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Unread 08-17-2014   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Aggressive Behavior with Mother Cat and Her Two (unspayed) and Grown Female Offspring

I need some help and advice. I apologize if this is long but I need to let you know the exact situation.

My three cats who have always gotten along and seemed close seem to be having some sort of a problem. The mom's name is Hyacinth. Her kittens now almost 2 years old (Hy is 3 yrs old approximately) are named Inky and Willow. Hy is spayed but her offspring are not.

The aggression started out small. The three of them would be on the table by the window which was opened to the screen, and they would be watching the birds. One of the offspring, Inky, at some point, would become overexcited or something and hiss and lash out at whichever other cat was sitting next to her. Mostly a swipe with a paw. I would admonish her and she would run off and that would be that. She would be fine a few min. later.

She's the only cat that ever acted like that. I noticed that there seemed to be a correlation that when she was being aggressive like that she also seemed to be in heat at the time.

Anyway a few days ago something bad happened. I went to bed late and I FORGOT to close the living window. At 3:30am all three of my cats woke me up in a vocal panic. I opened the door and I see all three of them running from the l.r. window into the kitchen and then into the utility room.

When I got there. Hy (the mom) was on her side. I petted her and soothed her. She didn't seem to be hurt. Except that there was little bit of poop, I assume from her. But Inky was scared beyond belief. She ran out of the room hissing and growling. I went over to the l.r. window and the magazines I had on the table had puddles of urine on them. So Inky or Hi (one of them) literally got the pee scared out of her.

Since she seemed the most traumatized it was probably from her.

So who was responsible for this?

It was Bear my stray male cat. I feed him and his normal mate Stumpy (her tail got bit off) every day. He decided to come on my front porch at 3:30am and I noticed a plant that I had right in front of the window on the outside had been tipped over. He most likely came right up to the screen, and that would be enough to scare the cats.

I went outside and saw that he was now on the sidewalk in front of the porch. I scared him away after I yelled at him.

It took awhile but eventually Inky calmed down and seemed to come back to normal. She seemed fine with both her Mom and her sister.

Now this morning another episode. I was sitting right there by the table at the window. I was on my computer. I had the window open and Inky and Hy were there inches away from me. Suddenly they both ran off and were in the middle of my floor rug. I heard a whining noise from Inky. They were facing each other close. I thought they were going to play fight. But I heard Hy hiss. Hissing is not any part of play. I yelled at them both to cut it out. Hy ran over to the d.r. chair and jumped up on it. Inky followed. I heard then that horrid noise a cat makes when they're upset and about to fight coming from Inky.

I jumped up and went around my lazy boy chair so I could see and I saw Inky reaching up to Hi on the chair. Well Hy hissed again. And they snarled and then Hy jumped down and ran with Inky chasing her. The ended up in the front hall where I separated them. They never once got into a full out body wrestle type of fight thank God. But Hy was SO terrified she hissed at me a couple of times something she's never done before. I stroked her and calmed her some.

I locked Inky in another room to calm her down. I let her out 10 minutes later.

BTW Willow the other female and sister to Inky didn't get in the fight. But after I put Hy on my Lazy boy one of her favorite spots and a few min. later Willow tried to reach up to her Mom and Hy still upset and afraid, hissed at her. WHICH MADE WILLOW VERY AFRAID OF HER MOM.

All three of them a little later were sitting on the l.r. floor and seemed calmer at least. I thought maybe everything was returning to normal but not so.

I tried later to put Willow by her Mom who I had placed on the couch and Willow started snarling, growling and hissing. So I immediately removed her.

Not to mention that just a few min. ago. Hy was in the kitchen behind the food bowl and all of a sudden Inky was in the doorway wanting to head that way making that aggressive pre-attack sound again. So I had to remove Inky and this time I put Hy in the front hall and shut the door.

I don't know what to do here. I need answers. Right now I feel like I can't even go outside for a few minutes and leave the three of them in the same room. Actually Willow and Inky the sisters, seem to be okay with each other. The problem is seems to be them toward their Mom Hy.

Also I shut the window if I didn't mention that, since every time an incident starts it's by the window.

