Advice on Cat Introductions - Feeling a Bit Lost

calicosrspecial

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Is it possible to get video of their interactions? I know it is difficult but I am interested in seeing the body language. Given how they act I think I know what it is like but would like to see it if possible. Thanks
 
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Furmama22

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Is it possible to get video of their interactions? I know it is difficult but I am interested in seeing the body language. Given how they act I think I know what it is like but would like to see it if possible. Thanks
You bet! I will take some videos over the next few days to give you an idea of how things are at different times. :)
 
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Furmama22

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Hello all!

I have some videos, although admittedly they are primarily videos of the good times. We haven't done another face-to-face (like, a long one, other than the times we switch territories) so there hasn't been an opportunity for a chase. I will still try to get a video of the face-to-face behaviour and maybe even a video of a chase, and then you can see what that is like.

I'm sorry if the videos are a lot of boring footage! Maybe they aren't helpful, I don't know. What they do show is how the cats are MOST of the time, except for the chasing and the times Hawthorne is a little more forceful in charging the gate. I don't have those on video. Sometimes he is definitely more active at the gate, charging it or huffing/snorting. He typically always still meows when he sees her, but if he knows a meal or snack is coming, he doesn't charge the gate.

I'm sorry too for the crazy angles of the videos, hahah. Watching them again gave me motion sickness. You don't have to watch everything - feel free to just choose.

I know the most telling video will be one of their face-to-face or chase!

H & F - November 2021

Anyways see what you think!
 
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Love the videos! Swapping looked like it went really well, even with F growling a bit they didn't provoke each other which is great. You mentioned in the one video charging the gate that you're not sure of he may be doing it because her left over food is there. Have you tried moving her food away when they're not actively eating? So like after he's done with his and she's taking a break from eating hers. Somewhere she can still access it to finish it but he can't see it. If he's not still there when she finishes the rest in front of the gate it doesn't much matter if it's put somewhere else since it loses that positive associating with him not being right there. Then you can know for sure if the food is contributing.

The charging the gate may be helpful to see more examples. The one we have in the video doesn't seem so bad, but would definitely like to see her stand her ground more. How much confidence building play time does she get? You may have mentioned earlier in the thread I'm not sure.
 
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Furmama22

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Love the videos! Swapping looked like it went really well, even with F growling a bit they didn't provoke each other which is great. You mentioned in the one video charging the gate that you're not sure of he may be doing it because her left over food is there. Have you tried moving her food away when they're not actively eating? So like after he's done with his and she's taking a break from eating hers. Somewhere she can still access it to finish it but he can't see it. If he's not still there when she finishes the rest in front of the gate it doesn't much matter if it's put somewhere else since it loses that positive associating with him not being right there. Then you can know for sure if the food is contributing.

The charging the gate may be helpful to see more examples. The one we have in the video doesn't seem so bad, but would definitely like to see her stand her ground more. How much confidence building play time does she get? You may have mentioned earlier in the thread I'm not sure.
Thank you for your feedback and watching the videos! :) I will try to get a few more videos of the charging at the gate. I think it is sometimes the food, but also sometimes he knows that going in there means getting treats (since they get treats when they switch) and so he just wants that. And then other times, he is just a stinker and wants to run at the gate and catch her unawares - either for fun or to be territorial.

She rarely stands her ground, if standing her ground means staying where she is and swatting. Typically she runs a foot or two back and then hunches there. She would (in the past) sometimes swat at him through the gate when he was in another room and she was out - then she would swat back if he swatted at her. But nowadays she stays just out of reach (or runs just out of reach) and growls from there.

As for playtime, we used to play with her 3 times a day but that has proven unsustainable over the long haul. So now I would say maybe 1 play time a day each, or 4-5x sessions each per week.

She is very confident in all other regards - just not with him. :)
 

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She rarely stands her ground, if standing her ground means staying where she is and swatting. Typically she runs a foot or two back and then hunches there. She would (in the past) sometimes swat at him through the gate when he was in another room and she was out - then she would swat back if he swatted at her. But nowadays she stays just out of reach (or runs just out of reach) and growls from there.
Not necessarily swatting but just not backing away. It's definitely good that she only goes back a little and continues to watch him, though. She's not giving up TOO much ground and isn't scared (or at least not enough to hide.)

As for playtime, we used to play with her 3 times a day but that has proven unsustainable over the long haul. So now I would say maybe 1 play time a day each, or 4-5x sessions each per week.

She is very confident in all other regards - just not with him. :)
Understandable, we do the best that we can! Seems like it's more just them needing to work out their relationship than her not being confident enough.
 

