Advice on Cat Introductions - Feeling a Bit Lost

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Furmama22

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As a note, she came out from under the bed about thirty minutes later. She's just joined me on the bed and is purring and grooming. Apparently Hawthorne has also come out in the main room and was sleeping in his chair again. So I guess not that serious from the cats' perspective.... just....a hurdle that I don't know how to surmount.
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello C calicosrspecial !

We tried our afternoon visit but alas - it was unsuccessful. I thought I picked a good time - mid-afternoon, usually when both are sleepy and calmer. We let her out of her room while I was giving Hawthorne treats and then we did treats just like we do before bed and that was fine. There was even a point at which they both went for the same treat and ended up about a foot or two apart and she growled but he took the treat and when I called his name, he came back to me. So I was feeling confident.

Then we put the treats away and thought we would see how it went. He kind of crouched down beside the kitchen island (which at first I thought was a nice thing - being calmer) and she tucked herself under the table. I went to sit a little further into the main room and was trying to speak calmly to them and say "it's ok" etc and then Florie came walking over to me. I think she wanted to go downstairs. As she was crossing over to come to where I was I could see Hawthorne's eyes getting bigger and then he just went for her in a big chase into the living room and under the sofa and then she came flying out and ran into the bedroom and hid under our bed.

I'm in the bedroom with her now to see how long it will take her to come out and to provide some comfort. I didn't have any cardboard with me in the main room and perhaps that was my error. I had no way to break his stare once it started and it was so fast. My partner didn't have any time either - he was the one holding the cardboard. I guess we both just thought we might get further ahead than literally 20 seconds after I put the treats away.

I feel demoralized. But, I know we thought a chase would be possible. I just thought....well, I felt so confident maybe they would just be ok.

Is there something I could have done differently? Do you think this means we need to try the harness?
"Hello C calicosrspecial C calicosrspecial ! " - Hello!!

"We tried our afternoon visit but alas - it was unsuccessful." - Ok, let's see

" I thought I picked a good time - mid-afternoon, usually when both are sleepy and calmer." Agreed

" We let her out of her room while I was giving Hawthorne treats and then we did treats just like we do before bed and that was fine." - Great

" There was even a point at which they both went for the same treat and ended up about a foot or two apart and she growled but he took the treat and when I called his name, he came back to me. So I was feeling confident." - WOW!!!! :yess: :hyper: :clap2: PERFECT!!!

"Then we put the treats away and thought we would see how it went." - Agreed

" He kind of crouched down beside the kitchen island (which at first I thought was a nice thing - being calmer)" - Ok, how was the body language?

" and she tucked herself under the table." - Ok, fine.

" I went to sit a little further into the main room and was trying to speak calmly to them and say "it's ok" etc and then Florie came walking over to me." - I LOVE she felt comfortable to walk towards you.

What is the set up? Was it like a triangle?

" I think she wanted to go downstairs." - Ok

" As she was crossing over to come to where I was I could see Hawthorne's eyes getting bigger and then he just went for her in a big chase into the living room" - Could it have been play? Ambush play?

"and under the sofa and then she came flying out and ran into the bedroom and hid under our bed." - Ok

Did he go into her room? When you went in to the bedroom did he run out?

"I'm in the bedroom with her now to see how long it will take her to come out and to provide some comfort." - The rebound will tell us a lot.

" I didn't have any cardboard with me in the main room and perhaps that was my error." - No, not at all. These things happen.

"I had no way to break his stare once it started and it was so fast." - Yes, it does happen fast. BUT if it was serious then it would have happened sooner and a lot more would have happened. I am wondering if it was play or light bullying.

"My partner didn't have any time either - he was the one holding the cardboard." - That is fine, it happens.

I would have some treats or a toy and see if that could break the focus.

"I guess we both just thought we might get further ahead than literally 20 seconds after I put the treats away." - Understandably. BUT I am not sensing this was all that serious.

"I feel demoralized." - I know, that is expected. BUT again, it doesn;t sound like he was really "after her". I wish I could have seen it. :/

" But, I know we thought a chase would be possible. I just thought....well, I felt so confident maybe they would just be ok." - I would have as well.

"Is there something I could have done differently?" - Other than try to distract a bit more or position yourself between them (safely) I don't think there is much else. And these things are part of the process. He doesn't seem to have hurt it and they didn't fight so it actually tells us and them quite a bit.

How they rebound from this will tell us a lot. Both length and quality.

"Do you think this means we need to try the harness? " - You could but he is not familiarized with it yet.

I would keep doing treat and feeding sessions and then try this again with a bit more distraction and personal interaction (almost like a body guard but not as invasive). So just position your self between them but only safely as I think he would not chase if you were there.

"As a note, she came out from under the bed about thirty minutes later. She's just joined me on the bed and is purring and grooming." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: AWESOME!!!! Yep, it was not a big deal to her!!! AWESOME!!!

"Apparently Hawthorne has also come out in the main room and was sleeping in his chair again." - AWESOME!!! :yess::hyper::clap2: This could not have been a better rebound.

They are going to be just fine. I have a big suspicion he was wanting to play with her. But to know I would have had to see it.

Awesome!!!

"So I guess not that serious from the cats' perspective...." - EXACTLY!!!!!

" just....a hurdle that I don't know how to surmount." - Part of the process. The fact there is respect and there was no fight etc and they rebounded quickly tells me it will be surmounted. Just keep doing what you are doing. It is working!!!

This was not bad at all AND they passed the test. I am actually feeling pretty good. Sure, it was not exactly what we wanted BUT I am more confident they are going to be just fine in time.

Please ask anything. I have lunch that is now done so am short on time. But will check back soon to answer or clarify anything.
 
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Thanks as always for reading and responding. :) I'm glad it was a fast rebound, although I will say she is grooming A LOT and has been since she came out, so I think she is trying to comfort herself a bit. She groomed so much she had all wet fur! Now she's doing a full bath again.

I just....how is this part supposed to get better? Even if he wanted to play, the fact that he chased her and didn't stop means he isn't respecting her hisses and growls. She was obviously very unhappy about this (it was quite noisy during the chase), even if she got over it quickly. How do I get them to be in the same room if he chases her immediately and then she runs out of the room?

She must have been a foot away from me or so (when she walked over to me - it was kind of like a triangle and then she closed the gap coming over to me) and he still chased her. My sense is that even had we put the cardboard in between, he would have just gone AROUND the kitchen island and tried again.

This happened the last time we tried this and that was three weeks or a month ago. I just don't know how this is going to stop. And maybe this is something they need to work out, but how are they working it out if she's hiding under the bed?

I am back to the afternoon session - Hawthorne in the room and Florie time out, but she got one look at him even through the gate and she went back under our bed.
 
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calicosrspecial

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Thanks as always for reading and responding. :) I'm glad it was a fast rebound, although I will say she is grooming A LOT and has been since she came out, so I think she is trying to comfort herself a bit. She groomed so much she had all wet fur! Now she's doing a full bath again.

I just....how is this part supposed to get better? Even if he wanted to play, the fact that he chased her and didn't stop means he isn't respecting her hisses and growls. She was obviously very unhappy about this (it was quite noisy during the chase), even if she got over it quickly. How do I get them to be in the same room if he chases her immediately and then she runs out of the room?

She must have been a foot away from me or so (when she walked over to me - it was kind of like a triangle and then she closed the gap coming over to me) and he still chased her. My sense is that even had we put the cardboard in between, he would have just gone AROUND the kitchen island and tried again.

This happened the last time we tried this and that was three weeks or a month ago. I just don't know how this is going to stop. And maybe this is something they need to work out, but how are they working it out if she's hiding under the bed?
"Thanks as always for reading and responding. :) " - Of course!!! :)

"I'm glad it was a fast rebound," - Exactly. That is the best "tell" we have.

" although I will say she is grooming A LOT and has been since she came out, so I think she is trying to comfort herself a bit. She groomed so much she had all wet fur! Now she's doing a full bath again." - Ok. Does it seem frantic? Is she acting normally otherwise? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 5 being normal grooming where do you think she is?

"I just....how is this part supposed to get better? " -

"Even if he wanted to play, the fact that he chased her and didn't stop means he isn't respecting her hisses and growls." - Well, her growling doesn't seem that serious so I am not sure I would take her growling (in isolation seriously). Now, with the hissing I think it is fair to say he didn't respect it enough BUT I am wondering if he just wants to play. How much did he play with his other sibling when they were together?

There are different levels of respect. It is like, we respect our partners BUT at times we get upset etc and do things that maybe is not best BUT our intent is not to hurt, etc. It is hard to explain. I am not botherd or should I say worried by what he did. I think he respects her. I do think her growling is a bit "crying wolf" so it is easy to dismiss since it doesn't see to threatening.

"She was obviously very unhappy about this (it was quite noisy during the chase), " - Yes, in the moment BUT I think she learned something from this (that he doesn't really mean harm).

"even if she got over it quickly." - This is a BIG DEAL. And tells me she knows he didn't really mean harm to her.

Cats can get upset at another cat wanting to play so the intent is not always bad but can cause unhappiness.

"How do I get them to be in the same room if he chases her immediately and then she runs out of the room?" - Distraction, being the "bodyguard" but really I should say "Confidence support" since body guard is totally inartful. Confidence support is being there (while still paying attention to the other cat) to help with confidence (like going up on a cat tree where height = confidence). So we give confidence by detering that kind of chase.

"She must have been a foot away from me or so (when she walked over to me - it was kind of like a triangle and then she closed the gap coming over to me)" - Yes, I thought so. So next time try to be more in between (safely) if possible.

" and he still chased her." - yes, probably because you weren't in the straight line.

But remember, the cats have their part as much as we have ours. They have to do their part and it sounds like they are to some degree BUT we need them to do a bit more. She needs to hold her ground more (which she will and did when the treat was close). So she is making progress it is not full yet.

"My sense is that even had we put the cardboard in between, he would have just gone AROUND the kitchen island and tried again." - You are probably right. BUT it is about intent. He might want to bully or he might want to play but he doesn't want to eliminate and that is the key.

"This happened the last time we tried this and that was three weeks or a month ago. I just don't know how this is going to stop." - It stops when he gets bored with it, she stands up to him and a dozen other ways. It just does. The fact they can do it with treats tells me they can do it without.

"And maybe this is something they need to work out, but how are they working it out if she's hiding under the bed? " - Well, if she is hiding 24/7 I would agree but 30 minutes gives a lot of time to work it out. And this incident showed her he didn't really mean harm so I actually would say this was a block in the confidence building.

How they do at the next treat times will tell us a lot but so far so good.

I know you are frustrated but this is actually step forward. I know you don't understand that right now but you will. The cats are more intuitive than you may realize and I suspect they both learned something. I think over the next few days that will be confirmed.

IF there were real problems we would have many more datapoints to point to. Other than the chase and her reaction (running) there was really nothing else negative I can point to. And I really do wonder if he just wants to have some fun with that chase so her reaction might be the only negative but I suspect she'll stand up a bit in the future (though some cats do like to be chased in play though that is not yet supported with Florie).

Hang in there. If they do well at treat time/meal time over the next few days it will tell us all is well.

I know this is slower than you would like but I think they are going to be fine. She rebounded quickly and if the grooming is not supported by walking low to the ground, avoiding, hiding etc then she handled it just fine and it helped build confidence.
 
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"Thanks as always for reading and responding. :) " - Of course!!! :)

"I'm glad it was a fast rebound," - Exactly. That is the best "tell" we have.

" although I will say she is grooming A LOT and has been since she came out, so I think she is trying to comfort herself a bit. She groomed so much she had all wet fur! Now she's doing a full bath again." - Ok. Does it seem frantic? Is she acting normally otherwise? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 5 being normal grooming where do you think she is?

"I just....how is this part supposed to get better? " -

"Even if he wanted to play, the fact that he chased her and didn't stop means he isn't respecting her hisses and growls." - Well, her growling doesn't seem that serious so I am not sure I would take her growling (in isolation seriously). Now, with the hissing I think it is fair to say he didn't respect it enough BUT I am wondering if he just wants to play. How much did he play with his other sibling when they were together?

There are different levels of respect. It is like, we respect our partners BUT at times we get upset etc and do things that maybe is not best BUT our intent is not to hurt, etc. It is hard to explain. I am not botherd or should I say worried by what he did. I think he respects her. I do think her growling is a bit "crying wolf" so it is easy to dismiss since it doesn't see to threatening.

"She was obviously very unhappy about this (it was quite noisy during the chase), " - Yes, in the moment BUT I think she learned something from this (that he doesn't really mean harm).

"even if she got over it quickly." - This is a BIG DEAL. And tells me she knows he didn't really mean harm to her.

Cats can get upset at another cat wanting to play so the intent is not always bad but can cause unhappiness.

"How do I get them to be in the same room if he chases her immediately and then she runs out of the room?" - Distraction, being the "bodyguard" but really I should say "Confidence support" since body guard is totally inartful. Confidence support is being there (while still paying attention to the other cat) to help with confidence (like going up on a cat tree where height = confidence). So we give confidence by detering that kind of chase.

"She must have been a foot away from me or so (when she walked over to me - it was kind of like a triangle and then she closed the gap coming over to me)" - Yes, I thought so. So next time try to be more in between (safely) if possible.

" and he still chased her." - yes, probably because you weren't in the straight line.

But remember, the cats have their part as much as we have ours. They have to do their part and it sounds like they are to some degree BUT we need them to do a bit more. She needs to hold her ground more (which she will and did when the treat was close). So she is making progress it is not full yet.

"My sense is that even had we put the cardboard in between, he would have just gone AROUND the kitchen island and tried again." - You are probably right. BUT it is about intent. He might want to bully or he might want to play but he doesn't want to eliminate and that is the key.

"This happened the last time we tried this and that was three weeks or a month ago. I just don't know how this is going to stop." - It stops when he gets bored with it, she stands up to him and a dozen other ways. It just does. The fact they can do it with treats tells me they can do it without.

"And maybe this is something they need to work out, but how are they working it out if she's hiding under the bed? " - Well, if she is hiding 24/7 I would agree but 30 minutes gives a lot of time to work it out. And this incident showed her he didn't really mean harm so I actually would say this was a block in the confidence building.

How they do at the next treat times will tell us a lot but so far so good.

I know you are frustrated but this is actually step forward. I know you don't understand that right now but you will. The cats are more intuitive than you may realize and I suspect they both learned something. I think over the next few days that will be confirmed.

IF there were real problems we would have many more datapoints to point to. Other than the chase and her reaction (running) there was really nothing else negative I can point to. And I really do wonder if he just wants to have some fun with that chase so her reaction might be the only negative but I suspect she'll stand up a bit in the future (though some cats do like to be chased in play though that is not yet supported with Florie).

Hang in there. If they do well at treat time/meal time over the next few days it will tell us all is well.

I know this is slower than you would like but I think they are going to be fine. She rebounded quickly and if the grooming is not supported by walking low to the ground, avoiding, hiding etc then she handled it just fine and it helped build confidence.
Hello - just wanted to check in. :)

Florie is back to normal today, from what I can tell. Yesterday, she did do a bit more hiding. She came up on the bed about thirty minutes after the chase and did her grooming (which I would rate at a 7 or 8 in terms of its frenzy - more than usual and she really made herself damp like I'd put a washcloth on her, and then she did it again after) but then when I put Hawthorne away for the afternoon and let her out, she took one look at him (behind the gate) and went back into our room and under the bed. She eventually came out again, maybe thirty minutes or an hour later, but stayed sleeping in our room on a bench. When she came out in the evening she was a bit better but still reluctant to go past the gate where Hawthorne was and a little more 'hiding' and less certain about going anywhere near the gate. A little bit of that slinking low body language at times. We skipped treat time last night and just gave her individual attention.

This morning she seems back to normal - breakfast was fine, she growled at him at the gate as usual this morning etc.

So the rebound was not as fast as I thought - it took the better part of the day and overnight to get back fully back to normal.

You'd asked about playing too - Hawthorne and his former companion Tennyson did play a bunch but it very frequently escalated into skirmishes I had to break up. I don't get the sense Hawthorne was well socialized as a kitten (we found him on the street at 5 months old) and perhaps doesn't fully understand friendly play or takes it too far. If this was play (the chase with Florie), it had a more direct element to it then the play I've seen him do. I sense this had a flavour of bullying, as you've noted.

I'm wondering if I need to change my set-up here a bit. Hawthorne continues to be very unhappy having to go into the room (he cries and paces the room for a long time) while Florie is out and my partner wonders if maybe that's contributing to the problem. So I might see if there is some other formation with the gates where it's less "one in a room, one out" and more "each in half of the main living space" or something like that.

My mom thinks I should just let the chase happen, let her hide, then have her come out again and just let them work it out, but that doesn't seem quite right. Or she thinks I should spray him with a water bottle but I don't like that either - I feel that would wreck the bond with Hawthorne. But I do need something to stop him from charging her.
 

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Hello - just wanted to check in. :)

Florie is back to normal today, from what I can tell. Yesterday, she did do a bit more hiding. She came up on the bed about thirty minutes after the chase and did her grooming (which I would rate at a 7 or 8 in terms of its frenzy - more than usual and she really made herself damp like I'd put a washcloth on her, and then she did it again after) but then when I put Hawthorne away for the afternoon and let her out, she took one look at him (behind the gate) and went back into our room and under the bed. She eventually came out again, maybe thirty minutes or an hour later, but stayed sleeping in our room on a bench. When she came out in the evening she was a bit better but still reluctant to go past the gate where Hawthorne was and a little more 'hiding' and less certain about going anywhere near the gate. A little bit of that slinking low body language at times. We skipped treat time last night and just gave her individual attention.

This morning she seems back to normal - breakfast was fine, she growled at him at the gate as usual this morning etc.

So the rebound was not as fast as I thought - it took the better part of the day and overnight to get back fully back to normal.

You'd asked about playing too - Hawthorne and his former companion Tennyson did play a bunch but it very frequently escalated into skirmishes I had to break up. I don't get the sense Hawthorne was well socialized as a kitten (we found him on the street at 5 months old) and perhaps doesn't fully understand friendly play or takes it too far. If this was play (the chase with Florie), it had a more direct element to it then the play I've seen him do. I sense this had a flavour of bullying, as you've noted.

I'm wondering if I need to change my set-up here a bit. Hawthorne continues to be very unhappy having to go into the room (he cries and paces the room for a long time) while Florie is out and my partner wonders if maybe that's contributing to the problem. So I might see if there is some other formation with the gates where it's less "one in a room, one out" and more "each in half of the main living space" or something like that.

My mom thinks I should just let the chase happen, let her hide, then have her come out again and just let them work it out, but that doesn't seem quite right. Or she thinks I should spray him with a water bottle but I don't like that either - I feel that would wreck the bond with Hawthorne. But I do need something to stop him from charging her.
"Hello - just wanted to check in. :)" - Hi, great!!

"Florie is back to normal today, from what I can tell." - Great

" Yesterday, she did do a bit more hiding." - Ok, did he make any attempt to "get her"?

"She came up on the bed about thirty minutes after the chase and did her grooming (which I would rate at a 7 or 8 in terms of its frenzy - more than usual and she really made herself damp like I'd put a washcloth on her, and then she did it again after)" - 30 mins is great. The grooming isn't too bad.

"but then when I put Hawthorne away for the afternoon and let her out, she took one look at him (behind the gate) and went back into our room and under the bed." - Ok, but as long as he didn't attack her then it is fine. The fear has t materialize to be negative. But if it doesn't then it builds trust.

"She eventually came out again, maybe thirty minutes or an hour later, but stayed sleeping in our room on a bench." - OK, that is fine.

" When she came out in the evening she was a bit better but still reluctant to go past the gate where Hawthorne was and a little more 'hiding' and less certain about going anywhere near the gate. A little bit of that slinking low body language at times. " - Ok, not really an issue. As long as he didn't go after her it will build trust.

"We skipped treat time last night and just gave her individual attention." - Ok, that is fine.

"This morning she seems back to normal - breakfast was fine, she growled at him at the gate as usual this morning etc." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: I am guessing he didn't go after her etc last night. Great

"So the rebound was not as fast as I thought - it took the better part of the day and overnight to get back fully back to normal." - That is a good rebound, I am not at all bothered by it. The key is he didn't continue after her.

"You'd asked about playing too - Hawthorne and his former companion Tennyson did play a bunch but it very frequently escalated into skirmishes I had to break up." - Ahhhhhhhhhhh, THAT makes sense. Did it ever escalate into a real fight?

"I don't get the sense Hawthorne was well socialized as a kitten (we found him on the street at 5 months old) and perhaps doesn't fully understand friendly play or takes it too far. " - Usually cats from the street tend to be more diplomatic BUT some do have to fend for themselves more. BUT I don't think is an issue for Hawthorne. GREAT JOB saving his life!!!! I spend most of my life with ferals and they are great cats.

"If this was play (the chase with Florie), it had a more direct element to it then the play I've seen him do." - Ok. Direct in what sense? Straight to her?

" I sense this had a flavour of bullying, as you've noted." - Ok

"I'm wondering if I need to change my set-up here a bit. Hawthorne continues to be very unhappy having to go into the room (he cries and paces the room for a long time) while Florie is out and my partner wonders if maybe that's contributing to the problem." - It very well could be. Cats do not like territory being "taken away". AND we don't need to add stress. BUT he is actually doing really well. If you want to leave the door open and let him chose and then have her come out with supervision we could try that.

" So I might see if there is some other formation with the gates where it's less "one in a room, one out" and more "each in half of the main living space" or something like that." - Hmmmmmmm, not sure how you could do that but if you come up with something.

Honestly, I don't think it will be long before they are together so I am not sure I would worry too much about it. I am trying to think about staying the course or if it is best to just let him all access and then bring her in to hang out with supervision.

"My mom thinks I should just let the chase happen, let her hide, then have her come out again and just let them work it out, but that doesn't seem quite right." - Well, ideally we can stop a chase before it starts. So distraction, confidence shield, etc. IF a chase happens and it goes the way this previous one did then your mom is right BUT I would try to avoid that if possible (which isn't always possible). I do think she is going to learn he doesn't mean harm.

"Or she thinks I should spray him with a water bottle but I don't like that either" - NO. THAT would be the worst thing to do. It just escalates the problems.

" - I feel that would wreck the bond with Hawthorne." - Yes and only make him worse in every other way.

" But I do need something to stop him from charging her." - Distraction (throw a treat when he starts staring). "Body guard" in a positive way (so being near her to give her confidence and make him think twice about charging Of course safely.) Building her confidence (Play, Food, Height and Love safely). She will eventually give off a vibe of "don't chase me". And that confidence will deter him I believe.

