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HELP Please, Mother cat attacking kittens

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello, this is my first time posting here and I hope someone can help.
I have a 2 year old cat who gave birth on Feb 8th. Two of the kittens have gone to loving homes and two of the kittens I kept, they are males. My female has been nursing them as often as they want and sometimes calls them to come and nurse, they are 4 months old now. Last week she started acting a tad strange, and I thought she was going into heat. Is it possible for a lactating cat to go into heat? She is an escape artist and has gotten out many times since this behavior started ( three kids who do not understand the words shut the door lol) . Now when I finally catch her and bring her into the house, she is very aggressive towards the kittens. If they even just start to approach her from across the room, she hisses and growls. If by chance they get close, she literally attacks them biting, or swiping at them. She is not aggressive towards me or the children, but she is aggressive towards the dog also.
She has always been a very laid back cat, not so much loving, but tolerating the kids. I have never seen her display any type of aggression before this.

Today I caught her in the act with a male cat, but was not aggressive in any way towards him. I caught her and brought her into the house, and she immediately started hissing and growling even though the kittens were not around.

Is she being aggressive because she's in heat, or because she is ready for the kittens to be weaned? Will she always act this way towards her kittens, or once her heat cycle is over, will she act normally again? She is/was a very good momma to her kittens, so this is really strange. I am afraid for the kittens, as she is so violent towards them. Should I also be worried about her turning on me or my children? I have a severly disabled 5 year old that could not get away from the cat or even understand what is happening.

She was scheduled to be fixed, but due to my husbands health problems, and lack of paycheck coming in, she was not.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
post #2 of 14
She is definitely in heat, and probably pregnant by now. Cats can go into heat within a few days, certainly a few weeks, of having kittens, even though they are nursing. I would get her spayed if you possibly can, as soon as possible though I understand htat is difficult.

As for the kittens, they are old enough to be on their own, and she is telling them she no longer wants them to nurse. They should also be neutered, or soon you will have a mother-son relationship - cats don't recognise incest and male cats can become mature at any age after 5 months.
post #3 of 14
Take her in and get her spayed and keep her older kittens away from her. They are way to old to be nursing on her- it is an incredible drain for her and not healthy all the way around.
post #4 of 14
Also, she may be pregnant. My mom's cat lashed out at the other cat in the house when she was pregnant. Afterwards, she would lash at the other cat when it came near her kittens.
post #5 of 14
if she is pregnant the older kittens would be taking her valuable resources she needs for her pregnancy.

you need to take her to be spayed asap
post #6 of 14
I have to agree with everyone else...please get this cat spayed. She probably went back into heat and may now be pregnant again. Also....who is this male that she is being friendly with? Is he a stray or does he belong to one of your neighbors? He should also be neutered so he doesn't have a chance to get any other females pregnant. One of the main concerns I have about outside breeding is that without any history of the male....you do not know whether he was a carrier of FELV or FIV. If he has it...then your female may now have it which is why it is so critical to try to avoid these accidental matings by 1. spaying your cat and 2. keeping her indoors or allowing her outdoors only in an enclosure.

Katie
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for answering. I do understand that she needs to be spayed, but like I said unfortunately I do not have the funds at this time. My husband who is 34 has suffered from 4 heart attacks in the past two years, and has been hospitalized many times. We had a date to get her fixed, but my husband ended up back in he hospital last month and has not been back to work yet.

Also if she is pregnant, which Im sure she is by now, Do I need for the kittens to be born before she can be spayed?

The two cats I have seen her with are neighbor cats, and they have all of their shots. Her and the kittens are also all up to date on shots.

My questions are, will her behavior go back to normal after she is out of her heat cycle? Will she always be aggressive towards the kittens. Should I worry about her harming the children?

Thank you once again.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalicody
Thank you all for answering. I do understand that she needs to be spayed, but like I said unfortunately I do not have the funds at this time. My husband who is 34 has suffered from 4 heart attacks in the past two years, and has been hospitalized many times. We had a date to get her fixed, but my husband ended up back in he hospital last month and has not been back to work yet.
Wow, you have really had a time of it! I am sorry to hear of your husband's misfortune and hope that your life and his will be back to a more normal-like routine very, very soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalicody
Also if she is pregnant, which Im sure she is by now, Do I need for the kittens to be born before she can be spayed?
No, you do not need for the kittens to be born before she is spayed. There are a lot of low- or even no-cost spay/neuter clinics around the country. (Katie, this would be your cue, darlin!) Perhaps there is one in your area that can assist you both in the immediate need to have her spayed as well as address the financial concerns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalicody
My questions are, will her behavior go back to normal after she is out of her heat cycle? Will she always be aggressive towards the kittens. Should I worry about her harming the children?
The behavior you are describing sounds very much like a newly pregnant queen. They can get downright nasty in thinking they must protect and preserve their offspring, even at the risk of harming past offspring if they perceive them as a threat. Not that ALL females will respond this way, some get awful affectionate, but it sounds like your girl has switched firmly into Protect and Preserve mode.

