That cute, cuddly ball of fluff is irresistible. Kitten issues are complex and emotional at best. Some people feel that all kittens should be socialized and placed into homes. Others realize that if we removed all the kittens from the streets, there aren’t enough homes. Resources are limited, they think, so why not save a litter at the pound that would certainly be killed. Other people feel it’s wrong to fix and return kittens.
At Stray Cat Alliance, we know it’s worse to simply do nothing. Kittens in a safe, well-fed colony can have quality of life. Their mothers will teach them to stay safe. You see, cats have complex family systems and we respect that. If kittens are sick, then of course we must help. We believe it is also moral and ethical to fix kittens and put them back. Don’t let the worry of “What in the world am I going to do with the kittens?” stop you from trapping.
Some volunteers secretly hope that if they trap, they won’t catch kittens because there’s no place for them. Others don’t trap at all because of this. Please get out there and “fix away!” If you trap kittens weighing approximately two pounds or less, make sure your veterinarian is knowledgeable about early-age spay and neuter. Do get them fixed—for the greater good of cats.
Kittens are usually fully weaned at around four to five weeks, a good time to start socializing them, which takes a few days. Kittens not exposed to humans early on learn from their mothers and quickly become feral. If their mothers are tame, the kittens are usually easier to socialize but still require human touch to be completely comfortable. Socializing is harder if they still live in their colonies.
How Old Are They
Under one week: Eyes are shut, ears flat to head and skin appears “pinkish.” Part of umbilical cord may still be attached...
Kitten Kaboodle: Early Stages
Now that you know the age and stage of your kitten clan, here’s what you need to know to encourage them to grow into outgoing, affectionate felines that will steal a cat lover’s heart...