Advice on Cat Introductions - Feeling a Bit Lost

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Furmama22

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"No real updates!" - OK, that is actually good.

" We've just continued to do French door visual access times, and they've gone about the same - she sometimes starts off wanting to go by the door and watch/growl and he is fine." - Perfect

" They had a couple of batting incidents but that was when he was sticking his paw under the door trying to get out." - OK, expected. Depending on how it goes it could be pretty neutral. And if they rebound to "normal" quickly after it is not an issue.

" Ultimately both went to take a nap in their respective spots (obviously him in the French door room) and it's been good." - Great

" She's grown in confidence going past the door - she sometimes just delivers a hiss and then continues on her way." - I LOVE this!!! This is a big deal and is very helpful. She is responding to his trust and confidence.

"Today we did a brief treats session with him in "his" bedroom and her just coming out of her room." - Wow, this is one of the most "challenging" setups. As he wants out typically.

"He did rush the gate a bit then - not a charge, but quick interest" - Ok, pretty good.

" - and she did two strong hisses and ran away. She didn't run far - just a couple of feet - enough to feel away from him." - OK, pretty good. l like that it was only a few feet. Really great.

"He didn't do his snorting - just a bit of staring - and I called his name a couple of times and threw a treat and then he went for it." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: Able to big distracted which is awesome.

"Then, with a bit of coaxing, she came back to the gate area and had her treats too (growling all the while)." - AWESOME!!! :yess::hyper::clap2: This is a big deal. And if he was good when she came back it builds that trust.

"So it's like you said - she's building trust, but still reacts when he does something she doesn't like." - Totally fine, it is a process and she is making it.

"She's growing in confidence too re: sleeping outside in the main area. She has a new spot she likes right by the window - and Hawthorne sleeps in it too, so that's good." - Perfect!!!

"That's all for now!" - OK, well, I think this is actually more progress. I am feeling really good with this.

"We'll try next week with just the gate and see how that goes. " - Sounds good. Do it when you feel confident. Just let me know before you do it.

"The other option would be to put a gate on the French door room and continue to do the same thing but just with the gate instead of the door - Hawthorne in the room, her out here. Just a thought. :) " - Great option if it is not too much of a hassle.

"Hope you are having a good weekend! " - With updates like this it makes it great!!! :)

Keep up the great work!!!! You are getting close!!! :)
Yay!!

A few quick updates although basically everything continues the same. I've been too afraid to try gate visits (I know I need to be brave!! :) ) so we've continued on using the French door - always the same combo: Hawthorne in the room; Florie out here. Last night we tried me in the room with Hawthorne and Florie outside with my partner again.

I would say she has grown in confidence - she continues to growl at the drop of a hat but now will sit RIGHT in the door window and stare in, even if Hawthorne is there. And Hawthorne, to his credit, has done amazingly well - he still looks away or will come for treats, even with her right there in the doorway. They still do the batting/pawing under the door but that's largely inspired by Hawthorne trying to get out of the room. He did a little bit of his snorting thing but it was minor.

I have another video to share from last night. The link is here: Hawthorne & Florie - French Door.mp4

They both lie down on opposite sides of the door in the video - that's totally new. They've never done that before. They're doing it again now (the next morning) - both lying by the door. She is actively growling. Ok, now she has left to go lie in front of the treat cupboard. :)

After the video ended last night (a few minutes later, that is), he did run up to the door once but I think it was because she went past quickly and the movement caught his eye - when he's in the room he's on alert for any sign someone might come to let him out. I don't think it was her, per se.

She is getting a bit better just leaving him alone instead of sitting and staring; that said, she still really wants to do that, especially last night with me in the room.

Hawthorne also slept under the bed last night for a little bit, which worried me, but then he came and slept on the bed too, so I'm trying not to read too much into those little things. I still don't think he has really high confidence but he's doing better.

We are doing another French door access time this morning. She's been out for about two hours and Hawthorne is in the room with his litter box/water/etc. I'd say it's about the same. She does want to sit there and growl but she is also distractable (playing, eating treats). She came and took a nap in my lap and on her tree. She's in my lap right now. He's sleeping under the bed, I think.

So that's where we are! :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Yay!!

A few quick updates although basically everything continues the same. I've been too afraid to try gate visits (I know I need to be brave!! :) ) so we've continued on using the French door - always the same combo: Hawthorne in the room; Florie out here. Last night we tried me in the room with Hawthorne and Florie outside with my partner again.

I would say she has grown in confidence - she continues to growl at the drop of a hat but now will sit RIGHT in the door window and stare in, even if Hawthorne is there. And Hawthorne, to his credit, has done amazingly well - he still looks away or will come for treats, even with her right there in the doorway. They still do the batting/pawing under the door but that's largely inspired by Hawthorne trying to get out of the room. He did a little bit of his snorting thing but it was minor.

I have another video to share from last night. The link is here: Hawthorne & Florie - French Door.mp4

They both lie down on opposite sides of the door in the video - that's totally new. They've never done that before. They're doing it again now (the next morning) - both lying by the door. She is actively growling. Ok, now she has left to go lie in front of the treat cupboard. :)

After the video ended last night (a few minutes later, that is), he did run up to the door once but I think it was because she went past quickly and the movement caught his eye - when he's in the room he's on alert for any sign someone might come to let him out. I don't think it was her, per se.

She is getting a bit better just leaving him alone instead of sitting and staring; that said, she still really wants to do that, especially last night with me in the room.

Hawthorne also slept under the bed last night for a little bit, which worried me, but then he came and slept on the bed too, so I'm trying not to read too much into those little things. I still don't think he has really high confidence but he's doing better.

We are doing another French door access time this morning. She's been out for about two hours and Hawthorne is in the room with his litter box/water/etc. I'd say it's about the same. She does want to sit there and growl but she is also distractable (playing, eating treats). She came and took a nap in my lap and on her tree. She's in my lap right now. He's sleeping under the bed, I think.

So that's where we are! :)
"A few quick updates although basically everything continues the same." - Great

" I've been too afraid to try gate visits (I know I need to be brave!! :) ) " - Well, it is ok. Because even the status quo builds confidence. It is basically like dating, you might go on more dates when you now it is right but those just reinforce the trust, etc.

"so we've continued on using the French door - always the same combo: Hawthorne in the room; Florie out here." - Ok

" Last night we tried me in the room with Hawthorne and Florie outside with my partner again." - Cool

"I would say she has grown in confidence" - Great!! This is the key now.

" - she continues to growl at the drop of a hat" That is fine. All depends on if it is respected.

" but now will sit RIGHT in the door window and stare in, even if Hawthorne is there." - Fantastic and if Hawthorne is behaving it builds that trust and then confidence.

"And Hawthorne, to his credit, has done amazingly well - he still looks away or will come for treats, even with her right there in the doorway." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: Agreed!! I am so proud of him!!! He is accepting and trusting her. And THAT is a big reason why she is coming around now. :)

" They still do the batting/pawing under the door but that's largely inspired by Hawthorne trying to get out of the room. He did a little bit of his snorting thing but it was minor." - That is fine. Might be a touch of play. And how they act after tells us a lot. If a fast rebound it is all fine.

"I have another video to share from last night. The link is here: Hawthorne & Florie - French Door.mp4 " -Let's take a look.

I love the body language to begin with. He is getting his scent on by rubbing. Hawthorne is totally fine with her, not worried about her at all. WONDERFUL!! I love how he just walks away, back turned to her. I am seeing trust. She does want in the room, another great sign. Oooooooo is he adorable!! He looks at the door and just goes back to his business. Love it. Wow, he goes down to the door, great body language, she doesn't move. Fantastic!!! SO far I am LOVING this!! Awwwww, he is wanting to play with her. He is on her side showing her he is submissive. This is amazing. Rollie pollie by the door. Exposing the belly (even with a door) is a GREAT sign of trust as that is their most vulnerable. He is showing her he means no harm. Awwwww, she is on her side!!! After sniffing his foot. This is AMAZING she responded!!! Growling is not an issue. Hawthorne is telling us it is not an issue. I am blown away right now. Let's see if it continues. Tails are fine, the body language looks great. She gets up and looks in and this could go bad. Let's see. Awwww, she looks away, relaxes a bit. Look at how he moves quickly and she doesn't respond. It could have blown up there and it didn't!!! FANTASTIC!!! Hahaha, he learned not to wait. ;) And the video ends. Positive association, positive encounter. This is off the charts awesome!!! Yep, they are going to be just fine.

"They both lie down on opposite sides of the door in the video - that's totally new. They've never done that before. " - Ths was amazing and HUGELY POSITIVE.

"They're doing it again now (the next morning) - both lying by the door. She is actively growling. Ok, now she has left to go lie in front of the treat cupboard. :) "- Perfect. Yep, we are reaching success.:)

"After the video ended last night (a few minutes later, that is), he did run up to the door once but I think it was because she went past quickly and the movement caught his eye - when he's in the room he's on alert for any sign someone might come to let him out. I don't think it was her, per se." - Yes, I would not worry about it. He accepts her.

