Resources for Cats

Keep Kittens with Mom

A kitten that is removed from its mother too soon may also have trouble adjusting to its new home and you. Growing up with a mother and littermates is an essential part of cat socialization. Without proper socialization at a young age, the kitten may grow up to be fearful, skittish, or even aggressive. 

When we find a litter of kittens, our good-hearted instincts tell us to jump in and help. Please don’t! Thankfully, human intervention is typically not required. In fact, the best thing you can do is leave the kittens alone. Mom will likely return shortly, and it’s critical that the kittens remain in her care as she offers the best chance for survival. If you are extremely certain that the kittens are orphaned, you can then step in and help by caring for the kittens until they’re old enough to find homes.
Flowchart for found kittens.

Found Kittens

  1. Are the kittens injured or critically sick? 
    1. Yes: Call 912-576-7395
    2. No: Go to Item #2.
  2. Estimate the age of the kittens:
    1. 0-2 Weeks Old - Eyes closed or barely open: Go to Item #3.
    2. 2-4 Weeks Old - Eyes open and alert; becoming mobile: Go to Item #3.
    3. 4-6 Weeks Old - Very mobile and often talkative; can eat food: Go to Item #3.
    4. 6-8 Weeks Old - Very active and playful; around 1-2 pounds: Go to Item #5.
    5. 8+ Weeks Old - Very active and playful; 2 pounds or more: Go to Item #5.
  3. Can you see the mom cat OR a nest? 
    1. Yes: DON'T KIT-NAP! A kitten's best chance of survival is with mom. Leave the kittens where they are. If you want to help, make sure mom has access to shelter, food, and water. Contact Camden County Animal Control at 912-576-7395 to have mom and kittens fixed when ready.
    2. No: ARE YOU SURE? Mom may be off hunting or not want to come around if people are present. Watch for her to come back within a few hours. PRO TIP: Leave a ring of flour around the kittens. Check in a few hours if you see mom's foot prints in the the flour!
      1. If the Cat Mom comes back: Go back to Item #3, part 1.
      2. If the Cat Mom does not come back: Go to Item #4.
  4. Call 912-576-7395 for help with confirmed orphan kittens. 
  5. If the kittens are friendly, utilize social media and your personal network to try and place them in homes. Call 912-576-7395 to coordinate spay/neuter services.