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Cat has turned vicious towards us after surgery

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Kirsten91, Oct 14, 2020.


  1. Kirsten91

    Kirsten91 PetForums Newbie

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    This may be a long post so I do apologise but I need to try include all info to get as much advice as I can.
    My partner got my cat Vince spayed on the 7th October ( called Vince as I always thought he was a boy. Turns out he’s a girl ‍♀️)
    After the surgery , he was fine. A little woozy as expected & not as energetic as he normally is but this is what we expected. I took some time off work as I had a stomach bug & Vince never left my side , purring up into my stomach etc.
    I should also mention I’m currently 22 weeks pregnant but this has not seemed to have bothered him at all , he purrs on the stomach when my baby kicks & has generally not been interested in any of the new stuff we’ve bought in

    moving on , on Sunday just gone there was a noise outside which startled Vince. Turns out it was a woman shouting at her child , I told my partner dale to shut the windows as Vince had started climbing along the back of the sofa towards the window very wide eyed. Dale shut the window & proceeded to walk back round the couch towards the kitchen, Vince jumped down & viciously clamped into dales ankle , dale screamed & shook his leg to get Vince off. Vince flew off his leg & hit the door frame with his body , jumped straight back up & attacked dales other leg. Dale ran around the house & ended up locking himself in our bathroom just off the kitchen. I had got off the sofa by now , in my pregnant state , & as I approached the dining room , Vince turned around & hissed at me. So I stepped back but he still charged at me causing me to then lock myself in the sitting room
    So now a 2.5 year old cat has 2 adults trapped
    We tried for hours to calm him enough to let us out but he was not co-operating. As it was Sunday a lot of vets were closed , we managed to get through to some vets but they were pretty much useless telling us to call 111
    Long story short we managed to get Vince in the kitchen with his food etc , locked the door & we had the rest of the house.
    Monday morning , dale rang the vets who preformed the op who said they didn’t have any vets available to look at him & suggested we rang another vets under the same name so we did. They said it was more than likely pain related cos of the drugs wearing off so told us to get him to the vets in a carrier & they’d look at him.
    After 4 hours of been attacked more , we ended up having to ask 2 of my friends who work as security guards to come help us. As soon as they came in Vince was good as gold , & practically walked into the carrier
    So we went to the vets who gave him a strong 24 hour painkiller which was suppose to make him less awake. Told us to isolate him with his food , litter tray , blanket & some toys etc for a couple of days
    We did that as soon as we got in , he’s in our spare bedroom just off our bedroom. Within 2 hours , he was hissing at the door at the sound of our voices so we toned it down a little but still heard hissing & growling all night long.
    We spoke to the vets yesterday , saying the injection hadn’t done much so we were told to come get powder medication for his food. This ended up costing us a fortune for 2 small tablets that we were told were free , as they were part of treatment , but that’s a separate issue.
    I’d also come across feliway so we bought some of that ( classic brand ) & headed home. Vince allowed dale into the room without attacking him to plug in the diffuser but was still incredibly vocal towards him in a negative way.
    We left him alone for hours until it came time for bed , I spoke & Vince sounded like a baby crying. Given my extreme hormonal state I cried too which made dale cry as he’s feeling guilty about making him have the surgery.

    I apologise for such a long post but we’re getting desperate for advice now. I’m absolutely terrified of my cat , he’s never ever gone for me in 2 years I’ve had him. He’s normally quite a anxious cat who doesn’t like people coming into his home.
    I also can’t stand , the fact we’ve had to lock him in a room on his own. Ive also considered the fact I may have to get rid of him , which would absolutely break my heart

    has anyone had anything no similar happen to their cats ? Or does anyone have any advice please

    thanks :)
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @Kirsten91 and welcome :)

    I am sorry you are having problems with your cat, who sounds a very anxious cat indeed.

    As you have discovered the cat is a female, not a male I will refer to her as "she" from now on, as it seems respectful to acknowledge her correct gender.

