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Cats/stray mother and kittens:


Hi Miss. Kate:  How are you fine I hope:  I have a question I have been trying to get answered for a while now to no avail so I came across how you were so gracious about answering other cat owners emails and I thought maybe (if you don't mind) you would be nice enough to help me also. I adopted a mother cat (I could not bring inside because I have 4 cats of my own and my apartment is very small),she had 5 kittens on the 3rd of this month (thank god the weather was in the 60's), all the kittens seem to be well and she is such a wonderful mother always making sure she is with them and loves them very much.  I do not know anything about raising newborn kittens and I had a few questions like when will I be able to  handle them, should I give the mother or kittens replacement milk, since they are on my porch and I live in Chicago the weather here is very unpredictable some days nice other days cold I prepared a nice medium size box for her before she had them I placed an old fur lined winter coat inside and I wrapped the outside of the box with plastic I then layered the top with a sheet of plastic, 2 old jackets (1 fleece), a sheet draped from the back to the front, another coat and sweater and then last another sheet on top, I also have put 2 boxes in the back and 1 on each side with 2 more on top so that the wind (if any) will not make it any colder for them.Do you think they are warm enough?  She has an opening so she is able to go in and out and sometimes (when she does not feel like it) I bring her food and water dish up to the opening so that she can have her meals inside, and I am really hoping that this is enough.  She seems to be very happy with us we go out and interact with her as much as possible, but we do not bother the kittens (only lift up the layers to see if they are moving and are ok), so because we do not touch them I do not know if they are getting her milk and they are feeding ok, but she is always with them she only leaves them for a minute to release herself but she comes right back up to them.I have tried to find answers on the internet but they are usually for people who have indoor mother and kittens. I really hope you can answer my questions and can give me any other advice you think I may need,  I am going to try to find the babies good homes and plan to have the mother spayed as soon as she is able to be, whether she decides she would like to continue to stay on our porch or not. If and only if I cannot find them homes will I be forced to call the shelter but for now I would really like to be able to place them with loving families who will appreciate them and love them always.  Sometimes I wonder if I should give her KMR replacement milk warmed because right now here it is only 40 degrees but it feels more like 30 with the wind chill that's another reason why I worry about them I find myself getting up in the middle of the night to check on them I love them so much. Any advice and help you can give me will be deeply appreciated. Please get back to me (if you can) ASAP I will be awaiting your reply:          Thankyou:

well you have many questions here but really by the sounds of things you are being an excellent carer in the way you are looking after them. It also sounds like the mother cat is doing everything she needs to look after her kittens.

It is perfectly normal for you to be worrying about them but really mother nature is the best carer, your job is to help them by providing some food for the mother cat and fresh water and giving her a warm place to sleep which you have done.

As for the care of the kittens it is ok to handle them after the first week and it will become very obvious if they are feeding ok or not because unwell or undernourished kittens will not move around much or make much noise. By the sounds of things I would be surprised if this mother cat is not doing a great job at feeding her kittens.

By best advice is to ask you to see some of my web pages about kitten care etc the advice is universal regardless if they are inside or outside cats. Some of it will only apply to kittens who have been abandoned , so you will not have to worry about that. However all the pages may be of interest to you.

the first page is here and then see the menu at the top right of the page for further pages.

I hope I have been able to help

best wishes KAte


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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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