Kitten season is here! Miami-Dade Animal Services offers recommendations to ensure the best chances of survival for kittens too young to feed themselves
(MIAMI, March 4, 2015) – Spring is near and as the weather gets warmer unaltered stray cats begin to reproduce prolifically. As a result, it is not uncommon to find nests of what appear to be unattended or abandoned newborn kittens. Before jumping to the rescue, Miami-Dade County Animal Services (Animal Services) advises residents to consider the following recommendations to ensure the best chances of survival for the kittens.
WHAT TO DO SHOULD YOU FIND A LITTER OF KITTENS
• Resist the urge to immediately touch them or move them. Instead, observe the kittens quietly from a distance for 12 to 24 hours as the mother may simply be out looking for food or a better place to move them to and is likely to return to care for them. Very young kittens cannot fully feed themselves and need their mother’s milk to survive until they are fully able to eat on their own or weaned off the mother.
• You can put out cat food for the mom and a box that the mother could use to keep her kittens in (don’t put the kittens inside it, just put it near them). Don’t disturb the kittens as this may discourage the mother from returning to them, or she may move them away from you.
• If you sense the kittens are in immediate danger or a dangerous area, such as underneath a car, in an area that is flooding due to rain, etc., look for the nearest safe area to which you can move them—close enough to the original spot— that will still allow the mother to find them. Place them in a sheltered area, away from direct sun, rain or traffic and continue to watch for the mother.
• Only take them in if you have observed the kittens for 12 to 24 hours and are SURE the mother is not likely to return. Get tips on how to care for them at home by visiting www.alleycat.org or www.peggyadams.org
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
The best way to reduce the overwhelming number of unwanted cats is to spay or neuter your cats starting at 4 months old. Miami-Dade Animal Service offers low cost spay/neuter surgeries as well as free a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for community cats.
For information on low-cost spay/neuter surgeries or free TNR call 3-1-1 or visit animals.miamidade.gov
Become a foster parent or volunteer at Animal Services. Volunteers and foster parents receive training and supplies and the joy that comes from saving a precious little animal’s life.
For information on becoming a pet foster parent or volunteer email: email@example.com.
About Miami-Dade County Animal Services
Every year Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department (Animal Services) provides care and refuge for over 27,000 unwanted dogs and cats. Every day, Animal Services staff and volunteers work diligently to find life-long homes for these abandoned animals by facilitating onsite adoptions, hosting off-site adoptions at events and locations throughout the community, and working collaboratively with over 70 rescue organizations who share in our goal of a No Kill Miami-Dade County.
For more information, visit our website or call 3-1-1.
It is the policy of Miami Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The facility is accessible. For sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices or materials in accessible format, please call 305-418-7188 at least five days in advance.