I am working with a local rescue to TnR the feral cat colony in my housing complex. The kitties are now familiar with me feeding them at their set times, and most are quite approachable, including 2 little queens who look to be in their final trimester.
I’ve tried to find fosters for these pregnant mamas, but all I contacted are already full, so I have agreed to foster these two street walkers during their lying-in period so they can have their kittens in safety. We don’t have an extra room, and our senior cats are sensitive to change, so I decided to set them up in 2 separate large dog kennels (on loan from the rescue) in our insulated garage. Its not a perfect solution, but it is quiet, safe and private and it beats giving birth in the storm drain. It also guarantees that the whole brood will be vetted and put up for adoption through a reputable rescue when they are old enough.
I am gathering old but clean towels and fleece blankets, and will purchase a pet-safe heating pad for each cat and Capstar for fleas. I have small litter boxes, and food/water bowls that attach to the kennel walls so they are not easily knocked over. RC mother & baby cat is stocked up and ready to fuel hungry, nursing moms.
My biggest question is what litter to use. Everything I have read says to NOT use clumping/scoopable cat litter. We are Fresh Step devotees, since I hate the smell of Johnny cat or similar non-clumping clay litters. Paper pellets (yesterday’s news) was recommended as the kittens won’t eat it and it wont stick to their fur, but I’m curious to what other people have used. Swheat scoop?
I am hopeful that at least one of these young mothers can become a civilized proper lady and become a house pet, so I don’t want to confuse her with too many litter changes. In other words, I would like to use the same litter for her and for her kittens when they eventually use the litter box.
What do you experienced kitty doulas and fosters recommend? What else should I have on-hand? I must admit I am excited to get these 2 lovies off the street and hopefully socialize them so they can become adoptable pets along with their kittens.