FOUND A BABY KITTEN?
Before you act!!! Do the kittens look well cared for?
If the kittens look clean, well fed (plump), and healthy, then you should wait for their mother cat to return. Leave the kittens but make a note of where they are and check back as discreetly as you can every few hours. Mother cat will leave her kittens in a safe place while she is foraging for food. If you do not see her it is because she is either out getting food or she heard you coming and his hiding from you. Kittens should not be separated from mothers if possible. If you confirm the mother cat is caring for the kittens it is best to trap and rescue them together. Nobody provides better care to kittens than a mother cat, and if mother cat is unexpectedly separated from her kittens it will cause stress and trauma. Once you have confirmed a mother cat and kitten family, you can contact your local cat rescues and they will help you trap the entire family together.
Act IMMEDIATELY if:
-The kittens are dirty or filthy and appear emaciated and starved.
-Mother cat did not come back for a long period of time (i.e. a day) or you have confirmed mother cat is not coming back (i.e. you saw mother cat take her kittens with her and deliberately leave one behind, or you saw/know that mother cat has died)
-The kitten(s) have injuries or other life threatening conditions that require immediate intervention such as wounds or severe infection
-There is about to be a weather emergency (hurricane, storm, blizzard) that could be fatal to the kittens
The FIRST thing you should do once you have rescued kittens is provide HEAT.
Kittens under four weeks old cannot regulate their own body temperature. Nothing is more deadly to a baby kitten than hypothermia. If you have nothing else to provide, you can provide a heating pad, or microwave rice in a sock while you contact your local cat rescues and that already can save their life. Do not ever attempt to feed a cold kitten.
If you decide you wish to provide basic care:
-Kittens under five weeks old need kitten milk replacer - KMR. Consult the video and online resources below on how you can bottle feed or syringe feed kittens. Use "KMR" ONLY. Do not attempt to feed a kitten with human formula, puppy formula, "home remedies", etc.
-Kittens under four weeks old cannot eliminate waste without assistance. Consult video and online resources below on how to stimulate a kitten. Use a toilet paper or a baby wipe, do not use a rough towel or paper towels because it will hurt their skin.
-Do NOT bathe a kitten unless it is absolutely and utterly filthy, covered in fleas, etc. A wet kitten will chill quickly. If you must bath, please dry immediately and then move to a heat source. Kittens with a moderate amount of dirt can be cleaned with baby wipes or damp, soft rags. Again, dry off immediately and move to a heat source. You can remove fleas with a flea comb. Drown fleas in a mix of water and dish soap.
-To guess a kitten's age (useful information for cat rescues), you can consult the image below: