Advice on Cat Introductions - Feeling a Bit Lost

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Furmama22

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"Thanks for your feedback!" - You are welcome.

" I've looked back over her peeing and it has sometimes been x2 per day, but in the last few days really only once every 20ish hours - like evening the one day, then afternoon the next day, etc. I've been tracking it now because it seemed so infrequent.." - :( Yeah, I don't like that. Any time there is change it is something we need to look at. Do you think she is drinking less? Eating less wet food?

" It's nowhere near as often as Hawthorne goes." - Yes :/

" I think she drinks enough - I see her drinking at least 2 or 3 times a day. And she gets primarily wet food, although I guess there are quite a few kibble treats in there." - Ok. It sounds ok. Is it warmer or drier than usual lately?

"The kibble is formulated to support urinary concerns - Hawthorne has had a UTI before. I haven't seen her grooming the area or focusing attention there, like as per a UTI. But I haven't seen her pee so I can't tell about straining." - Ok. Hmmmmmm

"I've only taken her to the vet once before, when I first adopted her. I don't think she loved it, no. But she seemed to do ok." - OK, good to know.

"I'll have her sleep with us again tonight and see if she pees in the box." - I think that is fine. I have a feeling it was a bit of stress/separation anxiety. BUT I am bothered that she may not be peeing as much. Do you think there is any chance she is using "his" box?

"If not, I'll book an appointment. Best to be confident it isn't medical." - Yes, it never hurts as long as they don't get too stressed. Sounds like she would be ok.

Keep an eye on her and let me know and also see if she may be using :his" box. I just wonder if she is.
It's a good thought, but no, I'm pretty confident she isn't using his box. Most of the time it's with him in his room when she's out, and the rest of the time she rarely goes into the French door room (where his box is). But I will watch carefully now.

I have a vet appointment for tomorrow afternoon. I'm also trying to add some water to her wet food and to her salmon snack, so she's getting more liquid like that. See if I can increase the amount she's drinking/consuming.

After we see overnight, I'll also think about maybe a bigger litter box.

Sigh. :)

Do you think if it were stress about Hawthorne specifically it would have been happening more often/earlier than this? I just want to be sure it isn't the intro process adding to her stress/anxiety.
 
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calicosrspecial

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It's a good thought, but no, I'm pretty confident she isn't using his box. Most of the time it's with him in his room when she's out, and the rest of the time she rarely goes into the French door room (where his box is). But I will watch carefully now.

I have a vet appointment for tomorrow afternoon. I'm also trying to add some water to her wet food and to her salmon snack, so she's getting more liquid like that. See if I can increase the amount she's drinking/consuming.

After we see overnight, I'll also think about maybe a bigger litter box.

Sigh. :)

Do you think if it were stress about Hawthorne specifically it would have been happening more often/earlier than this? I just want to be sure it isn't the intro process adding to her stress/anxiety.
"It's a good thought, but no, I'm pretty confident she isn't using his box." - :/ Ok

Most of the time it's with him in his room when she's out, and the rest of the time she rarely goes into the French door room (where his box is). But I will watch carefully now." - OK, sounds unlikely.

"I have a vet appointment for tomorrow afternoon." - Ok, it is good given she might not be going as often as usual.

" I'm also trying to add some water to her wet food and to her salmon snack, so she's getting more liquid like that. See if I can increase the amount she's drinking/consuming." - Great. HOPEFULLY she likes it still.

"After we see overnight, I'll also think about maybe a bigger litter box." - Ok. Do you think it is a litter box size issue? Is it covered or open?

"Sigh. :) " - It will be ok, she will get back to normal.

"Do you think if it were stress about Hawthorne specifically it would have been happening more often/earlier than this?" - Yes, absolutely.

" I just want to be sure it isn't the intro process adding to her stress/anxiety. " - I don't think it is that. I suspect it is separation anxiety and if not it is medical. BUT I am wondering about the infrequency lately. :/
 

Graham18

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Thanks for your feedback! I've looked back over her peeing and it has sometimes been x2 per day, but in the last few days really only once every 20ish hours - like evening the one day, then afternoon the next day, etc. I've been tracking it now because it seemed so infrequent.. It's nowhere near as often as Hawthorne goes. I think she drinks enough - I see her drinking at least 2 or 3 times a day. And she gets primarily wet food, although I guess there are quite a few kibble treats in there. The kibble is formulated to support urinary concerns - Hawthorne has had a UTI before. I haven't seen her grooming the area or focusing attention there, like as per a UTI. But I haven't seen her pee so I can't tell about straining.

I've only taken her to the vet once before, when I first adopted her. I don't think she loved it, no. But she seemed to do ok. I'll have her sleep with us again tonight and see if she pees in the box. If not, I'll book an appointment. Best to be confident it isn't medical.
I had a similar situation with Sapphire when she was younger. She was keeping me up all night so I started locking my door at 4/5 am and she started peeing on everything. Took her to the vet and was told there was nothing wrong with her and she was just showing her discontent/anxiety about being locked out most likely.

On average now she only pees once a day and she does drink a good amount of water. Fluffy usually pees twice a day.
 
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I had a similar situation with Sapphire when she was younger. She was keeping me up all night so I started locking my door at 4/5 am and she started peeing on everything. Took her to the vet and was told there was nothing wrong with her and she was just showing her discontent/anxiety about being locked out most likely.

On average now she only pees once a day and she does drink a good amount of water. Fluffy usually pees twice a day.
Thank you Graham18 Graham18 ! Appreciate the pee comparison, hahaha. It's one of those things that you can easily kind of tune out until suddenly you think - gee, when is the last time she peed? :) And she's so private about it. But interesting you experienced the same thing!

C calicosrspecial , a quick note that I cancelled the vet appointment for today. Florie peed yesterday afternoon in her litterbox, no issue. So I definitely think the bed peeing was a reaction to being closed back in her room overnight in a way she wasn't expecting and didn't like.

I'm going to work with her on improving the water consumption and see if we can help with frequency a bit. And figure out if there are other bowls/fountains she prefers.

No other Florie/Hawthorne updates at this point. :) We're going to try the longer together session later this week. Then things get topsy turvy for a bit. My stepkids come on the weekend, and then next week my partner's mother is coming for about 3-4 days. She has early stage dementia and memory issues, and isn't used to living with pets, so we have to be careful about doors, etc.

I don't want to lose momentum so we'll keep working on the intros where we can, provided the cats aren't stressed. And provided I'm not stressed. :)

Then Sept 1 I have to start going back to the office (at least part-time) and I confess I do feel some concern about that given Florie's peeing and anxiety. We're hoping to arrange it in such a way that she gets the hallway territory (two bedrooms) and Hawthorne gets the main living space (while we're gone for the workday). I'm going to start testing later this week to see if that works so that when the time comes the routine and set-up isn't totally foreign.
 
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Sorry I just fixed it - I wrote my partner's mother in law above but I meant mother - his mother, my mother-in-law. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Thank you Graham18 Graham18 ! Appreciate the pee comparison, hahaha. It's one of those things that you can easily kind of tune out until suddenly you think - gee, when is the last time she peed? :) And she's so private about it. But interesting you experienced the same thing!

C calicosrspecial , a quick note that I cancelled the vet appointment for today. Florie peed yesterday afternoon in her litterbox, no issue. So I definitely think the bed peeing was a reaction to being closed back in her room overnight in a way she wasn't expecting and didn't like.

I'm going to work with her on improving the water consumption and see if we can help with frequency a bit. And figure out if there are other bowls/fountains she prefers.

No other Florie/Hawthorne updates at this point. :) We're going to try the longer together session later this week. Then things get topsy turvy for a bit. My stepkids come on the weekend, and then next week my partner's mother-in-law is coming for about 3-4 days. She has early stage dementia and memory issues, and isn't used to living with pets, so we have to be careful about doors, etc.

I don't want to lose momentum so we'll keep working on the intros where we can, provided the cats aren't stressed. And provided I'm not stressed. :)

Then Sept 1 I have to start going back to the office (at least part-time) and I confess I do feel some concern about that given Florie's peeing and anxiety. We're hoping to arrange it in such a way that she gets the hallway territory (two bedrooms) and Hawthorne gets the main living space (while we're gone for the workday). I'm going to start testing later this week to see if that works so that when the time comes the routine and set-up isn't totally foreign.
"Thank you Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 ! Appreciate the pee comparison, hahaha." - When a cat "loses" territory by having a door closed, etc it can create territorial insecurity and the way they claim the other is to get their scent on things to feel more ownership. Sometimes it is just rubbing on things but when extreme peeing can occur. :/

"It's one of those things that you can easily kind of tune out until suddenly you think - gee, when is the last time she peed? :) And she's so private about it. But interesting you experienced the same thing!" - Yes. With multiple cats it is even harder to track but usually they have fave spots, places in the box, etc where some detective work can uncover it.

" C calicosrspecial C calicosrspecial , a quick note that I cancelled the vet appointment for today. Florie peed yesterday afternoon in her litterbox, no issue. " - Ok, I think that is fine. Given it is not urgent it is probably best not to stress her with a vet visit unless needed.

"So I definitely think the bed peeing was a reaction to being closed back in her room overnight in a way she wasn't expecting and didn't like." - Yes. As I mentioned, when a cat feels like they are "losing" territory they can then try to claim the existing territory more and sometimes in extreme ways (like peeing).

"I'm going to work with her on improving the water consumption and see if we can help with frequency a bit. And figure out if there are other bowls/fountains she prefers." - Sounds good. Cats will do what they will do even with out best efforts. Wet food helps a lot in hydration then clean, cool water can help. I change mine out every few hours. Some really do like the fountains.

"No other Florie/Hawthorne updates at this point. :) " - Ok

"We're going to try the longer together session later this week." - Sounds good. Just keep up their exposure as much as possible.

"Then things get topsy turvy for a bit. My stepkids come on the weekend, and then next week my partner's mother-in-law is coming for about 3-4 days. " - Ok, that is fine.

"She has early stage dementia and memory issues, and isn't used to living with pets, so we have to be careful about doors, etc." - Yes. The cats will be fine. They are pretty much intro'd so if a mistake happens I don't think it would be an issue at all.

"I don't want to lose momentum so we'll keep working on the intros where we can, provided the cats aren't stressed." - Yes, they will be fine. The step kids they do really well with it seems and I think they are confident enough to adjust to your mother in law well.

" And provided I'm not stressed. :) " - ;)

"Then Sept 1 I have to start going back to the office (at least part-time) and I confess I do feel some concern about that given Florie's peeing and anxiety." - Yes, agreed. But you have to go back. actually think she will be fine with her normal territory being available. And cats tend to sleep when we are gone as it can be a bit boring for them. I think she will be fine. And it actually may help them to be closer. I kinda think we can get them together by that time. I know 2 weeks seems short BUT the progress is so great I just wonder if we can feel comfortable for them to be together.

"We're hoping to arrange it in such a way that she gets the hallway territory (two bedrooms) and Hawthorne gets the main living space (while we're gone for the workday)." - That is a great plan.

" I'm going to start testing later this week to see if that works so that when the time comes the routine and set-up isn't totally foreign. " - Exactly.
 
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Thanks for always being so supportive and lovely. I always appreciate reading your feedback. The encouragement is really helpful when I'm feeling worried or concerned about the cats. So just wanted to say thank you again. :)
 

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Thanks for always being so supportive and lovely. I always appreciate reading your feedback. The encouragement is really helpful when I'm feeling worried or concerned about the cats. So just wanted to say thank you again. :)
You are very welcome.

I actually didn't sense in your post you were that worried or concerned. :/ I think you were more than I realized. :/ BUT the good news is I don't think you have any reason to be worried. The cats are doing incredibly well. I actually think we are pretty much there. I am not seeing anything to suggest any issues.