She should go back to behaving normally once this pregnancy is terminated. I would encourage you to look into any resources in your area to get this done as soon as possible. You will be happier, she will be happier and healthier and you also get the warm fuzzy of knowing you did the right thing.

Best of luck,

~gf~

Thank you once again. [/quote]
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalicody
Thank you all for answering. I do understand that she needs to be spayed, but like I said unfortunately I do not have the funds at this time. My husband who is 34 has suffered from 4 heart attacks in the past two years, and has been hospitalized many times. We had a date to get her fixed, but my husband ended up back in he hospital last month and has not been back to work yet.

Also if she is pregnant, which Im sure she is by now, Do I need for the kittens to be born before she can be spayed?

The two cats I have seen her with are neighbor cats, and they have all of their shots. Her and the kittens are also all up to date on shots.

My questions are, will her behavior go back to normal after she is out of her heat cycle? Will she always be aggressive towards the kittens. Should I worry about her harming the children?

Thank you once again.
Actually some vet clinics can spay a pregnant cat...here is a list of low cost or free clinics....call and explain your situation and see if they can assist you:

MICHIGAN

C-SNIP (Community Spay/Neuter Initiative Partnership)
Serves Kent County and adjacent counties
Grand Rapids MI
Web: www.csnip.org
Low cost mobile clinic for pets of people with low income.

West Michigan SPCA
Muskegon MI
231-788-5933

Silver Lake Animal Rescue League
Dixie Highway
Waterford, MI
248-545-6583, extension 5 This organization has a program for spay/neuter of pets of low income people in metropolitan Detroit.

Long Lake Animal Hospital
5044 John R Road
Troy, MI 48098
248-689-8899

Humane Society of Huron Valley
Ann Arbor, MI
313-662-4365

Kalamazoo Humane Society
4239 South Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI
616-345-1181
Provides some assistance for the spay/neuter of pets of qualifed low income people.

Animal's Best Friend
PO Box 443
Oshtemo, MI 49077
616-624-1090
For pets living in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties, ABF provides small subsidies at particular veterinary clinics each month. Call for details.

Zimmer Foundation
PO Bx 130944
Ann Arbor MI 48113
734-663-8000
For feral cats in Washtenaw County.
post #10 of 14
Also...here are some groups that provide financial assistance for vet care:

GENERAL:

The Animal Foundation: http://www.theanimalfund.com
Help-a-Pet: http://www.help-a-pet.org/index5.html
In Memory of Magic: http://www.imom.org/
United Animal Nations: http://www.uan.org/lifeline/index.html
The Pet Fund: http://www.thepetfund.com/
Cats: http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/

It would also be a good idea to possibly get in touch with a rescue group....sometimes they can help pay for spaying/neutering the mom and placing the remaining kittens.

Go here:

http://www.petfinder.com/

Click the link at the top that says Rescues and Shelters and select Michigan.

Katie
post #11 of 14
Katie, you are an angel with this information. Thank you, lamb.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
Also...here are some groups that provide financial assistance for vet care:

GENERAL:

The Animal Foundation: http://www.theanimalfund.com
Help-a-Pet: http://www.help-a-pet.org/index5.html
In Memory of Magic: http://www.imom.org/
United Animal Nations: http://www.uan.org/lifeline/index.html
The Pet Fund: http://www.thepetfund.com/
Cats: http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/

It would also be a good idea to possibly get in touch with a rescue group....sometimes they can help pay for spaying/neutering the mom and placing the remaining kittens.

Go here:

http://www.petfinder.com/

Click the link at the top that says Rescues and Shelters and select Michigan.

Katie
Several organizations exist to help pet owners with the cost of pet ownership. The shelter I work with does low-cost and even free spays/neuters depending on where one lives and their income and other issues...and we even have services like a low-cost clinic and a pet food pantry. It sounds like you've been through a lot! Best of luck...it's just a matter of finding the organization that can help you out with these services.
post #13 of 14
I am sorry to hear about your husband -- that must be very hard and you are both in my thoughts.

However, and I don't mean this to sound mean, being as concerned about finances as you are right now (understandably), you don't need to be worried about feeding and providing vet care to more new kittens. The cost of spaying your cat is much cheaper than the alternative.

The others gave you great resources for free or low-cost vet care... please get your kitty spayed ASAP.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy-DHH
I am sorry to hear about your husband -- that must be very hard and you are both in my thoughts.

However, and I don't mean this to sound mean, being as concerned about finances as you are right now (understandably), you don't need to be worried about feeding and providing vet care to more new kittens. The cost of spaying your cat is much cheaper than the alternative.

The others gave you great resources for free or low-cost vet care... please get your kitty spayed ASAP.
Couldn't have said it better.
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