I would try to drain some of his energy as well if possible (even if it is just chasing treats).

Keep up with the treat, feeding sessions also. Positive association, positive encounter.

I just don't see his intent of wanting to hurt her. I see him as playful (in a rougher way) and maybe a touch of bullying but I sense he really likes her. And my number 1 concern with cats is that no one (human or animal) gets hurt.

I am really happy that she handled it so well. I am interested to see how treat/feeding time goes next time. I expect they should do fine. But let's see.

Keep up the great work.
 
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"Hello - just wanted to check in. :)" - Hi, great!!

"Florie is back to normal today, from what I can tell." - Great

" Yesterday, she did do a bit more hiding." - Ok, did he make any attempt to "get her"?

"She came up on the bed about thirty minutes after the chase and did her grooming (which I would rate at a 7 or 8 in terms of its frenzy - more than usual and she really made herself damp like I'd put a washcloth on her, and then she did it again after)" - 30 mins is great. The grooming isn't too bad.

"but then when I put Hawthorne away for the afternoon and let her out, she took one look at him (behind the gate) and went back into our room and under the bed." - Ok, but as long as he didn't attack her then it is fine. The fear has t materialize to be negative. But if it doesn't then it builds trust.

"She eventually came out again, maybe thirty minutes or an hour later, but stayed sleeping in our room on a bench." - OK, that is fine.

" When she came out in the evening she was a bit better but still reluctant to go past the gate where Hawthorne was and a little more 'hiding' and less certain about going anywhere near the gate. A little bit of that slinking low body language at times. " - Ok, not really an issue. As long as he didn't go after her it will build trust.

"We skipped treat time last night and just gave her individual attention." - Ok, that is fine.

"This morning she seems back to normal - breakfast was fine, she growled at him at the gate as usual this morning etc." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: I am guessing he didn't go after her etc last night. Great

"So the rebound was not as fast as I thought - it took the better part of the day and overnight to get back fully back to normal." - That is a good rebound, I am not at all bothered by it. The key is he didn't continue after her.

"You'd asked about playing too - Hawthorne and his former companion Tennyson did play a bunch but it very frequently escalated into skirmishes I had to break up." - Ahhhhhhhhhhh, THAT makes sense. Did it ever escalate into a real fight?

"I don't get the sense Hawthorne was well socialized as a kitten (we found him on the street at 5 months old) and perhaps doesn't fully understand friendly play or takes it too far. " - Usually cats from the street tend to be more diplomatic BUT some do have to fend for themselves more. BUT I don't think is an issue for Hawthorne. GREAT JOB saving his life!!!! I spend most of my life with ferals and they are great cats.

"If this was play (the chase with Florie), it had a more direct element to it then the play I've seen him do." - Ok. Direct in what sense? Straight to her?

" I sense this had a flavour of bullying, as you've noted." - Ok

"I'm wondering if I need to change my set-up here a bit. Hawthorne continues to be very unhappy having to go into the room (he cries and paces the room for a long time) while Florie is out and my partner wonders if maybe that's contributing to the problem." - It very well could be. Cats do not like territory being "taken away". AND we don't need to add stress. BUT he is actually doing really well. If you want to leave the door open and let him chose and then have her come out with supervision we could try that.

" So I might see if there is some other formation with the gates where it's less "one in a room, one out" and more "each in half of the main living space" or something like that." - Hmmmmmmm, not sure how you could do that but if you come up with something.

Honestly, I don't think it will be long before they are together so I am not sure I would worry too much about it. I am trying to think about staying the course or if it is best to just let him all access and then bring her in to hang out with supervision.

"My mom thinks I should just let the chase happen, let her hide, then have her come out again and just let them work it out, but that doesn't seem quite right." - Well, ideally we can stop a chase before it starts. So distraction, confidence shield, etc. IF a chase happens and it goes the way this previous one did then your mom is right BUT I would try to avoid that if possible (which isn't always possible). I do think she is going to learn he doesn't mean harm.

"Or she thinks I should spray him with a water bottle but I don't like that either" - NO. THAT would be the worst thing to do. It just escalates the problems.

" - I feel that would wreck the bond with Hawthorne." - Yes and only make him worse in every other way.

" But I do need something to stop him from charging her." - Distraction (throw a treat when he starts staring). "Body guard" in a positive way (so being near her to give her confidence and make him think twice about charging Of course safely.) Building her confidence (Play, Food, Height and Love safely). She will eventually give off a vibe of "don't chase me". And that confidence will deter him I believe.

I would try to drain some of his energy as well if possible (even if it is just chasing treats).

Keep up with the treat, feeding sessions also. Positive association, positive encounter.

I just don't see his intent of wanting to hurt her. I see him as playful (in a rougher way) and maybe a touch of bullying but I sense he really likes her. And my number 1 concern with cats is that no one (human or animal) gets hurt.

I am really happy that she handled it so well. I am interested to see how treat/feeding time goes next time. I expect they should do fine. But let's see.

Keep up the great work.
Hello there! Here's an update on our end. :) We tried a treat session on Friday night with the paste and the treats (in-person, like in our video). Everything was going about the same as usual; Florie finished her paste and came down the hallway and then I was throwing treats for each. But, about halfway through she stopped going for the treats and just hunched down, staring at Hawthorne and growling. And then, she took off into the living room, under a chair, and then under the sofa, where she sat growling. To his credit, Hawthorne kept eating his treats and I was able to guide him into his room and close the gate. She came out after about ten minutes and seemed ok (she ate a few more treats) and then I carried her back into her room. Last night, we decided just to do treats through the gate (close together, by the gate), and that was fine. I think tonight we'll try in person again (or maybe tomorrow) and see if we can get back to building confidence again in that way.

Outside of that, I would say she seems fine - no other real issues with them at the gate. She was very hesitant about Hawthorne that next day after the chase (Friday) but seems back to regular this weekend. Of course, we'll get the best sense when we get back to the in-person treat sessions. We've put a hold on all of that and gone back to the gate (for my own sanity too - I felt really upset about that chase).

Also you asked in the last update if he tried to attack her again - did you mean, from behind the gate? He was back to his usual self these past few days - ignoring her in favour of trying to get out of the room and fussing at the gate. He didn't seem phased by her one way or another. I'm learning that his top priority is treats; then getting out of the room if he's in it; then her.

I've been mulling things over and am curious for your thoughts.
1. Am I taking this chase too seriously? Florie took at least a day or two to get some confidence back with Hawthorne (although everything else - eating, drinking, peeing, etc, was fine) just for going past him at the gate when he was in his room. We have to see if her trust returns when we try in-person again. Is that long? The chase itself seemed awful to me (the noises, the speed) and she seemed so upset, but...I guess nobody is hurt and Hawthorne didn't seem that phased. Am I overreacting to how damaging this might have been for their relationship?

2. You've mentioned a couple of times the idea of having the gate open and letting one of them choose to come out with the other. I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean without any gates, in the same room? Won't Hawthorne just chase her again?

3. Should I try harness training with him? Then at least we could all be in the same room, perhaps, and he can't chase her. As noted, the harness I have is actually an anxiety vest with a harness attachment. I know that it could take a couple of weeks to get him used to that, too.

4. We are going to try to order a new gate and divide the main floor space into two zones - (1) the main living area/kitchen, and then (2) the bedrooms/hallway. We're going to use that as the new territories for each. And maybe add a gate at the top of the basement too, so that's one additional space (Florie likes to hang out down there while my partner watches sports). We'll see if that helps Hawthorne's stress at all.

I think that's it. I'm struggling to tell how serious this was - it seemed serious to her; it didn't seem that serious to Hawthorne. But it's hard for me to tell. And I'm struggling to figure out how to get us back on track - I guess we just pick up where we can and keep trying, right? It's just a hard thought to think every time we try in person without treats/for a longer period, there might be a chase, and then we lose two weeks again just getting back to where we were. But that's maybe how it has to go.
 
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calicosrspecial

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Hello there! Here's an update on our end. :) We tried a treat session on Friday night with the paste and the treats (in-person, like in our video). Everything was going about the same as usual; Florie finished her paste and came down the hallway and then I was throwing treats for each. But, about halfway through she stopped going for the treats and just hunched down, staring at Hawthorne and growling. And then, she took off into the living room, under a chair, and then under the sofa, where she sat growling. To his credit, Hawthorne kept eating his treats and I was able to guide him into his room and close the gate. She came out after about ten minutes and seemed ok (she ate a few more treats) and then I carried her back into her room. Last night, we decided just to do treats through the gate (close together, by the gate), and that was fine. I think tonight we'll try in person again (or maybe tomorrow) and see if we can get back to building confidence again in that way.

Outside of that, I would say she seems fine - no other real issues with them at the gate. She was very hesitant about Hawthorne that next day after the chase (Friday) but seems back to regular this weekend. Of course, we'll get the best sense when we get back to the in-person treat sessions. We've put a hold on all of that and gone back to the gate (for my own sanity too - I felt really upset about that chase).

Also you asked in the last update if he tried to attack her again - did you mean, from behind the gate? He was back to his usual self these past few days - ignoring her in favour of trying to get out of the room and fussing at the gate. He didn't seem phased by her one way or another. I'm learning that his top priority is treats; then getting out of the room if he's in it; then her.

I've been mulling things over and am curious for your thoughts.
1. Am I taking this chase too seriously? Florie took at least a day or two to get some confidence back with Hawthorne (although everything else - eating, drinking, peeing, etc, was fine) just for going past him at the gate when he was in his room. We have to see if her trust returns when we try in-person again. Is that long? The chase itself seemed awful to me (the noises, the speed) and she seemed so upset, but...I guess nobody is hurt and Hawthorne didn't seem that phased. Am I overreacting to how damaging this might have been for their relationship?

2. You've mentioned a couple of times the idea of having the gate open and letting one of them choose to come out with the other. I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean without any gates, in the same room? Won't Hawthorne just chase her again?

3. Should I try harness training with him? Then at least we could all be in the same room, perhaps, and he can't chase her. As noted, the harness I have is actually an anxiety vest with a harness attachment. I know that it could take a couple of weeks to get him used to that, too.

4. We are going to try to order a new gate and divide the main floor space into two zones - (1) the main living area/kitchen, and then (2) the bedrooms/hallway. We're going to use that as the new territories for each. And maybe add a gate at the top of the basement too, so that's one additional space (Florie likes to hang out down there while my partner watches sports). We'll see if that helps Hawthorne's stress at all.

I think that's it. I'm struggling to tell how serious this was - it seemed serious to her; it didn't seem that serious to Hawthorne. But it's hard for me to tell. And I'm struggling to figure out how to get us back on track - I guess we just pick up where we can and keep trying, right? It's just a hard thought to think every time we try in person without treats/for a longer period, there might be a chase, and then we lose two weeks again just getting back to where we were. But that's maybe how it has to go.
"Hello there! Here's an update on our end. :)" - Hi, great

" We tried a treat session on Friday night with the paste and the treats (in-person, like in our video). Everything was going about the same as usual;" - Great

" Florie finished her paste and came down the hallway and then I was throwing treats for each." - Ok

" But, about halfway through she stopped going for the treats and just hunched down, staring at Hawthorne and growling. And then, she took off into the living room, under a chair, and then under the sofa, where she sat growling. " - Hmmmmm, interesting. Did she want to go into the living room? Was she engaged in the treats? Was he looking at her a lot?

