r/cats Sep 06 '22 Silver 3 Gold 1 Helpful 5 Wholesome 4 Faith In Humanity Restored 1 LOVE! 1 Wholesome Seal of Approval 1 Cathug 1

Found this feral cat and her four kittens at my job’s parking lot. It’s 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41.111 Celsius) how do I get her to drink water? She’s constantly breathing heavily and overly aggressive when I reach her. She at least eats the food I give her though. Cat Picture

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12.8k Upvotes

4.1k

u/ArmadilloDays Sep 06 '22 Take My Energy Bravo!

Place a bowl of water as close as she’ll let you.

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 06 '22 Take My Energy

Since there was no bowls at my work I left her a small paper cup of cold water. She just stood there looking at it. I’m worried she didn’t drank it. It’s so hot and she was panting heavily.

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u/whodathoe_ Sep 06 '22 Take My Energy Bravo!

If she’s eating food try giving her wet food, at least there’s some moisture in there

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u/JCole1942 Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 07 '22 Helpful Wholesome Take My Energy

Mix some water in with the wet food, that will add to it and if she is weaning those kittens they will get into it too.

  • veterinary nurse

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u/AlongCameAThrowAway Sep 07 '22

Wet kitten food especially! Good for nursing mama. She probably checked out the cup when OP left but I know 9/10 times I give water in a cup it’s getting knocked over immediately.

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u/Awkward_Software_784 Sep 07 '22

She will start to associate you and that popped top with food.

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u/OrdericNeustry Sep 07 '22

Maybe take a drink from the water while she sees you, so she knows it's drinking water?

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u/BadWolf7426 Sep 07 '22

I give my cats canned tuna, packed in water, as a treat, now and again. They lick every last bit of it up.

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u/JCole1942 Sep 07 '22

Super good treat to entice a cat to drink in hot weather 👍🏻😀 🥰 I do that too.

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u/Chemical_Weight_4716 Sep 07 '22

Beware of tuna water for cats, the sodium level is very high for cats and that's HARD on their kidneys. Unflavored Pedialyte mixed with water and canned cat food at a ratio more like a thick soup is really tempting for them and most will go for it. Just plop can of food into bowl add liquids and mash, add more liquids and keep mashing til you get that thick soup. Purrrfecto

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u/ServiceDogInTraining Sep 07 '22

Wait, cats can have Pedialyte!?

I'm saving this for when my old girl (22) goes off her food. Probably a better starting point than feeding her liquid cat treats.

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u/Chemical_Weight_4716 Sep 07 '22 edited Sep 07 '22

Yes but in small amounts like 1 tablespoon per 8 ounces of water and unflavored only. Metamucil unflavored sprinkled on food or mixed into food to help stem off diarrhea. Cats who barf frequently might benefit from a quarter to half pill of pepcid ac MAKE SURE YOU CONSULT WITH VET to be sure cause of vomiting is not going to conflict with pepcid and consult with vet or internet on safe dosage per pound also.

Edit to awesome tip for cats who need more sustenance:

Kitten kibble, kitten canned food, store bought kitten milk/kitten formula is a game changer for skinny cats or cats struggling to eat enough calories/nutrients.

You can give it to them separately, add pedialyte to it or mix it into their canned wet food to make it soupier (not a word), so it's easier to consume but packs a punch. Make sure if formula is in powdered form that you mix it with water or liquid first before adding it to canned wet food. Also you can buy "high calorie paste" for cats at most pet stores like petco petsmart ect. and mix that into most food options besides kibble or give it seperate.

The higher the fat and protein content in cat food the better it is for your cat unless it requires a low protein/fat content due to medical issues.

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u/JCole1942 Sep 07 '22

Key word - treat - a tin of tuna and some water is not going to do any damage to an urban street cat and her kittens.

I doubt she or anyone else has been regularly checking for "unflavored pedialyte mixed with water and canned cat food at a ratio more like a thick soup" so it is kind of a moot point for this cat.

Awesome pointer however for domestic cattos and owners regarding the sodium level of canned tuna. Not something I would recommend as a complete dietary intake.

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u/Chemical_Weight_4716 Sep 07 '22

Cats who are outdoors and nursing struggle worse with Kidney function for lack of access to clean and regularly available water sources, so the huge sodium in tuna water is absolutely going to impact them.

The slurry of canned cat food mixed with water and pedialyte isnt something you can buy it's something you create by buying those three products and mixing it together with love specifically for them.

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u/GraeMatterz Sep 07 '22

I beg to differ. I once rescued a stray with pillow paw and his bloodwork came back with very high sodium because several people in the apartment complex were feeding him canned tuna.

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u/impy695 Sep 07 '22

A more consistent way to encourage your cat to drink is to keep their water and food separate and get a water fountain. You'll be amazed at how much more they start drinking.

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u/m0deth Sep 07 '22

Yup, I have one cat who is a bit...we'll say different. Anyway, he can't drink like a cat, so he makes a huge mess with a waterbowl, and he's the dominant cat so he'll hit every single one you put out and slime it all up(longer story).

I've since pulled the waterbowls, and everyone now gets water mixed into their wet food. I do the same for a feral outside. If it's dry food, soak it ahead of time if you can. This way you know it's getting hydration.