"She is getting a bit better just leaving him alone instead of sitting and staring; that said, she still really wants to do that, especially last night with me in the room." - It is fine for he to sit and stare. She is seeing he doesn't mean to be a threat (and that is why she is comfortable sitting there).

"Hawthorne also slept under the bed last night for a little bit, which worried me, but then he came and slept on the bed too, so I'm trying not to read too much into those little things." - Judging by the video, not an issue at all.

" I still don't think he has really high confidence but he's doing better." - Ohhhhhh, I think he looks very confident. I can't believe the progress he has made!!! He is doing amazingly well. He likes her.

"We are doing another French door access time this morning. She's been out for about two hours and Hawthorne is in the room with his litter box/water/etc. I'd say it's about the same." - Great. The same can't really be improved to be honest. It is nearly perfect (the video).

" She does want to sit there and growl " - That is fine as long as everyone does as welll as in the video and there are no lngering issues.

"but she is also distractable (playing, eating treats)." - Great

" She came and took a nap in my lap and on her tree. She's in my lap right now. He's sleeping under the bed, I think." - Perfect

"So that's where we are! :) " - :) Pretty good place to be!!! When you are ready you can do the gate. There might be a few fireworks but they will be able to get over them. She might have a bit of an issue but if he shows her he doesn't mean harm they will get over it.

I am absolutely blown away. I think we are on the cusp of something very special!!! :)

GREAT JOB!!!
 
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Furmama22

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"A few quick updates although basically everything continues the same." - Great

" I've been too afraid to try gate visits (I know I need to be brave!! :) ) " - Well, it is ok. Because even the status quo builds confidence. It is basically like dating, you might go on more dates when you now it is right but those just reinforce the trust, etc.

"so we've continued on using the French door - always the same combo: Hawthorne in the room; Florie out here." - Ok

" Last night we tried me in the room with Hawthorne and Florie outside with my partner again." - Cool

"I would say she has grown in confidence" - Great!! This is the key now.

" - she continues to growl at the drop of a hat" That is fine. All depends on if it is respected.

" but now will sit RIGHT in the door window and stare in, even if Hawthorne is there." - Fantastic and if Hawthorne is behaving it builds that trust and then confidence.

"And Hawthorne, to his credit, has done amazingly well - he still looks away or will come for treats, even with her right there in the doorway." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: Agreed!! I am so proud of him!!! He is accepting and trusting her. And THAT is a big reason why she is coming around now. :)

" They still do the batting/pawing under the door but that's largely inspired by Hawthorne trying to get out of the room. He did a little bit of his snorting thing but it was minor." - That is fine. Might be a touch of play. And how they act after tells us a lot. If a fast rebound it is all fine.

"I have another video to share from last night. The link is here: Hawthorne & Florie - French Door.mp4 " -Let's take a look.

I love the body language to begin with. He is getting his scent on by rubbing. Hawthorne is totally fine with her, not worried about her at all. WONDERFUL!! I love how he just walks away, back turned to her. I am seeing trust. She does want in the room, another great sign. Oooooooo is he adorable!! He looks at the door and just goes back to his business. Love it. Wow, he goes down to the door, great body language, she doesn't move. Fantastic!!! SO far I am LOVING this!! Awwwww, he is wanting to play with her. He is on her side showing her he is submissive. This is amazing. Rollie pollie by the door. Exposing the belly (even with a door) is a GREAT sign of trust as that is their most vulnerable. He is showing her he means no harm. Awwwww, she is on her side!!! After sniffing his foot. This is AMAZING she responded!!! Growling is not an issue. Hawthorne is telling us it is not an issue. I am blown away right now. Let's see if it continues. Tails are fine, the body language looks great. She gets up and looks in and this could go bad. Let's see. Awwww, she looks away, relaxes a bit. Look at how he moves quickly and she doesn't respond. It could have blown up there and it didn't!!! FANTASTIC!!! Hahaha, he learned not to wait. ;) And the video ends. Positive association, positive encounter. This is off the charts awesome!!! Yep, they are going to be just fine.

"They both lie down on opposite sides of the door in the video - that's totally new. They've never done that before. " - Ths was amazing and HUGELY POSITIVE.

"They're doing it again now (the next morning) - both lying by the door. She is actively growling. Ok, now she has left to go lie in front of the treat cupboard. :) "- Perfect. Yep, we are reaching success.:)

"After the video ended last night (a few minutes later, that is), he did run up to the door once but I think it was because she went past quickly and the movement caught his eye - when he's in the room he's on alert for any sign someone might come to let him out. I don't think it was her, per se." - Yes, I would not worry about it. He accepts her.

"She is getting a bit better just leaving him alone instead of sitting and staring; that said, she still really wants to do that, especially last night with me in the room." - It is fine for he to sit and stare. She is seeing he doesn't mean to be a threat (and that is why she is comfortable sitting there).

"Hawthorne also slept under the bed last night for a little bit, which worried me, but then he came and slept on the bed too, so I'm trying not to read too much into those little things." - Judging by the video, not an issue at all.

" I still don't think he has really high confidence but he's doing better." - Ohhhhhh, I think he looks very confident. I can't believe the progress he has made!!! He is doing amazingly well. He likes her.

"We are doing another French door access time this morning. She's been out for about two hours and Hawthorne is in the room with his litter box/water/etc. I'd say it's about the same." - Great. The same can't really be improved to be honest. It is nearly perfect (the video).

" She does want to sit there and growl " - That is fine as long as everyone does as welll as in the video and there are no lngering issues.

"but she is also distractable (playing, eating treats)." - Great

" She came and took a nap in my lap and on her tree. She's in my lap right now. He's sleeping under the bed, I think." - Perfect

"So that's where we are! :) " - :) Pretty good place to be!!! When you are ready you can do the gate. There might be a few fireworks but they will be able to get over them. She might have a bit of an issue but if he shows her he doesn't mean harm they will get over it.

I am absolutely blown away. I think we are on the cusp of something very special!!! :)

GREAT JOB!!!
Amazing, thanks as always for reviewing and watching my videos (they make me laugh when I re-watch them - for all the silly things I say to the cats) and for your endless positivity! I appreciate it! I finally feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We'll keep going with the French door visits twice a day (at least - sometimes three times) and a few treat sessions (and still a bit of room swapping) and then when I'm feeling brave enough we'll move to the gate. Is the idea there that they can smell each other better?

Florie made it through the door stuff so I think she can handle the gate! As you say, maybe a bit of a dip down at first and then hopefully she'll rise up from there.
 
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Furmama22

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Just wanted to add one more thing too - while the cats are doing really well, I do notice a bit more hesitation around meal times (including supper). Maybe that's just a passing phase. And when Hawthorne comes out of the room he likes to do a tour (smelling the spots where Florie was sleeping) before he can relax. Maybe that's just natural because he's been away from "his" territory.

Maybe those things aren't really much to be concerned about. Just wanted to make sure I'm including all details! :)
 

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Amazing, thanks as always for reviewing and watching my videos (they make me laugh when I re-watch them - for all the silly things I say to the cats) and for your endless positivity! I appreciate it! I finally feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We'll keep going with the French door visits twice a day (at least - sometimes three times) and a few treat sessions (and still a bit of room swapping) and then when I'm feeling brave enough we'll move to the gate. Is the idea there that they can smell each other better?

Florie made it through the door stuff so I think she can handle the gate! As you say, maybe a bit of a dip down at first and then hopefully she'll rise up from there.
"Amazing, thanks as always for reviewing and watching my videos" - Of course. The videos are very helpful because I can see their body language, etc which helps me understand what they are thinking.

" (they make me laugh when I re-watch them" - Me too, they are ADORABLE!!!

" - for all the silly things I say to the cats)" - Oh my, you don't say anything silly.

"and for your endless positivity!" - I only say positive things because all I am seeing is positives. IF I saw a negative I would definitely tell you and we would address it.

" I appreciate it! I finally feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel." - Absolutely. I think we are REALLY close.

"We'll keep going with the French door visits twice a day (at least - sometimes three times) and a few treat sessions (and still a bit of room swapping)" - Perfect.

" and then when I'm feeling brave enough we'll move to the gate." - Great. The cats are ready when you are.

" Is the idea there that they can smell each other better?" - Smell each other, see each other better, feel closer, etc.

"Florie made it through the door stuff so I think she can handle the gate!" - Absolutely. I have no doubt.

" As you say, maybe a bit of a dip down at first and then hopefully she'll rise up from there." - Yes, we'll see. He might reach through, she might retrench. BUT I don't see any aggressiveness from him which will help her. And I don't think he is afraid of her. He might react (which might cause a reaction from her) but it can be overcome. Distraction and reassurance will help ease through any issues. They are doing great so though there may be a step back they are well away from the risk point. They will be intro'd. :)

"Just wanted to add one more thing too - while the cats are doing really well, I do notice a bit more hesitation around meal times (including supper)." - Hmmmmmm. Can you get video of it? I wonder if they are now in the interested in each other phase?

"Maybe that's just a passing phase." - Nothing other than this supports any issues between them.

