Advice on Cat Introductions - Feeling a Bit Lost

calicosrspecial

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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?
"Hello and happy Friday! I have a brief update to provide." - Hello. Great

"Basically we had another little spat." - Ok, let's see

" 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." - Ok

" She FREAKED OUT." - Ok

" 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." - Ok

" When I checked on her about ten seconds later, she hissed at me, so I just closed the door and left her." - OK, good job letting her decompress.

" She did, however, eat the treat I placed in the drawer with her." - Great

"She also appeared to have peed or sprayed pee droplets on the floor where Hawthorne scared her." - Ok, that can happen sadly.

"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. " - Good job

"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 he didn't chase her? GREAT!!

" 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." - Yes. So he has no real bad intent (more bratty stuff) BUT she doesn't realize it and fears which of course causes him concern.

"He was fine about ten minutes later - he recovered pretty quickly, enough to eat his paste," - Great. Yes, he doesn't have issues with her.

"but then hissed when he smelled the pee area (hissed at me). " - Yes, make sure you clean that with an enzymatic cleaner.

"So I gave him some space. He's been fine today." - Ok, great

"She stayed in the drawers for about an hour and then came out and slept with us." - Great, really good job. So she doesn't seem to traumatized which is great. That is a fat rebound. REALLY helpful he didn't chase her, attack her.

" She's been pretty good today, mostly normal, but lots more growling at Hawthorne/watching for him/etc." - Ok, that is fine. I am surprised by her reaction to him BUT I am so happy she rebounded to normal quickly.

"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." - Agreed.

" But her reaction was ENORMOUS." - :/ Yes, more than one would expect. Tells me she had a lot of trauma in her past. :(

" And the peeing. " - Did it accidentally come out or did she intentionally pee?

"A more confident cat would have just swatted back and that would have been that. But she can't seem to handle it." - Agreed. :/

"I cried about it this morning, " - :( I know. But it isn't that bad. She rebounded quickly and that tells us a lot. IF she had issues for days then it would be something. Actually I am really happy how you handled it and how well she rebounded (Because you handled it well).

"if I'm being honest. In my worst moments I feel that I am giving both of them a half life." - :( Understandable but I would disagree.

" Hawthorne yowls sometimes, when he is behind the gate and doesn't want to be," - Yes, all cats do that so that is normal.

" and she is obviously very scared of him, even after all my attempts to associate him with positive things." - Well, this happens what, every few months? Most days they do fine.

" Then I try to think - both are loved, have warm places to sleep, and so on." - Agreed

" But sometimes I wonder if she wouldn't be happier with a home with no other cats." - Well, do you think she is unhappy? Was she unhappy sleeping with you the other night? Or when you are with her in the "open space"? Is she moping, hiding, etc?

"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? " - Yes, anything to make a positive association, positive encounter. So just be near her. Just be her source of confidence, happiness.

"I honestly don't exactly know what to do to get her over this fear." - All we can do is positive associations, maximizing positive encounters and minimizing or preferably avoiding negative encounters.

Usually something like that builds confidence as the cat realizes the other cat doesn't want to kill them etc. I honestly thought the bedroom incident was that., a "watershed" moment. I think We know Hawthorne doesn't want to hurt her but she needs to realize it. I do think this incident helped her (fast rebound tells me that as well as Hawthorne didn't pursue).

The issue is more in her mind so we need to get her to believe in him. For the most part she does but once in a while I wonder if a flashback happens and leads her to panic. 6 months ago I suspect she would have hid for a longer time so progress is being made just slower than we thought. De-clawing is horrific as we are witnessing. :(

So I think we need to work on her confidence and use you as a source of confidence. IF there was a real problem we would see this every day so there is progress being made, just slower than we would like.

Cam you get video or her and them?

"Am I doing something wrong? Or missing something? " - I don't think so. They were doing really well, I think this was unfortunate but it does tell us a lot. I don't think it is a step back and may be a step forward. BUT we'll know when we se them over the next week. IF he behaves and she has positive encounters then we are totally fine. Even if she acts skittish as long as he doesn't do something negative it will be positive.

The recent change of jobs, going into work is a big deal to cats. Especially less confident ones. And I think Florie is showing that THOUGH she is adjusting fairly well.

