Another cat introduction thread!

kakers

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
42
Purraise
21
I've been reading through some of the existing introduction threads and though it seems we have a somewhat similar situation to a couple others, it also has unique challenges. We are making progress but some extra hand holding wouldn't hurt! This is probably going to be a bit long as we've been going at this for a few weeks already now.

We have 3 resident cats. We had 4 but lost our oldest earlier in the year. We have 2 boys and 1 girl all seniors (age 12-14) Caspian, Orion, and Splenda. They're pretty chill cats and haven't had many issues with new cats in the past, including each other, a friend's cat, various community cats that would hang around our old houses (mostly outside but there was the one that broke into our house once. They were fine with it.) We were originally planning on getting another girl but met a super friendly 3 year old boy at the shelter and after thinking about it and looking around at female cats for a couple weeks we decided he's our kitty and went to see about taking him home. We named him Sebastian. Aka Bastian.

We were a bit nervous as the shelter mentioned he did better with kittens while he had been in their community room and would likely also be good with female cats. But they were optimistic he'd be OK with our boys, too, as he was in their community room before he was neutered and he had been neutered before we brought him home.

It's been 7 weeks. Initially we didn't want any real contact because we know shelter kitties can come with some contagious things so we held off until he could get in to the vet and by that point he'd developed a URI so had to be kept separate for another couple weeks, roughly 4 weeks total. Though we did occasionally open the door a crack and feed treats once his symptoms were going away.)

I can't say the introductions are going *bad* so much as just... Slow. Turns out he's a VERY PLAYFUL cat so we had to start to really focus on enriching his environment and playing with him a lot or he'd jump on us. Still does sometimes when he gets agitated/over stimulated and we can't distract him quickly enough. I very much don't think he's an aggressive cat, just super playful.

This is where the slowness comes in with the introductions. We had been having him explore the house with the other cats for a few minutes supervised but inevitably he'd end up jumping on one of the other cats. Once or twice fur ended up flying though they were easy enough to separate we decided to take a step back and do a much slower introduction. I think he was trying to play and it escalated from there.

Currently they get their meals on either side of a makeshift gate (thanks to whoever suggested wire shelves in another thread!) They're all perfectly fine with this. There's the occasional grumble or hiss, not necessarily directed at Bastian. More between the resident cats (Orion likes to sniff at the other cats wet food bowls even though he absolutely will not touch wet food and they don't like him doing that.)

Very occasionally my husband will bring Bastian to me in bed on the weekend and he and the other cats have some treats before Bastian goes back to his room (except Splenda. She's skittish around humans that aren't me and also not very big on treats.) We trade their places almost every day for at least an hour with the resident cats going in his room and Bastian getting the run of the rest of the house.

We've started to allow short supervised visits with one cat at a time. It's going pretty well, I try to always have cardboard handy which has been helpful. Usually he sniffs them first but he typically jumps on them after that. We let a resident cat choose if they want to enter his room with him. So far it's only been Caspian and Orion choosing to do so. With Orion, Bastian first sniffed then jumped on him. I don't recall any loud noises before they were separated. Orion cowered for a minute grumbling while I kept Bastian from approaching him again (with the cardboard) then eventually Orion left the room. He immediately returned (now with the gate between them) for treats.

With Caspian yesterday Bastian sniffed him... Then bit the back of his neck in what I believe is a show of dominance. Incidentally Orion does this to Caspian, too. Idk what it is about Caspian that elicits this reaction from other males. But in any case no major reaction there either, Bastian let go, I put down the cardboard, Caspian sauntered out the gate and immediately returned for treats on either side of the gate.

Usually the door is closed completely when meals are done or soon after (mainly because the gate wasn't secured) but I wanted them to have more time to choose whether or not to interact through the gate and was able to leave the door open with the gate in place most of the day yesterday, except when I was outside and when Bastian was out in the house. It went very well, though I got nervous when Bastian was sitting behind the gate just staring at Orion who was sleeping on the couch. Eventually he lost interest and he didn't much pay any attention to Caspian being basically right next to him outside the gate that whole time.

Last night after dinner something caught Bastian's attention outside his room. We're not sure if it was Splenda or something outside in the yard. But, he decided to see if he could jump the not at all sturdy gate. It came crashing down and frightened us all. My husband and I were convinced there was going to be a fight, tails were puffed, all four cats ran for the couch to go under/behind it. I grabbed the cardboard. Bastian was behind the couch with his head under, Splenda was under the couch, Orion and Caspian were behind the couch on the other side (it's up against a corner.) Somehow I managed to maneuver the cardboard between Bastian and the other cats and he allowed my husband to pick him up and bring him back to his room with lots of soothing "good boy"s.

Thankfully this morning nobody seemed traumatized enough by the crashing gate to avoid it and continued to eat just fine next to it. I was able to keep the door open for quite a while again though not as long, as we're working on making a taller more secure gate.

At one point today Bastian was napping on my husband in his room and Caspian decided to come in and lay on me. It was at least a few minutes before Bastian noticed Caspian in the room and he stayed on my husband for a bit (while staring me down like "excuse me why are you petting brother and not me?" So I gave him some pets and smooches too) he jumped down and started to sniff at Caspian who basically turned around and sauntered out of the room with Bastians nose in his butt. I would have waited to see what would happen, but I didn't want Bastian in the rest of the house with all the other cats quite yet so I picked him up and closed the door behind Caspian. Nice calm encounter.

We're most nervous with Splenda partly because she's smallest but also because she is most likely to act like prey. It's also going to have to be me alone introducing them cause of her skittishness with my husband. We tried having the door open with the gate up when they traded spaces today but the resident cats so hate being cooped up, Splenda was trying to dig her way under the gate and got herself stuck in a corner backed up to the gate with Orion in front of her and then Bastian charged her through the gate (he stopped at the gate, no paws or anything, she didn't react at all but she was facing Orion.)

I have some pictures but they won't load. I may have to try from my computer another time. For the most part I don't think Bastian is aggressive, just very playful and the other cats aren't used to that. Most of the times he has jumped on them they've been walking away from him. Not running, just walking.

Anyways that's where we're at! I'm hopeful that at least Bastian and Caspian will be able to coexist soon.
 

vince

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
1,177
Purraise
1,835
Location
metro Detroit
It's possible that Bastian wouldn't be so boisterous with his housemates if you had a vigorous play session just before his socialization periods. That might take a little wind out of his sails and he could get along better with the others.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
3,901
Purraise
2,274
I've been reading through some of the existing introduction threads and though it seems we have a somewhat similar situation to a couple others, it also has unique challenges. We are making progress but some extra hand holding wouldn't hurt! This is probably going to be a bit long as we've been going at this for a few weeks already now.

We have 3 resident cats. We had 4 but lost our oldest earlier in the year. We have 2 boys and 1 girl all seniors (age 12-14) Caspian, Orion, and Splenda. They're pretty chill cats and haven't had many issues with new cats in the past, including each other, a friend's cat, various community cats that would hang around our old houses (mostly outside but there was the one that broke into our house once. They were fine with it.) We were originally planning on getting another girl but met a super friendly 3 year old boy at the shelter and after thinking about it and looking around at female cats for a couple weeks we decided he's our kitty and went to see about taking him home. We named him Sebastian. Aka Bastian.

We were a bit nervous as the shelter mentioned he did better with kittens while he had been in their community room and would likely also be good with female cats. But they were optimistic he'd be OK with our boys, too, as he was in their community room before he was neutered and he had been neutered before we brought him home.

It's been 7 weeks. Initially we didn't want any real contact because we know shelter kitties can come with some contagious things so we held off until he could get in to the vet and by that point he'd developed a URI so had to be kept separate for another couple weeks, roughly 4 weeks total. Though we did occasionally open the door a crack and feed treats once his symptoms were going away.)

I can't say the introductions are going *bad* so much as just... Slow. Turns out he's a VERY PLAYFUL cat so we had to start to really focus on enriching his environment and playing with him a lot or he'd jump on us. Still does sometimes when he gets agitated/over stimulated and we can't distract him quickly enough. I very much don't think he's an aggressive cat, just super playful.

This is where the slowness comes in with the introductions. We had been having him explore the house with the other cats for a few minutes supervised but inevitably he'd end up jumping on one of the other cats. Once or twice fur ended up flying though they were easy enough to separate we decided to take a step back and do a much slower introduction. I think he was trying to play and it escalated from there.

Currently they get their meals on either side of a makeshift gate (thanks to whoever suggested wire shelves in another thread!) They're all perfectly fine with this. There's the occasional grumble or hiss, not necessarily directed at Bastian. More between the resident cats (Orion likes to sniff at the other cats wet food bowls even though he absolutely will not touch wet food and they don't like him doing that.)

Very occasionally my husband will bring Bastian to me in bed on the weekend and he and the other cats have some treats before Bastian goes back to his room (except Splenda. She's skittish around humans that aren't me and also not very big on treats.) We trade their places almost every day for at least an hour with the resident cats going in his room and Bastian getting the run of the rest of the house.

We've started to allow short supervised visits with one cat at a time. It's going pretty well, I try to always have cardboard handy which has been helpful. Usually he sniffs them first but he typically jumps on them after that. We let a resident cat choose if they want to enter his room with him. So far it's only been Caspian and Orion choosing to do so. With Orion, Bastian first sniffed then jumped on him. I don't recall any loud noises before they were separated. Orion cowered for a minute grumbling while I kept Bastian from approaching him again (with the cardboard) then eventually Orion left the room. He immediately returned (now with the gate between them) for treats.

With Caspian yesterday Bastian sniffed him... Then bit the back of his neck in what I believe is a show of dominance. Incidentally Orion does this to Caspian, too. Idk what it is about Caspian that elicits this reaction from other males. But in any case no major reaction there either, Bastian let go, I put down the cardboard, Caspian sauntered out the gate and immediately returned for treats on either side of the gate.

Usually the door is closed completely when meals are done or soon after (mainly because the gate wasn't secured) but I wanted them to have more time to choose whether or not to interact through the gate and was able to leave the door open with the gate in place most of the day yesterday, except when I was outside and when Bastian was out in the house. It went very well, though I got nervous when Bastian was sitting behind the gate just staring at Orion who was sleeping on the couch. Eventually he lost interest and he didn't much pay any attention to Caspian being basically right next to him outside the gate that whole time.

Last night after dinner something caught Bastian's attention outside his room. We're not sure if it was Splenda or something outside in the yard. But, he decided to see if he could jump the not at all sturdy gate. It came crashing down and frightened us all. My husband and I were convinced there was going to be a fight, tails were puffed, all four cats ran for the couch to go under/behind it. I grabbed the cardboard. Bastian was behind the couch with his head under, Splenda was under the couch, Orion and Caspian were behind the couch on the other side (it's up against a corner.) Somehow I managed to maneuver the cardboard between Bastian and the other cats and he allowed my husband to pick him up and bring him back to his room with lots of soothing "good boy"s.

Thankfully this morning nobody seemed traumatized enough by the crashing gate to avoid it and continued to eat just fine next to it. I was able to keep the door open for quite a while again though not as long, as we're working on making a taller more secure gate.

At one point today Bastian was napping on my husband in his room and Caspian decided to come in and lay on me. It was at least a few minutes before Bastian noticed Caspian in the room and he stayed on my husband for a bit (while staring me down like "excuse me why are you petting brother and not me?" So I gave him some pets and smooches too) he jumped down and started to sniff at Caspian who basically turned around and sauntered out of the room with Bastians nose in his butt. I would have waited to see what would happen, but I didn't want Bastian in the rest of the house with all the other cats quite yet so I picked him up and closed the door behind Caspian. Nice calm encounter.

