Here are some common scenarios you might encounter and how to deal with them:

  • If you find kittens who are alone: the mom will often return within a few hours. Observe from a distance or a hidden spot to be sure she is not returning before moving the kittens. Use COMMOM SENSE and be patient.
  • If the mother cat doesn’t come back after several hours:
  • You will need to understand how old are the kittens to see how to proceed CLIK HERE
  • You can choose to raise them yourself if they are too young (up to two months) to survive on their own or if the area is dangerous.
  • If the kittens are older & the area is safe, trap, neuter and release them back as soon as possible to THE SAME AREA.

If the mother cat does return for her kittens, you have multiple options to consider:

If the mother is feral and the kittens are too young to be separated from her, the best thing is to leave them where they are as long as the location is safe. If the cat is in your garden , workplace etc. Please note that providing food for the mother will encourage her to stay there for good so if you have no intention in keeping her do not feed her. Monitor the family daily and make the environment as much safe for them as you can. If the kittens are friendly enough when they are 5 to 6 weeks old, you could try to tame them even more so they could find permanent homes. Remove the kittens gradually from the mother when they are 8 weeks old. Be aware that queen cats come on heat right away after delivering the kittens , so to prevent accidents have her sterilized when the kittens are also 5 weeks old.

  • Trap and neuter the mother, she will be fine in her own colony. If the kittens are very feral, wait till they are 3 months, sterilize them and release.
  • If you trap a cat and discover at the clinic that she is a nursing mother, return her immediately to the same area you trapped her from, keep monitoring where she is and as soon as the kittens are 5 weeks old get her neutered.
  • If you discover at the clinic that you have brought in a pregnant cat, have her spayed by an experienced veterinarian who has performed this surgery before. The post surgery period should not be less than 48h for observation. For many people, this is a difficult aspect of Trap-Neuter-Return.

How to Use Kittens to Trap a Mother Cat, and Vice Versa

On your first attempt at trapping a cat family, always set out at least one baited trap for every cat and kitten (kittens old enough to walk) in the family. Young kittens can be scooped up and used to attract mom, but not vice versa.

If you donot trap mom in the first round, she will soon hear, see, and smell her kittens in the trap and want to get close to them, providing the perfect incentive for her to enter a trap herself:

  • Once you have a kitten trapped, immediately set up a second trap of similar size end-to-end against the one holding the kitten, so that mom will have to walk into the open trap to reach her baby.
  • To make sure mom goes inside the trap and not around the back or sides, cover the trap holding the kitten on three sides so that the kitten is only visible from the entrance of the open trap. To her, it will appear as though the kitten is inside a tunnel.

If you trap the mother cat first, or if you are trapping other cats and you trap her by accident, keep her in the trap and set a second trap, following the same instructions outlined above with the traps used end-to-end, with one important addition: once you have trapped one kitten, you will have to set up a new trap for the next kitten. Kittens can also be used to trap their siblings in a similar fashion.

Trapping Tips: Kitten Safety.

  • When trapping kittens, make sure you are using an appropriately sized trap, or any trap made specifically for kittens (kittens sometimes are not heavy enough to trip the plate). Don’t put the kittens at risk.
  • We suggest that you prop open the trap door with a water bottle or other similarly sized object (like a stick) on a string, so you can spring the trap manually when all kittens are safely clear of the door. Once the kitten is fully inside the trap and clear of the door, pull the string hard and fast to remove the water bottle.
  • Make sure to set out at least one trap per kitten, to discourage kittens from following each other into the same trap. (They may still do this, but springing the trap manually will make sure no one gets caught in the trap door.)

For more details please email us at research@friendsofanimalsdxb.com