"To his credit, Hawthorne kept eating his treats" - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: WOW!!! THAT is AMAZING!!!! GRET JOB HAWTHORNE!!!! :clap2:

" and I was able to guide him into his room and close the gate. " - Ok. :/ That is fine though I would have loved to have tried to see if you could keep him distracted.

"She came out after about ten minutes and seemed ok (she ate a few more treats)" - :yess::hyper::clap2: AWESOME!!! So whatever her intent was anyfear she may have had (if any) was not realized which is positive and builds trust. TERRIFIC!!!

"and then I carried her back into her room." - Ok, that is fine. Maybe next time just hang out with her, let her roam, reassure, etc.

" Last night, we decided just to do treats through the gate (close together, by the gate), and that was fine." - Ok and great it went well.

"I think tonight we'll try in person again (or maybe tomorrow) and see if we can get back to building confidence again in that way." - Great

"Outside of that," - Well, "that" was actually not bad at all and honestly was great. That was a great test and they passed it. :) :clap2:

"I would say she seems fine - no other real issues with them at the gate." - Great. That tells me it was not an issue at all.

"She was very hesitant about Hawthorne that next day after the chase (Friday)" Wait, did Hawthorne chase her when she ran into the living room?

"but seems back to regular this weekend. " - Great

"Of course, we'll get the best sense when we get back to the in-person treat sessions." - Yes BUT the gate sessions went well so I don't expect issues. Real issues.

"We've put a hold on all of that and gone back to the gate (for my own sanity too - I felt really upset about that chase)." - Ok, that is fine. We need you to feel good so when you are ready they will be ready. Not an issue at all.

"Also you asked in the last update if he tried to attack her again - did you mean, from behind the gate?" - Yes, at anytime, anywhere.

" He was back to his usual self these past few days - ignoring her in favour of trying to get out of the room and fussing at the gate. He didn't seem phased by her one way or another. I'm learning that his top priority is treats; then getting out of the room if he's in it; then her." - Perfect!!!

"I've been mulling things over and am curious for your thoughts." - Ok

"1. Am I taking this chase too seriously?" - I was going to lump this in together with the below but the answer is absolutely yes.

"Florie took at least a day or two to get some confidence back with Hawthorne" - Yes BUT he didn't do anything negative so her caution/fear was unwarranted which actually builds confidence. This stuff happens all the time in intros andthose times are what actually build trust.

"(although everything else - eating, drinking, peeing, etc, was fine)" - Exactly so it was not traumatizing.

"just for going past him at the gate when he was in his room." - Yes but that is normal. I am not bothered by that AND the fact he didn't go after her helps build her trust.

"We have to see if her trust returns when we try in-person again." - Yes and it will.

" Is that long?" - No

" The chase itself seemed awful to me (the noises, the speed)" - Yes, it usually does. :/

"and she seemed so upset," - Yes, to some degree. BUT she did rebound quickly AND nothing else bad happened.

" but...I guess nobody is hurt" - EXACTLY and this is the key and tells us about where they are with trust, respect. He knew where the line is, he doesn't want to hurt her. He easily could have if that was his intent and he didn't. THAT is great.

"and Hawthorne didn't seem that phased." - Exactly, if his intent was bad he would have shown us signs of that. And he didn't.

"Am I overreacting to how damaging this might have been for their relationship?" - Yes BUT I understand why you fear that. But this is not an issue in their relationship and actually may help them progress because of the above (nothing else negative happened and she did rebound)

"2. You've mentioned a couple of times the idea of having the gate open and letting one of them choose to come out with the other. I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean without any gates," - Yes and no french door closed. SO they can chose to come out into the living room. I am thinking more Hawthorne and the french doors but maybe even the office gates and she can chose to stay in there and/or chose to try to go out in the living room but you would have to monitor and provide some "protection" if she chose to come out.

" in the same room?" - No

" Won't Hawthorne just chase her again?" - Possibly and probably without supervision. I am trying to think how to get Hawthorne to have full access and not be confined to a room anymore. :/ We should think more about how to achieve that.

"3. Should I try harness training with him?" - You can try I am just unsure how much he will like a harness and how difficult it will be to get it on him. And what stress it may cause him.

"Then at least we could all be in the same room, perhaps, and he can't chase her." - Yes. But I do think with distraction, etc it can be achieved as well.

"As noted, the harness I have is actually an anxiety vest with a harness attachment. I know that it could take a couple of weeks to get him used to that, too." - Great. You can try and if he just doesn't go for it then you can move on. Just be safe when trying to put it on. I have found some cats really are not easy to get those on. :/ And it can get a bit wild.

"4. We are going to try to order a new gate and divide the main floor space into two zones - (1) the main living area/kitchen, and then (2) the bedrooms/hallway. We're going to use that as the new territories for each. And maybe add a gate at the top of the basement too, so that's one additional space (Florie likes to hang out down there while my partner watches sports). We'll see if that helps Hawthorne's stress at all." - Great. That sounds really good!! It will be interesting to see if Hawthorne wants to go in the bedrooms. GRET IDEA!!!

"I think that's it. " - Sounds good.

"I'm struggling to tell how serious this was" - Understandably.

" - it seemed serious to her;" - I don't think so. Unsettling for a moment (like if a car almost hits you) but then it faded quickly. IF it was serious there would have been a lot more signs to differing degrees.

" it didn't seem that serious to Hawthorne." - Agreed which tells me he didn't mean harm and she will pick up on that in time.

"But it's hard for me to tell." - If I saw it all I would know BUT I think you are giving me a pretty good picture. It would be obvious if it really was something to worry about.

" And I'm struggling to figure out how to get us back on track - I guess we just pick up where we can and keep trying, right?" - Exactly. I don't think you really are off track. That was very minor really, not an issue.

" It's just a hard thought to think every time we try in person without treats/for a longer period, there might be a chase," - I would then really step up distraction/reassurance and then end it before it starts. Don;t be afraid to throw a treat to distract. That is fine. If he goes for it it is well worth it. The most important thing is she is confident enough to posture to him to avoid a chase as well.

"and then we lose two weeks again just getting back to where we were." - No need to lose 2 weeks because of this.

" But that's maybe how it has to go. " - I don't think so. If they are doing well at the gate they will do well in face to face. Just start with treats only then a few days later try to just "hang out" with them.

I just get a sense he wants to play with her with maybe a touch of bullying (maybe). I don't think he means harm at all. Of course I could be wrong but there are usually a lot of signs. Like, when she ran into the living room he would have gone after her and a big chase then fight would have occurred and he would not have chosen his paste instead.

We just need her to be like "whatever" to him to deter him.

Let's see how they do over the next few days. For now, stay with treats in face to face and then end it. In a few days we'll try a longer face to face.

Let me know if you have questions or need clarification. Overall, this is just a blip. I think you are on track. Just keep up the great work. They will tell us if there are real issues. So far so good - no real issues.
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello there! Here's an update on our end. :)" - Hi, great

" We tried a treat session on Friday night with the paste and the treats (in-person, like in our video). Everything was going about the same as usual;" - Great

" Florie finished her paste and came down the hallway and then I was throwing treats for each." - Ok

" But, about halfway through she stopped going for the treats and just hunched down, staring at Hawthorne and growling. And then, she took off into the living room, under a chair, and then under the sofa, where she sat growling. " - Hmmmmm, interesting. Did she want to go into the living room? Was she engaged in the treats? Was he looking at her a lot?

"To his credit, Hawthorne kept eating his treats" - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: WOW!!! THAT is AMAZING!!!! GRET JOB HAWTHORNE!!!! :clap2:

" and I was able to guide him into his room and close the gate. " - Ok. :/ That is fine though I would have loved to have tried to see if you could keep him distracted.

"She came out after about ten minutes and seemed ok (she ate a few more treats)" - :yess::hyper::clap2: AWESOME!!! So whatever her intent was anyfear she may have had (if any) was not realized which is positive and builds trust. TERRIFIC!!!

"and then I carried her back into her room." - Ok, that is fine. Maybe next time just hang out with her, let her roam, reassure, etc.

" Last night, we decided just to do treats through the gate (close together, by the gate), and that was fine." - Ok and great it went well.

"I think tonight we'll try in person again (or maybe tomorrow) and see if we can get back to building confidence again in that way." - Great

"Outside of that," - Well, "that" was actually not bad at all and honestly was great. That was a great test and they passed it. :) :clap2:

"I would say she seems fine - no other real issues with them at the gate." - Great. That tells me it was not an issue at all.

"She was very hesitant about Hawthorne that next day after the chase (Friday)" Wait, did Hawthorne chase her when she ran into the living room?

"but seems back to regular this weekend. " - Great

"Of course, we'll get the best sense when we get back to the in-person treat sessions." - Yes BUT the gate sessions went well so I don't expect issues. Real issues.

"We've put a hold on all of that and gone back to the gate (for my own sanity too - I felt really upset about that chase)." - Ok, that is fine. We need you to feel good so when you are ready they will be ready. Not an issue at all.

"Also you asked in the last update if he tried to attack her again - did you mean, from behind the gate?" - Yes, at anytime, anywhere.

" He was back to his usual self these past few days - ignoring her in favour of trying to get out of the room and fussing at the gate. He didn't seem phased by her one way or another. I'm learning that his top priority is treats; then getting out of the room if he's in it; then her." - Perfect!!!

"I've been mulling things over and am curious for your thoughts." - Ok

"1. Am I taking this chase too seriously?" - I was going to lump this in together with the below but the answer is absolutely yes.

"Florie took at least a day or two to get some confidence back with Hawthorne" - Yes BUT he didn't do anything negative so her caution/fear was unwarranted which actually builds confidence. This stuff happens all the time in intros andthose times are what actually build trust.

"(although everything else - eating, drinking, peeing, etc, was fine)" - Exactly so it was not traumatizing.

"just for going past him at the gate when he was in his room." - Yes but that is normal. I am not bothered by that AND the fact he didn't go after her helps build her trust.

"We have to see if her trust returns when we try in-person again." - Yes and it will.

" Is that long?" - No

" The chase itself seemed awful to me (the noises, the speed)" - Yes, it usually does. :/

"and she seemed so upset," - Yes, to some degree. BUT she did rebound quickly AND nothing else bad happened.

" but...I guess nobody is hurt" - EXACTLY and this is the key and tells us about where they are with trust, respect. He knew where the line is, he doesn't want to hurt her. He easily could have if that was his intent and he didn't. THAT is great.

"and Hawthorne didn't seem that phased." - Exactly, if his intent was bad he would have shown us signs of that. And he didn't.

"Am I overreacting to how damaging this might have been for their relationship?" - Yes BUT I understand why you fear that. But this is not an issue in their relationship and actually may help them progress because of the above (nothing else negative happened and she did rebound)

"2. You've mentioned a couple of times the idea of having the gate open and letting one of them choose to come out with the other. I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean without any gates," - Yes and no french door closed. SO they can chose to come out into the living room. I am thinking more Hawthorne and the french doors but maybe even the office gates and she can chose to stay in there and/or chose to try to go out in the living room but you would have to monitor and provide some "protection" if she chose to come out.

" in the same room?" - No

" Won't Hawthorne just chase her again?" - Possibly and probably without supervision. I am trying to think how to get Hawthorne to have full access and not be confined to a room anymore. :/ We should think more about how to achieve that.

"3. Should I try harness training with him?" - You can try I am just unsure how much he will like a harness and how difficult it will be to get it on him. And what stress it may cause him.

