Litter Disaster!

With our litter chosen and all kittens comfortably settled in crates, it was time to set the traps again. We were still trying to catch the mother and the last little kitten. I used cat food and Mackerel, and I also dangled a piece of cooked bacon, soft not crispy over the trip plate of the trap. It wasn’t very long before I had another kitten in the trap. Of course, it wasn’t the kitten I set out to catch. I had no idea why that particular kitten is so difficult to catch, but I think I’d been inadvertently teaching him to be very careful of those traps!

This new kitten seemed older than the litter I’d been after. It was about the same size and age as the one we’d already caught that had been – with good reason – taking his time warming up to us. This one is pitch black with beautiful eyes and it looked terrified.


I brought the black kitten to the clinic the next morning. I named it Coal because of its beautiful black coat. Later that day, when the email from the clinic arrived, I learned that Coal is a boy. So far, within a couple of short weeks, we found, captured, and took to the vet 7 cats. Two were female; one of the females lived. Five were male; one was released. That left, 5 kittens in our tiny house with two adults and one very large dog!

All of the large dog crates were occupied. So when we brought Coal back from the clinic, we had no choice but to put him into the small crate. There was barely any floor space and luckily, the Florida weather is still warm this time of year. Coal ended up on the porch for the first night.

Coal was not happy with that arrangement. He absolutely panicked during the night because when we uncovered the crate in the morning, he had turned his water over and managed to get the clumping litter all over himself! It dried. Coal looked as though he’d rolled in mud, and the mud dried hard like cement!


My biggest fear was that he would lick enough of that clumping litter off, swallow it, and get himself an obstructed bowel for his effort. It was MY turn to panic. I searched the internet and posted some questions to others more experienced than I in working with feral kittens.

I don’t think many people have run into this particular problem, but some of the advice I got was:

  • Put a screen down in the sink or tub, if you’re going to wash a cat (or kitten). They will sink their claws into it.
  • Use an old athletic sock with the toe cut out, to put over the cat’s face. They are less afraid with their eyes covered.
  • Use baby oil
  • Use a sponge
  • Good luck