Have You Found A Cat Who Needs Help?
If You Find Stray Kittens
Kittens are very vulnerable to accident, predation, and disease. They should not be left outside if possible. Every day they remain outside they are also growing more feral (wild). It becomes increasingly difficult to socialize kittens that are more than 8-12 weeks old. Bring kittens inside now and begin socializing them. If possible, do not separate nursing kittens from their mother. If the mother cat is friendly, bring them all inside. If the mother cat is feral, kittens can safely be removed from the mother cat when they are weaned, at about 4 weeks of age.
The mother cat and kittens can be kept in a spare bedroom, bathroom, basement. Keep in mind that this is only temporary until you can place them with a rescue. Keep the cats separate from any pet cats that you have in order to prevent disruption to your pets. You would also want to keep them separate from your pets until you can have the stray cat and kittens checked by your vet.
If You Find A Stray Cat
Assess whether the cats are friendly or feral. Friendly cats can generally be petted, picked up. They meow and purr and seek out attention. Feral cats in contrast may seem skittish, hissy, or aggressive. They may not let you get too close to them.
If the cat is friendly, we recommend that you bring the cat inside if you haven't already. This may seem difficult or impossible to do, but remember this arrangement is only temporary. Consider keeping the rescued cats/kittens in a spare room, basement, or garage. They can be confined in your house inside a large cage, dog crate or cat playpen if you need to restrict their access to other areas of your home. We can offer advice and assistance on trapping a wary or frightened cat. We have a few traps that can be loaned out with a refundable deposit. Don't forget to provide the cat with a litterbox and food/water. You should keep the rescued cat separate from any pet cats that you have in your home until the cat can be checked by a vet.
If you cannot find a placement and the cat must remain outside
If the cats/kittens must remain outside please provide them with food, water, and suitable shelter. An insulated, weatherproof box should be placed slightly off the ground in a protected area. Use straw inside for comfort and additional warmth - NOT blankets, which retain moisture and make it colder. The door opening should only be large enough for the cats to enter.
It's extremely important to get the rescued cats vaccinated for rabies, especially if they will remain outside. In some counties, the Health Department requires any animal with a wound of unknown origin to be either euthanized and tested for rabies or quarantined for six months at your expense. If the cats are scratched, bitten, or injured outside and not current with the rabies vaccination, they may end up being euthanized.