Remember, a chase is only really a problem when a cat doesn't rebound quickly after it. And there are changes or behavioral issues. If a chase happens, and nothing else is negative and the cats rebound to "normal" then it really is not a big deal. Of course, we don't want any non-play chases but if it happens (or a swat, hiss, etc) as long as nothing else happens and they rebound quickly it is not anything to worry about.

Florie and Hawthorne are doing great and they have a great base to handle any blips. They are going to be just fine. :)
 
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You are very welcome.

I actually didn't sense in your post you were that worried or concerned. :/ I think you were more than I realized. :/ BUT the good news is I don't think you have any reason to be worried. The cats are doing incredibly well. I actually think we are pretty much there. I am not seeing anything to suggest any issues.

Remember, a chase is only really a problem when a cat doesn't rebound quickly after it. And there are changes or behavioral issues. If a chase happens, and nothing else is negative and the cats rebound to "normal" then it really is not a big deal. Of course, we don't want any non-play chases but if it happens (or a swat, hiss, etc) as long as nothing else happens and they rebound quickly it is not anything to worry about.

Florie and Hawthorne are doing great and they have a great base to handle any blips. They are going to be just fine. :)
Hello C calicosrspecial !

I was feeling worried, but more about the return to work and how that would impact the cats - but it looks like it might be October, not September. Fingers crossed. My hope is that maybe they'll be together by then.

But I appreciate the words about chasing and how to handle it. Hawthorne seems lately less inclined to chase her (granted, there hasn't been the opportunity) but even at the pet gate - they've been a bit calmer. She is quite confident at the pet gate now - she marches by without a hiss or a growl (most of the time) and they aren't doing the swat thing lately either.

Two quick curious things - last night we did a bedtime treat session and she decided she wanted to go into the basement. Lately a lot of her behaviour at certain points revolves around NOT wanting to go into her room. In the morning, after sleeping with us, I get up first and she deliberately goes under the blankets to "sleep" to avoid having to go back in her room (she's purring while she does it). Or she hides under the bed. That said, she does go into her room no problem for supper, so it seems to be time specific. But anyways - during treat time, she walked from the hallway area through the kitchen to the basement even with Hawthorne out. She did it slowly, each time checking to see where he was, but she did it. And he chased his treats and then actually went under the sofa at one point, maybe because he was scared by our energy (and I got the cardboard out just in case - he's definitely scared of that). My partner went down to watch TV with her and Hawthorne came out immediately after, so he wasn't too phased.

This afternoon when I switched them, he was in her bedroom and she got to come out into in the main room. She had a little snack and then she walked down the hallway to watch Hawthorne (he was working on a treat puzzle) and started growling at him. I didn't fully understand that. He was minding his own business. Did she not like him in her room? Or did she view his puzzle activities as too rambuctious? Or she wanted more treats too? I couldn't tell.

She's a complex soul! I can't entirely figure her out. But I know that all the switching and rooms and all that does have a toll, obviously. Luckily we're getting to the end.

Anyways, I guess that's it. I hope there isn't anything in the room avoidance that signals an issue. Hawthorne has been spending more time in there lately - I hope that's not the reason for any concern.
 
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A quick update that I spoke too soon about no chasing and we had a chase last night - but, it all seems to be ok today. We were doing the evening treat session and Florie decided she wanted to go to the basement again, but instead of going around the perimeter of the room she decided to walk right through it, where Hawthorne also was, chasing his treats. We weren't expecting that, so my partner went over and grabbed some cardboard and used it to break eye contact with them briefly as I was coming over to give more treats. But, in that moment with the cardboard blocking she thought she'd made a run for it and then Hawthorne couldn't resist - he dashed around the cardboard and they flew downstairs with my partner running after them shouting "stop Hawthorne" - it was awful but the chaos was slightly comical and it was very brief, like 10 seconds or less. Hawthorne chased her around the downstairs coffee table and she jumped over the sofa and then I guess my partner was able to stop Hawthorne's run back up the stairs so Florie could come back up and she came FLYING up the stairs and ran and jumped into her armchair. I closed the door to the basement to keep Hawthorne in there.

The story aside, all seems to be well. She had a big tail but it calmed pretty quickly. Also I was proud that she went into her chair and not say, under the bed in our room. She also let me sit by her and pet her and though she was cautious and looking around, she seemed to realize he wasn't there and then was willing to eat some treats again. She was quite growly and hunchy, but she did eat quite enthusiastically. I brought her into our bedroom and sat with her there, and she seemed basically fine. She did a bit of grooming and later when I came to bed, she slept on me.

Hawthorne apparently also had a big tail during the chase (from what my partner could tell) but honestly I think part of that could have been the fact that my partner came dashing down the stairs after them and Hawthorne is sometimes a bit scared of him and loud stomps. :)

After I put her away, I let him out and he seemed ok. He wandered around and ate the leftover treats scattered about and then lay down with his toy.

This morning they seem fine. When I let her out, she maybe looked at him in his room with a bit more caution, but she ate her puzzle treats by the gate. So did he, same as usual. She also growled at him while he was just lying nicely in his room, but I think she definitely has that "don't you try anything, I'm watching you" thing. In that case, she was staring at him and growling and he was just hanging out. Sometimes in her attempts to prevent him from doing anything, she stares and growls, which makes him want to do something.

Anyways, I wanted to share this update - we had a chase, they survived. We will press on! :)

One question - my partner thinks that speaking to Hawthorne in a stern voice after something like this (saying, "you don't chase your sister!") will help teach him that his behavior was in the wrong. Is that valuable, or is it just teaching Hawthorne that his sister is bad news and results in scary loud voices? I guess what I'm asking is, when he chases her, is there some discipline that actually teaches him something, or is that a useless/counterproductive measure?
 

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Hello C calicosrspecial !

I was feeling worried, but more about the return to work and how that would impact the cats - but it looks like it might be October, not September. Fingers crossed. My hope is that maybe they'll be together by then.

But I appreciate the words about chasing and how to handle it. Hawthorne seems lately less inclined to chase her (granted, there hasn't been the opportunity) but even at the pet gate - they've been a bit calmer. She is quite confident at the pet gate now - she marches by without a hiss or a growl (most of the time) and they aren't doing the swat thing lately either.

Two quick curious things - last night we did a bedtime treat session and she decided she wanted to go into the basement. Lately a lot of her behaviour at certain points revolves around NOT wanting to go into her room. In the morning, after sleeping with us, I get up first and she deliberately goes under the blankets to "sleep" to avoid having to go back in her room (she's purring while she does it). Or she hides under the bed. That said, she does go into her room no problem for supper, so it seems to be time specific. But anyways - during treat time, she walked from the hallway area through the kitchen to the basement even with Hawthorne out. She did it slowly, each time checking to see where he was, but she did it. And he chased his treats and then actually went under the sofa at one point, maybe because he was scared by our energy (and I got the cardboard out just in case - he's definitely scared of that). My partner went down to watch TV with her and Hawthorne came out immediately after, so he wasn't too phased.

This afternoon when I switched them, he was in her bedroom and she got to come out into in the main room. She had a little snack and then she walked down the hallway to watch Hawthorne (he was working on a treat puzzle) and started growling at him. I didn't fully understand that. He was minding his own business. Did she not like him in her room? Or did she view his puzzle activities as too rambuctious? Or she wanted more treats too? I couldn't tell.

She's a complex soul! I can't entirely figure her out. But I know that all the switching and rooms and all that does have a toll, obviously. Luckily we're getting to the end.

Anyways, I guess that's it. I hope there isn't anything in the room avoidance that signals an issue. Hawthorne has been spending more time in there lately - I hope that's not the reason for any concern.
"Hello C calicosrspecial C calicosrspecial !" - Hello

"I was feeling worried, but more about the return to work and how that would impact the cats" - Yes, understandable. I don;t think you have to worry.

" - but it looks like it might be October, not September. Fingers crossed. " - GREAT!!! For you as I don't think it would matter for the cats.

"My hope is that maybe they'll be together by then." - I think they will be.

"But I appreciate the words about chasing and how to handle it. Hawthorne seems lately less inclined to chase her (granted, there hasn't been the opportunity) but even at the pet gate - they've been a bit calmer." - Great

" She is quite confident at the pet gate now - she marches by without a hiss or a growl (most of the time) and they aren't doing the swat thing lately either." - FANTASTIC!!

"Two quick curious things" - OK

" - last night we did a bedtime treat session and she decided she wanted to go into the basement." - Ok, that is fine.

" Lately a lot of her behaviour at certain points revolves around NOT wanting to go into her room." - Hahahaha, stinker.

" In the morning, after sleeping with us, I get up first and she deliberately goes under the blankets to "sleep" to avoid having to go back in her room (she's purring while she does it). Or she hides under the bed." - Awwwwwwwww

" That said, she does go into her room no problem for supper, so it seems to be time specific." - Agreed

" But anyways - during treat time, she walked from the hallway area through the kitchen to the basement even with Hawthorne out." - GREAT!!!

" She did it slowly, each time checking to see where he was, but she did it." - That is fine, part of the process. It is great!!!

" And he chased his treats" - Great!!!

" and then actually went under the sofa at one point, maybe because he was scared by our energy (and I got the cardboard out just in case - he's definitely scared of that)." - That is fne. As long as he is not attacking her it is fine. That it remains positive.

"My partner went down to watch TV with her and Hawthorne came out immediately after, so he wasn't too phased." - Great

"This afternoon when I switched them, he was in her bedroom and she got to come out into in the main room. She had a little snack" - Great

" and then she walked down the hallway to watch Hawthorne (he was working on a treat puzzle) and started growling at him. I didn't fully understand that. He was minding his own business." - Hahahaha, she probably wanted attention, some fun. I am not sure her growling is always that meaningful. Some of it is warning BUT I do think some is to get attention.

"Did she not like him in her room?" - Maybe but I am guessing she wanted to have some fun, attention, get something started. Maybe put him in his place. I am not worried about it.

"Or did she view his puzzle activities as too rambuctious? " - Hmmmmm, maybe, or maybe she wanted to join in? HArd to know. BUT if he was ok then he is telling us it was not a big deal (nothing negative).

"Or she wanted more treats too? I couldn't tell." - Could be. It is hard to know. BUT seeing how the other cat reacts does tell us how serious they think it is.

"She's a complex soul!" - Hahahahaha, she is a cat!!! ;)

" I can't entirely figure her out." - Hahahaha. Well, she is a normal cat. :/

" But I know that all the switching and rooms and all that does have a toll, obviously. " - Do you really think so? IF that was the case there would be noticeable issues and I am not reading about those.

"Luckily we're getting to the end." - Basically there.

"Anyways, I guess that's it." - Sounds great to me!!!

" I hope there isn't anything in the room avoidance that signals an issue." - I don't think so. I think she has experienced freedom and wants it. I think it is as simple as that.

" Hawthorne has been spending more time in there lately - I hope that's not the reason for any concern. " - I don't think so. If that was the case we would see her having issues. Acting differently, less confident, etc. I don't think that is it at all.

"A quick update that I spoke too soon about no chasing and we had a chase last night" - OK, I expected there would be others (that is why I put the chase stuff in a prior post).

" - but, it all seems to be ok today." - Great. Let's see what happened.

" We were doing the evening treat session and Florie decided she wanted to go to the basement again, but instead of going around the perimeter of the room she decided to walk right through it, where Hawthorne also was, chasing his treats." - Wow, she IS confident!!!

"We weren't expecting that, so my partner went over and grabbed some cardboard and used it to break eye contact with them briefly as I was coming over to give more treats." - Ok. Did he focus no her before going for the cardboard?

"But, in that moment with the cardboard blocking she thought she'd made a run for it and then Hawthorne couldn't resist " - Ahhhhh, yes. Did the cardboard scare her or something else?

"- he dashed around the cardboard and they flew downstairs" - Ok

" with my partner running after them shouting "stop Hawthorne" - it was awful but the chaos was slightly comical and it was very brief, like 10 seconds or less." - Ok. Yes, it can be panicky.

