Aggression after Spaying Kitten?

Now that Elizabeth is 6 months I took her to get spayed.

I dropped her off at 7:30am and was able to pick her up at 11:30. It seems a bit early but the Vet said they prefer to have them recovering in their own home. The Vet said the spaying procedure was normal and no complications. I was happy to hear this as I previously posted Cornelius had Cryptorchidism which made his neutering a bit more complicated.

aggression after spaying

Friday – First couple hours home: 

Signs of the anesthetic were evident, she was off balanced and stumbling around. But she had a lot of energy and was very curious and seemed happy to be home. She immediately recognized Cornelius, and was neither excited nor bothered by him. She was running and playing most of the day.

Friday Night:

They slept peacefully on the same bed as normal.

Saturday – next day:

Because they were getting along so well I left them along to run errands for a couple hours. When I came back they seemed normal so I fed them. Elizabeth started growling at Cornelius over the food.

Since then Elizabeth is fearful, growling, hizzing and all Halloween cat when Cornelius comes near her. Cornelius is very calm and not reacting but very curious and confused why he can’t get close to her.

Its quite scary and stressful. Last night I separated them so Elizabeth could get a nights sleep without being stressed.

So what’s going on?

I’m guessing the first day she was still affected by the anesthesia which is why she was playing and so active and didn’t feel the pain. By the second day it has worn off and she now feels the pain/discomfort. I’m fearful that it is a case of re-directed aggression. She is confused why she has this pain and is taking it out on Cornelius.

I’ve checked her incision and it seems to be normal. I never see her licking or touching it. She is eating as normal. I will call the Vet on Monday for their opinion. So today is Sunday and I have been observing them very closely. I separate them for a couple hours on and off to let her sleep and relax without being stressed. There are times when she isn’t bothered by him but others where she is so stressed and fixated on where he is.

I am so grateful that Cornelius is not responding back with aggression. This is just really stressful to deal with because their relationship was so peaceful before. I just want to get this under control and not let it escalate.

Have you ever experienced aggression after spaying or neutering ?????

Please, I would love to hear your experience, advice, thoughts in the comments.

 

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14 Comments

  1. The Swiss Cats
    September 27, 2015 / 12:54 pm

    I experienced this once, but on the contrary the cat who stayed at home was aggressive with the cat who had been spayed. I think Elizabeth is still stressed by her experience at the vet and by the little pain she’s feeling, and just needs time. I think calling the vet and observing them closely, and trying to redirect Elizabeth on a toy or a treat when you see her fixed on Cornelius is the best thing to do now. Claire

    • September 27, 2015 / 1:04 pm

      Thank you! It’s just difficult to see :-(

  2. September 27, 2015 / 1:33 pm

    I can imagine how stressful this must be for you too. I agree with Claire. When I’ve seen aggression like this, it’s usually the cat that stayed home. But it could be Elizabeth is still recovering from her spay experience. Continue to keep an eye on them and try to make any interactions they have together positive. Hopefully, things will get back to what they once were. ~Island Cat Mom

  3. September 27, 2015 / 5:57 pm

    I agree with your assessment that it might be pain / discomfort causing some redirected aggression. She might be fearful that he is going to try to start something and cause her problems.

    I also agree with the other commenters that it very well could be that she doesn’t recognize him. Cats are HIGHLY scent orientated, so when one cat leaves the house and goes to the vet, the scents that come home with them can frighten the other cats making them question if this is their friend or not. Since she was spayed her scent is different and it could be clouding her judgement as to if Cornelius is actually Cornelius.

    Separating them for a few days could be a good thing. Doing some scent swapping might also help. Take one of his favorite things to sleep on and give it to her in her isolation. Use a lightly damp cloth and rub it over both of them several times, once on her, once on him, back on her, back on him, etc.

    and fyi, I think going home at 11 am is incredibly early for a spay. Even if she was done when she first walked through the door (and I doubt she was) that still isn’t much time for her body to process through enough of the sedation to get her back on her feet. There are complications such as body temp regulations and nausea that I very much would want my kitty at the vet if they were going to have them. I am sorry you are dealing with this, and I hope by the time you read this you don’t even need it.