We're most nervous with Splenda partly because she's smallest but also because she is most likely to act like prey. It's also going to have to be me alone introducing them cause of her skittishness with my husband. We tried having the door open with the gate up when they traded spaces today but the resident cats so hate being cooped up, Splenda was trying to dig her way under the gate and got herself stuck in a corner backed up to the gate with Orion in front of her and then Bastian charged her through the gate (he stopped at the gate, no paws or anything, she didn't react at all but she was facing Orion.)

I have some pictures but they won't load. I may have to try from my computer another time. For the most part I don't think Bastian is aggressive, just very playful and the other cats aren't used to that. Most of the times he has jumped on them they've been walking away from him. Not running, just walking.

Anyways that's where we're at! I'm hopeful that at least Bastian and Caspian will be able to coexist soon.
Hi,

Ultimately intro's are like dating, roommates, etc. We want to build trust and confidence in the other person/cat that they wont kill us, hurt us, deprive us, etc.

So we want the cats to know the other is not a physical threat to their safety, not a threat to their territory, their food, their water, their litter box. We want to make Positive Associations using food to help them realize the other is good, make Positive Encounters so that they learn to trust the other cat(s) while trying to avoid or minimize Negative Encounters.

We want to build their Confidence through (Play, Food, Height and safe Love) as a confidence cat is more likely to accept and be accepted and the more confident the more territorially secure they will feel allowing others to share it.

Intro's are like travel, there are many ways to do it (plane, train, ship, car, etc). The key is to find the best and safest path to achieve the objective at arriving at our destination. I may go one path, other another. Whatever works is the best.

Vince gives great advice about playing to get some of that energy out of Bastian. Then feed a meal or treats after.

So far it sounds like it is going pretty well. Do some scent swapping, maybe hold of on site swapping for now since we want the resident cats to keep their confidence and "taking away" territory might be a touch unsettling at the moment. Keep focused on those basics and try to help Splenda build her confidence. Take it slow, as fast as they will allow trying to keep every encounter as positive as possible while trying to avoid negative encounters. Use distraction with food, a toy to get Bastian to look away from the other cats (anytime a cat looks away it show trust as no cat would look away from a predator or potential threat. That should help build trust and confidence and let the resident cats know that he isn't out to get them. It is really good that he doesn't seem aggressive so that will help a lot.

Just keep up the great work and I'll keep an eye on the thread and hopefully others will add as well. But so far, so good. If we sense any meaningful behavioral changes (like hiding, avoiding, not eating etc then we may have to pull back a touch.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

kakers

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
42
Purraise
21
It's possible that Bastian wouldn't be so boisterous with his housemates if you had a vigorous play session just before his socialization periods. That might take a little wind out of his sails and he could get along better with the others.
Yes it's something we try to do, though I suspect we could do a little better. I try to play with him before mealtimes and any time he is acting worked up.

Hi,

Ultimately intro's are like dating, roommates, etc. We want to build trust and confidence in the other person/cat that they wont kill us, hurt us, deprive us, etc.

So we want the cats to know the other is not a physical threat to their safety, not a threat to their territory, their food, their water, their litter box. We want to make Positive Associations using food to help them realize the other is good, make Positive Encounters so that they learn to trust the other cat(s) while trying to avoid or minimize Negative Encounters.

We want to build their Confidence through (Play, Food, Height and safe Love) as a confidence cat is more likely to accept and be accepted and the more confident the more territorially secure they will feel allowing others to share it.

Intro's are like travel, there are many ways to do it (plane, train, ship, car, etc). The key is to find the best and safest path to achieve the objective at arriving at our destination. I may go one path, other another. Whatever works is the best.

Vince gives great advice about playing to get some of that energy out of Bastian. Then feed a meal or treats after.

So far it sounds like it is going pretty well. Do some scent swapping, maybe hold of on site swapping for now since we want the resident cats to keep their confidence and "taking away" territory might be a touch unsettling at the moment. Keep focused on those basics and try to help Splenda build her confidence. Take it slow, as fast as they will allow trying to keep every encounter as positive as possible while trying to avoid negative encounters. Use distraction with food, a toy to get Bastian to look away from the other cats (anytime a cat looks away it show trust as no cat would look away from a predator or potential threat. That should help build trust and confidence and let the resident cats know that he isn't out to get them. It is really good that he doesn't seem aggressive so that will help a lot.

Just keep up the great work and I'll keep an eye on the thread and hopefully others will add as well. But so far, so good. If we sense any meaningful behavioral changes (like hiding, avoiding, not eating etc then we may have to pull back a touch.
They're doing well with the site swapping, other than the resident cats not liking being cooped up. Splenda who is the most hesitant has no problem with snuggling up on a towel that's been traded between her spot on the counter behind our couch and the top of Bastian's tree. I've also been working on Splenda playing more and have been giving the resident cats more cat friendly spaces (unfortunately we are low on cat trees and don't have the budget for more at the moment, but we're doing our best.) We also added litter boxes. She's been much more confident lately and honestly her lack of confidence is more around my husband than the other cats. Besides the resident cats not seeming bothered by his scent in their space at all, Bastian also gets extremely restless when he's cooped up in his room all day.

PXL_20210916_174144317.jpg

This was breakfast this morning. As you can see, they're all pretty comfortable eating together. At this point they barely even look up from their food at each other anymore. (Bastian closest, Splenda, Caspian, and Orion L-R behind the gate)

PXL_20210916_011316609.jpg

This is last night with Caspian on my lap and Bastian in my husbands lap on the chair. This was before Bastian woke up and sniffed Caspian's butt as he walked out of the room.

PXL_20210914_195806264.jpg

Bastian completely ignoring Caspian while he stares intently at Orion who was napping on the couch.

PXL_20210914_184211875.jpg
PXL_20210910_213610309.jpg

Pretty sure this is playfulness. They'll both occasionally paw at each other through the gate. Earlier today when Caspian did (not this picture, which was a few days ago), he then laid down and made a kind of meowing sound at which point Bastian walked away and came over and bit my arm (I redirected him to playing with his toys and he was fine.)

PXL_20210912_234729867.jpg

The other day when Orion went in Bastian's room, before the incident I described in my first post.

PXL_20210915_002846125.jpg


And Splenda and Bastian pawing at each other through the gate. She really doesn't react much differently to him than the other cats. She's a bit stand offish with all of them. But she doesn't avoid them or run away from them. She also had no problem using the litter box outside Bastians door, even with him watching her go and with other litter boxes to choose from.

Today I was able to get Splenda, Caspian, and Bastian some of a lickable treat on either side of the gate. They're the only treats Splenda really always likes so I wanted to make sure to add more positive associations since she's the hardest to arrange that with. We also got longer shelves so we now have a gate tall enough Bastian can't jump over it. We haven't seen if any of the cats want to visit him in his room yet today. Which before we secured a taller gate we could move the gate to the side, now they would have to go in through a bathroom that's connects to the hall and his room. We can also close the door on his side of the gate, so no chance of it getting knocked loose while we aren't supervising. My plan is to keep the door behind the gate open as much as possible and continue to see if one of the cats will do a short visit with him, though I'd like to have more of those visits in the rest of the house, where there's more distractions and places to be together-but-not.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
3,901
Purraise
2,274
Yes it's something we try to do, though I suspect we could do a little better. I try to play with him before mealtimes and any time he is acting worked up.



They're doing well with the site swapping, other than the resident cats not liking being cooped up. Splenda who is the most hesitant has no problem with snuggling up on a towel that's been traded between her spot on the counter behind our couch and the top of Bastian's tree. I've also been working on Splenda playing more and have been giving the resident cats more cat friendly spaces (unfortunately we are low on cat trees and don't have the budget for more at the moment, but we're doing our best.) We also added litter boxes. She's been much more confident lately and honestly her lack of confidence is more around my husband than the other cats. Besides the resident cats not seeming bothered by his scent in their space at all, Bastian also gets extremely restless when he's cooped up in his room all day.

View attachment 395448
This was breakfast this morning. As you can see, they're all pretty comfortable eating together. At this point they barely even look up from their food at each other anymore. (Bastian closest, Splenda, Caspian, and Orion L-R behind the gate)

View attachment 395449
This is last night with Caspian on my lap and Bastian in my husbands lap on the chair. This was before Bastian woke up and sniffed Caspian's butt as he walked out of the room.

View attachment 395450
Bastian completely ignoring Caspian while he stares intently at Orion who was napping on the couch.

View attachment 395451 View attachment 395452
Pretty sure this is playfulness. They'll both occasionally paw at each other through the gate. Earlier today when Caspian did (not this picture, which was a few days ago), he then laid down and made a kind of meowing sound at which point Bastian walked away and came over and bit my arm (I redirected him to playing with his toys and he was fine.)

View attachment 395453
The other day when Orion went in Bastian's room, before the incident I described in my first post.

View attachment 395454

And Splenda and Bastian pawing at each other through the gate. She really doesn't react much differently to him than the other cats. She's a bit stand offish with all of them. But she doesn't avoid them or run away from them. She also had no problem using the litter box outside Bastians door, even with him watching her go and with other litter boxes to choose from.

Today I was able to get Splenda, Caspian, and Bastian some of a lickable treat on either side of the gate. They're the only treats Splenda really always likes so I wanted to make sure to add more positive associations since she's the hardest to arrange that with. We also got longer shelves so we now have a gate tall enough Bastian can't jump over it. We haven't seen if any of the cats want to visit him in his room yet today. Which before we secured a taller gate we could move the gate to the side, now they would have to go in through a bathroom that's connects to the hall and his room. We can also close the door on his side of the gate, so no chance of it getting knocked loose while we aren't supervising. My plan is to keep the door behind the gate open as much as possible and continue to see if one of the cats will do a short visit with him, though I'd like to have more of those visits in the rest of the house, where there's more distractions and places to be together-but-not.
They are ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS cats!!!!

The pictures look amazing. Regarding how they are coming along. They look like they are doing great.

"They're doing well with the site swapping," - Great

" other than the resident cats not liking being cooped up." - Understandably. Once they get back out they act normal though?

"Splenda who is the most hesitant has no problem with snuggling up on a towel that's been traded between her spot on the counter behind our couch and the top of Bastian's tree." - Fantastic!!

"I've also been working on Splenda playing more and have been giving the resident cats more cat friendly spaces" - Great

" (unfortunately we are low on cat trees and don't have the budget for more at the moment, but we're doing our best.)" - That is not a problem. The love you have for them and all the efforts are more important anyway.

" We also added litter boxes." - Great. Do you have any marking issues?

"She's been much more confident lately and honestly her lack of confidence is more around my husband than the other cats." - Ok, great. Judging by the picture of her eating she looks like she is fine. Caspian and Orion should help with the confidence as well.

Caspian seems to be really doing well with Bastian and that will help a lot.

" Besides the resident cats not seeming bothered by his scent in their space at all, " - Perfect

"Bastian also gets extremely restless when he's cooped up in his room all day." - Yes, understandably. :/ And as long as when he is doing well and the resident cats are doing well (positive encounters) then go with it.

"This was breakfast this morning. As you can see, they're all pretty comfortable eating together. At this point they barely even look up from their food at each other anymore. (Bastian closest, Splenda, Caspian, and Orion L-R behind the gate)" - Totally . GREAT picture.

