Extremely Important Kitten Advisory

Taken from Alley Cat Allies The Cat’s leading advocate. 7920 Norfolk Avenue, Suite 600, Bethesda, MD 20814-2525 http://www.alleycat.org

How you react when you find a kitten could mean life or death. 

Bringing home a stray or feral kitten isn’t always the answer for them.

1-2 weeks Facts about newborn kittens:

At this stage {and until they are four weeks old} kittens are fully dependent on their mother, just opening their eyes for the first time, and are considered “neonatal.” Caring for neonatal kittens takes hours each day. If kittens are truly motherless, see our free step-by-step guide for help at www.alleycat.org/Neonatal.

3-4 weeks Don’t assume they are safe at a shelter:  

Did you know that neonatal kittens who wind up in shelters stand almost no change of being adopted? They are almost always killed. Instead of death, give kittens life and a good home.  Read our tips for finding cats homes: www.alleycat.org/Homes

5-6 weeks You CAN socialize feral kittens: 

Feral kittens in this age range {and up to at least eight weeks old} can usually be socialized and adopted.  With close care and time, they can become affectionate and loving companions. Learn more at www.alleycat.org/Socialization

8-9 Weeks  Trap, neuter, vaccinate, and return:

As soon as kittens weigh two pounds-around eight weeks-they can be safely spayed/neutered through a proven procedure known as “early-age spay/neuter.” At this age, they can be socialized and adopted or returned to their outdoor home.  Don’t forget to Trap-Neuter-Return mom, too!

2 Months+  Safe trapping tips:

When you decide to trap kittens, make sure to do so safely.  Only use appropriately sized traps, and plan for one trap per kitten.  Bring the kitten {in the trap} to a veterinarian or clinic to be neutered.  Then return the kitten to her original colony to live her life outdoors with her family!

2 1/2 Months+ Is that kitten too big?

Most kittens are fully weaned by 10 weeks.  They can still be socialized but with greater difficulty.  Kittens who are four or more months old can remain in their outdoor homes-after they’ve been spayed/neutered and vaccinated of course!


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