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Pregnant cat behavior/friendliness

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I noticed a few people on the sidewalk looking at a cat laying down in front of them, and I asked them if it was okay. It was just looking for attention, and I carried it home (without any protest from the cat).
It has been in our bathroom to stay separate from our puppy and young kitten, and to allow it time to get used to the new smells/sounds/surroundings.

My question is that I have read about pregnant cats being much more loving. It came as a shock to me that this cat allowed me to pick it up and carry it home, and it just lays and rubs on me and purrs, rarely walking around at all. So is it possible that once this cat is no longer pregnant, it could actually be very unfriendly? Do cats that act more friendly during pregnancy ever have that drastic of a personality change, that they don't mind being picked up and they enjoy affection, but then become aloof once they are no longer pregnant?

I first noticed its large nipples, very slightly larger than normal belly, and how lazy it is. After reading about cats being more quiet and loving when pregnant, I'm worried it may drastically change once she's not pregnant.
post #2 of 18
It is entirely possible that this girl will not be as sweet as she is towards you now after the babies arrive. The protective mechanism will kick in and she may not want you anywhere near those babies. You should be extremely careful with her and try not to handle the babies much until you know she will allow it.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Honestly we're hoping that the vet tells us she isn't too far along and he can remove the kittens. I have no way to find homes for a litter of kittens, and the vet told us over the phone that he is hoping the cat is not far enough along that he can't remove the kittens.

I am honeslty not worried about the cat being protective of its kittens, but moreso whether or not the cat will still allow us to pet it and show affection once it is no longer pregnant. I am reading about cats that are more loving, but I'm not sure just how drastically their personality changes when they're pregnant, and if this cat I found will go back to acting like most strays that are terrified of people.
post #4 of 18
Are you sure she is a stray? Maybe she belongs to someone and escaped.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
If she did escape, whoever she escaped from wasn't probably taking very good care of her if she was never fixed and did not have a collar and ID tag on to show she's vaccinated.
We will be putting up signs, but with very little info about the cat. There are an unbelievable amount of strays in our neighborhood. In fact I saw 2 last night, one of which has been howling around the buildings in our area every night because it's in heat. I can think of about 8 different cats I've seen in the past month just around our 5-unit apartment.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by zookeeper
If she did escape, whoever she escaped from wasn't probably taking very good care of her if she was never fixed and did not have a collar and ID tag on to show she's vaccinated.
We will be putting up signs, but with very little info about the cat. There are an unbelievable amount of strays in our neighborhood. In fact I saw 2 last night, one of which has been howling around the buildings in our area every night because it's in heat. I can think of about 8 different cats I've seen in the past month just around our 5-unit apartment.
zookeeper.....best thing to do about the stray cats is to contact a TNR group in your state and trap these cats so they can be spayed/neutered and then depending on how friendly the cats are they can be placed into homes or returned back outdoors.

Below is a list of TNR groups by state:

http://www.alleycat.org/orgs.html

Also..thank you for caring for this cat. To answer your question..once she is spayed, she may continue to be sweet...but there is no guarentee. However, having her spayed will dramatically improve her life.

Good Luck,

Katie
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by zookeeper
Honestly we're hoping that the vet tells us she isn't too far along and he can remove the kittens. I have no way to find homes for a litter of kittens, and the vet told us over the phone that he is hoping the cat is not far enough along that he can't remove the kittens.
I don't know where you are located, but depending upon what your vet says about spaying this girl now, many rescue or shelter groups offer low- or even no-cost spay/neuter and will do so no matter what stage of her pregnancy. Personally, I am uncomfortable with terminating a pregnancy past 4 to 5 weeks, but that's just me. Others may have differing opinions on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zookeeper
I am honeslty not worried about the cat being protective of its kittens, but moreso whether or not the cat will still allow us to pet it and show affection once it is no longer pregnant. I am reading about cats that are more loving, but I'm not sure just how drastically their personality changes when they're pregnant, and if this cat I found will go back to acting like most strays that are terrified of people.
When you asked about a cat that "is no longer pregnant", I will admit to presuming you meant after the kittens were born. Sorry, my bad. *grin*

Cats are such individuals and without knowing her history, it would really be impossible to say whether or not she would "act like a stray". What I can tell you is that with time, good care and a lot of patience on your part, she can certainly adapt to your home and to you as her new family.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
I don't know where you are located, but depending upon what your vet says about spaying this girl now, many rescue or shelter groups offer low- or even no-cost spay/neuter and will do so no matter what stage of her pregnancy. Personally, I am uncomfortable with terminating a pregnancy past 4 to 5 weeks, but that's just me. Others may have differing opinions on it.
I am one of those individuals with a different opinion. Although I support individuals who have determined to continue with the pregnancy, I do also support those who have made the determination to terminate the pregnancy. It is preferable if the pregnancy can be terminated within the first 5 weeks, however that may not always be possible depending on your circumstances and the cat's circumstance (you may have found the cat after she has reached the 5 week mark). For those of you who have made the decision to terminate a pregnancy and need a supportive ear....please feel free to PM me. I volunteer with a feral cat spay clinic and we do spay pregnant cats..so I understand.