"This is last night with Caspian on my lap and Bastian in my husbands lap on the chair. This was before Bastian woke up and sniffed Caspian's butt as he walked out of the room." - This picture was amazing. This is something I actually do all the time but because of risk worry about others doing it. BUT they are doing grea.t This is a Positive Association and Positive Encounter. EXACTLY what we want to do. Just be careful you both are totally safe and not at risk of being hurt in anyway. But those two obviously get along. Pretty amazing. And Caspian will probably be our bridge of confidence with the other residents.

"Bastian completely ignoring Caspian while he stares intently at Orion who was napping on the couch." - Love it. Bastian's body language looks good. So we'll have to try to get Splenda and Orion up nearer to where Caspian is (in time).

"Pretty sure this is playfulness." - Seems like it especially given their ability to eat together, hang out together (in the other picture).

" They'll both occasionally paw at each other through the gate." - Ok. Just reassure them. Let them know everything is ok. I don't want it to escalate so if they stop it is really positive to show the other one they don't mean harm, etc.

" Earlier today when Caspian did (not this picture, which was a few days ago), he then laid down and made a kind of meowing sound" - Awwwwwwww

" at which point Bastian walked away and came over and bit my arm (I redirected him to playing with his toys and he was fine.)" - GREAT he walked away. Did the bite break the skin? GREAT job redirecting him to play with a toy. I am guessing he did not break the skin and it was just excess energy (love bite kinda thing) given he was easily redirected.

"The other day when Orion went in Bastian's room, before the incident I described in my first post." - SO that is Orion on the floor all Rollie Pollie? WOW!! Your husband is doing a great job with Bastian there. SO in the original post you mention Bastian pounced on Orion, you distracted/blocked. Orion left then returned. Correct? If so, that tells me Orion didn't view it as negative really.


"And Splenda and Bastian pawing at each other through the gate. She really doesn't react much differently to him than the other cats." - Body language looks fine. Glad to hear she doesn't react much differently.

"She's a bit stand offish with all of them. But she doesn't avoid them or run away from them." - Great

" She also had no problem using the litter box outside Bastians door, even with him watching her go and with other litter boxes to choose from." - Wow

"Today I was able to get Splenda, Caspian, and Bastian some of a lickable treat on either side of the gate. They're the only treats Splenda really always likes so I wanted to make sure to add more positive associations since she's the hardest to arrange that with." - Great

" We also got longer shelves so we now have a gate tall enough Bastian can't jump over it." - Perfect

" We haven't seen if any of the cats want to visit him in his room yet today." - ok, that is fine.

" Which before we secured a taller gate we could move the gate to the side, now they would have to go in through a bathroom that's connects to the hall and his room. " - Ok, yes, the change will do that.

"We can also close the door on his side of the gate, so no chance of it getting knocked loose while we aren't supervising." - Ok

" My plan is to keep the door behind the gate open as much as possible" - Great

" and continue to see if one of the cats will do a short visit with him," - Ok, just try to make sure it is as positive as possible.

"though I'd like to have more of those visits in the rest of the house, where there's more distractions and places to be together-but-not. " - Exactly. Just make sure there are no "corner" places where the only way out is through the other cat.

But just focus on making those positive associations, positive encounters.

Overall, it sounds amazing actually. Things are going really well. Usually if they go well for more than the first few days that is a really good sign. Given you are a few weeks into it I would say there are so many positives. Just keep up the great work.

I am not seeing any real worrying issues here. So far, really good. You and your husband are doing an amazing job as well as the cats doing their part!!!

Keep up the great work!!! :)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

kakers

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
42
Purraise
21
Understandably. Once they get back out they act normal though?
Yep they pretty quickly act totally normal.

Do you have any marking issues?
On occasion. The resident cats got into the habit of marking the bathmat when we moved into this house and Bastian still had the territorial marking when he moved in and marks at the vets office EVERY SINGLE TIME. He was neutered late so I suspect that's why.

GREAT he walked away. Did the bite break the skin? GREAT job redirecting him to play with a toy. I am guessing he did not break the skin and it was just excess energy (love bite kinda thing) given he was easily redirected.
I didn't think it broke the skin when it happened but I did notice a small scab forming in that area. Could have been from that, could be something else I didn't notice when it happened.

SO that is Orion on the floor all Rollie Pollie? WOW!!
Yep! He lays that way a lot. It's super adorable!


Today was more progress for the cats but a step back for me. Bastian's door with the gate was open all day starting at breakfast. He did an adorable little butt wiggle and charged at Splenda, who didn't react poorly to it. Just a little "no thank you" and he walked away. My husband was trying to do some more face to face time with Orion and Bastian did the butt wiggle again when Orion was turned away from him, so my husband blocked him from actually jumping on Orion and closed the door behind him. Later we let Orion in and gave him treats and Bastian probiotics as treats. He sniffed Orion's butt, Orion gave a little hiss or growl I forget which, and Bastian looked like he was considering swatting him but my husband blocked and we ushers Orion out of the room. He walked right up to the gate once he was in the hall, so overall a positive interaction for them.

The reason Bastian got probiotics as a treat is he has digestive issues. He's just switched over to a special diet but primarily I suspect it's a seafood intolerance. We stocked up on chicken, turkey, and catnip flavor treats for him but I didn't even think to double check the lickable treat he split with Caspian and Splenda yesterday. Apparently that brand when they say it's "with chicken" neglects to mention that it's still mostly tuna. So last night and today his poo was even runnier than usual and he had gas and I'm sure was just generally uncomfortable. So for at the very least for the time being he's only getting his food and the probiotics and nothing else which isn't going to be helpful for introductions but is necessary.

His routine was also off today because my husband got home early and spent much of the day in his room with him. Bastian spent most of that time snuggling him. He also wasn't very playful before breakfast and I didn't try before lunch or dinner because they were snuggling. We also didn't let him out in the rest of the house at all today because he was so comfy snuggling. All big mistakes. After he ate his dinner I was sitting in his room and he walked up into my lap and rubbed his head on my arm and my phone... then up and bites my hand and then wrapped my leg (arms around and biting.) Managed to break the skin just a little on my ankle biting through my socks and scratched my legs with his claws just a little through my leggings. So that's a step back for us. I'm nervous to let him around the other cats when he acts that way with me. I do think he was just saying "hey I'm bored" but it's not OK to be biting. It's also not good for me to be nervous around the cat, which just gets worse every time he bites me. When he does it I say "NO" and either redirect him to a toy or leave the room. Tonight I left the room, and told my husband to play with him but he all but refused to play with my husband. Eventually I went back and played with him some myself.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
3,901
Purraise
2,274
Yep they pretty quickly act totally normal.


On occasion. The resident cats got into the habit of marking the bathmat when we moved into this house and Bastian still had the territorial marking when he moved in and marks at the vets office EVERY SINGLE TIME. He was neutered late so I suspect that's why.


I didn't think it broke the skin when it happened but I did notice a small scab forming in that area. Could have been from that, could be something else I didn't notice when it happened.


Yep! He lays that way a lot. It's super adorable!


Today was more progress for the cats but a step back for me. Bastian's door with the gate was open all day starting at breakfast. He did an adorable little butt wiggle and charged at Splenda, who didn't react poorly to it. Just a little "no thank you" and he walked away. My husband was trying to do some more face to face time with Orion and Bastian did the butt wiggle again when Orion was turned away from him, so my husband blocked him from actually jumping on Orion and closed the door behind him. Later we let Orion in and gave him treats and Bastian probiotics as treats. He sniffed Orion's butt, Orion gave a little hiss or growl I forget which, and Bastian looked like he was considering swatting him but my husband blocked and we ushers Orion out of the room. He walked right up to the gate once he was in the hall, so overall a positive interaction for them.

The reason Bastian got probiotics as a treat is he has digestive issues. He's just switched over to a special diet but primarily I suspect it's a seafood intolerance. We stocked up on chicken, turkey, and catnip flavor treats for him but I didn't even think to double check the lickable treat he split with Caspian and Splenda yesterday. Apparently that brand when they say it's "with chicken" neglects to mention that it's still mostly tuna. So last night and today his poo was even runnier than usual and he had gas and I'm sure was just generally uncomfortable. So for at the very least for the time being he's only getting his food and the probiotics and nothing else which isn't going to be helpful for introductions but is necessary.

His routine was also off today because my husband got home early and spent much of the day in his room with him. Bastian spent most of that time snuggling him. He also wasn't very playful before breakfast and I didn't try before lunch or dinner because they were snuggling. We also didn't let him out in the rest of the house at all today because he was so comfy snuggling. All big mistakes. After he ate his dinner I was sitting in his room and he walked up into my lap and rubbed his head on my arm and my phone... then up and bites my hand and then wrapped my leg (arms around and biting.) Managed to break the skin just a little on my ankle biting through my socks and scratched my legs with his claws just a little through my leggings. So that's a step back for us. I'm nervous to let him around the other cats when he acts that way with me. I do think he was just saying "hey I'm bored" but it's not OK to be biting. It's also not good for me to be nervous around the cat, which just gets worse every time he bites me. When he does it I say "NO" and either redirect him to a toy or leave the room. Tonight I left the room, and told my husband to play with him but he all but refused to play with my husband. Eventually I went back and played with him some myself.
"Yep they pretty quickly act totally normal." - Great sign

"On occasion." - Oh

" The resident cats got into the habit of marking the bathmat when we moved into this house" - Ok. Has it stopped now? Are you using an enzymatic cleaner to clean it?

"and Bastian still had the territorial marking when he moved in" - He is over it now? No more marking?

"and marks at the vets office EVERY SINGLE TIME. He was neutered late so I suspect that's why." - Ok on the vet's office. Insecurity. Maybe on the late neutering.

"I didn't think it broke the skin when it happened but I did notice a small scab forming in that area. Could have been from that, could be something else I didn't notice when it happened." - Ok, so he knew not to really bite. If it was a worrying bite it would have been noticeable.

"Yep! He lays that way a lot. It's super adorable!" - Totally and a big sign of trust. :)

"Today was more progress for the cats but a step back for me." - Ok, let's see.

" Bastian's door with the gate was open all day starting at breakfast." - Ok

" He did an adorable little butt wiggle and charged at Splenda, who didn't react poorly to it. Just a little "no thank you" and he walked away." - Ok, good, sounds like total play.

"My husband was trying to do some more face to face time with Orion and Bastian did the butt wiggle again when Orion was turned away from him, so my husband blocked him from actually jumping on Orion and closed the door behind him." - Ok, so they were both in the same room? If possible, try not to close the door on him.

"Later we let Orion in and gave him treats and Bastian probiotics as treats. " - Ok

"He sniffed Orion's butt, Orion gave a little hiss or growl I forget which," - Ok, normal response.

" and Bastian looked like he was considering swatting him but my husband blocked " - ok good as long as your husband is safe.

"and we ushers Orion out of the room. " - Ok

"He walked right up to the gate once he was in the hall, so overall a positive interaction for them." - Great. Maybe next time try to distract Bastian and let Orion hang around if you think Bastian will be redirected/distracted.

"The reason Bastian got probiotics as a treat is he has digestive issues. He's just switched over to a special diet but primarily I suspect it's a seafood intolerance. We stocked up on chicken, turkey, and catnip flavor treats for him but I didn't even think to double check the lickable treat he split with Caspian and Splenda yesterday. Apparently that brand when they say it's "with chicken" neglects to mention that it's still mostly tuna. So last night and today his poo was even runnier than usual and he had gas and I'm sure was just generally uncomfortable." - Ok, it happens.

"So for at the very least for the time being he's only getting his food and the probiotics and nothing else which isn't going to be helpful for introductions but is necessary." - It is fine and if he likes them it is totally fine for intros.