"Then at least we could all be in the same room, perhaps, and he can't chase her." - Yes. But I do think with distraction, etc it can be achieved as well.

"As noted, the harness I have is actually an anxiety vest with a harness attachment. I know that it could take a couple of weeks to get him used to that, too." - Great. You can try and if he just doesn't go for it then you can move on. Just be safe when trying to put it on. I have found some cats really are not easy to get those on. :/ And it can get a bit wild.

"4. We are going to try to order a new gate and divide the main floor space into two zones - (1) the main living area/kitchen, and then (2) the bedrooms/hallway. We're going to use that as the new territories for each. And maybe add a gate at the top of the basement too, so that's one additional space (Florie likes to hang out down there while my partner watches sports). We'll see if that helps Hawthorne's stress at all." - Great. That sounds really good!! It will be interesting to see if Hawthorne wants to go in the bedrooms. GRET IDEA!!!

"I think that's it. " - Sounds good.

"I'm struggling to tell how serious this was" - Understandably.

" - it seemed serious to her;" - I don't think so. Unsettling for a moment (like if a car almost hits you) but then it faded quickly. IF it was serious there would have been a lot more signs to differing degrees.

" it didn't seem that serious to Hawthorne." - Agreed which tells me he didn't mean harm and she will pick up on that in time.

"But it's hard for me to tell." - If I saw it all I would know BUT I think you are giving me a pretty good picture. It would be obvious if it really was something to worry about.

" And I'm struggling to figure out how to get us back on track - I guess we just pick up where we can and keep trying, right?" - Exactly. I don't think you really are off track. That was very minor really, not an issue.

" It's just a hard thought to think every time we try in person without treats/for a longer period, there might be a chase," - I would then really step up distraction/reassurance and then end it before it starts. Don;t be afraid to throw a treat to distract. That is fine. If he goes for it it is well worth it. The most important thing is she is confident enough to posture to him to avoid a chase as well.

"and then we lose two weeks again just getting back to where we were." - No need to lose 2 weeks because of this.

" But that's maybe how it has to go. " - I don't think so. If they are doing well at the gate they will do well in face to face. Just start with treats only then a few days later try to just "hang out" with them.

I just get a sense he wants to play with her with maybe a touch of bullying (maybe). I don't think he means harm at all. Of course I could be wrong but there are usually a lot of signs. Like, when she ran into the living room he would have gone after her and a big chase then fight would have occurred and he would not have chosen his paste instead.

We just need her to be like "whatever" to him to deter him.

Let's see how they do over the next few days. For now, stay with treats in face to face and then end it. In a few days we'll try a longer face to face.

Let me know if you have questions or need clarification. Overall, this is just a blip. I think you are on track. Just keep up the great work. They will tell us if there are real issues. So far so good - no real issues.
Ok thank you!! It's funny - you seem so confident and I feel so worried! :) I felt very dejected about this chase, as I'm sure you could tell. :)

But I'm glad to hear the chase wasn't as big a deal as it seemed. It just hurt to have to go 'backward' after all the progress we made - backward meaning, back to the gate interactions again.

If I'm ever sharing a story and it isn't clear, just let me know. Sometimes I worry it's all crystal clear in my head but I'm not sharing it perfectly or omitting details. So to be clear, I'll just confirm we had the one chase Thursday afternoon, then Florie was uncertain/scared Friday (and ran to hide during the Friday evening treat session - I think she just had a sudden fear flash from the chase the day previous and got scared - and even though she ran, Hawthorne did not chase her and instead stayed for more treats), and now we've briefly gone back to everything at the gate (supper, evening treats) until I have the confidence to go back to trying the short face-to-face sessions again.

I'm still confused about the 'no gate' idea. I don't think I have the confidence to handle that, to be honest. :) But perhaps in there is the idea that we need to create a set-up that allows for HER to choose whether or not to come out? Like, Hawthorne is out and she has a safe room and then she CHOOSES if she wants to come out or not, and if she does, we try to prevent any chasing from happening. But otherwise the idea would be that she KNOWS Hawthorne is always out and her confidence determines whether or not she joins as well. In which case, the key would be having a way that she can be safe in her room but exit if she wants, meanwhile Hawthorne can't get into her room. Am I kind of understanding that concept correctly? How would we create that kind of set-up?

And I suppose the other issue is I'm not feeling certain I could prevent a chase. This last time it seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. They're both so fast.
 
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calicosrspecial

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Ok thank you!! It's funny - you seem so confident and I feel so worried! :) I felt very dejected about this chase, as I'm sure you could tell. :)

But I'm glad to hear the chase wasn't as big a deal as it seemed. It just hurt to have to go 'backward' after all the progress we made - backward meaning, back to the gate interactions again.

If I'm ever sharing a story and it isn't clear, just let me know. Sometimes I worry it's all crystal clear in my head but I'm not sharing it perfectly or omitting details. So to be clear, I'll just confirm we had the one chase Thursday afternoon, then Florie was uncertain/scared Friday (and ran to hide during the Friday evening treat session - I think she just had a sudden fear flash from the chase the day previous and got scared - and even though she ran, Hawthorne did not chase her and instead stayed for more treats), and now we've briefly gone back to everything at the gate (supper, evening treats) until I have the confidence to go back to trying the short face-to-face sessions again.

I'm still confused about the 'no gate' idea. I don't think I have the confidence to handle that, to be honest. :) But perhaps in there is the idea that we need to create a set-up that allows for HER to choose whether or not to come out? Like, Hawthorne is out and she has a safe room and then she CHOOSES if she wants to come out or not, and if she does, we try to prevent any chasing from happening. But otherwise the idea would be that she KNOWS Hawthorne is always out and her confidence determines whether or not she joins as well. In which case, the key would be having a way that she can be safe in her room but exit if she wants, meanwhile Hawthorne can't get into her room. Am I kind of understanding that concept correctly? How would we create that kind of set-up?

And I suppose the other issue is I'm not feeling certain I could prevent a chase. This last time it seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. They're both so fast.
"Ok thank you!! It's funny - you seem so confident and I feel so worried! :) " - Hahahaha, well, I am seen it literally a thousnad times............... It will make sense soon when you see them intro'd. It will all make sense then.

"I felt very dejected about this chase, as I'm sure you could tell. :) " - Yes, most people tend to be, that is just normal. Once you go through this though it makes sense.

"But I'm glad to hear the chase wasn't as big a deal as it seemed." -Agreed. I am glad it wasn't a big deal. ;)

" It just hurt to have to go 'backward' after all the progress we made - backward meaning, back to the gate interactions again." - Yes, but this is a blip and no need to really go backward. Maybe take it back to just treats for a few days to reinforce the positives but that is really it. The process is all about 2 steps forward, 1 step back really. I am not sure that chase was even a 1/4 step back.

"If I'm ever sharing a story and it isn't clear, just let me know." - Ok, you too with me as I am not always clear.

" Sometimes I worry it's all crystal clear in my head but I'm not sharing it perfectly or omitting details." - Yes but I will ask when I am not sure.

"So to be clear, I'll just confirm we had the one chase Thursday afternoon, then Florie was uncertain/scared Friday" - GREAT!! That is what I thought but then I wondered later one that I was correct as you mentioned a chase. And I was. The fact he did not go after her is a BIG DEAL - POSITIVE!!! (On Friday).

" (and ran to hide during the Friday evening treat session - I think she just had a sudden fear flash from the chase the day previous and got scared" - Exactly, I think you are right. "The only thing she had to fear was fear itself"...........................

" - and even though she ran, Hawthorne did not chase her and instead stayed for more treats)," - EXACTLY and this is a BIG DEAL a HUGE POSITIVE. That is actually a big step forward in my eyes.

" and now we've briefly gone back to everything at the gate (supper, evening treats) until I have the confidence to go back to trying the short face-to-face sessions again." - That is fine. The cats will bring you along. ;) Hehehehehehe :)

"I'm still confused about the 'no gate' idea. I don't think I have the confidence to handle that, to be honest. :) " - That is fine AND I think you achieve what I am hoping for with the new setup idea. So kind of a moot point.

"But perhaps in there is the idea that we need to create a set-up that allows for HER to choose whether or not to come out? Like, Hawthorne is out and she has a safe room and then she CHOOSES if she wants to come out or not, and if she does, we try to prevent any chasing from happening." - Exactly. But I think I would do the setup you mention then try to figure this out (not sure how to do it though yet.

"But otherwise the idea would be that she KNOWS Hawthorne is always out and her confidence determines whether or not she joins as well." - EXACTLY

" In which case, the key would be having a way that she can be safe in her room but exit if she wants, meanwhile Hawthorne can't get into her room. Am I kind of understanding that concept correctly?" - Exactly

" How would we create that kind of set-up?" - I am not sure yet. :/

"And I suppose the other issue is I'm not feeling certain I could prevent a chase." - Yes, I think you could but you have to believe it. It is about reading the body language and then intervening with a treat, etc. But it is not necessary or a prerequisite.

"This last time it seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. They're both so fast. " - Yes, it always does and that is why we need the cats to step up as well (via confidence and body language).

They will get there. Just keep doing what you are. You really are making progress. :) You are doing great!!!
 
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"Ok thank you!! It's funny - you seem so confident and I feel so worried! :) " - Hahahaha, well, I am seen it literally a thousnad times............... It will make sense soon when you see them intro'd. It will all make sense then.

"I felt very dejected about this chase, as I'm sure you could tell. :) " - Yes, most people tend to be, that is just normal. Once you go through this though it makes sense.

"But I'm glad to hear the chase wasn't as big a deal as it seemed." -Agreed. I am glad it wasn't a big deal. ;)

" It just hurt to have to go 'backward' after all the progress we made - backward meaning, back to the gate interactions again." - Yes, but this is a blip and no need to really go backward. Maybe take it back to just treats for a few days to reinforce the positives but that is really it. The process is all about 2 steps forward, 1 step back really. I am not sure that chase was even a 1/4 step back.

"If I'm ever sharing a story and it isn't clear, just let me know." - Ok, you too with me as I am not always clear.

" Sometimes I worry it's all crystal clear in my head but I'm not sharing it perfectly or omitting details." - Yes but I will ask when I am not sure.

"So to be clear, I'll just confirm we had the one chase Thursday afternoon, then Florie was uncertain/scared Friday" - GREAT!! That is what I thought but then I wondered later one that I was correct as you mentioned a chase. And I was. The fact he did not go after her is a BIG DEAL - POSITIVE!!! (On Friday).

" (and ran to hide during the Friday evening treat session - I think she just had a sudden fear flash from the chase the day previous and got scared" - Exactly, I think you are right. "The only thing she had to fear was fear itself"...........................

" - and even though she ran, Hawthorne did not chase her and instead stayed for more treats)," - EXACTLY and this is a BIG DEAL a HUGE POSITIVE. That is actually a big step forward in my eyes.

" and now we've briefly gone back to everything at the gate (supper, evening treats) until I have the confidence to go back to trying the short face-to-face sessions again." - That is fine. The cats will bring you along. ;) Hehehehehehe :)

"I'm still confused about the 'no gate' idea. I don't think I have the confidence to handle that, to be honest. :) " - That is fine AND I think you achieve what I am hoping for with the new setup idea. So kind of a moot point.

"But perhaps in there is the idea that we need to create a set-up that allows for HER to choose whether or not to come out? Like, Hawthorne is out and she has a safe room and then she CHOOSES if she wants to come out or not, and if she does, we try to prevent any chasing from happening." - Exactly. But I think I would do the setup you mention then try to figure this out (not sure how to do it though yet.