    As the cat is a 2.5 yr old female she will have been sexually mature for at least 2 years and must have come into call ("heat") many times. I assume she is an indoor only cat or she would have become pregnant long since. Please tell your partner he may well have saved your cat's life by insisting she got spayed. An un-spayed cat left to come into call repeatedly, without being mated, is at serious risk of getting a nasty womb infection called Pyometra.

    Your girl has only recently been spayed and so her hormone levels will still be high. They may take a month or more to fall so that she is calmer. She has also been through the stress of recent major surgery.and possible post-operative pain.

    The incident that started off the trouble sounds like it was due to redirected aggression. Your cat heard a sound outside which she possibly mistook as a cat in distress. It startled her and in her heightened state of awareness (due to post-op pain), she over-reacted.

    The cat's reasoning is as follows:-- she hears what she thinks is the sound of a cat in distress, she can't get out to check on the source of the cries, so she assumes the worst. Dale closes the window and the crying noise stops, so cat associates the ceasing of the noise with Dale and thinks he has silenced the cat. Dale moves towards her on his way out of the room and the cat fears he will hurt her, so she attacks him to defend herself.

    Dale screams, shakes the cat off his leg so violently she is flung against the door, which frightens and hurts her, so she attacks Dale again. Please understand that at this point the cat was terrified for her safety and her life. Ok she needn't have been but she did not know that,

    Shutting her in a room on her own made her even more frightened, which is why she hissed and growled when she could hear you. I understand why you felt the need to shut her in a room on her own though.

    The thing to do is to help the scared girl calm down and stop her feeling so anxious. I advise you to buy a calming supplement called Zylkene which is very good at calming anxious cats. It may take up to a week to have any noticeable affect. Give the course for at least a month, longer if necessary, is OK.

    One capsule a day - open the capsule and add the powder to her food.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vetoquinol-Zylkene-Capsules-Small-20-Count/dp/B00K06MAK2/ref=sr_1_4?crid=21CW9AO0XMOVB&dchild=1&keywords=zylkene+75mg+for+cats&qid=1602682773&sprefix=zylkene+for+cats+,prime-day,145&sr=8-4

    Or you can use Yucalm instead (but not both supplements at the same time). I prefer Zylkene for my cats but some people find Yucalm is more effective.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lintbells-YuCALM-Calming-Capsules-Cats/dp/B07D4R4W2T/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=21CW9AO0XMOVB&dchild=1&keywords=zylkene+75mg+for+cats&qid=1602683042&sprefix=zylkene+for+cats+,prime-day,145&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyVjFMM01RUEFXN0gmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAyMjU0NDgzN0IwQ0tBRDdVUzFKJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA4ODE0MzMyNEhCWk1WRk4xTjFFJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

    (I think Pets at Home may sell these products too, though maybe only online)

    For the moment I would not approach your girl or touch her. If she comes to you of her own accord for strokes that is fine.

    Your cat is feeling extra protective of you as you are pregnant (she will know this because of the change in your body scent). I suggest that for the time being Dale ignores her, does not interact with her.

    Once her hormone levels fall she should be calmer and meanwhile the Zylkene should help.

    EDIT: I wonder whether the reason why you decided to get her neutered after so long, was because her behaviour had been a bit "edgy" prior to this incident? Whether perhaps she had started to become very protective of you earlier in your pregnancy? if so it would not be unusual for a cat to react that way when their owner is pregnant.
     
    #2 chillminx, Oct 14, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
    Kirsten91 likes this.
  3. Kirsten91

    Kirsten91 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much for the reply. I appreciate it

    at the moment , we’re getting the run around from the vets , the vet who preformed the surgery has left the company all of a sudden so we’re having to go through head office. We feel like we’re getting fobbed off so it’s nice to actually have some advice !
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    If you think the spay operation and the post operative care was not done properly and professionally and has caused your girl harm, you can complain to the RCVS. They have a complaints form on their website.

    But before you do that, you should write a formal letter of complaint to the owner of the vet practice you took your girl to for spaying. RCVS will ask if you have made a formal complaint to the owner of the practice. You need to state exactly what the vet did wrong, in detail.
     
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