"And I'll add that as of today we seem to be back to usual" - GREAT!!!! THIS is a BIG DEAL!!

" - still growling from Florie," - Growling is not a big deal when it is respected.

" obviously, but all behaviours back to where they were before the little 'encounter' on Thursday." - FANTASTIC!!!!

"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." - Yes, the recent job change is a challenge even for the confident cats.

" I feel more fortified again today. :) Ready to keep moving forward." - Great and that will help Florie get more confident.

" 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). " - Ok, I am not a fan but sometimes we have to go there.

"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. " - Exactly. If it helps her stay in this home I totally agree.

"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." - :/ Remember, the cats need you all to be strong, to be a source of confidence. I KNOW it is hard, stressful, sad, frustrating. BUT you are all giving them great homes which are more rare than you may realize. Exactly, perfect is not achievable, but the best it can be is. IF I ever thought any of the cats were in a "bad" situation I would tell you.

"Florie and Sapphire seem very similar," - I was just thinking the same. There is a trauma in their pasts. :/

"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. " - EXACTLY!!

And just try to let your love for them come through, be in the present. Try to stay calm, confident and positive. Be a source of confidence, of strength. Both Sapphire and Florie will get over it and have years and years of love and happiness.
 
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Furmama22

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

"Basically we had another little spat." - Ok, let's see

" 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." - Ok

" She FREAKED OUT." - Ok

" 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." - Ok

" When I checked on her about ten seconds later, she hissed at me, so I just closed the door and left her." - OK, good job letting her decompress.

" She did, however, eat the treat I placed in the drawer with her." - Great

"She also appeared to have peed or sprayed pee droplets on the floor where Hawthorne scared her." - Ok, that can happen sadly.

"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. " - Good job

"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 he didn't chase her? GREAT!!

" 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." - Yes. So he has no real bad intent (more bratty stuff) BUT she doesn't realize it and fears which of course causes him concern.

"He was fine about ten minutes later - he recovered pretty quickly, enough to eat his paste," - Great. Yes, he doesn't have issues with her.

"but then hissed when he smelled the pee area (hissed at me). " - Yes, make sure you clean that with an enzymatic cleaner.

"So I gave him some space. He's been fine today." - Ok, great

"She stayed in the drawers for about an hour and then came out and slept with us." - Great, really good job. So she doesn't seem to traumatized which is great. That is a fat rebound. REALLY helpful he didn't chase her, attack her.

" She's been pretty good today, mostly normal, but lots more growling at Hawthorne/watching for him/etc." - Ok, that is fine. I am surprised by her reaction to him BUT I am so happy she rebounded to normal quickly.

"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." - Agreed.

" But her reaction was ENORMOUS." - :/ Yes, more than one would expect. Tells me she had a lot of trauma in her past. :(

" And the peeing. " - Did it accidentally come out or did she intentionally pee?

"A more confident cat would have just swatted back and that would have been that. But she can't seem to handle it." - Agreed. :/

"I cried about it this morning, " - :( I know. But it isn't that bad. She rebounded quickly and that tells us a lot. IF she had issues for days then it would be something. Actually I am really happy how you handled it and how well she rebounded (Because you handled it well).

"if I'm being honest. In my worst moments I feel that I am giving both of them a half life." - :( Understandable but I would disagree.

" Hawthorne yowls sometimes, when he is behind the gate and doesn't want to be," - Yes, all cats do that so that is normal.

" and she is obviously very scared of him, even after all my attempts to associate him with positive things." - Well, this happens what, every few months? Most days they do fine.

" Then I try to think - both are loved, have warm places to sleep, and so on." - Agreed

" But sometimes I wonder if she wouldn't be happier with a home with no other cats." - Well, do you think she is unhappy? Was she unhappy sleeping with you the other night? Or when you are with her in the "open space"? Is she moping, hiding, etc?

"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? " - Yes, anything to make a positive association, positive encounter. So just be near her. Just be her source of confidence, happiness.

"I honestly don't exactly know what to do to get her over this fear." - All we can do is positive associations, maximizing positive encounters and minimizing or preferably avoiding negative encounters.

