Behavior issue with cats

Alldara

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A single hiss at a gate won't set the whole circumstance up for failure if you want to start with sight now.

Actually. It might even be good! Hear a hiss, realize nothings going to happen and everyone moves along.

Calcifer knows the worst that happens with a hiss is that another cat swipes at you, and he is way confident. One might even say too confident with other cats considering Nobel will be like, "Hiss!" Aka 'dont so that!' and then Calcifer will just back himself up on him to sit on him in punishment. (Yes we stop this, Nobel is old but the old guy instigates it too!) The two are weird when they play. But it really comes from Calcifer learning that a hiss isn't the end of the world.

If your vet was right, my rapid 2-4 day reintroducions would have never worked. My first one was after Nobel sent me to the hospital when I pulled him off our late cat Lily.
 
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Notenchnana

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i just wanted to say thanks for the support and encouragement, this weekend I’m off and I’m going to end things a day or two early and start introducing visuals.

so far I’ve had nothing to indicate that things are going badly, not a single hiss or growl at the sanctuary room, in fact these past few nights it seems when one starts crying the other comes to the door to sit there and eager to get in the room.

once again, I appreciate all of your patience and support. Soon we shall see how they do and I can spend all weekend feeding treats and getting them to enjoy together!
 

Alldara

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You've got this! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

When you can predict any stress in the future, you can always do a brief 20 min to 60 min separation as prevention. I always do this for Nobel when I bring someone home from the vet. He just has a meal and a nap alone and then he comes out.

We can't always predict stress, but we do the best we can.
 
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Notenchnana

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So, I guess I decided to go earlier. Opened the door and let them see each other behind pet gates.

no hissing, no growling, no stare downs.
They were playing footsies through the gate for a second, which had me uneasy.
Noel backed away for a minute and hid behind the door.
Was giving them treats and nobody had an issue eating the treats pretty much face to face and focus was on treats not each other.

not sure how to categorize this one.
 
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Notenchnana

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So, I guess end of weekend update.
There isn’t any problems that I can see. They have full view each other, one even hopped the gate and ran downstairs and they saw each other with no growling hissing no signs of aggression.
They are now eating directly next to each other separated by the gate, and when one is done the other walks away, or grooms itself.

noel still distances himself afterwards but I’m starting to think that’s just him as I watch closely and nobody is instigating anything they’re not even looking at him.

they eat treats together normally, every time the cat has hopped the fence they don’t react to each other so I’m going to guess they don’t have an issue with each other.

it’s now also been 14 days since I’ve removed anything and everything foreignand throughly cleaned everything again one last time.

it’s only been two days and one night but seeing no problems and the 13 days prior not having any issues is good right?
 

Alldara

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Notenchnana Notenchnana That is VERY excellent! Likely they are happy to be back together in some way. If you're ready to move them forward, they're telling you that they are ready.

Have you site swapped? I'd would be good to check how the aggressor feels when smelling the cat's (victim's) scent over by the "scene of the crime". You could check, and if any tension is sensed, start rubbing a blanket or something on the victim and feeding the agresser in that area with the scented blanket.

I forget, do you have Feliway plugged in? I'd recommend playing some cat calming music (with purring if possible), while they have our time together and maybe just separation while you can't watch them.

I think some cats just like to observe other cats. Magnus likes to sit away a bit and watch. Sometimes he falls asleep purring while watching other cats. His foster even sent us videos of him doing this as a kitten.
 
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Notenchnana

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Notenchnana Notenchnana That is VERY excellent! Likely they are happy to be back together in some way. If you're ready to move them forward, they're telling you that they are ready.

Have you site swapped? I'd would be good to check how the aggressor feels when smelling the cat's (victim's) scent over by the "scene of the crime". You could check, and if any tension is sensed, start rubbing a blanket or something on the victim and feeding the agresser in that area with the scented blanket.

I forget, do you have Feliway plugged in? I'd recommend playing some cat calming music (with purring if possible), while they have our time together and maybe just separation while you can't watch them.

