Kitten Season is nearly upon us - and whilst very cute, they can come with a few problems.
The most common problem we deal with is orphan or apparently orphaned kittens.
Cats will give birth in what they think are quiet places which may include the back shed or under your house. During the day the mother will leave the kittens for short times in order to find food and return to check on the kittens at regular intervals. If you are around she is unlikely to show herself and attend to her little ones.
Often people notice the kittens when they are several days old as they start to make more noise under the house or in the back shed, so the fact that the mum isn't around can be perfectly normal.
So what should you do if you find kittens?
If the kittens are cold then they will need to be provided with warmth, for example with blankets in a box. Initially you should leave the kittens undisturbed in the hope that mum will return. If after four hours (depending on the size or age of the kittens) the mother hasn't returned then getting in touch with a vet or local rescue is recommended, as they will then be able to advise you on the best next steps to take. A kitten's best chance of survival is with its mother.
The least disturbance you cause to the mother cat and her litter the better because if the bond between mother and kittens is disrupted in the first few days or weeks, the mother may decide not to look after her litter. So if she wants to keep carrying her kittens by the scruff of the neck back to the wardrobe - let her!