Katie
post #9 of 18
The rescue I am with, as well as many in my area, will do a spay-abort no matter how far along the cat is, even if it is within days of delivery.

Personally, I feel that performing a spay-abort on ALL pregnant moms is by far the most responsible thing to do, given the overpopulation issue and how completely overwhelmed shelters are, especially at this time of year.

I don't really get the opportunity to do this on the forums, but I really want to applaud and show my respecct for everyone who has made the decision to go through with a spay abort. Your actions are truly what is best for the cat population at this point.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
The rescue I am with, as well as many in my area, will do a spay-abort no matter how far along the cat is, even if it is within days of delivery.

Personally, I feel that performing a spay-abort on ALL pregnant moms is by far the most responsible thing to do, given the overpopulation issue and how completely overwhelmed shelters are, especially at this time of year.

I don't really get the opportunity to do this on the forums, but I really want to applaud and show my respecct for everyone who has made the decision to go through with a spay abort. Your actions are truly what is best for the cat population at this point.
As someone who is also in rescue, I respect your position...however when someone takes responsibility to care for the mom cat through the pregnancy, ensures she is spayed once the kittens are weaned and follows up to ensure that all the kittens get good homes and are spayed/neutered, I think this is just as good a solution. Although I understand and have been involved with groups that do terminate pregnancies, I can also appreciate that many people would not be willing to spay a pregnant cat. For those individuals, I want them to know that we will be here to help them get the mom cat through the pregnancy.

Katie
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice everyone. I have made an appointment and will be dropping this cat off tomorrow at our vet on my way to work in the morning and will have my girlfriend pick her up in the afternoon. I'm hoping the pregnancy isn't too far along. I've read conflicting information, but right now, all this cat does is lay down and sleep, purring whenever I go see it and give it attention. It is very inactive but eating a lot, so hopefully the vet can ascertain how far along she is and can fix the cat for us. We still need to get our kitten of about 8 wks her 2nd set of shots, and we can't do that if this cat is going to have her litter, but if we don't vaccinate our kitten, we have to start over with the 1st set of shots again.
I'm glad it will all be taken care of in the morning. Thanks for the links, I will definitely be looking into a place to help me trap some of the stray cats in our neighborhood, especially the one waking everyone up at 2am every night because it's in heat.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I picked the cat up today, and found out that she is very healthy, and is about halfway through the pregnancy. The vet said this means she will need to have the kittens because it would not be safe to try to remove them. This cat is only about 7 months old, and tested negative for everything they tested her for.
He said he believes the litter will only consist of 2 or 3 kittens, but he admitted he can't be too sure because she's still about 2 to 3 weeks away from having the kittens. But it looks like I'll be looking for homes for some kittens.


As far as getting our 2 month old kitten and our 8 month old Bichon puppy used to the cat, we have been trying to feed them on opposite sides of the bathroom door. The puppy ran into the bathroom when my girlfriend was going in there, and she said that he tried to sniff her and just say hi. He is very friendly and great with other animals. The cat got scared and hissed at him and batted at him, and gave him a small cut on his ear, but he didn't seem to even notice it. She was able to pull our puppy away at that point, but it still worries me that he didn't show any aggression towards this cat, but she still tried to hurt him, although I think it was more of a warning than anything.
I carried our tiny kitten in the room to see if they would react to each other, and our kitten hissed at the new cat. The cat didn't even acknowledge the kitten's presence. She just looked up at her, and continued laying down lazily. I'm not sure if that's good or bad that she doesn't seem interested in our kitten.
I put our cat and dog in the bathroom today and let the new cat wander around. She seemed a little shy at first, but at the same time, she is very friendly and came and jumped up onto the couch and sat on my lap for a few seconds when I called her. She had a good half hour to explore while our other pets got more used to her scent in the bathroom.
I've also been making an effort to put a shirt under our kitten's food that I wiped all over the new cat. But I'm hesitant to put them near each other, and I think I should still wait until they've had about 5-7 days to get used to each others' scents, but I'm unsure on this. If anyone has any suggestions I'd appreciate it.
Also, I'm trying to wipe our dog down with a towel, and put it under the new cat's food bowls, since he will take to the new cat without any problems, but she may not like him. So I'm still trying to figure out how best to introduce them slowly. I've read that I should keep him on a leash and command him to sit, then put the cat on the opposite side of the room. But I am unsure how long to keep them in the same room, and how many times I should do this before letting the dog off the leash.
Any suggestions would be appreciated, and thanks again to everyone for the information and links posted.
post #13 of 18
I think if she is so very loving now, she will at least stay a lovely cat when she is done with the babies. And I would not be at all concerned that she swiped at the puppy, or that the puppy did not react aggressively. It is wonderful, in fact, that the puppy is accepting her. As she settles in, she will be more able to get away from him by jumping up on things, so even if she never "likes" him, they will co-exist just fine.

