Advice on Cat Introductions - Feeling a Bit Lost

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Furmama22

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"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!!! :)
Everything is continuing the same over here! I wanted to check in to ask for your thoughts on the face to face. I think we can do it out in the main space - they both are very comfortable out there.

I'll still provide a couple more updates on their interactions before then so that we're confident it's a good time. :)

But, I always like to plan ahead, so I'm starting to think about things - for their first interaction, do we try to distract them while their together (with treats and play) and prevent them from getting close to each other? Do we aim for short, or until they seem no longer distractable?

I was thinking it would be in the afternoon, since they both seem calmer around that time. And I know you mentioned best to have them be a bit hungrier, so they're more interested in the treats. :)

Anything else I should be considering?

Thanks so much again! Hope you're having a good week!
 

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Everything is continuing the same over here! I wanted to check in to ask for your thoughts on the face to face. I think we can do it out in the main space - they both are very comfortable out there.

I'll still provide a couple more updates on their interactions before then so that we're confident it's a good time. :)

But, I always like to plan ahead, so I'm starting to think about things - for their first interaction, do we try to distract them while their together (with treats and play) and prevent them from getting close to each other? Do we aim for short, or until they seem no longer distractable?

I was thinking it would be in the afternoon, since they both seem calmer around that time. And I know you mentioned best to have them be a bit hungrier, so they're more interested in the treats. :)

Anything else I should be considering?

Thanks so much again! Hope you're having a good week!
"Everything is continuing the same over here!" - Great!!

" I wanted to check in to ask for your thoughts on the face to face." - Terrific. I LOVE that you are preparing.

" I think we can do it out in the main space - they both are very comfortable out there." - Yes, agreed. Very confident. The key is to do it in a place where they are most confident and comfortable and secure.

"I'll still provide a couple more updates on their interactions before then so that we're confident it's a good time. :)" - Absolutely.

"But, I always like to plan ahead, so I'm starting to think about things - for their first interaction," - I LOVE you are thinking about this.

" do we try to distract them while their together (with treats and play)" - Exactly. So we want them to not be surprised that the other is now there. So we try to let them see that the other is "coming". Then we use distraction, food, toy, assurance, etc. And if they are focused on something other than each other it is success.

" and prevent them from getting close to each other?" - Yes for the most part. So if they are focused (and they will tend to want to sniff the other) then we want to distract. But if they are distracted and they are close it is fine. I tend to like to do it that way just to try to avoid any negativity.

" Do we aim for short, or until they seem no longer distractable?" - We aim for quality. So a minute of positive is better than a half hour of positive then a burst of negativity at the end. I tend to like to end it on a positive BUT I try to do as long as possible as long as thye are doing well and positive. If that makes sense.

"I was thinking it would be in the afternoon, since they both seem calmer around that time." - Exactly and hungry.

" And I know you mentioned best to have them be a bit hungrier, so they're more interested in the treats. :)" - Ahhhh, yes, you read my mind. :)

"Anything else I should be considering?" - Just the "surprise" aspect (or lack thereof). We don't want them to be surprised the other is now there. So we want them to know the other is "coming". So I tend to watch when I remove the gate that the cat doesn't come rushing out etc. Which can be a challenge. So I kind of distract them, see each other, distract them, open the gate, distract, etc. Try to get them to move normally. I am thinking Hawthorne would be out and about and Florie would be in the office then we open the gate from the office (as I think Florie would be less likely to charge into the main room with Hawthorne there).

"Thanks so much again!" - You are very welcome but THANK YOU as all your efforts are making it all possible!!

" Hope you're having a good week! " - Thank you, I am now!!! :)
 
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"Everything is continuing the same over here!" - Great!!

" I wanted to check in to ask for your thoughts on the face to face." - Terrific. I LOVE that you are preparing.

" I think we can do it out in the main space - they both are very comfortable out there." - Yes, agreed. Very confident. The key is to do it in a place where they are most confident and comfortable and secure.

"I'll still provide a couple more updates on their interactions before then so that we're confident it's a good time. :)" - Absolutely.

"But, I always like to plan ahead, so I'm starting to think about things - for their first interaction," - I LOVE you are thinking about this.

" do we try to distract them while their together (with treats and play)" - Exactly. So we want them to not be surprised that the other is now there. So we try to let them see that the other is "coming". Then we use distraction, food, toy, assurance, etc. And if they are focused on something other than each other it is success.

" and prevent them from getting close to each other?" - Yes for the most part. So if they are focused (and they will tend to want to sniff the other) then we want to distract. But if they are distracted and they are close it is fine. I tend to like to do it that way just to try to avoid any negativity.

" Do we aim for short, or until they seem no longer distractable?" - We aim for quality. So a minute of positive is better than a half hour of positive then a burst of negativity at the end. I tend to like to end it on a positive BUT I try to do as long as possible as long as thye are doing well and positive. If that makes sense.

"I was thinking it would be in the afternoon, since they both seem calmer around that time." - Exactly and hungry.

" And I know you mentioned best to have them be a bit hungrier, so they're more interested in the treats. :)" - Ahhhh, yes, you read my mind. :)

"Anything else I should be considering?" - Just the "surprise" aspect (or lack thereof). We don't want them to be surprised the other is now there. So we want them to know the other is "coming". So I tend to watch when I remove the gate that the cat doesn't come rushing out etc. Which can be a challenge. So I kind of distract them, see each other, distract them, open the gate, distract, etc. Try to get them to move normally. I am thinking Hawthorne would be out and about and Florie would be in the office then we open the gate from the office (as I think Florie would be less likely to charge into the main room with Hawthorne there).

"Thanks so much again!" - You are very welcome but THANK YOU as all your efforts are making it all possible!!

" Hope you're having a good week! " - Thank you, I am now!!! :)
Hello C calicosrspecial ! Just checking in. :) Nothing new to report here. The cats continue basically in the same pattern. Today we're going back to having Florie in the French door room while Hawthorne is out (we skipped that on the weekend). Right now, Florie is out and Hawthorne is in the room. I would say that is following the same usual pattern - he cries for the first hour being in there and she growls and watches him and sometimes they swat through the bars but she recovers immediately and he's just swatting because he wants out. Then, after a while, they both go take a nap.

He's a bit more curious when SHE is in the room but she's very good and goes to nap. He watches curiously and occasionally chirps/meows at her but it doesn't seem aggressive. Just...watchful.

I feel good that we are ready to meet. I might try Weds or Thursday afternoon/evening, depending on how the week is going. I will set it up so there is no surprise. I haven't figured out the set up yet. I was thinking it might work to have Florie out already and let Hawthorne see her; then have her up higher (maybe on the table or the island) with treats and then let him out of the room and do treats for each. I have this feeling she is more likely to want to be somewhere safe and just watch him and that he's less likely to want to come up to her if she's somewhere higher up.

I think it will be a bit tense, as it has been in the past for other types of interactions, and they certainly don't seem to love each other yet, but I'm hopeful we can get through with just tense avoidance, hahaha. That would be a success.