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I don't have anything to add that will help you, but I want to say I have read a bunch and watched your videos and you are AMAZING! I spent a good 6 months getting mine introduced and your patience is astounding. Great cat mama and they are lucky to have you. They are such beauties... Best of luck!!!
 
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Thank you for such a nice comment!! That's so kind of you! Sometimes I feel like we will be living with cat gates up forever, but we will just keep trying! One day he HAS to get bored of her (I hope) and she has to calm down and stop growling (I hope).

Thank you again, though! And great job to you getting your two together! It is a labour of love for sure.
 

calicosrspecial

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Thank you for such a nice comment!! That's so kind of you! Sometimes I feel like we will be living with cat gates up forever, but we will just keep trying! One day he HAS to get bored of her (I hope) and she has to calm down and stop growling (I hope).

Thank you again, though! And great job to you getting your two together! It is a labour of love for sure.
I am so sorry. I am having computer issues and am trying to get back to normal. Hopefully this works but it may be a few days of issues.

"I have some videos, although admittedly they are primarily videos of the good times." - Well, that means there must be good times!!!

" We haven't done another face-to-face (like, a long one, other than the times we switch territories) so there hasn't been an opportunity for a chase." - Ok

" I will still try to get a video of the face-to-face behaviour and maybe even a video of a chase, and then you can see what that is like." - Ok IF there is one ;)

"I'm sorry if the videos are a lot of boring footage! Maybe they aren't helpful, I don't know." - The nuance, the body language is really important so what may seem "boring" to someone may not be to me.

" What they do show is how the cats are MOST of the time," - Great

Video 1 Bedtime treats - Great body language to start. Perfect. I think they would totally do that without a gate. They finish and they are totally ok with each other.

Supper video - Starts great. They look relaxed, fantastic. My goodness are they ADORABLE!! They look at each other then look away. Fantastic. Body language looks great. Then he walks away confidently.

Breakfast video - He is walking towards Florie an Florie isn't phased. Great body language. Florie looks at him and he is busy eating. She goes back to eating. He looks at her and goes back to eating. I am wondering if you leave the gate open if it can be done.

Doing a face to face in that are at supper and breakfast might be a good idea.

H shows restraint video - Perfect. His tail is moving but he looks good, she looks good (wanting out it seems). Perfect

Treat time video - Hawthorne body language great to start. Tail straight up!!! SO they are basically "face to face" in this video!!! WHOA!!!! My goodness, THIS IS AMAZING!!! Hawthorne is right there chasing a treat and she is there!! PERFECT!!! He is doing great!!! Hahahaha "chose treats not beats!!!" :) THAT VIDEO was AMAZING!!! They can totally be together in time. She does need a bit more confidence but he is not after her to eliminate her. He might like to have some fun bullying but he is not after her.

Hawthorne charges gate video - Not really a charge, pretty tame. That is a good time to use more words to distract him, get his focus off of her if possible. BUT the "charge" was so minor, looked more play than aggression. And his body language at the gate looks relaxed, fine, not aggressive. She is growling and he isn't at all responding aggressively. I am really impressed with him here. His tail is straight up, he is not looking weak, lacking confidence, etc. Ahhhhh that is what he wants, her food. I actually think this video is VERY telling and positive. I am really happy with him!!!

Random bedtime video - Perfect. Both relaxed. Perfect. My goodness is she GORGEOUS!!! They both are!!!

Well, I didn't really see anything negative. These cats will be together. I would love to get them to do a fact to face during a meal in the big area. If Hawthorne finishes first (which I am sure he will) have him chase a few treats, etc. And let's build from there. They are sooooooooooo close. He wants to have some fun with her but I don't see any aggression. Fantastic!!

GREAT JOB!!!

Kakers is doing a great job with her intro.

And pam10144 did an amazing job with hers.

I think understanding that it doesn't have to be perfect to be success is key. As long as they enjoy themselves, are happy, etc even if there is a disagreement it is not the end of the world.

Florie lacks some confidence I think for one real reason (de-claw) and probably something in her past BUT she does look and act pretty confident and he behaves a lot of the time and we need them to get that last bit of trust. Personally (and I know you are not me) I would feel comfortable having them out with me with minor supervision. I KNOW I am not seeing everything but I am seeing a lot I think. Sure there could be chases but I suspect she will realize at some point he is not out to kill her and that will give the trust and confidence. But I think you should do mealtime face to face then end it, repeat. And I would love to get evry meal face to face in a week or two. I thin you might be surprised how well they do.