" Hawthorne chased her around the downstairs coffee table and she jumped over the sofa and then I guess my partner was able to stop Hawthorne's run back up the stairs" - Ok

" so Florie could come back up and she came FLYING up the stairs and ran and jumped into her armchair." - Intersting she jumped in the armchair. Interesting choice.

"I closed the door to the basement to keep Hawthorne in there." - Ok

"The story aside, all seems to be well. " - OK, good . THAT is the key. How they act after, the rebound.

"She had a big tail" - Yes

" but it calmed pretty quickly." - Great!!!

" Also I was proud that she went into her chair and not say, under the bed in our room." - EXACTLY!!!! A big step forward.

" She also let me sit by her and pet her and though she was cautious and looking around, she seemed to realize he wasn't there and then was willing to eat some treats again." - Great!!!

" She was quite growly and hunchy, but she did eat quite enthusiastically." - That is fine.

"I brought her into our bedroom and sat with her there, and she seemed basically fine. She did a bit of grooming and later when I came to bed, she slept on me." - Great. Fast rebound!!!

"Hawthorne apparently also had a big tail during the chase (from what my partner could tell) but honestly I think part of that could have been the fact that my partner came dashing down the stairs after them and Hawthorne is sometimes a bit scared of him and loud stomps. :)" - Expected. I am not at all bothered by the tail.

"After I put her away, I let him out and he seemed ok. He wandered around and ate the leftover treats scattered about and then lay down with his toy." - Sounds like he was fine (fast rebound as well). Great!!!

"This morning they seem fine." - :yess:

"When I let her out, she maybe looked at him in his room with a bit more caution, but she ate her puzzle treats by the gate. So did he, same as usual." - :yess::hyper::clap2: YES!!!! All this work has built that base we wanted. This is fantastic!!

" She also growled at him while he was just lying nicely in his room, but I think she definitely has that "don't you try anything, I'm watching you" thing." - That is fine.

" In that case, she was staring at him and growling and he was just hanging out. Sometimes in her attempts to prevent him from doing anything, she stares and growls, which makes him want to do something." - I just wonder if maybe she wants him to mess around a bit?????

"Anyways, I wanted to share this update - we had a chase, they survived. We will press on! :)" - Ok, so this is a great outcome. I expected more chases. I would like to understand why you think she ran? Was it the human response that might have triggered it? Or did she just lose confidence suddenly as he looked at her?

Either way, how they acted after tells me they didn't think it was a big deal. Which is the most important part. They ere tested, they passed!!!

"One question - my partner thinks that speaking to Hawthorne in a stern voice after something like this (saying, "you don't chase your sister!") will help teach him that his behavior was in the wrong. Is that valuable, or is it just teaching Hawthorne that his sister is bad news and results in scary loud voices? " - People are mixed on this. Personally I don't think it really helps or hurts. As long as the cat(s) don't get more stressed. I will use a stern voice with the ferals and they do stop and realize it is wrong. But they don't really learn it is wrong so they will do it again anyway. :/

Hawthorne responded by instinct. He was in play mode (chasing treats), he sees something wrong(like prey) so he chased to have some fun. He didn't want to kill, etc. He just responded to his instinct. That is normal cat stuff. So that is why we work on building trust and confidence so that maybe one cat doesn't run and cause this to happen.

BUT the fact they rebounded fast tells me the cats didn't think it was serious and that is the most important thing.

So actually I feel more positive today than ever. They were tested and they passes nicely. Of course we don't want chases but they do happen. As long as we don't see negatives lingering then it is not a big deal. He didn't go after her he responded to her movement. That is really important to remember. That is very manageable and not worrying.

Keep moving forward. Keep doing what you are doing and let's see how they respond. If you sense tension, stay calm and try to diffuse it, and distract if possible. I KNOW it is easier said than done but I do think the cat have more trust than we may realize. They did really well. Sure, it wasn't perfect but it was really good. There are in a better more trusting place than even I realized. That is my takeaway. Supported by the facts of how they acted after. Fast rebounds.

I guess what I'm asking is, when he chases her, is there some discipline that actually teaches him something, or is that a useless/counterproductive measure?
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello C calicosrspecial C calicosrspecial !" - Hello

"I was feeling worried, but more about the return to work and how that would impact the cats" - Yes, understandable. I don;t think you have to worry.

" - but it looks like it might be October, not September. Fingers crossed. " - GREAT!!! For you as I don't think it would matter for the cats.

"My hope is that maybe they'll be together by then." - I think they will be.

"But I appreciate the words about chasing and how to handle it. Hawthorne seems lately less inclined to chase her (granted, there hasn't been the opportunity) but even at the pet gate - they've been a bit calmer." - Great

" She is quite confident at the pet gate now - she marches by without a hiss or a growl (most of the time) and they aren't doing the swat thing lately either." - FANTASTIC!!

"Two quick curious things" - OK

" - last night we did a bedtime treat session and she decided she wanted to go into the basement." - Ok, that is fine.

" Lately a lot of her behaviour at certain points revolves around NOT wanting to go into her room." - Hahahaha, stinker.

" In the morning, after sleeping with us, I get up first and she deliberately goes under the blankets to "sleep" to avoid having to go back in her room (she's purring while she does it). Or she hides under the bed." - Awwwwwwwww

" That said, she does go into her room no problem for supper, so it seems to be time specific." - Agreed

" But anyways - during treat time, she walked from the hallway area through the kitchen to the basement even with Hawthorne out." - GREAT!!!

" She did it slowly, each time checking to see where he was, but she did it." - That is fine, part of the process. It is great!!!

" And he chased his treats" - Great!!!

" and then actually went under the sofa at one point, maybe because he was scared by our energy (and I got the cardboard out just in case - he's definitely scared of that)." - That is fne. As long as he is not attacking her it is fine. That it remains positive.

"My partner went down to watch TV with her and Hawthorne came out immediately after, so he wasn't too phased." - Great

"This afternoon when I switched them, he was in her bedroom and she got to come out into in the main room. She had a little snack" - Great

" and then she walked down the hallway to watch Hawthorne (he was working on a treat puzzle) and started growling at him. I didn't fully understand that. He was minding his own business." - Hahahaha, she probably wanted attention, some fun. I am not sure her growling is always that meaningful. Some of it is warning BUT I do think some is to get attention.

"Did she not like him in her room?" - Maybe but I am guessing she wanted to have some fun, attention, get something started. Maybe put him in his place. I am not worried about it.

"Or did she view his puzzle activities as too rambuctious? " - Hmmmmm, maybe, or maybe she wanted to join in? HArd to know. BUT if he was ok then he is telling us it was not a big deal (nothing negative).

"Or she wanted more treats too? I couldn't tell." - Could be. It is hard to know. BUT seeing how the other cat reacts does tell us how serious they think it is.

"She's a complex soul!" - Hahahahaha, she is a cat!!! ;)

" I can't entirely figure her out." - Hahahaha. Well, she is a normal cat. :/

" But I know that all the switching and rooms and all that does have a toll, obviously. " - Do you really think so? IF that was the case there would be noticeable issues and I am not reading about those.

"Luckily we're getting to the end." - Basically there.

"Anyways, I guess that's it." - Sounds great to me!!!

" I hope there isn't anything in the room avoidance that signals an issue." - I don't think so. I think she has experienced freedom and wants it. I think it is as simple as that.

" Hawthorne has been spending more time in there lately - I hope that's not the reason for any concern. " - I don't think so. If that was the case we would see her having issues. Acting differently, less confident, etc. I don't think that is it at all.

"A quick update that I spoke too soon about no chasing and we had a chase last night" - OK, I expected there would be others (that is why I put the chase stuff in a prior post).

" - but, it all seems to be ok today." - Great. Let's see what happened.

" We were doing the evening treat session and Florie decided she wanted to go to the basement again, but instead of going around the perimeter of the room she decided to walk right through it, where Hawthorne also was, chasing his treats." - Wow, she IS confident!!!

"We weren't expecting that, so my partner went over and grabbed some cardboard and used it to break eye contact with them briefly as I was coming over to give more treats." - Ok. Did he focus no her before going for the cardboard?

"But, in that moment with the cardboard blocking she thought she'd made a run for it and then Hawthorne couldn't resist " - Ahhhhh, yes. Did the cardboard scare her or something else?

"- he dashed around the cardboard and they flew downstairs" - Ok

" with my partner running after them shouting "stop Hawthorne" - it was awful but the chaos was slightly comical and it was very brief, like 10 seconds or less." - Ok. Yes, it can be panicky.

" Hawthorne chased her around the downstairs coffee table and she jumped over the sofa and then I guess my partner was able to stop Hawthorne's run back up the stairs" - Ok

" so Florie could come back up and she came FLYING up the stairs and ran and jumped into her armchair." - Intersting she jumped in the armchair. Interesting choice.

"I closed the door to the basement to keep Hawthorne in there." - Ok

"The story aside, all seems to be well. " - OK, good . THAT is the key. How they act after, the rebound.

"She had a big tail" - Yes

" but it calmed pretty quickly." - Great!!!

" Also I was proud that she went into her chair and not say, under the bed in our room." - EXACTLY!!!! A big step forward.

" She also let me sit by her and pet her and though she was cautious and looking around, she seemed to realize he wasn't there and then was willing to eat some treats again." - Great!!!

" She was quite growly and hunchy, but she did eat quite enthusiastically." - That is fine.

"I brought her into our bedroom and sat with her there, and she seemed basically fine. She did a bit of grooming and later when I came to bed, she slept on me." - Great. Fast rebound!!!

"Hawthorne apparently also had a big tail during the chase (from what my partner could tell) but honestly I think part of that could have been the fact that my partner came dashing down the stairs after them and Hawthorne is sometimes a bit scared of him and loud stomps. :)" - Expected. I am not at all bothered by the tail.

"After I put her away, I let him out and he seemed ok. He wandered around and ate the leftover treats scattered about and then lay down with his toy." - Sounds like he was fine (fast rebound as well). Great!!!

"This morning they seem fine." - :yess:

"When I let her out, she maybe looked at him in his room with a bit more caution, but she ate her puzzle treats by the gate. So did he, same as usual." - :yess::hyper::clap2: YES!!!! All this work has built that base we wanted. This is fantastic!!

" She also growled at him while he was just lying nicely in his room, but I think she definitely has that "don't you try anything, I'm watching you" thing." - That is fine.

" In that case, she was staring at him and growling and he was just hanging out. Sometimes in her attempts to prevent him from doing anything, she stares and growls, which makes him want to do something." - I just wonder if maybe she wants him to mess around a bit?????

"Anyways, I wanted to share this update - we had a chase, they survived. We will press on! :)" - Ok, so this is a great outcome. I expected more chases. I would like to understand why you think she ran? Was it the human response that might have triggered it? Or did she just lose confidence suddenly as he looked at her?

Either way, how they acted after tells me they didn't think it was a big deal. Which is the most important part. They ere tested, they passed!!!

"One question - my partner thinks that speaking to Hawthorne in a stern voice after something like this (saying, "you don't chase your sister!") will help teach him that his behavior was in the wrong. Is that valuable, or is it just teaching Hawthorne that his sister is bad news and results in scary loud voices? " - People are mixed on this. Personally I don't think it really helps or hurts. As long as the cat(s) don't get more stressed. I will use a stern voice with the ferals and they do stop and realize it is wrong. But they don't really learn it is wrong so they will do it again anyway. :/

Hawthorne responded by instinct. He was in play mode (chasing treats), he sees something wrong(like prey) so he chased to have some fun. He didn't want to kill, etc. He just responded to his instinct. That is normal cat stuff. So that is why we work on building trust and confidence so that maybe one cat doesn't run and cause this to happen.

BUT the fact they rebounded fast tells me the cats didn't think it was serious and that is the most important thing.

So actually I feel more positive today than ever. They were tested and they passes nicely. Of course we don't want chases but they do happen. As long as we don't see negatives lingering then it is not a big deal. He didn't go after her he responded to her movement. That is really important to remember. That is very manageable and not worrying.

