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My neighbors’ cat had kittens and they aren’t taking the best care of them. Their grandchild is too rough with the kittens, not to mention with her older kitten, and she won’t listen to anybody but herself. Her guardians try to stop her from being too rough and she still doesn’t listen!

I’m worried for the cats there, and I don’t know how to help them. I don’t think I should ask to take the kittens and bottle feed them with kitten milk replacer, because they need their mom’s milk more. The mom takes good care of them, but I’m still worried the kittens might get really hurt around the granddaughter.

What do I do?

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The question is how bad you think the kittens have it and how far you want to go.

  1. If you think the animals are being abused you can call authorities, which ones depends on the country you are in. You can describe the situation to them and they will decide whether to take action. This can lead to tensions between you and your neighbours and you should be sure that there is a real cause for concern.

  2. Have a serious but calm talk with the parents. You can explain to them why you think the kittens are in danger. You can offer them to show the child how to handle the kittens. You have to understand that probably neither the parents/guardians nor the child is doing this to intentionally harm the animals. Do not get angry but try to explain in a calm manner.

  3. You can do nothing. I understand your concern but unless you really see abuse as mentioned in 1. some people might say it is not your business. The guardians might also not want to hear about your opinion be it indifference or feeling patronized.

You need to decide your action based on the situation. Try not to get angry but think about how you can and want to help. Some people do not think of pets as important or do not know how to properly care for them.

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  • To 3: You can have disinfectant and sticking plaster available for the moment when mom cat or kitten decides the play is too rough and uses one or more of their "5 sharp ends" on the child. Unless of course the "too rough" means sneaky dangerous behaviour like gently petting the kitten and then suddenly bending and possibly breaking their neck or something the like. If it is "only" the child not yet being able to fine-tune their behaviour to kitten-sized animals: cats can usually take care of that by themselves. Danger would then be for the child: cats can give nasty wound infections. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Jul 3 at 10:23

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