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Discussion Starter #1
I have always had multiple pets in the house - while cats and dogs have numerically dominated, there have been other species. This has meant that I ahve a fair bit of experience in introductions between animals ut I am at a bit of a loss presently.

At the moment I have four cats of varying ages (two mature, two young) and a dog who idolises them.

Several weeks ago, I was walking the dog when we found a nursing queen and four kittens. I'll spare you the drama of attempting to get a soggy cardboard box with its live cargo home but we managed.

We took them all to be checked by the vet. They have been de-fleaed and wormed and are currently still living in the spare bedroom.

The mother is, by now, well on the way to weaning them. We are taking them to the vets later this week for a final check before the kittens move onto new homes under the agreement that they are to be returned if there are any problems. We will also be bookig the she-cat in to be speyed.

Our hope was to keep her (she is only about 7 months old herself but had obviously had a rough time). The trouble is that she is incredibly aggressive to our other cats and our dog. We have had fireworks in the past when working through relationships but nothing like this. She is very non-aggressive to people but seems to absolutely hate other animals.

All of our cats and our dog are rescues and some of them came with problems but this is in a different league.

If anyone has been through something similar and can offer advice, it would be really appreciated.
 

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She may well settle down once the kits are gone and she's spayed. Right now she's probably in protective mom mode.

Then again, she might not. :p
 

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She is most likely just still being protective of her kittens. Her hormones are still driving her mood right now so I would not attempt any introductions until she has been spayed.

I am going through a similar situation right now. I have a nursing mom who was previously a stray in my bedroom. When she was pregnant, she was very affectionate and would rub all over me, but would then with no warning hiss and swipe at me. She even bit me bad enough that I went to the doctors and got antibiotics.

Since she had her kitten, she has not hissed or shown aggression towards me at all. I am still going to wait until she is spayed to introduce her to my other cat, because he is a big baby and she would tear him up! I don't want her to see him until she is no longer stressed about her babies. Momma cats are nothing to mess with!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, the first two kittens go to my nephew and his family tonight; the other two go tomorrow (with a signed agreement that they come back if there is any problem). We have booked the Queen in to be spayed next Monday and are splashing out on a diffuser so fingers crossed! She's lovely with people but it still comes down to her settling with the others - if she doesn't then we are hoping to do a straight exchange with the shelter we support so we would take one of theirs and they would look for an "only pet" home for her.
 

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Keep her separate until the kittens are gone, then do a long, slooooow introduction. What works best, IME, is 3 babygates stacked in the doorway to the new cat's room so that all interactions take place safely. Use the cheap expanding gates so you can easily remove the center gate to pass through. Throw catnip and treat parties on both sides of the gate, pass a towel they have slept on back and forth, etc. Do no proceed further until they are all bored out of their minds!

But nothing can happen as long as there are kittens, mom is spayed, she has recovered, and she's settled down. Right now she's hormonal and protective--allowing contact now only risks something happening from which they cannot recover.

Keep us posted! And good for you for helping this teen mom! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just a quick update.

She is booked in to be spayed tomorrow morning and we will be picking up a diffuser at the same time. We'll keep her apart for a few days as advised by the vet and then start a slow introduction, hoping for the best.
 

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I think the mom is in the protective mode of keeping other animals away from the babies. Hopefully she'll blend in once she is spayed and no hormones.


Just a fyi. When we are going to spay a female/mom we keep her from the kittens for a week to dry up. I absolutely hate that part of rescue. The reasoning behind it is, it is harder for a vet to do a spay when it’s a nursing mother. So I’m sending prayers out for your teen mom to have a successful spay. And a long happy life, not having to reproduce. Thanks for rescuing her.

Will the kittens be s/n before they go to their forever homes?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Last Monday, two of them went to my nephew and his family. For about ten days before that, we were taking them over (just across the street) to introduce them slowly to their more elderly cat. That went better than expected and they have settled very well.

The other two went the following day to my nephew's next door neighbour. They have signed that we can have them back if there are any problems.

Anyway, the mother will have been six days without them before being spayed.

I'll let everyone know the outcome.

