Advice from those with experience of female cats

(25 Posts)
BubbleBathFoam Mon 09-Sep-13 18:46:20

I've taken in a female kitten approx 6 months from my next door neighbour. Basically she couldn't find it a home and was going to phone the RSPCA to see what they'd do. But as I'd decided I wanted another cat I took her in. Neighbour's cat is the mum and she was the only one left to house. Neighbour couldn't keep her as she says she has enough with the female she already has.

Anyway, she's a bit lax with her cat meaning I'm often the one taking it in to de-flea and de-tick. She kicks hers out at all hours in all sorts of weather. Needless to say our new kitten hadn't had any of her vaccinations or had been wormed. She was taken to the vets as soon as she was housed 3 weeks ago. Had her first vacs and is due her second this week.

The thing is I've only ever dealt with male cats. Not through choice, it's just we've always ended up with males. Boy cat is neutred, chipped, insured and up-to-date with vacs.

I have no experience whatsoever with females. When I took she-kitty to the vet I was told there's a very fine window between summer and October to get her spayed as cats come in to heat every 3 weeks between then and the chances are that if she goes out then there's a 90% chance she'll get pregnant.

Now as I said above, neighbour is very lax and she-cat has been out on numours occasions. Before I housed her she'd often wonder in anyway. Vet says there's a chance then that she could be pregnant - couldn't tell but it could be early days. To keep her in under all costs.

This is all fine by me. I just wondered how do you tell if a cat's pregnant and also what signs to look out for to know when she's on heat?

She howls A LOT! and keeps running and howling at the window. She also wants to constantly eat. She's even nicking boy cat's food.

I also find she has a lot more of an aggressive nature than boy-cat. She attacks A LOT. But I'm hoping that will calm down when she is spayed.

I've also caught the local Tom spraying in my garden. Is there anything I can do to shoo him away?

BeenFluffy Mon 09-Sep-13 18:50:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BubbleBathFoam Mon 09-Sep-13 18:54:53

She is presenting when DH tickles towards her back (apparently he says that's how to tell/how he was told). Hmm I'm not sure how I'd feel about spaying if pregnant. I'd feel guilty but then I'd feel bad taking her babies away and making sure they'd go to good homes. I don't really want to have to deal with kittens though so I bloody hope she's not.

What ridiculous advice from the vet! We neuter about 35 female cats a day. At no point do we ever concern ourselves with whether or not they are in heat. They are neutered at 5 months old and that's that. We also neuter (and consequently abort) when they are pregnant, unless they are so far along that they would be due a just a few days.

Take her to another vet and get her neutered tomorrow! And don't feel guilty about aborting if she is pregnant. It's best for her and it will mean that you won't be adding to the numbers of unwanted cats. Hundreds of cats are put down every day in the UK because there are not enough homes to go round. Even if you find good homes for your kittens you are effectively using up homes that could have be used for rescue cats and kittens. And of course cats get upset when their kittens are taken away from them.

By doing it you would be being kind to her and would be helping other unwanted cats.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Sep-13 19:13:44

Yowling a lot I would say there is a chance she's on heat now.
As Thecatneuterer says we often don't know that they are on heat until we get in there.
I would always spay a pregnant cat or we can get stuck in the always pregnant or rearing kittens trap.

BubbleBathFoam Mon 09-Sep-13 20:35:04

Thanks for all replies and advice. I thought it a bit strange what the vet said as I was eager to get her done asap. Can she be done in line with having her second vac?

Boy cat was done months after vacs but that's because I had him from 8 weeks and had his vacs done asap and neutered at 6 months. His op was pretty standard - out after a couple of hours. But I've heard it's a lot more involved with a she.

Ahh I feel out of my depth with females. I just want what's best for her and for her to be up-date with everything and all done so she can relax (and me to let her out) and enjoy life.

MrsSnail Mon 09-Sep-13 20:42:00

It is more involved with girls but still straightforward , even in early pregnancy. She needs spaying ASAP, a she cat in heat will try anything and everything to get out and likely injure herself in the process. At her age kittens are not a good idea, shes still only half grown herself

Absolutely. Have her spayed at the same time as her second vac (later this week I think you said?). Yes females are more complicated than males (but then you can't imagine what a piece of piss castrating a male is - it only takes a few minutes and any fool could do it - apart from the anaesthesia of course). Still it probably only takes about 15 to 20 minutes for a female and the cats seem to be perfectly fine afterwards.

You will need to keep her in after the op for at least three days and preferably a week though to make sure her wound doesn't get infected.

Rikalaily Mon 09-Sep-13 20:48:31

One of my girls was spayed while in heat, my vet prefers not to do it while in heat as everything inside is more swollen but she needed to have an umbilical hernia fixed anyway so they did the spay incision underneath instead of through her side and did both at the same time (didn't charge for the hernia fix either). They did say that in heat/pregnant (up to a certain gestation) it was up to me but they recommended getting her done asap anyway as she was bleeding while in heat and it was winter so not a normal heat cycle, was also her first season and she was over 1 year old.