"His routine was also off today because my husband got home early and spent much of the day in his room with him." - Ok. Good that your husband spent time with him.

" Bastian spent most of that time snuggling him. " - Awwwwwwww

"He also wasn't very playful before breakfast" - Understandable because of the tummy issues.

" and I didn't try before lunch or dinner because they were snuggling." - That is fine, love builds confidence as well.

" We also didn't let him out in the rest of the house at all today because he was so comfy snuggling." - Totally fine.

" All big mistakes." - Hmmmmm, ok............... Seemed fine to me.

" After he ate his dinner I was sitting in his room and he walked up into my lap and rubbed his head on my arm and my phone... then up and bites my hand" - Love bite it sounds like. Did he break the skin?

"and then wrapped my leg (arms around and biting.) " - Ahhhhhh, ok. Some pent up energy it sounds like.

"Managed to break the skin just a little on my ankle biting through my socks and scratched my legs with his claws just a little through my leggings." - Yes, accidental it sounds. It happens.

" So that's a step back for us." - Oh, I am not sure it is a step back. Cats can get overstimulated and do that. Were you petting him?

" I'm nervous to let him around the other cats when he acts that way with me." - ok

" I do think he was just saying "hey I'm bored" but it's not OK to be biting." - Agreed and agreed.

" It's also not good for me to be nervous around the cat," - Agreed. Cats take on our emotions so the mroe on edge we are the more they are. BUT his actions were more rough play, etc than aggressive it sounds

" which just gets worse every time he bites me. " - Yes :/

"When he does it I say "NO" " - Ok. A good firm "No" in a disapproving tone so as not to escalate. Or an "ouch" with sorrow. He doesn't want to hurt you (if he did he would because he can easily) but he wants your attention (or he is getting overstimulated).

"and either redirect him to a toy or leave the room." - Good

" Tonight I left the room, and told my husband to play with him but he all but refused to play with my husband." - Ok. Did you spend less time with him yesterday than usual?

" Eventually I went back and played with him some myself. " - Great

Well, I don't think that is so bad. He was a little off his routine, I think he missed you to some degree AND had pent up energy. He wasn't feeling great (tummy). So let's see if we can get him out of the "biting" and continue with the progress.

He seems like a great cat so I would be really surprised if you wouldn't have a great relationship with him. Just keep playing with him, feeding him, keeping him on some kind of a routine etc and I think he will be fine.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

kakers

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
42
Purraise
21
" The resident cats got into the habit of marking the bathmat when we moved into this house" - Ok. Has it stopped now? Are you using an enzymatic cleaner to clean it?
Nope hasn't stopped. We just throw them in the washing machine which probably doesn't get it all out. We have lots of extra bathmats cause our old cat used to puke on them.

"and Bastian still had the territorial marking when he moved in" - He is over it now? No more marking?
Not entirely sure to be honest.

"He walked right up to the gate once he was in the hall, so overall a positive interaction for them." - Great. Maybe next time try to distract Bastian and let Orion hang around if you think Bastian will be redirected/distracted.
unfortunately right now the only thing I think would distract Bastian is treats, and he can't have any until his tummy is doing better. I was hoping to see some improvement today after cutting out anything but his probiotics an prescription food but so far no improvement. So definitely no treats, poor guy.

" After he ate his dinner I was sitting in his room and he walked up into my lap and rubbed his head on my arm and my phone... then up and bites my hand" - Love bite it sounds like. Did he break the skin?
"and then wrapped my leg (arms around and biting.) " - Ahhhhhh, ok. Some pent up energy it sounds like.

"Managed to break the skin just a little on my ankle biting through my socks and scratched my legs with his claws just a little through my leggings." - Yes, accidental it sounds. It happens.
Yes definitely pent up energy. Which is why I said it was a mistake to not try and play with him more or let him out in the house. He's a very high energy kitty, and needs the variety and entertainment. Even if he's acting like all he wants is snuggles.

" So that's a step back for us." - Oh, I am not sure it is a step back. Cats can get overstimulated and do that. Were you petting him?
It's not so much a step back for HIM as for ME. I was not petting him. I was sitting on the floor with my legs out, he walked onto me and rubbed his head on my arm and my phone and then bit my hand. I may have put my phone down and held my hand up to see if he wanted to be pet, but I definitely hadn't even touched him when he bit me. The bite on the hand was annoying, but I can get over it. Breaking the skin in two places through clothing when he decided to bite and bunny kick my leg makes me very nervous. I'm hopeful we can get the biting to stop, but at the same time he's 3 and it's going to be much harder teaching a grown cat than it would be a kitten.

" Tonight I left the room, and told my husband to play with him but he all but refused to play with my husband." - Ok. Did you spend less time with him yesterday than usual?
probably a little, since he was spending time with my husband. Even when I was hanging out in there with them he may come say hi to me then he'd be right back on top of my husband. It's super adorable. And we technically got this cat so my husband could get more kitty snuggles, so I've been intentionally making sure they get their 1:1 time when my husband is able. So yeah he got more overall attention but less of it from me.

Well, I don't think that is so bad. He was a little off his routine, I think he missed you to some degree AND had pent up energy. He wasn't feeling great (tummy). So let's see if we can get him out of the "biting" and continue with the progress.

He seems like a great cat so I would be really surprised if you wouldn't have a great relationship with him. Just keep playing with him, feeding him, keeping him on some kind of a routine etc and I think he will be fine.
He really is a great cat minus the biting! It's the not having appropriate play boundaries that's keeping the whole introduction process slow. I've no doubt the other kitties would tolerate the heck out of him if he wasn't to intent on playing with them constantly.

Today was OK overall. No biting me, which was good, but he did knock the gate over trying to jump onto it and climb over where there's not even a foot of space between the top of the gate and the top of the doorframe. I was still in bed when it happened but my husband said he'd jumped above the top tension rod and had pushed off it which knocked it loose. We got a third tension rod and now it's more stable, and we put some cardboard near the top so he can't climb it.

I also got some new wand toys because so many of the attachments for our other ones broke. Also got just a wand that has a hook at the end that I'm able to connect some of their other toys to using various loops or tags on them. Splenda was loving them, and also Bastian! He got out in the house more today to make up for yesterday having no time out in the house, and the resident kitties were a bit calmer in his room. We were able to keep the door open since Splenda wasn't backing herself into the gate getting herself trapped like last time. I played with Bastian out in the house for a good while getting him running up and down the stairs and really tired. They all had lunch on the opposite sides of the gate than usual. Then they switched back a while before dinner and I played with Bastian (and the other kitties) more before their dinner time.

No face to face time for the cats without the gate today, though. There was some growling from Caspian towards Bastian a couple times so it wasn't a good day for it.
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
4,052
Purraise
4,598
This is all totally normal between an active youngster and a senior cat, with the exception that maybe Sebastian's play drive hasn't dimmed quite as much as we normally see. But certainly, this exact scenario is more common than not when a 1 yr old is introuced to a senior cat. This is just how that normally goes. With a chill 3 y.o. that was a bit more willing to take no for an answer, things might be going very differently, but its not Sebastian's fault that he is still a 1 y.o. at heart.

My biggest piece of advice is that at a certain point in the introduction, you've done what you can, and you need to see what they can do on their own. You cannot micromanage this to friendship. It doesn't usually work that way, because the youngster is going to keep jumping on the older cats, and they are going to keep disliking it. A proper introduction can maybe make them a little less stressed about it, but its totally normal for them to still feel stress and distaste about it when your done.

I also advise that you make a decision on whether to proceed or go backwards. The current intermediate step is not necessarily helpful, and could even slow things down. If they aren't ready to try and work things out on their own, then short visits where the seniors get jumped on, is not going to help anything, and could potentially be unproductive and harmful to their mental state. I'm certainly not against testing the waters -- but you've done that now, and have the information you need to make your decision. So I would either stop the visits for a few weeks of gate time, or proceed to unlimited interaction. With unlimited interaction, you just need to make sure they won't fight. If it truly looks like they might, thats an issue, but a little growling and hissing is nothing. When I say "unlimited" its certainly appropriate to start with unlimited while you are available to respond to any issues, with continued separation at night or when you have to leave the house. But once your pretty sure there will be no full on fighting, you give them as much time as you can.

Think of it this way -- with short visits, the seniors *only* see PITA jumping youngster. With unlimited, they will see a lot more of chill Sebastian. So just in general, I think short visits are a bad idea. Apart from testing the waters, no visits at all until its go time, and then you let them try an work it out as long as it looks like they won't fight.

Progresss towards toleration is sometimes very slow in these scenarios. But as long as they don't fight, they should be able to progress towards that on their own, once you decide that you've done what you can.

Bottom line, there is no perfect process that eliminates all stress between an overly playful youngster that won't take no for an answer and senior cats. At a certain point, you need to leave it in their hands, understanding that progress might be slow, and some stress might linger.

Good luck!
 
Last edited:

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
3,901
Purraise
2,274
Nope hasn't stopped. We just throw them in the washing machine which probably doesn't get it all out. We have lots of extra bathmats cause our old cat used to puke on them.


Not entirely sure to be honest.


unfortunately right now the only thing I think would distract Bastian is treats, and he can't have any until his tummy is doing better. I was hoping to see some improvement today after cutting out anything but his probiotics an prescription food but so far no improvement. So definitely no treats, poor guy.


Yes definitely pent up energy. Which is why I said it was a mistake to not try and play with him more or let him out in the house. He's a very high energy kitty, and needs the variety and entertainment. Even if he's acting like all he wants is snuggles.



It's not so much a step back for HIM as for ME. I was not petting him. I was sitting on the floor with my legs out, he walked onto me and rubbed his head on my arm and my phone and then bit my hand. I may have put my phone down and held my hand up to see if he wanted to be pet, but I definitely hadn't even touched him when he bit me. The bite on the hand was annoying, but I can get over it. Breaking the skin in two places through clothing when he decided to bite and bunny kick my leg makes me very nervous. I'm hopeful we can get the biting to stop, but at the same time he's 3 and it's going to be much harder teaching a grown cat than it would be a kitten.


probably a little, since he was spending time with my husband. Even when I was hanging out in there with them he may come say hi to me then he'd be right back on top of my husband. It's super adorable. And we technically got this cat so my husband could get more kitty snuggles, so I've been intentionally making sure they get their 1:1 time when my husband is able. So yeah he got more overall attention but less of it from me.



He really is a great cat minus the biting! It's the not having appropriate play boundaries that's keeping the whole introduction process slow. I've no doubt the other kitties would tolerate the heck out of him if he wasn't to intent on playing with them constantly.

Today was OK overall. No biting me, which was good, but he did knock the gate over trying to jump onto it and climb over where there's not even a foot of space between the top of the gate and the top of the doorframe. I was still in bed when it happened but my husband said he'd jumped above the top tension rod and had pushed off it which knocked it loose. We got a third tension rod and now it's more stable, and we put some cardboard near the top so he can't climb it.

I also got some new wand toys because so many of the attachments for our other ones broke. Also got just a wand that has a hook at the end that I'm able to connect some of their other toys to using various loops or tags on them. Splenda was loving them, and also Bastian! He got out in the house more today to make up for yesterday having no time out in the house, and the resident kitties were a bit calmer in his room. We were able to keep the door open since Splenda wasn't backing herself into the gate getting herself trapped like last time. I played with Bastian out in the house for a good while getting him running up and down the stairs and really tired. They all had lunch on the opposite sides of the gate than usual. Then they switched back a while before dinner and I played with Bastian (and the other kitties) more before their dinner time.

