If you’ve seen any of our Instagram or Facebook posts over the past 24 hours you may have noticed three tiny ones that we discovered in the loft. Here’s the story:
First I’ll back up a couple of weeks… back when we were prepping the barn for Justin and Faelynn. About 2-3 weeks ago a black and white female cat came running through the field and past the barn. Immediately, I had assumed she was pregnant based on her shape and appearance. Over the past two weeks we have seen her running through the pastures and through the barn but never saw her go in the loft. The past week or so we have been hearing meows in the woods on our property that sounded like a cat was injured or in a fight with another animal. I tried investigating the sounds and finding the cat, but was unsuccessful.
On Friday night while we were putting Justin in for the night, I heard tiny high-pitched meows coming from up above. Right then I knew there were kittens in the loft.
We went up looking for the mother and the kittens and while the mother was nowhere to be found, the little ones immediately came crawling towards us from the hay bales in the back left corner of the loft. With temperatures in the 40s and concern about the whereabouts of the mother, we decided to take them in and care for them. We found a large cardboard box, lined it with a towel, and put in a cat bed and a very small box with litter inside. As soon as we brought them inside I posted in a local rescue group where we got Piper from (our Calico kitten). A member called me immediately and gave me clear instructions on what we needed and what to do. We headed straight to Walmart to pick up kitten formula, kitten bottles, a syringe, and a heating pad.
Upon our return we were able to successfully bottle feed all three kittens and weigh them so that we could track any changes in their weight to make sure they were not losing any weight. We stayed up until midnight Friday to give them another feeding. Then we woke up at 5:30am to give them a morning feeding. Every 3-4 hours we have been bottle feeding them.
Now we have had them inside for about 24 hours and they seem to be taking to bottle feeding fairly well. We are also trying to introduce “gruel,” which is kitten formula mixed with kitten wet food. We think they are about 3-4 weeks old since they have teeth growing in and their ears are all upright. So far they all seem healthy, so we are hopeful that they will continue to eat, drink, and stay active! I will also add that we have continued to look for the mother as we would like to see if we could catch her so that she can care for her kittens and so that we can take her to the vet to get spayed and vaccinated. Unfortunately, there has been no sight of her in the past couple of days, which might explain why the kittens were meowing so loudly on Friday night and why they crawled towards us so urgently when we went up in the loft.
We also don’t know their genders, it’s trickier than you would think to determine that! So we will wait to give them names until we have that info. Right now we are planning on caring for them and then working with a local non-profit adoption group to get them vaccinated and spayed/neutered, and when they are ready, find them loving homes. However, with our love for animals, it is possible we may keep one of them with us at the Sunshine Farm. In the meantime we will make sure they continue to gain weight and get plenty of socialization so that they end up confident, happy kittens!
I will continue to post photos and videos of these three little ones on our Facebook page and Instagram, @sunshinefarmny.