Cemetery Stray

StrayMama

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I have a few questions. So, please bear with me.

While at a cemetery, we heard a cat meowing at us. When we saw her and spoke to her, she immediately jumped up and came to us. She wanted to be pet and held. So, we decided to take her home with us. She’s very young - maybe a year old.

We took her to the vet a few days later. To our surprise, the vet said she “can feel little balls in her stomach - which usually means she’s pregnant”. The fecal test also showed worms. So, we gave her a deworming regimen - which was completed last week. She’ll be retested in another a week.

We’ve had her for about 2.5 weeks at this point. She’s been sequestered to a room in our basement the entire time because of the worms. (We have a young dog and a senior cat.) We visit her a few times a day to pet and feed.

She’s an incredibly sweet cat. One problem is that when we stop petting her, we have to pull our hands away quickly. She will try to keep us letting by trying grab our hands with her mouth or claws. It makes all of scared to pet her. We usually let out a yell when she gets us. How do we stop her from doing this?

We hope to integrate her into our family at some point. But when she saw the dog through a gate yesterday, she hissed, arched, and scratched at the dog. She met the dog on the day we brought her home too. She did similar, but then was fine in the car ride home. Is there any hope to integrating her after she’s cleared of worms? Or are we looking at a help through kitten rearing and then rehome situation?

Does she look pregnant? She eats like a horse. We have her on kitten food. I think her stomach is bigger, but only a little. With the grabbing at our hands, I don’t dare touch her belly to check for movement.

The standing picture is the first night we brought her home. The laying picture are from today.
 

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FeebysOwner

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Hi. Pretty kitty!!! She is probably pregnant. She was probably also abandoned - for whatever reason. To start off with, spend more time with her than you are now. It would seem she is lonely and feeling 'needy' - and, who knows what she has been through before you found her. As she becomes more acclimated and less lonely, the grabbing at your hands most likely will subside. You can also replace your hand with a cat wand or similar type item - even a long handled wooden fork or a soft back scratcher might do the trick - just so she can't go after you but rather the wand. While petting her place the wand in the same general area and pet her with that as you pull your hand away. See if over time this grabbing behavior doesn't subside on its own before trying to correct the behavior. You want to have her trust first, and make sure she feels at home. Once you feel that way, if she is still 'grabby' letting out an 'ouch' without it being overly loud, might just do the trick.

Before introductions, find out whether or not she is truly pregnant. You can make a determination at that time whether or not you want to try introductions before or after the babies are born.
How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home – TheCatSite Articles
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
How To Safely Introduce A Cat And A Dog – TheCatSite Articles
How To Introduce A Kitten To An Older Cat – TheCatSite Articles
 
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fionasmom

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Cemetaries are as likely places to dump cats as public parks, school athletics fields and the like. The thought is that someone will come by to put flowers on a grave, or that hundreds of kids will show up at the school, and the cat or dog will get adopted.

She is adorable and I do have to agree that she looks pregnant. The articles will help and I would definitely slow down a little, especially if she is pregnant.

My avatar is a rescued feral, brought into the house on the same day as her identical sister. The sister is a hand, sweater, pant grabber. She loves to be patted and does not want it to stop. Over time, it has decreased and I have observed that if I am patting her from a certain angle that allows the grabbing it can be worse. I also think that a little bit of it is tied into overstimulation. If I brush her for too long, it happens. Try the wand as FeebysOwner FeebysOwner suggested as it will allow you to show affection but protect your hands.
 

tarasgirl06

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I have a few questions. So, please bear with me.

While at a cemetery, we heard a cat meowing at us. When we saw her and spoke to her, she immediately jumped up and came to us. She wanted to be pet and held. So, we decided to take her home with us. She’s very young - maybe a year old.

We took her to the vet a few days later. To our surprise, the vet said she “can feel little balls in her stomach - which usually means she’s pregnant”. The fecal test also showed worms. So, we gave her a deworming regimen - which was completed last week. She’ll be retested in another a week.

We’ve had her for about 2.5 weeks at this point. She’s been sequestered to a room in our basement the entire time because of the worms. (We have a young dog and a senior cat.) We visit her a few times a day to pet and feed.