"And when Hawthorne comes out of the room he likes to do a tour (smelling the spots where Florie was sleeping) before he can relax. Maybe that's just natural because he's been away from "his" territory." - Totally normal and fine. As long as he acts normal after it is all good.

"Maybe those things aren't really much to be concerned about." - I am not bothered by them. I can't see what would cause feeding issues (other than what I mentioned - interest in each other - or they aren't hungry and waiting for treat time). I am not at all worried. IF they had issues it would show up at the sessions, in the videos etc. I would be really obvious.

" Just wanted to make sure I'm including all details! :) " - Absolutely. You are my eyes and ears and I need to know everything. Then if it is nothing we can put it aside.

Keep up the great work!!!! I am ecstatic with where they are at!!! :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Amazing, thanks as always for reviewing and watching my videos" - Of course. The videos are very helpful because I can see their body language, etc which helps me understand what they are thinking.

" (they make me laugh when I re-watch them" - Me too, they are ADORABLE!!!

" - for all the silly things I say to the cats)" - Oh my, you don't say anything silly.

"and for your endless positivity!" - I only say positive things because all I am seeing is positives. IF I saw a negative I would definitely tell you and we would address it.

" I appreciate it! I finally feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel." - Absolutely. I think we are REALLY close.

"We'll keep going with the French door visits twice a day (at least - sometimes three times) and a few treat sessions (and still a bit of room swapping)" - Perfect.

" and then when I'm feeling brave enough we'll move to the gate." - Great. The cats are ready when you are.

" Is the idea there that they can smell each other better?" - Smell each other, see each other better, feel closer, etc.

"Florie made it through the door stuff so I think she can handle the gate!" - Absolutely. I have no doubt.

" As you say, maybe a bit of a dip down at first and then hopefully she'll rise up from there." - Yes, we'll see. He might reach through, she might retrench. BUT I don't see any aggressiveness from him which will help her. And I don't think he is afraid of her. He might react (which might cause a reaction from her) but it can be overcome. Distraction and reassurance will help ease through any issues. They are doing great so though there may be a step back they are well away from the risk point. They will be intro'd. :)

"Just wanted to add one more thing too - while the cats are doing really well, I do notice a bit more hesitation around meal times (including supper)." - Hmmmmmm. Can you get video of it? I wonder if they are now in the interested in each other phase?

"Maybe that's just a passing phase." - Nothing other than this supports any issues between them.

"And when Hawthorne comes out of the room he likes to do a tour (smelling the spots where Florie was sleeping) before he can relax. Maybe that's just natural because he's been away from "his" territory." - Totally normal and fine. As long as he acts normal after it is all good.

"Maybe those things aren't really much to be concerned about." - I am not bothered by them. I can't see what would cause feeding issues (other than what I mentioned - interest in each other - or they aren't hungry and waiting for treat time). I am not at all worried. IF they had issues it would show up at the sessions, in the videos etc. I would be really obvious.

" Just wanted to make sure I'm including all details! :) " - Absolutely. You are my eyes and ears and I need to know everything. Then if it is nothing we can put it aside.

Keep up the great work!!!! I am ecstatic with where they are at!!! :)
Ok thank you again! I think you might be right about the mealtimes and waiting for treats. They both eat treats with RELISH so maybe they've just decided wet food is boring and they'll hold out for treat sessions, which, admittedly, I have been doing liberally so they have something distracting and also pleasant to associate with the other cat.

In all other respects behaviour is generally normal - drinking, sleeping. Hawthorne is a bit anxious but he's always been anxious - easily startled, etc. He has been sleeping UNDER the bed in the French door room (I'd prefer he sleep ON it) but maybe he just doesn't feel like having Florie watching him and growling through the door.

This morning at breakfast she was sleeping on her tree and after a bit of coaxing, came to the floor and then kind of wandered up to the door (instead of her to meal) where Hawthorne was eating. He came to the gate with interest but he wasn't aggressive (maybe a touch of hair on his back) and didn't swat and she pulled back and growled but didn't run. Then he snorted a bit and slowly turned away. So while they aren't exactly bumping noses, even this little interaction was a bit better than normal.

Slow and steady wins the race, haha. :)

Also I will try to video breakfast/mealtime for an alternative look. Sometimes I wonder if Hawthorne doesn't like being in a hallway when he sees her. Anyways, I'll get some video to watch. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Ok thank you again! I think you might be right about the mealtimes and waiting for treats. They both eat treats with RELISH so maybe they've just decided wet food is boring and they'll hold out for treat sessions, which, admittedly, I have been doing liberally so they have something distracting and also pleasant to associate with the other cat.

In all other respects behaviour is generally normal - drinking, sleeping. Hawthorne is a bit anxious but he's always been anxious - easily startled, etc. He has been sleeping UNDER the bed in the French door room (I'd prefer he sleep ON it) but maybe he just doesn't feel like having Florie watching him and growling through the door.

This morning at breakfast she was sleeping on her tree and after a bit of coaxing, came to the floor and then kind of wandered up to the door (instead of her to meal) where Hawthorne was eating. He came to the gate with interest but he wasn't aggressive (maybe a touch of hair on his back) and didn't swat and she pulled back and growled but didn't run. Then he snorted a bit and slowly turned away. So while they aren't exactly bumping noses, even this little interaction was a bit better than normal.

Slow and steady wins the race, haha. :)

Also I will try to video breakfast/mealtime for an alternative look. Sometimes I wonder if Hawthorne doesn't like being in a hallway when he sees her. Anyways, I'll get some video to watch. :)
"Ok thank you again!" - You are very welcome.

"I think you might be right about the mealtimes and waiting for treats. They both eat treats with RELISH so maybe they've just decided wet food is boring and they'll hold out for treat sessions, " - :/ Yes, happens all the time. And cats do tend to get bored with food.

"which, admittedly, I have been doing liberally so they have something distracting and also pleasant to associate with the other cat." - Which is what we want. We can always worry about cutting back after they are intro'd fully.

"In all other respects behaviour is generally normal - drinking, sleeping." - Great, that supports the view it is not an issue.

"Hawthorne is a bit anxious but he's always been anxious - easily startled, etc." - Yes. BUT judging by the recent video he looked great, relaxed, confident.

" He has been sleeping UNDER the bed in the French door room (I'd prefer he sleep ON it) but maybe he just doesn't feel like having Florie watching him and growling through the door." - I am not bothered by it because he would not be so good at the door in the video then be lacking confidence later on. I suspect he just likes it more and has nothing to do with Florie, etc.

"This morning at breakfast she was sleeping on her tree and after a bit of coaxing, came to the floor and then kind of wandered up to the door (instead of her to meal)" - Interesting she went to the door. I think she wanted to see him (in a good way). I think we are getting that "interest in each other" going on.

"where Hawthorne was eating. He came to the gate with interest but he wasn't aggressive (maybe a touch of hair on his back) and didn't swat" - Fantastic. Sounds like what I said about the "interest in each other". A morning greeting.

" and she pulled back and growled but didn't run. " - Yes, that is expected still. BUT she didn't run!!! :yess: :hyper: :clap2:

"Then he snorted a bit and slowly turned away." - Turning away is great. Shows he doesn't mean harm. She is picking up on that.

"So while they aren't exactly bumping noses, even this little interaction was a bit better than normal." - Totally. Tells me they are just fine.

"Slow and steady wins the race, haha. :) " - I think so. I do tend to err on the side of taking it slow. The biggest mistake I see (and have to correct) is people rushing intros then getting negativity built up and having to reverse it. :/ Much easier to do it right (and slow) in the first place in my opinion.

"Also I will try to video breakfast/mealtime for an alternative look. " - Great

"Sometimes I wonder if Hawthorne doesn't like being in a hallway when he sees her." - If he feels confined and has only one "escape route" it can cause some unease. BUT again, if there were issues it would be showing up everywhere AND he would not go to the gate and not get aggressive, etc and then walk away.

"Anyways, I'll get some video to watch. :) - Great!!!

I wouldn't worry, all is well. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Ok thank you again!" - You are very welcome.

"I think you might be right about the mealtimes and waiting for treats. They both eat treats with RELISH so maybe they've just decided wet food is boring and they'll hold out for treat sessions, " - :/ Yes, happens all the time. And cats do tend to get bored with food.

"which, admittedly, I have been doing liberally so they have something distracting and also pleasant to associate with the other cat." - Which is what we want. We can always worry about cutting back after they are intro'd fully.

"In all other respects behaviour is generally normal - drinking, sleeping." - Great, that supports the view it is not an issue.

"Hawthorne is a bit anxious but he's always been anxious - easily startled, etc." - Yes. BUT judging by the recent video he looked great, relaxed, confident.

" He has been sleeping UNDER the bed in the French door room (I'd prefer he sleep ON it) but maybe he just doesn't feel like having Florie watching him and growling through the door." - I am not bothered by it because he would not be so good at the door in the video then be lacking confidence later on. I suspect he just likes it more and has nothing to do with Florie, etc.

