Foster Queen keeps trying to attack me, but I have to change her bedding

Abralov

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Ok, so she's a very sweet cat apparently.
I can see it occasionally aswell, she's very hot and then very cold towards me. One moment she's rolling around on her side/back needing the floor and then the next moment she chases me out of the room with growls and hisses.

She was real fast the last time and almost squeezed through the door to try and get me. That was the worst of the attacks even though she didn't get me that time, she has previously so I have a nice little tooth hole in my leg. She's not super vicious but tries to grab/bite me, I usually exit immediately and give her space for a while.

She gave me the chance to weigh the babies today as I was concerned about the smallest & not being as big as the others. He's doing ok now and is now much closer in weight to the other babies- but his eyes are open at 6 days old which is weird. I've only been able to weigh them every other day as mum cat does not want me in the room at all

Anyway, so if I go into her room she always stands between me and the babies and even though she looks friendly and like she wants attention she will switch out of no where and go after me.

I understand I'm a new person, in a new home, as a first time mom, in a whole new set up. It's confusing and stressful for her.

I've been trying to work with her very slowly, not touching the babies unless I have to and giving her space to be a mom.

The only thing is, I really need to change their bedding and she is not letting me get close at all.
If I go into the room she's in her kennel growling at me, on her bedding I have to change...

So I made her a card board box nest with a clean towel and another little hut incase she decides to move the babies. I've had no such luck yet but I'm really not sure what to do without getting attacked.
 

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Hi
Can you find a large piece of cardboard that you can keep between yourself and her, so that you can do what you need to?
 
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Abralov

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Hi
Can you find a large piece of cardboard that you can keep between yourself and her, so that you can do what you need to?
I can definitely try, I've been working so hard with gaining her trust so I'm going to feel so bad having to scare her like that 😭
 

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Walk very slowly; move very slowly; and use a soft voice.

Try putting the other box right next to the crate, sit on the floor, then try moving the babies slowly into the other box, and have the clean bedding ready to slide into the crate quickly. Layer the bedding so that you can remove the top layer next time with clean underneath.

If she gets in the other box with the babies, leave them there. If not, you can then move them back.

Try a Feliway plug in diffuser in the room also. It may help to calm her.

She is in protective mode over her babies. Hopefully she’ll realize you mean no harm.

Some kittens do open their eyes as early as 5 days!

A Abralov
 
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Abralov

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Walk very slowly; move very slowly; and use a soft voice.

Try putting the other box right next to the crate, sit on the floor, then try moving the babies slowly into the other box, and have the clean bedding ready to slide into the crate quickly. Layer the bedding so that you can remove the top layer next time with clean underneath.

If she gets in the other box with the babies, leave them there. If not, you can then move them back.

Try a Feliway plug in diffuser in the room also. It may help to calm her.

She is in protective mode over her babies. Hopefully she’ll realize you mean no harm.

Some kittens do open their eyes as early as 5 days!

A Abralov

I try to walk very slowly and if she growl or moves I back up to the door and talk her down softly. Once she relaxs again I continue what I need to do.

During the day we have off and on times, like this morning I was able to chill with her. She rolled and showed me her belly and I watched her pupils, that's how I got to weigh the babies- its quite the process and I have to work slowly.

She was purring and nursing her babies while I took one by one to weigh them. I was given her scratches and we seemed to be doin good.

Then later today I was going in very slowly and cautiously to change her bedding but she charged me suddenly.

I spooked her by accident catching her with the door a split second before she got me and I feel so bad, I
You're just using the cardboard to keep her from getting at you, if necessary, that's all it's for.
Tried this morning for cardboard trick... Shes just growling at me while in the kennel and won't come out. I left the new towel beside the kennel for her to check out while I'm gone.

Will hopefully get a new weight & new bedding by this evening.
 
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Abralov

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Walk very slowly; move very slowly; and use a soft voice.

Try putting the other box right next to the crate, sit on the floor, then try moving the babies slowly into the other box, and have the clean bedding ready to slide into the crate quickly. Layer the bedding so that you can remove the top layer next time with clean underneath.

If she gets in the other box with the babies, leave them there. If not, you can then move them back.

Try a Feliway plug in diffuser in the room also. It may help to calm her.

She is in protective mode over her babies. Hopefully she’ll realize you mean no harm.

Some kittens do open their eyes as early as 5 days!

A Abralov
I hope she realizes! I have my own two very happy cats who adore me, and I don't expect her to fall in love with me but jeez I'd like us to atleast be friendly haha.