Keep moving forward. Keep doing what you are doing and let's see how they respond. If you sense tension, stay calm and try to diffuse it, and distract if possible. I KNOW it is easier said than done but I do think the cat have more trust than we may realize. They did really well. Sure, it wasn't perfect but it was really good. There are in a better more trusting place than even I realized. That is my takeaway. Supported by the facts of how they acted after. Fast rebounds.

I guess what I'm asking is, when he chases her, is there some discipline that actually teaches him something, or is that a useless/counterproductive measure?
Hello there! Just wanted to write and apologize for the radio silence. Basically nothing has been happening here - my mother-in-law arrives today (and my partner has been away for a few days) so we're just holding steady. We're returning to more face-to-face stuff at the end of this week and into September - my focus for September is getting them together, to the degree possible.

There have been really no further issues from the chase. It's all same old, same old. I do sometimes have issues getting Hawthorne to come and eat his breakfast with Florie, or his supper, but I don't think that's her, since they eat treats together no problem. And, good news, her peeing is up to more like twice a day instead of once - I've been adding (cat-appropriate) bone broth to her food and liquid to some of her other treats. So I'm pleased about that.

So yes - it all feels at a stand-still currently! Nothing better, nothing worse. It looks like the return to work is now October (after our Thanksgiving here in Canada) so I have September to get these two together, hahaha. :) We'll all do our best.

Hope you are well! When I check the forum, it seems like it is super busy! Lots of new posts daily. I wonder if that's because so many more people have adopted cats during the pandemic, and it's been stressful for everyone (including the cats)

PS: you asked in my last update about why she ran (triggering the last chase) - I think she both lost confidence as he was looking at her (although I could see him and he was hunched and watching but his pupils weren't dilated yet - it was more...watchful) and perhaps was scared by the cardboard and the human actions/energy. I think it was a mix of both. I think she also saw the cardboard as her chance to quickly exit the area, since he was blocked from view. Her goal was to get to the basement for sure. Maybe next time we try without cardboard? Or just have it nearby? It doesn't seem to be helping us prevent chases, just to help shorten them if they happen.
 
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calicosrspecial

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Hello there! Just wanted to write and apologize for the radio silence. Basically nothing has been happening here - my mother-in-law arrives today (and my partner has been away for a few days) so we're just holding steady. We're returning to more face-to-face stuff at the end of this week and into September - my focus for September is getting them together, to the degree possible.

There have been really no further issues from the chase. It's all same old, same old. I do sometimes have issues getting Hawthorne to come and eat his breakfast with Florie, or his supper, but I don't think that's her, since they eat treats together no problem. And, good news, her peeing is up to more like twice a day instead of once - I've been adding (cat-appropriate) bone broth to her food and liquid to some of her other treats. So I'm pleased about that.

So yes - it all feels at a stand-still currently! Nothing better, nothing worse. It looks like the return to work is now October (after our Thanksgiving here in Canada) so I have September to get these two together, hahaha. :) We'll all do our best.

Hope you are well! When I check the forum, it seems like it is super busy! Lots of new posts daily. I wonder if that's because so many more people have adopted cats during the pandemic, and it's been stressful for everyone (including the cats)

PS: you asked in my last update about why she ran (triggering the last chase) - I think she both lost confidence as he was looking at her (although I could see him and he was hunched and watching but his pupils weren't dilated yet - it was more...watchful) and perhaps was scared by the cardboard and the human actions/energy. I think it was a mix of both. I think she also saw the cardboard as her chance to quickly exit the area, since he was blocked from view. Her goal was to get to the basement for sure. Maybe next time we try without cardboard? Or just have it nearby? It doesn't seem to be helping us prevent chases, just to help shorten them if they happen.
"Hello there! Just wanted to write and apologize for the radio silence. " - Hello, no need to apologize.

"Basically nothing has been happening here - my mother-in-law arrives today (and my partner has been away for a few days) so we're just holding steady." - Ok

" We're returning to more face-to-face stuff at the end of this week and into September - my focus for September is getting them together, to the degree possible." - Great

"There have been really no further issues from the chase. It's all same old, same old." - Perfect!!! THAT is a great sign.

" I do sometimes have issues getting Hawthorne to come and eat his breakfast with Florie, or his supper, but I don't think that's her, since they eat treats together no problem. " - Makes sense. I agree. Not an issue at all. IF it was a sign of problems the problems would be everywhere not only when eating meals.

"And, good news, her peeing is up to more like twice a day instead of once - I've been adding (cat-appropriate) bone broth to her food and liquid to some of her other treats. So I'm pleased about that." - Great

"So yes - it all feels at a stand-still currently! Nothing better, nothing worse. It looks like the return to work is now October (after our Thanksgiving here in Canada) so I have September to get these two together, hahaha. :) We'll all do our best." - Great. BUT I still think it is going to happen a lot sooner.

"Hope you are well! " - Thank you. As well as can be.

"When I check the forum, it seems like it is super busy! Lots of new posts daily. I wonder if that's because so many more people have adopted cats during the pandemic, and it's been stressful for everyone (including the cats)" - Yes. Hopefully everyone is getting the help they need.

"PS: you asked in my last update about why she ran (triggering the last chase) - I think she both lost confidence as he was looking at her (although I could see him and he was hunched and watching but his pupils weren't dilated yet - it was more...watchful) and perhaps was scared by the cardboard and the human actions/energy. I think it was a mix of both. " - Ok, makes sense.

"I think she also saw the cardboard as her chance to quickly exit the area, since he was blocked from view." - Interesting. Did she seem anxious to leave?

"Her goal was to get to the basement for sure." - That is fine. I have no issue with her going where she wants to/likes.

" Maybe next time we try without cardboard? Or just have it nearby?" - Sure. The key is to find that balance between being to proactive and too late. Always best to try words, food, a toy first to distract.

" It doesn't seem to be helping us prevent chases, just to help shorten them if they happen. " - Yes.

But a chase can be a learning experience as well. OF COURSE we want to prevent them BUT IF one happens (and they usually do) if it ends in a pretty innocuous wat then it actually can build some trust and confidence. BUT we don want to prevent them if at all possible.

Keep up the great work. I think they are really, really close. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello there! Just wanted to write and apologize for the radio silence. " - Hello, no need to apologize.

"Basically nothing has been happening here - my mother-in-law arrives today (and my partner has been away for a few days) so we're just holding steady." - Ok

" We're returning to more face-to-face stuff at the end of this week and into September - my focus for September is getting them together, to the degree possible." - Great

"There have been really no further issues from the chase. It's all same old, same old." - Perfect!!! THAT is a great sign.

" I do sometimes have issues getting Hawthorne to come and eat his breakfast with Florie, or his supper, but I don't think that's her, since they eat treats together no problem. " - Makes sense. I agree. Not an issue at all. IF it was a sign of problems the problems would be everywhere not only when eating meals.

"And, good news, her peeing is up to more like twice a day instead of once - I've been adding (cat-appropriate) bone broth to her food and liquid to some of her other treats. So I'm pleased about that." - Great

"So yes - it all feels at a stand-still currently! Nothing better, nothing worse. It looks like the return to work is now October (after our Thanksgiving here in Canada) so I have September to get these two together, hahaha. :) We'll all do our best." - Great. BUT I still think it is going to happen a lot sooner.

"Hope you are well! " - Thank you. As well as can be.

"When I check the forum, it seems like it is super busy! Lots of new posts daily. I wonder if that's because so many more people have adopted cats during the pandemic, and it's been stressful for everyone (including the cats)" - Yes. Hopefully everyone is getting the help they need.

"PS: you asked in my last update about why she ran (triggering the last chase) - I think she both lost confidence as he was looking at her (although I could see him and he was hunched and watching but his pupils weren't dilated yet - it was more...watchful) and perhaps was scared by the cardboard and the human actions/energy. I think it was a mix of both. " - Ok, makes sense.

"I think she also saw the cardboard as her chance to quickly exit the area, since he was blocked from view." - Interesting. Did she seem anxious to leave?

"Her goal was to get to the basement for sure." - That is fine. I have no issue with her going where she wants to/likes.

" Maybe next time we try without cardboard? Or just have it nearby?" - Sure. The key is to find that balance between being to proactive and too late. Always best to try words, food, a toy first to distract.

" It doesn't seem to be helping us prevent chases, just to help shorten them if they happen. " - Yes.

But a chase can be a learning experience as well. OF COURSE we want to prevent them BUT IF one happens (and they usually do) if it ends in a pretty innocuous wat then it actually can build some trust and confidence. BUT we don want to prevent them if at all possible.

Keep up the great work. I think they are really, really close. :)
Still holding steady over here! The only thing I've noticed in the last little bit is Florie is increasingly undesirous of certain room changes/situations. Usually she sleeps with us and then I put her back in her room in the morning for a little bit - to avoid that, she continues to hide under the bed or tries to avoid me around the time she thinks it is the transition. Kind of like a cat who senses it's time for their pill. Her NOT going into her room makes it so that the cats can't eat their breakfast meal together through the gate (since we have no gate on our bedroom). But I suppose that isn't the end of the world. I just don't like her running away from me or things like that. So I'm not sure what to do about that. And then at night, she doesn't want to stay IN the room. She sometimes paws at the door or wants to go out. She eventually settles, but it isn't like at the beginning where sleeping with us seemed a welcome novelty. Now she's like, I'm bored of both you, let me out of this room.

Except during the day, she goes into our bedroom to sleep voluntarily - sometimes in the morning when she could be out in the main room, and usually all afternoon (with the door closed) with no complaint. She's sleeping in there by choice right now.

So I can't figure her out. Likely I'm overthinking it all. :)

She hasn't been as interested in play lately either - she really just likes to watch the birds out the back screen door. I think she's a bit bored even though we have lots of different toys. I'll keep trying.

Also yesterday Hawthorne was in the 'hallway territory' and Florie out in the main room, and she heard my partner give Hawthorne some treats in a food puzzle in our bedroom. I could see her thinking about it and then after a few minutes, she jumped over the gate and went for the treat puzzle. Luckily by then Hawthorne had gone to sleep in Florie's room/the office and I could close the gate on that room, to avoid any surprise encounters. I tried to show her that Hawthorne was in her room so she would know (because I'm really not convinced she knows where he is or even thinks about it - I think she goes 'food first, and I'll figure out the rest later'), so I picked her up and we looked around the corner over the pet gate where she spotted him sleeping on her cat perch up high. Then she got growly and hunchy and upset with me and so I put her down and she went to hide under our bed.

I'm thinking probably she didn't like a) being picked up, b) seeing Hawthorne up high which is the position of power, and c) being picked up WHILE seeing Hawthorne up there, which maybe made her feel a bit trapped/helpess. I'm not sure.

It's funny - at the shelter, I formed this image of her as affectionate, gentle, easygoing - and she is, but there are limits.. As you would say, "well, she is a cat!!" So the longer we have her the more I'm finding she wants affection but on her terms; she doesn't really like to be picked up; she doesn't want to go where she doesn't want to go. I suppose even though it's been almost 10 months since we've adopted her there is still more learning about her to be done!

Anyways, just a small touch base. I'm hoping Sunday we can start with the evening face to face sessions again - her up on her tree, Hawthorne out, for as long as we can go. I'm starting to feel a bit dejected again about ever crossing this final threshold of getting them together but I know that action will help, as will positive thinking. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Still holding steady over here! The only thing I've noticed in the last little bit is Florie is increasingly undesirous of certain room changes/situations. Usually she sleeps with us and then I put her back in her room in the morning for a little bit - to avoid that, she continues to hide under the bed or tries to avoid me around the time she thinks it is the transition. Kind of like a cat who senses it's time for their pill. Her NOT going into her room makes it so that the cats can't eat their breakfast meal together through the gate (since we have no gate on our bedroom). But I suppose that isn't the end of the world. I just don't like her running away from me or things like that. So I'm not sure what to do about that. And then at night, she doesn't want to stay IN the room. She sometimes paws at the door or wants to go out. She eventually settles, but it isn't like at the beginning where sleeping with us seemed a welcome novelty. Now she's like, I'm bored of both you, let me out of this room.