"But otherwise the idea would be that she KNOWS Hawthorne is always out and her confidence determines whether or not she joins as well." - EXACTLY

" In which case, the key would be having a way that she can be safe in her room but exit if she wants, meanwhile Hawthorne can't get into her room. Am I kind of understanding that concept correctly?" - Exactly

" How would we create that kind of set-up?" - I am not sure yet. :/

"And I suppose the other issue is I'm not feeling certain I could prevent a chase." - Yes, I think you could but you have to believe it. It is about reading the body language and then intervening with a treat, etc. But it is not necessary or a prerequisite.

"This last time it seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. They're both so fast. " - Yes, it always does and that is why we need the cats to step up as well (via confidence and body language).

They will get there. Just keep doing what you are. You really are making progress. :) You are doing great!!!
Hello! Happy Monday! Nothing to report. :) We're starting in-person bedtime treats again tonight and hopefully getting back into that rhythm. Everything else has been as usual - both are eating near the gate for breakfast & supper; treat times through the gate are fine; they both work on their puzzles close to the gate no problem; and she continues to growl/sometimes swat at him occasionally through the gate while he yowls to get out/occasionally reaches for her. :) Business as usual.

I've ordered a new gate for the hallway to enact my "territory division" plan so we'll see how that goes. :)

I did want to quickly get your opinion on this - closer to the end of July we're going away for a few days to a cottage. I have a cat sitter coming twice a day to be with the cats and my plan is for the cat sitter to put Hawthorne away during her AM visit and let Florie out; and then put Florie back in her room at the PM visit, and let Hawthorne out. So Hawthorne will have to spend 6ish hours in our bedroom (he usually likes it in there) but is out all the rest of the time; and Florie is out for 6ish hours, but then is in her room for the rest of the time. Moral of the story is: they won't see each other for that entire period of time. Will this be ok? Will it set us back?
 
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And quickly, to add to this: I'm not going to get started with harness training until after we're back. :) For the next bit, we'll just work on face-to-face treats again and increasing visual access maybe with our new gate system.

It always feels good to have a new plan in place. :)

And I feel like I can never say it enough, but thank you for taking the time to read these posts and offer thoughts. I'm so very grateful. :)
 

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Hello! Happy Monday! Nothing to report. :) We're starting in-person bedtime treats again tonight and hopefully getting back into that rhythm. Everything else has been as usual - both are eating near the gate for breakfast & supper; treat times through the gate are fine; they both work on their puzzles close to the gate no problem; and she continues to growl/sometimes swat at him occasionally through the gate while he yowls to get out/occasionally reaches for her. :) Business as usual.

I've ordered a new gate for the hallway to enact my "territory division" plan so we'll see how that goes. :)

I did want to quickly get your opinion on this - closer to the end of July we're going away for a few days to a cottage. I have a cat sitter coming twice a day to be with the cats and my plan is for the cat sitter to put Hawthorne away during her AM visit and let Florie out; and then put Florie back in her room at the PM visit, and let Hawthorne out. So Hawthorne will have to spend 6ish hours in our bedroom (he usually likes it in there) but is out all the rest of the time; and Florie is out for 6ish hours, but then is in her room for the rest of the time. Moral of the story is: they won't see each other for that entire period of time. Will this be ok? Will it set us back?
"Hello! Happy Monday! Nothing to report. :) " - Hello, happy Monday!! Nothing to report is great. :)

"We're starting in-person bedtime treats again tonight and hopefully getting back into that rhythm." - Perfect, you will.

" Everything else has been as usual - both are eating near the gate for breakfast & supper; treat times through the gate are fine; they both work on their puzzles close to the gate no problem;" - Perfect!!!

" and she continues to growl/sometimes swat at him occasionally through the gate while he yowls to get out/occasionally reaches for her. :) Business as usual." - Yep, that is the "teaching lessons" aspect. A great sign actually since if she was really afraid of him she would be away etc.

"I've ordered a new gate for the hallway to enact my "territory division" plan so we'll see how that goes. :)" - Sounds good. :) I hope it gets there before it is not needed. ;)

"I did want to quickly get your opinion on this - closer to the end of July we're going away for a few days to a cottage. I have a cat sitter coming twice a day to be with the cats" - Great. Does the sitter have good experience?

"and my plan is for the cat sitter to put Hawthorne away during her AM visit" - Has he had a sitter before? Is he able to be moved etc with someone he doesn't know?

Maybe it is best to let him be out and about and just keep Florie in the office full time? To reduce stress on him and to make it (hopefully) a bit easier on the sitter?

" and let Florie out; and then put Florie back in her room at the PM visit, and let Hawthorne out. " - IF the sitter can handle it.

"So Hawthorne will have to spend 6ish hours in our bedroom (he usually likes it in there) but is out all the rest of the time;" - That would be fine but I also think it would be fine if Florie is only in the office and he is out and about.

When the family is gone cats usually just sleep. :/ So being in a room for a few days isn't the end of the world (especially for a cat like Florie).

"and Florie is out for 6ish hours, but then is in her room for the rest of the time. " - Again fine IF the sitter can handle it. But I am not sure it is really necessary.

"Moral of the story is: they won't see each other for that entire period of time. Will this be ok?" - Absolutely. It might take a day to readjust but they will be fine. I am not at all worried. They are well past the risk point.

"Will it set us back? " - Absolutely not. Not at all a worry.

The key is it is a good sitter and they don't cause any stress etc. The cats will be fine. They are doing great, happy, actually confident (I know you are not as sure about that but they sound happy and confident) so I am not at all worried.

"And quickly, to add to this: I'm not going to get started with harness training until after we're back. :) " - I think that is fine.

"For the next bit, we'll just work on face-to-face treats again and increasing visual access maybe with our new gate system." - Sounds great and just keep doing what you are doing. They really are doing great. I really think all Hawthorne had in mind was a little fun (what is more fun than a chase???). Maybe it was a touch of bullying (showing who is boss) BUT that really isn't supported by anything else so if it is it is pretty minor. He is accepting her really well.

"It always feels good to have a new plan in place. :) " - Agreed. :)

"And I feel like I can never say it enough, but thank you for taking the time to read these posts and offer thoughts. I'm so very grateful. :) " - Oh my goodness. You are welcome but THANK YOU for saving their lives AND giving them a great home. They are loving life and are lucky cats. THANK YOU!!! :clap2: :purr:
 
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"Hello! Happy Monday! Nothing to report. :) " - Hello, happy Monday!! Nothing to report is great. :)

"We're starting in-person bedtime treats again tonight and hopefully getting back into that rhythm." - Perfect, you will.

" Everything else has been as usual - both are eating near the gate for breakfast & supper; treat times through the gate are fine; they both work on their puzzles close to the gate no problem;" - Perfect!!!

" and she continues to growl/sometimes swat at him occasionally through the gate while he yowls to get out/occasionally reaches for her. :) Business as usual." - Yep, that is the "teaching lessons" aspect. A great sign actually since if she was really afraid of him she would be away etc.

"I've ordered a new gate for the hallway to enact my "territory division" plan so we'll see how that goes. :)" - Sounds good. :) I hope it gets there before it is not needed. ;)

"I did want to quickly get your opinion on this - closer to the end of July we're going away for a few days to a cottage. I have a cat sitter coming twice a day to be with the cats" - Great. Does the sitter have good experience?

"and my plan is for the cat sitter to put Hawthorne away during her AM visit" - Has he had a sitter before? Is he able to be moved etc with someone he doesn't know?

Maybe it is best to let him be out and about and just keep Florie in the office full time? To reduce stress on him and to make it (hopefully) a bit easier on the sitter?

" and let Florie out; and then put Florie back in her room at the PM visit, and let Hawthorne out. " - IF the sitter can handle it.

"So Hawthorne will have to spend 6ish hours in our bedroom (he usually likes it in there) but is out all the rest of the time;" - That would be fine but I also think it would be fine if Florie is only in the office and he is out and about.

When the family is gone cats usually just sleep. :/ So being in a room for a few days isn't the end of the world (especially for a cat like Florie).

"and Florie is out for 6ish hours, but then is in her room for the rest of the time. " - Again fine IF the sitter can handle it. But I am not sure it is really necessary.

"Moral of the story is: they won't see each other for that entire period of time. Will this be ok?" - Absolutely. It might take a day to readjust but they will be fine. I am not at all worried. They are well past the risk point.

"Will it set us back? " - Absolutely not. Not at all a worry.

The key is it is a good sitter and they don't cause any stress etc. The cats will be fine. They are doing great, happy, actually confident (I know you are not as sure about that but they sound happy and confident) so I am not at all worried.

"And quickly, to add to this: I'm not going to get started with harness training until after we're back. :) " - I think that is fine.

"For the next bit, we'll just work on face-to-face treats again and increasing visual access maybe with our new gate system." - Sounds great and just keep doing what you are doing. They really are doing great. I really think all Hawthorne had in mind was a little fun (what is more fun than a chase???). Maybe it was a touch of bullying (showing who is boss) BUT that really isn't supported by anything else so if it is it is pretty minor. He is accepting her really well.

"It always feels good to have a new plan in place. :) " - Agreed. :)

"And I feel like I can never say it enough, but thank you for taking the time to read these posts and offer thoughts. I'm so very grateful. :) " - Oh my goodness. You are welcome but THANK YOU for saving their lives AND giving them a great home. They are loving life and are lucky cats. THANK YOU!!! :clap2: :purr:
Hello there! Hope you're having a good week! I've been reading your comments in other threads. There is never a shortage of cats and people in need, that's for sure! :)

All holding steady here - we did a face-to-face treat session on Monday evening. Florie was willing to come to the end of the hallway but no further, and of course, she growled - but she ate her treats, and Hawthorne was focussed on his treats, and so that's good. Last night my partner wasn't available so we just did individual treats. :) We'll try again face-to-face tonight.

On another note, I have noticed a couple of times now that I can see Hawthorne watching her through the gate with his fixed, beady gaze of interest - last night, for example, she was doing some rolls on the carpet (like, happy rolls) and I could see his pupils getting dilated watching her and he crouched a bit - if he had been out, it would have been chase time for sure. I hadn't really noticed him doing that before - most of the time he's just been obsessed with getting out of the room and paid her no mind. It happened again another time while she was playing, chasing a toy around. I could see the same thing happening - staring, big pupils, crouching. No negative body language. Is he just keen to play? I've been trying to play with him a bit more - he's hard to engage in play, as we've noted, but I think he needs it. So I'm trying all the things I can think of - da bird, da purrpeller, catnip toys, crumpled up paper, chasing treats, cat tv (watching birds out the screen door) - but it's possible nothing is as fun as chasing Florie!

And yes, the cat sitter should be good! I've had the same cat sitter for seven years or so. I think if she has food/treats, Hawthorne will follow her into his room. I don't know that he really connects with her all that much - but he really only likes a very limited group of people (me, my sister, and my partner sometimes). But point is, I think the sitter will be able to figure it out and I'll let her know that if there are issues, Florie is the easier one to deal with. :)
 
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calicosrspecial

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Hello there! Hope you're having a good week! I've been reading your comments in other threads. There is never a shortage of cats and people in need, that's for sure! :)

All holding steady here - we did a face-to-face treat session on Monday evening. Florie was willing to come to the end of the hallway but no further, and of course, she growled - but she ate her treats, and Hawthorne was focussed on his treats, and so that's good. Last night my partner wasn't available so we just did individual treats. :) We'll try again face-to-face tonight.

