Today I want to talk about keeping moms and babies together and how to trap a feral mom outside using her babies So I got a message this week from someone who had found that kittens were born in a bush in her front yard and she asked me “Where should I take the kittens?” But you don’t want to just scoop up the kittens, you want to try to get the mom too. So I grabbed a trap, a carrier, a heat pad, some towels, and some bait and I headed over to try to catch the whole family This is a humane box trap, and this is what you use to catch the feral cat outside Usually you use food as the bait, but today we’re going to use the kittens as the bait for the mom I can totally see the mom, she’s right here Hi momma! You’re a baby factory. – Una fábrica? Is that how you say?
– That’s correct – Fábrica de gatitos I just want to get her to leave mommy cat you gotta go She’s so protective of her babies. It’s awesome but I’m like
– I’m trying to help your babies, we’re trying to help them! Hi mommy cat! I know you’re very [inaudible] I see the babies- Oh my god! Shit She’s really feral! -Don’t mess with her babies -This is [laughter] There’s five babies. -Son Cinco?
-Five? Five. There’s the babies [gasp]
Mommy look! Ok Just gonna triple-check, don’t wanna leave anyone behind. Okay, so now we’re gonna put these guys in here They are very very young they do look like they’re about a day to two days old When people find kittens outside their first instinct is often to swoop them up and take them inside. While this is often a well-intentioned action the results can be devastating Most people don’t realize that when they take kittens off the street they’re actually taking them away from their mother 80% of kittens who are born every year are born outside so if you find a kitten outside and they’re alive and look clean and fed, that’s because they do have a mom Removing kittens from their mom hurts in a number of ways First, the kittens may or may not survive Most of the time people take the kittens to a shelter that might not be set up with a foster home So it’s possible the kittens will be euthanized In other cases people will try to take the kittens inside and they may or may not be able to provide good care to them Of course nobody is more set up to care for a kitten than the mom themselves so we want to try to keep the mom with the babies The other problem is that when we take kittens off the street and we don’t look for the mom we’re leaving a breeding population behind So there’s just gonna be more kittens every couple of months So trapping the mom with the babies gives the kittens the best chance of surviving And it ensures that the mom can be spayed once the kittens are weaned Okay so we’re all set up. The babies are on the other side of this bush in a carrier covered up. The carrier is pressed up against the back of the trap She’s gonna look through there and see and smell her babies in the carrier And she’s hopefully going to walk right in, we’ll be able to get her and then we can reunite the whole family indoors Hmm She’s like really really trap wary. She doesn’t wanna go in the trap. She doesn’t even want to go near the trap So the mom doesn’t want to go into the bush, and that’s okay So this is our setup We’ve got our babies back here, and they have a heat pad to keep them warm while they’re not with their mom Babies back here, trap here, a little bit of food in it, we’re hoping she’s gonna go in here Come on momma go in that trap, go in that trap There she goes Okay, so we got the mom. As soon as the mom noticed that the babies were in here she got really upset and was looking around for an entrance The only entrance was the front of the trap, she went in to try to get the babies and now we can reunite them indoors where we can have control of the situation where we can raise the babies, get them eventually spayed and neutered and adopted and the mama sterilized and then returned to her outdoor home So yay! We did it! And that’s it! So now that we have the mom and babies we’re just monitoring to make sure that the babies are okay Once they’re weaned the mom will be spayed and returned to her colony and the babies will be spayed, neutered and socialized for adoption That’s your babies! And they don’t have to live in a bush no more! Look at that! Heres your babies! Hello skeptical mom Oh my gosh
-He looks like a little turtle [spit/hiss] Okay, nevermind Even though the mom totally hates my guts we just leave her alone for a couple of weeks So stay tuned to see what happens -Wooooo!
-Woo! -Spring break!