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u/thatvixenivy Sep 07 '22

I have a cat who only wanted to drink from the kitchen faucet....I bought a cat fountain (they're surprisingly affordable) and it sits next to the sink. All of my cats now drink considerably more water

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u/Master-Ride-4002 Sep 07 '22

Water in their food isn't enough, you really should have a source of fresh, clean water for them.

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u/Soggytoastsoup Sep 07 '22

Yeah, adding to this if you do get a chance to leave out some water try and leave out a shallow wide dish so they can see it easily that will help too. I’ve had cats that were weird about the container the water was in and that helps if they aren’t drinking. ( food with water is good too, honestly if you have the time and access to the stuff and the cat you should give them both since they have kittens and are a stray. )

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u/Icast8fascist Sep 07 '22

Thats what my dog does! Any bowl I put out he will go and slime up with his saliva before his brother gets it. Does that mean he thinks hes the dominant dog? If so that's hilarious cause he's a total pussy that freaks out when his adopted brother isnt with him. He gets scared and wants to hide, he wont eat, he shows no interest in anything. The second his brother comes around anything his brother shows interest in He comes in full force and acts like hes been interested in it the whole time. My dogs are weird.

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u/Bees_Garden Sep 07 '22

This!!!

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u/ExplainySmurf Sep 07 '22

Yes! This is the way. I just rescued some kittens and this was what saved them. I mixed quite a bit of water with the wet food and it helped them tremendously from dehydration. Still provide fresh water too though.

If you can spare a bowl or buy some disposable ones leave them out some mush wet food water mix next time.

If you have time your local shelter has traps you can rent for $10-20. I’ve fostered feral kittens before and they are a handful but there are often programs that will get the mommy fixed and her ear clipped for re-release. Sorry if that’s more info than needed but it was the only way we were able to take care of the feral population in our neighborhood from getting out of control.

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u/Icast8fascist Sep 07 '22

They only clip the cats left ear to show its been spayed though right?

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u/__garlic__ Sep 07 '22

Idk if it's specifically one ear or the other, but yes, if you see a roaming cat with a tipped ear, it often means that it's been spayed or neutered. With dogs they tend to tattoo them with a small mark in the ear or on the belly/inner leg.

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u/Exciting_Cod_7353 Sep 07 '22

And add a little water to it.

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u/ArmadilloDays Sep 06 '22

She’ll figure it out. You’ll probably have to keep your distance so she’ll investigate.

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u/outamyhead General cat hair magnet, and stray tamer. Sep 07 '22

Just need to keep working on her, maybe find her a bowl of some kind you aren't worried about and use that for water, the more frequent you are, the more that she will realize you aren't a threat.

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u/woodcone Sep 07 '22

Or recycle a take away container etc.

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u/-_MoonCat_- Ragdoll Sep 07 '22

As long as she sees you putting it down somewhere in maybe a more calm and secluded area. She’ll go to it on her own, her kittens also look old enough to where they should be drinking some water too. Just make sure it’s in a container that they can’t easily knock the water over in.

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u/Nakedstar Sep 07 '22

You can also mix water with canned food. Not a lot, like 1:5 water to canned food. Just so it’s a thick slurry.

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u/Such-Mycologist9197 Sep 07 '22

Some cats will refuse to drink anything from a container in a shape they don’t like, it’s weird but I find most will lap out of a puddle.. so maybe come back with a wider bowl? Hopefully she’s still there

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u/NefariousnessOk8037 Sep 07 '22 Take My Energy

Cats need a wide bowl for eating and drinking because it bothers them to have their whiskers touched during it.

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u/newaccountwut Sep 07 '22

Meanwhile, my cats will plunge their heads as deep as they can into my drinking glass to get at my water, even if they've just had water elsewhere two minutes ago.

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u/BeckieD1974 Sep 07 '22

My cats will attack my mug of ice water. They have fountain and I have put ice in a bowl of water for them but they want mine. Lol

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u/Bebe718 Sep 07 '22

I started decoy water- put water in little bowl where I put my water. He has been falling for it for 2 weeks- barely no sink water begging

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u/hammockboss Sep 07 '22

I had a cat who once drank GIN because it was mine (not a lot before I caught him, but wow).

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u/chemicalgeekery Sep 07 '22

I had a cat that would do that. It got to the point that we had to keep a glass of water for her by the kitchen table so that we could drink ours in peace.

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u/SlickStretch Sep 07 '22

Once I was drinking from a mason jar and my cat was trying to drink the little bit of water in the bottom. His head got stuck and when he tried to pull it out he spilled the water on his head. It was hilarious.

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u/CaraAsha Sep 07 '22

Unless they're weird like mine who prefer drinking out of a coffee mug over the other 3 bowls.

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u/thevexedspectre Sep 07 '22

Also don’t you have to maintain distance between food and water because cats don’t typically drink next to where they eat in case the water is contaminated?

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u/ToTwoTooToo Sep 07 '22

My cats won't drink water next to their food. I moved it about ten feet away and now they drink.

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u/livalittlebitt Sep 07 '22

Cut the cup so it’s turns into a bowl

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u/ConcernPrestigious12 Sep 07 '22 edited Sep 07 '22

Cats sometimes get pissed at cups and knock them over so that the water is more spread out, how wide was the cup?

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u/brobeckham Sep 07 '22

Adding water to the food helps a lot!!