No face to face time for the cats without the gate today, though. There was some growling from Caspian towards Bastian a couple times so it wasn't a good day for it.
"Nope hasn't stopped." - Ok. We need to get this stopped. Inappropriate peeing comes from Medical issues (Pain, infection, etc) or Behavioral (territorial insecurity, lack of confidence, etc).

" We just throw them in the washing machine which probably doesn't get it all out. We have lots of extra bathmats cause our old cat used to puke on them." - It is really important to use an enzymatic cleaner in order to remove the scent and therefore the risk that they smell it then go again. So if you have extras use a new one, clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner fully and hopefully they will stop. Also, if at all possible put a litter box there to give an better alternative (which is much easier to clean) and they can still own that territory with their scent.

"Not entirely sure to be honest." - Ok. If you have a blacklight you may want to look around given that marking is a sign of issues (health or behavioral). The good news is it is solvable.

"unfortunately right now the only thing I think would distract Bastian is treats," - Ok, toys do not work? Or words?

"and he can't have any until his tummy is doing better. " - Agreed

"I was hoping to see some improvement today after cutting out anything but his probiotics an prescription food but so far no improvement. So definitely no treats, poor guy." - He will get better I would think. Just keep him off the treats, etc.

"Yes definitely pent up energy. Which is why I said it was a mistake to not try and play with him more or let him out in the house. He's a very high energy kitty, and needs the variety and entertainment. Even if he's acting like all he wants is snuggles." - Yes.


" It's not so much a step back for HIM as for ME." - Yes, understood.

" I was not petting him." - Ok, so it was not overstimulation.

" I was sitting on the floor with my legs out, he walked onto me and rubbed his head on my arm and my phone and then bit my hand." - Yes, they often will do that. That is more a "give me attention" thing or a "love bite". Doesn't sound aggressive at all which is good.

" I may have put my phone down and held my hand up to see if he wanted to be pet, but I definitely hadn't even touched him when he bit me." - Ok. Was your hand above him? He may have viewed the outreached hand as a toy, a play thing.

"The bite on the hand was annoying, but I can get over it." - Yes and good.

" Breaking the skin in two places through clothing when he decided to bite and bunny kick my leg makes me very nervous." - Understandably. But the good news is that it was not aggression in my opinion driving it and more play driven. His intent was not to hurt or harm.

" I'm hopeful we can get the biting to stop, but at the same time he's 3 and it's going to be much harder teaching a grown cat than it would be a kitten. " - I think he will able to learn not to. Redirect him to a toy, drain energy in general, let him know in a calm, confident way it is hurtful, etc.

"probably a little, since he was spending time with my husband." - Ok but that doesn;t seem to be the cause. It is more the pent up energy.

" Even when I was hanging out in there with them he may come say hi to me then he'd be right back on top of my husband. It's super adorable." - Awwwwwwwwww

" And we technically got this cat so my husband could get more kitty snuggles, so I've been intentionally making sure they get their 1:1 time when my husband is able. So yeah he got more overall attention but less of it from me." - Ok, that is fine and not an issue. We just need to get him his play as well. Which I know you will.

"He really is a great cat minus the biting!" - He sounds like it. The biting sounds like it is more out of energy etc rather than fear etc. So I am highly confident the biting will go away. I am amazed at how well he is doing with the resident cats and how well they are doing with him!!

" It's the not having appropriate play boundaries that's keeping the whole introduction process slow. I've no doubt the other kitties would tolerate the heck out of him if he wasn't to intent on playing with them constantly." - Yes, and ArtNJ makes a great point, the kitties need to do their part. The intro's are going amazingly well to this point.

"Today was OK overall." - ok, good.

" No biting me, which was good," - Great

" but he did knock the gate over trying to jump onto it and climb over where there's not even a foot of space between the top of the gate and the top of the doorframe. I was still in bed when it happened but my husband said he'd jumped above the top tension rod and had pushed off it which knocked it loose. We got a third tension rod and now it's more stable, and we put some cardboard near the top so he can't climb it." - Ok, but that is being a cat. He wants exposure to the others and the humans. I actually view that more as a positive rather than a negative BUT I understand we don't want him doing that.

"I also got some new wand toys because so many of the attachments for our other ones broke. Also got just a wand that has a hook at the end that I'm able to connect some of their other toys to using various loops or tags on them." - GREAT. Play is so important to build confidence and to drain some energy.

" Splenda was loving them, and also Bastian! " - GREAT

"He got out in the house more today to make up for yesterday having no time out in the house, and the resident kitties were a bit calmer in his room." - Great

" We were able to keep the door open since Splenda wasn't backing herself into the gate getting herself trapped like last time. " - Great

"I played with Bastian out in the house for a good while getting him running up and down the stairs and really tired. They all had lunch on the opposite sides of the gate than usual. Then they switched back a while before dinner and I played with Bastian (and the other kitties) more before their dinner time." - Perfect!! GREAT JOB!!!

"No face to face time for the cats without the gate today, though. " - Ok

"There was some growling from Caspian towards Bastian a couple times so it wasn't a good day for it. " - Hmmmmmm, odd. Were you able to distract Caspian? Any idea why Caspian was growling? We need to watch this.

But other than Caspian growling it sounds like a really good day. Keep up the great work.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

kakers

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
42
Purraise
21
This is all totally normal between an active youngster and a senior cat, with the exception that maybe Sebastian's play drive hasn't dimmed quite as much as we normally see. But certainly, this exact scenario is more common than not when a 1 yr old is introuced to a senior cat. This is just how that normally goes. With a chill 3 y.o. that was a bit more willing to take no for an answer, things might be going very differently, but its not Sebastian's fault that he is still a 1 y.o. at heart.

My biggest piece of advice is that at a certain point in the introduction, you've done what you can, and you need to see what they can do on their own. You cannot micromanage this to friendship. It doesn't usually work that way, because the youngster is going to keep jumping on the older cats, and they are going to keep disliking it. A proper introduction can maybe make them a little less stressed about it, but its totally normal for them to still feel stress and distaste about it when your done.

I also advise that you make a decision on whether to proceed or go backwards. The current intermediate step is not necessarily helpful, and could even slow things down. If they aren't ready to try and work things out on their own, then short visits where the seniors get jumped on, is not going to help anything, and could potentially be unproductive and harmful to their mental state. I'm certainly not against testing the waters -- but you've done that now, and have the information you need to make your decision. So I would either stop the visits for a few weeks of gate time, or proceed to unlimited interaction. With unlimited interaction, you just need to make sure they won't fight. If it truly looks like they might, thats an issue, but a little growling and hissing is nothing. When I say "unlimited" its certainly appropriate to start with unlimited while you are available to respond to any issues, with continued separation at night or when you have to leave the house. But once your pretty sure there will be no full on fighting, you give them as much time as you can.

Think of it this way -- with short visits, the seniors *only* see PITA jumping youngster. With unlimited, they will see a lot more of chill Sebastian. So just in general, I think short visits are a bad idea. Apart from testing the waters, no visits at all until its go time, and then you let them try an work it out as long as it looks like they won't fight.

Progresss towards toleration is sometimes very slow in these scenarios. But as long as they don't fight, they should be able to progress towards that on their own, once you decide that you've done what you can.

Bottom line, there is no perfect process that eliminates all stress between an overly playful youngster that won't take no for an answer and senior cats. At a certain point, you need to leave it in their hands, understanding that progress might be slow, and some stress might linger.

Good luck!
Thanks for your input! I can definitely see why you would say they would think of him only as a PITA jumping youngster when that is the majority of the interactions. We're doing the short face to face time actually to prevent exactly this, doing our best to end the interaction BEFORE he becomes a jumper. Though I can see why this could also delay things, since they aren't given the chance to communicate their own boundaries. We certainly aren't expecting friendship, just peaceful coexistence. But I can see how it would be beneficial for them to have more opportunities to work out their own boundaries and also have more interactions that are positive. We still are too hesitant to jump right to unlimited interaction because it has escalated to fights in the past, so we need all of us trusting each other a bit more. The door being open with the gate in place is a newer thing, and overall it seems to be helping since they have had the chance to communicate through the gate without the ability to escalate. If it's slower, it's slower. It may be less than convenient in the meantime, but if it keeps anyone from getting hurt we'll take as long as it needs. Also check below I'll do an update from today at the end of the post :)


"Nope hasn't stopped." - Ok. We need to get this stopped. Inappropriate peeing comes from Medical issues (Pain, infection, etc) or Behavioral (territorial insecurity, lack of confidence, etc).

" We just throw them in the washing machine which probably doesn't get it all out. We have lots of extra bathmats cause our old cat used to puke on them." - It is really important to use an enzymatic cleaner in order to remove the scent and therefore the risk that they smell it then go again. So if you have extras use a new one, clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner fully and hopefully they will stop. Also, if at all possible put a litter box there to give an better alternative (which is much easier to clean) and they can still own that territory with their scent.

"Not entirely sure to be honest." - Ok. If you have a blacklight you may want to look around given that marking is a sign of issues (health or behavioral). The good news is it is solvable.
They've all been to the vet and there's no issues there. It started right when we moved in to the new house and all 4 cats (before our oldest got out :( ) were confined to the master bedroom/bathroom to start getting settled in. There was only one litterbox for them at that point and with it being a new space it makes sense in that context to be territorial/confidence gaining. And since we haven't used an enzymatic cleaner yet, it just keeps happening. Annoying, and we should get some cleaner but in the meantime it's a minor inconvenience more than anything.

"unfortunately right now the only thing I think would distract Bastian is treats," - Ok, toys do not work? Or words?
Toys typically do not work nor words. I call him our ADHD cat because he is so hyper but also hyperfocuses on whatever has his attention, whether it's one of the other cats or whatever we can't even figure out he's so interested in outside the window.

" Breaking the skin in two places through clothing when he decided to bite and bunny kick my leg makes me very nervous." - Understandably. But the good news is that it was not aggression in my opinion driving it and more play driven. His intent was not to hurt or harm.

" I'm hopeful we can get the biting to stop, but at the same time he's 3 and it's going to be much harder teaching a grown cat than it would be a kitten. " - I think he will able to learn not to. Redirect him to a toy, drain energy in general, let him know in a calm, confident way it is hurtful, etc.
Yes I definitely agree it's play driven. I'm optimistic it will get better. And constantly considering new toys etc that may keep him busy if I don't always have the time to play with him so often.

"He really is a great cat minus the biting!" - He sounds like it. The biting sounds like it is more out of energy etc rather than fear etc. So I am highly confident the biting will go away. I am amazed at how well he is doing with the resident cats and how well they are doing with him!!
Yes overall they're doing OK. I'm sure 50% of the slowness is us not wanting anyone to get harmed in any way much more so than any of them being particularly stressed or nervous. They're our babies after all.

"It's the not having appropriate play boundaries that's keeping the whole introduction process slow. I've no doubt the other kitties would tolerate the heck out of him if he wasn't to intent on playing with them constantly." - Yes, and ArtNJ makes a great point, the kitties need to do their part. The intro's are going amazingly well to this point.
I agree they need more opportunities to communicate with each other. The gate being more secure so the door can be open had definitely helped a lot I feel. Both in them having more opportunities to interact safely as well as for us to learn how they will react to each other. Like when he pounces on the gate at one of them and they basically ignore it, he's learning they may not be interested in playing without them getting pounced and reacting with aggression in return. Or if they react with a little hiss and a swat, and he learns to leave them alone (and we learn he will, in fact, back up and give them their space.)

