Brother reintoduction

BnB2

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Hi all,

Been browsing though this section for the last couple of days and figured I'd post my situation. I have two cats, brothers, both 13.5 years old. Bucket and Boltsy (yep). A few weeks ago Buck went in for his dental cleaning and had a tooth removed, and upon returning home his brother Boltsy has decided he no longer seems to recognize him, and also hates him. Violently hates him. I've read the article on non-recognition aggression and quite a bit on reintroducing. No idea this was such a thing! It's awful. My vet has not been the most helpful, but they gave me gabapentin in capsule form to sprinkle over Boltsy's food, though I don't really feel comfortable giving him that everyday since it seems the introductions are all about time.

I separated them with no visual contact, it's been two weeks at this point. Unfortunately I live in a studio apartment which mean one cat lives in the bathroom. I switch them out on the daily (Buck spends nights with me, Bolts gets the daytime). None of us find this very ideal, and I had been putting each in a carrier with a towel over it while I'd shower or clean the bathroom out. So no visual contact except for the minor mishap here and there. They scent swap just fine. Of course Buck is fine with his brother, sad maybe, but Boltsy handles his smell just fine on blankets/towels/etc as well. He just can't be too physically close to him.

Two days ago I started cracking the door for feeding time, twice a day. The door is attached with baby locks, which have held up pretty well for two rather determined kitties. Bolts will eat just fine, occasionally looking over at his brother eating, and then returns to food. He will sometimes also go to the door when Buck comes over and starts to cry/paw to get out, and then Bolts will sometimes give him some hisses/swats, but then just walks back to his food or over to his bed or me, etc. Aggressive, but not overly so? That seems.....almost ok? I believe if they were both in the same room it would be more than just a few hisses though.

I recently purchased a cat gate which I can put between the area to my kitchen/main room, and I think in the next day or so might try one cat in the kitchen area and the other with the main room so there is some more room to breathe, I feel like keeping one in the bathroom just increases the stress. Luckily Bolts isn't much of a jumper and I think I can make the area not very enticing for Buck to try for (it's also a little high for him). I plan to keep a towel over it so they don't yet have full visual access, but a little more than a door crack. I figure at night someone will have to go back into the bathroom though for safety. I work from home these days so I can supervise for drama.

Any suggestions, advice, jokes, anything are welcome. It's also been therapeutic to read other stories so I figured I'd throw mine in too. Attached are the boys back in normal times, Boltsy is on the left.

ps- Buck is very happy his tooth is gone, and did well during his follow up! He's been done with his cone for a week now and finished all his medications about 1.5 weeks ago. The stitches in his mouth are self dissolving, and if there are any traces still remaining I wonder if that is something affecting Bolts.
 

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Meowmee

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BnB2

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Beautiful boys 😻 It seems like you are on the right track... I have never heard of a cat door, can you post a pic of that? I hope they will get back to normal soon. When my kitties have had dvm visit issues returning home I just wiped them down to remove the smell and it seemed to work for the most part.

Here are some articles I found...


https://www.cuteness.com/13730317/why-is-my-cat-acting-aggressive-toward-my-other-cat-after-a-vet-visit
Learn How to Calm Your Cat After a Trip to the Vet
Thank you! Yes they are handsome, though one is a bit rude these days.

The cat gate is just like a baby gate marketed for pets, its this one: FRISCO Extra Tall Auto-Close Pet Gate, 41-in Height, Gray - Chewy.com

Oh yeah I've tried rubbing towels/blankets/socks they sleep on all over the other, I can't believe Bolts hasn't come around though :( That article mentions bathing them both but I figure after two weeks the smell should be back to normal by now? Also they've never been bathed before, sure they'd loveeeeeee that :lol:
 

Meowmee

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Thank you! Yes they are handsome, though one is a bit rude these days.

The cat gate is just like a baby gate marketed for pets, its this one: FRISCO Extra Tall Auto-Close Pet Gate, 41-in Height, Gray - Chewy.com

Oh yeah I've tried rubbing towels/blankets/socks they sleep on all over the other, I can't believe Bolts hasn't come around though :( That article mentions bathing them both but I figure after two weeks the smell should be back to normal by now? Also they've never been bathed before, sure they'd loveeeeeee that :lol:
Yep a bath might be too much. I hope he comes around soon, it is so upsetting to have kitties at odds.
 
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