I think some cats just like to observe other cats. Magnus likes to sit away a bit and watch. Sometimes he falls asleep purring while watching other cats. His foster even sent us videos of him doing this as a kitten.
Yeah I site swap every single day for two weeks, I’ve basically been doing that since day one.
Last night was TERRIBLE.
Just TERRIBLE.
Noel for about two weeks has been PERFECTLY FINE, eating, playing and then going into the room for the night.

last night was 4 hours or crying non-stop until about 11pm when he either

A.) got tired.
B.) voice ran out
C.) went to sleep.

the others were not helping, always going to the door and starting to meow when he was meowing and then if he stopped they came to me and started meowing.
He wouldn’t even stop if I came in the room he’d just keep meowing like he wants out of the room.
Yes I have three feliaway diffusers, one in the sanctuary room, one in the living room, and one in the hallways stairwell.

the times they’ve gotten out together haven’t shown anything bad even if it was by accident
 

Alldara

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Notenchnana Notenchnana When we introduced Calcifer, we had a similar issue. It ended up "fast tracked".

I ended up figuring that it wasn't good for anyone to be that stressed by the separation.

In the past, when I've had issues with deffered agression (due to a neighbour letting their cat out unsupervised - neighbour has since moved), I have not extended re-introductions past one week. This includes the time that Nobel sent me to the hospital (I got in between him attacking Lily, our late cat).

Our minor spat last summer with a new "stranger cat" coming around was 48 hours. They're quite fine altogether.

Moral of the story: Introductions are for going at a cat's pace. That's different in each home and re-introductions are included in that. If your cats are signalling that you're going to slow, then just meet them there.

If anything gets tense, separate them at that point for a few hours.
 
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Notenchnana

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Well, I feel terrible and like I’m right back to square one.
I decided to let them have a short interaction session, and all seemed to be going well, they had treats together, touched noses, sniffed their butts, and then the hissing started…
The girl the sister is the instigator this time, which set the white one on the defensive.

before you know it, they’re both hanging up on him again, he tries to run away and they chase him. The girl runs under the bed oddly enough but the boy tries to get closer, causing The white one to growl and run for his cat tower.

he has not touched his cat tower in the 14 days since we started this isolation and site swapping. I’m beginning to realize the cat tower makes him feel safe so if he isn’t in the tower he’s fine but when he’s scared he runs for the tower.

this is right back to square one. I feel like these painful two weeks were for nothing.
 

Alldara

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Notenchnana Notenchnana Not back at square 1. Just a set back.

It does feel discouraging but, you reset the situation and it now is teaching the chaser that when they do that, the chase gets stopped and all get separated.

All cats are learning that 1. You don't tolerate that behaviour and 2. What to do instead - give one another space. That is excellent EXCELLENT for preventing future outbreaks of agression. (Though likely will need reinforced)

Next time, when you hear hissing, immediately make the other cat back off. You can use a treat or toy to distract them away from one another. They will learn hissing does not mean chase, hissing means back off!

Hissing isn't a true agression. It's just a "I don't like that!" Cats need a way to say that, and hissing is it. So they've all gotten along for so long that maybe, they never learned that hissing should mean they provide space to the hisser. They just need your help to learn it now.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. You and they are doing fine. If it happens again just use whatever high value item you have, treat? Toy? and distract. Cats are not going to fight to the death or even usually badly injure each other. Hissing isn’t aggressive, it’s defensive. There are subtle body language signs. One staring the other down.

My house: Cheetah, 14 y thin, cancer, shy ex feral cat. Omypaw, 3yr, fat, twice her size. Cheetah is on the couch next to me in her cat bed. We are having a philosophical discussion about cat rights and the issues with shipping mice to house cats. Omypaw jumps on me, flops down on my lap and says “Oh paw wanna play!!” I see the interaction, Cheetah sniffs him and starts to lick his head. Omypaw says”Best day ever!” And Cheetah decides he stinks and slaps him upside the head. He is stunned, she runs and he follows and I grab the toy and get him back over to me. Every now and then I see him trying to stalk her when she goes from one room to the other. I distract. Sometimes I’m not fast enough and he chased her. She gets to higher ground like the back of the couch and hisses and swats. He sharpens his claws below her. It is fairly normal cat drama. Nobody gets hurt. I don’t like him chasing her but I am not stressing it.