GREAT work. I think they are ready to move forward. :)

I'll try to respond but I am not sure if more computer issues will happen. We don't really have a lot of computer knowledge so it is frustrating and we are at high risk from Covid so it makes it really difficult. But I will not forget and hopefully fully back now or soon.
 
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Furmama22

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I am so sorry. I am having computer issues and am trying to get back to normal. Hopefully this works but it may be a few days of issues.

"I have some videos, although admittedly they are primarily videos of the good times." - Well, that means there must be good times!!!

" We haven't done another face-to-face (like, a long one, other than the times we switch territories) so there hasn't been an opportunity for a chase." - Ok

" I will still try to get a video of the face-to-face behaviour and maybe even a video of a chase, and then you can see what that is like." - Ok IF there is one ;)

"I'm sorry if the videos are a lot of boring footage! Maybe they aren't helpful, I don't know." - The nuance, the body language is really important so what may seem "boring" to someone may not be to me.

" What they do show is how the cats are MOST of the time," - Great

Video 1 Bedtime treats - Great body language to start. Perfect. I think they would totally do that without a gate. They finish and they are totally ok with each other.

Supper video - Starts great. They look relaxed, fantastic. My goodness are they ADORABLE!! They look at each other then look away. Fantastic. Body language looks great. Then he walks away confidently.

Breakfast video - He is walking towards Florie an Florie isn't phased. Great body language. Florie looks at him and he is busy eating. She goes back to eating. He looks at her and goes back to eating. I am wondering if you leave the gate open if it can be done.

Doing a face to face in that are at supper and breakfast might be a good idea.

H shows restraint video - Perfect. His tail is moving but he looks good, she looks good (wanting out it seems). Perfect

Treat time video - Hawthorne body language great to start. Tail straight up!!! SO they are basically "face to face" in this video!!! WHOA!!!! My goodness, THIS IS AMAZING!!! Hawthorne is right there chasing a treat and she is there!! PERFECT!!! He is doing great!!! Hahahaha "chose treats not beats!!!" :) THAT VIDEO was AMAZING!!! They can totally be together in time. She does need a bit more confidence but he is not after her to eliminate her. He might like to have some fun bullying but he is not after her.

Hawthorne charges gate video - Not really a charge, pretty tame. That is a good time to use more words to distract him, get his focus off of her if possible. BUT the "charge" was so minor, looked more play than aggression. And his body language at the gate looks relaxed, fine, not aggressive. She is growling and he isn't at all responding aggressively. I am really impressed with him here. His tail is straight up, he is not looking weak, lacking confidence, etc. Ahhhhh that is what he wants, her food. I actually think this video is VERY telling and positive. I am really happy with him!!!

Random bedtime video - Perfect. Both relaxed. Perfect. My goodness is she GORGEOUS!!! They both are!!!

Well, I didn't really see anything negative. These cats will be together. I would love to get them to do a fact to face during a meal in the big area. If Hawthorne finishes first (which I am sure he will) have him chase a few treats, etc. And let's build from there. They are sooooooooooo close. He wants to have some fun with her but I don't see any aggression. Fantastic!!

GREAT JOB!!!

Kakers is doing a great job with her intro.

And pam10144 did an amazing job with hers.

I think understanding that it doesn't have to be perfect to be success is key. As long as they enjoy themselves, are happy, etc even if there is a disagreement it is not the end of the world.

Florie lacks some confidence I think for one real reason (de-claw) and probably something in her past BUT she does look and act pretty confident and he behaves a lot of the time and we need them to get that last bit of trust. Personally (and I know you are not me) I would feel comfortable having them out with me with minor supervision. I KNOW I am not seeing everything but I am seeing a lot I think. Sure there could be chases but I suspect she will realize at some point he is not out to kill her and that will give the trust and confidence. But I think you should do mealtime face to face then end it, repeat. And I would love to get evry meal face to face in a week or two. I thin you might be surprised how well they do.

GREAT work. I think they are ready to move forward. :)

I'll try to respond but I am not sure if more computer issues will happen. We don't really have a lot of computer knowledge so it is frustrating and we are at high risk from Covid so it makes it really difficult. But I will not forget and hopefully fully back now or soon.
Hello there! Just checking in! We are in the same place although we are doing more meals and treats in person. Every day they have their treat paste before bed in person (they are about two feet apart as I have a paste in each hand and then they each get some treats thrown in opposite directions). And they switch territories now with treats, in person. They kind of each know which way to go - Hawthorne by the kitchen, Florie into the living room. Then I work them to different spots, chasing treats. And they can eat meals in person too, about four feet apart. I caught a video of that the other day - I'll post it soon.

We are still working on ALL meals in person.

He still does his gate charge sometimes. She sometimes sees him coming and runs back two feet, growling. Sometimes now she runs back two feet even if he's just going to get water, haha. She doesn't seem to read his intentions accurately all the time. In the morning, they get treats (separated by the gate) and can be two feet apart again, although I can see that she darts forward to grab the treat then retreats to what she feels to be a slightly safer distance.

I know that he will still chase her. What I don't know is if we just have to get through a bunch of chases before he gets sick of it, or if incremental exposure is the answer, like, they spend two minutes in the room with treats. Then we work to three minutes. Then we try three minutes and one minute no treats. Hahaha, I'm not sure what's best.

He doesn't want to kill her. He accepts her in many ways. But as soon as the distractions are gone, he wants to chase her, and she doesn't want him to chase her, but doesn't have the confidence to tell him off. The last chase happened when I let her our while he was napping. I could see him watching her - she was just sitting there, maybe in a more "prey-like" way and I could literally see the pupils of his eyes increasing over the span of maybe 30 seconds. Then he went for her. So it isn't an immediate desire to attack her - which I suppose we already know. He doesn't want to kill her. Just a little bully fun.

I have been quite stressed out with work, but generally speaking they seem to be doing ok - I haven't noticed any behaviour issues. I think when I work from home it calms them down, even if I am stressed. So that's something. It just means I don't have as much energy for evening get togethers for them. :)

We'll get there!
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello there! Just checking in! We are in the same place although we are doing more meals and treats in person. Every day they have their treat paste before bed in person (they are about two feet apart as I have a paste in each hand and then they each get some treats thrown in opposite directions). And they switch territories now with treats, in person. They kind of each know which way to go - Hawthorne by the kitchen, Florie into the living room. Then I work them to different spots, chasing treats. And they can eat meals in person too, about four feet apart. I caught a video of that the other day - I'll post it soon.

We are still working on ALL meals in person.

He still does his gate charge sometimes. She sometimes sees him coming and runs back two feet, growling. Sometimes now she runs back two feet even if he's just going to get water, haha. She doesn't seem to read his intentions accurately all the time. In the morning, they get treats (separated by the gate) and can be two feet apart again, although I can see that she darts forward to grab the treat then retreats to what she feels to be a slightly safer distance.

I know that he will still chase her. What I don't know is if we just have to get through a bunch of chases before he gets sick of it, or if incremental exposure is the answer, like, they spend two minutes in the room with treats. Then we work to three minutes. Then we try three minutes and one minute no treats. Hahaha, I'm not sure what's best.

He doesn't want to kill her. He accepts her in many ways. But as soon as the distractions are gone, he wants to chase her, and she doesn't want him to chase her, but doesn't have the confidence to tell him off. The last chase happened when I let her our while he was napping. I could see him watching her - she was just sitting there, maybe in a more "prey-like" way and I could literally see the pupils of his eyes increasing over the span of maybe 30 seconds. Then he went for her. So it isn't an immediate desire to attack her - which I suppose we already know. He doesn't want to kill her. Just a little bully fun.

I have been quite stressed out with work, but generally speaking they seem to be doing ok - I haven't noticed any behaviour issues. I think when I work from home it calms them down, even if I am stressed. So that's something. It just means I don't have as much energy for evening get togethers for them. :)

We'll get there!
"Hello there! Just checking in! " - Hello, great!!

"We are in the same place although we are doing more meals and treats in person." - Great

" Every day they have their treat paste before bed in person (they are about two feet apart as I have a paste in each hand and then they each get some treats thrown in opposite directions)." - Wow, that is great. Would love to try with no barrier. ;)

" And they switch territories now with treats, in person." - Fantastic.

" They kind of each know which way to go - Hawthorne by the kitchen, Florie into the living room. Then I work them to different spots, chasing treats." - Awwwwwwwwwwww

" And they can eat meals in person too, about four feet apart." - Great!! Would love to do no barrier as well. ;)

" I caught a video of that the other day - I'll post it soon." - Great

"We are still working on ALL meals in person." - Perfect, they can do it.

"He still does his gate charge sometimes." - Ok, a real charge or like the last video?

" She sometimes sees him coming and runs back two feet, growling. Sometimes now she runs back two feet even if he's just going to get water, haha." - Awwwwwwww

" She doesn't seem to read his intentions accurately all the time. " - Yes, that is common. That is why getting them exposure is important.

The bedroom incident tells me they are fine. He could have done some bad things and didn't. Sometimes a barrier can cause more issues than we realize.

"In the morning, they get treats (separated by the gate) and can be two feet apart again," - Great

" although I can see that she darts forward to grab the treat then retreats to what she feels to be a slightly safer distance." - That is fine. I have no issue with that. And if nothing negative happens even better.

"I know that he will still chase her." - Ok

" What I don't know is if we just have to get through a bunch of chases before he gets sick of it," - I think that is very likely.

" or if incremental exposure is the answer, like, they spend two minutes in the room with treats." - Incremental exposure is great BUT more like "hanging out" in an open area.

" Then we work to three minutes. Then we try three minutes and one minute no treats. Hahaha, I'm not sure what's best." - Well, I think just more mealtimes, face to face no barriers, having one walk away, hang out, etc. Just kinda going with it rather than too structured.

"He doesn't want to kill her. " - Totally agree (bedroom incident is a great example).

"He accepts her in many ways." - Agreed

" But as soon as the distractions are gone, he wants to chase her, and she doesn't want him to chase her, but doesn't have the confidence to tell him off." - Yes. She needs to get more confidence and he has to realize the chase isn't as much fun as he thinks.

" The last chase happened when I let her our while he was napping." - Did I know about this one (a few weeks ago) is is this a new one?

" I could see him watching her - she was just sitting there, maybe in a more "prey-like" way and I could literally see the pupils of his eyes increasing over the span of maybe 30 seconds. Then he went for her." - Well, what is more fun than another playmate cat?

" So it isn't an immediate desire to attack her - which I suppose we already know. " - Agreed

"He doesn't want to kill her." - Agreed

" Just a little bully fun." - EXACTLY.

"I have been quite stressed out with work," - Bummer, hang in there. Stress only holds us back so assess the workload, take it task by task, make some achievements, progress and more to the next. The more you achieve, the more you solve, etc the less stress you will feel.

"but generally speaking they seem to be doing ok - I haven't noticed any behaviour issues." - AMAZING> THAT is GREAT!!! They are more confident than you may realize.

" I think when I work from home it calms them down, even if I am stressed. " Great

"So that's something." - More than something!!! That is really a good sign.

" It just means I don't have as much energy for evening get togethers for them. :) " - Understandable. Maybe let them do some work??

"We'll get there! " - Yes, I truly believe you are closer than you realize. We need them to take the baton at some point. ;)

Keep up the great work and let's see if we can get them intro'd. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello there! Just checking in! " - Hello, great!!

"We are in the same place although we are doing more meals and treats in person." - Great

" Every day they have their treat paste before bed in person (they are about two feet apart as I have a paste in each hand and then they each get some treats thrown in opposite directions)." - Wow, that is great. Would love to try with no barrier. ;)

" And they switch territories now with treats, in person." - Fantastic.

" They kind of each know which way to go - Hawthorne by the kitchen, Florie into the living room. Then I work them to different spots, chasing treats." - Awwwwwwwwwwww

" And they can eat meals in person too, about four feet apart." - Great!! Would love to do no barrier as well. ;)

" I caught a video of that the other day - I'll post it soon." - Great

"We are still working on ALL meals in person." - Perfect, they can do it.

"He still does his gate charge sometimes." - Ok, a real charge or like the last video?

" She sometimes sees him coming and runs back two feet, growling. Sometimes now she runs back two feet even if he's just going to get water, haha." - Awwwwwwww

" She doesn't seem to read his intentions accurately all the time. " - Yes, that is common. That is why getting them exposure is important.

The bedroom incident tells me they are fine. He could have done some bad things and didn't. Sometimes a barrier can cause more issues than we realize.

"In the morning, they get treats (separated by the gate) and can be two feet apart again," - Great

" although I can see that she darts forward to grab the treat then retreats to what she feels to be a slightly safer distance." - That is fine. I have no issue with that. And if nothing negative happens even better.

"I know that he will still chase her." - Ok

" What I don't know is if we just have to get through a bunch of chases before he gets sick of it," - I think that is very likely.

" or if incremental exposure is the answer, like, they spend two minutes in the room with treats." - Incremental exposure is great BUT more like "hanging out" in an open area.

" Then we work to three minutes. Then we try three minutes and one minute no treats. Hahaha, I'm not sure what's best." - Well, I think just more mealtimes, face to face no barriers, having one walk away, hang out, etc. Just kinda going with it rather than too structured.

"He doesn't want to kill her. " - Totally agree (bedroom incident is a great example).

"He accepts her in many ways." - Agreed

" But as soon as the distractions are gone, he wants to chase her, and she doesn't want him to chase her, but doesn't have the confidence to tell him off." - Yes. She needs to get more confidence and he has to realize the chase isn't as much fun as he thinks.

" The last chase happened when I let her our while he was napping." - Did I know about this one (a few weeks ago) is is this a new one?

" I could see him watching her - she was just sitting there, maybe in a more "prey-like" way and I could literally see the pupils of his eyes increasing over the span of maybe 30 seconds. Then he went for her." - Well, what is more fun than another playmate cat?

" So it isn't an immediate desire to attack her - which I suppose we already know. " - Agreed

"He doesn't want to kill her." - Agreed

" Just a little bully fun." - EXACTLY.

"I have been quite stressed out with work," - Bummer, hang in there. Stress only holds us back so assess the workload, take it task by task, make some achievements, progress and more to the next. The more you achieve, the more you solve, etc the less stress you will feel.

"but generally speaking they seem to be doing ok - I haven't noticed any behaviour issues." - AMAZING> THAT is GREAT!!! They are more confident than you may realize.

" I think when I work from home it calms them down, even if I am stressed. " Great

"So that's something." - More than something!!! That is really a good sign.

" It just means I don't have as much energy for evening get togethers for them. :) " - Understandable. Maybe let them do some work??

"We'll get there! " - Yes, I truly believe you are closer than you realize. We need them to take the baton at some point. ;)

Keep up the great work and let's see if we can get them intro'd. :)
Thanks as always for the advice! And to clarify, they do their bedtime treat pastes with no barrier - sorry if that wasn't clear. And they do some meals with no barrier too. I just tend to close the gate before the meal is done, and for bedtime pastes, after they finish eating I toss them treats, so they aren't focussed on each other. Then I close the gate. :)

And the chase I referenced was from a few weeks ago, yes - we haven't had one since (largely because they haven't been together since).
 

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Hello there! Just checking in! We are in the same place although we are doing more meals and treats in person. Every day they have their treat paste before bed in person (they are about two feet apart as I have a paste in each hand and then they each get some treats thrown in opposite directions). And they switch territories now with treats, in person. They kind of each know which way to go - Hawthorne by the kitchen, Florie into the living room. Then I work them to different spots, chasing treats. And they can eat meals in person too, about four feet apart. I caught a video of that the other day - I'll post it soon.

We are still working on ALL meals in person.

He still does his gate charge sometimes. She sometimes sees him coming and runs back two feet, growling. Sometimes now she runs back two feet even if he's just going to get water, haha. She doesn't seem to read his intentions accurately all the time. In the morning, they get treats (separated by the gate) and can be two feet apart again, although I can see that she darts forward to grab the treat then retreats to what she feels to be a slightly safer distance.

I know that he will still chase her. What I don't know is if we just have to get through a bunch of chases before he gets sick of it, or if incremental exposure is the answer, like, they spend two minutes in the room with treats. Then we work to three minutes. Then we try three minutes and one minute no treats. Hahaha, I'm not sure what's best.

He doesn't want to kill her. He accepts her in many ways. But as soon as the distractions are gone, he wants to chase her, and she doesn't want him to chase her, but doesn't have the confidence to tell him off. The last chase happened when I let her our while he was napping. I could see him watching her - she was just sitting there, maybe in a more "prey-like" way and I could literally see the pupils of his eyes increasing over the span of maybe 30 seconds. Then he went for her. So it isn't an immediate desire to attack her - which I suppose we already know. He doesn't want to kill her. Just a little bully fun.

I have been quite stressed out with work, but generally speaking they seem to be doing ok - I haven't noticed any behaviour issues. I think when I work from home it calms them down, even if I am stressed. So that's something. It just means I don't have as much energy for evening get togethers for them. :)

We'll get there!
Keep it up :)
I completely understand the struggle you are feeling. It's gotten to a point where it is so tough and stressful to move forward and I feel like we are in the same boat.

You've got this! I think they'll be great soon enough :)
 

Cozzy

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Hi, I just wanted to add my experience in the hope it might be helpful. My two are introd and albeit I was very lucky it didnt take very long, initially there was a lot of chasing from my new cat to my resident cat. Once I knew that new cat wasnt out to hurt resident cat, and that the resident cat would recover pretty quickly, I let the chases play out. After a lot of resident cat being submissive and being chased suddenly something clicked he stood up for himself. Now he no longer runs and hides and they now wrestle around together play fighting all the time (not so great though when its happening over my head in bed first thing in the morning haha). In fact resident cat is probably more of the bully now starting the play most the time even when new cat doesnt want it! So just wanted to share this in the hope it might be reassuring. Sounds like you are doing a great job
 

calicosrspecial

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Thanks as always for the advice! And to clarify, they do their bedtime treat pastes with no barrier - sorry if that wasn't clear. And they do some meals with no barrier too. I just tend to close the gate before the meal is done, and for bedtime pastes, after they finish eating I toss them treats, so they aren't focussed on each other. Then I close the gate. :)

And the chase I referenced was from a few weeks ago, yes - we haven't had one since (largely because they haven't been together since).
"Thanks as always for the advice!" - You are very welcome.

" And to clarify, they do their bedtime treat pastes with no barrier - sorry if that wasn't clear. And they do some meals with no barrier too. " - Fantastic!! Even better than I thought!!!

"I just tend to close the gate before the meal is done, and for bedtime pastes, after they finish eating I toss them treats, so they aren't focussed on each other. Then I close the gate. :) " - Ok, maybe trust them and let the gate open then toss treats and close the gate.

"And the chase I referenced was from a few weeks ago, yes - we haven't had one since (largely because they haven't been together since)." - :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Thanks as always for the advice!" - You are very welcome.

" And to clarify, they do their bedtime treat pastes with no barrier - sorry if that wasn't clear. And they do some meals with no barrier too. " - Fantastic!! Even better than I thought!!!

"I just tend to close the gate before the meal is done, and for bedtime pastes, after they finish eating I toss them treats, so they aren't focussed on each other. Then I close the gate. :) " - Ok, maybe trust them and let the gate open then toss treats and close the gate.

"And the chase I referenced was from a few weeks ago, yes - we haven't had one since (largely because they haven't been together since)." - :)
Hello and happy Friday! I have a brief update to provide.

Basically we had another little spat. I was switching the cats yesterday (letting Hawthorne out and trying to put Florie back in to the hallway territory) and I think Florie was sitting a little closer to the gate than usual, so Hawthorne decided to walk right up to her. I think he tried to swat her, maybe, or would have - it wasn't a big run or charge anything, but he obviously wanted to engage. She FREAKED OUT. She was kind of against a kitchen chair and panicked to get away from him, literally leaving scratch marks on the flooring. She ran under a bar stool and then ran out of the room into our bedroom where I could hear her (and later checked) climbing into one of our dresser drawers. When I checked on her about ten seconds later, she hissed at me, so I just closed the door and left her. She did, however, eat the treat I placed in the drawer with her.

She also appeared to have peed or sprayed pee droplets on the floor where Hawthorne scared her.

The whole thing happened very quickly. I initially said "stop!" loudly but then collected myself and said "it's ok, it's ok" in more calming tones. Hawthorne, for his part, basically mostly looked scared because of her - she was snarling and spitting and growling and I could see his little face was like "WHAT IS HAPPENING?". He didn't even have time to chase her. So, it kind of clued me in to the fact that while he is a stinker and wants to try to bonk/chase her, his own reaction amplifies because of her reaction.

He was fine about ten minutes later - he recovered pretty quickly, enough to eat his paste, but then hissed when he smelled the pee area (hissed at me). So I gave him some space. He's been fine today.

She stayed in the drawers for about an hour and then came out and slept with us. She's been pretty good today, mostly normal, but lots more growling at Hawthorne/watching for him/etc.

Honestly, he didn't even really do anything terrible - he just kind of went up to her and wanted to swat. It didn't look awful to me. But her reaction was ENORMOUS. And the peeing. A more confident cat would have just swatted back and that would have been that. But she can't seem to handle it.

I cried about it this morning, if I'm being honest. In my worst moments I feel that I am giving both of them a half life. Hawthorne yowls sometimes, when he is behind the gate and doesn't want to be, and she is obviously very scared of him, even after all my attempts to associate him with positive things. Then I try to think - both are loved, have warm places to sleep, and so on. But sometimes I wonder if she wouldn't be happier with a home with no other cats.

Anyways, I guess we soldier on. What is my next best step? Do we try again with her on the cat tree and him in the main room? I honestly don't exactly know what to do to get her over this fear. Am I doing something wrong? Or missing something?
 
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pearl99

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I don't have intro advice, but just chiming in to say I've felt the same with mine, "might they be happier in another home as an only cat?"
They have taken steps after this to get along more. But on occasion I still think this. Gracie is the one who has had a few accidents when stressed but they have been very few.
Just saying you're not alone! :redheartpump: :redheartpump: :redheartpump:
Will let the experts advise about the intro.
 
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Furmama22

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I don't have intro advice, but just chiming in to say I've felt the same with mine, "might they be happier in another home as an only cat?"
They have taken steps after this to get along more. But on occasion I still think this. Gracie is the one who has had a few accidents when stressed but they have been very few.
Just saying you're not alone! :redheartpump: :redheartpump: :redheartpump:
Will let the experts advise about the intro.
Thank you pearl99 pearl99 !! It's hard sometimes. I love Florie so much and I know she loves us and is happy most of the time - except for interactions with Hawthorne, haha. I want very badly to make it work.

I always appreciate your thoughts! Your kind words always come at the right time. :)

And I'll add that as of today we seem to be back to usual - still growling from Florie, obviously, but all behaviours back to where they were before the little 'encounter' on Thursday.

The cats have been through a lot of change - moving houses, and now my schedule changing (at home some days, gone others) and my stress from my new job so they have lots to deal with there too. I feel more fortified again today. :) Ready to keep moving forward. I'm going to look into some other anxiety supplement for Florie and I am thinking about trying medication (which I always do after a blip like this, hahah). I know that's not always the approach we want to try, but I need to exhaust all options and I wonder if she needs something to just help boost her over her fear, and then we wean her off it.
 
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Graham18

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Hello and happy Friday! I have a brief update to provide.

Basically we had another little spat. I was switching the cats yesterday (letting Hawthorne out and trying to put Florie back in to the hallway territory) and I think Florie was sitting a little closer to the gate than usual, so Hawthorne decided to walk right up to her. I think he tried to swat her, maybe, or would have - it wasn't a big run or charge anything, but he obviously wanted to engage. She FREAKED OUT. She was kind of against a kitchen chair and panicked to get away from him, literally leaving scratch marks on the flooring. She ran under a bar stool and then ran out of the room into our bedroom where I could hear her (and later checked) climbing into one of our dresser drawers. When I checked on her about ten seconds later, she hissed at me, so I just closed the door and left her. She did, however, eat the treat I placed in the drawer with her.

She also appeared to have peed or sprayed pee droplets on the floor where Hawthorne scared her.

The whole thing happened very quickly. I initially said "stop!" loudly but then collected myself and said "it's ok, it's ok" in more calming tones. Hawthorne, for his part, basically mostly looked scared because of her - she was snarling and spitting and growling and I could see his little face was like "WHAT IS HAPPENING?". He didn't even have time to chase her. So, it kind of clued me in to the fact that while he is a stinker and wants to try to bonk/chase her, his own reaction amplifies because of her reaction.

He was fine about ten minutes later - he recovered pretty quickly, enough to eat his paste, but then hissed when he smelled the pee area (hissed at me). So I gave him some space. He's been fine today.

She stayed in the drawers for about an hour and then came out and slept with us. She's been pretty good today, mostly normal, but lots more growling at Hawthorne/watching for him/etc.

Honestly, he didn't even really do anything terrible - he just kind of went up to her and wanted to swat. It didn't look awful to me. But her reaction was ENORMOUS. And the peeing. A more confident cat would have just swatted back and that would have been that. But she can't seem to handle it.

I cried about it this morning, if I'm being honest. In my worst moments I feel that I am giving both of them a half life. Hawthorne yowls sometimes, when he is behind the gate and doesn't want to be, and she is obviously very scared of him, even after all my attempts to associate him with positive things. Then I try to think - both are loved, have warm places to sleep, and so on. But sometimes I wonder if she wouldn't be happier with a home with no other cats.

Anyways, I guess we soldier on. What is my next best step? Do we try again with her on the cat tree and him in the main room? I honestly don't exactly know what to do to get her over this fear. Am I doing something wrong? Or missing something?
I have also felt the same way you're feeling many many times and cried so many times over it. It breaks my heart even more though thinking about not coming home to either of the cats and I just have to try and remember that though it may not be perfect I'm trying to give them the best life possible and I've seen first hand how upset they get even when I'm just traveling for work for a few days. Keep trying your best and know that you're doing everything to give them the happiest life.

Florie and Sapphire seem very similar, and I have and continue to deal with anxiety with her. I started giving both Sapphire and Fluffy hemp oil months back and though Ive never really noticed a big change in Fluffy I have at times noticed much less anxiety in Sapphire. My biggest problem now is actually getting them to eat it as both of the cats are picky eaters and I can only mix it with wet food (which is super hit or miss with them), as I haven't found a way to get them to lick up directly.

I believe in the past I remember you saying that you are Canadian (please correct me if I'm wrong, my memory isn't the greatest). I give them Hemp 4 Paws, which is a Canadian company that I find a lot of rescues sell. They have a cat specific formula, and if I don't have time to go to a rescue store and get some, I'll order two bottles online (which is enough for free shipping), and that typically lasts me about two months or so. I don't know if that is something you were interested in trying or have tried but I wanted to give you my experience with it :)

Please don't be too hard on yourself. You're doing a great job and you're absolutely not alone in how you are feeling.
 
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