I know we start small with quality face-to-face (i.e. no violence). How do we know when to move to longer time together?
 

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Hello C calicosrspecial ! Just checking in. :) Nothing new to report here. The cats continue basically in the same pattern. Today we're going back to having Florie in the French door room while Hawthorne is out (we skipped that on the weekend). Right now, Florie is out and Hawthorne is in the room. I would say that is following the same usual pattern - he cries for the first hour being in there and she growls and watches him and sometimes they swat through the bars but she recovers immediately and he's just swatting because he wants out. Then, after a while, they both go take a nap.

He's a bit more curious when SHE is in the room but she's very good and goes to nap. He watches curiously and occasionally chirps/meows at her but it doesn't seem aggressive. Just...watchful.

I feel good that we are ready to meet. I might try Weds or Thursday afternoon/evening, depending on how the week is going. I will set it up so there is no surprise. I haven't figured out the set up yet. I was thinking it might work to have Florie out already and let Hawthorne see her; then have her up higher (maybe on the table or the island) with treats and then let him out of the room and do treats for each. I have this feeling she is more likely to want to be somewhere safe and just watch him and that he's less likely to want to come up to her if she's somewhere higher up.

I think it will be a bit tense, as it has been in the past for other types of interactions, and they certainly don't seem to love each other yet, but I'm hopeful we can get through with just tense avoidance, hahaha. That would be a success.

I know we start small with quality face-to-face (i.e. no violence). How do we know when to move to longer time together?
"Hello C calicosrspecial C calicosrspecial ! Just checking in. :) Nothing new to report here. " - Hello

"The cats continue basically in the same pattern." - Great

" Today we're going back to having Florie in the French door room while Hawthorne is out (we skipped that on the weekend)." - Ok, great.

" Right now, Florie is out and Hawthorne is in the room. I would say that is following the same usual pattern - he cries for the first hour being in there and she growls and watches him and sometimes they swat through the bars but she recovers immediately and he's just swatting because he wants out. Then, after a while, they both go take a nap." - Excellent.

"He's a bit more curious when SHE is in the room but she's very good and goes to nap." -Yes, that makes sense.

"He watches curiously and occasionally chirps/meows at her but it doesn't seem aggressive. Just...watchful." - Awwwwwwwww :)

"I feel good that we are ready to meet." - Great!!!

" I might try Weds or Thursday afternoon/evening, depending on how the week is going." - Sounds good. Exactly, if they are doing well that is great.

" I will set it up so there is no surprise. I haven't figured out the set up yet." - Let's figure it out.

" I was thinking it might work to have Florie out already and let Hawthorne see her; then have her up higher (maybe on the table or the island) with treats and then let him out of the room and do treats for each." - Yes, that should work. We jsut don;t want her to run and act like prey (which would trigger him to chase most likely).

" I have this feeling she is more likely to want to be somewhere safe and just watch him and that he's less likely to want to come up to her if she's somewhere higher up." - Makes sense, great idea,

"I think it will be a bit tense, as it has been in the past for other types of interactions, " - Yes, but tense is not bad. AND if you can distract then it should be fine.

Have a pillow, a big piece of cardboard around just in case you have to block them off, break up something, etc.

"and they certainly don't seem to love each other yet," - Well, I am wondering if Hawthorne is further along that path than you may realize. BUT love is not necessary. And you have the tolerance, acceptance that IS important.

" but I'm hopeful we can get through with just tense avoidance, hahaha." - :) Yes. I think you will get staring, growling from her, maybe some batting. But distraction will be key. If you get them to look away from each other and not run away etc then it is a big success.

"That would be a success." - Agreed. Really, success is more nuanced than that. Even if they "got into it" it could be success. We'll know after.

"I know we start small with quality face-to-face (i.e. no violence)." - Yes, but even batting is not necessarily bad and if they can be distracted then it is positive. When distraction gets more difficult then we want to end it. This is where it is more art than science. Just trust your instinct on how they are doing.

"How do we know when to move to longer time together? " - We'll know how they interact, how they act after, etc. We'll just know.

And once they are together we will have those tense moments. Where one will want to interact, challenge etc. And how they do with that will tell us so much. I just don't get a sense Hawthorne means any harm to her and she really can't cause much harm (other than biting (and I get a sense she is all about defense rather than offense) so if he is good she should be good.

We'll know more this week but I expect all is going to be fine. There will be some blips but every indication is we are on the home stretch. :)

Keep up the great work!!! Going to be exciting. :)
 
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Super exciting! I will keep you posted and you'll likely hear from me again after the face-to-face has happened! :) This wouldn't have been possible with your support and advice and encouragement! I would have lost my mind long ago, honestly. :)

But I'll keep my focus for now on the face-to-face and we'll see how it goes. I'm sure I'll have lots to say. :)
 

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Super exciting! I will keep you posted and you'll likely hear from me again after the face-to-face has happened! :) This wouldn't have been possible with your support and advice and encouragement! I would have lost my mind long ago, honestly. :)

But I'll keep my focus for now on the face-to-face and we'll see how it goes. I'm sure I'll have lots to say. :)
"Super exciting!" - Yes!!

" I will keep you posted and you'll likely hear from me again after the face-to-face has happened! :) " - Sounds good but if you need encouragement, advice etc before just let me know.

"This wouldn't have been possible with your support and advice and encouragement! " - Awwwwwww. I think you give way too much credit. You did it all and are the reason they are going to be fine.

"I would have lost my mind long ago, honestly. :) " - Hmmmmmm, I think you are stronger than you may realize.

"But I'll keep my focus for now on the face-to-face and we'll see how it goes." - Sounds good. Just remember that it doesn't have to be perfect to be positive. If you get them to look away it is positive. If you get them focused on food it is positive. Even if there is batting, growling, etc but they know the "line" it is positive. Things like that.

"I'm sure I'll have lots to say. :)" - Sounds great!!! :) The more info the better.

Keep up the great work. You are almost there. :)
 
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"Super exciting!" - Yes!!

" I will keep you posted and you'll likely hear from me again after the face-to-face has happened! :) " - Sounds good but if you need encouragement, advice etc before just let me know.

"This wouldn't have been possible with your support and advice and encouragement! " - Awwwwwww. I think you give way too much credit. You did it all and are the reason they are going to be fine.

"I would have lost my mind long ago, honestly. :) " - Hmmmmmm, I think you are stronger than you may realize.

"But I'll keep my focus for now on the face-to-face and we'll see how it goes." - Sounds good. Just remember that it doesn't have to be perfect to be positive. If you get them to look away it is positive. If you get them focused on food it is positive. Even if there is batting, growling, etc but they know the "line" it is positive. Things like that.

"I'm sure I'll have lots to say. :)" - Sounds great!!! :) The more info the better.

Keep up the great work. You are almost there. :)
We're going for it tonight! Everything else is holding steady here. And, Florence can now go past the pet gate in the morning initially and NOT growl or hiss at Hawthorne.

