Purrfect Cat Rescue has closed all operations permanently. If you have found cats and need help, please read below and then contact the local shelters or rescues listed on our resources page.
Visit this site for vital information on determining a kitten's age, how and what to feed them, etc.
Found Kittens: People who discover kittens in their yards or a public space generally go into panic mode and act before thinking it through. And while very young kittens do need near constant care, taking a few minutes to analyze the situation is not going to be the difference between life in death, except in extreme cases and then you must make a decision and hope it's the right one.
Whatever you do, please do not leave found animals unattended at pet supply stores, veterinary offices, etc. There is no guarantee that they will be found in time to help them and it is very painful for retail and veterinary staff members to have to deal with abandoned dead or severely injured animals. And should you take found animals into a pet supply store or veterinary office seeking advice, be respectful and understanding if they are not in a position to help you. Simply put, there is greater need than resources and so often times the answer to a plea for help is "no". If you are in a situation where you have no other choice but to surrender a found animal, call a 24-hour veterinary clinic and explain your situation to them. Also check with animal services/shelters, bearing in mind that services still have not returned to normal since COVID-19 shut down virtually all animal rescue last year.
How to Proceed: There are variables in each specific case that will decide how to proceed, but here a few general guidelines.
If the kittens are in a relatively safe location and being cared for by their mother you should not immediately remove them. Nursing rather than bottle-feeding provides the best start for kittens, so it is preferable (and more economical) to provide food and water to a mother cat and let her keep the kittens healthy. If she seems comfortable with you and does not show signs of moving the kittens, there is no reason to do anything until the kittens are 3 to 4 weeks old and starting to move around and explore. If, on the other hand, she begins to move them (not just to another part of the yard, but out completely) then you might need to collect them.
If the kittens you've found are at least 4 weeks old and walking around, you want to get them soon, whether the mother is around or not. This is the ideal age to bring kittens into your home. They are old enough to eat kitten food (with a little supplemental KMR to begin with) but still young enough to be socialized for adoption. The mother needs to be spayed using one of the local low-cost spay and neuter programs to assure that this is her last litter. If she is not social, contact Ohlone Humane Society, Feral Cat Foundation or Fix our Ferals for information on how to trap and neuter (TNR) a cat.
If the kittens are very young and there is no sign of the mother (move a distance away and allow her an hour or two to show up as she may just be looking for food), then you probably should take the kittens in. You will need to contain them in a pet carrier, box, laundry basket, etc. with a heating pad and bottle-feed them using kitten replacement milk (cow milk should only be used very short-term in an emergency, and goat milk (available at Food Maxx and other local groceries) is preferable).