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Dr L Simmon
Dr L Simmon, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3302
Experience:  Veterinarian MVB MRCVS
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My 6months old kitten went to have operation on Friday,

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My 6months old kitten went to have operation on Friday, recovering well. My 5year old male Bengal has been hissing and growling at kitten like he can't recognise her. We are trying swapping scent again with towels/blanket....has he forgotten her? What's happening? They were so close before!!

Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet.

I'm so sorry to hear you're having this issue with Yuzu and appreciate it must be a big worry.

The most likely reason is that the kitten smelt different when she arrived back. This will be because of the smell of the hospital, any other animals that were there etc.

The older cat will also likely pick up on the fact that the kitten is acting a little differently and may be a little stressed.

Even in cats who get along well, this kind of event can set their relationship back a little.

Take a step back and go slowly, as you did when they would have first met.

Give each of them PLENTY of space.

I would also highly recommend a Feliway Friends plugin. You might want to consider some natural calming supplements for Yuzu too.

Hopefully they will be back to how they were in a few short weeks.

Any further questions please just let me know.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Think you helped me when I got the kitten back in July.
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Yesterday was just heart breaking

Oh did I really? Very good!

I can only imagine, especially as the little one must have been feeling out of sorts. If possible, I would have them separate for now, at least until she has fully healed.

Please ignore any phone call requests as the website sends these automatically.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Today seems little better, put kitten in carrier again and let yuzu hiss and growls at her
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Oh you think it is better to be separated for few days?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
File attached (G7PQ13V)

If he is at the stage of hissing and growling, I would take a step back. He is likely still smelling the foreign scents and his actions may stress her out.

Yes, if we can keep them apart, I think this would be best for both. And then perhaps go to the 'meeting behind a door' so they can each walk away if they like.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Kitten is doing so well. Eating drinking have energy back today but trying to keep her calm
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
How to help kitten to get rid of the vet smell?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I am little worried longer leaves them separated it is more likely we have to start from zero

That's really good!

It will just take time, likely a few days or so.

I would ensure her bedding/blankets etc are ones that did not go to the vet with her.

Anything that did go to the vet e.g. carrier/blanket/toy should be washed well and a familiar item (a blanket from the house) put in the carrier.

Don't be tempted to wash or spray her with anything as this could delay healing.

I completely understand your concern but we would be undoing all of the good work if we try and force things now. It is much better to have no interaction than negative interaction.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
But tell me the truth, he can't have forgotten about her....they were so cute together and we(cat parents) worked so hard to make them get on well

It's not that he doesn't know her it's that he is likely intimidated/stressed by the new scent. Once she smells and acts as she did before he will be much more accepting of her.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
this happens quite often?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Is it common?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Ok think I will wash all the bedding etc....carrier too. How about yuzu's blanket?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Check them out they are so cute together

Yes, it is something many clients will tell us about after bringing their cats home. It can happen at any age.

Unless Yuzu's blanket was at the clinic, I wouldn't wash it.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
At least it is not just Yuzu
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
File attached (S3TZ6V6)
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
once kitten is healed in a week or so, then shall I try swapping scents?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
carrier sniffing?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
By then surely the vet smell has gone...and back to usual scent?that yuzu rembers?

Oh my gosh, utterly adorable! And they really do looks so calm and content together.

Yes exactly, I think scent swapping at that stage, as well as sniffing of carriers/beds etc would be the best place to start seen as he has been growling at her in the carrier.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Please advise me the proper way of scent swapping
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I know they are super adorable together

A simple way of doing this is to allow them into the room that the other has been in for the preceding week. This room can have their bed/toys etc in it so they will get a good smell of each other and should realise 'Hey, I know that other cat!'. I would then move on to the 'meeting through a solid partition' such as a door, assuming they tolerate that well. If that goes well, we'd let them sniff through a mesh opening such as a carrier. It's all about taking it slowly and taking a step back if there is any negative behaviour.

I reckon they will do just fine!

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Ok and probably me not panicking and worrying would help too right��
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
let me wash everything kitten was using in vet and maybe last few days kitten was using?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
patience is the key

Precisely!

It is easy to say not to worry, but a little harder to do ;) I do understand!

You are doing all of the right things and try not to worry too much at this very early stage.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
How soon can she take off the e collar?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
She hates it well understandably

Absolutely and this is probably another reason Yuzu is fearful around her.

It MUST stay on until the wound is healed. Your vet will confirm when this is, but it is usually about 7 days post op or so.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Also most of your clients who has the same problem....do their cats all get sorted and happy and friends again?

They generally get right back to where they had been, yes.

Sometimes, clients whose cats are not getting on at all will spay or neuter one of them in the hopes this will 'solve' the problem. As oyu can imagine, this rarely works.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
in your professional opinion would mine gonna be friends again?

I can't guarantee this but, as I say, we usually find that in a matter of weeks, the cats are interacting how they were before the procedure.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
my priority is kitten's recovery....that's my priority.But I will make yuzu comfortable as much as possible by washing everything from vets and start swapping scents
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Just have to take it slowly....
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I have no children so cats are my babies

Sounds like the perfect plan.

I totally understand, they are simply part of the family :D

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Thank you for your advice I will take a step back

Not at all, really happy to help.

Have a lovely evening.

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