That said, after that, she becomes interested in him again, once the treats stop and I go to work. Then, she still sometimes likes to sit and growl and watch him in his room. Usually they spend twenty minutes or so, off and on, while Hawthorne cries at the gate and wants out and Florence watches him and growls, until both calm down and she comes to take a nap with me and Hawthorne goes to take a nap on the bed.

Anyways, I think they won't keep progressing until we move ahead with this next face-to-face step, so I'll ensure that they're hungry and have each had play time beforehand and we'll aim for lots of treats during and see how it goes. :)

One article I read said to try to get them together for 5 or 10 minutes (or whatever is possible), 3-5 times a day, slowly extending the time. Would you say this is a good way to approach it? And outside of those times, try to keep on the usual schedule?
 

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We're going for it tonight! Everything else is holding steady here. And, Florence can now go past the pet gate in the morning initially and NOT growl or hiss at Hawthorne.

That said, after that, she becomes interested in him again, once the treats stop and I go to work. Then, she still sometimes likes to sit and growl and watch him in his room. Usually they spend twenty minutes or so, off and on, while Hawthorne cries at the gate and wants out and Florence watches him and growls, until both calm down and she comes to take a nap with me and Hawthorne goes to take a nap on the bed.

Anyways, I think they won't keep progressing until we move ahead with this next face-to-face step, so I'll ensure that they're hungry and have each had play time beforehand and we'll aim for lots of treats during and see how it goes. :)

One article I read said to try to get them together for 5 or 10 minutes (or whatever is possible), 3-5 times a day, slowly extending the time. Would you say this is a good way to approach it? And outside of those times, try to keep on the usual schedule?
"We're going for it tonight!" - GREAT!!! :)

" Everything else is holding steady here." - Perfect

" And, Florence can now go past the pet gate in the morning initially and NOT growl or hiss at Hawthorne." - Awwwwwww, so great!!!

"That said, after that, she becomes interested in him again, once the treats stop and I go to work." - Normal. Is she out and about while he is in "his" room?

" Then, she still sometimes likes to sit and growl and watch him in his room." - Awwwww. That is fine. As long as she is not going after him, hitting the door, hiding from him etc it is fine. The growl is just her thing.

"Usually they spend twenty minutes or so, off and on, while Hawthorne cries at the gate and wants out and Florence watches him and growls, until both calm down and she comes to take a nap with me and Hawthorne goes to take a nap on the bed." - Perfect. Acceptance.

"Anyways, I think they won't keep progressing until we move ahead with this next face-to-face step," - And they are ready.

"so I'll ensure that they're hungry and have each had play time beforehand and we'll aim for lots of treats during and see how it goes. :) "- Sounds good. Hungry is great. Now, the play, do they get amped up or tired after play? I think I would just skip the play for now and just do it when they are hungry, relaxed, calm, etc. Make sure neither one surprised the other.

"One article I read said to try to get them together for 5 or 10 minutes (or whatever is possible), 3-5 times a day, slowly extending the time. Would you say this is a good way to approach it?" - That is fine. I am all about quality rather than quantity. So as long as it is quality time then for however long and how often it is fine. And try to end it on a good note before any negativity. If distraction seems more challenging then just think about ending it at that point. There is no only real right way there are many paths to success.

"And outside of those times, try to keep on the usual schedule?" - Yes, I like to keep it on a schedule as cats are creatures of habit. So I would do a face to face when they normally would be doing a gate session.

I think they are absolutely ready. So just use food, distraction, keep it positive and all will be fine. We'll see how this one goes (I suspect fine) and we'll go from there. We will learn a lot (or really get confirmation) after tonight. And just enjoy the face to face. This is what we have been looking forward to to get them intro'd. We are almost there! :)
 
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"We're going for it tonight!" - GREAT!!! :)

" Everything else is holding steady here." - Perfect

" And, Florence can now go past the pet gate in the morning initially and NOT growl or hiss at Hawthorne." - Awwwwwww, so great!!!

"That said, after that, she becomes interested in him again, once the treats stop and I go to work." - Normal. Is she out and about while he is in "his" room?

" Then, she still sometimes likes to sit and growl and watch him in his room." - Awwwww. That is fine. As long as she is not going after him, hitting the door, hiding from him etc it is fine. The growl is just her thing.

"Usually they spend twenty minutes or so, off and on, while Hawthorne cries at the gate and wants out and Florence watches him and growls, until both calm down and she comes to take a nap with me and Hawthorne goes to take a nap on the bed." - Perfect. Acceptance.

"Anyways, I think they won't keep progressing until we move ahead with this next face-to-face step," - And they are ready.

"so I'll ensure that they're hungry and have each had play time beforehand and we'll aim for lots of treats during and see how it goes. :) "- Sounds good. Hungry is great. Now, the play, do they get amped up or tired after play? I think I would just skip the play for now and just do it when they are hungry, relaxed, calm, etc. Make sure neither one surprised the other.

"One article I read said to try to get them together for 5 or 10 minutes (or whatever is possible), 3-5 times a day, slowly extending the time. Would you say this is a good way to approach it?" - That is fine. I am all about quality rather than quantity. So as long as it is quality time then for however long and how often it is fine. And try to end it on a good note before any negativity. If distraction seems more challenging then just think about ending it at that point. There is no only real right way there are many paths to success.

"And outside of those times, try to keep on the usual schedule?" - Yes, I like to keep it on a schedule as cats are creatures of habit. So I would do a face to face when they normally would be doing a gate session.

I think they are absolutely ready. So just use food, distraction, keep it positive and all will be fine. We'll see how this one goes (I suspect fine) and we'll go from there. We will learn a lot (or really get confirmation) after tonight. And just enjoy the face to face. This is what we have been looking forward to to get them intro'd. We are almost there! :)
Ok here is the update! Competely uneventful, hahaha!

Basically we went for about 7 or 8 minutes only. I think we could have gone longer but they'd each eaten a LOT of treats and I thought, ok, this has been positive, let's just leave it on a high note.

So basically we had her up on the kitchen island with a few treats in her puzzle. We made sure Hawthorne saw her from his room (he was in the French door room) and she saw him come out. She didn't seem to care at first. She just wanted treats. He was cautious but he chose treats every time too. She hopped down from the island after a bit and went to another area of the main space. Basically we just followed them around (me with Florie, my partner with Michael) and periodically gave them kibbles. Florence growled a little bit and Hawthorne stared and crouched a little bit, but no aggressive body language or anything like that. Both were ENTIRELY distractable with treats. They also never really even got near each other - probably twelve feet apart most of the time.

Then we led Hawthorne back in to the French door room and closed the gate, and that was that! Florie was immediately ready to play. I think Hawthorne was more scared - he's under the bed now, hiding/resting.

So short and sweet! But I think positive that neither reacted MORE to seeing the other cat out then they did seeing them in the room.

We'll try again tomorrow evening and then Sat/Sun/Mon we'll try for a few times in the day.