So does anyone have suggestions or an opinion? Do they just need time? Is everything going to get back to normal? Should I stop trying to fix things by placing them near each other and just ignore them and let them find their way? I mean Willow who's still a big baby just two days ago was doing the fake nursing thing next to her Mom. They were closer even than Inky and her Mom. And now Willow seems terrified of her?

Please don't suggest that Inky and Willow should by spayed because it's something I already know and wished I could do SO badly. But I cannot afford it. I live on disability due to a serious health condition, I just don't have $115 per cat to do this. You see, I never planned on having four cats.

For those who don't know, Hy and her kittens were strays at one point. Hy was always a friendly stray cat which I fed and one day she came to my back porch and brought her 3 six week old kittens with her. It was starting to get cold. I brought them in. The kittens were still nursing at that point and worse Hy was like malnourished. I hadn't seen her for awhile and apparently she was getting enough nutrition. She almost died on me, seriously.

So I adopted them but my plan was to try to find homes for the kittens. I had an ad running for 2 weeks and not one legitimate phone call. So Now instead of 1 cat which is my oldest cat Sheba (who doesn't like any of them and mostly keeps to herself in my bedroom,) I have four. Turns out one of Hy's kittens (the only male) was adopted by my daughter the day after I took them in.

As a side note, Hy completely recovered from her malnourishment btw and weighs like 14 pounds now.

So that's about it. Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

UPDATE:

An update as of 1:15pm Central Time. I just realized I was so upset and in the original post spelled 'aggressive wrong.

Anyway they all three took naps in different spots awhile ago and then Hy got up and went near the food dish. Next when I looked Inky and Willow were in the doorway near her. Then Inky walked toward her and I could tell that it was non aggressive. There was no noise no threatening body language. I think Inky just wanted to reconnect, and then Willow followed but Hy hissed at both of them! So they turned and ran out. It broke my heart and I almost cried because I knew that if Inky had went to her and she acted normal Willow would have then done the same.

So one of the main problems is Hy now is afraid of her own offspring. But the other problem is that Inky still is being aggressive.

Earlier today they were all sleeping in various spots in the living room. I had just taken a shower and came out and I saw Inky run across the dining room into the kitchen where her Mom was and make that threatening pre-attack noise and Hy hissed and was crouching down in fear!

I yelled at Inky and chased her out and then put her in the hallway and shut the door. I am going to have to put Hy the mother in the hallway area tonight to keep her separated from Inky and Willow. I need help with this because it's creating a lot of stress for me and also for my cats.
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Unread 08-17-2014   #2 (permalink)
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It's good you rescued the mother and her litter when they needed it, but why aren't these females spayed?

Are the male and female "stray" cats spayed and neutered?

You need to have all the cats spayed and neutered immediately.

Yelling at them is only creating more stress and making the problems worse.

Get them spayed. Keep them separated, then reintroduce them as if they are new to one another.

No yelling. They do not understand, as they are simply reacting to fear or stress, their behaviors are natural, to them.

The "strays" also need to be spayed and neutered.
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Unread 08-18-2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Thank you.

Thank you for replying.

The Mother is spayed and I talked about why I cannot spay her two FEMALE offspring in my post.

I live on disability having cancer, and I just can't afford the $115.00 for each of them. I would like nothing more to do that, because I have a feeling it would help but I just can't afford it.

Thanks for your help.

p.s. Regarding your comment about the male and female cats needing to be spayed.
I live on disability and if I cannot spay my own two females I sure as shootin' can't spay stray cats. The female anyway is unapproachable. I truly wished we had a better animal control system in my city but we don't.

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Unread 08-18-2014   #4 (permalink)
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<edit> I'm sorry I sound so abrupt in this post. It's the end of the day, and...well...I admire you for taking the cats in, but there IS help. I've posted the links at the bottom)

Your heart is in the right place, but there are some facts you need to face.

If you don't spay the cats the behavior problem are going to get worse. And worse. Spaying will solve the issue. Not spaying, they will either get out and get pregnant, or kill each other, or both.

It is very hard on cats to continually go into heat. hard on their bodies and hard on their emotional and mental well being. Very stressful for them.

In addition, every spay cycle brings the cats closer to pyometra (deadly infection of the uterus) and uterine cancer. Both are very expensive to treat.