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u/BeckieD1974 Sep 07 '22

Bring a bowl from home or go buy one from the Dollar Store that has a wide bottom. Dollar Stores also have food bowls for around a $1. I bought serval from Family Dollar last year for the outside cats that showed up outside of my apt window. Even picked up serval boxes for shelter for them

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u/OrbofProtection Sep 07 '22

Try giving her lukewarm water. Cats don’t really like cold water as a general rule.

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u/Soggytoastsoup Sep 07 '22

If you see her again or are near her you can try mixing wet food or dry food with a bit of water and see if they’ll eat that it might help a little.

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u/mallgoethe Sep 07 '22

bring a plastic bowl of your own full of ice

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u/Dis-Organizer Sep 07 '22

If you can, please also put out something that can act as a makeshift shelter, like a large cardboard box on its side that can both offer shade and give her an option that’s not lying on that asphalt.

Here’s a list of some decent Bay Area rescues. There are a ton, and many with good reputations that aren’t listed here, so if you let us know your particular city or county I could add some others: https://www.catcenter.org/Pages/KnowledgeBase/Documents/ShowDocPage.ASP?Title=Local%20Rescue%20Groups&URL=44_Local_Rescue_Groups

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u/johndoe73684168 European Shorthair Sep 06 '22

Try doing that backwards, with your back facing towards her, slow, no sudden movements or mistakes and no eye contact for a higher chance of success.

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u/Mountain_Donkey3125 Sep 07 '22

Or not... Set a bowl of water outside and simply walk away. She'll find it. Nothing is that complicated. She has lived for some time and nursed these kittens for quite a while after that.

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u/Icast8fascist Sep 07 '22

And while I cant tell with 1 picture , those kittens look well fed, so she's knows how to survive. She will drink it if she needs it.

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u/iikun Sep 07 '22

My cat always falls for this, it’s a good technique.

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u/Pontius-Pilate Sep 06 '22

odds are she's just too wild at the moment.

if she eats food you leave, then leave a bowl of water around, close, but not directly next to the food. a lot of wild cats will not drink and eat in the same location, at least within a few feet

just place the water out there, let her see you do it.

just keep up what youre doing, let her see you supplying the food and water, might eventually be willing to be handled, but only time will tell.

once the kittens start eating hard foods, if you leave out and they eat, she will be close, pet the kittens, be nice etc, momma will prolly accept you eventually

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u/Free_Dumpster_Pizza Sep 07 '22

THIS!!! Wild cats typically think that water near food means that the water could be contaminated by the food source if it’s dead prey.

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u/catschr0dinger Sep 07 '22

I've always wondered why they won't drink from a source near their food bowl... I know you shouldn't do that but I didn't know why. TIL!

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u/TheDarkestCrown Sep 07 '22

That explains why my cats drink from anything but the water bowl near the food bowl. I’ve had cats my whole life but never knew this, guess I’m moving their water bowl elsewhere.

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u/Miu_K Sep 07 '22

I'd warn against petting the kittens. I fed a momma and her kitten because they stayed around our house. The momma didn't really like her kitten but she got so defensive when I tried to touch the kitten.

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u/paisleycatperson Sep 06 '22

Mother cats pant from stress.

Cats prefer to drink unobserved because watering holes are the most dangerous place for predation.

So put out water at least 3 yards from the kittens. Ideally in shade and hidden.

And back way way off.

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 07 '22

Thank you everyone for your help. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on how the momma cat and her kittens are doing.

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u/kingcrabmeat Sep 07 '22

Please try to get her to a vet if you ever can. Spayed

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u/fudgetesco Sep 07 '22 Wholesome Seal of Approval

Hi there, firstly thank you for looking after this little family. I have rescued a few cats and looked after four litters over the years, I’m by no means an expert but I can provide you with some observations. The kittens look healthy from what I can see, probably about 6-8 weeks with out being able to see their faces. She seems to be doing well to have got this far, I can count four kittens which could mean she has left the runt - you could look around the immediate area to see if there’s a stray kitten. Do not give it back to the mother if you do, feed it kitten milk in small doses but you are basically now completely responsible for this kitten. Do not touch her kittens even if she leaves them for a bit, your smell could stop her from going back to them. After you have built trust with the cat she may ‘drop off’ the kittens to go hunting or something, with as little interaction as possible check them for any signs of illness or injury. Leave a cardboard box out with a towel near by and she may use this for shelter. Nursing mothers have a nesting instinct, the fact she has come out in the open makes me thing she needs help. Just in case she ever had a home, she might recognise a bowl better than a cup as something to take water from but the advice here already seems to cover water. Good luck to you and the little family, I hope you are able to build trust and help care for them.

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u/Writiste Sep 07 '22

Thank you for caring for these littler lives!

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u/Aprithius Sep 06 '22

If she does accept the food you give her, make sure the food has alot of moisture in it so she still gets some water :)

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 06 '22

Yeah I gave her two cans of canned food, it was wet so I’m pretty sure she got some liquids to absorb.

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u/loresdeath Sep 06 '22

You can always add more water too it. Not a huge amount. Or go for the gravy kind.

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u/crazycatqueer5 Sep 07 '22

co-sign on mixing water in!

gravy is full of carbs which most housecats dont need, but for a nursing momma the gravy is a good call

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u/mangomochamuffin Sep 06 '22

Wet food is good. Thats the main liquid intake of cats (wet food and raw meat they catch). More effective than when they drink some water.

