youngest cat doesn't like new kittens
About three weeks ago the mother cat with five kittens that I found awhile back decided she no longer wanted her kittens. It was very abrupt. We moved them to a different bedroom and literally ten minutes before she was nursing them and after the move she acted like she'd never seen them before and started attacking them. Growling and swatting anytime one of them came near her. The poor things were very confused. I took her and put her in a different room and tried to bring her back after she calmed down but she acted the same way. So basically the kittens were weaned in five minutes.
I have lost track of how old they are but they are probably around 10-12 weeks I am guessing. Maybe a little older. They all weigh less than four pounds.
Anyway, for now they are thriving (didn't miss their mother) and have tons of energy. I am still keeping them in a bedroom but have started letting them out to explore the rest of the house. We have about 2500 sq feet (that includes the finished basement my cats have access to). I have four inside-only cats. The most recent I found as an abandoned kitten last year. She had some health problems that seem to have cleared up but she was very spoiled as a kitten because of this. she is very aggressive, very vocal but extremely sweet. She loves my other 3 cats and when she was a kitten she was not afraid of anything (two of the three hated her at first) but now they are all buddies and play.
Now there have been some things that have upset her the last month or so (she is about a year old) We went on vacation and had our neighbor feed our cats twice a day so she did not have attention very often that week (we were going to take her with us but when we put her in the cage she complained very loudly for about twenty minutes and was very unhappy so we left her home (it was a 12 hr drive).
and of course she is upset by the five little kittens running around HER house playing with HER toys. My other three cats have taken the five newbies (I am fostering them) in stride. Even my timid female (who was terrified of my latest addition last year) is interested in the kittens and rarely growls at them. She likes to watch them play. If one gets too close to her she will growl a bit and they leave her alone but she doesn't even run.
My male tries to stay out of their way and likes to sniff the newbies but he isn't afraid of them or aggressive. My oldest female could care less. She looks annoyed but doesn't bother them.
However, my youngest female (Hillary)who is almost a kitten herself except that she's about 12 lbs HATES these kittens. I don't know if she is afraid of them or what. She constantly growls at them and hisses and swats. She will try to "herd" them back into the bedroom by chasing them and hissing and growling. She likes to watch them play and almost looks like she would like to join in but then suddenly she will get irritated by something one of the kittens does and she will charge the kitten and scream. It is a horrible noise. Like a yowl. most of the kittens give her a wide berth but two of the females seem to like her or want to engage her in play and sometimes will run up to her which infuriates her and she will not run but will growl and hiss and swat them and normally they turn away.
none of the kittens are aggressive and none have swatted back at her. She likes to corner them and sometimes I am afraid she might hurt one so we always supervise them. She walks around very unhappy (tail down, ears back) "grumbling" and if you touch her when she's in "watch mode" she will growl at us as well. She is a very unhappy kitty when the kittens are around. We try to give her a lot of attention so she doesn't feel left out. After I put the kittens back in the bedroom I always play with her and she immediately wants to play and seems fine after that but then when the kittens are let out later the whole ordeal begins.
I am trying to find homes for all five kittens but am willing to keep two (the two females that seem to not get the hint that Hillary wants to be left alone) if I can't find good homes for them.
I know she is used to being the baby and actually she is acting like a pouting child. I don't understand her distain and aggression toward the new kittens. I can't figure out if she is threatened by them or if she doesn't know what to make of them. I'm very suprised at my other three cats' behavior (how mellow they are) because when I first introduced Hillary last year that was not the case at all.
Why is my youngest cat so grouchy toward the little ones and why does she stalk them and why is so so aggressive toward them? What can I do to make her feel better about the situation?