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So You Found Kittens Outside…Now What?

Updated 3/21/2024

Spring marks the beginning of Kitten Season, where unsterilized, outdoor female cats continually go through a heat cycle, giving birth to dozens of kittens. During kitten season, it’s not unusual to discover a nest of unattended kittens. Do you know what to do if you find kittens? When you come across kittens outdoors, it can be very tempting to scoop them up and bring them indoors. You want to help, right? It’s important to know that removing kittens from their current environment may not always be the right answer. 

So, what should you do if you find kittens outside? 

Leave them be, but keep an eye on them! Even if you see kittens alone, their mother is most likely nearby – she could be getting food, hiding from you, or in the process of moving her babies from one location to another (especially if you’ve found one kitten alone). She could be gone for several hours. A mother cat is the kittens’ best possible caregiver, so please LEAVE THEM BE! Momma cats are resourceful. There is a reason they survive cold temperatures and continue to breed. They find warm spaces to keep their babies, and they know when their babies are in danger. Taking kittens who are not weaned away from their mother puts the kittens at greater risk.

While it can be hard, sometimes walking away is the best thing to do. As long as the kittens are safe for the moment and you can come back to check on them within a few hours, LEAVE THEM BE. Wait a few hours to a full day to see if the mother cat returns. Be sure to watch from a hidden spot or from inside where you won’t be noticed. If the kittens are cuddled together and sleeping quietly, look pink, warm, and clean, and have full bellies, their momma has most likely been back, you just didn’t see her. 

If there is a mamma cat, it’s best to leave the kittens with their mom until they’re weaned. You can help momma cat by providing regular food and water, an outdoor shelter to create a safe space, and peace and quiet to avoid causing stress. Just be sure to pick up the food at night so it doesn’t attract predators. Here are some tips on how to care for momma cats and kittens.

When the kittens are older and weaned, you can help them find homes and get them and momma spayed, but intervention at such a young age can be detrimental. 5-6 weeks is the optimal age to take kittens from a feral momma cat for socialization and adoption placement. Can’t tell how old the kittens are? Check out this kitten progression article. Cats can get pregnant as young as four months of age, so it’s ideal to get the momma cat and her kittens spayed or neutered as soon as possible.

If the kittens are 8 weeks old or older, they don’t rely on their momma, so don’t hesitate to take them to a veterinary clinic or shelter. They can be spayed or neutered. If the momma cat is still with them, you can spay her at the same time through a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, like Planned PEThood’s.

If you’ve waited and monitored for several hours and see no sign of the mother cat, now’s the time to step in and help the kittens. It’s best to act quickly because young kittens are fragile. If you or someone you know is able to provide foster care, a local rescue, like Planned PEThood, can give you tips, tricks, and even supplies to help care for the kittens. There are plenty of online resources to help you. Keep in mind that kittens can be a significant commitment for you, especially if they are unweaned. Local rescues might have lifesaving programs and foster programs that can provide care for kittens. Most shelters do not have the resources to provide the care unweaned kittens need to survive, so it’s best to reach out to local rescues or contact the shelter before arriving to check. We have some listed here. 

Remember, if you find kittens alone outside, fight your instinct to pick them up and care for them, at first. If they are safe, leave them alone and keep an eye on them from a distance, watching for their momma. If the momma is not back in a few hours to a day, then it is time to step in and have a plan to care for them. You can drastically help kittens by being educated, knowing when to take action, and getting involved when help is needed.

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Criminals Tried to Steal $59,000 From Our Animals

Did you see Planned PEThood on WSBTV? We love making the news, but not for this reason!

Watch the news report.

Sadly, we were the recent target of a check fraud scheme. Our checking information was stolen, and the criminals stole more than $59,000 from our bank account. In total, there were 10 fraudulent checks ranging from $4,000 to $13,000. 

Fortunately, our bank has reimbursed us for the stolen funds. We now have the costly administrative headache of closing the affected bank account, switching over automated debits to a new account, canceling automatic payments, contacting our vendors, and other tasks necessary to clear away this mess. We will incur an additional monthly cost to add protection to our new bank account.

We are working with the police and our bank’s fraud department to figure out where the initial check was stolen and who is behind this check fraud scheme. Hopefully, the criminals can be caught so they can’t do this to anyone else. 

If you can help us fight against these criminals and recoup the cost of this attack, make a donation now.