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u/damianvila Sep 07 '22

Exactly! Cats are not good drinkers, and need drinking water when they mostly eat dry food. But they can do without water if they eat wet food or raw meat.

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u/Jennabeb Sep 07 '22

You can mix in a bit of water into the wet food!

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u/Momochichi Sep 07 '22

This is what i do when i feed strays. I mix in water with the canned food and them make a little moat of the food-water around it. Or i soak some kibble in a lot of water until it gets soft.

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u/ImportanceNew4632 Sep 07 '22

Wet kitten food is great for cat moms too. It has extra nutrients.

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u/clicata00 Sep 07 '22

Add more water to it next time you feed her

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u/Chemical_Weight_4716 Sep 07 '22

You can add a splash of unflavored pedialyte to the water mixed with wet food - bonus tips cats with diarrhea can have unflavored metamucil in small doses (google amount per weight) added to their wet food and it helps. Canned tuna is bad for cats because the high sodium levels are HARD on their kidneys. Sometimes cats that are dehydrated struggle to eat and drink until they get a tiny bit of pedialyte into them to counteract the nausea that dehydration causes, adding it to the wet food is a game changer.

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u/Sala-kokoo Sep 07 '22

Please dont give her food in the can if that's what you're doing. She might cut herself. Pour it on a paper plate or a bowl if possible

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u/trashifroggi Sep 06 '22

She's beautiful, what a good mama 💖 Thank you for caring for her and her babies and for giving her food and water. She may take a little to drink from the cup you left for her, but she will likely try to drink from it eventually when she feels a bit safer or figures out it has water in it, the wet food was also a great choice and will help her get some hydration too, if you manage to feed her again soon I'd mix some water into the food if you can too. Thank you again for helping her, it may take time but she will hopefully come around when she realizes you're not a threat but just a friendly person trying to care for her. 💖

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 06 '22

Yes I know I’m so proud of this momma cat for her strength, bravery and dedication to raise her four little kittens by herself, and she’s doing a well job. Too bad the father is not with them. I will continue to feed her and her kittens.

I’m just worried by the extreme heat she and her kittens have to deal with, not to mention potential predators and other humans who may want to harm them or kidnap her kittens. It’s so tough for them the only thing I can do is feed them.

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u/daft-craft Sep 06 '22

Do your best. We're all pulling for you and her and them.

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u/pigcommentor Sep 07 '22

Just want to say good luck, we're all counting on you!

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u/let_it_rain21 Sep 07 '22

If you are willing and able to foster or at least trap, neuter and release... I highly recommend a drop trap with a remote to release the door. Recently used this method with a feral momma and her kittens. Caught them all in one swoop. I built up trust with the mama over the course of a week. Started feeding her under the trap without catching her so she'd trust the trap then when the time was right waited till they were all under and dropped the door on the trap. The babies were about 6 weeks old. Fixed mama right away with the community cat program and fostered her and the babies till they were fixed and homed. Mom was supposed to go back to the wild but she and I bonded and calmed down a little so I just have a spicy roommate now.

Just my two cents. Best of luck in whatever you decide.

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u/BlorpusDorpus Sep 06 '22

..male cats don't raise the kittens anyway. The mother would likely tolerate the tom who believes he fathered her kittens in her area (not much she could do with him being bigger and stronger than her) but she wouldn't want him near her kittens.

She'd be completely intolerant of any tomcat she didn't mate with.

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u/DoomsdayDebbie Sep 07 '22

I trapped a little feral family of cats with the intent to spay and neuter. 2 moms and a big beat up daddy cat. They popped right before their appointments. So now I have an entire colony of cats. The daddy was very involved. He watched them give birth and immediately took over grooming and babysitting. He is much better with them than their mothers. He snuggles and even lets them nurse. It may not be typical but it does happen. I think there is a lot we don’t know about cats.

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u/Kind_Shelter_2660 Sep 07 '22

Is there any way you can create shade for them?

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u/GreatQuestionBarbara Sep 07 '22

Be glad the father isn't around. My friend had to shoot a tomcat on their farm after they saw it eating one of the weak kittens.

Some males will hang around after mating, but after that it's the females job and they could care less in a wild situation.

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u/NYTVADDICT Sep 06 '22

I'd call a rescue org. It's too hot out there. They could TNR momma is she is totally feral but the kittens would have a chance for a better life.

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u/gorillamyke Sep 07 '22

Finally someone said exactly what I was thinking. Call a rescue. They are professionals at trapping cats and kittens, and they will take them to a vet, have them checked out, and hopefully find homes for them.

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u/mcpat21 Sep 07 '22

Do they try to keep them with mama for awhile?

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u/MixedBeansBlackBeans Sep 07 '22

Yes, absolutely! For 8 to 12 weeks, but 8 is the absolute minimum they do. They also try to socialize mama in the meantime, but if it doesn't work, she will be spayed and released back outside (since that is best for feral cats who don't adapt indoors) and babies will be fixed, vaxxed and adopted out. :)

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u/zombbarbie Sep 07 '22

They usually keep them until 8-12 weeks until mom doesn’t want them around anymore. At around that time mom will start to reject them and they’re supposed to be on their own.