I am going to do the multiple bedding trick, and I try to move as slow as possible. I can see when I make a wrong step and she's immediately more uncomfortable.

I might enlist someone to help me so I can very quickly do what I need to do and let her have peace again.
 

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I've always used an old-fashioned straw broom to fend off an attacking cat... the sweeping end, not the handle.
Don't swat the cat. Use it as a shield to push the cat away. Done carefully, there's no risk of hurting the cat any greater than she would hurt herself in the act of attacking.

Do you know what "brush pants" are?
Hunters often wear them. They have leather chaps sewn into the legs to protect the wearer from briars and stickers as they walk through heavy brush. Here, where I live, brush pants are common. They can protect you from all but the most aggressive animals like a flailing cat.

BrushPants.png CarharttJacket.png

A Carhartt jacket, like hunters or construction workers wear, and some leather gloves would complete the ensemble.
 
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cosmotortelloni

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I found a pregnant stray cat and had her with me since June18. She must has just conceived because no delivery yet. Anyhow, I can relate to what you're going through, and worry about what to expect when she does deliver. She's swiped at me several times, she hisses, and once she attacked my leg and I couldn't get her off. she was like velcroed to me. My leg was a bloody mess and one bite got infected. On the flip side, she can be sweet. We have her crated because she started randomly attacking us. Hate that she's crated, and pray she will normalize once all of this is done the kitten is weaned, and she is spayed. We would love to add her to our family! 🙏
 

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Offering the broom bristles is a great technique. Praise her for being a good mama but offer treats such as boiled chicken or cat snack or boiled chicken when she allows petting/affection. She might be smelling your resident cats when she lashes out. Or her irritability might be associated with sore nipples or other intermittent discomfort. Try playing with her when she is away from the kittens using play that mimics hunting which is what she would be doing in the wild. Austin Pets Alive! has a lot of great advice and they work closely with Maddies FORUM. Please keep us updated!

NURSING_MOTHER_CATS_AND_KITTENS

Feline Behavior Problems: Aggression
 
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Abralov

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The kitten lady on YouTube has a video called “how to foster a feral mama & kittens 10 tips” that might help. In videos I have seen her remove the kittens (1 by 1) with a spatula for their daily weigh ins.
Yea, we've come a long way from last week and I was able to change the bedding/get rid of their old cage.

Babies seem to be doing good, me and mama are doing better and she sometimes allows me to pet her while she's nursing BUT she still does not want me touching them.

I did use the spatula trick to scoop one back to her, which did work. But it's not often I can get that close

If one cries and I happen to be near (not touching them) she will growl at me and sometimes look like she's gonna go after me.
 
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Abralov

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Offering the broom bristles is a great technique. Praise her for being a good mama but offer treats such as boiled chicken or cat snack or boiled chicken when she allows petting/affection. She might be smelling your resident cats when she lashes out. Or her irritability might be associated with sore nipples or other intermittent discomfort. Try playing with her when she is away from the kittens using play that mimics hunting which is what she would be doing in the wild. Austin Pets Alive! has a lot of great advice and they work closely with Maddies FORUM. Please keep us updated!

NURSING_MOTHER_CATS_AND_KITTENS

Feline Behavior Problems: Aggression
It seems like there is not a lot of info on what to do with maternal aggression, there's a lot of back and forth info on what to do. Some say you must interact with the babies while other sources say LEAVE THEM ALONE until mom is more comfortable.

She's on a feeding schedule during the day of every 2 hrs she gets special wet food (she has hard food always) and I give her light pets.

She has allowed me to pet her while she's nursing but not often. She does not at all want me touching the babies and immediately becomes not friendly when I try. Also, she does not like chicken and won't take treats from me. She likes her soft food tho lol

thank you for the links!
 
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Abralov

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I found a pregnant stray cat and had her with me since June18. She must has just conceived because no delivery yet. Anyhow, I can relate to what you're going through, and worry about what to expect when she does deliver. She's swiped at me several times, she hisses, and once she attacked my leg and I couldn't get her off. she was like velcroed to me. My leg was a bloody mess and one bite got infected. On the flip side, she can be sweet. We have her crated because she started randomly attacking us. Hate that she's crated, and pray she will normalize once all of this is done the kitten is weaned, and she is spayed. We would love to add her to our family! 🙏
Aww yea, I've mainly worked with stray/feral cats and unfortunately anytime they were in our home they had to be crated.

My current foster isn't a stray or feral, so this maternal aggression stuff do be scary.