We've arranged for vouchers from a charity for neutering when the vet feels the time is right.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, she's even with the vet since 8.30 this morning (British time). If all goes well, we will be picking her up this evening. This is not a new experience for me, ut I am a nervous wreck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We had her back at 1.00 p.m. - she was already quite lively. She's been allowed a bit of food and is doing well.
 

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You're doing great. I'm always so impressed with people who find cats and knock themselves out to do the right thing for them. The idea of having your adopters sign the agreement about returning them was brilliant!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yesterday we reluctantly decided that the mother cat (who is settling a bit with the dog) is not improving with the cats. Even Lottie who is the most laid back and assertive (both at the same time!) isn't coping. Oz is terrified, Princess Tramp would rather live in the garage and Jem is going to get hurt because she is tiny but refuses to back down at all.

We discussed things with the shelter. They are currently completely inundated and ahving to build new runs but they are sure that that they will be able to find her a home because she is a peach with people. Because of the severe over-crowding, they will be taking her on Wednesday and we are having two from them at the same as long as they pass their assessments with other cats and dogs. I am gutted but I have to consider the others. I have never thrown in the towel before but with half the house out of operation because of building work as well as the other factos, I think it is the best fo her, for my cats and, hopefully, for the two new additions that will be coming to join us.

Anyway, assuming all goes to plan, she will be leaving us on Wedesday and two bonded youngsters will be joining us.
 

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Lots of no kill sanctuarys do trade outs. Its a win win both ways. Usually they want you to take a couple kittens for an adult.

You sound like youve had lots of experience in this so Im sure you have a good foundation for your decision. Every once in a while a cat comes along that just need to be only cat. Your making the decission on what is right for her and your present fur family. She is lucky you are the one who found her so she would have the best care possible in her unique situation.

Thank you for being such a good rescue parent! It is a no kill shelter she is going to? In the US so many people assume the shelters are no kill but a lot of them arent. Its turned into a big controversy here, the way organiztions lead people falsely.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It is very much a no-kill shelter. They even have special areas for cats who cannot easily go to homes because of long term health problems.
 

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Do you need the bedroom back where she is currently kept? Really, she just needs some time to calm down and destress. Think of the changes that have happened to her in such a short time.

I had a same problem with my Apache Cat when I first brought her home. Apache was prepared to beat into submission every cat and dog in the house when she came out of quarantine. To handle the problem, I just left her locked in the bedroom for a few extra weeks while I got her more used to being in a home living situation. As Apache became more accepting of me and then my room mate, she settled down and started to take for granted that food would always be available to her and she need not be constantly on guard against everyone and everything. At first I let the dogs in to meet her, one at a time, starting with the most laid back. Then had the dogs in as a group. Then brought in some of the more laid back cats. That went a little harder. Apache was determined to defend her new room with the always full food bowl from all comers. Within a month Apache realized it did not matter how many other animals were in the house, her food bowl would always be full and would always be hers. Yes, Apache picked multiple fights with multiple cats multiple times a day, but we started leaving her bedroom door open and she could always retreat to "her" room and her bowl. Eventually the fights became mere loud name calling, then less loud name calling, then infrequent name calling....

You get the idea. No cats, dogs, humans or food bowls were injured during these happenings and eventually Apache took over the entire house and tolerated all the other inferior beings who live here with great distain and royal indiffernece; which she maintains to this day, sixteen years later....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've been trying to work out how long she's been with us and I think it is about 12 weeks. She has made a lot of progress with the dog but very little with the cats.
 

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Twelve weeks really isn't that long when it comes to a feral who was occupied with kittens for much of that time. It takes a long time for their psychological outlook to go from territorial and defensive to cohabitation with other felines. She had to defend her food sources and guard her kittens from feral toms who would kill them on sight before. She is in a totally new environment now which to her seems unusually crowded with other cats. It will take time for her to understand food is not scarce in this environment, there are no kittens to defend and in tact toms are not going to be harrassing her.

Of couse you must do what you feel you must do to protect your current cats and I agree dealing with a feral female still high on kitten raising and territorial instincts is difficult. It is great that you have recourse to a no kill shelter if keeping her does not fit with your current situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It's been a long time since I started this thread but I am pleased to announce that the mother cat (now called Vali Mali) has gone to her forever home!!

 
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