Cat intro - have I messed up?

Raspberrufluff

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We brought our new, 2 yr old cat home last week. She’s a female. Our existing cat is about 7ish and also a female. Both cats are quite confident and friendly in nature.

We had read all the advice re keeping them separate, but on the second day the new cat slipped by us, found our existing cat under the bed and then chased her up the stairs. No physical damage was done – think the encounter only lasted a couple of minutes – but there was some yowling and existing cat’s fur went all puffy. We separated them quickly and they have been separated for a week

Existing cat went and hid under the bed for about half an hour after the incident, but then came out and sat with us and ate her food etc.

This was a week ago and I’m anxious that their first encounter was like that. I understand these things take time and am fully prepared for that, but I don’t want this negative encounter to ruin any chance of them at least tolerating each other. Would really appreciate some advice / guidance from you lovely people.

Positive behaviour I’ve noticed

Both cats are eating fine, using trays fine and coming for strokes / playing. Existing cat still sometimes goes under the bed for five or so minutes but then will come out again and carry on her day. The last couple of days she hasn’t hidden at all

Existing cat not hissing outside the door and can walk past it.

I did some scent swapping yday – rubbed a sock on the new cat and brought her blanket / scratch post down. Existing cat sniffed these on her own terms and didn’t react

New cat has been exploring shared areas of the house alone and existing cat doesn’t seem to have reacted. Also when she’s being stroked and hears the new cat meowing she still stays for strokes and doesn’t immediately leave to investigate

Things I’m a bit worried about

When I stroke the existing cat after I’ve stroked the new cat / actively present my hand to her, she hisses. This is a bit confusing as when she approaches things on her own she seems to be fine. I’d appreciate people’s thoughts on this.

When we pass her in the narrow corridor between our bedroom and the new cat’s bedroom, she hisses at us. Same on the stairs

Sometimes when she’s sitting near the door, her tail is swishing even though she’s not hissing. She’s never there for long.



Thanks in advance for your help, really appreciate it as am quite anxious about the situation
 

calicosrspecial

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We brought our new, 2 yr old cat home last week. She’s a female. Our existing cat is about 7ish and also a female. Both cats are quite confident and friendly in nature.

We had read all the advice re keeping them separate, but on the second day the new cat slipped by us, found our existing cat under the bed and then chased her up the stairs. No physical damage was done – think the encounter only lasted a couple of minutes – but there was some yowling and existing cat’s fur went all puffy. We separated them quickly and they have been separated for a week

Existing cat went and hid under the bed for about half an hour after the incident, but then came out and sat with us and ate her food etc.

This was a week ago and I’m anxious that their first encounter was like that. I understand these things take time and am fully prepared for that, but I don’t want this negative encounter to ruin any chance of them at least tolerating each other. Would really appreciate some advice / guidance from you lovely people.

Positive behaviour I’ve noticed

Both cats are eating fine, using trays fine and coming for strokes / playing. Existing cat still sometimes goes under the bed for five or so minutes but then will come out again and carry on her day. The last couple of days she hasn’t hidden at all

Existing cat not hissing outside the door and can walk past it.

I did some scent swapping yday – rubbed a sock on the new cat and brought her blanket / scratch post down. Existing cat sniffed these on her own terms and didn’t react

New cat has been exploring shared areas of the house alone and existing cat doesn’t seem to have reacted. Also when she’s being stroked and hears the new cat meowing she still stays for strokes and doesn’t immediately leave to investigate

Things I’m a bit worried about

When I stroke the existing cat after I’ve stroked the new cat / actively present my hand to her, she hisses. This is a bit confusing as when she approaches things on her own she seems to be fine. I’d appreciate people’s thoughts on this.

When we pass her in the narrow corridor between our bedroom and the new cat’s bedroom, she hisses at us. Same on the stairs

Sometimes when she’s sitting near the door, her tail is swishing even though she’s not hissing. She’s never there for long.