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u/jafarshah Sep 07 '22

Are you in the United States? Animal rescues can sometimes help in situations like these. Sometimes they can take the kittens and socialize them so they can get adopted and live indoors. They can also help the mother's get spayed/vaccinated and either released if she is truly feral and not just protecting her babies.

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u/keenfeed Sep 07 '22

OP I will pay for her wet food and water please. Let me know if you need any kind of support. Please do whatever it takes to help her and her babies and I will pay.

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 07 '22 Starry

I truly appreciate your support but don’t worry for now. I have plenty of food cans at back of my car. But if I ever need any help I’ll let you know. Thanks your kindheartedness. I’ll add updates on how she’s doing. Hopefully she and her kittens are safe and healthy next day I see them

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u/BetelgeuseX Sep 07 '22

Please continue to help them!!

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u/djmom2001 Sep 07 '22

If you can find a good box to maybe cut out some big holes and put on the ground and not the parking lot. Seeif you can get her attention to see it and then move away…it would be good for her to get some shade.

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u/hahshekjcb Sep 06 '22

Mix water into the food you give her

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u/OneMorePenguin Sep 07 '22

Those kittens look large enough/old enough to eat food. It must be a huge toll on mama to be feeding those three giants.

Can you call around to some rescues that might come trap all of the cats? The kittens can probably be socialized and adopted and mama can be TNR and returned to outdoors.

I would feed ALL of them wet kitten food. I don't know if the kittens would know how to eat food from a bowl, so it might be just mama eating and continuing to feed the kittens. Add more water and break it all up until it's kind of like a slurry with a bit of excess water. Hopefully they will drink the excess water since it will be tasty.

If she is a feral cat, she is not going to let you get near her, especially since she has kittens. Leave them the bowls of slurry food and walk away and watch from a distance.

Thank you so much for trying to help these animals. It's brutal out there in CA. It was 106 here today and in the 25 years I've lived here, I don't think it's ever hit 100. Perhaps a day or two now and then of over 95. Nothing like this week of heat.

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 07 '22

It’s actually FOUR giants if you look closely. You can’t see his head because it’s berried beneath the others. Yes I’ll try to find the best future for these kittens

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u/OneMorePenguin Sep 07 '22

Oh, looking at the full size image I see the fourth head tucked in there!

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u/daphnegillie Sep 06 '22

Give her canned food with a little water mixed in

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u/Caramel-Short Sep 06 '22

Contact a local TNR group to see if they can help trap and fix mama and all the kitties!

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 06 '22

Yes I know a place where they spay/neuter cats for free. I’ll make sure the kittens are TBR’d

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u/Caramel-Short Sep 07 '22

Amazing!! Thank you for looking out for them

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u/Maggot149 Sep 07 '22

The kittens are still young enough to be socialized they should go to a shelter not returned to the street

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u/MixedBeansBlackBeans Sep 07 '22

If you work with a rescue instead, they'll be able to trap and fix mama AND socialize kittens for adoption. Please also join the feral cats sub for help if you need it. :)

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u/eggerrj87 Sep 06 '22

You can water down some wet food and leave it under a shady spot.

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u/reasonablyprudent_ Sep 07 '22

Lots of wet food. No dry food. It will only make her more dehydrated.

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u/LACna Sep 07 '22

Judging by the temp reported, I'm guessing you're here in Cali. Any chance you're in greater L.A.? If so you can contact Hope For Paws and they'll come and safely trap and spay/neuter and foster.

Hope For Paws are a legit animal rescue/wellness organization.

https://www.hopeforpaws.org/contact_us

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 07 '22

Yes California but Im in the Bay Area which is shocking since it’s mostly cold. Do you know if they operate here too?

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u/dogslickfeet666 Sep 07 '22

Where in the Bay Area? I volunteer with Marin friends of ferals and I can pass over the info and maybe we can help!

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 07 '22

I’ll DM you my location because I don’t wanna give too much detailed info about my location.

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u/LACna Sep 07 '22

They're mostly L.A. based but will no doubt have resources for Cali with vets and other legit rescue organizations. There's the online form you can submit with photos.

They're the real deal and go above and beyond with their rescues.

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 07 '22

Thank you very much I appreciate it.

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u/AZDoorDasher Sep 07 '22

1) put some water in the wet food

2) go to a Dollar store and buy some cat bowls and use one for water.

3) based upon the picture, it seems like the kittens are large. Contact a local No-kill rescue organization. Trap the mother (to get spayed) and her kittens.

Feral kittens need to start their socialization by 7 weeks or it will take a long time for them to be domesticated or it could be late.

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u/Lordofthe_noodlebros Sep 06 '22

What we do with our cats go get them to drink more water is give them a bowl of canned tuna, don’t drain it and add extra water to the food. My cats love it and I’ve watched one of them drink all the tuna water and leave all the tuna for later. I rarely see them touch their own water bowl so I love to do this a lot

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u/dangeruzangels Sep 07 '22

Also can mix water into dry food, that'll Hydrate them if they eat it, or give wet food

Don't give dry food on its own, it's dehydrating

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u/TinyBaker4284 Sep 07 '22

Wet food wet food wet food!!! Please ❤️

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u/Important-Ad989 Sep 07 '22

Call a shelter maybe someone will pick her up. If sh runs off at least they can maybe get the kittens help. They don’t look real small.

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u/Toph0420 Sep 07 '22

Call a rescue. They will come and get them. In the meantime, just set out a cup if you dont have a bowl.