If there's a chance she is pregnant I would get her done asap, it's a lot kinder to her than her having a litter when she's a kitten and too young.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 09-Sep-13 20:52:12

I do mine all underneath as I firmly believe it hurts less as you are not cutting muscle. UK only country in the world that spays cats through the side. Plus if they are in season you have much better access to control any bleeding.

MissStrawberry Mon 09-Sep-13 20:53:31

I also think she is on heat now. My late cat was spayed by 5 months as she was already after a bit of reproducing shock.

BubbleBathFoam Mon 09-Sep-13 20:54:28

I definitely don't want her to have kits. She's a baby herself and tbh I don't want her to have to go through the process - she's too little to understand what's going on with her body.

Thank you so much. I've just phoned the RSPCA about advice too and they've given me a number for a free neutering scheme going on near by. They advised me waiting 48 hours after her next vac and then going to get her done.

We neuter and vaccinate on the same day - and we do thousands a year. So if it's going to be a problem for you to take her in twice I think you could safely ignore that advice.

BubbleBathFoam Mon 09-Sep-13 21:04:11

No problems with taking her in twice if needs be. But I do want her done asap. Poor sod wants out like boy cat. She's wall climbing being stuck in.

bonzo77 Mon 09-Sep-13 21:13:08

OP no cat understands the process. It's nothing to do with age. My cat was done fairly young, about 5 months IIRC as she miraculously discovered and then broke through the cat flap. My vet said to get her done as soon as she shows any interest in leaving the house. Oh, and she had the incision underneath not on the side. We use Medivet. I know they get bad press but they've always been good with us.

BubbleBathFoam Mon 09-Sep-13 21:24:52

Thanks all. Really starting to question the vets I'm with. She cat will be done asap. She's howling here like anything. Just sitting here and howling at me.

I can't wait to be able to let her out with my boy.

wannaBe Mon 09-Sep-13 21:34:14

get her spayed asap and ask not to be told if she was pregnant if that upsets you.

It's not about her being too young to understand what's going on - animals really don't think like that, but you don't want kittens - there are enough unwanted cats out there already - so having her spayed is the best option all round.

Mine were RSPCA rescues and were spayed at six months.

BubbleBathFoam Mon 09-Sep-13 22:02:56

Totally agree with all who say about getting her spayed. That's why I thought I'd ask about it on here because it's really been bugging me. I just want her done. I don't want a near bloody shock every time I open the door to let boy cat out and she's aiming to get out. (she even trapped her head half in the door in eagerness to get out!

To top it off, I've just had a 'disagreement' with a friend who's cat is pregnant yet again. Barely out of kittenhood and on it's second litter. I find it totally irresponsible of her when there's so many unwanted kittens and cats needing homes already and she just keeps adding to the mix.

I'm a firm believer that if you take on an animal then you do what's best and look after it as best you can.

Also given the choice I'd take on an oldie but boy cat was born to a stay in an alley and someone took his mum in until she gave birth and wanted to find the kits a home and now she-cat needed a home too.

I certainly don't want to be responsible for adding to the already escalating numbers looking for homes.

Good for you. Heavens I certainly wouldn't continue to be friends with someone who continued to let their cat get pregnant. Can you perhaps offer to get a voucher for her too and even take her cat along to the vet for her? Or is she selling the kittens - so being irresponsible and greedy as opposed to irresponsible and thoughtless?

BubbleBathFoam Mon 09-Sep-13 22:17:06

She's giving them away. She has 2 cats - both female and both were pregnant around the same time last time. Now it's just the one again, unless the second comes in the next few weeks the same.

There's a PDSA by her that will do it for those on benefits (which she is) and I've offered to drive her there. I've also just emailed her the number of the place I'm planning on ringing tomorrow.

PDSA don't normally do neutering. Well they don't round here. That's interesting. Please keep on at her and, if all else fails, see if you can temporarily kidnap the cat ...

BubbleBathFoam Mon 09-Sep-13 22:30:29

I don't think they do it's entirely for free I think it's a donation thing. But surely a small dent in the pocket is better than stray unwanted cats. If your going to be a pet owner at least be a responsible one.

Yes the PDSA is free, but certainly in London they don't do neutering, only vet treatment for illness etc. But, like you say, you can get RSPCA vouchers to take to normal vets so no, there is absolutely no excuse.

Unfortunately though a lot of owners are thoroughly irresponsible, which is why the situation is as bad as it is.

thesixteenthtry Tue 10-Sep-13 21:12:25

Yes get her spayed ASAP but also I should think she's howling to get out as she was used to that before you got her, and she's eating so much because she's growing fast. I feed kittens all they want then they cut right back once they're grown up.

BubbleBathFoam Thu 12-Sep-13 14:07:05

Little update: She-cat had her second vacs today and is booked in to be spayed a week today. I've also offered to take in my neighbour's female if she can get hers booked in the same time (as she doesn't drive and plus would have no excuse otherwise).

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