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post-spay cat is less friendly (more feral)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
we do TNR work and trapped a young female, maybe about a year old. she was was tame and friendly, even purring while she was in the trap. so we assumed she was an abandoned house pet (all too many here in brooklyn). She quickly went into heat and obviously was very friendly. She's now been spayed and vaccinated. but now that she's not starving and not in heat, she's far less personable, she hides most of the time and when she does come out to play, she is very skittish. I understand that now that hormones aren't calling the shots she may act different, but she seems far more feral than we first thought. she is very healthy, so i don't think there is anything medical at issue.

so i guess my question is, should we just let her come around in her own time or should we be taking a more active role in socializing her, as one would do with a semi-feral kitten? she's still pretty young but definitely not a kitten. our hope is to get her primed for adoption when she's ready.
post #2 of 4
How long has it been since she was spayed?

FYI, cats also purr when they're scared. Our Tuxie purrs at the vet all the time, and it is definitely not because he's relaxed and happy.

In her mind, she was traumatized by people she was coming to trust - she was trapped, confined, taken to a really scary place.... unless you have a foster that's prepared to have her for some time, I'd just give her time and see what happens. Given she was friendly before, she likely is a stray that has reverted to feral ways. But that doesn't mean it won't take time to regain her trust.

post #3 of 4
As its been said cats can purr when they are freaked out.

She's had her world completely turned upside down. I doubt the spay did anything just the relocation and having to adjust to a new life. I would wait for her to come around, she may never be super friendly regardless of being feral or not, some cats are super independent and do their own thing.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
thanks guys, it just seems weird to me, she was living in our house for several weeks before she got spayed and was very friendly then. Of course she was also in heat most of the time.

I think I have discovered another aspect to the problem: she thinks human hands are cat toys. i wouldn't be surprised if her original owners taught her this as a kitten then were at a loss when she continued to do it as she grew up. this could be why she was thrown on the street in the first place, grr.

i think if we can get her to stop treating hands as toys we'll really get somewhere. she allowed me to pet her for a while this weekend so progress is being made!
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