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u/LauraLoo83 Sep 07 '22

Just wanted to send a huge 'Thank you' to the OP for taking the time out of their day to help them. Lots of people would see them and then dismiss them from their thoughts immediately.

I wish these cats were in the shade, but it'd stress the mum more to try and move them. Just keep doing what you're doing. You're a wonderful human being!

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 07 '22

Don’t worry she’s not always outside she’s got a place inside a metal box where she hides with her kittens

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u/HDS1980s Sep 06 '22

Get Tupperware from home anything bowl shaped that you know is clean and fill it with water.... Thank you for giving her food! Keep it up and maybe look for a local resource that can help.

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u/Successful-Muscle599 Sep 06 '22

wet food with water added to it

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u/auroraaram Sep 07 '22

Don’t call animal control (a lot of times they don’t come out for cats anyways). If you have any cat loving friends, get them on the internet to search for a descent rescue. Some shelters are indeed horrible. Some shelters and rescues care about the animals. You need help researching - I get it. It’s scary when you don’t have info. Thank you for caring for this mama. 🥰

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u/Alarmed_Corgi6835 Sep 07 '22

When cats are panting that's a sign that they are close to overheating. Since her fur is black, she's just absorbing all that heat. especially the heat from the pavement . She's gonna need a bowl big enough for her to drink out of without her whiskers touching the sides or she's going to feel a bit trappedand won't drink it. She and the kittens are beautiful. If there's a Humane Society in your town, call them and see if they can help out with these poor kitties.

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u/ValkyrieWild Sep 07 '22

Offer her canned wet food to increase her water & caloric intake. That’s what I do for the cats here in the desert.

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u/joxalemming Sep 07 '22

Cats dont drink that much water. If you are giving her dry food, soak it up with half a cup of water. Or guve her wetfood. That should quench most of her thist.

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u/CrowBoiLikeShinies Sep 07 '22

Put bone broth or fish broth in the food you give her. That hydrates cats

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u/I_am_jacks_reddit Sep 07 '22

Unpopular opinion but if its that hot it doesn't matter what she wants anymore. Get some gloves and a carrier cuz its time to grab her or as many of the kittens(or both if possible) as you can and force them into it.ya it sucks you will stress her out but oh well at least she and the kittens will live.

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u/Beans508 Sep 06 '22

Best you can do is give her food and water and leave her be. Its up to her. giving her options is enough :)

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u/reactiveavocado Sep 06 '22

Mix water with the food

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u/ch3k520 Sep 06 '22

Give her the wettest cat food you can find like fancy feast broths.

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u/Fickle-Elderberry873 Sep 07 '22

if you’re feeding her wet food you can take an extra few tablespoons of water and mix it all together. she’ll lick up all the “gravy” and if you’re doing this everytime you feed her she’ll be getting a good amount of water!

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 07 '22 edited Sep 07 '22

I fed her two cans of wet cat food and she ate it all hours before taking the photo.

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u/Fine_Application_263 Sep 07 '22

Good on you. Keep doing what you are doing. Maybe add a little more water to the food. Thank you for watching out for them.

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u/Waste_Solid889 Sep 07 '22

put out a blanket get them off that black top first of all then put out a huge dish or bowl of ice and water it will not only keep her cool but hydrated too and do it ASAP

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u/CrystalLake1 Sep 07 '22

Contact local rescues to see if someone will trap, foster, fix, and adopt them out.

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u/mehmehmia Sep 07 '22

What we used to do is dilute the cat food with some water, that way they’re hydrated. Some feral cats i have seen do not really know water, but they eventually get used to it as we keep feeding them and familiarising them with water.

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u/EdensGarden333 Sep 07 '22

That mother cat NEEDS WATER so she can make milk for the kittens and keep her body hydrated in extreme heat!

You need to get a large ceramic bowl (because it keeps water colder for longer)! Fill it and put it in a shaded area where it is visible to Mama cat! She WILL drink from a larger bowl of water! The paper cup was a nice try but cats don’t like to drink where their whiskers touch the sides of a cup, glass, etc. — that’s why I said to get a larger ceramic bowl and fill to the top! To ensure Mama cat finds the bowl of Fresh water, but some canned cat food or treats near by. The Mama cat will definitely find it then.

If the Mama Cat starts to look sickly and dehydrated, call a Cat Rescue Organization and they will come immediately to trap Mama and kittens to save them from the heat while providing them with a protected area to sleep! Please get that large bowl for now and fill it with cool water…if Mama dies, so will kittens if someone doesn’t help them! They spoke to your Heart!

So you are elected to save the Mama cat and her kittens— bring them inside with help and let them stay inside a closet on some soft blankets and towels where it feels secure and private. The rest will fall into place. ♥️🐾🐈‍⬛🐾♥️

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u/I_suck_at_Blender (ʘ ω ʘ) Sep 07 '22

Well, if she eats wet food then she should get at least some moisture from that. Try watering down some wet food in water? I hydrated my cat with some food in jelly mixed with water.

Also holy crap, that's hot.

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u/Hope2_win Sep 07 '22

Place a bowl of water next to the food bowl. that way she will see it and be curious.

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u/meimi132 Sep 07 '22

Are you adding water to the food you give her? That's always a good way to sneak more water into their diet.