" but he did knock the gate over trying to jump onto it and climb over where there's not even a foot of space between the top of the gate and the top of the doorframe. I was still in bed when it happened but my husband said he'd jumped above the top tension rod and had pushed off it which knocked it loose. We got a third tension rod and now it's more stable, and we put some cardboard near the top so he can't climb it." - Ok, but that is being a cat. He wants exposure to the others and the humans. I actually view that more as a positive rather than a negative BUT I understand we don't want him doing that.
Yeah he's just being him. He tries to escape out of the doors at the vets office, one of their rooms has a window in the door and I swear he would try and look through it to try and plot his escape. My husband and his vet and I all believe he is smart enough to figure out doors with push down handles. Super intelligent and overall extremely confident and social cat.

"There was some growling from Caspian towards Bastian a couple times so it wasn't a good day for it. " - Hmmmmmm, odd. Were you able to distract Caspian? Any idea why Caspian was growling? We need to watch this.
To be honest we didn't really try to distract him. It didn't last very long and whatever it was they worked it out. I'm sure he could have been pretty easily distracted.


So far today is going excellent! Play time was fine before breakfast (he's always a bit more chill in the mornings but he was till happy to play for a few minutes) and no issues at breakfast. He also played a very little bit with my husband after breakfast though not much. He was pretty chill as were the other cats so I decided it was a good opportunity to see how it would go letting him out of his room with the other cats. At first he just stayed in his tree staring at the open door. Caspian went in his room a little then left and he followed Caspian out. Caspian and Orion were both outside the door watching him come out and followed him into the other room with no issues. Caspian followed him around downstairs for a while still with no issues until finally I guess he got bored and settled into his favorite box. Bastain was looking like he was going to go up the stairs and just stopped and looked at something, which I suspected was Splenda and I was right. He ended up going back into his room (which is basically across from the stairs) and Splenda came down. He came back out and approached Splenda in another room and she was acting nervous, little hissing and nearly cornering herself but Bastian was good and let her be. I did block him from seeing her darting away so his instinct to chase her wouldn't kick in and it worked fine. She didn't go far and he didn't approach her again at that point. She ended up going back upstairs and afterwards so did he, and he was very cautious going up the stairs (they turn a couple times. When he's the only cat out he often sprints up them but this time he approached each turn slowly, I think he was making sure Splenda wasn't there.)

He did approach her upstairs and she hissed and curled up but he left her alone. We're definitely most nervous with Splenda because she's very small and also has basically no teeth. So I was very happy that he seemed uninterested in pushing her buttons. When he came back downstairs he was fine with Orion but caught a glimpse of Caspian who was still in his box and his tail puffed and he started slinking towards Caspian. We were able to distract him for brief moments and I did block him line of sight for a bit, ultimately he calmed down and went the other way and then went back into his room and we closed the door and he's just been relaxing in there.

So very good! He definitely looked like he was trying to be respectful of the other cats and seemed cautious though not (other than that one short incident) scared or overly intimidated. Very happy with it :) hopefully that means soon we'll be able to have more time with them all together though he was already calm so all bets are off when it's play time so we'll just have to take that as it goes.

PXL_20210919_195559586.jpg
PXL_20210919_200341009.jpg

Caspian keeping an eye on Bastian

PXL_20210919_202045613.jpg

Caspian apparently looking super intimidating in his box ;) (this is literally how he was when Bastian's tail got puffed. Maybe he thought Caspian was hiding and stalking him when he's literally just living his best life chillin in his favorite box.)

PXL_20210919_200647645.jpg
PXL_20210919_200658771.jpg

Splenda and Bastian, Bastian giving her some space.

PXL_20210919_200322547.jpg

Orion is pretty much unbothered by the whole situation.
 

Attachments

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
4,052
Purraise
4,598
I totally get the concept of short micromanaged interactions, but I have two main issues with it: (1) as a practical matter, its really easy to have an accident, and the next thing you know the cats are fighting. So if they aren't ready, its too risky imho, all progress can be lost in a blink. And if they are ready then (2) is it actually effective to have such short interactions? I don't really know, but to me it always seems to be meaningful time at a step that moves the needle. So given that your saying they have had real fights and your not ready for unlimited face to face, I'd back up and use the gate for say two weeks, give or take, then let them do their thing.

I've tried short micromanaged interactions myself years ago. I hope you have better luck with it.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

kakers

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
42
Purraise
21
I totally get the concept of short micromanaged interactions, but I have two main issues with it: (1) as a practical matter, its really easy to have an accident, and the next thing you know the cats are fighting. So if they aren't ready, its too risky imho, all progress can be lost in a blink. And if they are ready then (2) is it actually effective to have such short interactions? I don't really know, but to me it always seems to be meaningful time at a step that moves the needle. So given that your saying they have had real fights and your not ready for unlimited face to face, I'd back up and use the gate for say two weeks, give or take, then let them do their thing.

I've tried short micromanaged interactions myself years ago. I hope you have better luck with it.
I'm not convinced there's a "ready" or "not ready" like there's just some switch whereby they will be OK the majority of the time together. Like today so far they have done great, and everything was good and calm. But we also chose a time when Bastian was super calm and less likely to antagonize the other cats trying to be playful. If we just had them out, first of all we're going to have to hover over him because with three other cats the chances he'll interact with one of them is always around the next corner. As much as interacting through the gate is beneficial, in no way can interacting through a gate ever get them completely ready to be together without a barrier. Cats are smart, they know when there's a safety net and when there's not.

It doesn't make any sense to me to jump straight from the gate to unlimited face to face, and doesn't seem to be recommended by most cat behaviorists from what I've seen. Pairing is important and the short supervised visits help with this, and also shaping behavior doesn't often work the best when steps are skipped. You don't just learn to swim and get throw in the deep end without a ladder for hours on end, you get comfortable in the shallow end and have a ladder/stairs to get out if you need a break, and if you're still learning your abilities sometimes you need someone else to say "you're getting tired, it's time to get out."

I also think there's a difference between supervising and micromanaging. This is a balance I'm working out. I think the key is you do the supervised visits *and end them before it can go bad.* Yes, sometimes it may go bad anyways but that's why it's important to learn the cats cues and body language and also end the visits before they start showing behaviors of concern. They learn that they are able to trust each other, even if the next few minutes could have led to a disaster. And each time things go fine trust is built, both between the cats and our trust in each cats ability to get along.
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
4,052
Purraise
4,598
Well yes, I agree that one starts when one can supervise. Face to face is always more stressful than what comes before, so you can't know exactly how they will react. By micromanaging, I mean more like when a couple has one person holding each cat, or tries food or play to keep them separate. That sort of thing I personally dont think works too well, and its not a step in any guides I've seen.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15

kakers

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
42
Purraise
21
Well yes, I agree that one starts when one can supervise. Face to face is always more stressful than what comes before, so you can't know exactly how they will react. By micromanaging, I mean more like when a couple has one person holding each cat, or tries food or play to keep them separate. That sort of thing I personally dont think works too well, and its not a step in any guides I've seen.
As yes, we don't really micromanage much. We really only step in to keep them separate if it looks like there's going to be an issue, but we mostly follow their lead as far as what they want to do.


Unfortunately this evening didn't go as well as earlier in the day. We let Bastian out with the others again and initially it went well, though Bastian was a little nervous and jumpy. Orion hissed at him and Bastian looked like he may swat at him but he just walked away. Caspian mostly just followed him around until he realized he was more interested in looking out the windows than anything else. But after Bastian jumped down from the windows is when it got iffy. Caspian started following him again but was more antagonistic. I really should have put Bastian away at that point but he ran up the stairs and I blocked Caspian from following him at first. Bastian did fine upstairs with Splenda, and then Caspian came up and he was fine initially. But then Bastian approached Caspian by the new litterbox in the bathroom and it turned into a fight. Not sure how much of it was over the new litterbox or Caspian feeling trapped with Bastian between him and the door but it turned into a tumble, loud and fur and everything (no blood though!) This time I don't necessarily think it was Bastian playing and Caspian not wanting to. We ended up getting them separated safely and put Bastian in his room with the door closed so they could cool off.

On the plus side, before dinner we were able to open the door so they could interact between the gate again and they were fine. Caspian sat outside his room for a while actually, and I didn't notice any negative interactions that way. Probably just watching him to make sure he stays in his place. No issues eating on either side of the gate at dinner time either.

So yeah not happy with the fight, but nobody is acting scared of the other for now so that's good. We'll just go back to gate interactions only for the time being but I don't think they'll need too much time that way before we can try face to face again.
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
4,052
Purraise
4,598
So yeah not happy with the fight, but nobody is acting scared of the other for now so that's good. We'll just go back to gate interactions only for the time being but I don't think they'll need too much time that way before we can try face to face again.
Its generally agreed by most frequent posters that genuine fights with rolling around (and it sounds like this is what you had) can be very destructive of progress. One other frequent poster likes to say "no blood no problem" which while an overstatement, does concur with the view of many that cats can make progress despite considerable tensions, even a swat or two, as long as its short of an actual fight. So while its certainly very good that no one one seems be holding a grudge this time, I wouldnt hestitate to keep the gate up until your not seeing any signs of stress even if thats a couple of weeks. Next time there is a fight, if some actual pain is caused, you could easily be much less lucky and could have progress erased.

You don't necessarily need to have them eat or play on either side of the gate. I know thats recommended in Jackson Galaxy's guide, but that actually causes a lot of folks and their cats a lot of stress. Just leave the gates up and let the cats see that nothing bad happens. (I'd feel differently if you have a large home and one or both cats avoid the gate. Then there is no choice but to try these strategies of luring to the gate.) If you do want to do gate feedings, start the food bowls as far back as you need to so that there is no problem eating and gradually move them closer. Probably the most common problem we see with the JG strategy is people that don't realize you can do that, and the stress level is too high to permit the feeding to work at the distance they are trying.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

kakers

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
42
Purraise
21
Its generally agreed by most frequent posters that genuine fights with rolling around (and it sounds like this is what you had) can be very destructive of progress. One other frequent poster likes to say "no blood no problem" which while an overstatement, does concur with the view of many that cats can make progress despite considerable tensions, even a swat or two, as long as its short of an actual fight. So while its certainly very good that no one one seems be holding a grudge this time, I wouldnt hestitate to keep the gate up until your not seeing any signs of stress even if thats a couple of weeks. Next time there is a fight, if some actual pain is caused, you could easily be much less lucky and could have progress erased.

You don't necessarily need to have them eat or play on either side of the gate. I know thats recommended in Jackson Galaxy's guide, but that actually causes a lot of folks and their cats a lot of stress. Just leave the gates up and let the cats see that nothing bad happens. (I'd feel differently if you have a large home and one or both cats avoid the gate. Then there is no choice but to try these strategies of luring to the gate.) If you do want to do gate feedings, start the food bowls as far back as you need to so that there is no problem eating and gradually move them closer. Probably the most common problem we see with the JG strategy is people that don't realize you can do that, and the stress level is too high to permit the feeding to work at the distance they are trying.
We will see how they act with each other across the gate and go from there. I do think that feeding them near each other is a good thing to continue, as it doesn't appear to be stressing them out and from a behavioral perspective it counts as pairing and pairing is critical to building pleasant relationships. I don't necessarily play on either side of the gate.

I may start some clicker training to better reinforce the good behaviors while they are around each other. Especially Caspian and Bastian I think would both do well with it, it just may be hard to start with Bastian with him not being able to have treats. Will have to try with his kibble and probiotics. Caspian will be easy cause he's very motivated by both treats AND pets. They both already give high fives for treats and Caspian for pets.

