If you have found kittens outside, assume their mother is nearby. She may be off searching for food or in the process of moving the babies to a safer location. Watch the nest and wait awhile. Mom won’t return if you are present.
Tiny kittens get the best care from their moms. To help the mother and her babies, provide food and water at a good distance away from the kittens so predators aren’t attracted to the nest. The mother will find the food.
Before jumping to the rescue, check out the kittens’ health. Are they clean, sleeping, dry? If so, leave them. Mom is on the job.
If the kittens are dirty, sickly, squalling, wet/soaked, they need help. If mom isn’t around and there’s danger – rain with flooding, it’s cold, raccoons or dogs are hanging around, or there is human or vehicle traffic – you may need to intervene.
If you decide that it’s necessary to intervene, please get the babies safe and warm. Don’t feed them. Newborn kittens are much more at risk from hypothermia than they are from starvation.
Call the shelter for help and advice, as each situation is unique: 360-642-1180.