On another note, I have noticed a couple of times now that I can see Hawthorne watching her through the gate with his fixed, beady gaze of interest - last night, for example, she was doing some rolls on the carpet (like, happy rolls) and I could see his pupils getting dilated watching her and he crouched a bit - if he had been out, it would have been chase time for sure. I hadn't really noticed him doing that before - most of the time he's just been obsessed with getting out of the room and paid her no mind. It happened again another time while she was playing, chasing a toy around. I could see the same thing happening - staring, big pupils, crouching. No negative body language. Is he just keen to play? I've been trying to play with him a bit more - he's hard to engage in play, as we've noted, but I think he needs it. So I'm trying all the things I can think of - da bird, da purrpeller, catnip toys, crumpled up paper, chasing treats, cat tv (watching birds out the screen door) - but it's possible nothing is as fun as chasing Florie!

And yes, the cat sitter should be good! I've had the same cat sitter for seven years or so. I think if she has food/treats, Hawthorne will follow her into his room. I don't know that he really connects with her all that much - but he really only likes a very limited group of people (me, my sister, and my partner sometimes). But point is, I think the sitter will be able to figure it out and I'll let her know that if there are issues, Florie is the easier one to deal with. :)
"Hello there! Hope you're having a good week! " - Hello, I hope you are as well.

"I've been reading your comments in other threads." - Yes, I saw your post on the one thread. Very similar situations.

" There is never a shortage of cats and people in need, that's for sure! :) " - Yes, but thankfully nothing too difficult.

"All holding steady here - we did a face-to-face treat session on Monday evening." - Great

" Florie was willing to come to the end of the hallway but no further, and of course, she growled - but she ate her treats, and Hawthorne was focussed on his treats, and so that's good." - That is absolutely fine. If he didn't bother her it will build confidence. So I say that went well. Exactly what we want.

"Last night my partner wasn't available so we just did individual treats. :) We'll try again face-to-face tonight." - That is fine and sounds good.

"On another note, I have noticed a couple of times now that I can see Hawthorne watching her through the gate with his fixed, beady gaze of interest - last night, for example, she was doing some rolls on the carpet (like, happy rolls) and I could see his pupils getting dilated watching her and he crouched a bit - if he had been out, it would have been chase time for sure." - Awwww, she was enjoying herself rolling around!!! Wonderful. I am guessing he wanted to join in and play. Yes, probably a pounce (or attempt) and a chase. But it is all about intent. I just am not sure he means harm. I am guessing he was wanting to play with her. What do you think?

"I hadn't really noticed him doing that before - most of the time he's just been obsessed with getting out of the room and paid her no mind. " - Yes, maybe he is more trusting of her now. And thinking about playing with her. If he wanted to eliminate her he would do it instead of having treats etc. I see it fairly often and it seems to me it is a sign of acceptance.

"It happened again another time while she was playing, chasing a toy around." - Yes, that can trigger a play instinct, a hunting instinct. That is why I tend to be a bit cautious on playing in front of another cat without a barrier. Sometimes they both go for the toy but sometimes they can go for the cat (because of a prey instinct or because cats tend to be more fun). We usually know by the behavior after the interaction.

"I could see the same thing happening - staring, big pupils, crouching. No negative body language. Is he just keen to play?" - Ahhhhh, I see that is your instinct. As I mention above I think it is play.

" I've been trying to play with him a bit more" - Great

" - he's hard to engage in play," - Yes, some can be.

" as we've noted, but I think he needs it." - Yes play is great but only one avenue to success. So if he doesn't it isn't the end of the world.

" So I'm trying all the things I can think of - da bird, da purrpeller, catnip toys, crumpled up paper, chasing treats, cat tv (watching birds out the screen door) -" - Great. And make the toy act like prey, think like a bird or a mouse etc when moving it.

" but it's possible nothing is as fun as chasing Florie!" - :/ Yep, cats are pretty much always more fun to play with than toys.

"And yes, the cat sitter should be good! I've had the same cat sitter for seven years or so." - Great!!

" I think if she has food/treats, Hawthorne will follow her into his room." - Great

" I don't know that he really connects with her all that much " - As long as he connects with treats. ;)

"- but he really only likes a very limited group of people (me, my sister, and my partner sometimes)." - Yes, many cats are like that. All we need is for him to ultimately move from one area to another without too much trouble. And if she has to be in the room totally that is not the end of the world. She will be fine.

" But point is, I think the sitter will be able to figure it out and I'll let her know that if there are issues, Florie is the easier one to deal with. :) " - Great. I don't think there will be any real issues. They should be pretty quiet as that tends to happen when the family is away.

Keep up the great work.
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello there! Hope you're having a good week! " - Hello, I hope you are as well.

"I've been reading your comments in other threads." - Yes, I saw your post on the one thread. Very similar situations.

" There is never a shortage of cats and people in need, that's for sure! :) " - Yes, but thankfully nothing too difficult.

"All holding steady here - we did a face-to-face treat session on Monday evening." - Great

" Florie was willing to come to the end of the hallway but no further, and of course, she growled - but she ate her treats, and Hawthorne was focussed on his treats, and so that's good." - That is absolutely fine. If he didn't bother her it will build confidence. So I say that went well. Exactly what we want.

"Last night my partner wasn't available so we just did individual treats. :) We'll try again face-to-face tonight." - That is fine and sounds good.

"On another note, I have noticed a couple of times now that I can see Hawthorne watching her through the gate with his fixed, beady gaze of interest - last night, for example, she was doing some rolls on the carpet (like, happy rolls) and I could see his pupils getting dilated watching her and he crouched a bit - if he had been out, it would have been chase time for sure." - Awwww, she was enjoying herself rolling around!!! Wonderful. I am guessing he wanted to join in and play. Yes, probably a pounce (or attempt) and a chase. But it is all about intent. I just am not sure he means harm. I am guessing he was wanting to play with her. What do you think?

"I hadn't really noticed him doing that before - most of the time he's just been obsessed with getting out of the room and paid her no mind. " - Yes, maybe he is more trusting of her now. And thinking about playing with her. If he wanted to eliminate her he would do it instead of having treats etc. I see it fairly often and it seems to me it is a sign of acceptance.

"It happened again another time while she was playing, chasing a toy around." - Yes, that can trigger a play instinct, a hunting instinct. That is why I tend to be a bit cautious on playing in front of another cat without a barrier. Sometimes they both go for the toy but sometimes they can go for the cat (because of a prey instinct or because cats tend to be more fun). We usually know by the behavior after the interaction.

"I could see the same thing happening - staring, big pupils, crouching. No negative body language. Is he just keen to play?" - Ahhhhh, I see that is your instinct. As I mention above I think it is play.

" I've been trying to play with him a bit more" - Great

" - he's hard to engage in play," - Yes, some can be.

" as we've noted, but I think he needs it." - Yes play is great but only one avenue to success. So if he doesn't it isn't the end of the world.

" So I'm trying all the things I can think of - da bird, da purrpeller, catnip toys, crumpled up paper, chasing treats, cat tv (watching birds out the screen door) -" - Great. And make the toy act like prey, think like a bird or a mouse etc when moving it.

" but it's possible nothing is as fun as chasing Florie!" - :/ Yep, cats are pretty much always more fun to play with than toys.

"And yes, the cat sitter should be good! I've had the same cat sitter for seven years or so." - Great!!

" I think if she has food/treats, Hawthorne will follow her into his room." - Great

" I don't know that he really connects with her all that much " - As long as he connects with treats. ;)

"- but he really only likes a very limited group of people (me, my sister, and my partner sometimes)." - Yes, many cats are like that. All we need is for him to ultimately move from one area to another without too much trouble. And if she has to be in the room totally that is not the end of the world. She will be fine.

" But point is, I think the sitter will be able to figure it out and I'll let her know that if there are issues, Florie is the easier one to deal with. :) " - Great. I don't think there will be any real issues. They should be pretty quiet as that tends to happen when the family is away.

Keep up the great work.
Hello! We did bedtime treats last night after a slight change in routine and it was mostly fine. Florie didn't come as far down the hallway this time and I think Hawthorne was kind of full, so he started just watching the treats fly by after a while and wasn't chasing them. Then for some reason Florie decided she was going to go into our room and under the bed again. Either she was scared or didn't want to go into her room. So then she sat under our bed for thirty plus minutes and eventually only came out with some poking, which I didn't want to do, but she had to go back in her room so we could all get to bed.

So we are not yet back to the glorious days of her coming within a foot of him during treat time. I wonder if I should go back to treats at the gate again so they can be closer together, just for a few days.

I was feeling some massive guilt this morning about poor Hawthorne crying at the gate, wanting out, and then I alternately feel guilty about Florie locked away in her room all night. It feels like in an effort to get them together sometimes I'm giving both of them a worse life.

But, my partner also noted that the cats are becoming my entire world (which is kind of true - I so badly want to get them intro'd) and I might need to take a breather. One bad day and I'm totally dejected; a good day and I feel happy again. Sheesh.

So not sure - we'll just hold steady until the new gate gets here and see if I can come up with a new arrangement that helps us move forward again and improves everybody's quality of life. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello! We did bedtime treats last night after a slight change in routine and it was mostly fine. Florie didn't come as far down the hallway this time and I think Hawthorne was kind of full, so he started just watching the treats fly by after a while and wasn't chasing them. Then for some reason Florie decided she was going to go into our room and under the bed again. Either she was scared or didn't want to go into her room. So then she sat under our bed for thirty plus minutes and eventually only came out with some poking, which I didn't want to do, but she had to go back in her room so we could all get to bed.

So we are not yet back to the glorious days of her coming within a foot of him during treat time. I wonder if I should go back to treats at the gate again so they can be closer together, just for a few days.

I was feeling some massive guilt this morning about poor Hawthorne crying at the gate, wanting out, and then I alternately feel guilty about Florie locked away in her room all night. It feels like in an effort to get them together sometimes I'm giving both of them a worse life.

But, my partner also noted that the cats are becoming my entire world (which is kind of true - I so badly want to get them intro'd) and I might need to take a breather. One bad day and I'm totally dejected; a good day and I feel happy again. Sheesh.

So not sure - we'll just hold steady until the new gate gets here and see if I can come up with a new arrangement that helps us move forward again and improves everybody's quality of life. :)
"Hello! We did bedtime treats last night after a slight change in routine and it was mostly fine." - Hello, great.

" Florie didn't come as far down the hallway this time" - That is fine.

" and I think Hawthorne was kind of full, so he started just watching the treats fly by after a while and wasn't chasing them." - Intersting. How was his body language?

"Then for some reason Florie decided she was going to go into our room and under the bed again." - Ok

" Either she was scared or didn't want to go into her room." - Was Hawthorne intimidating at all? How was her body language going into the bedroom?

"So then she sat under our bed for thirty plus minutes" - OK, that is fine. As long as Hawthorne isn't going after her etc.

" and eventually only came out with some poking, which I didn't want to do, but she had to go back in her room so we could all get to bed." - Ok, understandable. How was she after she got into her room?

"So we are not yet back to the glorious days of her coming within a foot of him during treat time." - Yes but this is fine. As long as he isn't attacking, etc it is fine.

" I wonder if I should go back to treats at the gate again so they can be closer together, just for a few days." - Naw, you could but I don't think there is any reason. But if you want to you can if it makes you feel better. Personally, I see no issues so I would jsut do face to face and make it as positive as possible.

