Once we found a baby dove outside. It could barely fly, and it was getting dark, so we were worried that our neighbor’s cat would get it. So we took it inside, put it in a shoebox with some rags and water in it, and let it stay the night. The very next morning when we released it, its mother flew down instantly. The baby started chirping and ran over to her, then jumped all over her as if it was trying to hug her or something. (I think it might’ve been really hungry.)
Anyway, yeah—the baby had been in our house for hours, and the mother still didn’t reject it even though the baby was covered in our scent.
Uhhh, this is just talking about birds, right? Because this is a very real risk with cats. Not humans, but strangers, more of. There is a very real risk of a cat rejecting her kittens because of a foreign smell on them.
Domestic cats are not wildlife. :)