She may warm up to you in time, but for the safety of you & everyone in your house- crate is probably best.
 

cosmotortelloni

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Aww yea, I've mainly worked with stray/feral cats and unfortunately anytime they were in our home they had to be crated.

My current foster isn't a stray or feral, so this maternal aggression stuff do be scary.

She may warm up to you in time, but for the safety of you & everyone in your house- crate is probably best.
Thank you!

Cat aggression is quite scary and man the damage they can inflict. I still cant shave my lower right leg with all the scabs.

I hope both of our cats can turn completely around from this!
 
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Abralov

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Thank you!

Cat aggression is quite scary and man the damage they can inflict. I still cant shave my lower right leg with all the scabs.

I hope both of our cats can turn completely around from this!
I'm going to be honest. Mine did a full change of heart today and allowed me & my mom to pet her, hold her babies and I got new weights on them without any issues.

It took a week of patience and working with mama pretty much around the clock with a feeding schedule.

She may still act out, but twice today we were able to give her and her babies some love 💜
 
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Abralov

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Ok, so she's a very sweet cat apparently.
I can see it occasionally aswell, she's very hot and then very cold towards me. One moment she's rolling around on her side/back needing the floor and then the next moment she chases me out of the room with growls and hisses.

She was real fast the last time and almost squeezed through the door to try and get me. That was the worst of the attacks even though she didn't get me that time, she has previously so I have a nice little tooth hole in my leg. She's not super vicious but tries to grab/bite me, I usually exit immediately and give her space for a while.

She gave me the chance to weigh the babies today as I was concerned about the smallest & not being as big as the others. He's doing ok now and is now much closer in weight to the other babies- but his eyes are open at 6 days old which is weird. I've only been able to weigh them every other day as mum cat does not want me in the room at all

Anyway, so if I go into her room she always stands between me and the babies and even though she looks friendly and like she wants attention she will switch out of no where and go after me.

I understand I'm a new person, in a new home, as a first time mom, in a whole new set up. It's confusing and stressful for her.

I've been trying to work with her very slowly, not touching the babies unless I have to and giving her space to be a mom.

The only thing is, I really need to change their bedding and she is not letting me get close at all.
If I go into the room she's in her kennel growling at me, on her bedding I have to change...

So I made her a card board box nest with a clean towel and another little hut incase she decides to move the babies. I've had no such luck yet but I'm really not sure what to do without getting attacked.
Mama cat update!

She and I are doing MUCH better. I was able to change out her bedding and provide her with multiple -clean- nesting options and she happily took her babies to the one she liked.

I got an updated weight on the babies and one is MUCH higher than the rest but the others are reasonably similar weights. I watch and make sure everyone is included.

I think mamas previous owner is lying about when they were born.

When I received them at 3 days old they weighed about how much fresh babies were supposed to. A week later they have almost (some more than) doubled their weights, all eyes are open and they're motoring around the box pretty good.

The one I was worried about last week is now heavier than some of the others and is doing fantastic. He has the LOUDEST meow and his name is Howl or Howler :))

There's a new one I'm worried about as she's a little less than the others but still a pretty good weight at 6.95 ounces or 197 grams. 10 days old now and all active happy little babies.

I'll continue to watch her and make sure she's eating ok but she gets right up in their with the others from what I've seen which is good.

I will continue to be respectful and patient with mama cat but I'm afraid I might fall in love with her 💜 even if she's mean to me LOL
 

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This is fantastic news! :cheerleader:

Mama is now trusting you and the kittens are ALL in a terrific weight range! Well done!

For reference, kittens should weigh 4 ounces at one week, 8 ounces at two weeks, 12 ounces at 3 weeks, and one pound at 4 weeks. Occasionally, a female kitten will be a touch under because females tend to be smaller than males, but your female is close to 8 ounces at just 10 days, so all sounds well.

Kittens should then continue to gain about one pound per month (or more) for the next 6-8 months while growing up.

For reference, I took in a pregnant stray a few years ago who delivered 3 males and one female. One of the males was the runt. I ended up keeping the whole family, and now that “runt” is the biggest cat of all - huge paws and close to 20 pounds. The only female took her time reaching her goal weights each month, always lagging a bit behind initially, but she’s a beautiful, fluffy 15 pound cat herself now - 7 years later.

You’ve accomplished so much getting mom to trust you so quickly! Kudos! I hope all continues to go well!
 

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Congratulations on the uplifting update! Because doesn't seem like there are many specifics on training aggressive cat mothers, any hints or tips of what you feel made the difference would be very valuable for others searching for answers. This thread's title will likely generate many hits for lurkers so anything you can share will be helpful
 
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