"This morning at breakfast she was sleeping on her tree and after a bit of coaxing, came to the floor and then kind of wandered up to the door (instead of her to meal)" - Interesting she went to the door. I think she wanted to see him (in a good way). I think we are getting that "interest in each other" going on.

"where Hawthorne was eating. He came to the gate with interest but he wasn't aggressive (maybe a touch of hair on his back) and didn't swat" - Fantastic. Sounds like what I said about the "interest in each other". A morning greeting.

" and she pulled back and growled but didn't run. " - Yes, that is expected still. BUT she didn't run!!! :yess: :hyper: :clap2:

"Then he snorted a bit and slowly turned away." - Turning away is great. Shows he doesn't mean harm. She is picking up on that.

"So while they aren't exactly bumping noses, even this little interaction was a bit better than normal." - Totally. Tells me they are just fine.

"Slow and steady wins the race, haha. :) " - I think so. I do tend to err on the side of taking it slow. The biggest mistake I see (and have to correct) is people rushing intros then getting negativity built up and having to reverse it. :/ Much easier to do it right (and slow) in the first place in my opinion.

"Also I will try to video breakfast/mealtime for an alternative look. " - Great

"Sometimes I wonder if Hawthorne doesn't like being in a hallway when he sees her." - If he feels confined and has only one "escape route" it can cause some unease. BUT again, if there were issues it would be showing up everywhere AND he would not go to the gate and not get aggressive, etc and then walk away.

"Anyways, I'll get some video to watch. :) - Great!!!

I wouldn't worry, all is well. :)
Hello there! Just wanted to check in before the weekend. All is status quo here and I've added a new food to mealtimes and that seems to have got the enthusiasm going again. So I'm not as worried about that anymore. :) A good reminder to me that the cats do get bored of their same food, day in, day out.

Both cats are doing about the same. We do the French door visits three times a day - morning, afternoon, evening (the times that Florie is out) and while morning is a bit 'punchier' (Hawthorne seems to want out more in the morning - in the afternoon and evening he just naps) all is good. In the morning he tends to stick his paw out under the door and she goes for it (and makes a TREMENDOUS racket with growling) but she recovers instantly if you go over to see what's up and doesn't seem at all bothered after so I'm thinking it's a kind of weird play/interaction. He sometimes bites the door a bit while he's rolling on the ground so I think he's a bit worked up but he also rolls around and does his other "let me out of the room" motions so I think it's wanting to be out PLUS seeing Florie right there that makes him a bit more feisty, not her particularly. In the afternoon and evening they might exchange a brief growl/stare but then they both take their naps and it's fine. She is even getting better at going to the door, looking in and seeing him (eating his treats) and NOT growling and moving on. Of course, if he looks up, then she growls. But still.

We have my stepkids this weekend so the routine will change and the French door room might be occupied so we'll just do our best to get through the weekend with treats sessions and so on, and then Monday I'm going to try the gate on the French door room and we'll see how that goes. :)

We'll see if they can handle the next level!! :) Have a wonderful weekend!!
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello there! Just wanted to check in before the weekend. All is status quo here and I've added a new food to mealtimes and that seems to have got the enthusiasm going again. So I'm not as worried about that anymore. :) A good reminder to me that the cats do get bored of their same food, day in, day out.

Both cats are doing about the same. We do the French door visits three times a day - morning, afternoon, evening (the times that Florie is out) and while morning is a bit 'punchier' (Hawthorne seems to want out more in the morning - in the afternoon and evening he just naps) all is good. In the morning he tends to stick his paw out under the door and she goes for it (and makes a TREMENDOUS racket with growling) but she recovers instantly if you go over to see what's up and doesn't seem at all bothered after so I'm thinking it's a kind of weird play/interaction. He sometimes bites the door a bit while he's rolling on the ground so I think he's a bit worked up but he also rolls around and does his other "let me out of the room" motions so I think it's wanting to be out PLUS seeing Florie right there that makes him a bit more feisty, not her particularly. In the afternoon and evening they might exchange a brief growl/stare but then they both take their naps and it's fine. She is even getting better at going to the door, looking in and seeing him (eating his treats) and NOT growling and moving on. Of course, if he looks up, then she growls. But still.

We have my stepkids this weekend so the routine will change and the French door room might be occupied so we'll just do our best to get through the weekend with treats sessions and so on, and then Monday I'm going to try the gate on the French door room and we'll see how that goes. :)

We'll see if they can handle the next level!! :) Have a wonderful weekend!!
"Hello there! Just wanted to check in before the weekend. All is status quo here" - Hello. Great

" and I've added a new food to mealtimes and that seems to have got the enthusiasm going again. So I'm not as worried about that anymore. :) A good reminder to me that the cats do get bored of their same food, day in, day out." - Perfect. Yep, they will get bored. :/ Sounds like all is well.

"Both cats are doing about the same. We do the French door visits three times a day - morning, afternoon, evening (the times that Florie is out)" - Perfect. Office/gate visits are good as well.

"and while morning is a bit 'punchier' (Hawthorne seems to want out more in the morning - in the afternoon and evening he just naps) all is good." - Makes sense. Sounds good though.

"In the morning he tends to stick his paw out under the door and she goes for it (and makes a TREMENDOUS racket with growling)" - Sounds like he might want to play with her. I can see where she would make a racket.

" but she recovers instantly if you go over to see what's up and doesn't seem at all bothered after so I'm thinking it's a kind of weird play/interaction." - Great, yes, sounds like it is fine.

" He sometimes bites the door a bit while he's rolling on the ground so I think he's a bit worked up" - Sounds playful. If he is rolling around that is pretty playful. Even with a door between them that is vulnerable. He is showing Florie he wants to play.

"but he also rolls around and does his other "let me out of the room" motions so I think it's wanting to be out PLUS seeing Florie right there that makes him a bit more feisty, not her particularly. " - I wonder if it is more excited than feisty? I am sure he wants out but sounds fine to me. If it is like the video it is absolutely fine.

"In the afternoon and evening they might exchange a brief growl/stare but then they both take their naps and it's fine." - Yes, that is fine. If that is all it is and they move on it is great.

" She is even getting better at going to the door, looking in and seeing him (eating his treats) and NOT growling and moving on." - WOW!!! THAT is progress!! A great sign.

" Of course, if he looks up, then she growls. But still." - Of course but the growl is less important than what happens after. If it is respected, if they move on, etc.

We have my stepkids this weekend so the routine will change and the French door room might be occupied so we'll just do our best to get through the weekend with treats sessions and so on, " - Sounds good. You can do the office/gate. It seems the kids don't increase the cat's stress. Just do what you feel is best.

"and then Monday I'm going to try the gate on the French door room and we'll see how that goes. :)" - Ok, or you can do the office and gate. I think they are ready.

"We'll see if they can handle the next level!! :)" - Oh my, yes, they will do just fine. There may be a blip but the base is pretty strong. I think he has accepted her. She needs a bit more to trust but she is well on the way. Just distract, try to keep it as positive as possible and if you can distract if something is going a bit negative then it turns it into a positive. And watch how they act after. Reassure and make it positive after. I am not worried, they are doing great.

"Have a wonderful weekend!! " - You too!!! Enjoy!!! Talk soon. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello there! Just wanted to check in before the weekend. All is status quo here" - Hello. Great

" and I've added a new food to mealtimes and that seems to have got the enthusiasm going again. So I'm not as worried about that anymore. :) A good reminder to me that the cats do get bored of their same food, day in, day out." - Perfect. Yep, they will get bored. :/ Sounds like all is well.

"Both cats are doing about the same. We do the French door visits three times a day - morning, afternoon, evening (the times that Florie is out)" - Perfect. Office/gate visits are good as well.

"and while morning is a bit 'punchier' (Hawthorne seems to want out more in the morning - in the afternoon and evening he just naps) all is good." - Makes sense. Sounds good though.

"In the morning he tends to stick his paw out under the door and she goes for it (and makes a TREMENDOUS racket with growling)" - Sounds like he might want to play with her. I can see where she would make a racket.

" but she recovers instantly if you go over to see what's up and doesn't seem at all bothered after so I'm thinking it's a kind of weird play/interaction." - Great, yes, sounds like it is fine.

" He sometimes bites the door a bit while he's rolling on the ground so I think he's a bit worked up" - Sounds playful. If he is rolling around that is pretty playful. Even with a door between them that is vulnerable. He is showing Florie he wants to play.

"but he also rolls around and does his other "let me out of the room" motions so I think it's wanting to be out PLUS seeing Florie right there that makes him a bit more feisty, not her particularly. " - I wonder if it is more excited than feisty? I am sure he wants out but sounds fine to me. If it is like the video it is absolutely fine.

"In the afternoon and evening they might exchange a brief growl/stare but then they both take their naps and it's fine." - Yes, that is fine. If that is all it is and they move on it is great.

" She is even getting better at going to the door, looking in and seeing him (eating his treats) and NOT growling and moving on." - WOW!!! THAT is progress!! A great sign.

" Of course, if he looks up, then she growls. But still." - Of course but the growl is less important than what happens after. If it is respected, if they move on, etc.