She’s an incredibly sweet cat. One problem is that when we stop petting her, we have to pull our hands away quickly. She will try to keep us letting by trying grab our hands with her mouth or claws. It makes all of scared to pet her. We usually let out a yell when she gets us. How do we stop her from doing this?

We hope to integrate her into our family at some point. But when she saw the dog through a gate yesterday, she hissed, arched, and scratched at the dog. She met the dog on the day we brought her home too. She did similar, but then was fine in the car ride home. Is there any hope to integrating her after she’s cleared of worms? Or are we looking at a help through kitten rearing and then rehome situation?

Does she look pregnant? She eats like a horse. We have her on kitten food. I think her stomach is bigger, but only a little. With the grabbing at our hands, I don’t dare touch her belly to check for movement.

The standing picture is the first night we brought her home. The laying picture are from today.
Hello StrayMama StrayMama and family, and welcome to TCS! The answer is "definitely" she looks pregnant. It's early enough that you could get her spay/aborted and thus not be adding to the numbers of kittens, which is very large this season/year due to COVID protocols *don't even get me started on how mad I am about THAT.* That would be a caring and responsible course of action. She is probably stressed on several levels, being abandoned, having to fend for herself in a very challenging environment, and having to protect her unborn babies. So the suggestions others have posted should be very helpful.
 

nurseangel

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Hi, it is nice to meet you. Bless you for taking this poor girl in. As the other members have stated, I agree she looks pregnant. I will defer to the others on the hand grabbing situation. My cat Oscar loves attention so much that even when he was a skin and bones stray, he would not eat as long as someone would pet him. He loves attention so much that he thought dinner could wait. He does not grab our hands, but one day I was walking away from him and thought, "Did that cat just hit me? No! It has to be my imagination." He is a very gentle cat. I finally turned around fast enough to discover that yes, he was indeed hitting me on the ankle because I was trying to walk away from him. Your girl is probably starved for attention and wants to make sure that nobody leaves her behind again. I apologize if someone has already said this; I am always exhausted and try to stay focused.
 

Norachan

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Wow, she's so pretty! I think she probably is pregnant. Thank you so much for helping her.

Now is not the best time to introduce her to your other pets. Her pregnancy hormones are making her extra hostile to other animals that might threaten her kittens. It's best to wait until after the kittens are re-homed and she's been spayed. She's much more likely to be friendly then.

When you pet her use a toy like a Kickeroo. That will give her something to sink her teeth and claws into while you pull your hand away safely.

Kickeroo™ Cuddler | KONG Company
 

DreamerRose

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Lily grabs my hand a lot just like yours does, but luckily for me, Lily keeps her claws retracted. Lily does this when she doesn't want me to stop petting her. It's her way of saying, "Don't leave me.!" Don't be afraid to pet her and then to avoid the grabbing, let your hand lie on her without any movement for a moment. Then you can take your hand away.

She may also be sensitive about her stomach. If she grabs and bites when you touch her there, she is telling you to stop, so stop moving, and she should let go. Her tummy could be stretched and very sensitive.

She's a real cutie and will become a loving cat. You are lucky to have her!
 

stephanietx

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She's hit the jackpot with you! My Daisy was like this when she came to me, only not pregnant. Once she calmed down and became fully comfortable with us and our home, which took a few years, this behavior stopped. Our girl was people friendly, but didn't completely trust humans because of her past experiences. The key is to learn how to pet her and for how long. You know she's easily overstimulated, so just a quick pet is all she may need. Let her settle in, then patiently let her develop and come out of her shell.
 

Antonio65

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Hi and welcome to TCS!
Didn't the vet run a quick check with the US scan and tell you how many kittens are in there and how "old" are they? This could have prepared you about the time for giving birth and the number of kiities you'll have to manage and, later, adopt out.
 
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StrayMama

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Thank you so much for all of the responses thus far. I appreciate and apply every bit of advice! This is certainly a situation we’ve never been in before. We’ve taken in (and rehomed) a stray before... But he certainly wasn’t pregnant, lol.