Except during the day, she goes into our bedroom to sleep voluntarily - sometimes in the morning when she could be out in the main room, and usually all afternoon (with the door closed) with no complaint. She's sleeping in there by choice right now.

So I can't figure her out. Likely I'm overthinking it all. :)

She hasn't been as interested in play lately either - she really just likes to watch the birds out the back screen door. I think she's a bit bored even though we have lots of different toys. I'll keep trying.

Also yesterday Hawthorne was in the 'hallway territory' and Florie out in the main room, and she heard my partner give Hawthorne some treats in a food puzzle in our bedroom. I could see her thinking about it and then after a few minutes, she jumped over the gate and went for the treat puzzle. Luckily by then Hawthorne had gone to sleep in Florie's room/the office and I could close the gate on that room, to avoid any surprise encounters. I tried to show her that Hawthorne was in her room so she would know (because I'm really not convinced she knows where he is or even thinks about it - I think she goes 'food first, and I'll figure out the rest later'), so I picked her up and we looked around the corner over the pet gate where she spotted him sleeping on her cat perch up high. Then she got growly and hunchy and upset with me and so I put her down and she went to hide under our bed.

I'm thinking probably she didn't like a) being picked up, b) seeing Hawthorne up high which is the position of power, and c) being picked up WHILE seeing Hawthorne up there, which maybe made her feel a bit trapped/helpess. I'm not sure.

It's funny - at the shelter, I formed this image of her as affectionate, gentle, easygoing - and she is, but there are limits.. As you would say, "well, she is a cat!!" So the longer we have her the more I'm finding she wants affection but on her terms; she doesn't really like to be picked up; she doesn't want to go where she doesn't want to go. I suppose even though it's been almost 10 months since we've adopted her there is still more learning about her to be done!

Anyways, just a small touch base. I'm hoping Sunday we can start with the evening face to face sessions again - her up on her tree, Hawthorne out, for as long as we can go. I'm starting to feel a bit dejected again about ever crossing this final threshold of getting them together but I know that action will help, as will positive thinking. :)
"Still holding steady over here! " - Ok

"The only thing I've noticed in the last little bit is Florie is increasingly undesirous of certain room changes/situations." - Ok

" Usually she sleeps with us and then I put her back in her room in the morning for a little bit - to avoid that, she continues to hide under the bed or tries to avoid me around the time she thinks it is the transition." - Yep. :/ They will do that. Is it possible to not transition her?

Also, at some point I want to block off areas under beds, etc. So when we get them face to face they only go up with escapae routes and not get trapped under something with no escape routes.

"Kind of like a cat who senses it's time for their pill." - Yep

" Her NOT going into her room makes it so that the cats can't eat their breakfast meal together through the gate (since we have no gate on our bedroom)." - Ok. Can you just feed her in there and let him eat where he has been?

"But I suppose that isn't the end of the world." - Not at all. If she is happy in there I say let's go with it.

"I just don't like her running away from me or things like that." - Yep. Understandably.

So I'm not sure what to do about that.

"And then at night, she doesn't want to stay IN the room." - Really? And she knows he is out there. VERY interesting.

" She sometimes paws at the door or wants to go out. She eventually settles, but it isn't like at the beginning where sleeping with us seemed a welcome novelty. Now she's like, I'm bored of both you, let me out of this room." - Very interesting. Any idea where she wants to go?

"Except during the day, she goes into our bedroom to sleep voluntarily - sometimes in the morning when she could be out in the main room, and usually all afternoon (with the door closed) with no complaint. She's sleeping in there by choice right now." - That is great.

"So I can't figure her out. Likely I'm overthinking it all. :) " - Hahahaha, yep. Hard to understand cats sometimes. BUT I LOVE that she love it there, is happy. And that is our goal.

"She hasn't been as interested in play lately either - she really just likes to watch the birds out the back screen door. I think she's a bit bored even though we have lots of different toys. I'll keep trying." - Ok. Are you making the toy act like prey? Those movements a mouse or a bird would make? Halting, hiding, going around corners. Think like one of those prey animals when you make it move.

"Also yesterday Hawthorne was in the 'hallway territory' and Florie out in the main room, and she heard my partner give Hawthorne some treats in a food puzzle in our bedroom. I could see her thinking about it and then after a few minutes, she jumped over the gate and went for the treat puzzle." - WOW!!! THAT sounds like a very confident and comfortable cat. She is telling us something...............

"Luckily by then Hawthorne had gone to sleep in Florie's room/the office and I could close the gate on that room, to avoid any surprise encounters." - Ok. Maybe the cats are ahead of where we are at? He must have heard her and it sounds like maybe he was ok with it. And she knew he was in there so...........................

" I tried to show her that Hawthorne was in her room so she would know (because I'm really not convinced she knows where he is or even thinks about it " - Ok. I am sure she knows where he is. I get a sense she is ok with him. I actually view it more as acceptance, confidence rather than ignorance.

"- I think she goes 'food first, and I'll figure out the rest later')," - So something good (food) is more positive than a "potential threat" of "that" other cat. ;) I think that tells us she is much further along than we may realize.

"so I picked her up and we looked around the corner over the pet gate where she spotted him sleeping on her cat perch up high. Then she got growly and hunchy and upset with me and so I put her down and she went to hide under our bed." - Ok. Well, just go with it next time. I am sure she knows about where he is. Just stay calm, confident and reassure her.

"I'm thinking probably she didn't like a) being picked up," - ;) Yep, it wasn't on her terms but on a human's terms. We want to try to convince them that what they are doing is on their terms.

" b) seeing Hawthorne up high which is the position of power," -Maybe

" and c) being picked up WHILE seeing Hawthorne up there, which maybe made her feel a bit trapped/helpess. I'm not sure." - Yes, no escape route, etc. Anytime we limit a cat's movements it can cause issues as they can feel vulnerable, etc.

So if I wanted to have her see him I would guide her over with food, or a toy, or something positive like that.

"It's funny - at the shelter, I formed this image of her as affectionate, gentle, easygoing - and she is, but there are limits.." - Well, she also lacked a bit of confidence probably. Now she knows she is in, she is confident, she has her cat confidence. She kows what she wants and is going to have it. :)

"As you would say, "well, she is a cat!!" " -Hahahaha, so true. BUT I do think the above is a big part of it.

"So the longer we have her the more I'm finding she wants affection but on her terms;" - That is great and totally fine, normal.

" she doesn't really like to be picked up;" - Well, think about when you are picking her up. Usually at stressful times or at more "negative" times.

"she doesn't want to go where she doesn't want to go." - Now THAT is a cat. ;) And of course probably goes where we don't want he to go. :/

"I suppose even though it's been almost 10 months since we've adopted her there is still more learning about her to be done!" - Yes. I always think just love them for who they are. Some cats are more affectionate, some less so. some social, some not, etc.

"Anyways, just a small touch base. I'm hoping Sunday we can start with the evening face to face sessions again - her up on her tree, Hawthorne out, for as long as we can go. " - Great!!

"I'm starting to feel a bit dejected again about ever crossing this final threshold of getting them together but I know that action will help, as will positive thinking. :) " - Interesting. I actually saw this post as really good progress. There is NO WAY she would be jumping a gate to get "his" puzzle or wanting to go out of the bedroom with him out there if she isn't really close (or there already).

Just try to enjoy them, the progress they have made, etc. I think they are a lot better than you may realize. I am actually really excited. I think you are SO CLOSE!!!! I wish I was there to just finish it off. :/ But I know you can. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Still holding steady over here! " - Ok

"The only thing I've noticed in the last little bit is Florie is increasingly undesirous of certain room changes/situations." - Ok

" Usually she sleeps with us and then I put her back in her room in the morning for a little bit - to avoid that, she continues to hide under the bed or tries to avoid me around the time she thinks it is the transition." - Yep. :/ They will do that. Is it possible to not transition her?

Also, at some point I want to block off areas under beds, etc. So when we get them face to face they only go up with escapae routes and not get trapped under something with no escape routes.

"Kind of like a cat who senses it's time for their pill." - Yep

" Her NOT going into her room makes it so that the cats can't eat their breakfast meal together through the gate (since we have no gate on our bedroom)." - Ok. Can you just feed her in there and let him eat where he has been?

"But I suppose that isn't the end of the world." - Not at all. If she is happy in there I say let's go with it.

"I just don't like her running away from me or things like that." - Yep. Understandably.

So I'm not sure what to do about that.

"And then at night, she doesn't want to stay IN the room." - Really? And she knows he is out there. VERY interesting.

" She sometimes paws at the door or wants to go out. She eventually settles, but it isn't like at the beginning where sleeping with us seemed a welcome novelty. Now she's like, I'm bored of both you, let me out of this room." - Very interesting. Any idea where she wants to go?

"Except during the day, she goes into our bedroom to sleep voluntarily - sometimes in the morning when she could be out in the main room, and usually all afternoon (with the door closed) with no complaint. She's sleeping in there by choice right now." - That is great.

"So I can't figure her out. Likely I'm overthinking it all. :) " - Hahahaha, yep. Hard to understand cats sometimes. BUT I LOVE that she love it there, is happy. And that is our goal.

"She hasn't been as interested in play lately either - she really just likes to watch the birds out the back screen door. I think she's a bit bored even though we have lots of different toys. I'll keep trying." - Ok. Are you making the toy act like prey? Those movements a mouse or a bird would make? Halting, hiding, going around corners. Think like one of those prey animals when you make it move.

"Also yesterday Hawthorne was in the 'hallway territory' and Florie out in the main room, and she heard my partner give Hawthorne some treats in a food puzzle in our bedroom. I could see her thinking about it and then after a few minutes, she jumped over the gate and went for the treat puzzle." - WOW!!! THAT sounds like a very confident and comfortable cat. She is telling us something...............

"Luckily by then Hawthorne had gone to sleep in Florie's room/the office and I could close the gate on that room, to avoid any surprise encounters." - Ok. Maybe the cats are ahead of where we are at? He must have heard her and it sounds like maybe he was ok with it. And she knew he was in there so...........................

" I tried to show her that Hawthorne was in her room so she would know (because I'm really not convinced she knows where he is or even thinks about it " - Ok. I am sure she knows where he is. I get a sense she is ok with him. I actually view it more as acceptance, confidence rather than ignorance.

"- I think she goes 'food first, and I'll figure out the rest later')," - So something good (food) is more positive than a "potential threat" of "that" other cat. ;) I think that tells us she is much further along than we may realize.

"so I picked her up and we looked around the corner over the pet gate where she spotted him sleeping on her cat perch up high. Then she got growly and hunchy and upset with me and so I put her down and she went to hide under our bed." - Ok. Well, just go with it next time. I am sure she knows about where he is. Just stay calm, confident and reassure her.

"I'm thinking probably she didn't like a) being picked up," - ;) Yep, it wasn't on her terms but on a human's terms. We want to try to convince them that what they are doing is on their terms.

" b) seeing Hawthorne up high which is the position of power," -Maybe

" and c) being picked up WHILE seeing Hawthorne up there, which maybe made her feel a bit trapped/helpess. I'm not sure." - Yes, no escape route, etc. Anytime we limit a cat's movements it can cause issues as they can feel vulnerable, etc.

So if I wanted to have her see him I would guide her over with food, or a toy, or something positive like that.

"It's funny - at the shelter, I formed this image of her as affectionate, gentle, easygoing - and she is, but there are limits.." - Well, she also lacked a bit of confidence probably. Now she knows she is in, she is confident, she has her cat confidence. She kows what she wants and is going to have it. :)

"As you would say, "well, she is a cat!!" " -Hahahaha, so true. BUT I do think the above is a big part of it.

