Some Pointers to Trap Mom Cats and Kittens

Luna, Sputnik and Thistle, a stray and her kittens.

Once again, kittens are popping up everywhere, as are mom cats coming and hungrily gobbling food anywhere they can find it. You need to get them if you can. The kittens can be socialized and adopted, and the mom, depending on her temperament, can also be adopted or returned to her caretaker and her outdoor home. Here are two articles I wrote from experience and from reference to the experts’ websites. If you’ve never trapped before, good luck! If you are an old hand, also good luck, and I hope you can find new people to share your expertise with. The more people who know how to trap cats, the more cats get rescued!

The Kitten Game: Making Decisions About Found Kittens

Bowie and kittens

“Kitten season” is just beginning and kittens with and without moms are popping up like mushrooms in people’s back yards and in abandoned lots. Often a person’s first idea is that the kittens need to be rescued because they are helpless, but taking the kittens away from where they are is pretty much the last thing you’ll do, both for their immediate health and their long-term well-being. Kittens need to be with their mothers, even feral mothers, until eight weeks or more to get all the health and socialization benefits of their mother. Humans can’t do that part, much as we try.

Before doing anything but observing you need to assess the situation and find their mother, who most of the time is somewhere near, and make a plan for where they will go, if anywhere, depending on whether mom is feral or friendly and how old the kittens are. Needless to say, each situation is unique, and each needs to be assessed separately. There are no blanket answers for this question.

Last summer I wrote an article for Pet Radio Show outlining most of the possible scenarios where kittens are found and what to consider for each one, then how to decide what is best to do. In March I learned that article had won a Certificate of Excellence, and in June I learned it had also won a MUSE™ Medallion as well as a Special Award: the Hartz™ Milk Replacement for Kittens Award. I knew from my resources and from experience that I’d written up what I had been given as best practices, and also what I’d given others as best practices, and knew it had worked for kittens and moms. I was thrilled to find it endorsed by an awarding organization. Here are the judge’s remarks:

Spending a large amount of my time on the phone assisting residents with free roaming cat issues I can tell you how I sink back in my chair when within the first few minutes of a phone call, I hear those words, “The mother and her kittens…” Bernadette’s entry includes everything one needs to hear in a very accurate and professional manner. Now if only I could record it and say to those clients calling in, “Hold please, I’m going to play a recording for you to listen to.”

Reading the onslaught of “found kitten” postings on Facebook and seeing how many people take them far too young and to anyone who wants them, and leave the mother behind able to continue reproducing more kittens and possibly in danger, I feel compelled to share the information so others can use it. Because the article was published on Pet Radio Show I’m including the link to the article so you can go there to read it.

Click here to read the full article on Pet Radio Show

Trapping a Mother Cat Using Her Kittens

Trap with kittens setup.
Trap with kittens setup.

Sometimes mom just won’t go into the trap, while her kittens, especially neonates and very young kittens not yet weaned, can just be picked up and handled.

A mother cat’s interest is protecting her kittens on top of her own survival so she will literally walk through fire, as mother cats have done, to get to her kittens and get them to a place she feels is safer than where they are.

So if mom is trapwise or wary, you use this particular mother cat behavior to your advantage and set a humane trap with the only thing that could possibly make her walk into it—her kittens. You don’t actually put the kittens in the trap, but you set it up so it looks as if they are, and that the only way the mother can get to them is to go through the trap.

Click here to read the full article on The Creative Cat

Help Pittsburgh C.A.T. with kitten season!

You know that Pittsburgh C.A.T. is the rescue I volunteer with, but even when I’m rescuing cats and kittens for others they still provide support to me in the form of traps and transport, fostering, food, kitten formula, and low-cost clinic and surgery appointments. I couldn’t help anyone without their support. Rescuing adult cats to foster and adopt to a forever home can be expensive depending on their condition, but rescuing kittens is always expensive because they need complete vetting, often they are orphaned and need formula and bottle feeding for weeks, they often develop illnesses or conditions specific to young kittens and they eat A LOT. We don’t adopt kitten out until they are spayed and neutered and have all age-appropriate vaccines, so we make a substantial investment in their future.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Donate Amazon gift cards to Because our cats are fostered in homes all around the Pittsburgh area, gift cards enable us to send supplies directly to fosters!
  • You can also buy supplies through our Amazon wishlist:
  • Or donate cash through Paypal ( or Venmo (Pittsburghcat).

On Mondays I feature articles featuring Adoptable Cats and TNR.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Great Rescues Day Book:
Portraits, Rescue Stories, Holidays and Events, Essential Feline Information, All in One Book

day book with cat portraits
Great Rescues Day Book

Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.

Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.

The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

Read more and order.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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© 2021 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters Tuesday: Rescue Stories Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork Thursday: New Merchandise Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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