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Help! I found a stray kitten

Almost everyday we get phone calls from people who have found themselves in possession of a little stray kitten – or sometimes even a litter of stray kittens!

Unfortunately due to the number of stray cat colonies around Sydney there is always an abundance of homeless kittens. Despite the good intentions of the community to Trap-N-Release (TNR), this problem will not disappear anytime soon.

As such, we have made a guide to ensure the best outcome for the kittens.

Stray kitten(s) with a mother

McShooty and Stevie were our ex-adoption kittens. They were strays who had a feral mother who is part of a community TnR & feeding program.

If you have encountered stray kittens that are still being attended to by their mother please make sure NOT to separate them! You should contact any reputable rescue group to organise a TNR. This allows the mother cat and her kittens to be taken off the streets for appropriate treatment. For the mother cat that usually means being desexed to prevent future stray litters. Depending on the nature of the cat and her kittens it is most likely the rescue group will attempt to re-home them however if the mother is extremely aggressive and hence unable to rehome then she will most likely be released back to where she is found once she is desexed and treated for any existing medical conditions.

Stray kitten(s) without any signs of a mother

Kittens that are alone are not necessarily without their mother- sometimes they can appear to be abandoned but in reality their mother is out gathering food or in the process of relocating her litter. To avoid making the mistake of separating a kitten from their mum, try to stick around (out of sight to avoid frightening them) and observe for a while to see if the mother does return.

If this is a case of no mother cat being present then you should aim to safely trap the stray kittens and bring them to their nearest vet*, the vet protocol from here on is to scan the kittens in case they have any microchips (if they are chipped then they would most likely have a home and are probably lost).

If the kittens are not microchipped and are clearly not a missing pet then it is up to the vet on what needs to be done next.

A litter of 3 ex-adoption kittens (Chandler, Ross and Joey) we had taken on from another clinic to rehome.

Vet clinics are not rescue groups, hence are not always able to hold-onto and rehome stray animals- this is because most smaller clinics only have the capacity and resources for hospital patients. Sometimes however, and this is the case for our clinic- the vet will have the availability to rehome the stray kittens in which case they will take them off your hands and handle all treatment and later adoption.

If the vet advises you that they are unable to keep the kittens you’re next best options are to either:

a) contact reputable rescue groups (there is a list of them and their contact details at the end of this post).

b) foster the kittens yourself and handle the rehoming (if you do decide to foster/keep the kittens you can read our Kitten Care handout for information on owning and caring for kittens) – if you do end up fostering the kittens you can talk to our staff about receiving discount rescue rates for all their treatment (that is only if you are not intending to keep them as your own pet and are definitely adopting them out)

c) contact other nearby vets- just because one vet does not have the space, that does not mean other clinics do not. We have previously taken on stray litters from other clinics who were unable to.

List of Cat Rescue Groups in Sydney:

The Brief Guide to Pet Care

Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, goldfish; we love our pets. But every now and then we need a refresher on how to take care of them. As vets, it’s our job to make sure your four-legged, furry and feathered friends are healthy, but there are a few extra things at home you can do.

 

Birds

These little guys should be as free as, well, a bird. They aren’t made for being in cages all day so make sure you give them time to exercise. Birds aren’t solitary creatures either, they quite like the company of their own kind as well as humans. Give them a bird bath or mist them over with a spray bottle as this helps them preen.

Ask us about the best type of feed for your bird; they can’t survive on seeds alone. Bird cages must be cleaned daily, especially the newspaper that collects the droppings. This is important to the pet’s overall health.

Cats

These guys love high-rise views so expect them to jump up on the couches and window ledges, and to sit at the top of the stairs. They also love grooming themselves so it’s wise to invest in a sturdy brush. Give them a comb a couple of times a week to keep their coat shiny and get rid of excess hair. This equals fewer furballs for you to vacuum up later.

Health-wise cats need a lot of protein in their diets that comes from meat and meaty bones. Pet mince never fails, but don’t rely on giving your cat dry food. They need a balanced diet. Change out their water every day. If you’ve adopted a kitten, they require a special formula several times a day to stay healthy.

Dogs

You see the dogs walking around in puffer jackets that are probably nicer than the average human’s? Sometimes they do need the extra help to stay warm due to their small size, lack of body fat and thin fur. It’s not unreasonable to get some extra blankets and other winter warmers come the cooler months.

A dog’s skin is just as vulnerable as a human’s, and they get dry skin, dandruff, and other irritations that can turn to something more. Book an appointment with the vet if they don’t stop scratching and nibbling or if they start to smell.

 

Learn more here;

Are you ready to adopt a pet? Advice from your future vet

Pet Adoption Guide: where to start

Are you ready to adopt a pet? Advice from your future vet

Adopting a pet into your family is a big adjustment, even if you’ve had one before. It’s fun to daydream about walks, cuddles and sleeping with your dog on the bed but there are some practicalities you cannot ignore.

 

  • Bills

Your pets will get sick and need to go to the vet from time to time; their immune systems aren’t invincible, after all. There’s also the issue of desexing, vaccinations, and regular checkups. You can also pay for pet insurance. You will invest a lot of money in your pet during its lifetime, so be prepared. Our vets will give your companion the care it needs.

 

  • Exercise

Dogs need their walks, so if you’re only looking for a pet to keep you company around the house you’re better suited for a cat. Birds need to be let out of their cage and fly around for both their mental and physical health.

 

  • The House

Is your house ready for pets? Cats enjoy high places and dogs need grass to play on. Go online or speak to one of our vets about the kind of pet that’s best for your current living situation.

Before you bring the new addition home, go through the house and make sure it’s pet-ready. You might need to install a safety gate if you don’t want the animals upstairs. If you’re getting a bird, invest in a large cage, put it in a warm, sunny spot and stock up on newspapers to line the bottom. If you’re bringing home a cat, get a litter box with a couple of bags of kitty litter, food and water bowls, toys, and a scratching post. Dogs will need toys, a bed, some blankets for the cooler months, and a leash for when it’s walk time.

 

 

  • The Kids

Kids can get bored easily and will slack off in caring for the pet if you aren’t careful. Playing with the cat or dog isn’t enough; this is a chance to give them important jobs to show them a pet needs to be given love and care, just like a human.

If they’re old enough, involve the younger ones in walks and feeding time. Get them to wash the dog or brush the cat.

 

  • The Feelings

Animals are more intelligent than you believe. They pick up on the emotions of their owners and the environment around them. This means if you’re stressed, excited, happy, or sad they will be too.

Adopting a pet is a serious business that needs to be thought through carefully and discussed with the family. Who will be able to give it the love and care it needs? Will a pet positively impact the home or should you wait a few years?

https://summerhillvillagevet.com/older-pets-just-need-a-little-help-from-their-friends/

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