Central Oregon Daily▶️ ‘Kitnapping’ kittens you may find on their own could do more...

▶️ ‘Kitnapping’ kittens you may find on their own could do more harm than good

▶️ ‘Kitnapping’ kittens you may find on their own could do more harm than good

▶️ ‘Kitnapping’ kittens you may find on their own could do more harm than good

“Kitnapping” is when kittens are taken away from their mothers, also known as “queens,” too soon. It’s usually done by well-meaning humans to re-home them. However, this can prove to be hazardous to the babies’ health.

“When we get kittens in that have been ‘kitnapped,’ it’s hard because we’re not their mom. And their mom is really the one that provides the most and best care,” Humane Society of Central Oregon Animal Programs Manager Wendy Arnold said. “We try our best but it really does effect their health and everything for their future.”

Once kitnapped, the kitten’s diet is likely to change, possibly leading to digestive issues that can spiral into dehydration and malnutrition, making it harder to survive. 

“We try our best with things and supplements, but we’re not always able to do what a mom could do for them,” Arnold said.

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Arnold says it’s typically best to leave litters of kittens alone. 

“Queens will go off to forage for food during the day, things like that. So, a lot of times when you find kittens, they may be well taken care of by their queen. You may have interrupted them or scared them away, but typically they will return,” Arnold said.

The shelter says 75% of kitnapped kittens it takes in would have likely been fine if they we left alone.

There are exceptions, depending on the animal’s situation.  If the kittens look dirty, underweight, in distress, or in medical crisis, it is possible they truly need human intervention. 

Arnold says the shelter is always looking for new foster homes for bottle-feeding kittens. They have a volunteer application on their website you can fill out and they do offer trainings.

The kittens need to be fed every two hours.


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