Usually something like that builds confidence as the cat realizes the other cat doesn't want to kill them etc. I honestly thought the bedroom incident was that., a "watershed" moment. I think We know Hawthorne doesn't want to hurt her but she needs to realize it. I do think this incident helped her (fast rebound tells me that as well as Hawthorne didn't pursue).

The issue is more in her mind so we need to get her to believe in him. For the most part she does but once in a while I wonder if a flashback happens and leads her to panic. 6 months ago I suspect she would have hid for a longer time so progress is being made just slower than we thought. De-clawing is horrific as we are witnessing. :(

So I think we need to work on her confidence and use you as a source of confidence. IF there was a real problem we would see this every day so there is progress being made, just slower than we would like.

Cam you get video or her and them?

"Am I doing something wrong? Or missing something? " - I don't think so. They were doing really well, I think this was unfortunate but it does tell us a lot. I don't think it is a step back and may be a step forward. BUT we'll know when we se them over the next week. IF he behaves and she has positive encounters then we are totally fine. Even if she acts skittish as long as he doesn't do something negative it will be positive.

The recent change of jobs, going into work is a big deal to cats. Especially less confident ones. And I think Florie is showing that THOUGH she is adjusting fairly well.

"And I'll add that as of today we seem to be back to usual" - GREAT!!!! THIS is a BIG DEAL!!

" - still growling from Florie," - Growling is not a big deal when it is respected.

" obviously, but all behaviours back to where they were before the little 'encounter' on Thursday." - FANTASTIC!!!!

"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." - Yes, the recent job change is a challenge even for the confident cats.

" I feel more fortified again today. :) Ready to keep moving forward." - Great and that will help Florie get more confident.

" 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). " - Ok, I am not a fan but sometimes we have to go there.

"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. " - Exactly. If it helps her stay in this home I totally agree.

"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." - :/ Remember, the cats need you all to be strong, to be a source of confidence. I KNOW it is hard, stressful, sad, frustrating. BUT you are all giving them great homes which are more rare than you may realize. Exactly, perfect is not achievable, but the best it can be is. IF I ever thought any of the cats were in a "bad" situation I would tell you.

"Florie and Sapphire seem very similar," - I was just thinking the same. There is a trauma in their pasts. :/

"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. " - EXACTLY!!

And just try to let your love for them come through, be in the present. Try to stay calm, confident and positive. Be a source of confidence, of strength. Both Sapphire and Florie will get over it and have years and years of love and happiness.
Just want to thank everyone for their warm, kind, supportive words! Graham18 Graham18 , thank you for writing such a lovely message and for passing along the hemp oil/CBD recommendation! You're right, I am Canadian too, and I've been using CBD oil for Hawthorne but not noticing a whole lot of change (then again, maybe it would be way worse without it!). Florie vomited a lot when I gave her CBD so she gets a supplement called Zylkene instead. But I might try the brand you suggested instead!

Point is, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and offer support! It really means so much to have such lovely people here, rooting for us (and we're rooting for you!). And you are a kind person to work so hard for your cats too. It's so great to see other people out there who love their pets so much and want the best for them.

And I talked to my sister on our walk today - she is a massive animal person (three cats, one dog) and I trust her perspective when it comes to what's right for the pets. She said I'm not being selfish in trying to keep things working with Florie and that it's better for Florie to be with us, than to be in a new home and have to go through that experience again. So everyone seems to agree - she's best off here. That took a weight off my shoulders. And realistically I don't know how I would rehome her anyways - I couldn't do it.

So here we are! Back to it. I'm going to investigate other CBD/anxiety options, and I'm thinking about expanding clicker training for Hawthorne - to improve his ability to leave her alone for a treat. We'll see. Today they are both cozy and wonderful (in their separate areas, of course) and makes me happy to see it.

Thanks everyone! And sorry for the drama.

Here is Florie sleeping with me in the armchair:
 

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calicosrspecial

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Just want to thank everyone for their warm, kind, supportive words! Graham18 Graham18 , thank you for writing such a lovely message and for passing along the hemp oil/CBD recommendation! You're right, I am Canadian too, and I've been using CBD oil for Hawthorne but not noticing a whole lot of change (then again, maybe it would be way worse without it!). Florie vomited a lot when I gave her CBD so she gets a supplement called Zylkene instead. But I might try the brand you suggested instead!

