Pima Animal Care Center is urging the public to not touch any litters of newborn kittens that they may see throughout the community. While the kittens may appear alone and unattended, PACC says it's normal animal behavior.
“Mothers rarely abandon their young, but will frequently leave them for extended periods to care for themselves,” said PACC’s Cat Program Coordinator Stephanie Stryker. “In some cases, the mother will only come and go to nurse.”
Stryker recommends sprinkling a ring of baking soda around the area and leave it for a few hours. Fresh pawprints will indicate the mother came back to care for them, even if you did not see her.
Other things to keep in mind:
* If there is a single kitten or two, there’s a possibility that the mother is in the process of relocating them. She can only move them one at a time in her mouth.
* If the kittens’ bellies are rounded and feel warm and full, then it’s likely their mother has recently fed them.
* If the kittens appear sick (i.e. eye and/or respiratory infections, diarrhea) they may need to be removed from their mother’s care for treatment.
* If kittens are injured or in a dangerous place, like a roadway or intersection, please take them to PACC’s shelter, 4000 N. Silverbell Road.
However, most shelters, including PACC, do not have the resources to care for infant pets.
“Newborn and infant kittens require specialized, around-the-clock care that’s not sustainable in a shelter setting,” Stryker said. “A kitten’s best chance at survival is with its mother.”
Instead of taking the kittens to the shelter, community members can also request supplies from PACC and care for the litter themselves.
As an alternative to surrendering the kittens to the shelter, community members may request supplies from PACC and care for the litter themselves.
For more information contact PACC’s Community Cats Program at 520-724-5269.