We have my stepkids this weekend so the routine will change and the French door room might be occupied so we'll just do our best to get through the weekend with treats sessions and so on, " - Sounds good. You can do the office/gate. It seems the kids don't increase the cat's stress. Just do what you feel is best.

"and then Monday I'm going to try the gate on the French door room and we'll see how that goes. :)" - Ok, or you can do the office and gate. I think they are ready.

"We'll see if they can handle the next level!! :)" - Oh my, yes, they will do just fine. There may be a blip but the base is pretty strong. I think he has accepted her. She needs a bit more to trust but she is well on the way. Just distract, try to keep it as positive as possible and if you can distract if something is going a bit negative then it turns it into a positive. And watch how they act after. Reassure and make it positive after. I am not worried, they are doing great.

"Have a wonderful weekend!! " - You too!!! Enjoy!!! Talk soon. :)
Hello C calicosrspecial ! Hope you had a great weekend!

Nothing really new to report, once again. The weekend was fine - the cats didn't see each other much because we had my stepkids, so I did a few treat sessions but that was about it. Monday we started back to the French door visits.

I haven't ventured to letting them interact through the pet gate yet, largely because yesterday and today Hawthorne has been a bit more...feisty, and I didn't think the gate was a good idea. I was going to try yesterday but I'll wait and maybe try tonight, if he's doing ok. I'm not sure if it's stress from the weekend or if he's feeling insecure because I've been a bit more stressed/busy, but he's doing some of his old things again - leaving his meal to come snort at her at the gate at breakfast time; doing a bit more fussing under the French door when he's in that room and snorting at her there too, and trying to grab her under the door. He's still quite distractable most of the time, but my ideal would be for him to see her and just leave it entirely at breakfast time - not even coming over to the gate. I think he's just feeling a little insecure. So I'm going to try to spend time with him today and play with him a bit more and see if that helps. He was being an angel before! Now he's being a stinker again.

She is doing just the same, I would say. She can sometimes be near him and not growl; other times she just growls away. :)

So a boring update, hahaha. :) But just wanted to quickly touch base.
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello C calicosrspecial ! Hope you had a great weekend!

Nothing really new to report, once again. The weekend was fine - the cats didn't see each other much because we had my stepkids, so I did a few treat sessions but that was about it. Monday we started back to the French door visits.

I haven't ventured to letting them interact through the pet gate yet, largely because yesterday and today Hawthorne has been a bit more...feisty, and I didn't think the gate was a good idea. I was going to try yesterday but I'll wait and maybe try tonight, if he's doing ok. I'm not sure if it's stress from the weekend or if he's feeling insecure because I've been a bit more stressed/busy, but he's doing some of his old things again - leaving his meal to come snort at her at the gate at breakfast time; doing a bit more fussing under the French door when he's in that room and snorting at her there too, and trying to grab her under the door. He's still quite distractable most of the time, but my ideal would be for him to see her and just leave it entirely at breakfast time - not even coming over to the gate. I think he's just feeling a little insecure. So I'm going to try to spend time with him today and play with him a bit more and see if that helps. He was being an angel before! Now he's being a stinker again.

She is doing just the same, I would say. She can sometimes be near him and not growl; other times she just growls away. :)

So a boring update, hahaha. :) But just wanted to quickly touch base.
"Hello C calicosrspecial ! Hope you had a great weekend!" - Hi, I hope you did as well.

"Nothing really new to report, once again. The weekend was fine" - OK, good, let's see.

" - the cats didn't see each other much because we had my stepkids," - Yes, I figured.

" so I did a few treat sessions but that was about it." - Great

" Monday we started back to the French door visits." - Perfect

"I haven't ventured to letting them interact through the pet gate yet, largely because yesterday and today Hawthorne has been a bit more...feisty, and I didn't think the gate was a good idea." - Ok, yes, it is best to do it when you think the probability is highest for success (so they are feeling good, confident, not stressed, hungry, etc).

" I was going to try yesterday but I'll wait and maybe try tonight, if he's doing ok." - OK, not a rush.

" I'm not sure if it's stress from the weekend or if he's feeling insecure because I've been a bit more stressed/busy, but he's doing some of his old things again - leaving his meal to come snort at her at the gate at breakfast time; doing a bit more fussing under the French door when he's in that room and snorting at her there too," - Yes, it could be all. Cats do not like change so they can be unsettled. So having the kids can cause some stress then if the humans are feeling stressed the cats pick upon that. Now, what he is doing doesn't sound that bad and very manageable so I am not worried.

"and trying to grab her under the door." - It could be just play? Watch how it looks. If it is like the video then it is play.

"He's still quite distractable most of the time," - THAT is important and really good.

" but my ideal would be for him to see her and just leave it entirely at breakfast time - not even coming over to the gate." - Yes BUT the novelty is still there. My cats go over and greet the other cat then go back to eating. SO that is not that bad. It is what happens after that really matters.

" I think he's just feeling a little insecure." - Possibly or a little stressed but it doesn't sound that bad.

"So I'm going to try to spend time with him today and play with him a bit more and see if that helps. He was being an angel before!" - Great. Yes, he has been VERY good!!! He will be again.

" Now he's being a stinker again." - Hahahaha, he is a cat................... ;)

"She is doing just the same, I would say. She can sometimes be near him and not growl; other times she just growls away. :) " - Great, as long as she is not running away, hiding, not eating, etc then she is doing just fine.

"So a boring update, hahaha. :) But just wanted to quickly touch base." - Great. I figured there would be a bit of a pause since the kids were over but sounds like all is going well. Just keep doing what you are doing and we move forward. :)

Keep up the great work!!! You are very close.
 
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"Hello C calicosrspecial ! Hope you had a great weekend!" - Hi, I hope you did as well.

"Nothing really new to report, once again. The weekend was fine" - OK, good, let's see.

" - the cats didn't see each other much because we had my stepkids," - Yes, I figured.

" so I did a few treat sessions but that was about it." - Great

" Monday we started back to the French door visits." - Perfect

"I haven't ventured to letting them interact through the pet gate yet, largely because yesterday and today Hawthorne has been a bit more...feisty, and I didn't think the gate was a good idea." - Ok, yes, it is best to do it when you think the probability is highest for success (so they are feeling good, confident, not stressed, hungry, etc).

" I was going to try yesterday but I'll wait and maybe try tonight, if he's doing ok." - OK, not a rush.

" I'm not sure if it's stress from the weekend or if he's feeling insecure because I've been a bit more stressed/busy, but he's doing some of his old things again - leaving his meal to come snort at her at the gate at breakfast time; doing a bit more fussing under the French door when he's in that room and snorting at her there too," - Yes, it could be all. Cats do not like change so they can be unsettled. So having the kids can cause some stress then if the humans are feeling stressed the cats pick upon that. Now, what he is doing doesn't sound that bad and very manageable so I am not worried.

"and trying to grab her under the door." - It could be just play? Watch how it looks. If it is like the video then it is play.

"He's still quite distractable most of the time," - THAT is important and really good.

" but my ideal would be for him to see her and just leave it entirely at breakfast time - not even coming over to the gate." - Yes BUT the novelty is still there. My cats go over and greet the other cat then go back to eating. SO that is not that bad. It is what happens after that really matters.

" I think he's just feeling a little insecure." - Possibly or a little stressed but it doesn't sound that bad.

"So I'm going to try to spend time with him today and play with him a bit more and see if that helps. He was being an angel before!" - Great. Yes, he has been VERY good!!! He will be again.

" Now he's being a stinker again." - Hahahaha, he is a cat................... ;)

"She is doing just the same, I would say. She can sometimes be near him and not growl; other times she just growls away. :) " - Great, as long as she is not running away, hiding, not eating, etc then she is doing just fine.

"So a boring update, hahaha. :) But just wanted to quickly touch base." - Great. I figured there would be a bit of a pause since the kids were over but sounds like all is going well. Just keep doing what you are doing and we move forward. :)

Keep up the great work!!! You are very close.
Ok, we have tried with the French door room - just the pet gate! I've done a few sessions over the last day or two, sometimes just for 10 or 15 minutes and then if I can't supervise I close the door again and they can continue to see each other through the door for the rest of their usual time.

Florence is good with leaving Hawthorne alone, mostly. She can tell when the gate is there instead of the door and gives a wider berth. Sometimes she still sits nearby and growls. She's increased her growling again although she is also doing well at sometimes just going right past the gate or giving a quick hiss and then going past.

Hawthorne is obsessed with getting out and spends much of his time in the French door room pacing the room and making yowling noises and then looking plaintively through the gate - or trying to fuss the gate with his paws.

They had two closer interactions where he was a bit feisty and she got close and he wanted to try to grab her a bit through the bars of the gate. I was able to distract them both with treats and she seemed fine afterward, so not a big issue, I think.

I did have a few questions:
- are we trying to get them used to the gate to the point where he will leave her alone even if she's there, like he did with the French door in place? He's definitely more agitated this week so that seems unlikely to happen (at least, not in the next few days).
- when they do get together, will the work sort become about monitoring them to diffuse tense situations and then hoping the rest of the time they leave each other alone?

