent color.
May still be friendly and approach people. Very playful at this stage.
-8 weeks: Kittens this age weigh approximately 1 and 1/2 pounds to 2 pounds. If they have not been exposed to humans, they will likely be feral and unapproachable.
Please be sure to keep the rescued cats/kittens separate
from your pets until they have been checked by a veterinarian. They might have
fleas or other more serious health problems.
If the cats/kittens
must remain outside you need to provide suitable shelter.
An insulated, weatherproof box should be placed slightly off the ground
in a protected area. Use straw
inside for comfort and additional warmth - NOT blankets, which retain moisture
and make it colder. The door opening
should only be large enough for the cats to enter.
If we are able to find foster space, you should also be willing to help financially by taking
care of other vet work directly or by making a donation to help us defray the
cost of caring for the cats/kittens. Vet
work includes neutering, vaccinating for distemper and rabies, worming, and any
additional medical treatment the cats may require.
It costs Stray Cat Blues approximately $150.00 to take a cat off the
street and place in a permanent home.
Female cats can have as many as three litters a year.
If your rescued cats will remain outside, you should get them spayed or neutered as
soon as possible. Female cats may
become pregnant before we can take them, which will complicate the fostering
It's extremely important to get the rescued cats
vaccinated for rabies, especially if they will remain outside.
In some counties, the Health Department requires any animal with a wound
of unknown origin to be either euthanized and tested for rabies or quarantined
for six months at your expense. If
the cats are scratched, bitten, or injured outside and not current with the
rabies vaccination, they may end up being euthanized.
Low Cost Spay/Neuter-
Cats accepted for Intake will be spayed/neutered by Stray Cat Blues. If we are unable to find foster space, or if you intend to keep your rescued cat, then
you should have them spayed or neutered yourself. See the link above for Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Resources, which gives a list of groups and facilities
that can help.