Any other tips? Should we reduce the treats and just let them walk around and only distract when necessary, or does that come down the road and for now just keep distracting?

Thanks so much!
 
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And a quick addition! Hawthorne was under the bed for about 10 minutes and then back out again crying to come out. So not that scared. :)
 

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Ok here is the update! Competely uneventful, hahaha!

Basically we went for about 7 or 8 minutes only. I think we could have gone longer but they'd each eaten a LOT of treats and I thought, ok, this has been positive, let's just leave it on a high note.

So basically we had her up on the kitchen island with a few treats in her puzzle. We made sure Hawthorne saw her from his room (he was in the French door room) and she saw him come out. She didn't seem to care at first. She just wanted treats. He was cautious but he chose treats every time too. She hopped down from the island after a bit and went to another area of the main space. Basically we just followed them around (me with Florie, my partner with Michael) and periodically gave them kibbles. Florence growled a little bit and Hawthorne stared and crouched a little bit, but no aggressive body language or anything like that. Both were ENTIRELY distractable with treats. They also never really even got near each other - probably twelve feet apart most of the time.

Then we led Hawthorne back in to the French door room and closed the gate, and that was that! Florie was immediately ready to play. I think Hawthorne was more scared - he's under the bed now, hiding/resting.

So short and sweet! But I think positive that neither reacted MORE to seeing the other cat out then they did seeing them in the room.

We'll try again tomorrow evening and then Sat/Sun/Mon we'll try for a few times in the day.

Any other tips? Should we reduce the treats and just let them walk around and only distract when necessary, or does that come down the road and for now just keep distracting?

Thanks so much!
"Ok here is the update! Competely uneventful, hahaha!" - I like 'completely uneventful"!! :)

"Basically we went for about 7 or 8 minutes only. I think we could have gone longer but they'd each eaten a LOT of treats and I thought, ok, this has been positive, let's just leave it on a high note." - Perfect, that is totally fine.

"So basically we had her up on the kitchen island with a few treats in her puzzle." - Great

" We made sure Hawthorne saw her from his room (he was in the French door room) and she saw him come out." - Perfect!!!

" She didn't seem to care at first." - Awwwww, LOVE that!!

" She just wanted treats." - Perfect.

" He was cautious" - Expected

" but he chose treats every time too." - Perfect, THAT is exactly what we want to see.

" She hopped down from the island after a bit and went to another area of the main space." - Really? Wow, GREAT sign. How did he react when she did that?

"Basically we just followed them around (me with Florie, my partner with Michael) and periodically gave them kibbles." - Perfect.

" Florence growled a little bit and Hawthorne stared and crouched a little bit, but no aggressive body language or anything like that." - Great, I am not at all bothered by the growling. And when it is respected even better.

" Both were ENTIRELY distractable with treats." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: This is so positive. :)

"They also never really even got near each other - probably twelve feet apart most of the time." - That is fine. Were they afraid to go closer or just didn't care to?

"Then we led Hawthorne back in to the French door room and closed the gate, and that was that!" - Perfect

" Florie was immediately ready to play." - Great!! She did AMAZINGLY well!!

" I think Hawthorne was more scared - he's under the bed now, hiding/resting." - Awwwwww. :/ Was his body language real cautious when they were together? Just reassure, etc. Also, next time, try to get Florie in the ofice and let Hawthorne out and about and reassure etc.

"So short and sweet!" - Perfect

"But I think positive that neither reacted MORE to seeing the other cat out then they did seeing them in the room." - This went amazingly well. They are just fine.

"We'll try again tomorrow evening and then Sat/Sun/Mon we'll try for a few times in the day." - Great. The only thing I would change is keep Hawthorne out after the face to face and reassure.

"Any other tips?" - Just the keep Hawthorne out after face to face so he can sniff around, etc and feel secure about the situation. The resident cat pretty much always has the biggest issues BUT he did great (other than the hiding after but I wonder if that was beause he was back in the room).

"Should we reduce the treats and just let them walk around and only distract when necessary, or does that come down the road and for now just keep distracting?" - Yes, in a few sessions. So for the next two or three sessions use treats then transition to treats when needed.

"Thanks so much!" - You are welcome. Thank YOU for all the great work!!

"And a quick addition! Hawthorne was under the bed for about 10 minutes and then back out again crying to come out. So not that scared. :)" - Oh great!! I was going to ask you how long he took to rebound. Perfect. Yep, he was just fine with her being around!!! :)

Just keep it up, they are going to be just fine. :) We'll get them fully intro'd soon. :)

Great work and keep up the great work!!! :)
 
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"Ok here is the update! Competely uneventful, hahaha!" - I like 'completely uneventful"!! :)

"Basically we went for about 7 or 8 minutes only. I think we could have gone longer but they'd each eaten a LOT of treats and I thought, ok, this has been positive, let's just leave it on a high note." - Perfect, that is totally fine.

"So basically we had her up on the kitchen island with a few treats in her puzzle." - Great

" We made sure Hawthorne saw her from his room (he was in the French door room) and she saw him come out." - Perfect!!!

" She didn't seem to care at first." - Awwwww, LOVE that!!

" She just wanted treats." - Perfect.

" He was cautious" - Expected

" but he chose treats every time too." - Perfect, THAT is exactly what we want to see.

" She hopped down from the island after a bit and went to another area of the main space." - Really? Wow, GREAT sign. How did he react when she did that?

"Basically we just followed them around (me with Florie, my partner with Michael) and periodically gave them kibbles." - Perfect.

" Florence growled a little bit and Hawthorne stared and crouched a little bit, but no aggressive body language or anything like that." - Great, I am not at all bothered by the growling. And when it is respected even better.

" Both were ENTIRELY distractable with treats." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: This is so positive. :)

"They also never really even got near each other - probably twelve feet apart most of the time." - That is fine. Were they afraid to go closer or just didn't care to?

"Then we led Hawthorne back in to the French door room and closed the gate, and that was that!" - Perfect

" Florie was immediately ready to play." - Great!! She did AMAZINGLY well!!

" I think Hawthorne was more scared - he's under the bed now, hiding/resting." - Awwwwww. :/ Was his body language real cautious when they were together? Just reassure, etc. Also, next time, try to get Florie in the ofice and let Hawthorne out and about and reassure etc.

"So short and sweet!" - Perfect

"But I think positive that neither reacted MORE to seeing the other cat out then they did seeing them in the room." - This went amazingly well. They are just fine.

"We'll try again tomorrow evening and then Sat/Sun/Mon we'll try for a few times in the day." - Great. The only thing I would change is keep Hawthorne out after the face to face and reassure.

"Any other tips?" - Just the keep Hawthorne out after face to face so he can sniff around, etc and feel secure about the situation. The resident cat pretty much always has the biggest issues BUT he did great (other than the hiding after but I wonder if that was beause he was back in the room).

