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I'm starting a new thread because now that the5 kittens are gone and we are left with mom and her older 6+ month old kitten we have new problems.

Quick recap: mom is a feral we managed to get in my house with her two kittens. A few weeks after she was here she gave birth to 5 kittens. We separated her from her two older kittens and she was therefore only living with her 5 kittens for 3 months. We just took her kittens away two days ago.

OK, so mom has been crying and looking for her kittens around the room. When she does this I open the door and use a baby gate to separate her from her older kitten, which she hasn't seen in like 3 mom. They seemed to be interested in each other to the point that one would come near the gate and look for the other if they couldn't see them.

Mom has been more curious and sometimes when she is crying I go in the room and she is waiting by the door and she stares at the door where she knows Mitzuke is in. I open the door and they stare at each other for a while.

All was going good and all of a sudden today Mitzuke (that's the kitten) started hissing at mom. She came near the fence (mom was sitting on the other side) and she stared at her and all of a sudden she hissed at mom. I don't know what happened! I was there like always so I don't know WHY she did that. Poor mom still looked for Mitzuke every chance she got but Mitzuke was gone and didn't want to come near the fence again (she climed on my bed and went to sleep)


What's going on?? What can I do?? I feel horrible for mom. At least Mitzuke likes to play with us and she lets herself be rubbed but mom has nothing and noone. She's not used to us yet so she won't let us touch her at all and she has hissed at us a few times. She does however eat out of our hands if she gets hungry but soon as you try to touch her she stops and hisses and goes away. So all we can do is be with her in the room to keep her company and we feel so bad that we can't help her. :(

To make matters worse she started rolling on the floor. She still cries but now she's doing this (here are a couple of videos I just took)



She did this a couple of times when she still had her kittens so I don't know if it's just something she does because, like I said, she's done it before. Except now she's started doing it a lot more for the last couple of hours.

What's wrong with her? Is she in pain? :(

In case it's relevant, her older kitten is spayed. Mom isn't since we were waiting till we took her babies away. Oh and we tried to get her in a crate to take her to a vet to have her spayed and she almost clawed my hand off. We tried putting food in the crate but she wouldn't go for it. We tried to grab her with a towel and that went horrible. She's feral so I think that trying to get her to a vet is not a possibility yet.
 

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I'm about to go to bed, so I didn't read (or watch) everything.
But about the last paragraph... do you have a live/humane trap? I had to set one in my bedroom to catch a feral to take her to the vet to get spayed. Put food/bait in it, then went into the living room to read a book and wait - pretty soon, "SNAP" went the trap door, and we were all set :)

I didn't trap Disco to bring her inside. I put food just inside the doorway, and shut the door behind her. But even after 2 weeks of being inside, I still couldn't catch (or even pet) her. Now when I go out to the feeding station, she's all over me for attention...go figure!
 

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Is she showing signs of going into heat again? Besides calling for her kittens that is the only other thing I think she could be doing. Did she start doing this as soon as you took the kittens away or just in the last day or so?

If she has gone into heat again, that could be an explanation of the older kitten's behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Vivid - I don't have one of those. All I have is 3 regular crates. :(

@raecarrow - I noticed she did this once or twice even when her 2 month old kittens were with her. She hadn't done it again until a couple of hours ago. Someone told me she could have fleas? She won't let me touch her so how can I find out?
 

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Okay, I'm staying up just a little longer, just for you!

I am not an expert, but with my limited knowledge, I would have to agree with racearrow. I've heard cats can go into heat as soon as they start weaning kittens, which is about 6-8 weeks, and it's been 12 already.
The way she's rolling, suggests she is in heat... when she rubs her cheeks against the floor, that's because she's trying to leave her scent marking on the ground (for tomcats to find/follow).

If she were in real pain (she's probably not very comfortable right now, though, because of heat), she would act much different. She wouldn't be moving as much, and probably stick to a more hidden area of the room.

Again, racearrow is right that the kitten might be sensing a change in mommy.
I would figure if they're not lunging at each other, or really growling/yowling, it may be safe to remove the gate for supervised visits, longer and longer (hour, couple hours, half a day, etc.) times. Sort of like an introduction with cats who don't know each other at all.
A'course, if it IS the heat thing that's annoying both of them, maybe introductions should wait until all that is calmed down! LOL


Okay, NOW I'm going to bed ^_^
 

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@Vivid - I don't have one of those. All I have is 3 regular crates. :(
*semi-joking* If you wanna pay for shipping, I'll let you borrow mine! I won't use it until at least March

(I forgot how much shipping is, but it probably weighs at least 5 pounds)

Maybe the local shelter/pound will let you rent one of theirs?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much Vivid! How long does it last? Is it days or weeks? Is there anything my mom and I can do for now or just wait until it passes? She's stuck in the office in my house so no outside cats can get anywhere near her.
 

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Approximately 3 to 14 days.
Found this with a Google search:

Estrus: This is when the female cat is receptive to the male. External signs such as a swollen vulva or bloody discharge, are not as obvious in the cat as they are in the dog. The main signs seen are behavioral -- loud vocalizing, rolling on the floor, elevating the hindquarters and possibly a decrease in appetite. Many people have confused the signs of the feline estrus phase as signs of being in pain. Length: 3-14 days (average of one week). If the female is not mated, she may go back into heat within several days.

Interestrus:The period between estrus cycles if the female isn't bred. Length: 2-3 weeks.



