Alley Cat Allies sprang into action Sunday night to save a kitten who was climbing in and out of cars’ wheel wells, a dangerous situation that could have turned deadly, in a parking garage near our Bethesda, Maryland, office.
Alley Cat Allies’ Elizabeth Siebenhar headed to the garage and tracked down the black and white kitten after being notified by a concerned citizen. It took a few trapping attempts, but Siebenhar was able to safely nab the kitten that night and take her to a veterinarian for an examination. She required treatment for fleas and ticks, but overall was in good health.The kitten was determined to be 8 weeks old and weigh 2.5 pounds.
Inspired by her parking lot adventures, we dubbed the kitten Carlotta (Get it? Car-lot-ta). Carlotta is now in a foster home, where she’ll stay until she’s spayed, vaccinated, and adopted.
Carlotta is already at the recommended age and weight to be spayed. Kittens can be safely spayed or neutered, and then put up for adoption, once they weigh 2 pounds at about 8 weeks old. Spaying and neutering at this early age prevents litters and also has health benefits for cats.
The situation involving Carlotta is a reminder that we’re in the peak of kitten season—the time of year when most kittens are born. Now more than ever, it’s important to know how to help kittens who are found outdoors. For kittens who are younger than 8 weeks old, you should not take them away from their mom! If you don’t see their mother, wait a few hours to see if she comes back.
If there is no sign of mom, you can step in to care for the kittens yourself rather than take them to an animal shelter, which typically doesn’t have the resources to care for kittens. If the kittens are older than 8 weeks, you can carry out Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and let them remain in their outdoor homes. Or, if the older kittens are socialized, or friendly toward people, you can find someone to adopt them.