Point is, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and offer support! It really means so much to have such lovely people here, rooting for us (and we're rooting for you!). And you are a kind person to work so hard for your cats too. It's so great to see other people out there who love their pets so much and want the best for them.

And I talked to my sister on our walk today - she is a massive animal person (three cats, one dog) and I trust her perspective when it comes to what's right for the pets. She said I'm not being selfish in trying to keep things working with Florie and that it's better for Florie to be with us, than to be in a new home and have to go through that experience again. So everyone seems to agree - she's best off here. That took a weight off my shoulders. And realistically I don't know how I would rehome her anyways - I couldn't do it.

So here we are! Back to it. I'm going to investigate other CBD/anxiety options, and I'm thinking about expanding clicker training for Hawthorne - to improve his ability to leave her alone for a treat. We'll see. Today they are both cozy and wonderful (in their separate areas, of course) and makes me happy to see it.

Thanks everyone! And sorry for the drama.

Here is Florie sleeping with me in the armchair:
"Just want to thank everyone for their warm, kind, supportive words! Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 , thank you for writing such a lovely message and for passing along the hemp oil/CBD recommendation! You're right, I am Canadian too, and I've been using CBD oil for Hawthorne but not noticing a whole lot of change (then again, maybe it would be way worse without it!). Florie vomited a lot when I gave her CBD so she gets a supplement called Zylkene instead. But I might try the brand you suggested instead!" - Graham18 is a fantastic person!!!

"Point is, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and offer support! It really means so much to have such lovely people here, rooting for us (and we're rooting for you!). And you are a kind person to work so hard for your cats too. It's so great to see other people out there who love their pets so much and want the best for them." - AGREED!!!!

"And I talked to my sister on our walk today - she is a massive animal person (three cats, one dog) and I trust her perspective when it comes to what's right for the pets. She said I'm not being selfish in trying to keep things working with Florie and that it's better for Florie to be with us, than to be in a new home and have to go through that experience again. So everyone seems to agree - she's best off here." - :)

" That took a weight off my shoulders." - Terrific!!!

" And realistically I don't know how I would rehome her anyways - I couldn't do it." - :)

"So here we are! Back to it. I'm going to investigate other CBD/anxiety options, and I'm thinking about expanding clicker training for Hawthorne - to improve his ability to leave her alone for a treat. We'll see." - Great. I think she just has to realize that her fear of him is irrational. We have had 2 incidents in the past 2 months or so and neither led to injury, etc. The fear was greater than the reality. In time she will learn, just keep making positive associations and making those encounters as positive as possible. See if you can teach Hawthorne "no" as well. Often words can put a stop on something before it starts.

" Today they are both cozy and wonderful (in their separate areas, of course) and makes me happy to see it." - :) Fantastic!!!

It honestly sounds like 98-99% of the time all is well. We just need to get that last 1-2% which we will get. Hawthorne does not mean harm and she will realize that.

"Thanks everyone! And sorry for the drama." - You ae so welcome. THANK YOU for doing all you are doing to make their lives wonderful. I too couldn't think of a better home. Oh my, NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE!!! You are going through all the emotions we all are or have gone through.

Keep up the great work!!!

Florie sure looks happy in the picture!!! That tells me she is a lot better than you may realize. :)
 
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  • #544

Furmama22

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"Just want to thank everyone for their warm, kind, supportive words! Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 , thank you for writing such a lovely message and for passing along the hemp oil/CBD recommendation! You're right, I am Canadian too, and I've been using CBD oil for Hawthorne but not noticing a whole lot of change (then again, maybe it would be way worse without it!). Florie vomited a lot when I gave her CBD so she gets a supplement called Zylkene instead. But I might try the brand you suggested instead!" - Graham18 is a fantastic person!!!

"Point is, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and offer support! It really means so much to have such lovely people here, rooting for us (and we're rooting for you!). And you are a kind person to work so hard for your cats too. It's so great to see other people out there who love their pets so much and want the best for them." - AGREED!!!!