Come to think of it, Bastian is extremely smart I may be able to teach him to push a button or bell to ask me to play so he doesn't keep biting me for it. I've been trying to think of a replacement behavior for that and it just could work.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
3,901
Purraise
2,274
As yes, we don't really micromanage much. We really only step in to keep them separate if it looks like there's going to be an issue, but we mostly follow their lead as far as what they want to do.


Unfortunately this evening didn't go as well as earlier in the day. We let Bastian out with the others again and initially it went well, though Bastian was a little nervous and jumpy. Orion hissed at him and Bastian looked like he may swat at him but he just walked away. Caspian mostly just followed him around until he realized he was more interested in looking out the windows than anything else. But after Bastian jumped down from the windows is when it got iffy. Caspian started following him again but was more antagonistic. I really should have put Bastian away at that point but he ran up the stairs and I blocked Caspian from following him at first. Bastian did fine upstairs with Splenda, and then Caspian came up and he was fine initially. But then Bastian approached Caspian by the new litterbox in the bathroom and it turned into a fight. Not sure how much of it was over the new litterbox or Caspian feeling trapped with Bastian between him and the door but it turned into a tumble, loud and fur and everything (no blood though!) This time I don't necessarily think it was Bastian playing and Caspian not wanting to. We ended up getting them separated safely and put Bastian in his room with the door closed so they could cool off.

On the plus side, before dinner we were able to open the door so they could interact between the gate again and they were fine. Caspian sat outside his room for a while actually, and I didn't notice any negative interactions that way. Probably just watching him to make sure he stays in his place. No issues eating on either side of the gate at dinner time either.

So yeah not happy with the fight, but nobody is acting scared of the other for now so that's good. We'll just go back to gate interactions only for the time being but I don't think they'll need too much time that way before we can try face to face again.
"As yes, we don't really micromanage much. We really only step in to keep them separate if it looks like there's going to be an issue, but we mostly follow their lead as far as what they want to do." - That is really good in my opinion.

"Unfortunately this evening didn't go as well as earlier in the day." - Ok, let's see. There are always ups and downs.

"We let Bastian out with the others again and initially it went well, though Bastian was a little nervous and jumpy." - ok

" Orion hissed at him and Bastian looked like he may swat at him but he just walked away." - So far so good.

" Caspian mostly just followed him around until he realized he was more interested in looking out the windows than anything else." - So far so good

" But after Bastian jumped down from the windows is when it got iffy." - Yes, that faster movement can cause issues.

" Caspian started following him again but was more antagonistic." - Was Bastian kinda acting like prey a bit?

" I really should have put Bastian away at that point but he ran up the stairs and I blocked Caspian from following him at first." - Ok. When he ran it probably triggered the hinting instinct of Caspian.

" Bastian did fine upstairs with Splenda," - Very good

" and then Caspian came up and he was fine initially." - Ok, for how long?

" But then Bastian approached Caspian by the new litterbox in the bathroom and it turned into a fight." - Yes. The tension was still there and it just turned into something. How much of a fight was it? Hair flying? Blood? How did they act after? How long did each take to return back to "normal"?

" Not sure how much of it was over the new litterbox or Caspian feeling trapped with Bastian between him and the door" - Probably feeling trapped. That is usually the issue.

" but it turned into a tumble, loud and fur and everything (no blood though!) " - OK, good no blood. How fast did it take for them to return to normal?

"This time I don't necessarily think it was Bastian playing and Caspian not wanting to." - Agreed. They don't have full trust yet so no escape route can cause serious issues.

"We ended up getting them separated safely and put Bastian in his room with the door closed so they could cool off." - Ok

"On the plus side, before dinner we were able to open the door so they could interact between the gate again and they were fine." - :yess: THAT is the key. How fast they take to rebound (in general) let alone seeing each other. THAT tells me that is was an unfortunate situation rather than something really serious.

"Caspian sat outside his room for a while actually, and I didn't notice any negative interactions that way. Probably just watching him to make sure he stays in his place. No issues eating on either side of the gate at dinner time either." - Great.

"So yeah not happy with the fight, but nobody is acting scared of the other for now so that's good." - Agreed not happy about the fight BUT it tells me a lot. It was an unfortunate situation rather than some serious issue. We just need to make sure there are no "dead ends" in the future. This is where a little interaction I think is good to avoid those situations and diffuse a potentially difficult situation.

"We'll just go back to gate interactions only for the time being but I don't think they'll need too much time that way before we can try face to face again." - Agreed. Focus on positive associations and positive encounters.

Now to the older post pre-dustup.

"They've all been to the vet and there's no issues there." - Great, I figured it was behavioral.

" It started right when we moved in to the new house and all 4 cats (before our oldest got out :( ) were confined to the master bedroom/bathroom to start getting settled in. There was only one litterbox for them at that point and with it being a new space it makes sense in that context to be territorial/confidence gaining." - Yes. That will cause it.

" And since we haven't used an enzymatic cleaner yet, it just keeps happening. Annoying, and we should get some cleaner but in the meantime it's a minor inconvenience more than anything." - Yes, cleaning it properly and having more litter boxes combinder with more territorial ownership and confidence will solve the problem.

"Toys typically do not work nor words. I call him our ADHD cat because he is so hyper but also hyperfocuses on whatever has his attention, whether it's one of the other cats or whatever we can't even figure out he's so interested in outside the window." - Ok, just do your best to redirect, etc.

"Yes I definitely agree it's play driven. I'm optimistic it will get better. " - Agreed and it will get better.

"And constantly considering new toys etc that may keep him busy if I don't always have the time to play with him so often." - Yes and he will have the other cats as well.

"Yes overall they're doing OK." - I think they are doing amazingly well. Even after the fight I am impressed with how things are going. You are doing a great job.

"I'm sure 50% of the slowness is us not wanting anyone to get harmed in any way much more so than any of them being particularly stressed or nervous. They're our babies after all." - This is not slow at all in my opinion. Personally I would have taken it much slower and more systematically. But what you are doing is working and is a good lesson, whatever works is the right way to do it.

"I agree they need more opportunities to communicate with each other." - And you are doing that. You are doing great in my opinion.

" The gate being more secure so the door can be open had definitely helped a lot I feel." - Great, it seems like it.

" Both in them having more opportunities to interact safely as well as for us to learn how they will react to each other." - Exactly.

" Like when he pounces on the gate at one of them and they basically ignore it, he's learning they may not be interested in playing without them getting pounced and reacting with aggression in return. Or if they react with a little hiss and a swat, and he learns to leave them alone (and we learn he will, in fact, back up and give them their space.)" - Yes. The only issue is it can be a bit frustrating so it is definitely some art in managing those interactions. I personally tend to be more hands on in those situations but it all depends on what works for each situation.

"Yeah he's just being him. He tries to escape out of the doors at the vets office, one of their rooms has a window in the door and I swear he would try and look through it to try and plot his escape. My husband and his vet and I all believe he is smart enough to figure out doors with push down handles. Super intelligent and overall extremely confident and social cat." - He probably is smart enough to figure out those doors. He seems like a great cat.

"To be honest we didn't really try to distract him. It didn't last very long and whatever it was they worked it out. I'm sure he could have been pretty easily distracted." - Ok. I am glad to hear they are learning how to do their part as well.


"So far today is going excellent! Play time was fine before breakfast (he's always a bit more chill in the mornings but he was till happy to play for a few minutes) and no issues at breakfast." - Great

" He also played a very little bit with my husband after breakfast though not much. " - OK usually they will play before a meal as it replicates the Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat, Groom, sleep way of life in the wild.

"He was pretty chill as were the other cats so I decided it was a good opportunity to see how it would go letting him out of his room with the other cats." - Perfect

" At first he just stayed in his tree staring at the open door. " - Totally fine

"Caspian went in his room a little then left and he followed Caspian out." - Ok, how was their body language?

" Caspian and Orion were both outside the door watching him come out and followed him into the other room with no issues. " - Great again watch the body language and feel free to reassure them at this point.

"Caspian followed him around downstairs for a while still with no issues until finally I guess he got bored and settled into his favorite box." - PERFECT!!! EXACTLY what we want to see.

" Bastain was looking like he was going to go up the stairs and just stopped and looked at something, which I suspected was Splenda and I was right." - Ok, how was his body language?

" He ended up going back into his room (which is basically across from the stairs) and Splenda came down." - GREAT!!!

"He came back out and approached Splenda in another room and she was acting nervous, little hissing and nearly cornering herself but Bastian was good and let her be." - Ok, tells us Splenda needs some more work but GREAT that Bastian was good. That is extremely helpful in letting Splenda know he doesn't mean harm.

" I did block him from seeing her darting away so his instinct to chase her wouldn't kick in and it worked fine." - GREAT job!!!

" She didn't go far and he didn't approach her again at that point." - Perfect. That is a trust building encounter.

" She ended up going back upstairs and afterwards so did he, and he was very cautious going up the stairs (they turn a couple times. When he's the only cat out he often sprints up them but this time he approached each turn slowly, I think he was making sure Splenda wasn't there.)" - Totally fine and positive.

"He did approach her upstairs and she hissed and curled up but he left her alone." - Perfect. Another trust building moment.

" We're definitely most nervous with Splenda because she's very small and also has basically no teeth." - Agreed BUT I am not seeing anything to suggest he is a mean cat and wanting to eliminate any cat.

" So I was very happy that he seemed uninterested in pushing her buttons." - AGREED!!!

" When he came back downstairs he was fine with Orion but caught a glimpse of Caspian who was still in his box and his tail puffed and he started slinking towards Caspian." - Play or hunting?

" We were able to distract him for brief moments and I did block him line of sight for a bit, ultimately he calmed down and went the other way and then went back into his room and we closed the door and he's just been relaxing in there." - Perfect. IF at all possible I would try to leave his door open at that point. We don't want him feeling like territory is being "taken away". I am so proud of how be behaved!!

"So very good!" - ABSOLUTELY!! And reinforces my view that the fight was an unfortunate situation rather than something serious.

" He definitely looked like he was trying to be respectful of the other cats and seemed cautious though not (other than that one short incident) scared or overly intimidated. Very happy with it :) " - Agreed

"hopefully that means soon we'll be able to have more time with them all together though he was already calm so all bets are off when it's play time so we'll just have to take that as it goes. " - Totally agree

Overall, I say things are going very well. Bastian is showing he wants to be part of the family. The residents are accepting him really well. Sure there is work that needs to be done but the progress is amazing. AND you are doing a great job. There are a lot of paths you can choose and most will work but your instincts are really good and I know you will do a great job getting them successfully intro'd!!

Keep up the great work!!!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

kakers

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
42
Purraise
21
" Caspian started following him again but was more antagonistic." - Was Bastian kinda acting like prey a bit?
Not from what I noticed. Though maybe in some subtle way?

" I really should have put Bastian away at that point but he ran up the stairs and I blocked Caspian from following him at first." - Ok. When he ran it probably triggered the hinting instinct of Caspian.
It's possible!

" and then Caspian came up and he was fine initially." - Ok, for how long?
For a couple minutes. Bastian was in the litterbox in the master bathroom and Caspian watched him from the master bedroom. Then Caspian went to the other litterbox in the other bathroom and Bastian ended up going there once he was done with the litterbox.

