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Guide Launched to Help Save Kittens Born Outside

16 June 2014

UK - Yorkshire Cat Rescue has launched a guide to inform and educate people about what to do if they suspect a litter of kittens may have been born in their garden.

The Garden Cats Guide 2014 features eight pieces of advice ranging from how to spot the early signs that a litter of kittens may have been born in your garden, to how to tame feral kittens.

“We are reaching the peak of the 2014 kitten season and despite numerous awareness raising campaigns, a large number of female cats are still not neutered.

Yorkshire Cat Rescue – Garden Cats Guide
Yorkshire Cat Rescue – Garden Cats Guide

"As a result, thousands of kittens are now being born in British gardens and many of those are either left to fend for themselves or are ultimately put to sleep because they have grow up feral,” explains Sara Atkinson, founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue.

She added: “Our Garden Cats Guide aims to educate people about what to do if they suspect a cat may have had kittens in their garden – often in a shed or underneath an old car. Mother cats, including tame family pets, will go to great lengths to hide their newborns and may do so in a covered compost heap or a narrow gap between garages where they are nearly impossible to reach.”

Because kittens only emerge from hiding once they are around five weeks old, taming them can be a time consuming task.

Sara says: “We often get calls from the public saying they have found a litter of newborn kittens which more often than not turn out to be around 5-8 weeks old.

"By then, they will not naturally approach people and will require extensive one-to-one handling. The earlier kittens are found and brought inside, ideally into an experienced foster home, the better our chances of finding them a loving home.”

“If this guide helps someone spot and capture just one more litter of kittens that would otherwise have grown up feral, I would deem it a success. I hope people will read and share it as far and wide as possible.

“Of course, if more cats were neutered we would undoubtedly see fewer unwanted kittens born outside each year and that would be the ultimate result.”

To download the Yorkshire Cat Rescue Garden Cats Guide 2014, click here.

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