"Should we reduce the treats and just let them walk around and only distract when necessary, or does that come down the road and for now just keep distracting?" - Yes, in a few sessions. So for the next two or three sessions use treats then transition to treats when needed.

"Thanks so much!" - You are welcome. Thank YOU for all the great work!!

"And a quick addition! Hawthorne was under the bed for about 10 minutes and then back out again crying to come out. So not that scared. :)" - Oh great!! I was going to ask you how long he took to rebound. Perfect. Yep, he was just fine with her being around!!! :)

Just keep it up, they are going to be just fine. :) We'll get them fully intro'd soon. :)

Great work and keep up the great work!!! :)
Hello again! Another update - we've done two more sessions since Thursday - one last night, and one this (mid) morning. Yesterday went well - we went just a bit longer and while Hawthorne appeared a little more interested closer to the end (a bit more movement and staring) we were able to guide Florie out of the room (well, I carried her) and close her in her room and Hawthorne stayed out with us for reassurance (which I think he liked - he came and napped in the living room with us). They also ate supper together last evening during the session (very far apart) but that went ok.

This morning didn't go as well - we were doing ok and then obviously went a little too long - Hawthorne started trying to move a little closer to her (in sneaky ways - coming from behind furniture) with more staring, and she increased her growling considerably. I thought we were doing ok but then she hopped to the ground off something and Hawthorne charged her and they had a fight. It was brief - she ran, he chased, a bit of fur flew - and then we were able to get them separate again. Hawthorne ran into one of the bedrooms and I admit, I just closed him in there. Florie went a hid under the sofa. After about 20 minutes, she came out to eat a small treat I had placed next to the sofa, but then immediately went back under and is sleeping there now. When she next comes out voluntarily, I'll put her back in her room and let Hawthorne out again.

I was upset (I might have cried) about their fighting but I'm calmer now. :) At least now I can recognize again the signs of 'ok, time to end this.' Moer staring from Hawthorne, more growling from her. We got to maybe 15 minutes today before the fight happened.

Anyways, should we give it a rest today or try again later tonight if the cats are seeming calm and recovered?
 
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A note that she came out from under the sofa after about 45 minutes - then she emerged to the promise of treats. I put her back in her room with a little snack. She growled at the direction of Hawthorne's room while I was carrying her and growled a little when I gave her a rub when she was eating. So I've left her to chill out and let Hawthorne out again. He seems fine. He's eating forgotten treats off the ground and looking for more.
 

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Hello again! Another update - we've done two more sessions since Thursday - one last night, and one this (mid) morning. Yesterday went well - we went just a bit longer and while Hawthorne appeared a little more interested closer to the end (a bit more movement and staring) we were able to guide Florie out of the room (well, I carried her) and close her in her room and Hawthorne stayed out with us for reassurance (which I think he liked - he came and napped in the living room with us). They also ate supper together last evening during the session (very far apart) but that went ok.

This morning didn't go as well - we were doing ok and then obviously went a little too long - Hawthorne started trying to move a little closer to her (in sneaky ways - coming from behind furniture) with more staring, and she increased her growling considerably. I thought we were doing ok but then she hopped to the ground off something and Hawthorne charged her and they had a fight. It was brief - she ran, he chased, a bit of fur flew - and then we were able to get them separate again. Hawthorne ran into one of the bedrooms and I admit, I just closed him in there. Florie went a hid under the sofa. After about 20 minutes, she came out to eat a small treat I had placed next to the sofa, but then immediately went back under and is sleeping there now. When she next comes out voluntarily, I'll put her back in her room and let Hawthorne out again.

I was upset (I might have cried) about their fighting but I'm calmer now. :) At least now I can recognize again the signs of 'ok, time to end this.' Moer staring from Hawthorne, more growling from her. We got to maybe 15 minutes today before the fight happened.

Anyways, should we give it a rest today or try again later tonight if the cats are seeming calm and recovered?
"Hello again! Another update - we've done two more sessions since Thursday - one last night, and one this (mid) morning." - Great

" Yesterday went well - we went just a bit longer" - Great

" and while Hawthorne appeared a little more interested closer to the end (a bit more movement and staring)" Understandable and expected.

" we were able to guide Florie out of the room (well, I carried her)" - Ok. She didn't want to leave or was afraid to move?

"and close her in her room" - Ok.

" and Hawthorne stayed out with us for reassurance (which I think he liked - he came and napped in the living room with us)." - Great

" They also ate supper together last evening during the session (very far apart) but that went ok." - Perfect.

How did Florie do when she went back into her room? Did anyone spend some time with her?

"This morning didn't go as well" - Ok, let's see.

" - we were doing ok and then obviously went a little too long " - Ok

"- Hawthorne started trying to move a little closer to her (in sneaky ways - coming from behind furniture) with more staring, and she increased her growling considerably." - OK, here did you try to distract?

" I thought we were doing ok but then she hopped to the ground off something and Hawthorne charged her and they had a fight. It was brief - she ran, he chased," - Yep, that movement will trigger a response. I am guessing you didn't really see it but what was her intent? Body language? Was he startled or "stalking" her? Etc.

" a bit of fur flew " - Ok

"- and then we were able to get them separate again." - Good. How did you do it?

" Hawthorne ran into one of the bedrooms and I admit, I just closed him in there." - Ok

"Florie went a hid under the sofa. After about 20 minutes, she came out to eat a small treat I had placed next to the sofa," - Ok good.

" but then immediately went back under and is sleeping there now." - OK. Just reassure her with words.

" When she next comes out voluntarily, I'll put her back in her room" - Ok, give her a little bit of time to explore, etc. Then make it seem like she wants to go back in her room. Try to make it as positive as possible. IN the meantime, reassure Hawthorne.

" and let Hawthorne out again." - SOunds good.

"I was upset (I might have cried) about their fighting but I'm calmer now. :) " - Awwwwwwww. :( But it is ok. This is really nothing. Of course we don't want it to happen but it does. The fact they were able to be separated and they don't seem to have hurt each other tells us a lot about where they are. They are defensive and not offensive which is great.

"At least now I can recognize again the signs of 'ok, time to end this.'" - Yes, we learn. And use distraction, etc if possible.

" Moer staring from Hawthorne, " - If you can get him to look away that is great. Just to break that focus in some way.

"more growling from her." - Yes but growling is her thing so...................

" We got to maybe 15 minutes today before the fight happened." - That is great. Feel free to sit on the couch and get one of them to hang out with you as well if you can.

"Anyways, should we give it a rest today or try again later tonight if the cats are seeming calm and recovered?" - See how they are doing but I would do another one as long as they seem "ok". I suspect they will be "ok". Get them focused on treats and maybe keep it a bit shorter and if you can sit on the couch and cuddle with one of them (if safe and if possible) that could be good.

So overall, I am not at all worried. This happens, I am guessing it was an unfortunate coincidence. Use distraction on him, if you can get him to break the stare, look away, even turn his back that is great. Just try to get them focused on anything but each other if possible. And reassure, reinforce, etc.