"And I talked to my sister on our walk today - she is a massive animal person (three cats, one dog) and I trust her perspective when it comes to what's right for the pets. She said I'm not being selfish in trying to keep things working with Florie and that it's better for Florie to be with us, than to be in a new home and have to go through that experience again. So everyone seems to agree - she's best off here." - :)

" That took a weight off my shoulders." - Terrific!!!

" And realistically I don't know how I would rehome her anyways - I couldn't do it." - :)

"So here we are! Back to it. I'm going to investigate other CBD/anxiety options, and I'm thinking about expanding clicker training for Hawthorne - to improve his ability to leave her alone for a treat. We'll see." - Great. I think she just has to realize that her fear of him is irrational. We have had 2 incidents in the past 2 months or so and neither led to injury, etc. The fear was greater than the reality. In time she will learn, just keep making positive associations and making those encounters as positive as possible. See if you can teach Hawthorne "no" as well. Often words can put a stop on something before it starts.

" Today they are both cozy and wonderful (in their separate areas, of course) and makes me happy to see it." - :) Fantastic!!!

It honestly sounds like 98-99% of the time all is well. We just need to get that last 1-2% which we will get. Hawthorne does not mean harm and she will realize that.

"Thanks everyone! And sorry for the drama." - You ae so welcome. THANK YOU for doing all you are doing to make their lives wonderful. I too couldn't think of a better home. Oh my, NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE!!! You are going through all the emotions we all are or have gone through.

Keep up the great work!!!

Florie sure looks happy in the picture!!! That tells me she is a lot better than you may realize. :)
Hello all! I just want to say hello and we are well over here! My work has been just so very busy - so we are just holding steady with the cats. They switch territories throughout the day; eat their meals together (separated by the gate); have treats at night in person (no gate) and they are doing ok. We have a vet appointment for Florie on December 21st and I'll talk to the vet then about some type of medication (antidepressant) for her to see if it can help go over the fear with Hawthorne. She's so confident everywhere else and she's doing wonderfully, we just need her to feel ok around him. And I hope that if she can reduce her growling/staring/upset with him, and stand up for herself, he might just back off.

So that's our plan right now. I'm sorry it's been so radio silent. It's so busy and then there just aren't many updates right now.
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello all! I just want to say hello and we are well over here! My work has been just so very busy - so we are just holding steady with the cats. They switch territories throughout the day; eat their meals together (separated by the gate); have treats at night in person (no gate) and they are doing ok. We have a vet appointment for Florie on December 21st and I'll talk to the vet then about some type of medication (antidepressant) for her to see if it can help go over the fear with Hawthorne. She's so confident everywhere else and she's doing wonderfully, we just need her to feel ok around him. And I hope that if she can reduce her growling/staring/upset with him, and stand up for herself, he might just back off.

So that's our plan right now. I'm sorry it's been so radio silent. It's so busy and then there just aren't many updates right now.
"Hello all! I just want to say hello and we are well over here! My work has been just so very busy - so we are just holding steady with the cats." - Hello.

" They switch territories throughout the day; eat their meals together (separated by the gate); have treats at night in person (no gate) and they are doing ok." - Great, that sounds really positive.

" We have a vet appointment for Florie on December 21st and I'll talk to the vet then about some type of medication (antidepressant) for her to see if it can help go over the fear with Hawthorne. She's so confident everywhere else and she's doing wonderfully, we just need her to feel ok around him." - Ok. Well, the fact she is good otherwise (just not always face to face without treats) ells me maybe she doesn't need a mood stabilizer. We are battling this with Sapphire as well. Florie I understand more since she is de-clawed (no defense). But Florie and Sapphire are struggling with the same issue. :/

"And I hope that if she can reduce her growling/staring/upset with him," - Well, that is not the big deal. Especially if it deters him from chasing, attacking.

" and stand up for herself, he might just back off." - Yes, she needs to stand up (as does Sapphire). :/ Sometimes it just takes time to build that confidence.

"So that's our plan right now. I'm sorry it's been so radio silent. It's so busy and then there just aren't many updates right now. " - No need to apologize but this is actually a great update!!! Actually it is really positive.

Keep up the great work!!
 
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Furmama22

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Hello all of you lovely cat people! I hope everyone is doing well! C calicosrspecial Graham18 Graham18 . My last update was December 2021 (I can't believe it) and it suddenly popped into my head that I should provide an update so that anyone else experiencing the same issues with their cats getting along (or not getting along) isn't left wondering how things turned out for us.

