Stranded feral baby kitten- What should I do ?
Partial answer. NO Xanax! It could interact with the anesthesia drugs. Xanax may not even be safe for cats under any circumstances as cats react differently to drugs than humans do.
Reserve the Xanax for YOU when you bring the cats in to be fixed.
Update after work.
Update 1. Regarding the newborn kitten situation, since so much time has passed by now and since the other mother cat has accepted it, I would leave well enough alone.
I am guessing (don't know) the kitten's real mother may have given up looking for it. Or she could reject it now because it smells like another cat's family. Or she even may have left it behind intentionally because there is something "not right" about it.
Make sure the smaller kitten gets enough to eat at mealtimes and doesn't get pushed out of the way. It may need your help several times a day to be sure this doesn't happen.
Too, it may need some protection from the antics, which will be starting soon, of the older kittens.
No cough syrup either. Depending on what is in it, it can kill. Don't even consider that option.
Is your cat carrier a real one or a makeshift one? You must have a few real ones. You don't like sending money but these are a must. Buy one and get the rest from craigslist, ebay, freecycle, or someplace. Sterilize any used carrier with bleach and water.
When bringing cats to a clinic to be spayed or neutered, they'll insist each cat be in a separate carrier (or cage) with a name tag.
I will update again.
Update 2. You need something like this:
I looked on craigslist for your city and found no appropriate carrier.
You should join the freecycle, recycle, swap, or frugal whatever groups.
There are also groups in the Yahoo Groups section.
Someone near you has cat carriers they don't need.
Speaking of Yahoo Groups, there might be a Yahoo cat group near you.
I'll update again.
The nursing mother cat cannot be spayed right now. The kittens are still too young. Since there is the 5th, probably 5 more weeks assuming it is 1 week old. her link will dry up within 10 days of the spay.
To get a cat into a carrier lure it into the bathroom. Have ready a bed sheet and a carrier. Throw the sheet over the cat and rapidly stuff the angry bundle into the carrier. The cat can breathe through the sheet.
You need to start somewhere. If you can at least get one done that is a start. Then worry about the next.
Yes, I'll update again.
The kittens should stay with their mother until they are 10 weeks old or older.
People are going to tell you 6-8 weeks but that is false. 10-12 weeks is best.
At 4 weeks they are starting to toddle around. At 5 weeks the hilarity begins. I suggest you confine all the kittens to one room somehow. Do not let them get outside whatever you do.
Diseases, hawks, tomcats ( they often kill kittens), coyotes, foxes etc.
In a week it'll be time to put food down for them and for you to make a low-sided litter box for them.
You'll need to buy canned food. You'll mix it half + half with water and put in on a plate for them to walk in. They'll learn to eat it when they clean it off their feet.
And you'll need non-clumping litter for the kittens. They will eat it and the clumping kind can block their intestines.
Okay, I know I didn't cover everything. Re-post for the information I left out.
Most of the other "big kitties" weren't on today I guess.
One more update:
I remember where you said you were so I realize this must be an hour's drive or more:
There are others in other cities.
Thing is, I see a list of vets who participate in a low cost spay/neuter program if you fill out the voucher application and qualify. Maybe one of them is near you?
Also, they are a no-kill shelter. They probably have a waiting list because no doubt they are full - get the kittens on their list now!
There is also probably a fee for each animal they take in. Trust me, it'll be a bargain compared with having 79 cats.
And it doesn't come close to covering what they will actually spend on the kittens - all the overhead and salaries, the food, spay or neuter, vaccines, and all other vet care.
Hope you post again so others can fill in the gaps in my answer.
Very finalmost update. I wrote her link would dry up? Was overtired at the time. Her milk will dry up. Sorry.