So that's where we are now! I know you said it might be a bit more tense again when we moved to the gate so I'd say that is accurate. The key is Hawthorne - I want to try to get him back the calm state he had last week. I definitely think his yowling upsets Florie who then growls and then Hawthorne gets upset, plus he's already upset at being in the room.
 
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Just an update that breakfast again this morning had a similar incident - I had to coax Hawthorne over to eat (he was quite reluctant) and then when she finished her meal and came close to the gate, he came right up and tried to reach through (not in a nice way) and they swatted at each other. His body language was a little bit aggressive. With a bit of reassurance she seemed ok, and I was eventually able to get him to go back to his meal (briefly).

Is this still all normal? At some point shouldn't he STOP doing that?

I remember you said with cats two steps forward one step back. Maybe this is that.
 

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Ok, we have tried with the French door room - just the pet gate! I've done a few sessions over the last day or two, sometimes just for 10 or 15 minutes and then if I can't supervise I close the door again and they can continue to see each other through the door for the rest of their usual time.

Florence is good with leaving Hawthorne alone, mostly. She can tell when the gate is there instead of the door and gives a wider berth. Sometimes she still sits nearby and growls. She's increased her growling again although she is also doing well at sometimes just going right past the gate or giving a quick hiss and then going past.

Hawthorne is obsessed with getting out and spends much of his time in the French door room pacing the room and making yowling noises and then looking plaintively through the gate - or trying to fuss the gate with his paws.

They had two closer interactions where he was a bit feisty and she got close and he wanted to try to grab her a bit through the bars of the gate. I was able to distract them both with treats and she seemed fine afterward, so not a big issue, I think.

I did have a few questions:
- are we trying to get them used to the gate to the point where he will leave her alone even if she's there, like he did with the French door in place? He's definitely more agitated this week so that seems unlikely to happen (at least, not in the next few days).
- when they do get together, will the work sort become about monitoring them to diffuse tense situations and then hoping the rest of the time they leave each other alone?

So that's where we are now! I know you said it might be a bit more tense again when we moved to the gate so I'd say that is accurate. The key is Hawthorne - I want to try to get him back the calm state he had last week. I definitely think his yowling upsets Florie who then growls and then Hawthorne gets upset, plus he's already upset at being in the room.
"Ok, we have tried with the French door room - just the pet gate!" - Great

" I've done a few sessions over the last day or two, sometimes just for 10 or 15 minutes" - Great

" and then if I can't supervise I close the door again and they can continue to see each other through the door for the rest of their usual time." - How do they do with that?

"Florence is good with leaving Hawthorne alone, mostly. She can tell when the gate is there instead of the door and gives a wider berth." - Great

" Sometimes she still sits nearby and growls." - That is fine.

" She's increased her growling again although she is also doing well at sometimes just going right past the gate or giving a quick hiss and then going past." - Ok, good. As long as there is nothing after the growling then it is being respected and is working. So I don't have an issue with that at all.

"Hawthorne is obsessed with getting out and spends much of his time in the French door room pacing the room and making yowling noises and then looking plaintively through the gate - or trying to fuss the gate with his paws." - Poor guy. Yes, he wants out. How about having Florie in the room and him out and about?

"They had two closer interactions where he was a bit feisty and she got close and he wanted to try to grab her a bit through the bars of the gate. " - Ok. How aggressive was it? Was he trying to "grab her" or play? It is hard to tell.

"I was able to distract them both with treats and she seemed fine afterward, so not a big issue, I think." - Ok, great!! If that happened after his "grabbing" then she is telling us it was more play. Great!!

I did have a few questions:
"- are we trying to get them used to the gate to the point where he will leave her alone even if she's there, like he did with the French door in place?" - Yes. Or if he is paying attention to her it is more play or interested and not aggressive.

"He's definitely more agitated this week so that seems unlikely to happen (at least, not in the next few days)." - Ok. But even if it is a bit feisty but nothing bad really happens it is fine. Of course we want better but it is all about how they act after. Fast rebound to normal is a great sign.


"- when they do get together, will the work sort become about monitoring them to diffuse tense situations" - Yes.

" and then hoping the rest of the time they leave each other alone?" - Well, really just get along, act normal, etc.

"So that's where we are now! I know you said it might be a bit more tense again when we moved to the gate so I'd say that is accurate. " - Yes, but doesn't sound that bad.

"The key is Hawthorne - I want to try to get him back the calm state he had last week. " - Yes, I think he will. I am not worried. Change can cause some disruption so I am not surprised he might be a bit more on edge. BUT it sounds like he is mainly upset about being in the room so that is solvable.

"I definitely think his yowling upsets Florie who then growls and then Hawthorne gets upset, plus he's already upset at being in the room." - Yes, agreed. But the fact he wants out with her out there is a positive sign. I think we should do some with her in the room (whether french door room or the office) and him out and about.

"Just an update that breakfast again this morning had a similar incident - " - Ok

"I had to coax Hawthorne over to eat (he was quite reluctant)" - That is fairly normal though.

" and then when she finished her meal and came close to the gate, he came right up and tried to reach through (not in a nice way) and they swatted at each other." - Ok, that doesn't sound that bad.

"His body language was a little bit aggressive. " - Ok

"With a bit of reassurance she seemed ok, and I was eventually able to get him to go back to his meal (briefly)." - Great. And THAT is the key. Fast rebound.

"Is this still all normal?" - Yes

" At some point shouldn't he STOP doing that?" - Yes and he will for the most part BUT some swatting etc does happen in healthy relationships. Of course we don't want it BUT if it doesn't escalate then it is not a big deal.

"I remember you said with cats two steps forward one step back. Maybe this is that. " - Well, I don't really think this is a step back. Can you get video? I suspect this all stems from him wanting to be out of the room. So if we solve that it could tell us something I think.

So keep doing what you are doing, let's see if we can have him out and about, use food, distraction, etc. And let's see how they do.

IF they were my cats with me and my experience I would be having them face to face. That is how confident I am in where they are. I think they are much closer than you realize. BUT I can't be there so we'll take it a bit slower. Sometimes, gates, and barriers and rooms etc can be a negative. I think we may be seeing that. BUT if I am wrong I don't want you in that position. SO let's get a bit more progress and then we'll do it.
 
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Furmama22

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Aaaaandddd....one last quick update, hahah. This morning has been a bit better. Hawthorne went to
"Ok, we have tried with the French door room - just the pet gate!" - Great

" I've done a few sessions over the last day or two, sometimes just for 10 or 15 minutes" - Great

" and then if I can't supervise I close the door again and they can continue to see each other through the door for the rest of their usual time." - How do they do with that?

"Florence is good with leaving Hawthorne alone, mostly. She can tell when the gate is there instead of the door and gives a wider berth." - Great

" Sometimes she still sits nearby and growls." - That is fine.

" She's increased her growling again although she is also doing well at sometimes just going right past the gate or giving a quick hiss and then going past." - Ok, good. As long as there is nothing after the growling then it is being respected and is working. So I don't have an issue with that at all.

"Hawthorne is obsessed with getting out and spends much of his time in the French door room pacing the room and making yowling noises and then looking plaintively through the gate - or trying to fuss the gate with his paws." - Poor guy. Yes, he wants out. How about having Florie in the room and him out and about?

"They had two closer interactions where he was a bit feisty and she got close and he wanted to try to grab her a bit through the bars of the gate. " - Ok. How aggressive was it? Was he trying to "grab her" or play? It is hard to tell.

"I was able to distract them both with treats and she seemed fine afterward, so not a big issue, I think." - Ok, great!! If that happened after his "grabbing" then she is telling us it was more play. Great!!

I did have a few questions:
"- are we trying to get them used to the gate to the point where he will leave her alone even if she's there, like he did with the French door in place?" - Yes. Or if he is paying attention to her it is more play or interested and not aggressive.

"He's definitely more agitated this week so that seems unlikely to happen (at least, not in the next few days)." - Ok. But even if it is a bit feisty but nothing bad really happens it is fine. Of course we want better but it is all about how they act after. Fast rebound to normal is a great sign.


"- when they do get together, will the work sort become about monitoring them to diffuse tense situations" - Yes.

" and then hoping the rest of the time they leave each other alone?" - Well, really just get along, act normal, etc.

"So that's where we are now! I know you said it might be a bit more tense again when we moved to the gate so I'd say that is accurate. " - Yes, but doesn't sound that bad.

"The key is Hawthorne - I want to try to get him back the calm state he had last week. " - Yes, I think he will. I am not worried. Change can cause some disruption so I am not surprised he might be a bit more on edge. BUT it sounds like he is mainly upset about being in the room so that is solvable.

"I definitely think his yowling upsets Florie who then growls and then Hawthorne gets upset, plus he's already upset at being in the room." - Yes, agreed. But the fact he wants out with her out there is a positive sign. I think we should do some with her in the room (whether french door room or the office) and him out and about.

"Just an update that breakfast again this morning had a similar incident - " - Ok

"I had to coax Hawthorne over to eat (he was quite reluctant)" - That is fairly normal though.

