Pseudo mother cat attacking me!
I'm very comfortable/familiar with cats and their behavior, but right now I'm at a loss of a solution. I have four cats, two if which are kittens that I recently adopted. The older two are a two year old female and 8 month old male. I have had them for about 3-4 months (a friend stayed with me for awhile and left her cats when she left). I love them dearly. I recently got them fixed, the female, Spook, was in heat so she remained in heat after being fixed. I adopted two kittens about a week after the older ones were fixed. Initially the kittens were kept in the bathroom, in order to introduce them slowly. However all four seems to take to each other quickly so they were let out after a few days. The kittens actually began nursing from spook (they are 10-12 weeks) which was initially weird to me but I learned that while in heat, kittens could trigger lactation. So I was happy they were bonding. Yesterday, one of the kittens got tangled in thread he had ripped from the shower curtain and began crying. This must have set off some protective mother instinct in Spook because she viciously attacked me to the point that I had to throw her off me into the bedroom and close the door quickly. After awhile I opened the door and she was calmer, I petted her and reassured her everything was okay. She let our a few low grumbles after that but mostly the night was mellow. Then this morning the littens were playing too hard with my other older cat and there was some growling going on, again Spook came after me, and had to be locked in the room. At this point I am sliced up and stressed out. I bought a spray bottle to help keep me safe and let her know her behavior is unacceptable. I've thought about putting the kittens back in the bathroom but I know they want to be with her. And there's no way I could lock her in the bathroom because she hardly goes in there and it's unfamiliar and will stress her out more. Is there anything I can do to help the situation while I wait this out? I was thinking one of those calming collars? Any advice is GREATLY appreciated!