And the first step of two cats meeting often involves a certain amount of hissing. Like you suggested, just give them more time.

I foster, and I keep the preggers Moms totally away from my cats, because they can't be vaccinated while pregnant. After the kittens are weaned, and Mom is spayed/vaccinated, then after a period of healing, they are introduced (if Mom is staying with me). But I understand that most people don't have an extra bedroom to devote to the Mom cat and kittens.

With the young ages of your crew, I think they will be getting along fine, soon. (Lots of info about introducing cats on the behavior thread). Your Momcat may be extremely protective of the kittens when they are born, so if you can help establish a safe place where she can have them.

Thanks for stepping in and saving this kitty. I agreed with your decision to spay/abort, but since it seems she is so far along, and you will be able to keep her, that is nice, too.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Right now the only place where we can keep the new cat away from our kitten and puppy is keeping her in the bathroom with the door closed. I have to wonder if we should try to introduce our kitten to this cat before the kittens are born, or wait until afterwards. But if we wait until after the kittens are born, isn't it then another few weeks before our kitten can go near the mother and her kittens? Won't the mother be much more aggressive towards our cat and dog when she's with her babies, making it more difficult to introduce our pets to the new cat?
Also, is the bathroom a bad place to keep her? I'm wondering if our showers and getting ready every morning will bother her. I guess it doesn't matter much because we really have nowhere else to put her.
If anyone has advice on when to try getting our pets and the new cat together, I'd appreciate it.
post #15 of 18
I think the dog and cat did GREAT! One of our cats HATES our dogs so our dogs feel the same way and bark at her anytime she is in their site (well not everytime just most). But the cat will jump up on things to keep away from them and then just ignores them.

As for the kitten any cat will hiss at a new member of the family. Each one of my cats did it as someone new came. now besides that one antisocial one that doesn't like the dogs either LOL, they call get all great. The antisocial one just ignores everyone else or will hiss and walk away from them. But they sound like they are doing great.

I would suggest letting the kitten and new cat meet now or wait till the babies are close to being weaned. mom will be very protective of the litter when they are younger. But I am no expert.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by zookeeper
Right now the only place where we can keep the new cat away from our kitten and puppy is keeping her in the bathroom with the door closed. I have to wonder if we should try to introduce our kitten to this cat before the kittens are born, or wait until afterwards. But if we wait until after the kittens are born, isn't it then another few weeks before our kitten can go near the mother and her kittens? Won't the mother be much more aggressive towards our cat and dog when she's with her babies, making it more difficult to introduce our pets to the new cat?
Also, is the bathroom a bad place to keep her? I'm wondering if our showers and getting ready every morning will bother her. I guess it doesn't matter much because we really have nowhere else to put her.
If anyone has advice on when to try getting our pets and the new cat together, I'd appreciate it.
Actually, I kept my foster mom in my bathroom (really had no choice...I have 4 rooms total) and it worked out really well. I would set up mom in the bathroom and your existing cats will definately smell her presense and most likely will react (hissing/growling is the norm...it's their turf that she has invaded). I'm not sure whether it is a good idea to let them actually interact, the only reason I state that is because she may get stressed by the experience and I think it makes most sense to keep her stress level down at this time. She's carrying extra cargo and if the introductions don't go well...what if she hides for weeks under the bed or somewhere else besides the bathroom. If it were me, I'd just keep her in the bathroom, seperate from your other cats. Now the great thing about the bathroom is it is easy clean. I set up my foster mom with xerox boxes for her litter and plastic bowls for her wet and dry kitten food. I took baths and showers and although she was a bit scared by the water..she didn't try to dash out of the room...she actually would come and visit with me during my bath which was nice.

Katie
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
We started trying to feed the dog outside the bathroom door, and I was in the bathroom. The cat immediately started growling and hissing, and then when I tried petting her to calm her down, she began hissing and growling at me, before running and hiding under the tub. So I'm not sure if this is normal for her to get this upset or not. Should I continue doing the same thing until she gets used to the dog being outside the door?
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by zookeeper
We started trying to feed the dog outside the bathroom door, and I was in the bathroom. The cat immediately started growling and hissing, and then when I tried petting her to calm her down, she began hissing and growling at me, before running and hiding under the tub. So I'm not sure if this is normal for her to get this upset or not. Should I continue doing the same thing until she gets used to the dog being outside the door?
No....I would stop feeding him on the other side of the door...it is stressing her out.

Katie
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