"I was feeling some massive guilt this morning about poor Hawthorne crying at the gate, wanting out, and then I alternately feel guilty about Florie locked away in her room all night." - :( Awwwwwwww. I am Catholic and no all about guilt. I can out guilt anyone!!! You have NO REASON to feel guilty at all. The fact he wants to come out is positive. He isn't afraid of her. Cats are territorial so they like as much as they can own BUT they have to be intro'd. Maybe (if you have time) try letting him out and se if they will eat together no gate in the morning? Florie is fine being in her room overnight. She will be out soon. But I am sure she is fine, sleeping. Once they are fully intro'd she'll be in there fairly often I would assume. So not an issue.

"It feels like in an effort to get them together sometimes I'm giving both of them a worse life." - Oh my, no, You are giving them the chance at the greatest life they can have. They sound lie happy cats and the current setup is not the issue. They want to be out and about and we are going to give them that.

"But, my partner also noted that the cats are becoming my entire world (which is kind of true " - I am told that all the time. ;) And cats really are in my life.

"- I so badly want to get them intro'd)" - Yes, I know. I do think you are trying a bit too hard BUT understandably. You love them and want what is best. They are basically intro'd. We just need to clean up a few loose ends. They are a lot closer than you fear. That chase was really nothing honestly.

" and I might need to take a breather." - Ok. Or maybe just let them a bit more freedom. Kinda see the bigger picture more than the minor, little less relevant issues.

" One bad day and I'm totally dejected; a good day and I feel happy again. Sheesh." - Which is totally normal. If I had a penny for everyone that felt what you feel I would be a millionaire. THAT is normal. Even I have gone through that. The key is to focus on the important stuff and not on perfection. There is no perfection in life let alone cat life. My cats have disagreements. But understanding when something is really an issue and when something is nothing is key to our sanity. :) Your cats are doing great. Just try to trust them a bit more.

"So not sure - we'll just hold steady" - Ok. We need you to be positive and calm and confident. BUT I don't see any issues and I would continue to do face to face as long as there is nor negativity (which there isn't). Florie is fine, just give her the love you have for her and same with Hawthorne. Let your love for them get to them.

"until the new gate gets here and see if I can come up with a new arrangement that helps us move forward again and" - Ok but I am still in the above but when you are ready that is fine.

"improves everybody's quality of life. :) " - Hawthorne and Florie are showing me they have a high quality of life. Crying at a gate is really nothing in those terms. Now if there is other behavior I am not reading then we have to do some work (like weird or bad behavior). BUT I think you would tell me if there was that. I have not read anything to suggest they have a bad quality of life. You give them great food, a great house and A LOT OF LOVE. What more can a cat (or a human) ask for?

You are going through those emotions most of us go through or have gone through. Because you love them. But turn that love into a positive and not a restraint.

Everything is fine. Just get to a better place and the cats will be ready. They really are doing great. They are close. I do not see where he wants to hurt her and nor does she. I am not sure you realize this but You are ahead of the other thread you are watching, you are really close to them being intro'd.

Hang in there. :) Always here for you!!!
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello! We did bedtime treats last night after a slight change in routine and it was mostly fine." - Hello, great.

" Florie didn't come as far down the hallway this time" - That is fine.

" and I think Hawthorne was kind of full, so he started just watching the treats fly by after a while and wasn't chasing them." - Intersting. How was his body language?

"Then for some reason Florie decided she was going to go into our room and under the bed again." - Ok

" Either she was scared or didn't want to go into her room." - Was Hawthorne intimidating at all? How was her body language going into the bedroom?

"So then she sat under our bed for thirty plus minutes" - OK, that is fine. As long as Hawthorne isn't going after her etc.

" and eventually only came out with some poking, which I didn't want to do, but she had to go back in her room so we could all get to bed." - Ok, understandable. How was she after she got into her room?

"So we are not yet back to the glorious days of her coming within a foot of him during treat time." - Yes but this is fine. As long as he isn't attacking, etc it is fine.

" I wonder if I should go back to treats at the gate again so they can be closer together, just for a few days." - Naw, you could but I don't think there is any reason. But if you want to you can if it makes you feel better. Personally, I see no issues so I would jsut do face to face and make it as positive as possible.

"I was feeling some massive guilt this morning about poor Hawthorne crying at the gate, wanting out, and then I alternately feel guilty about Florie locked away in her room all night." - :( Awwwwwwww. I am Catholic and no all about guilt. I can out guilt anyone!!! You have NO REASON to feel guilty at all. The fact he wants to come out is positive. He isn't afraid of her. Cats are territorial so they like as much as they can own BUT they have to be intro'd. Maybe (if you have time) try letting him out and se if they will eat together no gate in the morning? Florie is fine being in her room overnight. She will be out soon. But I am sure she is fine, sleeping. Once they are fully intro'd she'll be in there fairly often I would assume. So not an issue.

"It feels like in an effort to get them together sometimes I'm giving both of them a worse life." - Oh my, no, You are giving them the chance at the greatest life they can have. They sound lie happy cats and the current setup is not the issue. They want to be out and about and we are going to give them that.

"But, my partner also noted that the cats are becoming my entire world (which is kind of true " - I am told that all the time. ;) And cats really are in my life.

"- I so badly want to get them intro'd)" - Yes, I know. I do think you are trying a bit too hard BUT understandably. You love them and want what is best. They are basically intro'd. We just need to clean up a few loose ends. They are a lot closer than you fear. That chase was really nothing honestly.

" and I might need to take a breather." - Ok. Or maybe just let them a bit more freedom. Kinda see the bigger picture more than the minor, little less relevant issues.

" One bad day and I'm totally dejected; a good day and I feel happy again. Sheesh." - Which is totally normal. If I had a penny for everyone that felt what you feel I would be a millionaire. THAT is normal. Even I have gone through that. The key is to focus on the important stuff and not on perfection. There is no perfection in life let alone cat life. My cats have disagreements. But understanding when something is really an issue and when something is nothing is key to our sanity. :) Your cats are doing great. Just try to trust them a bit more.

"So not sure - we'll just hold steady" - Ok. We need you to be positive and calm and confident. BUT I don't see any issues and I would continue to do face to face as long as there is nor negativity (which there isn't). Florie is fine, just give her the love you have for her and same with Hawthorne. Let your love for them get to them.

"until the new gate gets here and see if I can come up with a new arrangement that helps us move forward again and" - Ok but I am still in the above but when you are ready that is fine.

"improves everybody's quality of life. :) " - Hawthorne and Florie are showing me they have a high quality of life. Crying at a gate is really nothing in those terms. Now if there is other behavior I am not reading then we have to do some work (like weird or bad behavior). BUT I think you would tell me if there was that. I have not read anything to suggest they have a bad quality of life. You give them great food, a great house and A LOT OF LOVE. What more can a cat (or a human) ask for?

You are going through those emotions most of us go through or have gone through. Because you love them. But turn that love into a positive and not a restraint.

Everything is fine. Just get to a better place and the cats will be ready. They really are doing great. They are close. I do not see where he wants to hurt her and nor does she. I am not sure you realize this but You are ahead of the other thread you are watching, you are really close to them being intro'd.

Hang in there. :) Always here for you!!!
You're always so supportive, thank you! You give very generously of your time to help us all! :)

We will keep our spirits up, and you're right, I should try to focus on the overall not always just the individual moments. Last night, for example, I went back into the room with Florie at bedtime and Hawthorne came over running and kind of charged the gate (again, mildly) and she hissed and growled and I was like, ok, haven't had this in awhile! He stood there a few moments and then walked away (well, to the bedroom, where he wanted to keep an eye) but when I came out thirty minutes later he was sleeping under the sofa so he'd gotten over it. I don't usually go into her room at night so perhaps there was a novelty element.

But now I see I'm not letting this small moment slide by and instead am talking about it! :) You once said that the cats are kind of so close to the end that progress at this point is incremental and I think you're right. It might just take a bit more time plugging away at the same old same old.

This weekend is my stepkids, then vacation coming up not too long after that, so we'll work on the small moments when we can, and I'll just focus on quality time with each/play/treats for the next few days.
 

calicosrspecial

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You're always so supportive, thank you! You give very generously of your time to help us all! :)

We will keep our spirits up, and you're right, I should try to focus on the overall not always just the individual moments. Last night, for example, I went back into the room with Florie at bedtime and Hawthorne came over running and kind of charged the gate (again, mildly) and she hissed and growled and I was like, ok, haven't had this in awhile! He stood there a few moments and then walked away (well, to the bedroom, where he wanted to keep an eye) but when I came out thirty minutes later he was sleeping under the sofa so he'd gotten over it. I don't usually go into her room at night so perhaps there was a novelty element.

But now I see I'm not letting this small moment slide by and instead am talking about it! :) You once said that the cats are kind of so close to the end that progress at this point is incremental and I think you're right. It might just take a bit more time plugging away at the same old same old.

This weekend is my stepkids, then vacation coming up not too long after that, so we'll work on the small moments when we can, and I'll just focus on quality time with each/play/treats for the next few days.
"You're always so supportive, thank you! You give very generously of your time to help us all! :) " - You are very welcome. You, your partner and the cats are well worth it!! ")

"We will keep our spirits up," - Great

" and you're right, I should try to focus on the overall not always just the individual moments." - Yes. No one or no situation can be prefect. I know we want it but it is impossible. The key is to see the whole picture (which is easier said than done when in the middle of it). Hopefully I can help bring the big picture in focus.

"Last night, for example, I went back into the room with Florie at bedtime and Hawthorne came over running and kind of charged the gate (again, mildly) and she hissed and growled and I was like, ok, haven't had this in awhile!" - Ok. Is that all she did was hiss and growl or did she run and hide as well?

"He stood there a few moments and then walked away (well, to the bedroom, where he wanted to keep an eye)" -
:yess: :hyper: :clap2: He walked away!!! EXACTLY what we want. If there were issues he would not walk away. THAT tells me it is just being silly, not a real threat. AND if she held her ground even better. And these tests actually build confidence and bring us closer to living together.

"but when I came out thirty minutes later he was sleeping under the sofa so he'd gotten over it." - Exactly (if there was anything there in the first part). I would have had to see it but I just wonder if he wanted in there....................

"I don't usually go into her room at night so perhaps there was a novelty element." - Good observation, I think that very well could be it. All depends on body language BUT his actions after suggest it was pretty innocent.

"But now I see I'm not letting this small moment slide by and instead am talking about it! :) " - YES!!! Exactly!! This is important. Had it gone wrong it would have been important BUT the fact it went well means it is important. Things like this can be ignored but actually tell us a lot.

"You once said that the cats are kind of so close to the end that progress at this point is incremental and I think you're right. It might just take a bit more time plugging away at the same old same old." - Exactly. It is like practicing a dance or piano. We do it and do it to perfect it even if it doesn't seem like we are making progress but it builds in that "muscle memory" so it actually is achieving something even though we may not recognize it.

"This weekend is my stepkids, then vacation coming up not too long after that," - Sounds good. Just enjoy the time with the kids. And look forward to vacation.

"so we'll work on the small moments when we can, and I'll just focus on quality time with each/play/treats for the next few days." - Exactly. They are really close so just give them attention and love and make those positive associations and positive encounters. They are well past any risk point so they are going to be intro'd. They are very close. :)

And just enjoy the time with everyone. :)
 
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