6 month old stray kitten came to us pregnant, since having kittens her personality has changed - any idea why?

I have a female kitten about 6 months old, I think (she was abandoned near my home). Unbeknownst to us, she was pregnant when we took her in. She gave birth to 6 kittens (one of which didn't survive) 7 weeks ago, and she has went into heat about two weeks ago for 8 1/2 days. Ever since coming out of heat she has seemed agitated and won't let the kittens sleep. She is so rough with them that they scream like she is really hurting them. She was so sweet and loving, but she has suddenly started attacking people for no apparent reason. Do you have any idea why she is acting this way?

 

 

She's lucky she came across you by the sounds of things :-). Cats are very prolific breeders and as you've experienced often come back on heat even with a new litter at their side ...and yes they can get pregnant again at this time. You don't say whether she has been going outside or has access to any other in-neutered cats in the house - know it's not what you will want to hear but it's certainly possible she's pregnant again now!

Female hormones can do strange things so she may be experiencing the effects of these and feeling tender around her teats. How are the kittens behaving? If they are still pestering her for milk then if she's feeling sensitive this might not be helping things. At 7 weeks of age the kittens should be fully weaned now so they shouldn't need to feed from mum anymore. She might just be putting them in their place?

She could just be playing rough with them - teaching them "what not to do"... just like any teenage parents they sometimes get this a bit wrong - don't forget she is still a kitten herself.

Regardless of the cause, now is the right time to get her booked in to be neutered (speyed) to prevent any more kittens. I'd actually suggest you visit your vet for a checkup sooner rather than later for this reason. Also to ascertain if there's a more serious medical reason why she could be feeling agitated and cranky. Cats that start lashing out at people can do so when they're unwell or in pain ... they can get serious treatable uterine infections after being on heat. Treatment is essentially a more involved spey with antibiotics but it is life threatening if left.

Good luck!

Best wishes

Jo Lewis BSc BVMS (Hons) MRCVS - The Cat Vet

Home Visiting Clinic

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