The female and her six-week-old offspring were discovered in a back garden in Easterhouse.
It appeared the cats had been left alone with only a few blankets, a toy and some dry biscuits, in a wooded area behind the gardens.
Grandmother-of-one Jackie Wright, 53, spotted the kittens playing under her grandson's chute last Sunday.
She said: "They were playing about and getting shelter under my grandson's chute. I saw two kittens and when I went outside I noticed there were five. I then saw the mum and she was friendly.
"The mum did look emaciated though - like she hadn't eaten in days."
Jackie gave the family some milk and called some animal charities to see if they could help.
However, none of them got back to her, leaving Jackie fearing for the animals' safety.
The next day Jackie's friend gave her the number of the Glasgow branch of Cats Protection and one of its representatives came out the same day to take the cats into their care.
Jackie said: "I was worried that overnight some of them had disappeared because I could only see two.
"But when Cats Protection came and we went out we were able to find all of them, so luckily it was a happy ending."
The mother cat, now named Ella, is being fostered at a home in Blairdardie and will be rehomed soon.
And the kittens are being cared for by cat fosterer Andrina Nolan, 68.
They have been named Teddy, Foxy, Dudley, Theo and Mousa by Andrina's twin granddaughters, Kayla and Elana, 10.
Lorraine Currie, from Cats Protection, said the charity was urging people with information to come forward.
It came after the Evening Times reported how a recent kitten boom has left the Cats Protection branch over-run.
More than 170 unwanted felines have been left with the charity over recent months.