    • September 27, 2015 / 6:37 pm

      Thank you for your reply. I also thought it was early. Drop-off to pick-up was a total of 4 hours. I can understand the argument of wanting them to recover at home. But when I brought her home she couldn’t walk correctly. The shocking thing was she had so much energy and was playing immediately. Looking back I think I should have left her in her carrier for maybe an hour before letting her out. Or a couple more hours at the vet could have done her good. Maybe part of the reason she was so sore the next day was because she was playing and so active the first day.

      It’s hard to tell. Her fearfulness and aggression is still there, but I think it is decreasing rather than increasing. Which is a good sign.

  4. September 27, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Back in the 1980s, we let our cat have one litter of kittens (I was 9 at the time). We kept one, and had mother and son fixed at the same time. After that, they would occasionally fight (mother seemed to be usually the agressor / escalator) and have to be separated to separate rooms.

  5. September 27, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Yep, every time. It’s either one or the udder dat be aggressive. Usually da kitty dat stays home be da aggwessor cuz they don’t recognize da smells and scent of their housemate. But it duz happen dat da kitty who had da purrcedure is da aggwessor. Sort of da same fing. and yes, da pain. We find it amazin’ dat humans who have this purrcedure awe given a kupple weeks of pain meds but kitties awe given nuffin’ udder than da blocker afur wakin’. It is also pawssible dat those few hours of errands left da kitties wiff sum kind of accidental ouchie. Purrhaps they were gwoomin’ each udder and hims licked hers ouchie. Never da less, he fure sure smells different to her now and she smells different to her selff. Theri urine and hormone levels are lingerin’ fur a few days after surgery and be very stwong. Once they dissipate the smell will be minimal but still differen. We wuld suggest a re-intro purrcedure. Dat usually works fur us. Scent boff kitties wiff each udders scent but more purrtantly, yous scent shuld saturate them boff. Whether dat means them walkin’ fwu a mist of yous purrfume or bein’ wiped down wiff yous shirt or bottom bed sheet. Be sure to renew yous scent on da item after applyin’ to each kitty. And tweats togevver awe always a good ice bweaker. Good luck. Sendin’ purrayers.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

  6. ilsedevriese
    September 28, 2015 / 11:09 am

    Interesting – it usually is the other cat who has trouble accepting the spayed cat back due to the fact that they smell and behave wrong (due to the anaesthesia). That is why it is usually recommended to give them a safe room until they’ve had the chance to wash and get the anaesthesia out of their system, before re-introducing them again to other cats. The aggression due to the confusion can sometimes lead to a permanent break in their bond, otherwise.

    If you do suspect your kitty is in pain however, and thats why she is being grumpy, I’d definitely call my vet about it.

    If it has been several days by now, and your kitty is back to her normal disposition, you may want to re-introduce them by using treats and food – anything to create a positive association with each other, in order to repair the damage that was done to their bond.

    • October 1, 2015 / 7:25 pm

      That permanent break in their bond was it I was most afraid of. To avoid that I was keeping a close eye on them to make sure now fighting occured. I’m happy to report we are on the up and up.

  7. September 30, 2015 / 10:15 am

    Awww, I hope she is alright now and back to her normal self? Hell, even after a “normal” vets visit, my cats sometimes get aggressive for about 2 days after. I think it is the vet smell that freaks them out. But usually, this passes within a few days. I hope it will pass for you too!

  8. October 8, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    Elizabeth is so adorable!!!

  9. November 27, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    My cat had been very agressive after being spayed 3 months ago, and she has been attacking her kittens randomly. She even get upset with us sometimes if we touch her stomach and bites us and she do that to after a while of being petted. I just don’t know what to do with her it’s so unlike her

    • November 28, 2016 / 10:45 am

      I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I would have her examined by a vet as soon as possible to rule out she is not in any physical pain. It is important to know this first. Please keep me updated.

  10. Carolyn Morris
    May 2, 2017 / 11:14 pm

    Hi – I am so pleased I just found this conversation. I’m just home with our newly-neutered, 6 month old Balinese, Fudge.

    To the contrary here, his balance seems perfect and I don’t ever remember him being so alert in the day. He usually makes the rounds to his favourite places in the house and sleeps the day away. He also feels really aggressive to me (whom he loves). I’ll have to wrestle the collar on him before I go out for a couple of hours tonight….

    Does all this sound normal to anyone with a male kitten? Any and all insights so appreciated!

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