And finally, if you don't spay them, and don't do something about the outside cats, you are going to end up with many many more kittens and cats, all who will need vet treatment and spaying and neutering.

I'm sure there is a low cost spay neuter program available to you. Just look for it.

Whatever your personal problems are, you took these cats in and you are responsible for them. Get help. Get them spayed.

And get help for the outside cats too. There are programs available, and there is help. Sometimes you do have to look for it.

Find a Clinic | Free & Low Cost Spay/Neuter and Wellness Programs

Spay & Neuter | Free & Low Cost Spay/Neuter and Wellness Programs

You did a good thing, rescuing that mama cat. But it doesn't stop there, unfortunately.
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Unread 08-19-2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Thank you again

I know you mean well but it's not like I don't already know what you are telling me. I know a lot about cats and I've cared for them all my life.

As for the wisdom of spaying my cats, you can't get blood from a turnip. I CAN'T AFFORD to have Inky and Willow spayed.

I've also looked into the low cost spay clinics. You have to go through lots of red tape to do it, and then only certain clinics are on the program. The closest one to me is Rockford which is about 25 miles away.

I don't own a car. That's the second hurdle.

I have a ten year old cat, my Sheba. She's never been spayed. She's fine. If I had been able to I would have but I didn't have the money. I was able to get the Mother cat Hy that I took in, spayed. It took some time to try and get money but I did it. It wasn't easy.

I don't believe Inky and Willow will ever escape. They are both scaredy cats and I am constantly watchful in my safety measures to prevent that from happening.

One time before Sheba my oldest DID get out. There was hole in the screen and I didn't realize it was large enough for her to squeeze through.

The happy end of the story is she got out and I didn't get her back till 5 days later! She was not pregnant either. She's like the worst scared nervous type cat I have and doesn't like other cats much. I was very lucky and with my granddaughters help who saw her suddenly on the 5th day on the front porch, and when we got there we sweet talked her out with food. She was hungry so she came to me. After, I got her shots, to make sure she didn't contract anything.

So since that happened I am doubly careful to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Now as for the recent behavior between Inky and Hy her Mom. Everything is all better now. I separated them for a day and by the next day things started getting back to normal between them and now they are best buddies again.

As for the strays there is NO WAY I can do anything about that. I can't capture the female. She's not the type that will come to you.

Regarding feeding the strays, I have questioned many times, if I am doing the right thing by feeding them? I really don't have the answer. All I know is I cannot ignore a starving cat.

The animal population here in this town, is not my problem. It certainly is a concern but I'm one woman, someone with limited funds and with a serious illness to boot. I can only do so much.

No, I feel it's really the city's problem. But even so, what should I have done? Ignore the hungry cats, thereby letting some of them die of hunger, and that way reduce the population?

I'm doing the best I can. The best I know how. I do thank you very much for all your help. It is appreciated. I am keeping the links you sent and will try and get more information from them on the low cost clinics and what is necessary in order to get the animals spayed.

God Bless.

Gale
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(edit, after writing the below bit) Gale I realize I have very strong opinions. I don't mean to be...unfriendly or rude. But I don't understand your attitude. I really don't. I don't understand how anyone can live so many years with unspayed female cats. I don't understand how you can put a cat through it, let alone deal with it yourself.

It's not a nice life for a cat at all, having to have constant heat cycles.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad, honest I'm not. But I just don't understand.

I do understand there are hurdles, but I think if you really wanted to, you would find a way to do it.

I don't think it would be that hard to find someone to drive your cats to the low cost clinic. Learn how to ask for help. You'd be amazed at the people you will find, who really want to help.

The thing is, it's cruel to force cats to live their lives in constant heat cycles. They aren't "fine". They are in unremitting hormonal upheaval. Never a moment's peace. Remember that cats hide discomfort of all sorts. 10 years of endless heat cycles? That just appalls me.

I think it's just wrong.

I hope you will put yourself out there, make some calls, and keep making calls, until you find the help to get those three females spayed.
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Here is another possible option. Scroll down to the spay/neuter box and type in you zip code to see if you can find a participating vet or how to purchase low cost vouchers.

Friends of Animals - Home

Please, do this, for your three girls. They will be so much happier and healthier.
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