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What to do if I find a kitten on the street

Who does not know, or has even experienced in the first person, the situation of finding a kitten? In such a situation, inevitably our first instinct will be to protect him: pick him up, hug him and take him home.
But this touching act will not always be the most appropriate to help the little feline. What’s more, we may be putting you in danger . It is vital that we keep a cool head and make an assessment of the situation.

But before getting fully into all the steps we must take, it should be noted that the municipalities are responsible for the animals that are in their municipal area . Therefore, the correct thing would be that, with a simple call to the Local Police, it would be enough for the council to activate its resources to safeguard the life of the cat.
Although unfortunately this is a utopia in most of the Spanish regions…

1. Is there a real risk to your life?

Obviously it will be necessary to observe if the kitten’s life is in imminent danger : it is near a road, it is being attacked by another animal (including the sometimes despicable human being)…
Then we must act, but without playing the hero (let’s not stop a highway by ourselves, putting ourselves at risk).
In extreme situations, in which our integrity is compromised, we must turn to the State Security Forces and Bodies or to people who are experts in extreme rescues (such as the Los 4 de la Empanadilla rescue group).
If, on the other hand, the situation is manageable by ourselves, the first thing is to remove the kitten from danger with the premise of always securing the area , both for the good of the kitten and for ours.
For example, if the feline is in the vicinity of an area traveled by cars, we have to move the cat away, preventing it from heading towards the area where vehicles circulate in its flight. Generally the cat will flee to the opposite side to where we are.
It is advisable, even if you are not on the road or it is during the day, and since you will be doing more than just walking normally on the street, it is that you wear a reflective vest so that the rest of the pedestrians and vehicles can see you better.

2. Are you injured?

The next thing would be to see if the kitten is seriously injured . If the animal is unconscious, it may have suffered from heat stroke, be hypothermic or have suffered an accident. In this case, he needs urgent veterinary assistance , so it is essential that you take him immediately to a clinic.
If it is conscious, we will have to assess whether the cat tolerates our manipulation, making a progressive and slow approach . If so, we also have to go to a veterinarian with him.
In both cases, we must try, to the extent that the means at our disposal allow it, to transport it with hygienic and safety conditions: wear gloves or some garment to pick it up, wash our hands after touching it and avoid contact with eyes. or mouth, put it in a box or in any element that serves as a carrier…
If the kitten does not allow itself to be caught, it is better that we ask for help from a protection entity or group specialized in feline rescues.

3. Is it really abandoned?

If the animal does not need urgent veterinary assistance, the next thing is to confirm that the kitten is really in a situation of helplessness.
Mothers are separated from their kittens for long periods of time to go out and find food. If we separate kittens from their mother when they are lactating, we will compromise the health of the mother and the lives of her puppies.
If we have already made sure that the kitten is in a safe place and its life is not compromised, we must see if the mother returns with them before picking it up. We have to observe the situation with enough time (it can be hours) and distance so that the mother does not feel scared by us.

4. Does it have an owner?

If we have finally picked up the kitten, we must bear in mind that we are taking on the responsibility of taking care of a living being. A living being that is a “baby” with special care: it will need appropriate milk that must be administered every ‘X’ hours (also at night), it will have to be stimulated to relieve itself after each feeding, control what it is taking weight…
The best thing, before seeking advice on the internet or from a friend, is to go with the animal to a veterinary clinic where a professional will advise you and check whether or not it is identified.

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