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u/acex34789 Sep 07 '22 edited Sep 07 '22

Maybe you should just observe for a few days, make sure mom cat and kittens are healthy and whole. But you also can provide temp shelter for them (lead away from parking lot, do keep a distance, try best not to disturb and don't approach or touch the kittens).

Keep eyes for them, contact your local vet for advice asap.

Warns people at your job place not to do anything hastily, or the mom cat may abandon/kill her kittens.

RSPCA

Alleycat

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u/_Jahar_ Sep 07 '22

Give her a can of wet food, preferably grilled, and mix water in it. It’s not the next but it’s something. It’s what I did for the feral cat at my work parking lot and it was empty when I came back, Someone probably already mentioned this - but I wanted to make sure you saw it,

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u/PaintedBlueForYou Sep 07 '22

Please call a Rescue so that she can be trapped, neutered and released (TNR). otherwise she will continue to have litters of unwanted wild kittens and those kittens will become cats and have kittens and the cycle will go on. hopefully the kittens can be trapped and domesticated and good homes can be found for them. Good luck.

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u/OptionalFTW Sep 07 '22

Congrats on your new family. Take them to the vet when you can.

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u/Silliestmonkey Sep 07 '22

Any updates, OP?

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u/Electrical_Beyond_19 Sep 07 '22

I visited her today in the morning and found her feeding her kittens on the dried grass this time. I fed her three cans of wet cat food and she ate it all. Everything good for now

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u/GoGo-Arizona Sep 07 '22

Freeze gallon jugs of water for her to lay against and leave a good amount of water nearby.

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u/tlryan21 Sep 07 '22

Can you add some water to the food? I do that with my cat.

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u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

Place down wet food (!not kibble!) and water...Are you able to fashion them a shelter from the sun? Contact no-kill shelters or rescues in your area.

Thank you for caring!

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u/theenbywholived Sep 06 '22

Would offer wet food if you're not doing that already for hydration.

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u/AppUnwrapper1 Sep 07 '22

Give her wet food? You can even add some water to it so she gets more liquids in her.

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u/angelcake Siamese Cat Mom Sep 07 '22

If you can get her wet food that will help with her hydration, you could even mix a little bit of extra water into it.

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u/gwenmom Sep 07 '22

Get canned cat food if you can and serve it mixed 50/50 with water.

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u/tomatejax Sep 07 '22

Give her wet food if you can’t get her to drink

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u/tgande1951 Sep 07 '22

Make sure you give her wet food. She will get some hydration. Leave out water too.

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u/mmammad Sep 07 '22

Mix some water with the food or give wet food

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u/ZaMaestroMan5 Sep 07 '22

Put water in the food

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u/atticpanic Sep 07 '22

if she's eating the food you're giving her try getting some wet food if you can and mix it with warm water to make it soupy. i often do this with young kittens to prevent dehydration!

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u/[deleted] Sep 07 '22

Poor kitties!

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u/Responsible-Ad8569 Sep 07 '22

Feed her wet food as that has at least some moisture content. Also place a few treats near the water. Try to get a bowl. And thank you for trying and caring for her!

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u/cninthesun Sep 07 '22

My cat loves pet fountains. Cats often like running water. Or a solo cup full of water. No idea what the thing is about solo cups

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u/ZeroRozuMagika Sep 07 '22

Use a humane trap. Kitten Lady has some great tutorials. If you’re able to foster her. Those kittens look close to weaning age.

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u/pimpdaddj Sep 07 '22

Try to mix water with wet cat food

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u/HotCabbageMoistLettu Sep 07 '22

from my experience taking car of feral and community cats, they usually have a place they know to get water. You can leave the water you provide near her away from sun …possibly shade. She will smell it. I notice my ferals sometimes panting…. it could be their internal air conditioning. a way for them to cool off. i notice some of my ferals do this when they are walking in sun or just finished walking in full sun. im in south florida

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u/Roguebucaneer Sep 07 '22

Awww 💔 that poor mom ❤️‍🩹 bless you for looking out for her 🤙 the wet food from our fellow cat lover is a great idea, also a flat topper wear or low bowl near her will help. Try a cardboard box with a side cut out for shade, it might get her mom instincts to move the family into shade 🤞 I wish them and you the best 🙌

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u/kitylou Sep 07 '22

She likely has a water source. You can put a little dish of water on the food plate with dry food or feed her canned food with a little water added.

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u/rpsc356 Sep 07 '22

Thoughts and prayers for you and the kitties for the best outcome. Keep doing the best you can. Someone in this feed will know an organization that can help you. There are good ones out there

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u/mybelle_michelle Sep 07 '22

Cat's don't drink water as much as dogs do. Cat's also don't like their water and food next to each other.

Adding a bit of water to some canned kitten food for mama is the best idea.

Along with letting her lay on any cool cement floor if its available, or create some shade for her near the building, even a piece of cardboard (weighted down on the corners) to keep her off the asphalt will help.

One idea that I do with my cats is when I make chicken salad (canned chicken from Costco), I drain the chicken juice from the can into a bowl for them. I swear they think they must drink ALL of it in one sitting, like it's the best thing ever (second best is no sodium chicken broth).

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u/Noviesan Sep 07 '22

I would suggest to buy some wet food (pate style) and mix some water in. I find that my kitty doesn’t drink enough water even though we have a water bowl, fountain and all that. She prefers to drink her sisters water (our dog) or none at all lol. Mixing it in with her food has really helped. If anything she savors the watery pate!