" and then when she finished her meal and came close to the gate, he came right up and tried to reach through (not in a nice way) and they swatted at each other." - Ok, that doesn't sound that bad.

"His body language was a little bit aggressive. " - Ok

"With a bit of reassurance she seemed ok, and I was eventually able to get him to go back to his meal (briefly)." - Great. And THAT is the key. Fast rebound.

"Is this still all normal?" - Yes

" At some point shouldn't he STOP doing that?" - Yes and he will for the most part BUT some swatting etc does happen in healthy relationships. Of course we don't want it BUT if it doesn't escalate then it is not a big deal.

"I remember you said with cats two steps forward one step back. Maybe this is that. " - Well, I don't really think this is a step back. Can you get video? I suspect this all stems from him wanting to be out of the room. So if we solve that it could tell us something I think.

So keep doing what you are doing, let's see if we can have him out and about, use food, distraction, etc. And let's see how they do.

IF they were my cats with me and my experience I would be having them face to face. That is how confident I am in where they are. I think they are much closer than you realize. BUT I can't be there so we'll take it a bit slower. Sometimes, gates, and barriers and rooms etc can be a negative. I think we may be seeing that. BUT if I am wrong I don't want you in that position. SO let's get a bit more progress and then we'll do it.
OK! That all sounds good. This morning they've been a bit better. Hawthorne eventually calmed down and took a nap on the bed in the sunshine and Florence came to sleep with me in the office. We've had just the gate the whole time (so about 3 1/2 hours) - not the French door. So they are definitely ABLE to leave each other alone; it's just a bit hissy/pissy when they are close to each other and Hawthorne is in a bad mood (i.e. wants out).

I'll try to get video this week and then we can go from there. :)

And yes, I'll try sometimes with Florence in the room and Hawthorne out! And see how that goes. :)

And sorry if it wasn't clear! This all relates to the French door room. I put the pet gate on there - so we can do the pet gate or we can do the French door. Both options are there on the same room. :)

THANK YOU as always for your guidance and feedback.
 

calicosrspecial

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Aaaaandddd....one last quick update, hahah. This morning has been a bit better. Hawthorne went to

OK! That all sounds good. This morning they've been a bit better. Hawthorne eventually calmed down and took a nap on the bed in the sunshine and Florence came to sleep with me in the office. We've had just the gate the whole time (so about 3 1/2 hours) - not the French door. So they are definitely ABLE to leave each other alone; it's just a bit hissy/pissy when they are close to each other and Hawthorne is in a bad mood (i.e. wants out).

I'll try to get video this week and then we can go from there. :)

And yes, I'll try sometimes with Florence in the room and Hawthorne out! And see how that goes. :)

And sorry if it wasn't clear! This all relates to the French door room. I put the pet gate on there - so we can do the pet gate or we can do the French door. Both options are there on the same room. :)

THANK YOU as always for your guidance and feedback.
OK! That all sounds good. This morning they've been a bit better." - Ok, great. That supports my view which is always good!!

" Hawthorne eventually calmed down and took a nap on the bed in the sunshine and Florence came to sleep with me in the office." - Ok, THAT is great!!!

" We've had just the gate the whole time (so about 3 1/2 hours) - not the French door." - WOW!!!! Youa re so brave!! Did not expect that!! Hahahahaha. That is something I would do!!! ;)

" So they are definitely ABLE to leave each other alone;" - Yes!!!

" it's just a bit hissy/pissy when they are close to each other and Hawthorne is in a bad mood" - Yes, but even when they are it isn;t really that bad.

" (i.e. wants out)." - I think that is the issue not really her. But we will see.

"I'll try to get video this week and then we can go from there. :) " - Sounds good They will probably behave. :/

"And yes, I'll try sometimes with Florence in the room and Hawthorne out! And see how that goes. :)" - Great

"And sorry if it wasn't clear! This all relates to the French door room. I put the pet gate on there - so we can do the pet gate or we can do the French door. Both options are there on the same room. :)" - Yes, it was me that was not clear I think. Feel free to use the office as well (with the gate).

"THANK YOU as always for your guidance and feedback. " - Awwww, you are welcome. Just keep up the great work and give me as much info as possible. They will be intro'd.
 
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Furmama22

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OK! That all sounds good. This morning they've been a bit better." - Ok, great. That supports my view which is always good!!

" Hawthorne eventually calmed down and took a nap on the bed in the sunshine and Florence came to sleep with me in the office." - Ok, THAT is great!!!

" We've had just the gate the whole time (so about 3 1/2 hours) - not the French door." - WOW!!!! Youa re so brave!! Did not expect that!! Hahahahaha. That is something I would do!!! ;)

" So they are definitely ABLE to leave each other alone;" - Yes!!!

" it's just a bit hissy/pissy when they are close to each other and Hawthorne is in a bad mood" - Yes, but even when they are it isn;t really that bad.

" (i.e. wants out)." - I think that is the issue not really her. But we will see.

"I'll try to get video this week and then we can go from there. :) " - Sounds good They will probably behave. :/

"And yes, I'll try sometimes with Florence in the room and Hawthorne out! And see how that goes. :)" - Great

"And sorry if it wasn't clear! This all relates to the French door room. I put the pet gate on there - so we can do the pet gate or we can do the French door. Both options are there on the same room. :)" - Yes, it was me that was not clear I think. Feel free to use the office as well (with the gate).

"THANK YOU as always for your guidance and feedback. " - Awwww, you are welcome. Just keep up the great work and give me as much info as possible. They will be intro'd.
Ok we're keeping it up! We now do the gate visits three times per day - the same times we used to do the door visits. I'd say they are now getting to the point with the gate where they were with the door. Florence growls but keeps a safer distance/watches from afar; Hawthorne is doing better at leaving her be (largely when there are treats present) - he is being a bit calmer. And, while they are interested in each other, I can distract her to go play; I can distract him with treats. He is mostly focussed on getting out/upset about being in the room. But, once I start the work day and am more quiet myself, he does seem to be calming down and going to take a nap. And Florence joins me in the office and sleeps in my lap.

She has gone past the room a couple of times now and not growled or hissed - she gives a quick look in to assess the situation and keeps going.

I've been trying to spend quality time with Hawthorne and play with him. He's much calmer a) when I am calmer and b) when I've spent some time with him just hanging out.

Anyways, I'm debating trying as the next phase having Florence go in the room for a small period and seeing how Hawthorne does out, i.e. to see he can leave her alone when she is the one in there and he is out. She is less comfortable in that room, having not spent a lot of time in it, but she was not comfortable in the other bedroom too for awhile, and now she goes in there no problem.

So that's where we are. Just keeping at it.
 

calicosrspecial

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Ok we're keeping it up! We now do the gate visits three times per day - the same times we used to do the door visits. I'd say they are now getting to the point with the gate where they were with the door. Florence growls but keeps a safer distance/watches from afar; Hawthorne is doing better at leaving her be (largely when there are treats present) - he is being a bit calmer. And, while they are interested in each other, I can distract her to go play; I can distract him with treats. He is mostly focussed on getting out/upset about being in the room. But, once I start the work day and am more quiet myself, he does seem to be calming down and going to take a nap. And Florence joins me in the office and sleeps in my lap.

She has gone past the room a couple of times now and not growled or hissed - she gives a quick look in to assess the situation and keeps going.

I've been trying to spend quality time with Hawthorne and play with him. He's much calmer a) when I am calmer and b) when I've spent some time with him just hanging out.

Anyways, I'm debating trying as the next phase having Florence go in the room for a small period and seeing how Hawthorne does out, i.e. to see he can leave her alone when she is the one in there and he is out. She is less comfortable in that room, having not spent a lot of time in it, but she was not comfortable in the other bedroom too for awhile, and now she goes in there no problem.

So that's where we are. Just keeping at it.
"Ok we're keeping it up!" - Great

" We now do the gate visits three times per day - the same times we used to do the door visits. I'd say they are now getting to the point with the gate where they were with the door." - Perfect!!!

" Florence growls but keeps a safer distance/watches from afar;" - Fantastic!!

" Hawthorne is doing better at leaving her be (largely when there are treats present) - he is being a bit calmer." - Terrific!!

"And, while they are interested in each other, I can distract her to go play; I can distract him with treats." - Perfect!!

" He is mostly focussed on getting out/upset about being in the room." - Yes, I think that is the issue not Florie.

" But, once I start the work day and am more quiet myself, he does seem to be calming down and going to take a nap." - Fantastic!!

" And Florence joins me in the office and sleeps in my lap." - Awwwwwwwwwww

"She has gone past the room a couple of times now and not growled or hissed - she gives a quick look in to assess the situation and keeps going." - Just wonderful!!

"I've been trying to spend quality time with Hawthorne and play with him. He's much calmer a) when I am calmer and b) when I've spent some time with him just hanging out." - Great. Yes, you are helping him understand that adding Florie isn't changing things. He still gets his "Love".

"Anyways, I'm debating trying as the next phase having Florence go in the room for a small period and seeing how Hawthorne does out, i.e. to see he can leave her alone when she is the one in there and he is out." - Great. I think that is great. Or you can do it with her in the office.