Paizly was in heat for a week. A'course, I got her spayed a week after she started symptoms.
I don't want to scare you, but this is her story. She was yowling and acting uncomfortable like they should. However, suddenly she wouldn't let me touch her (most cats get extra snuggly when in heat), and cried in REAL pain if I picked her up. Panicked, as you are, I called the vet to try to get her in right away. They wouldn't, as they were all booked up, and her appointment had already been scheduled for the next week, and I was just told to wait.
When I finally got her in, and the vet did the surgery, he said her uterus was totally infected and filled with puss - if I hadn't got her in then, it likely would have burst and she could've died in a couple weeks.

SO! Just in case, do your best to catch kitty and get her in for fixin'!
Maybe use a "drop trap". A box that's heavy enough she can't rush out of again, and prop it up with something like a stick (though I used an empty paper towel roll!) and tie a string to it. Go away from the trap, holding the other end of the string... when she goes to eat the bait food, yank the string so the prop goes and the box falls down and traps kitty. I used an upside down wagon with the wheels taken off, because that had been Zinny's favorite hiding place anyway!


Okay, bed now... for realz!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks so much! I'm going to call a rescue group down here to ask if they have a trap they can lend me. If not then I'll try what you did (that was a great idea by the way)

I want to get her to a vet ad I hope she's ok. I'm calling everywhere tomorrow. Have a good night and thanks so much for helping. :)
 

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From what you describe and I couldn't see her very well on the video as it was so dark, it sounds like she's back in heat. Mitzuke sensed or smelled her and that's why she reacted by hissing and running away. Just hope she isn't one of these queens who stay in heat for 10 days, have a week or so off and then is back in heat again. But she sounds like she could be one since she got pregnant so quickly again before this last litter she had. Just a thought.... If you can't trap here, you could ask the vet if it would be possible to tranquilize her to get her into a carrier.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for your help! So it is ok to take her to the vet to be spayed at this time? Or do I wait until it passes? I'm not sure what the process is.
 

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Thanks for your help! So it is ok to take her to the vet to be spayed at this time? Or do I wait until it passes? I'm not sure what the process is.
Some vets will spay when a cat is in heat, others won't. There is an increased risk of bleeding when they are in heat. But as she is a feral, a vet would probably be more willing to spay her whenever you can bring her in just because of the issues of catching her.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, I just called a cat network down here which specializes in ferals and stray cats and I'm waiting to see if they give me an appt for this Sunday since that's their next event. I've also asked if they can lend me a trap cage so I'm waiting to hear back on that as well.

Now mom has started to sort of claw at the door and every time I go in there to check on her, give her food, etc she is waiting right at the door. And she hasn't stopped meowing.
 

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Does she have any toys to play with? I didn't notice anything in the photos where she was with her kittens? Some empty boxes, foil or paper balls, catnipped toys, may give her something to do. If she's in heat, tho she won't be interested in playing. Also, I understand that ferals don't seem to know how to play. Is she like that?
 

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I tried getting her to play with the toys her kittens had but she wasn't interested even in the stick that has a string a ball that rattles which all the cats we've ever had like to play with. We did leave the cardboard box that her kittens used to like to play with and she gets in it and sleeps when she's not meowing. This morning I tried playing with those balls that have a rattle inside but she just stares at them and goes back to do her thing. Is there any other toys that you can recommend? I don't know if there are other toys that cats may prefer more. Isn't the catnip that thing that makes them act as if they were on drugs? I've always been extremely afraid if that.

All I'm doing now is keeping her company. I think I am going to start reassembling the room as we had taken everything out so the kittens wouldn't hurt themselves with books or ornaments or even the computer cables. There will be a lot of things just like it was when she came inside and before she gave birth to the kittens. She used to like to lay down around my computer cables so and hopefully she'll see all the bookshelves and bookcases and maybe she'll like to get on top of them.

I tried again to do the baby fence thing but once again all Mitzuke did was hiss at poor mom who seemed extremely interested in looking at her. I spanked Mitzuke twice and she stopped and just let me pet and stroke her after that because I locked myself in the other room with her just to make sure she wasn't mad at me for doing that. I didn't do it hard or anything. Just to sort of scare her to see if maybe at some point she'll get that it's a bad thing to do. I also told her "no" very firmly the two times she did it.
 

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Zinny always ignored the laser pointer. I don't remember if I tried it with the other feral kittens. I know that Tourmaline liked the little fuzzy mice to bat around, and she did like my "crinkle sack" that was supposed to be for Paizly. Mostly, though, my feral kittens just played with each other (or parts of each other... like batting at a sibling's twitching tail)
 

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Da Bird could be a great toy for her as it looks and sounds like a flying bird. She may be more likely to play if it excites her play drive.
 

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Don't spank! That will only make Mitzuke more fearful of momcat or you. Just ignore her hissing at momcat, and let Mizuke react how she wants to. It's normal when a cat's in heat. You won't be able to force her to like momcat, and you may reinforce her dislike of her at this time.

As for catnip, it may well soothe momcat. It is not at all harmful for cats, even let her eat some if she wants. Some cats don't react to catnip but about 70% of them do. Cats usually show some excitement over catnip initially, but it's really a mild tranquilizer. If she responds to it well, it may be the way to get her in a carrier.
 

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Paizly eats ALL the catnip crumbs I give her, then goes back to hiding in her corner. Very boring kitty ;p

Nebbie paws at it, then rolls in it a few times. Twitches her tail. 5 minutes later, she's back to normal. But she never goes totally wild, as I've seen other cats do.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
thanks so much guys! you have no idea how crazy this all is. we just feel so bad for mom. I'm going to get her catnip and the toys you rec today. I will let you know how it goes with them soon as I get them.

should I just not try to get them to see each other? or is it ok to let mom see Mitzuke when she cries? that seems to hold her attention at least for a while and she stops meowing.
 
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