They are going to be just fine. They got tested, had a hard test but they really have passed. We just need to get them to an "A" now. :)
 
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"Hello again! Another update - we've done two more sessions since Thursday - one last night, and one this (mid) morning." - Great

" Yesterday went well - we went just a bit longer" - Great

" and while Hawthorne appeared a little more interested closer to the end (a bit more movement and staring)" Understandable and expected.

" we were able to guide Florie out of the room (well, I carried her)" - Ok. She didn't want to leave or was afraid to move?

"and close her in her room" - Ok.

" and Hawthorne stayed out with us for reassurance (which I think he liked - he came and napped in the living room with us)." - Great

" They also ate supper together last evening during the session (very far apart) but that went ok." - Perfect.

How did Florie do when she went back into her room? Did anyone spend some time with her?

"This morning didn't go as well" - Ok, let's see.

" - we were doing ok and then obviously went a little too long " - Ok

"- Hawthorne started trying to move a little closer to her (in sneaky ways - coming from behind furniture) with more staring, and she increased her growling considerably." - OK, here did you try to distract?

" I thought we were doing ok but then she hopped to the ground off something and Hawthorne charged her and they had a fight. It was brief - she ran, he chased," - Yep, that movement will trigger a response. I am guessing you didn't really see it but what was her intent? Body language? Was he startled or "stalking" her? Etc.

" a bit of fur flew " - Ok

"- and then we were able to get them separate again." - Good. How did you do it?

" Hawthorne ran into one of the bedrooms and I admit, I just closed him in there." - Ok

"Florie went a hid under the sofa. After about 20 minutes, she came out to eat a small treat I had placed next to the sofa," - Ok good.

" but then immediately went back under and is sleeping there now." - OK. Just reassure her with words.

" When she next comes out voluntarily, I'll put her back in her room" - Ok, give her a little bit of time to explore, etc. Then make it seem like she wants to go back in her room. Try to make it as positive as possible. IN the meantime, reassure Hawthorne.

" and let Hawthorne out again." - SOunds good.

"I was upset (I might have cried) about their fighting but I'm calmer now. :) " - Awwwwwwww. :( But it is ok. This is really nothing. Of course we don't want it to happen but it does. The fact they were able to be separated and they don't seem to have hurt each other tells us a lot about where they are. They are defensive and not offensive which is great.

"At least now I can recognize again the signs of 'ok, time to end this.'" - Yes, we learn. And use distraction, etc if possible.

" Moer staring from Hawthorne, " - If you can get him to look away that is great. Just to break that focus in some way.

"more growling from her." - Yes but growling is her thing so...................

" We got to maybe 15 minutes today before the fight happened." - That is great. Feel free to sit on the couch and get one of them to hang out with you as well if you can.

"Anyways, should we give it a rest today or try again later tonight if the cats are seeming calm and recovered?" - See how they are doing but I would do another one as long as they seem "ok". I suspect they will be "ok". Get them focused on treats and maybe keep it a bit shorter and if you can sit on the couch and cuddle with one of them (if safe and if possible) that could be good.

So overall, I am not at all worried. This happens, I am guessing it was an unfortunate coincidence. Use distraction on him, if you can get him to break the stare, look away, even turn his back that is great. Just try to get them focused on anything but each other if possible. And reassure, reinforce, etc.

They are going to be just fine. They got tested, had a hard test but they really have passed. We just need to get them to an "A" now. :)
Ok this is very helpful, thank you!

To answer your questions - I had to carry her back into her room both yesterday and today. Yesterday she did well but ultimately ended up under the table and didn't want to come out, and we were at the end of the session so I picked her up and went back to her room with her and little snack.

Today I carried her back in too because I wanted to give her quiet time and time for Hawthorne to come out and she wasn't otherwise that interested anymore in following me with treats. But I see that it's better to maybe each spend time with one after so they both get some reassurance. I'll try to add that in after our next sessions. Ideally we are aiming to guide one of them out of the room (Florie) so we'll keep aiming for that, and keeping it shorter.

Hawthorne is usually calmer in the afternoon anyways so if we try again, we'll see if we can do better later in the day.

And yes, before the fight we were trying to distract but I think not quite as actively as we should have been. He was already starting to stare more and look a bit more grouchy and it just kind of broke down quickly from there. I suppose I had been wondering too how they would do without as many treats, so now I see!

Maybe I'll try with her on my lap too and see if that does anything. :)
 

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Ok this is very helpful, thank you!

To answer your questions - I had to carry her back into her room both yesterday and today. Yesterday she did well but ultimately ended up under the table and didn't want to come out, and we were at the end of the session so I picked her up and went back to her room with her and little snack.

Today I carried her back in too because I wanted to give her quiet time and time for Hawthorne to come out and she wasn't otherwise that interested anymore in following me with treats. But I see that it's better to maybe each spend time with one after so they both get some reassurance. I'll try to add that in after our next sessions. Ideally we are aiming to guide one of them out of the room (Florie) so we'll keep aiming for that, and keeping it shorter.

Hawthorne is usually calmer in the afternoon anyways so if we try again, we'll see if we can do better later in the day.

And yes, before the fight we were trying to distract but I think not quite as actively as we should have been. He was already starting to stare more and look a bit more grouchy and it just kind of broke down quickly from there. I suppose I had been wondering too how they would do without as many treats, so now I see!

Maybe I'll try with her on my lap too and see if that does anything. :)
"Ok this is very helpful, thank you!" - Great, you are very welcome.

"To answer your questions - I had to carry her back into her room both yesterday and today." - Ok. Because she was scared or because she just didn't want to go back into the room? Just your best idea about her intent.

"Yesterday she did well but ultimately ended up under the table and didn't want to come out," - Ok. What I tend to do in this situation is just sit by, reassure them, talk to them lovingly, make sure the other cat is not there, staring, etc (if possible).

"and we were at the end of the session so I picked her up and went back to her room with her and little snack." - OK, good, love that she had something good when she got back there.

"Today I carried her back in too because I wanted to give her quiet time and time for Hawthorne to come out" - Ok

" and she wasn't otherwise that interested anymore in following me with treats." - What was she doing? Hiding? Acting funny? Etc? Or just not interested, focused on him, etc.

" But I see that it's better to maybe each spend time with one after so they both get some reassurance." - Yes, if possible. It can be hard. But just reassure, etc. Feel free to use treats if they want them. Talk. Give eye kisses. Just anything to let them know all is ok.

"I'll try to add that in after our next sessions." - Sounds good

" Ideally we are aiming to guide one of them out of the room (Florie) so we'll keep aiming for that, and keeping it shorter." - Yes. It can be difficult to so just do your best. And when they are back in give them some reassurance.

"Hawthorne is usually calmer in the afternoon anyways so if we try again, we'll see if we can do better later in the day." - Sounds good. Really, this morning was not bad at all. Sure it wasn't perfect BUT it tells me they can accept and they really don't want to hurt each other (which is great meaning they have respect for each other). I KNOW it is hard when you are in the middle of it but this morning was not bad at all (after the fact).

"And yes, before the fight we were trying to distract but I think not quite as actively as we should have been." - Ok. Just keep trying to distract. They don't have to look at each other, just be near each other without incident. AND if they have their back to each toher and nothing bad happens that builds trust (and is a sign of trust).

"He was already starting to stare more and look a bit more grouchy and it just kind of broke down quickly from there." - Yes, that is how it usually goes. If you can distract him then look to end it that is good as well.

" I suppose I had been wondering too how they would do without as many treats, so now I see!" - Yes. It is about something to focus on. BUT the fact they do well with treats tells us they can without (in time).

"Maybe I'll try with her on my lap too and see if that does anything. :) " - As long as you are safe and Hawthorne is not really focused on her, etc. I don't want you to get scratched etc.

What I do is if one cat is sleeping, hanging out I might carry the cat in, put them in my lap, and just "hang out". And if the other cat gets up and gets interested I watch the body language and adjust as needed (maybe toss a treat, grad a toy, etc). If I can keep the cat on my lap (and sometimes when they are cautious it is pretty easy to do) then it can really do some good. BUT I don't want you at risk in any way. So if you feel at all unsure please don't do that. I would do the previous way for now and then we can talk about this later down the road.

I am really not worried, they are going to be just fine. Just distract and try to keep it as positive as possible. Quality over quantity.:)
 

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Ok this is very helpful, thank you!

To answer your questions - I had to carry her back into her room both yesterday and today. Yesterday she did well but ultimately ended up under the table and didn't want to come out, and we were at the end of the session so I picked her up and went back to her room with her and little snack.

Today I carried her back in too because I wanted to give her quiet time and time for Hawthorne to come out and she wasn't otherwise that interested anymore in following me with treats. But I see that it's better to maybe each spend time with one after so they both get some reassurance. I'll try to add that in after our next sessions. Ideally we are aiming to guide one of them out of the room (Florie) so we'll keep aiming for that, and keeping it shorter.

Hawthorne is usually calmer in the afternoon anyways so if we try again, we'll see if we can do better later in the day.

And yes, before the fight we were trying to distract but I think not quite as actively as we should have been. He was already starting to stare more and look a bit more grouchy and it just kind of broke down quickly from there. I suppose I had been wondering too how they would do without as many treats, so now I see!

Maybe I'll try with her on my lap too and see if that does anything. :)
Just wanted to check in. How are they doing?
 
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Just wanted to check in. How are they doing?
Hello C calicosrspecial ! So sorry I missed this! Thanks so much for checking in. :)

Since the little fight they had on Saturday, we just did one face-to-face per day - once on Sunday, once on Monday - both times at supper. So the basic set-up was Florence had been out before that for about an hour or so, and Hawthorne in the French Door room. Usually in the afternoon they each just take a nap and it's calmer. Then we fed Florence on the kitchen island and let Hawthorne out of his room and fed him on the floor. So they were probably about 8 feet apart, but with her up higher. After each finished eating (and they both did eat, no problem), we just continued to distract a little bit with kibbles. I would say we made it to the 8 minute mark each time, maybe. Then she wants to hop down and go somewhere else and maybe groom a bit, and that's about when Hawthorne starts to stare a little more and just get a bit more of an agitated tail. He's a lot easier to guide back into a room (he likes to go drink water after supper in his room) so we just close him back in briefly, and then coax her back into her room. Then we let him back out again.

She doesn't growl during the visits UNTIL she senses him staring a bit more OR getting within a certain distance.

They do other very positive things - they'll turn their back on each other and she can go past his room now (with just the gate) and not growl or hiss or do anything. And they remain distractable with treats.

But, other times, especially when he is at the gate crying to come out, she'll sit about three feet away right in front of the gate and watch, growling. No aggressive body language but she just sits there. You can distract her and she'll leave, but if you aren't playing with her or engaging her, she'll go back and sit there again. :) Hawthorne doesn't seem to react, except that he continues to cry to want to come out.

I guess the goal is like any other goal - bit by bit, we increase the time they spend together without fighting and hope that at some point, he accepts her fully and stops attacking, yes?

Do you think we should try anything with a harness or a pet crate? I know there are mixed opinions on those. Just wondering if that would help us advance.
 
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calicosrspecial

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Hello C calicosrspecial ! So sorry I missed this! Thanks so much for checking in. :)

Since the little fight they had on Saturday, we just did one face-to-face per day - once on Sunday, once on Monday - both times at supper. So the basic set-up was Florence had been out before that for about an hour or so, and Hawthorne in the French Door room. Usually in the afternoon they each just take a nap and it's calmer. Then we fed Florence on the kitchen island and let Hawthorne out of his room and fed him on the floor. So they were probably about 8 feet apart, but with her up higher. After each finished eating (and they both did eat, no problem), we just continued to distract a little bit with kibbles. I would say we made it to the 8 minute mark each time, maybe. Then she wants to hop down and go somewhere else and maybe groom a bit, and that's about when Hawthorne starts to stare a little more and just get a bit more of an agitated tail. He's a lot easier to guide back into a room (he likes to go drink water after supper in his room) so we just close him back in briefly, and then coax her back into her room. Then we let him back out again.

She doesn't growl during the visits UNTIL she senses him staring a bit more OR getting within a certain distance.

They do other very positive things - they'll turn their back on each other and she can go past his room now (with just the gate) and not growl or hiss or do anything. And they remain distractable with treats.

But, other times, especially when he is at the gate crying to come out, she'll sit about three feet away right in front of the gate and watch, growling. No aggressive body language but she just sits there. You can distract her and she'll leave, but if you aren't playing with her or engaging her, she'll go back and sit there again. :) Hawthorne doesn't seem to react, except that he continues to cry to want to come out.

I guess the goal is like any other goal - bit by bit, we increase the time they spend together without fighting and hope that at some point, he accepts her fully and stops attacking, yes?

Do you think we should try anything with a harness or a pet crate? I know there are mixed opinions on those. Just wondering if that would help us advance.
"Hello C calicosrspecial C calicosrspecial ! So sorry I missed this! Thanks so much for checking in. :) " - So great to hear from you.

"Since the little fight they had on Saturday, we just did one face-to-face per day - once on Sunday, once on Monday - both times at supper." - Great

" So the basic set-up was Florence had been out before that for about an hour or so, and Hawthorne in the French Door room." - Perfect

" Usually in the afternoon they each just take a nap and it's calmer." - Yes

" Then we fed Florence on the kitchen island and let Hawthorne out of his room and fed him on the floor." - Great

" So they were probably about 8 feet apart, but with her up higher." - Perfect

" After each finished eating (and they both did eat, no problem)," - Great

" we just continued to distract a little bit with kibbles." - Exactly

" I would say we made it to the 8 minute mark each time, maybe." - Terrific.

" Then she wants to hop down and go somewhere else and maybe groom a bit," - Exactly. That makes sense. It is a good sign that she is comfortable to jump down knowing he is there.

" and that's about when Hawthorne starts to stare a little more and just get a bit more of an agitated tail." - Ok, that is expected. Just distract him at all if possible. Is he willing to play?

"He's a lot easier to guide back into a room (he likes to go drink water after supper in his room)" - Wow, THAT is great. IF there were issues he would not do that.

" so we just close him back in briefly, and then coax her back into her room. Then we let him back out again." - Ok

"She doesn't growl during the visits UNTIL she senses him staring a bit more OR getting within a certain distance." - How does he respond to the growling? Does he escalate a bit or just act the same?

"They do other very positive things - they'll turn their back on each other and she can go past his room now (with just the gate) and not growl or hiss or do anything. And they remain distractable with treats." - Perfect. VERY positive!!! Yep, they are going to be just fine. :)

"But, other times, especially when he is at the gate crying to come out, she'll sit about three feet away right in front of the gate and watch, growling." - That is fine, not at all an issue.

" No aggressive body language but she just sits there." - Perfect

" You can distract her and she'll leave, but if you aren't playing with her or engaging her, she'll go back and sit there again. :) " - Yep, not at all an issue.

" Hawthorne doesn't seem to react, except that he continues to cry to want to come out." - Great!!!

"I guess the goal is like any other goal - bit by bit, we increase the time they spend together without fighting and hope that at some point, he accepts her fully and stops attacking, yes?" - Yes? Is he attacking really? Will he play at all?

"Do you think we should try anything with a harness or a pet crate?" - I don't think there is a need to do either. They are well advanced past those points. I personally am not a crate person.

"I know there are mixed opinions on those. Just wondering if that would help us advance." - Always great to ask.

So I would keep trying to distract him. She sounds like she is doing great. He is just challenging her a bit. Keep working on their confidence with play as the more confident they are the more they will accept. See if Florie will come on the couch with you and relax a bit with him around if you feel safe.

I probably wouldn't play with Florie and have him watch since it might trigger a hunting response from him BUT do you think she would be ok watching him play? Or would he even play?

This is a great update. It is going to happen soon.

If you can distract him when she jumps down that will be a great step forward. Oooooooooo, they are so close!!! :)

Keep up the great work.
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello C calicosrspecial C calicosrspecial ! So sorry I missed this! Thanks so much for checking in. :) " - So great to hear from you.

"Since the little fight they had on Saturday, we just did one face-to-face per day - once on Sunday, once on Monday - both times at supper." - Great

" So the basic set-up was Florence had been out before that for about an hour or so, and Hawthorne in the French Door room." - Perfect

" Usually in the afternoon they each just take a nap and it's calmer." - Yes

" Then we fed Florence on the kitchen island and let Hawthorne out of his room and fed him on the floor." - Great

" So they were probably about 8 feet apart, but with her up higher." - Perfect

" After each finished eating (and they both did eat, no problem)," - Great

" we just continued to distract a little bit with kibbles." - Exactly

" I would say we made it to the 8 minute mark each time, maybe." - Terrific.

" Then she wants to hop down and go somewhere else and maybe groom a bit," - Exactly. That makes sense. It is a good sign that she is comfortable to jump down knowing he is there.

" and that's about when Hawthorne starts to stare a little more and just get a bit more of an agitated tail." - Ok, that is expected. Just distract him at all if possible. Is he willing to play?

"He's a lot easier to guide back into a room (he likes to go drink water after supper in his room)" - Wow, THAT is great. IF there were issues he would not do that.

" so we just close him back in briefly, and then coax her back into her room. Then we let him back out again." - Ok

"She doesn't growl during the visits UNTIL she senses him staring a bit more OR getting within a certain distance." - How does he respond to the growling? Does he escalate a bit or just act the same?

"They do other very positive things - they'll turn their back on each other and she can go past his room now (with just the gate) and not growl or hiss or do anything. And they remain distractable with treats." - Perfect. VERY positive!!! Yep, they are going to be just fine. :)

"But, other times, especially when he is at the gate crying to come out, she'll sit about three feet away right in front of the gate and watch, growling." - That is fine, not at all an issue.

" No aggressive body language but she just sits there." - Perfect

" You can distract her and she'll leave, but if you aren't playing with her or engaging her, she'll go back and sit there again. :) " - Yep, not at all an issue.

" Hawthorne doesn't seem to react, except that he continues to cry to want to come out." - Great!!!

"I guess the goal is like any other goal - bit by bit, we increase the time they spend together without fighting and hope that at some point, he accepts her fully and stops attacking, yes?" - Yes? Is he attacking really? Will he play at all?

"Do you think we should try anything with a harness or a pet crate?" - I don't think there is a need to do either. They are well advanced past those points. I personally am not a crate person.

"I know there are mixed opinions on those. Just wondering if that would help us advance." - Always great to ask.

So I would keep trying to distract him. She sounds like she is doing great. He is just challenging her a bit. Keep working on their confidence with play as the more confident they are the more they will accept. See if Florie will come on the couch with you and relax a bit with him around if you feel safe.

I probably wouldn't play with Florie and have him watch since it might trigger a hunting response from him BUT do you think she would be ok watching him play? Or would he even play?

This is a great update. It is going to happen soon.

If you can distract him when she jumps down that will be a great step forward. Oooooooooo, they are so close!!! :)

Keep up the great work.
Thanks as always for your continued positivity! I was worrying again that because of the fight on Saturday (and I suppose it was more of a chase/attack than an actual fight) it meant they won't be successfully intro'd and will always dislike each other. Every new phase comes with its little challenges, I guess. :)

I don't know if he would play. I'm game to try it. He can be difficult to engage in play regardless, and I'm not sure how he would do with her there. But always worth a try!

And when she growls he doesn't seem to react, exactly. When he ran at her on Saturday it was more like the same way he chase a bird out the window or a toy - low to the ground running over and then a pounce/jump. He didn't hiss or anything. He's never really hissed at her. He just stares with big eyes. I wouldn't say it was play though. It had a kind of stalking/chasing element.

Out of curiousity, why is it that he can be distracted to a point and then (as per Saturday) he decides he wants to take a run at her. Is it that the longer he looks at her the more agitated he gets?

We will try next time (probably later today) to distract him after she jumps down and see what happens. I know I tend to get more nervous then because they're at the same level. And the only way out of that main room is basically the hallway back to the bedrooms, so it becomes a little dance to try to get them to switch spots and get her to go back to her room. I think she does get scared. Scared, but also kind of at the same time she doesn't want to go back to her room, hahaha. She also gets, as the visit goes on and her growling increases, a bit more of an aggressive face - ears flattened against her head and whiskers back and eyes a little more squished up. Like the same face cats make before hissing. I guess that's more of a scared/defensive face, maybe.

Anyways, moral of the story is we just keep this up for now? Short visits around a meal or snacks and see how it is. We'll keep trying x1 per day for the rest of the week and see how we do.
 
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