"She is less comfortable in that room, having not spent a lot of time in it," - Yes which probably will cause some issues at first but they should go away pretty soon. That is why maybe the office is a good place. I don't think it really matters. They will be fine after a little blip at first.

" but she was not comfortable in the other bedroom too for awhile, and now she goes in there no problem." - Exactly

"So that's where we are. Just keeping at it." - :/ You sound exhausted, etc. I think this is a fantastic update. Doing great with the gate. And really quickly after a somewhat disruptive weekend (any change is disruptive). I think that is a really good sign.

So when you feel comfortable do the gate with Hawthorne out (since they are doing so well it is a good interim step) and I think we should start thinking about a face to face. Where we should do it, etc. Not sure if we should do the office or just in the big area. They are doing great so I think they are pretty much ready. :) Exciting!!!

Keep up the great work!!! :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Ok we're keeping it up!" - Great

" We now do the gate visits three times per day - the same times we used to do the door visits. I'd say they are now getting to the point with the gate where they were with the door." - Perfect!!!

" Florence growls but keeps a safer distance/watches from afar;" - Fantastic!!

" Hawthorne is doing better at leaving her be (largely when there are treats present) - he is being a bit calmer." - Terrific!!

"And, while they are interested in each other, I can distract her to go play; I can distract him with treats." - Perfect!!

" He is mostly focussed on getting out/upset about being in the room." - Yes, I think that is the issue not Florie.

" But, once I start the work day and am more quiet myself, he does seem to be calming down and going to take a nap." - Fantastic!!

" And Florence joins me in the office and sleeps in my lap." - Awwwwwwwwwww

"She has gone past the room a couple of times now and not growled or hissed - she gives a quick look in to assess the situation and keeps going." - Just wonderful!!

"I've been trying to spend quality time with Hawthorne and play with him. He's much calmer a) when I am calmer and b) when I've spent some time with him just hanging out." - Great. Yes, you are helping him understand that adding Florie isn't changing things. He still gets his "Love".

"Anyways, I'm debating trying as the next phase having Florence go in the room for a small period and seeing how Hawthorne does out, i.e. to see he can leave her alone when she is the one in there and he is out." - Great. I think that is great. Or you can do it with her in the office.

"She is less comfortable in that room, having not spent a lot of time in it," - Yes which probably will cause some issues at first but they should go away pretty soon. That is why maybe the office is a good place. I don't think it really matters. They will be fine after a little blip at first.

" but she was not comfortable in the other bedroom too for awhile, and now she goes in there no problem." - Exactly

"So that's where we are. Just keeping at it." - :/ You sound exhausted, etc. I think this is a fantastic update. Doing great with the gate. And really quickly after a somewhat disruptive weekend (any change is disruptive). I think that is a really good sign.

So when you feel comfortable do the gate with Hawthorne out (since they are doing so well it is a good interim step) and I think we should start thinking about a face to face. Where we should do it, etc. Not sure if we should do the office or just in the big area. They are doing great so I think they are pretty much ready. :) Exciting!!!

Keep up the great work!!! :)
Hello C calicosrspecial ! Happy Sunday!

Yesterday and today we've gone ahead and added one piece to the ongoing puzzle - Florence in the office (with the French door closed - too much to move right to the gate) for an hour or so in the afternoon. Yesterday, I went in the room with her, and she came to take a nap with me, and after a few looks through the door, Hawthorne went to take a nap too. So that was totally quiet.

Today, it's just her in there and she's doing more sitting right by the door wanting to get out (scratching at the door, scratching under the door) and that has Hawthorne more intrigued. He tries to put his paw through the gate to the door, he bit the gate (for some reason) and he is yowling a bit. He remains quite distractable on the whole - with treats, with playtime, if I call his name - but when not distracted or when she makes noise in the room he's over there to see what's what and is more reactive to her for sure.

Outside of that, we've continued with the gate times (Hawthorne in the room, Florence out) three times a day and that's continuing about the same. Mostly, each one is 'activated' by the yowling or fussing of the other. When Hawthorne is quiet, she is quiet; when he does his yowling to get out and his fussing, she wants to see what's up.

Oh! As we speak - they've both gone to take naps, I think. So, it took about an hour, but now it's time to sleep.

I've also added a bit of extra time to breakfast - I stay in the room with Florence and hang out with her after she's eating, and leave the door open (gate closed). She is willing to have rubs and hang out, but she growls when she sees Hawthorne. He is definitely curious and comes to the gate periodically with big eyes, and then slinks away.

I think there is definitely still a novelty element to these new configurations.

So that's the update! :) In two weeks, it's a long weekend here and I have four days off, so I'm thinking that might be a time to try a face-to-face, if all is proceeding well.
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello C calicosrspecial ! Happy Sunday!

Yesterday and today we've gone ahead and added one piece to the ongoing puzzle - Florence in the office (with the French door closed - too much to move right to the gate) for an hour or so in the afternoon. Yesterday, I went in the room with her, and she came to take a nap with me, and after a few looks through the door, Hawthorne went to take a nap too. So that was totally quiet.

Today, it's just her in there and she's doing more sitting right by the door wanting to get out (scratching at the door, scratching under the door) and that has Hawthorne more intrigued. He tries to put his paw through the gate to the door, he bit the gate (for some reason) and he is yowling a bit. He remains quite distractable on the whole - with treats, with playtime, if I call his name - but when not distracted or when she makes noise in the room he's over there to see what's what and is more reactive to her for sure.

Outside of that, we've continued with the gate times (Hawthorne in the room, Florence out) three times a day and that's continuing about the same. Mostly, each one is 'activated' by the yowling or fussing of the other. When Hawthorne is quiet, she is quiet; when he does his yowling to get out and his fussing, she wants to see what's up.

Oh! As we speak - they've both gone to take naps, I think. So, it took about an hour, but now it's time to sleep.

I've also added a bit of extra time to breakfast - I stay in the room with Florence and hang out with her after she's eating, and leave the door open (gate closed). She is willing to have rubs and hang out, but she growls when she sees Hawthorne. He is definitely curious and comes to the gate periodically with big eyes, and then slinks away.

I think there is definitely still a novelty element to these new configurations.

So that's the update! :) In two weeks, it's a long weekend here and I have four days off, so I'm thinking that might be a time to try a face-to-face, if all is proceeding well.
"Hello C calicosrspecial ! Happy Sunday!" - Hello, I am sorry for the delayed response.

"Yesterday and today we've gone ahead and added one piece to the ongoing puzzle - Florence in the office (with the French door closed - too much to move right to the gate) for an hour or so in the afternoon." - Perfect

"Yesterday, I went in the room with her, and she came to take a nap with me, and after a few looks through the door, Hawthorne went to take a nap too. So that was totally quiet.: - That is fantastic!!!

"Today, it's just her in there and she's doing more sitting right by the door wanting to get out (scratching at the door, scratching under the door)" - Ok, she wants to be with you (and maybe Hawthorne????)

" and that has Hawthorne more intrigued." - Absolutely

" He tries to put his paw through the gate to the door," - Yes, was it more playful? Or aggressive?

" he bit the gate (for some reason)" - Could be play actually.

" and he is yowling a bit." - I can see that.

" He remains quite distractable on the whole - with treats, with playtime, if I call his name" - GREAT!!! THAT is fantastic and tells us a lot (that he is really not "aftr" her).

" - but when not distracted or when she makes noise in the room he's over there to see what's what and is more reactive to her for sure." - Yes, that is to be expected BUT f this was a problem then there would be a lot more behavioral issues.

"Outside of that, we've continued with the gate times (Hawthorne in the room, Florence out) three times a day and that's continuing about the same." - Great

" Mostly, each one is 'activated' by the yowling or fussing of the other." - Yes, that is normal and expected.

" When Hawthorne is quiet, she is quiet; when he does his yowling to get out and his fussing, she wants to see what's up." - Yes, expected. And what tells me it is all fine is when they are quiet they both can be quiet. IF there were issues they would be issues all the time.

"Oh! As we speak - they've both gone to take naps, I think. So, it took about an hour, but now it's time to sleep." - Awwwwww, perfect

"I've also added a bit of extra time to breakfast - I stay in the room with Florence and hang out with her after she's eating, and leave the door open (gate closed)." - Perfect

" She is willing to have rubs and hang out" - GREAT!!

" but she growls when she sees Hawthorne." - That is fine.

" He is definitely curious and comes to the gate periodically with big eyes, and then slinks away." - Awwww, he is telling her he doesn't mean harm.

"I think there is definitely still a novelty element to these new configurations." - Yes BUT it sounds like it is going great.

"So that's the update! :) " - Fantastic. Sounds great

"In two weeks, it's a long weekend here and I have four days off, so I'm thinking that might be a time to try a face-to-face, if all is proceeding well." - Perfect. I think they are ready now so I fully expect they will be ready then. Just keep up the great work and we'll figure out the logistics on the face to face. :) Exciting!!!

GREAT work!!! :)
 
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