" But then Bastian approached Caspian by the new litterbox in the bathroom and it turned into a fight." - Yes. The tension was still there and it just turned into something. How much of a fight was it? Hair flying? Blood? How did they act after? How long did each take to return back to "normal"?
Thankfully no blood! It didn't take too long for them to go back to normal. Maybe 15-20 minutes for Caspian and hard to say with Bastian since he was in the closed room. I gave Caspian some head pets with some soothing words and my husband stayed with Bastian for a couple minutes with soothing words. Bastian was calm enough once we got them separated that my husband was able to carry him without a problem which also was good.

"I'm sure 50% of the slowness is us not wanting anyone to get harmed in any way much more so than any of them being particularly stressed or nervous. They're our babies after all." - This is not slow at all in my opinion. Personally I would have taken it much slower and more systematically. But what you are doing is working and is a good lesson, whatever works is the right way to do it.
it's slow for our resident cats. There's only been one other cat so far they haven't gotten along with practically right away. There was a community cat that hung out on our lanai many years ago, super friendly would stare in the sliding glass doors, and Caspian just did NOT like him. Would growl and paw at him through the glass most times he was there for probably more than a year. Thankfully this is much better than that! But most cats they have just done a little of the small hissing and growling and are just fine.

" He also played a very little bit with my husband after breakfast though not much. " - OK usually they will play before a meal as it replicates the Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat, Groom, sleep way of life in the wild.
Oh yeah we tried before breakfast. Most of the time I try playing with Bastian before every meal, often the other cats too though they aren't too often into it. Bastian and Orion both get spurts of energy AFTER dinner, too. Sometimes if Bastian has had a TON of energy I will give him another snack after his post-dinner play. And Bastian will do the biting thing when he wants to play after a meal, too. I basically attempt to play with him any time I go in his room and he isn't laying lazily about. He's not always interested but it helps to prevent the biting.

" Caspian and Orion were both outside the door watching him come out and followed him into the other room with no issues. " - Great again watch the body language and feel free to reassure them at this point.
Definitely. Body language was ok. And there was definitely two humans giving them soothing "good boys!"

" Bastain was looking like he was going to go up the stairs and just stopped and looked at something, which I suspected was Splenda and I was right." - Ok, how was his body language?
alert but not overtly aggressive or defensive.

" When he came back downstairs he was fine with Orion but caught a glimpse of Caspian who was still in his box and his tail puffed and he started slinking towards Caspian." - Play or hunting?
Definitely not play. Maybe hunting but with the puffed tail I think he was nervous.

" We were able to distract him for brief moments and I did block him line of sight for a bit, ultimately he calmed down and went the other way and then went back into his room and we closed the door and he's just been relaxing in there." - Perfect. IF at all possible I would try to leave his door open at that point. We don't want him feeling like territory is being "taken away". I am so proud of how be behaved!!
So to clarify the door we closed wasn't the one with the gate. His room has a double door on it, one side has the gate the other we're able to open and close if we want the cats to have access (and if we go through is basically an obstacle course through the tension rods LOL)

Overall, I say things are going very well. Bastian is showing he wants to be part of the family. The residents are accepting him really well. Sure there is work that needs to be done but the progress is amazing. AND you are doing a great job. There are a lot of paths you can choose and most will work but your instincts are really good and I know you will do a great job getting them successfully intro'd!!

Keep up the great work!!!
Thanks!!!

Today was OK. Meals were just fine as usual. Kept the door with the gate open basically all day though it was a little shorter cause they got a bit of a late breakfast. My husband got home from work early again but I made sure Bastian got his play time with me and wasn't just cuddling all afternoon. He did once charge at my leg, no teeth or claws though. But no biting me. Just my husband and half of that was love bites.

Between meals there was a little grumbling across the gate. Bastian got his out in the house time and half the grumbling was then more because the other cats wanted out and he was there to take their annoyance out on. Splenda swatted at him a little but they were fine.

I did notice Bastian was less comfortable out in the house today. Normally when I shake the tunnel in his room he gets all riled up in a confident playful way and pounces the tunnel. When I did it in the family room today he startled, both times cause I tried it again after he had seen it was the tunnel making the sound. He also startled when I tried to play with him with a itty bitty mouse toy. So will definitely keep an eye on that! Definitely will need his confidence in the house to be up again.

No real improvement for his poor tummy yet either but it's only been 4 days now he's been switched entirely to the specialized diet and it can take a few weeks to really see the difference so I'm trying to be patient.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
3,901
Purraise
2,274
Not from what I noticed. Though maybe in some subtle way?


It's possible!


For a couple minutes. Bastian was in the litterbox in the master bathroom and Caspian watched him from the master bedroom. Then Caspian went to the other litterbox in the other bathroom and Bastian ended up going there once he was done with the litterbox.


Thankfully no blood! It didn't take too long for them to go back to normal. Maybe 15-20 minutes for Caspian and hard to say with Bastian since he was in the closed room. I gave Caspian some head pets with some soothing words and my husband stayed with Bastian for a couple minutes with soothing words. Bastian was calm enough once we got them separated that my husband was able to carry him without a problem which also was good.


it's slow for our resident cats. There's only been one other cat so far they haven't gotten along with practically right away. There was a community cat that hung out on our lanai many years ago, super friendly would stare in the sliding glass doors, and Caspian just did NOT like him. Would growl and paw at him through the glass most times he was there for probably more than a year. Thankfully this is much better than that! But most cats they have just done a little of the small hissing and growling and are just fine.


Oh yeah we tried before breakfast. Most of the time I try playing with Bastian before every meal, often the other cats too though they aren't too often into it. Bastian and Orion both get spurts of energy AFTER dinner, too. Sometimes if Bastian has had a TON of energy I will give him another snack after his post-dinner play. And Bastian will do the biting thing when he wants to play after a meal, too. I basically attempt to play with him any time I go in his room and he isn't laying lazily about. He's not always interested but it helps to prevent the biting.


Definitely. Body language was ok. And there was definitely two humans giving them soothing "good boys!"


alert but not overtly aggressive or defensive.


Definitely not play. Maybe hunting but with the puffed tail I think he was nervous.


So to clarify the door we closed wasn't the one with the gate. His room has a double door on it, one side has the gate the other we're able to open and close if we want the cats to have access (and if we go through is basically an obstacle course through the tension rods LOL)



Thanks!!!

Today was OK. Meals were just fine as usual. Kept the door with the gate open basically all day though it was a little shorter cause they got a bit of a late breakfast. My husband got home from work early again but I made sure Bastian got his play time with me and wasn't just cuddling all afternoon. He did once charge at my leg, no teeth or claws though. But no biting me. Just my husband and half of that was love bites.

Between meals there was a little grumbling across the gate. Bastian got his out in the house time and half the grumbling was then more because the other cats wanted out and he was there to take their annoyance out on. Splenda swatted at him a little but they were fine.

I did notice Bastian was less comfortable out in the house today. Normally when I shake the tunnel in his room he gets all riled up in a confident playful way and pounces the tunnel. When I did it in the family room today he startled, both times cause I tried it again after he had seen it was the tunnel making the sound. He also startled when I tried to play with him with a itty bitty mouse toy. So will definitely keep an eye on that! Definitely will need his confidence in the house to be up again.

No real improvement for his poor tummy yet either but it's only been 4 days now he's been switched entirely to the specialized diet and it can take a few weeks to really see the difference so I'm trying to be patient.
"Not from what I noticed. Though maybe in some subtle way?" - Ok, Maybe, cats are very sensitive to small changes.

"It's possible!" - Yes

"For a couple minutes. Bastian was in the litterbox in the master bathroom and Caspian watched him from the master bedroom. Then Caspian went to the other litterbox in the other bathroom and Bastian ended up going there once he was done with the litterbox." - Ok. How was Bastian's body language when he went towards Caspian in the litter box?

"Thankfully no blood!" - Very good

" It didn't take too long for them to go back to normal. Maybe 15-20 minutes for Caspian and hard to say with Bastian since he was in the closed room." - And this is the key. A fast rebound so that tells me that they didn't think it was that meaningful. THAT is what is important. How they think about it.

" I gave Caspian some head pets with some soothing words and my husband stayed with Bastian for a couple minutes with soothing words. Bastian was calm enough once we got them separated that my husband was able to carry him without a problem which also was good." - Great job with them. I am not worried about that "fight".

"it's slow for our resident cats. There's only been one other cat so far they haven't gotten along with practically right away." - Ok. But for cats in general they are way ahead.

"There was a community cat that hung out on our lanai many years ago, super friendly would stare in the sliding glass doors, and Caspian just did NOT like him. Would growl and paw at him through the glass most times he was there for probably more than a year." - Yes, that happens sometimes for some reasons.

" Thankfully this is much better than that! " - AGREED!!!

"But most cats they have just done a little of the small hissing and growling and are just fine." - Great. They are doing amazingly well.

"Oh yeah we tried before breakfast. Most of the time I try playing with Bastian before every meal, " - Great

"often the other cats too though they aren't too often into it. " - That is fine.

"Bastian and Orion both get spurts of energy AFTER dinner, too. Sometimes if Bastian has had a TON of energy I will give him another snack after his post-dinner play. " - Ok and great to do that.

"And Bastian will do the biting thing when he wants to play after a meal, too." - Yes :/

" I basically attempt to play with him any time I go in his room and he isn't laying lazily about. He's not always interested but it helps to prevent the biting." - Great and yes, it should help him direct his biting towards a toy instead.

"Definitely. Body language was ok. And there was definitely two humans giving them soothing "good boys!"" - Great work!!

"alert but not overtly aggressive or defensive." - Great.

So far everything is really good.

"Definitely not play. Maybe hunting but with the puffed tail I think he was nervous." - Ok. Yes, unsettled, cautious.

"So to clarify the door we closed wasn't the one with the gate. His room has a double door on it, one side has the gate the other we're able to open and close if we want the cats to have access (and if we go through is basically an obstacle course through the tension rods LOL)" - Great. You are definitely doing all the right things. :)

"Today was OK." - Ok, let's see.

" Meals were just fine as usual." - Great

" Kept the door with the gate open basically all day though it was a little shorter cause they got a bit of a late breakfast." - Great and that is fine

" My husband got home from work early again but I made sure Bastian got his play time with me and wasn't just cuddling all afternoon. " - Great

"He did once charge at my leg, no teeth or claws though." - Ok BUT he knew not to use claws or teeth!!!

" But no biting me." - GREAT!!!

" Just my husband and half of that was love bites." - Hmmmm, ok. But the other half? Was he overstimulated or was it just pent up energy etc? No breaking of the skin I assume, correct?

"Between meals there was a little grumbling across the gate. " - ok

"Bastian got his out in the house time and half the grumbling was then more because the other cats wanted out and he was there to take their annoyance out on. Splenda swatted at him a little but they were fine." - Awwwww, ok. So more because of the situation rather than him. That makes sense.

"I did notice Bastian was less comfortable out in the house today." - OK, maybe because of the puffy tail incident.

" Normally when I shake the tunnel in his room he gets all riled up in a confident playful way and pounces the tunnel. When I did it in the family room today he startled, both times cause I tried it again after he had seen it was the tunnel making the sound. " - Ok, jsu tells us ew have more work to do to build his trust and confidence. Not a big deal.

"He also startled when I tried to play with him with a itty bitty mouse toy. So will definitely keep an eye on that! Definitely will need his confidence in the house to be up again." - Yes but I wouldn't worry, he will be fine.

"No real improvement for his poor tummy yet either but it's only been 4 days now he's been switched entirely to the specialized diet and it can take a few weeks to really see the difference so I'm trying to be patient. " - Poor guy. Was he checked for parasites, etc? Yes, it can take a little while. :/

Well, overall I think all is going well. Keep up the great work!!
 
Top