We've been feeding two stray cats for about 2 months now - a male and a female. We also have cat of our own who is indoors most of the time. The female one was pregnant when we started feeding her and from the looks of it, she seems to have had kittens but we don't know where and if they even survived. We've never seen them. Both look like they are about a year old. We are now moving houses and we were wondering what options are available to us. We cannot move the female since her kittens (if they are alive) depend on her. We are mutually very fond of each other. The male looks strong and healthy but I'm not sure if they can survive on their own. Can anyone think of other options?

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    Where are the cats (City, State, Country)? Sometimes animal control or rescue organizations can help in cases like this. Jun 14, 2017 at 20:45
  • @Jolenealaska good answer - I'd add it to the list :) that's all I can think of too. Though they would probably try to find food elsewhere once OP leaves. Jun 16, 2017 at 11:59
  • I'm outside the USA. For now I'm making some arrangements to feed them. We'll see how it works out. Please see my comment to the answer below. Jun 20, 2017 at 10:52

1 Answer 1


The difficulty is, you have been feeding them and they are at least partially dependent on you, especially if she has kittens, she's going to need all the help she can get to feed the kittens.

It's arguable whether or not you have a moral responsibility to the cats, but you care, which is important and admirable. Just moving and leaving them as is not the best option. They may well survive, but they will continue breeding and the problem of these stray cats is only increasing.

One pair of undesexed cats can exponentially be responsible for 420,000 kittens, over a 7 year period.

Animal welfare league

Beyond enlisting a rescue organisation, it's something that's going to require a bit of work on your part.

This is an answer based on experience.

Firstly, do your best to locate where the kittens are. Once you've been able to locate the kittens, the mother and male cat can be trapped using a cage, using food. Some rescue organisations may be able to assist with a cage. I am not sure how soon you are moving, but if you cannot find the kittens, you'll actually be able to trap the kittens also, when they're older, as they will be able to come and find the food. This will be a piecemeal process of course, you won't catch all the cats together, it will, most likely be one at a time.

My friend's friend fed a local stray and she saw her have one litter and upon having the second litter she decided to intervene. She gradually trapped all the kittens and the mother, using a food and cage trap. She had a room designated for them. The kittens would hiss at people, as that is what the mother taught them to do.

She desexed the mother and kept her and also kept one of the kittens, re-homing the remaining kittens.

We took two of the kittens and still have them four years later.

This is a pic of them with another rescue cat we own. They are the grey boys.

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If they are feral cats, they'd be better suited to a trap neuter return (TNR) program, as feral cats can fend for themselves quite well (1).

(1) Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program on a free-roaming cat population, Levy et al.


  • Thank you for that detailed answer. For now I'm talking to a couple who feed stray animals in my city. I'm not based in the US and hence a lot of those rules and regulations might vary. Apart from them, I'm making some arrangements with care takers of the apartment I used to live in to feed the cats. If nothing else works, I'll go in the morning and feed them myself. My wife has questioned my ability to do so very regularly, but I'll do as much as I can. After she has weaned of the kittens, I'll be sure to get her spayed. She is very affectionate and I'm quite fond of her. Jun 20, 2017 at 10:50
  • @electrophile maybe you can keep her? It certainly sounds like you're responsible
    – user6796
    Jun 20, 2017 at 11:37
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    Thanks but I'm not sure I can. Both my wife and I work and we aren't sure how my boy would react to her. Plus I would want to get the kittens adopted. For now I've spoken to a few volunteers from an NGO and they've agreed to feed her at least once in a day. I was told that feeding them like this would dampen their hunting skills which aren't being used right now. Is that true? Jun 21, 2017 at 17:17
  • @electrophile yes. If they're partially dependent upon humans, then they don't need to hunt as much. With the NGO involved, hopefully, they will be able to find homes for them all. You could probably give one of the kittens a home when they're old enough, as a kitten will assimilate with your boy more easily. We brought 2 street kittens home and our male cat just looked after them. Groomed them, snuggled them. It was amazing to watch. Oh and I don't mean to pressure you into taking! lol
    – user6796
    Jun 22, 2017 at 6:30

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