A week ago my 5 yo came into the kitchen with great excitement telling us that we had to come outside to see something. We followed her and were very surprised to see a mother cat and 4 young kittens playing under the hedge at the front wall of the house. Based on what I could see, it appears that the mother probably gave birth to them inside the hedge, which is quite secure and sheltered from the elements. I am not at all an expert on cats, but it seems that the kittens are about a month old. They have all their fur and, despite being fairly small (torsos about 6 inches long), they are very active. The mother seems to be in good shape, although a bit on the thin side. I don’t see any signs of her nursing the kittens, and no sign of her teats. The second day we got some cat food from a neighbor and offered it to them. They all ate the food very eagerly. The initial food we gave was for adult cats, but we have since bought food for cats of 1 to 12 months old. I think that the mother had been taking the kittens out during the day (hunting?), but now that we are feeding them they seem quite happy to stay around the hedge. The kittens are very playful and curious, but the mother is distrustful of us, and hisses if we come too close. We managed to pick up one of the babies on the first day we saw them, but since then the mother will not let us get too close. It has been one week now.
So the question is what should we do. In some ways this is quite fortuitous as my daughters have been begging for a kitten and we were beginning to take the question seriously. Seems like destiny. But of course we need to find out if they belong to anyone in the area. My feeling is that there may not be an owner as the mother was not fixed (in these parts almost all cats are fixed) and I can’t imagine why a mother would leave a safe and comfortable home to give birth under a hedge. But on the other hand the mother doesn’t really look feral (very clean and no signs of fighting or injury).
I guess that I need to call the SPCA, but would kind of like to maintain the status quo for the next week or two before doing that. And as I mentioned, we might be interested in taking in one or two of them (but not all five!)
Any advice either on procedure or on kitty-care? Right now it is still summer weather, but the nights are already chilly and it will get cooler soon.