"So the longer we have her the more I'm finding she wants affection but on her terms;" - That is great and totally fine, normal.

" she doesn't really like to be picked up;" - Well, think about when you are picking her up. Usually at stressful times or at more "negative" times.

"she doesn't want to go where she doesn't want to go." - Now THAT is a cat. ;) And of course probably goes where we don't want he to go. :/

"I suppose even though it's been almost 10 months since we've adopted her there is still more learning about her to be done!" - Yes. I always think just love them for who they are. Some cats are more affectionate, some less so. some social, some not, etc.

"Anyways, just a small touch base. I'm hoping Sunday we can start with the evening face to face sessions again - her up on her tree, Hawthorne out, for as long as we can go. " - Great!!

"I'm starting to feel a bit dejected again about ever crossing this final threshold of getting them together but I know that action will help, as will positive thinking. :) " - Interesting. I actually saw this post as really good progress. There is NO WAY she would be jumping a gate to get "his" puzzle or wanting to go out of the bedroom with him out there if she isn't really close (or there already).

Just try to enjoy them, the progress they have made, etc. I think they are a lot better than you may realize. I am actually really excited. I think you are SO CLOSE!!!! I wish I was there to just finish it off. :/ But I know you can. :)
Here is the update from the weekend!

Last night we did an "evening together" session (as I'll be calling it), which we tried a few weeks back and then kind of took a pause on until now. Florie was up on her tree; Hawthorne on the ground. We lasted about 45 or 50 minutes, but most of that time Hawthorne was under the sofa. Here's how it played out: At first, everything seemed to be going the same as usual. She was wary of him but ate her treats on the tree; he was a little bit cautious but ate his treats as well. We guided him over a bit closer (so they could see each other better) and then they were doing a fair amount of staring (both of them). They could be distracted with treats but then wanted to go back to staring. I had my cardboard handy in case he made a dash for the tree (although I don't get the sense he would do that anymore with me right there) and then my partner was kind of snapping his fingers to get Hawthorne's attention and break the stares. And then I don't know if Hawthorne got scared by our energy, or scared of the snapping fingers, or scared of the whole situation, but he went right under the sofa and parked himself there for the next 40 minutes.

As soon as he went under the sofa, Florie seemed to get more nervous. She stared at the spot where she thought he could emerge, and stopped eating her treats. Eventually my partner went to watch TV (in the area where the sofa is), and I just sat on a chair near the cat tree. if I planted treats just beyond the perimeter of the sofa, I would see Hawthorne's head pop out or a paw reach to grab the treat and pull it under the sofa, but he did not want to come back out. A couple of times when she saw his head, she started growling; and he would glance up at her and then go back under the sofa. She eventually curled up and started napping (kind of that nervous napping) and he was doing the same under the sofa.

Eventually I had the idea to get their bedtime treat pastes out, and Hawthorne did emerge from the sofa for that (with some caution - I think he was ready to go right back under when the treat was done, but the lure of the paste was enough to get him out). I gave him some of the paste and then carried him over to the French door room, and we finished the treat in there with the gate closed. Florie didn't want to come off the tree, even though she saw that he was now closed in the room. After about ten minutes my partner was able to coax her partway down the tree, at which point she beelined for the basement (?? - not sure what she was thinking there - maybe just habit of not wanting to go into her room), but then let me pick her up and carry her back to our bedroom for the night. Both cats were fine/usual after this session.

I'll say though: untangling the threads of when they are scared about each other, scared about our nervous energy, scared about going back into various rooms, or just scared by the change in routine is a full-time job! :)

We have also now created a system where the entire end of the hallway is gates - one stacked on top of the other. So far, she can't jump out or in. I saw her sizing it up yesterday and then she decided to walk away. It's a bit absurd as I literally have to crawl through the bottom gate to get into the kitchen and back to my office, but so it goes. :) At any rate, my partner wants us to try "no doors" and just the two gated territories. The difficulty is that we basically have been doing a certain routine for months now (which both cats are used to) and this means shifting to a new routine. Right now she's in the hallway/office space with me (normally she gets to be out in the whole house while Hawthorne is in the French door room) and I let Hawthorne out of the French door room (which is what he's always yowling for) and he was so taken aback he's gone to sleep under the sofa. In the afternoon, she's used to sleeping in our bedroom with the door closed - in the new system, she'll be out in the main room by herself (I'll be in the hallway/office with Hawthorne). So we'll see how that goes. She's used to having time by herself with the door closed and to having me around when she's out. So now she'll be having alone time but in the main room - no doors closed, and I'll be in the other area with Hawthorne. I'm not sure how that will go.

Lastly, I know what we have to do is increase their face-to-face time but it isn't easy since both are scared. When they are in their separate spaces, they interact very little and barely see each other (napping in different spots). When she is on the cat tree and they're in the same room, he's scared of her. When they both on the ground in the same room, he wants to chase her and so she's scared of him.

I guess what I'm saying is I feel like progress has stalled with what I'm currently doing. They aren't really getting more exposure to each other and quite frankly neither seems to want more exposure. I should start doing those 'evening together' sessions every night probably right? I might also tip the sofa, hahaha, so no one can hide under it.

I'm continuing to do playtime with each cat plus meal time together (through the gate) if they'll eat, treat times and puzzle times together (through the gate), etc.

One last thought I had was to get one more litterbox and put it in the main room - we have a space that will work. It won't be ideal for long-term use but I thought maybe since the main living space is a significant social space, having a litter box for both to use might be a good way to add one more signpost that says "we share this space!" :)
 
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calicosrspecial

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Here is the update from the weekend!

Last night we did an "evening together" session (as I'll be calling it), which we tried a few weeks back and then kind of took a pause on until now. Florie was up on her tree; Hawthorne on the ground. We lasted about 45 or 50 minutes, but most of that time Hawthorne was under the sofa. Here's how it played out: At first, everything seemed to be going the same as usual. She was wary of him but ate her treats on the tree; he was a little bit cautious but ate his treats as well. We guided him over a bit closer (so they could see each other better) and then they were doing a fair amount of staring (both of them). They could be distracted with treats but then wanted to go back to staring. I had my cardboard handy in case he made a dash for the tree (although I don't get the sense he would do that anymore with me right there) and then my partner was kind of snapping his fingers to get Hawthorne's attention and break the stares. And then I don't know if Hawthorne got scared by our energy, or scared of the snapping fingers, or scared of the whole situation, but he went right under the sofa and parked himself there for the next 40 minutes.

As soon as he went under the sofa, Florie seemed to get more nervous. She stared at the spot where she thought he could emerge, and stopped eating her treats. Eventually my partner went to watch TV (in the area where the sofa is), and I just sat on a chair near the cat tree. if I planted treats just beyond the perimeter of the sofa, I would see Hawthorne's head pop out or a paw reach to grab the treat and pull it under the sofa, but he did not want to come back out. A couple of times when she saw his head, she started growling; and he would glance up at her and then go back under the sofa. She eventually curled up and started napping (kind of that nervous napping) and he was doing the same under the sofa.

Eventually I had the idea to get their bedtime treat pastes out, and Hawthorne did emerge from the sofa for that (with some caution - I think he was ready to go right back under when the treat was done, but the lure of the paste was enough to get him out). I gave him some of the paste and then carried him over to the French door room, and we finished the treat in there with the gate closed. Florie didn't want to come off the tree, even though she saw that he was now closed in the room. After about ten minutes my partner was able to coax her partway down the tree, at which point she beelined for the basement (?? - not sure what she was thinking there - maybe just habit of not wanting to go into her room), but then let me pick her up and carry her back to our bedroom for the night. Both cats were fine/usual after this session.

I'll say though: untangling the threads of when they are scared about each other, scared about our nervous energy, scared about going back into various rooms, or just scared by the change in routine is a full-time job! :)

We have also now created a system where the entire end of the hallway is gates - one stacked on top of the other. So far, she can't jump out or in. I saw her sizing it up yesterday and then she decided to walk away. It's a bit absurd as I literally have to crawl through the bottom gate to get into the kitchen and back to my office, but so it goes. :) At any rate, my partner wants us to try "no doors" and just the two gated territories. The difficulty is that we basically have been doing a certain routine for months now (which both cats are used to) and this means shifting to a new routine. Right now she's in the hallway/office space with me (normally she gets to be out in the whole house while Hawthorne is in the French door room) and I let Hawthorne out of the French door room (which is what he's always yowling for) and he was so taken aback he's gone to sleep under the sofa. In the afternoon, she's used to sleeping in our bedroom with the door closed - in the new system, she'll be out in the main room by herself (I'll be in the hallway/office with Hawthorne). So we'll see how that goes. She's used to having time by herself with the door closed and to having me around when she's out. So now she'll be having alone time but in the main room - no doors closed, and I'll be in the other area with Hawthorne. I'm not sure how that will go.

Lastly, I know what we have to do is increase their face-to-face time but it isn't easy since both are scared. When they are in their separate spaces, they interact very little and barely see each other (napping in different spots). When she is on the cat tree and they're in the same room, he's scared of her. When they both on the ground in the same room, he wants to chase her and so she's scared of him.

I guess what I'm saying is I feel like progress has stalled with what I'm currently doing. They aren't really getting more exposure to each other and quite frankly neither seems to want more exposure. I should start doing those 'evening together' sessions every night probably right? I might also tip the sofa, hahaha, so no one can hide under it.

I'm continuing to do playtime with each cat plus meal time together (through the gate) if they'll eat, treat times and puzzle times together (through the gate), etc.

One last thought I had was to get one more litterbox and put it in the main room - we have a space that will work. It won't be ideal for long-term use but I thought maybe since the main living space is a significant social space, having a litter box for both to use might be a good way to add one more signpost that says "we share this space!" :)
"Here is the update from the weekend!" - Great

"Last night we did an "evening together" session (as I'll be calling it), which we tried a few weeks back and then kind of took a pause on until now." - Great

" Florie was up on her tree; Hawthorne on the ground." - Perfect

" We lasted about 45 or 50 minutes," - WHOA!!!!!! :clap2:

" but most of that time Hawthorne was under the sofa." - OK, that is fine. As long as she wasn't attacking him, threatening him that is fine. Of course we want him out and about, owning the room etc but just tells us he lacks a bit of confidence. BUT he is not attacking her so. If nothing negative happens it is positive.

"Here's how it played out: " - Ok

"At first, everything seemed to be going the same as usual." - Great

" She was wary of him but ate her treats on the tree; he was a little bit cautious but ate his treats as well." - Perfect so far.

"We guided him over a bit closer (so they could see each other better) and then they were doing a fair amount of staring (both of them). They could be distracted with treats but then wanted to go back to staring." - Ok, but they could be distracted. That is fine.

" I had my cardboard handy in case he made a dash for the tree (although I don't get the sense he would do that anymore with me right there) and then my partner was kind of snapping his fingers to get Hawthorne's attention and break the stares." - Ok, Words would not work to distract?

"And then I don't know if Hawthorne got scared by our energy, or scared of the snapping fingers, or scared of the whole situation, but he went right under the sofa and parked himself there for the next 40 minutes." - Ok. Could be a combo. Difficult to know. I see a lot of times where the humans are just really feeling it (worry, etc) and the cats absorb it and then get cautious. Do you think that might have been happening?

"As soon as he went under the sofa, Florie seemed to get more nervous." - Exactly. Because the energy went negative. So if he is scared she thinks she should be. It could be something outside (not even the other cat). It is like if we humans are walking on the street and you see other people panicked then you think what is going on? And get more panicked.

" She stared at the spot where she thought he could emerge, and stopped eating her treats." - Ok, understandable.

" Eventually my partner went to watch TV (in the area where the sofa is)," - GREAT!!! EXACTLY the right thing to do. Act like everything is normal, "cool".

" and I just sat on a chair near the cat tree. " - Do you sit there often?

"if I planted treats just beyond the perimeter of the sofa, I would see Hawthorne's head pop out or a paw reach to grab the treat and pull it under the sofa," - Awwwwwwww, GREAT!!!

" but he did not want to come back out." - Ok

" A couple of times when she saw his head, she started growling;" - Awwwwwwww

" and he would glance up at her and then go back under the sofa." - Ok

" She eventually curled up and started napping (kind of that nervous napping) and he was doing the same under the sofa." - :yess::hyper::clap2: EXACTLY what we want to see!!! AWESOME!!! So they trusted enough to actually sleep!! Without a barrier!! This is a big deal!!!

"Eventually I had the idea to get their bedtime treat pastes out, and Hawthorne did emerge from the sofa for that (with some caution - I think he was ready to go right back under when the treat was done, but the lure of the paste was enough to get him out)." - Perfect!!

" I gave him some of the paste" - Great

" and then carried him over to the French door room," - Ok, IF possible I would love to see him go on his own.

"and we finished the treat in there with the gate closed." - Ok, maybe next time leave the gate open and see if he will be fine.

" Florie didn't want to come off the tree, even though she saw that he was now closed in the room." - Ok, that is fine.

" After about ten minutes my partner was able to coax her partway down the tree, at which point she beelined for the basement (?? - not sure what she was thinking there - maybe just habit of not wanting to go into her room)," - OK, that is fine. Yep, I wonder if that is why.

" but then let me pick her up and carry her back to our bedroom for the night. " - Ok. In time (and I know time is an issue as well) I would love to see her going on her own.

"Both cats were fine/usual after this session." - :yess: THAT tells us that was positive!!! No issues at all!! FANTASTIC!!!

"I'll say though: untangling the threads of when they are scared about each other, scared about our nervous energy, scared about going back into various rooms, or just scared by the change in routine is a full-time job! :) " - Hahahahaha, yes. But they did great. I don't think they are as scared as you may think.

"We have also now created a system where the entire end of the hallway is gates - one stacked on top of the other." - :/ Ok. But why? Do you think it is really necessary?

" So far, she can't jump out or in. I saw her sizing it up yesterday and then she decided to walk away." - Hahahahaha. Maybe because it was there?

" It's a bit absurd as I literally have to crawl through the bottom gate to get into the kitchen and back to my office, but so it goes. :) " - :/ Well, that isn't good. Are you sure it is necessary?

"At any rate, my partner wants us to try "no doors" and just the two gated territories." - :clap2:

"The difficulty is that we basically have been doing a certain routine for months now (which both cats are used to) and this means shifting to a new routine." - Well, we are going to have to at some point.

" Right now she's in the hallway/office space with me (normally she gets to be out in the whole house while Hawthorne is in the French door room) and I let Hawthorne out of the French door room (which is what he's always yowling for) " - OK, sounds good.

"and he was so taken aback he's gone to sleep under the sofa." - Ahhhhh, ok. That is fine though. As log as he is safe, doing what he wants to do that is fine. Whre does he normally sleep/hangout?

" In the afternoon, she's used to sleeping in our bedroom with the door closed - in the new system, she'll be out in the main room by herself (I'll be in the hallway/office with Hawthorne). " - ok

"So we'll see how that goes." - Ok.

So is this change jsut to give them some more time in other places?

"She's used to having time by herself with the door closed and to having me around when she's out. So now she'll be having alone time but in the main room - no doors closed, and I'll be in the other area with Hawthorne. I'm not sure how that will go." - They should be fine. Though he might want to be out. :/

"Lastly, I know what we have to do is increase their face-to-face time but it isn't easy since both are scared." - But the only way to get over that fear is to face it. If every encounter went like the last one they will be fine very soon.

" When they are in their separate spaces, they interact very little and barely see each other (napping in different spots)." - That is ok. The fact they can go and rest, hang out etc shows some acceptance.

" When she is on the cat tree and they're in the same room, he's scared of her." - BUT nothing bad is happening. SO he will learn she is ok.

"When they both on the ground in the same room, he wants to chase her and so she's scared of him." - They haven't been on the ground face to face for a while though, right?

"I guess what I'm saying is I feel like progress has stalled with what I'm currently doing." - Yes, that is why we need to challenge them more.

" They aren't really getting more exposure to each other and quite frankly " - Yes. that is why we need to give them the opportunity.

"neither seems to want more exposure." - Hmmmmm, not sure but if so that might actually be good. Because they will not confront each other in a negative way.

" I should start doing those 'evening together' sessions every night probably right?" - Yes ;) BUT I have the feeling you knew the answer. ;)

" I might also tip the sofa, hahaha, so no one can hide under it." - For now let him since they aren't chasing. But we might want to block it off soon.

"I'm continuing to do playtime with each cat plus meal time together (through the gate) if they'll eat, treat times and puzzle times together (through the gate), etc." - Perfect

"One last thought I had was to get one more litterbox and put it in the main room - we have a space that will work. It won't be ideal for long-term use but I thought maybe since the main living space is a significant social space, having a litter box for both to use might be a good way to add one more signpost that says "we share this space!" :) " - Great idea if you are ok with it. Also, you can use bedding, scratching posts, other things they can get their scent on. I do think they both feel a lot of ownership there already but more can't hurt.

Well, I think the last session was great. Not perfect BUT positive. I would love for him to chase down treats in front of her. Or play. I do think at some point I would love to do a floor face to face.

I think they are so ready. Distraction is going well so I think that is more likely to work now.

I want to ty to get you to find that balance of trust but alertness and maybe help them feel that. If we don't trust them then we can't blame them for not trusting each other. It is hard but let's try to focus on that. The last session was really good. Nothing negative and the staring could have gone negative BUT you distracted well.

I do want to think about the gate setup and whether it is necessary. If she jumps it she is probably telling us the reward is greater than the risk and that confidence might just deter him.

Keep doing what you are doing and let's see how it goes. I think they are so close............................. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Here is the update from the weekend!" - Great

"Last night we did an "evening together" session (as I'll be calling it), which we tried a few weeks back and then kind of took a pause on until now." - Great

" Florie was up on her tree; Hawthorne on the ground." - Perfect

" We lasted about 45 or 50 minutes," - WHOA!!!!!! :clap2:

" but most of that time Hawthorne was under the sofa." - OK, that is fine. As long as she wasn't attacking him, threatening him that is fine. Of course we want him out and about, owning the room etc but just tells us he lacks a bit of confidence. BUT he is not attacking her so. If nothing negative happens it is positive.

"Here's how it played out: " - Ok

"At first, everything seemed to be going the same as usual." - Great

" She was wary of him but ate her treats on the tree; he was a little bit cautious but ate his treats as well." - Perfect so far.

"We guided him over a bit closer (so they could see each other better) and then they were doing a fair amount of staring (both of them). They could be distracted with treats but then wanted to go back to staring." - Ok, but they could be distracted. That is fine.

" I had my cardboard handy in case he made a dash for the tree (although I don't get the sense he would do that anymore with me right there) and then my partner was kind of snapping his fingers to get Hawthorne's attention and break the stares." - Ok, Words would not work to distract?

"And then I don't know if Hawthorne got scared by our energy, or scared of the snapping fingers, or scared of the whole situation, but he went right under the sofa and parked himself there for the next 40 minutes." - Ok. Could be a combo. Difficult to know. I see a lot of times where the humans are just really feeling it (worry, etc) and the cats absorb it and then get cautious. Do you think that might have been happening?

"As soon as he went under the sofa, Florie seemed to get more nervous." - Exactly. Because the energy went negative. So if he is scared she thinks she should be. It could be something outside (not even the other cat). It is like if we humans are walking on the street and you see other people panicked then you think what is going on? And get more panicked.

" She stared at the spot where she thought he could emerge, and stopped eating her treats." - Ok, understandable.

" Eventually my partner went to watch TV (in the area where the sofa is)," - GREAT!!! EXACTLY the right thing to do. Act like everything is normal, "cool".

" and I just sat on a chair near the cat tree. " - Do you sit there often?

"if I planted treats just beyond the perimeter of the sofa, I would see Hawthorne's head pop out or a paw reach to grab the treat and pull it under the sofa," - Awwwwwwww, GREAT!!!

" but he did not want to come back out." - Ok

" A couple of times when she saw his head, she started growling;" - Awwwwwwww

" and he would glance up at her and then go back under the sofa." - Ok

" She eventually curled up and started napping (kind of that nervous napping) and he was doing the same under the sofa." - :yess::hyper::clap2: EXACTLY what we want to see!!! AWESOME!!! So they trusted enough to actually sleep!! Without a barrier!! This is a big deal!!!

"Eventually I had the idea to get their bedtime treat pastes out, and Hawthorne did emerge from the sofa for that (with some caution - I think he was ready to go right back under when the treat was done, but the lure of the paste was enough to get him out)." - Perfect!!

" I gave him some of the paste" - Great

" and then carried him over to the French door room," - Ok, IF possible I would love to see him go on his own.

"and we finished the treat in there with the gate closed." - Ok, maybe next time leave the gate open and see if he will be fine.

" Florie didn't want to come off the tree, even though she saw that he was now closed in the room." - Ok, that is fine.

" After about ten minutes my partner was able to coax her partway down the tree, at which point she beelined for the basement (?? - not sure what she was thinking there - maybe just habit of not wanting to go into her room)," - OK, that is fine. Yep, I wonder if that is why.

" but then let me pick her up and carry her back to our bedroom for the night. " - Ok. In time (and I know time is an issue as well) I would love to see her going on her own.

"Both cats were fine/usual after this session." - :yess: THAT tells us that was positive!!! No issues at all!! FANTASTIC!!!

"I'll say though: untangling the threads of when they are scared about each other, scared about our nervous energy, scared about going back into various rooms, or just scared by the change in routine is a full-time job! :) " - Hahahahaha, yes. But they did great. I don't think they are as scared as you may think.

"We have also now created a system where the entire end of the hallway is gates - one stacked on top of the other." - :/ Ok. But why? Do you think it is really necessary?

" So far, she can't jump out or in. I saw her sizing it up yesterday and then she decided to walk away." - Hahahahaha. Maybe because it was there?

" It's a bit absurd as I literally have to crawl through the bottom gate to get into the kitchen and back to my office, but so it goes. :) " - :/ Well, that isn't good. Are you sure it is necessary?

"At any rate, my partner wants us to try "no doors" and just the two gated territories." - :clap2:

"The difficulty is that we basically have been doing a certain routine for months now (which both cats are used to) and this means shifting to a new routine." - Well, we are going to have to at some point.

" Right now she's in the hallway/office space with me (normally she gets to be out in the whole house while Hawthorne is in the French door room) and I let Hawthorne out of the French door room (which is what he's always yowling for) " - OK, sounds good.

"and he was so taken aback he's gone to sleep under the sofa." - Ahhhhh, ok. That is fine though. As log as he is safe, doing what he wants to do that is fine. Whre does he normally sleep/hangout?

" In the afternoon, she's used to sleeping in our bedroom with the door closed - in the new system, she'll be out in the main room by herself (I'll be in the hallway/office with Hawthorne). " - ok

"So we'll see how that goes." - Ok.

So is this change jsut to give them some more time in other places?

"She's used to having time by herself with the door closed and to having me around when she's out. So now she'll be having alone time but in the main room - no doors closed, and I'll be in the other area with Hawthorne. I'm not sure how that will go." - They should be fine. Though he might want to be out. :/

"Lastly, I know what we have to do is increase their face-to-face time but it isn't easy since both are scared." - But the only way to get over that fear is to face it. If every encounter went like the last one they will be fine very soon.

" When they are in their separate spaces, they interact very little and barely see each other (napping in different spots)." - That is ok. The fact they can go and rest, hang out etc shows some acceptance.

" When she is on the cat tree and they're in the same room, he's scared of her." - BUT nothing bad is happening. SO he will learn she is ok.

"When they both on the ground in the same room, he wants to chase her and so she's scared of him." - They haven't been on the ground face to face for a while though, right?

