With springtime comes the warmer weather, the showers, the flowers, and the kittens.
When you notice a litter of unwanted kittens roaming the streets or hiding under your neighbor’s outdoor furniture, you might wonder, “What now?”
While the first thought might be to scoop them off the ground and take them somewhere safe, that might not be the best solution to the situation. Kittens, especially during the kitten seasons, overcrowd shelters and rescues due to Good Samaritans who think they’re doing the right thing.
Without knowing whether the mother cat’s around or not, you shouldn’t move the kittens away because there’s a chance she might be hiding away from you or fetching them something to eat. Why shouldn’t you take them to a shelter or a rescue, though?
First things first, there’s nothing wrong with contacting volunteers or fosters to check whether they’re able to take care of the kittens or not.
Without the mother, though, the kittens need to be bottle-fed every few hours, and even then they’re far from being out of the woods. Unfortunately, far too many kittens die because they’re unable to get bigger and stronger without the mother’s milk.
On top of that, too many kittens are put down because there’s not enough space for them to stay at a shelter or a rescue, there aren’t enough volunteers and fosters to take them home, and there aren’t enough people applying to adopt them.
When you take a litter of kittens to a shelter or a rescue, you don’t know whether they’re going to survive. Kittens are better off staying with their mother, that’s for sure.
When you’re 100% sure that the kittens’ mother won’t be back or that the kittens are hurt, hungry, or exposed to danger, go ahead and contact a local rescue organization, a trap-neuter-return (TNR), or a community cat program.
However, when you spot the mother, too, you might want to leave them alone. When they’re big enough to feed themselves, you can capture the entire family, get them spayed or neutered, and return them where you found them. Or, contact a trap-neuter-return (TNR) to do that for you.
Whatever the case might be, you need to assess the situation before you act. Now, here’s what happened to Emilie Rackovan, an animal rescuer based in Milwaukee, WI, when she was contacted about three kittens who needed her help.
Emilie took to Instagram to share that even though she was taking a break from fostering kittens, she didn’t want to say no when Urban Cat Coalition reached out to her.
Urban Cat Coalition happens to be dedicated to helping create a no-kill community by humanely reducing the community cat population through targeted trap-neuter-return (TNR).
They’re working with volunteers and fosters, too, to ensure they’re doing everything they can to reduce the number of abandoned animals on the streets of Milwaukee.
They’re working with Emilie, and that’s why they decided to reach out to her when they were contacted about three orphaned kittens that have been rescued from an unknown location.
Emilie mentioned that the three kittens were trapped for God knows how long before they were rescued, too. Even though they’d gone through a traumatic experience, they were the fluffiest, sweetest kittens Emilie had ever seen and she couldn’t pass on the opportunity to nurture them back to health.
Emilie asked her Instagram followers to suggest names for the three Musketeers – she added that one of them was male and the other two were female.
Emilie wasn’t kidding when she wrote that these kittens were the cutest kittens she’d ever seen, either. Because of that, she decided to name them after delicious Thanksgiving foods.
Mashed Potato was an orange tabby kitten with white markings scattered across the body. He was the man of the group. He demanded attention wherever he went. He was handsome and he knew it! With perked-up ears, amber eyes, and the fluffiest of tails, he was a sight for sore eyes.
Pecan (Pie) was the sweetest tortie kitten with green eyes, whispy ears, and furry paws. She was stubborn (as are most torties) and she was the purrincess of the group. She was affectionate and appreciative, but she had an attitude that could only be described as “tortitude.”
Cranberry (Sauce) was the prettiest brownish, greyish tabby with plenty of stripes, spots, whorls, and bands. She was adorable with her shaggy paws and chubby tummy. She was like a little tiger, but she was the tamest thing you’d ever seen.
Emilie was obsessed with the three kittens, and she couldn’t believe the amount of fluff that was coming off of them. She was even angry about that considering that the fluff made them appear even chubbier and cuter than they already were. She was over the moon to take care of them.
“This litter might *actually* kill me with cuteness,” she wrote on Instagram. Mashed Potatoes, Pecan (Pie), and Cranberry (Sauce) recovered from the rescue right away.
They were doing great, eating on time, gaining weight, and using the litterbox without problems. They were friendly and fierce, playful and energetic, and super, stinkin’ sweet to one another. They spent most of the time playing with each other, snuggling next to each other, or sleeping.
They were more than ready to go their separate ways, though, and meet their forever families. Emilie would’ve been happier to send them to a single forever family that would be able to take care of the three of them, but she knew that’d be a tough task.
She managed to get them adopted by three lovely ladies that were looking to spoil them rotten. She was sure that the kittens were over the moon to settle down.
“This was a short, but sweet foster group and I don’t know that I’ll ever experience this amount of floof again,” Emilie wrote on her Instagram and we couldn’t agree more.