Publications| Kittens / "Leave Them Be"

Let Mother and Kittens Thrive Outside

If you find kittens outdoors, DO NOT pick them up and take them indoors. Their mother is probably close by so please… Leave Them Be®.

Why Shouldn’t I Take Kittens Inside?

Separating kittens younger than ~8 weeks old from their mother is harmful to their wellbeing. Kittens need their mother and she is
their best possible caregiver.

How Old Is That Kitten? Our guide will help you determine a kitten’s age and the care they need. Visit alleycat.org/KittenProgression.

What About an Animal Shelter?

Do not take mother cats or kittens to an animal shelter. Most shelters don’t have programs to provide the care unweaned kittens need. There is a risk the kittens will be killed.

How Can I Help?

You can help kittens by providing their mother with essentials like:
• Regular food and water. Get the details at alleycat.org/BestPractices.
• An outdoor shelter. Find options at alleycat.org/ShelterGallery.
• Peace and quiet. Keep an eye on mother and kittens but leave them be.

I Don’t See the Mother Cat

That doesn’t mean the kittens are abandoned or orphaned. Their mother may just be out looking for food. She might even be hiding from you. Check on kittens for several hours, staying
out of sight, to see if their mother returns.

What if the Kittens are Sick?

Contact your local veterinarian for help right away if the mother cat or kittens appear ill or injured.

Learn more at alleycat.org/LeaveThemBe.