If you have noticed a stray kitten hanging around your yard or business property, you may wonder what the proper steps are in taking care of it. The kitten may be lost from its own home, or it may be a feral feline that has lived on its own since birth. Here are some tips to use when dealing with a stray kitten so you can rest easy knowing it is no longer threatened by the elements and dangers of the outdoors.
Consider The Age
Feral cats are very difficult to capture and tame after being out in the wild for any length of time. Kittens however, may be a bit easier to coax into your arms if you find one. If the kitten you have seen is young, you may need to take additional steps in its care. Watch to see if the kitten wobbles or has difficulty getting around as it walks. This often signifies a kitten under the age of four weeks old.
Check The Area
Before taking the kitten to a veterinarian, you will want to observe its surroundings to see if there is a mother cat or other kittens nearby. Wait for about an hour to see if a mother cat comes back for the kitten, if possible. She may be relocating her litter one at a time. If no mother cat surfaces, check with your neighbors to make sure they do not have a missing kitten that made its way to your home. If you do find the owner, you will feel pleased that you had kept the kitten safe from harm during the time it was missing.
Prepare A Carrier
You will need to have a place to keep the kitten contained so you can bring it to a veterinarian for an evaluation. A cat carrier can be used as a makeshift home for a day or two if you intend on bringing the kitten into your home. Place a warm blanket in the cat carrier so the kitten feels secure.
See A Veterinarian
Take the kitten to a veterinarian to determine its health. While keeping it in your home, make sure no other pets are exposed to it until it has a check-up. The veterinarian will be able to run a series of tests to make sure it is free of disease or critical health problems. Immunizations are usually not given until a kitten is around six weeks old. Spaying or neutering will be discussed as well.
Learning The Layout
When your kitten is cleared to join the household without risk, you can start with small steps in introducing it to the home. Keep its cat carrier, with the door open, in one room of your home. Keep this room's door closed for a few days so the kitten can explore the room in its entirety, becoming familiar with this area. After it gets used to this room, you can start allowing it to explore other areas of the home under supervision.
Make Your Friend Comfortable
Provide a shallow water dish and food bowl for the kitten as well as a shallow litter pan. This will help the kitten when getting food or eliminating due to its short legs. Use non-clumping litter. If the kitten gets a clump of litter stuck in a paw, it may ingest the material. Make sure to interact with your kitten often! They will soon get used to socialization, playtime and cuddling. Click here for more information.