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u/oalm82 Sep 07 '22

Just leave a bowl of water nearby. She’ll drink when you’re out of sight. If possible add a little ice to the water. Also if you want to feed her get some wet food

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u/Quizzelbuck Sep 07 '22

mix lots of water with the food. Cats get most of their water from their food.

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u/GemGem04 Sep 07 '22

Mix water into her food. Feral cats wont always eat/drink if they have an audience so leaving out a bowl of water nearby will help

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u/myth-on-repeat Sep 07 '22

maybe try to build her some shade. nothing to fancy but if she’s being aggressive there’s not much you can do probably idk the shade things just an idea to make the situation a little better maybe

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u/CookieBabe123 Sep 07 '22

Call the RSPCA and offered a foster the RSPCA will always know what to do with them

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u/girlwiththemonkey Sep 07 '22

Build or buy a little kennel so she has someone to chill, line with soft blankets. And just tuck food in the back, with water. But please try to catch them and bring them to a no kill place. Kittens need shots and shit to stay healthy.

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u/SnooMacaroons2295 Sep 07 '22

Cats can handle the high temperature. Just put out a bowl of water.

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u/VideoUnlucky3117 Sep 07 '22

Have a look if there are any TNR groups in your area. Hell, some might be willing to drive out and rescue them

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u/borkchop88 Sep 07 '22

Offer wet food 🤙

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u/47x107 Sep 07 '22

If its wet food it will have high water content, if its dry biscuits soak them in a dish of water, cats can eat floating biscuits just fine and it gets a lot of water into them

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u/KING2313 Sep 07 '22

I would take wet cat food and mix water into it

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u/Oscars_Grouch Sep 07 '22

Wet food is probably the best answer. Even putting the wet food in a shallow bowl of water - to keep the food wet - could be a good idea.

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u/Humble_Middle6759 Sep 07 '22

Get a bowl of water and put it next to the food.

She will drink it when she's alone.

Even put it close to the curb

She's been dumped. Here's no way a feral mother would have her kittens in the open like that

If you get the chance, grab her by the scruff of the neck and chuck her in your car. Then pick up the kittens. Bring her home. Put her in a single room until she adjusts with a kitty litter box. She will use it by herself. No need to teach

She will become tame in days, trust me. She fear aggressive, not feral

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u/Ihavefluffycats Sep 07 '22

I'm not going to comment on what to do for her since there are so many good answers already.

I DO want to comment to say, THANK YOU for trying to help her and her babies. A lot of people couldn't be bothered to do anything for her, but you're taking the time, asking questions, etc. to help her and her little family survive.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! 💗💗💗💗

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u/Deprivedproletarian Sep 07 '22

Call the vet for advise. In the netherlands we have an animal ambulance hotline, maybe you have something simular since she is clearly overheated reading you post.

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u/StormCrowRunningBear Sep 07 '22

Put bit food in water a cat that had health issues because wasn't drinking enough when put bit food in water cat drink all water then eat food after few weeks drink out of bowl that had water only

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u/bluevioletta Sep 07 '22 edited Sep 07 '22

Wet food. Cats get most of their water from food. It's easier than trying to get them to drink water. But you can also try putting a bowl of water a few feet away.

My cat doesn't like to drink near where he eats. He also didn't drink water til I started feeding him dry food.

Edit- holy typos

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u/ralph__wiggum_ Sep 07 '22

Feed her very wet food. Many cats do not drink water.

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u/RoburLC Sep 07 '22 edited Sep 07 '22

There seems to be a lot of room to work with. If you and t=your friends might build something like a cat-comfy basket; above that basket, weave a lattice of twigs (or such). which then you can cover with a gauzy material . T his shall be anchored in a reserve of water, wicking moisture from the cat environment, cooling them..

Cats actually do drink when they're thirsty; they don't always recognize water. A bowl of water with a few soggy kibble bits might get mama cat to drink.

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u/lillthmoon Sep 07 '22

Put the bowl close to her but not close to the food, she will come drink. Also, give her wet food if you can and add a bit water to it. Wet food hydrates them way more than dry and the added water is just more hydration. She’s beautiful!!!

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u/1coffee_cat0 Sep 07 '22

Wet food! Canned chicken or tuna. You can mix water in with these as well to make them have more water. You can also pour water with dry food as well to make it more hydrating. I’ve done that with my cat when he wore a cone post-PU surgery and had a hard time drinking water.

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u/o2bmeek Sep 07 '22

Try leaving wet food mixed with some water. There's already water in the wet food and a little extra water shouldn't dilute it too much. We do this with our cats and they are well hydrated!

Thank you for helping this kitty!

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u/secretsquirrel1492 Sep 07 '22

Give her wet food and add water to it. My cat doesn’t like drinking water either, so I add water to his wet food and he loves that.

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u/GavinZero Sep 07 '22

Put water in the food you give her. Cats get a bulk of their water from food, and lots of them don’t like to drink still water so watering down their food trucks them into staying hydrated.

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u/aarmstr2721 Sep 07 '22

Give her some wet food - cats get most of their water from the food they eat. Get two birds with one stone!

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u/rosetacks Sep 07 '22

Try chicken stock mixed in water (bonus if low sodium)