May and June are big months for babies and while we continue to get cats spayed and neutered each month (14 scheduled for July) we nonetheless have kittens come into the world. The biggest issue this month was a rogue male cat killing the kittens after just a week or two old.
It is a brutal awakening that these feral cats will do such a thing and when I am aware of such a male I do all I can to discourage it but I rarely know with certainty which one it is, so I can’t eliminate him. Why do they do it? The best explanation I have read is that it forces the female to go into heat faster although some say there is a jealousy factor of the kittens not being HIS kittens.
If the kittens are old enough, I bring them in and finish raising them on kitten formula, but this year the kittens were too young to do that and it made me sick each time I found their little bodies. Then we had three cats die of what appears to be bobcat fever. It does not harm a bobcat and transmitted by ticks, but is almost always fatal to the domestic cat. We control fleas well, even on the feral cats, but ticks occasionally get to them and those carrying bobcat fever can often be fatal, quickly.
One kitten died with no apparent cause and our last one to pass (Popeye) died in my arms just a few days ago. He had his eye scratched by someone and it ended up having to be removed. From there he lost interest in eating and although I force fed him every two hours he kept losing weight.
He lost his valiant fight at 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning. He was a good one and we had already become attached.
Popeye is the long-hair orange one on the left. This before his operation. We've cared for a lot of kittens and you can tell from their actions what kind of adult they will be. Popeye was going to be a real lover boy. A tough month I am ready to put behind us and do not wish to repeat.