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Mother Cat Stalking Her Kitten - Separation Anxiety?

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:24 am
by MarvelsMom
I apologize in advance for this massive post, I just want to ensure that I'm including as much relevant information as possible. In doing so, I have likely put in far too much irrelevant information, but hopefully it isn't too much of a random overload of info. If you don't want t be bothered with the long explanation, here is a quick condensed version: We live in the basement apartment of a two apartment home. A cat upstairs had a litter of kittens of which we adopted one. Since all her kittens have left she's been stalking outside of our windows and doors and hissing at our dog, while previously she wasn't concerned with our space or dog in the slightest.

I'm not sure if this is a unique situation, or if perhaps it should be under the 'behavioural queries' section, but we are having difficulties with a mother cat that doesn't want to let go of her kitten. We live in the bottom apartment of a two apartment home, which I'm figuring is causing the problem here, proximity.

Several months ago, a stray female calico cat started hanging around the neighbourhood and started popping in the cat door they have installed in the back door (he has two cats of his own, one male, one female, both fixed). It was clear she was pregnant, and in the dead of winter he didn't have the heart to leave her outside, so he brought her in the house. Needless to say, mid-March she had 5 kittens. We visited the kittens and fell in love with the runt of the litter, also a female calico, and decided when the time came (which ended up being this past Saturday, 4 days ago) we would be adopting her.

We did a lot of reading up on introducing cats & dogs because we have a 3 year old female german shepherd, and so we did several things to try and properly introduce them, including introducing their scents through blankets, and letting them meet for the first time by just smelling each other from opposite sides of the door. Throughout the kitten's socialization stage, we would bring her down to our apartment for increasing amounts of time to get her familiarized with new surroundings, and so on Saturday when we brought her downstairs for good, she was very comfortable. The cat spent her first night cuddling with the dog, perfectly content. They have spent their past few days playing and forming a surprisingly fast friendship, both very happy.

Not so with the mother cat. Being that we live just downstairs, we wanted to make sure we were not the first to take a kitten, simply for the selfish reasons we didn't want to be the first to cause the mother cat distress. On any previous occasions we've taken the cat downstairs for a visit, the mother has not been concerned in the least. She still was not concerned until the last of her five kittens had gone on Sunday(ours was the third of five to leave, the fourth and fifth leaving the following day).

Since Sunday evening the mother cat has made it her mission to spend as much time as possible stalking outside our windows (with the basement apartment, she is at our ceiling level, looking in and down), or meowling outside of our door. He gives his cats free roam of the outdoors, and this cat used to take off whenever it would see me go to take the dog out for a walk. Now she sits about a metre back and hisses at the dog as though she has personally taken away her kitten. Unfortunately, as much as I have tried to avoid it, she has caught sight of her kitten through the window, and I'm sure that she can smell her by how persistently she waits outside our front door (something she never did before). Is this causing her a lot of distress? Will it continue? Is there anything we can do to stop it from happening? Is this perhaps a problem that will stop once she is fixed? (He's planning on fixing her now that she for sure not nursing anymore.)

Any advice or stories of experience would be very helpful. I don't know if what is happening is normal and will fade or if it's something we're going to have to take measures to stop from happening.

Re: Mother Cat Stalking Her Kitten - Separation Anxiety?

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:33 pm
by Meandmymunki
Bless her she can just see her kitten and understandably wants her back, you said they were born mid march, now is mid April which suggests they may have been too young to leave their mummy? His old is the kitten?

Re: Mother Cat Stalking Her Kitten - Separation Anxiety?

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:52 am
by MarvelsMom
Oh thank you, a reply!

I figured it was simply the proximity, I'm just not sure how to address the situation. We got her on Saturday at eight weeks, I re-read my post after I got yours and my mistake, mid-February, not mid-march.

We were able to experience a lot of the kittens' development. They were transitioned to solid foods around four weeks, she eats kitten food now with no complaint. Momma cats visits to the window have stopped but she still visits the door, just with less meowing.

Re: Mother Cat Stalking Her Kitten - Separation Anxiety?

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:23 am
by greenkitty
You might be better off posting this in the Health & Behaviour section so more people see it. A lot of people avoid the rescue pages for fear of ending up with the waifs and strays!

Re: Mother Cat Stalking Her Kitten - Separation Anxiety?

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:32 pm
by Meandmymunki
If the kitten is 8 weeks and independant the mummy will miss her for a while, and obviously knows she is at yours so will probably keep visiting for a week or two, but cats memories of their kittens do fade fast and chances are she won't like her kitten at all in a few weeks time and will see her as a stranger.

Re: Mother Cat Stalking Her Kitten - Separation Anxiety?

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:54 am
by Hunnybunny
Has mum cat been spayed now do you know? If not then its imperative that this gets done as a matter of urgency so you will need to speak to the owner as to start with mum will soon be pregnant again and also she will be distressed about the kitten while she is still hormonal.

Please take responsibility for the mum cats welfare now you have her kitten, its only right and fair.