You don’t have to go back to square one. Just get better at diverting them when something happens. Also play sessions with all 3 really will help.
 
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Notenchnana

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I took your advice and tried it again, they were fine with each other eating treats together. No hissing or growling while treat time. When I started preparing the dinner, the girl jumped the gate and started hissing at him. The boy then jumped the gate and started to approach him which triggered a growl.

I used a toy to distract them, allowing him to move and me to get them to the gate where I picked them up and placed them outside the room to begin eating and let him eat his food in peace closing the door and leaving him in his room for the night.

now I’m just hoping he doesn’t meow all night again, though I think he’s sufficiently scared and out off from wanting to go out but I could be wrong.

I’m really tired, and this has brought back all that emotion inside of me. I just want my family back. The toll on my mental health is immense and it’s getting so bad I really can’t leave home because I dedicate everything to making them work or being at work.
 

Alldara

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Notenchnana Notenchnana Good okay that's a good step. Nobel was like that with Magnus for awhile. You did a good job. You prevented the situation from worsening and you showed them the appropriate behaviour is separating and doing something else.

The single cat is in the room for the night? Can next night you change so that the group of two are in the room for the night and the single is out? Does that work in your home?

It really is hard to have your family have this kind of turmoil. It will pass. You will get through this. This difficulty isn't forever ❣
 
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Notenchnana

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Notenchnana Notenchnana Good okay that's a good step. Nobel was like that with Magnus for awhile. You did a good job. You prevented the situation from worsening and you showed them the appropriate behaviour is separating and doing something else.

The single cat is in the room for the night? Can next night you change so that the group of two are in the room for the night and the single is out? Does that work in your home?

It really is hard to have your family have this kind of turmoil. It will pass. You will get through this. This difficulty isn't forever ❣
The babies are super reliant on me when I’m home, they’re basically my shadows. I can switch them for the night but the rule of thumb is usually Noel(the white single one) gets the house from 6am to 6pm, and then the babies get 6:30pm to 6am.
Eating three times a day always together and treats only when together .
I can swap them for sure, I usually get Noel all morning when I don’t have to work until 11, so we cuddle In bed until then he sleeps in my arms sometimes.
 

Alldara

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Notenchnana Notenchnana thanks for the explaining 😊 I'm not sure if switching will help for your home, but if the crying starts up, it's worth a try!
 
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Notenchnana

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Notenchnana Notenchnana thanks for the explaining 😊 I'm not sure if switching will help for your home, but if the crying starts up, it's worth a try!
I’ll try it anyway, I’m doing the best I can. This whole thing has set me further back emotionally and mentally. I’m really afraid it won’t work and where there was hope now there is none.
I was really hoping to normalize everything but it seems as though the damage is done and the behavior is now there and I’m very very afraid I’m going to have to say goodbye to either one or two.

I don’t make enough money to get outside help,
I’m single, alone. Doing this alone is tricky as is but I also work for the hospital which is time and soul draining as is and I just don’t get what is the trigger.

behind gates they’re OK.
Swapping and laying places they’re OK
But when they get together, they’re ok for a little while before one starts hissing, triggering the scared prey behavior and then they both go down and tag team on him

when I was feeding them this morning, the girl hopped the gate and began eating out of the same bowl as him!
Like WHAT THE HELL, last night you’re hissing at him and stalking him and now you’ll eat out of the same bowl?
 

Alldara

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Notenchnana Notenchnana I know you feel so disheartened (I've literally been there!), but I promise what you're saying is good progress. I can't say that it guarantees it won't happen again or that they won't have moments of hissing and tension between now and your end goal...but I can say that it's progress.

Your job is already hard and draining and emotionally draining so of course you are struggling hard with your home life being disrupted too.

So eating together today was great. And you showed them last night you don't tolerate this stalking and chasing nonsense.

It would be so great if we could talk and they could say what's setting this all off. Instead, were left to wonder why sometimes things are fine and sometimes they aren't and try to find the pattern in it all when inter-cat communication is so subtle.
 
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