Long story short, everything is great, but the cats remain separated, permanently. Perhaps in time I will wish to try again to integrate them but the truth is that the pressure and stress of going through that process was too much for all of us (definitely myself included) and once I basically stopped and said "this is ok as it is" we all seemed to get a lot happier. I worked with cat behaviourist in January 2022 to March 2022 but honestly by then I think my heart wasn't in it anymore. :)

So basically we have two pet gates (stacked on top of each other, to prevent jumping) that block off one section of our house (a section with a couple of bedrooms) and the cats just alternate between those territories throughout the day. They have a schedule that they both understand and are (mostly) happy with, and they generally-speaking very obligingly follow the routine and switch easily, with just a couple of treats as an incentive. Both sections have windows and cat trees and cozy beds and I work from home and try to spend time with both of them and we do our best.

One hard thing is that overnight only one cat gets to sleep with us and that's Florie - Hawthorne didn't like sleeping with us that much anyways but I still feel bad. No one likes to be shut out. But so it goes. I think they have nice lives and it works for us. It's a pain sometimes, sure, but honestly it's all habit now. We found a cat sitter who is happy to help us when we go away and follows our switching schedule, hahah, and I try to give both cats play time and there we are.

So that's how things have shaken out here! I send best wishes to anyone and everyone experiencing difficulties with their kitty integration and hope that you all find the resolution that is right for you and right for your kitties.

Happy new year everyone! Wishing you a wonderful 2023. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello all of you lovely cat people! I hope everyone is doing well! C calicosrspecial Graham18 Graham18 . My last update was December 2021 (I can't believe it) and it suddenly popped into my head that I should provide an update so that anyone else experiencing the same issues with their cats getting along (or not getting along) isn't left wondering how things turned out for us.

Long story short, everything is great, but the cats remain separated, permanently. Perhaps in time I will wish to try again to integrate them but the truth is that the pressure and stress of going through that process was too much for all of us (definitely myself included) and once I basically stopped and said "this is ok as it is" we all seemed to get a lot happier. I worked with cat behaviourist in January 2022 to March 2022 but honestly by then I think my heart wasn't in it anymore. :)

So basically we have two pet gates (stacked on top of each other, to prevent jumping) that block off one section of our house (a section with a couple of bedrooms) and the cats just alternate between those territories throughout the day. They have a schedule that they both understand and are (mostly) happy with, and they generally-speaking very obligingly follow the routine and switch easily, with just a couple of treats as an incentive. Both sections have windows and cat trees and cozy beds and I work from home and try to spend time with both of them and we do our best.

One hard thing is that overnight only one cat gets to sleep with us and that's Florie - Hawthorne didn't like sleeping with us that much anyways but I still feel bad. No one likes to be shut out. But so it goes. I think they have nice lives and it works for us. It's a pain sometimes, sure, but honestly it's all habit now. We found a cat sitter who is happy to help us when we go away and follows our switching schedule, hahah, and I try to give both cats play time and there we are.

So that's how things have shaken out here! I send best wishes to anyone and everyone experiencing difficulties with their kitty integration and hope that you all find the resolution that is right for you and right for your kitties.

Happy new year everyone! Wishing you a wonderful 2023. :)
Hello,

Great to hear from you. I am so happy to hear you and the cats are doing well.

The main thing is everyone's happiness is the best it can be. I think it is fine if the cats are separated. The main thing is the cat's are happy and the humans are happy.

I would not worry about Hawthorne not being able to sleep with you. PLEASE do not feel badly. It sounds like all is fine and going well.

THANK YOU for all your efforts and for giving them a great home with a lot of love and happiness. That is what matters.

Thank you so much for the update (even better that it is a great update) and I wish you all a wonderful 2023. Thank you for everything.
 

Alldara

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I'm always amazed by owners like you who are able to handle this switching schedule long term!

What dedication to your cats!

Sounds wonderful for all involved and if it's gates they can still see one another if they ever choose to.

I'm curious though, did you ever try anxiety medication or thunder-jackets? If yes what was your experience?
 
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