I’ve been making sure that we spend more time with her. She’s definitely more grabby if the visits are further apart. She insists on being in our laps - preferably with both hands on her, lol. I’m making sure to keep my petting to her neck and shoulders/upper back for now. I’m also going to look into all of the suggestions of something to redirect her to. She really, really just wants to be loved. She also loves to play with strings and balls with my son. We plan to let her have free range of the basement when her fecal test comes back clean. We’ve started introducing the scents of our dog and cat to her - and vice versa. (I know the scents are on us too, of course) But we’re not attempting to move past that for now.

As for the impending birth.. I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen movement.. And felt it when she’s pressed against my leg. (Or she has an alien or a really bad case of gas, lol) The vet didn’t do an US - which I’m actually irked about. With our inexperience, we didn’t even know that they could do an US in order to ask for it. (Thankfully, this particular vet at the practice is not my usual choice.)
 

Talien

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It would probably be best to wait until after the Kittens are weaned before introducing her to your other animals. A pregnant or nursing mother Cat is not going to be very receptive to other animals unless she is already familiar with them, and even that's not a guarantee she'll be ok with their presence.

Scent swapping is ok in the meantime, but I wouldn't take it any further than that.
 

kateallen

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Two reasons come to mind when your cat is grabbing your hand. one is she likes to be petted longer and another one is to show frustration. you have to observe their behavior and situation to know which one is applicable.
 

JulietteTruong

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I have a few questions. So, please bear with me.

While at a cemetery, we heard a cat meowing at us. When we saw her and spoke to her, she immediately jumped up and came to us. She wanted to be pet and held. So, we decided to take her home with us. She’s very young - maybe a year old.

We took her to the vet a few days later. To our surprise, the vet said she “can feel little balls in her stomach - which usually means she’s pregnant”. The fecal test also showed worms. So, we gave her a deworming regimen - which was completed last week. She’ll be retested in another a week.

We’ve had her for about 2.5 weeks at this point. She’s been sequestered to a room in our basement the entire time because of the worms. (We have a young dog and a senior cat.) We visit her a few times a day to pet and feed.

She’s an incredibly sweet cat. One problem is that when we stop petting her, we have to pull our hands away quickly. She will try to keep us letting by trying grab our hands with her mouth or claws. It makes all of scared to pet her. We usually let out a yell when she gets us. How do we stop her from doing this?

We hope to integrate her into our family at some point. But when she saw the dog through a gate yesterday, she hissed, arched, and scratched at the dog. She met the dog on the day we brought her home too. She did similar, but then was fine in the car ride home. Is there any hope to integrating her after she’s cleared of worms? Or are we looking at a help through kitten rearing and then rehome situation?

Does she look pregnant? She eats like a horse. We have her on kitten food. I think her stomach is bigger, but only a little. With the grabbing at our hands, I don’t dare touch her belly to check for movement.

The standing picture is the first night we brought her home. The laying picture are from today.

She’s so pretty!!
 

Talien

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If she gave birth in that bed it's probably soaked and will need to be cleaned, or thrown out if it's not sturdy enough to go in the wash. Either way, yes, it would be a good idea to move them, but do it while she's nearby eating or using the litterbox so she can see where you are moving them to.

A good idea would be a large carrier with towels/blankets in it, that way you don't have to try to wrangle them all into one if you need to take them to the vet for something.
 

FeebysOwner

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If you do move them, be prepared for her to move them again. Most cats want to choose the location where they keep their kittens. I can't exactly tell what that thing is that she has chosen, but if it isn't terribly soiled, you might just want to add a heavy blanket or towel on top and not take it away from her right this moment. Odds are if you remove it, she will find some other location to take them to other than the one you have already set up for her. So, perhaps set up a couple more boxes - maybe bigger than the one you have now, if you think size might be part of the issue. She still might choose some other spot, so make sure the room they are in doesn't have any spaces that she can take them to where you can't get to them.
 
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StrayMama

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We put a towel under them and a heater in the room since the basement can be on the cooler side. (Also a camera so we can keep an eye without disturbing too much). She’s very snuggly now - even more than she already was. When we left her, she was crying at the door for us. She hasn’t done that before. She’s currently laying in a cat tree - away from the kittens. Kittens are sleeping in a pile on each other.
 
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