Kittens are curious by nature, so when they're exploring their environment, they may accidentally fall or crawl into small holes, such as drainpipes, sewer pipes, crawlspaces, or holes in your walls. Once they're inside, they may then become trapped.
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If you hear the cries of a kitten trapped in a hole outside or within your walls, you need to rescue her from this situation as soon as possible to prevent starvation or dehydration. You can usually lure the kitten to safety and reunite her with her siblings and the mother cat. But sometimes the situation will call for creative techniques or outside help to free the trapped cat.
Cat stuck in pipe
When you have a kitten or cat stuck in pipes of any kind and the kitty can't move around, you may need to lubricate the cat to get her out. Lubricate the kitten with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly if you have tried to pull her out of the pipe and she appears stuck. Once you have lubricated the kitten, gently hold her around the belly and slowly pull her out of the pipe.
Kitten trapped in a sewer
Try to reach the kitten using a ladder and flashlight. If you can't reach the kitten, push a long piece of cloth into the hole where you can hear him. Put a very small amount of canned cat food on the end of the cloth before you drop it in the hole to get the kitten's interest.
Sometimes the kitten will be able to climb out of the hole using the cloth. Tie the cloth to something solid or hold onto one end. Place a small dish of tuna, canned food, or kitten milk replacement formula at the edge of the hole to the sewer to tempt the kitten to climb onto the cloth to get to the food.
When dealing with a cat stuck in a sewer, who to call is your local animal control office or fire department.
Kitten stuck in the wall
If a kitten has gotten stuck inside your home's walls, locate the hole where she slipped in. Speak softly to her if you can see her and offer her some canned cat food or a piece of chicken or tuna to lure her out. Place a small amount of canned cat food on your finger and let the kitten lick it off if you can reach her. Once the kitten takes the food and you gain her trust, reach in and gently pull the kitten out of the hole.
Note that if you can't tempt the kitten out of the hole in the wall or she simply can't get through it, you may have to make a larger or separate hole to access her. If more than one kitten is trapped, continue the process until all of them are rescued.
Kitten hiding in a hole
Sometimes kittens will simply hide in a hole, such as a burrow that another animal has dug in the ground or the crawlspace of a house. To lure the kitten out, bait a live cat trap with pungent-smelling food such as tuna, mackerel, or slightly warmed canned kitten food. Place the trap near the entrance to the hole.
Check the trap every 15 minutes to see if the kitten will come out on its own. You can also try to imitate the kitten's mews to try and lure him out of the hole. If possible, place his siblings or mother cat in a cat carrier and bring it near the hole. If the kitten can free himself, the sound of the other cat calling will lure him out of the hole.
Dealing with trapped kittens
Take a kitten trapped for more than 24 hours to a veterinarian, as she may require intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. Kittens trapped for more than 12 hours need food and water immediately.