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New Member w/ crying question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi. I just found this site, and I also just came up with a problem that I am looking for some help with. Sorry if it gets long. Most of it is background information. Questions about behavior.

I am a long-time cat owner. Cassie is a small 6 yr old Calico, who I rescued (from a highway) when she was a kitten. At the time I had two 10 yr old males who were fixed so I never had her spayed. She never had "extreme" heats, I think because she did have "mates" and they all got along. They both died in 2002 (April, September), and while I thought about letting her have a litter, I decided not to risk her or contribute to the animal population. I brought home a 4 month old Kitten, named Guy. After a few weeks they bonded, and after a few months they started to mate as I was arranging to fix them. When I brought her for a pre-spay checkup they didn't feel she was pregnant, but the next week when I brought her for spay they said they thought she was, not that far along, but couldn't tell me how many, and encouraged me to have her fixed if I couldn't keep all her kittens. Well she had ONE fetus (and I could and would have kept one) but they removed it, said it was the size of a peanut. So, Any idea how far along that might be? I now think she may have had a nesting place.

My real concern is this (there's a lot of complicated stuff here): It's only been 4 days, but she is much more vocal and clingy since coming home. She stayed over night, but Guy came home. She meows (muted, not crying, but sort of calling, a few trills) for attention, and comes to my lap, rubs me, then goes to Guy and cuddels with him, then back to me. Is she mourning? Calling? Experiencing hormones, or loss of hers and his? I think she may also be distressed about the hierarchy...he was here when she came home, or she is no longer a queen? She used to let him sit in my lap but now she comes over and meows loudly when he gets in, as if to say I belong to her, and he belongs to her too. She doesn't attack him but meows him away, then gets in my lap for abit, but she is restless. When I'm in bed she has taken to getting on my chest with him, which is something that he has been doing for the last 3 months. And when he lays on top of the bookcase she meows looking up, upset, then goes up and cuddels with me, then him. They have spent a lot of time cuddling together this week. But I think the surgery was traumatic for her, and she always gets nervous around people which is also traumatic for her. So she needs reassurance, which I am giving her.

I've heard they get more affectionate after being spayed. But this seems like distress, but not physical distress. The vet said to give it some time. Any ideas on what she's going through and how much time I should give her, and how I can help? Thanks.

Hope to have a photo up soon.
post #2 of 7
She could just be responding to the stress of being at the vet, and having the surgery. If she hasn't had the kitten and it was taken before her time, it is highly unlikely that she is in mourning. I would be more concerned if she is not eating right, or running a fever, drinking a lot of water or otherwise is off- I would be concerned she might have picked up something at the vet office. If she just wants to be comforted, then give her comfor.
post #3 of 7
Welcome to the site! I hope you decide to stick around even after you get your questions answered.

You've already gotten great advice from one of our resident experts. Hissy really knows her cats.

I'm going to move this thread to the Behavior Forum where our experts will see it and be able to give you more help.
post #4 of 7
I agree with Hissy - as always. I think Cassie is likely still stressed out because of the surgery. Give her lots of extra attention for now, and keep any eye on her to make sure she is feeling okay.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies so far, and the welcome. I feel a bit better that she probably isn't mourning the loss of the kitten (I accept it's probably more my projecting that thought).

I think she is doing a bit better today, but still extra vocal and clingy. She is physically fine, eating and eliminating ok, active and I am watching her. But she won't let Guy sit on my lap, or won't let me show him any extra affection (and won't let him come to me, it seems). Guy is about 8 months old, has only been with us for 4 months now, he's a got that kittenish curiosity (He's a personality plus cat, gentle, playful, curious) so when he first came he ignored her attempts to intimidate him, which was mostly growls. He wanted to play and cuddle with both of us and be friends and get used to his new home, which he did.

She was the alpha female in this house since I've had her, the only one with lap privileges, but she accepted Guy after a few weeks, and seemed to share me with him. Now she seems jealous and possessive of me, and her vocalization is saying something about that, I think, as well as subliminal stuff she throws at Guy. (I lived with 3 cats for many years, and I got used to feeling those subliminal messages.)

I agree she must be feeling traumatized from the surgery and the overnight at the vet, and the loss of her hormones , and perhaps his too. Any idea on how long it can take for her hormones to settle? But I think you were right, she is speaking, and trilling, calling for affection, wants to be reassured she is still loved, as well as scolding me for her night away, and her surgery. We are both giving her comfort and affection. I've taken some cute photos of them cuddling together this past week, and hopefully we get them developed soon.

post #6 of 7
I know that with males it can take up to 3 weeks for hormone levels to drop following neutering. I guess the same might be true for females who are spayed during heat or pregnancy. Giving her extra TLC is always good When she's not being nice to Guy, make sure you don't shout or get upset at neither of them. Just give them time to work out their differences by themselves.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Anne, for the info about 3 weeks. I think her hormone levels are dropping a bit and her comfort/security levels are rising, but it's good to have a timeframe!

FYI- I wanted to let you know that my cats are trained to certain words or phrases, and one of them is "be nice", which they both usually respond to and soften their touch or bite when I think they are getting too wild, I don't yell or interfere in their play. It doesn't mean "no/stop", it means "lighten up".

Overall I am delighted with the way they get along, because they play nicely, clean eachother and cuddle very sweetly, perfect companions in my opinion. Cassie lived with 2 older cats all of her life, but she adjusted very well to having a young, active cat as a partner.
But behaviorally, right now, Cassie seems to be needy, clingy, vocal/verbal, not at all aggressive, but somehow asserting her place. He now looks for her before he will climb into my lap because she has let him know she won't tolerate him. But he's already bigger than her, and she knows it which is why she won't attack him...she nags.

At night she always sleeps towards my feet, or on my legs. He likes to climb on my chest and he purrs very loudly and cuddles, then moves off me as I roll over. But now when she hears him purring she meows, voicing displeasure. Then she comes over and gets close, butts me and him but doesn't join us (I've tried to hold her with us a few times, either on my lap or in bed), and if he doesn't get down she does, and meows and then comes back, makes the circuit until he does leave. But I think she is giving him a bit more time before she verbalizes or feels insecure. Poor baby! I am giving her affection and attention, but I tell her Guy deserves affection from me too (not just from her, because she is very affectionate towards him; they sleep together and cuddle during the day, but sleep alone at night). She is jealous/insecure/hormonal. Hopefully over the next 2 weeks she will continue to feel better and better!

Thanks for your support!
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