A cat colony at a house where the tenant moved away has over 25 cats in it that have been seen. A number of them only come out in the late night hours so not all are in any of the photos.
Conversations with the tenant revealed that all the cats were strays and not touchable. However, he also reported that he was unable to find the kittens of one pregnant female who had her kittens inside the house.
We have been feeding the outside cats twice a day since a U-Haul van appeared in the driveway and the tenant left.
One mother cat and three (3) sucking kittens were left outside on the front porch in a makeshift box. This mother and her three (3) kittens were taken in.
On May 24th, the landlord had a haul-off crew come to remove the contents left behind in the house and when I arrived to feed the cats, workers pointed to a box with five bottle kittens in it that they had discovered under debris left inside the house. Of course, whoever the mother was had been scared off by all the noise and activity of the workers and was no where to be found.
An attempt was made to attract the mother to the kittens for trapping, but hard rain came and that failed. The next day another attempt was made without success due to more rain. Even when all the strays came up to eat, there was no indication about which cat might be the mother, so no idea about who needed to be trapped. The five (5) kittens were brought in for bottle feeding.
On May 25th we returned to feed and the workers reported they had found three (3) more kittens in another structure. Once again, there was no information about who the mother cat was and rain continued every day preventing attempts to attract the mothers by using their kittens.
On May 26th we trapped one cat whose teats seemed large as if she might be nursing, but since she could be nursing other kittens on the property and removing her without determining if any of the kittens in custody were hers could mean certain death for any kittens we pulled her away from. We also trapped another young female at the same time as the mother cat.
After some testing we found her responsive to the cries of some of the kittens and over a two-day period she began to allow all eight to nurse. Of course that was more kittens than she could produce for, so bottle feeding (actually syringe feeding as none would take a bottle) was continued along with weighing twice daily. She has been a good mother to all the kittens including those who are not even hers kittens.
Several kittens developed issues and the weight of others began declining rapidly, thus requiring vet visits and multiple rounds of antibiotics to stabilize them. Fortunately that all worked and as of June 14 all kittens and both moms are doing well.
Food and vet bills for this colony and these kittens continue to accumulate and the wet food that has helped resolve the weight loss, diarrhea and other issues is VERY COSTLY at almost $60 a case for 24 cans, but it has saved the lives of four of the kittens because it was finally determined that they had an adverse reaction to the KMR while the other four kittens did well on it.
Ten to fifteen (10-15) strays are still at the colony location and twice daily feedings continue consuming 5-8 pounds of dry food and 4-8 cans of food per day, so the hard costs of seeking to soon manage this colony until TNR can be completed is significant.
It would be great if you can chip in to help offset some of the food, medical and spay-neuter related costs.