Did you find newborn kittens? Keep the following in mind when deciding what to do next:

If you find young kittens without their mom, it does not automatically mean they have been abandoned by their mother. The mother could be out looking for food, or finding a more suitable home for her kittens. If you find one or two kittens, their mother may be in the process of moving the family and is on her way back for the others.

Wait and observe from a distance for 12-18 hours if the kittens appear healthy. Kittens have the best chance of survival with their mother.

In each situation, you will ultimately have to use your own judgment to decide how to handle the kittens, depending upon the litter’s needs and your time and resources.

If mother returns, keep an eye on the family until the kittens are weaned (eating on their own) around 4-6 weeks when you can trap the entire family to get them spayed/neutered. This will prevent more kittens from being born! ACCT Philly can connect you with low cost or even free spay/neuter resources.

If mom does not come back or was injured, then you should remove the kittens. Keep in mind that it is unlikely that a rescue or shelter will be able to help immediately, so be prepared to care for them! Kittens require intensive care during the first month, but saving a life is well worth the effort.

Do not feed kittens baby formula, cow’s milk, etc. You can buy kitten formula and bottles at the local pet store.

If you bring the cats inside you should keep them separate from your animals until evaluated by a veterinarian.

Check out this article for more information and tips regarding kitten care.

If you absolutely cannot care for the kittens, ACCT Philly can take them and attempt to find foster or rescue placement. Interested in becoming a kitten foster home to help us care for the hundreds of kittens that come through our doors? Learn more here.