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christianmomof3 June 27th, 2010 10:17 PM

vicious over protective mama cat
Our latest foster is a mama cat with 4 kittens. They are 3 1/2 weeks old and were brought into the animal shelter on Friday. If they were told why, we were not. (I am begining to thing she may have been taken there for this kind of violent behavior.)

So, we keep them in the hall bathroom, but they can come out if they please. So far the kittens are too small and wobbly to do more than venture a bit out of the crate. Mama cat is nice to people but not overly friendly. She is a good mama to her kittens.

We have had them since Friday.
She growls at our cats when she sees them.

We also have two dogs. We usually have mama and kittens shut in the bathroom when the dogs are in the house.

Our golden retriever loves cats and thinks they should all be her friend.

She went to the bathroom door to see the new arrivals on Sat.
The mama cat came out and attacked her.

I pulled the dog away from the cat and the mama cat ran across the room to attack her again. The dog would not hurt a flea and she was just suprised and scared by the whole thing.

Today, the mama cat came out and attacked one of our cats.

I realize she is protecting her kittens but our animals are used to having lots of foster kittens and would not hurt them although the mama cat does not know that. And our animals were not threatening her in any way other than being here.

We have only fostered one other mama cat before and she was apparantly not an indoor cat and her kittens were older and we had to take her back to the animal shelter after a week. (That other mama cat was sick and would not use the litter box and tried to run outside any time there was an open door and she was not a good mama cat to her kittens.)

But these kittens are too young and it would be best to keep mama with them if possible for at least two weeks, preferably more. And she is a good mama to them.

I am not sure what we can do about the situation.

I don't think it is good to keep them shut in the bathroom all of the time.

Soon the kittens will be more mobile and won't want to stay in there anyway.

I think it would be best to keep the mama with the kittens for as long as possible, but we will not be able to keep her for too long if she keeps attacking our other animals.

Our animals have had all of their shots, but we have no idea if the mama cat has had any.

Any suggestions?

14+kitties June 27th, 2010 10:45 PM

Unless you can give mom and kittens a room where they will have complete privacy until mom has either quit nursing or is showing signs she is willing to share her kittens then [I]please[/I] consider taking them [I]all[/I] back to the shelter and fostering a single cat.
Mom is [B]not[/B] vicious. Mom is doing what she is supposed to be doing. She is protecting her babies. Letting a dog or other cats into the same room as her or letting her and the kittens out where the other animals are is asking for exactly what you are getting. She needs to be able to look after her family in peace and quiet without having to worry about other animals coming in and attacking her babies. [I]You[/I] know they won't but [I]she[/I] doesn't. She is probably fretting constantly about those noises on the other side of the door and what they may mean. Hardly an ideal situation for her and one that can lead to many health issues. Including her inability to feed her kittens because of stress.
[I]It is very very important you keep the mom and the babies together until the babies are at least 8 weeks old. Preferably 10 to 12.[/I] That is the time she teaches them to play properly and is a vital part of their socialization. By separating them you would be doing none of them any favours.
You had a problem with a momma cat the last time you posted as well. That one was peeing in inappropriate places, right? If I remember correctly you wanted to separate her from her babies early as well. :confused:
Those are the best suggestions I can tell you. I am sure there will be others along to add more soon.

christianmomof3 June 27th, 2010 11:02 PM

Unfortunately, the shelter will not keep the mama with the kittens that long.
They will remove her and spay her as soon as the kittens can eat on their own. I don't think being in our hall bathroom would be any more traumatic than being in a cage in a room with other cats, kittens and dogs like she will be in the shelter.
We did take the last mama cat back because she did not use the litter box and she tried to leave the house every time there was an open door.
If the problem continues, we will either keep them shut in the bathroom more or take them all back to the shelter - I would not separate them this early, nor would they, but I would prefer to keep her with them until they are at least 8 weeks old and they will not do that there.
I was hoping for suggestions on ways to socialize the mama with our other pets if possible.

14+kitties June 27th, 2010 11:10 PM

I do not believe you [I]can[/I] get those suggestions at this time. Maybe if the kittens were three or four months old you could consider socializing the mother cat but not now. At that age the kittens are becoming much more independant of mom.
At this point [I]all she cares about[/I] is protecting her kittens. She is not interested in making new friends. It just is not feasible. :shrug: She will do whatever she has to to make sure her babies are safe. If that means taking on a Golden Retriever she will do it, as you found out. She will most definitely go after any and all that come too close to her litter. She will die defending them. There are many stories of cats and dogs being seriously injured while trying to make friends with a nursing momma.

christianmomof3 June 27th, 2010 11:33 PM

thank you. we will just keep them separated for now.

Tundra_Queen June 28th, 2010 12:56 AM

14+ is very knowledgable about cats.

Even if the female cat didn't have kittens introducing her to your other cats and dogs that soon was asking for trouble. It can take weeks or months to instroduce one cat to another never mind a dog.

Because she has babies like 14+ said, all she cares about is keeping her babies safe no matter what.

You said they were brought into the shelter Friday? and this is ONLY Sunday? So she has had to adjust to the shelter and now your house, to you, your pets? The poor cat,,,way to much change and stress. She is going to need weeks of solitude with her kittens. Please be patient with her.


Love4himies June 28th, 2010 06:38 AM

Nope you won't be able to socialize the momma with your pets, 14+ is bang on, she is a great momma who is protecting her kittens. At this point you need to keep momma and babies together alone where she can quietly and peacefully raise her kittens. Right now, the momma is stressed and the kittens are learning from her to lash out at other animals, not good for these cats who may be adopted into a multi pet household.

You can, however, take the kittens out of the room for outing to socialize for a bit with your cats, just be careful when you place the kitten back that you rub all the kittens together so your pet's scent won't be so obvious on the kitten.

Frenchy June 28th, 2010 08:44 AM

I was hoping for suggestions on ways to socialize the mama with our other pets if possible.[/QUOTE]

As the others have said .... the momma needs to be in a room with her kittens right now , away from the other pets. :shrug:

joeysmama June 28th, 2010 12:22 PM

I have to chime in too. Momma can't understand that the other animals aren't a threat. It's VERY reasonable for her to assume they are and to behave accordingly.

The thing is..even though she can't understand the rest of your household YOU can understand her....just give her as much privacy and security as you possibly can. Poor thing can't understand what's going on and her maternal instincts are in good working order !!

catlover2 June 28th, 2010 04:43 PM

The only thing I would add to the excellent advice you've already received is that you spend some time each day, minimum morning and evening, picking up and handling the kittens one at a time, and at the same time making a fuss over momacat and petting her too. Too many people have the wrong idea that young kittens shouldn't be picked up at all. This will go a long to way getting the kitties well socialized to human contact. Handle their paws, and ears gently and caress them with your fingers as a momacat would do by licking. This will make the kitty easier to handle when it comes time to clip their claws or be handled by a vet or be groomed. :cat:

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