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Ignore Whatever You Are Doing – Newborn Puppies!

As we all know too well, sometimes things don’t go according to plan. In fact, sometimes the plan gets dropped out of a 30-story building and crushed by a bus as rain pours down.

Some days our spay/neuter clinic has an emergency, or a pet is returned a decade after adoption. Our Go Fix Georgia program gets a call about an injured dog in a rural shelter or a concerned citizen finds a mom cat with babies and doesn’t know what to do. In the end, we rack our collective brains together and figure out how to help the person or pet in need. After all, if we don’t – who will? We need your $25 gift today to help us continue these critical efforts. Give a gift now. 

SadieToday we want to share a story with you. A beagle named Sadie arrived for surgery at our spay/neuter clinic. It was business as usual, or so we thought.

Our veterinary team examined Sadie for surgery, and surprisingly she was not obese, as the owner thought. She was in fact pregnant and about to go into labor! The owner was unaware of the dog’s “situation” and would be unable to care for the family-to-be.

Luckily a wonderful foster parent was up for the challenge of birthing and caring for the new family. Foster homes truly save lives.

Newborn puppiesSadie’s owner agreed to allow Planned PEThood to care for Sadie and her babies for the next few months while they grow. After the babies are healthy and mom is spayed, Sadie will return to her forever family with one heck of a story to share. And Planned Pethood will find forever homes for Sadie’s puppies after they are spayed and neutered.

Sadie’s story is the perfect example of how your acts of kindness save lives. Please, make a gift now to help Sadie and animals like her.

Less than 24 hours after entering foster care, Sadie went into labor and gave birth to four healthy puppies, but the story doesn’t end there. Plot twist…

A few days later another dog entered our clinic pregnant. The owner was also unaware of their dog’s “situation,” and she needed an immediate surgery to save the babies. In a moment’s notice, our team prepared for a C-Section. It is in these moments that our team members truly shine. The room gets quiet as everyone focuses on the task at hand – SAVING LIVES.

Newborn puppy Newborn puppy Newborn puppy
Newborn puppies Planned Pethood staff with puppies
The three puppies survived the C-Section, but unfortunately mom was unable to nurse them. While we could have found foster homes to bottle feed the puppies every 2-3 hours, a nursing mommy dog would be best for their health. Well, it just so happened that Sadie was nursing her four puppies, so we gave it a try. Sadie met the three new pups and took them in as her own immediately. Now Sadie and her seven puppies are alive and thriving in a foster home! You can even follow their foster mom on Instagram @cat_ladee (yes we see the irony!)

  I wanted to share this story with you, because it paints a picture of how our staff members and foster parents work together to save lives daily. There is one important person we haven’t mentioned yet, and that is you!

Each one of our programs and services rely on you to support them, nurture them, and help them grow. Our team is a garden filled with different vital vegetables and fruits, but we need the sun to keep us alive. You are our sun. No matter how cloudy the day, we know you are there for us and will provide for us when we need you. Thank you for being there for us during storms and sunshine. We could never save these precious lives without you!

Newborn puppies
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Soft Sheets that Save Lives

The kind folks at Peach Skin Sheets have offered us a terrific deal on their soft, luxurious sheets, which come in 24 colors! Which color would look good on your bed?

They’ll donate $20 to help rescue animals in need from every sheet set sold using our promo code and you’ll GET $25 off their regular price! That makes their $89.95 sheet sets (include fitted, flat, and pillowcases) only $64.95 including even California King Sets!

Please follow these instructions to make sure you get the discount price and Planned PEThood gets the $20 donation and you get a fabulous deal.


1. Go to www.PeachSkinSheets.com

– If you’re using a computer, select the “Shopping for a Fundraiser? Enter Here” link In the upper right.

– If you’re using a mobile device, tap the menu (3 horizontal lines) at upper right and then tap “Sign into the Fundraising Portal.”


2. Shop for your sheets!

3. When you’re ready to check out, enter our fundraiser code in the box provided: PETHOODGA

Online orders are shipped out within a few days all over the U.S. Plus, these make wonderful gifts for the person who has everything. The holidays are just around the corner…

Hurry! Our fundraiser ends Sun., Sept. 27!

Please note that fundraiser pricing cannot be combined with other promo codes, discounts, or specials including Colors of the Month pricing.

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