"I guess what I'm saying is I feel like progress has stalled with what I'm currently doing." - Yes, that is why we need to challenge them more.

" They aren't really getting more exposure to each other and quite frankly " - Yes. that is why we need to give them the opportunity.

"neither seems to want more exposure." - Hmmmmm, not sure but if so that might actually be good. Because they will not confront each other in a negative way.

" I should start doing those 'evening together' sessions every night probably right?" - Yes ;) BUT I have the feeling you knew the answer. ;)

" I might also tip the sofa, hahaha, so no one can hide under it." - For now let him since they aren't chasing. But we might want to block it off soon.

"I'm continuing to do playtime with each cat plus meal time together (through the gate) if they'll eat, treat times and puzzle times together (through the gate), etc." - Perfect

"One last thought I had was to get one more litterbox and put it in the main room - we have a space that will work. It won't be ideal for long-term use but I thought maybe since the main living space is a significant social space, having a litter box for both to use might be a good way to add one more signpost that says "we share this space!" :) " - Great idea if you are ok with it. Also, you can use bedding, scratching posts, other things they can get their scent on. I do think they both feel a lot of ownership there already but more can't hurt.

Well, I think the last session was great. Not perfect BUT positive. I would love for him to chase down treats in front of her. Or play. I do think at some point I would love to do a floor face to face.

I think they are so ready. Distraction is going well so I think that is more likely to work now.

I want to ty to get you to find that balance of trust but alertness and maybe help them feel that. If we don't trust them then we can't blame them for not trusting each other. It is hard but let's try to focus on that. The last session was really good. Nothing negative and the staring could have gone negative BUT you distracted well.

I do want to think about the gate setup and whether it is necessary. If she jumps it she is probably telling us the reward is greater than the risk and that confidence might just deter him.

Keep doing what you are doing and let's see how it goes. I think they are so close............................. :)
Thanks as always for the great feedback! Just a couple of follow-ups about the new gate setup (stacked in the hallway to divide the main floor). I think the goal was to give them each more territory at the same time (instead of one being in room while the other gets ALL the rest of the space), to help get used to no doors, to help her get used to seeing him out (and not just in the French door room), and to help them get used to how things might be set-up when I go back to the office in October. If they aren't ready to be together, then this is how things will be set-up when I leave for work - Hawthorne in the main space, Florie in the hallway/bedrooms/office, with the gate wall between them. :) My partner also wants to try it overnight (I'm working up to the idea) so that she has a choice between sleeping with us or going into her room, if she wants. Learning a bit more about living with freedom, as it were.

I will continue to focus on the trust! I'm trying to remember all the things you've advised me during face-to-face sessions - trust them, feel happy that we're together in the same room (even if it isn't perfect, it's something!), speak loving words to them, etc. I think I might try tonight for another 'evening together' - my partner is working late again a lot this week, so we might try without him. He is very helpful in some regards, but he might scare Hawthorne a little as well (without meaning to).

And also last night we had a thunderstorm too, during our session, which didn't help. I would love to be able to say that Hawthorne went under the sofa BECAUSE of the storm, but the storm started after he had gone under the sofa. But given that he can be scared during storms, he still did pretty well.

Anyways, yes! I'll keep doing what we're doing and see where we are at the end of the week.
 

calicosrspecial

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Thanks as always for the great feedback! Just a couple of follow-ups about the new gate setup (stacked in the hallway to divide the main floor). I think the goal was to give them each more territory at the same time (instead of one being in room while the other gets ALL the rest of the space), to help get used to no doors, to help her get used to seeing him out (and not just in the French door room), and to help them get used to how things might be set-up when I go back to the office in October. If they aren't ready to be together, then this is how things will be set-up when I leave for work - Hawthorne in the main space, Florie in the hallway/bedrooms/office, with the gate wall between them. :) My partner also wants to try it overnight (I'm working up to the idea) so that she has a choice between sleeping with us or going into her room, if she wants. Learning a bit more about living with freedom, as it were.

I will continue to focus on the trust! I'm trying to remember all the things you've advised me during face-to-face sessions - trust them, feel happy that we're together in the same room (even if it isn't perfect, it's something!), speak loving words to them, etc. I think I might try tonight for another 'evening together' - my partner is working late again a lot this week, so we might try without him. He is very helpful in some regards, but he might scare Hawthorne a little as well (without meaning to).

And also last night we had a thunderstorm too, during our session, which didn't help. I would love to be able to say that Hawthorne went under the sofa BECAUSE of the storm, but the storm started after he had gone under the sofa. But given that he can be scared during storms, he still did pretty well.

Anyways, yes! I'll keep doing what we're doing and see where we are at the end of the week.
"Thanks as always for the great feedback!" - You are always welcome!! :)

"Just a couple of follow-ups about the new gate setup (stacked in the hallway to divide the main floor)." - Ok.

" I think the goal was to give them each more territory at the same time (instead of one being in room while the other gets ALL the rest of the space), " - Great. So this was like the original idea or did it change a bit (beyond the more full gates).

"to help get used to no doors, to help her get used to seeing him out (and not just in the French door room), and to help them get used to how things might be set-up when I go back to the office in October." - Ok, great

" If they aren't ready to be together, then this is how things will be set-up when I leave for work - Hawthorne in the main space, Florie in the hallway/bedrooms/office, with the gate wall between them. :) " - Ok

"My partner also wants to try it overnight (I'm working up to the idea) so that she has a choice between sleeping with us or going into her room, if she wants. Learning a bit more about living with freedom, as it were." - LOVE the idea!!!

I will continue to focus on the trust! I'm trying to remember all the things you've advised me during face-to-face sessions - trust them, feel happy that we're together in the same room (even if it isn't perfect, it's something!), speak loving words to them, etc. " - Great. I will say, the last face to face you just wrote about was really fantastic!!! It might not have been perfect (but what really is?) but it sure was very near.

"I think I might try tonight for another 'evening together' - my partner is working late again a lot this week, so we might try without him." - Sounds good. Your partner sounds good with them but they should do well without also.

"He is very helpful in some regards," - Agreed

" but he might scare Hawthorne a little as well (without meaning to)." - Possibly.

"And also last night we had a thunderstorm too, during our session, which didn't help." - Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, well THAT makes sense as well!!!

" I would love to be able to say that Hawthorne went under the sofa BECAUSE of the storm, but the storm started after he had gone under the sofa." - Ok, but it ,might have kept him under there longer. BUT really, him being under the sofa really isn't that bad. He had fear but that fear wasn't realized. And the more it is not realized the more a cat thinks "that out there is more fun than being under here". The key is really about positives, no negativity which builds trust and confidence. It isn't necessarily how you get there as long as you get there (no attacks).

"But given that he can be scared during storms, he still did pretty well." - AMAZING well!!! Well done Hawthorne!!!

"Anyways, yes! I'll keep doing what we're doing and see where we are at the end of the week. " - Sounds good.

Think about how you thought when Hawthorne and his adopted brother (I am so sorry but I sadly forgot his name BUT my memory is not so good nowadays so.........................) would play rough. I would imagine in time you learned to trust that it mostly (or always) would be fine and that you could trust them and deal with it. They had trust between them and you had trust with them. That feeling is what we need to build in the cats and in the humans.

You are doing so great. There is no way they would be here if it wasn't for your efforts (and your partner's). Hopefully you can take all the positives up to this point, weigh them against the negatives, see the net positive and use that to build on and feel that trust and convey it to the cats and see the cats and soak it in from them. Caution among the cats is not necessarily bad. The only thing that is really bad is something that causes them to then retreat and act differently (hiding, avoiding, etc) AFTER that encounter. We haven't seen that in a long time. That tells me they are doing really well and there is a solid base of trust (though not full yet but very solid).

And feel free to kinda hang and watch TV (even though sometimes it is really boring) and let them hang out. Sometimes giving them a bit of space can make a world of difference.
 
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Furmama22

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"Thanks as always for the great feedback!" - You are always welcome!! :)

"Just a couple of follow-ups about the new gate setup (stacked in the hallway to divide the main floor)." - Ok.

" I think the goal was to give them each more territory at the same time (instead of one being in room while the other gets ALL the rest of the space), " - Great. So this was like the original idea or did it change a bit (beyond the more full gates).

"to help get used to no doors, to help her get used to seeing him out (and not just in the French door room), and to help them get used to how things might be set-up when I go back to the office in October." - Ok, great

" If they aren't ready to be together, then this is how things will be set-up when I leave for work - Hawthorne in the main space, Florie in the hallway/bedrooms/office, with the gate wall between them. :) " - Ok

"My partner also wants to try it overnight (I'm working up to the idea) so that she has a choice between sleeping with us or going into her room, if she wants. Learning a bit more about living with freedom, as it were." - LOVE the idea!!!

I will continue to focus on the trust! I'm trying to remember all the things you've advised me during face-to-face sessions - trust them, feel happy that we're together in the same room (even if it isn't perfect, it's something!), speak loving words to them, etc. " - Great. I will say, the last face to face you just wrote about was really fantastic!!! It might not have been perfect (but what really is?) but it sure was very near.

"I think I might try tonight for another 'evening together' - my partner is working late again a lot this week, so we might try without him." - Sounds good. Your partner sounds good with them but they should do well without also.

"He is very helpful in some regards," - Agreed

" but he might scare Hawthorne a little as well (without meaning to)." - Possibly.

"And also last night we had a thunderstorm too, during our session, which didn't help." - Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, well THAT makes sense as well!!!

" I would love to be able to say that Hawthorne went under the sofa BECAUSE of the storm, but the storm started after he had gone under the sofa." - Ok, but it ,might have kept him under there longer. BUT really, him being under the sofa really isn't that bad. He had fear but that fear wasn't realized. And the more it is not realized the more a cat thinks "that out there is more fun than being under here". The key is really about positives, no negativity which builds trust and confidence. It isn't necessarily how you get there as long as you get there (no attacks).

"But given that he can be scared during storms, he still did pretty well." - AMAZING well!!! Well done Hawthorne!!!

"Anyways, yes! I'll keep doing what we're doing and see where we are at the end of the week. " - Sounds good.

Think about how you thought when Hawthorne and his adopted brother (I am so sorry but I sadly forgot his name BUT my memory is not so good nowadays so.........................) would play rough. I would imagine in time you learned to trust that it mostly (or always) would be fine and that you could trust them and deal with it. They had trust between them and you had trust with them. That feeling is what we need to build in the cats and in the humans.

You are doing so great. There is no way they would be here if it wasn't for your efforts (and your partner's). Hopefully you can take all the positives up to this point, weigh them against the negatives, see the net positive and use that to build on and feel that trust and convey it to the cats and see the cats and soak it in from them. Caution among the cats is not necessarily bad. The only thing that is really bad is something that causes them to then retreat and act differently (hiding, avoiding, etc) AFTER that encounter. We haven't seen that in a long time. That tells me they are doing really well and there is a solid base of trust (though not full yet but very solid).

And feel free to kinda hang and watch TV (even though sometimes it is really boring) and let them hang out. Sometimes giving them a bit of space can make a world of difference.
Hello again! Just a little update that this evening Florie is doing a lot more hiding/hesitance, I think because we've sort of changed the routine and the gate setup. She didn't want to come out of her room this afternoon (our bedroom) where normally she comes busting out or at least walks out after a couple of minutes, and at supper time she wouldn't follow me back into her room/the hallway area and instead ran downstairs. I brought her meal downstairs and she ate heartily down there, so it isn't that she wasn't hungry. When I last checked, she was sleeping under the pullout bed in the basement.

So she's either unsettled from yesterday's encounter OR from the fact that our routine changed around today (with the new gate setup and different spaces and maybe even seeing Hawthorne a bit more in different ways).

I am going to see how she settles over the next day or two (recalling you told me that when you change something, sometimes there is a period of being unsettled) and then return to the evening sessions. I'd prefer her to be a bit more confident. Does that seem reasonable to you?

Hawthorne seems ok - the usual. :)
 
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