Thanks in advance for your help, really appreciate it as am quite anxious about the situation
I don't think you have anything to worry about. Everything sounds normal. It sounds like the "incident" wasn't that big a deal. Just keep doing the intro process, focus on the basics of making Positive Associations (using food and scent to begin) and try to make every encounter (for now scent only) as positive as possible.

"Things I’m a bit worried about

When I stroke the existing cat after I’ve stroked the new cat / actively present my hand to her, she hisses. This is a bit confusing as when she approaches things on her own she seems to be fine. I’d appreciate people’s thoughts on this." - Not an issue. That happens. Eventually she will associate you (positive) with the new cat's scent and realize the new cat's scent is not a threat.

"When we pass her in the narrow corridor between our bedroom and the new cat’s bedroom, she hisses at us. Same on the stairs" - That happens. Just act like it is nothing. I am like "whatever". The more "cool" you are the more the cat will be. They will realize it is nothing to worry about.

"Sometimes when she’s sitting near the door, her tail is swishing even though she’s not hissing. She’s never there for long. " - Yes, jsut tells us she is on alert which is normal. She is trying to figure out what is up with this new cat. Just feel free to reassure her in a calm, confident loving voice and act like all is well.

All those worries are not that worrying. I am not at all bothered by any of those. VERY common.

It is really all about letting the resident cat is not a physical threat or a threat to their food, water, litter box, territory, attention, love, etc. Try to keep them on a routine, try to keep the resident cat's life as much as pre the new cat as possible. Act like everything is fine.

But so far, it sounds really good, a normal intro process. Keep following the process and feel free to ask anything anytime. I am happy to try to help.

Thank you so much for saving another life!!!
 

di and bob

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Things will work out, it may be a while, but they will. Everything you describe is perfectly normal. If they haven't seen each other, now is the time so they will become used to the sight of each other and the other's movements. Either put a stacked gate at the door or get a large dog kennel and put first one in it and then the other each day. Make sure you have a covered carrier or small box with a hole they can hide in so they don't feel trapped or threatened. start feeding them in front of the stacked gates, moving the bowls closer and closer until they are comfortable and associate being together with good feelings. (eating) This will take a while. Introductions take months before they are totally fine with each other.
 
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Raspberrufluff

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Thank you so much for your reply, you've really taken a weight off my mind. Have started being comforting and assuring whenever existing cat hisses. What are the signs to look for that we can move on to giving them sight of each other?
 

calicosrspecial

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Thank you so much for your reply, you've really taken a weight off my mind. Have started being comforting and assuring whenever existing cat hisses. What are the signs to look for that we can move on to giving them sight of each other?
You are welcome.

Are you feeding on opposite sides of a closed door now? If all is going well for a while then you want to get a gate setup of some kind with a blanket or some other sight barrier over it. Then feed them and slowly raise the blanket or barrier a little bit each meal.

We want to desensitize them to each other, so they realize the other is not a threat to their physical safety, food, water, etc. So using food and scent to begin with then food with some visual (with a barrier) and then we can guide you forward.

So the signs. Walking away, looking away (when hearing the other cat), turning their back to the other cat. Good, more relaxed body language. Things like that.

I hope that helps. Let me know if you need more info or clarity.
 
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We are trying to feed on the opposite sides of the door but as the the new cat (Luna) is upstairs and Misty normally gets fed downstairs I'm finding it hard to lead her to the food. When and if she gets there she seems to eat half no bother and then go away and not come back. Whereas if she's downstairs she eats it normally in one go, or most of it. I'm then following her around with her food bowl to make sure she eats which is stressful for me. She ate a bit a bit too close to the door today and was a bit hissy afterwards as Luna was meowing on other side of the door.Any tips on how to make it work / get her to the new feeding place? Maybe bring Luna downstairs and put her for feeding? She doesn't seem as bothered.
 

calicosrspecial

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We are trying to feed on the opposite sides of the door but as the the new cat (Luna) is upstairs and Misty normally gets fed downstairs I'm finding it hard to lead her to the food. When and if she gets there she seems to eat half no bother and then go away and not come back. Whereas if she's downstairs she eats it normally in one go, or most of it. I'm then following her around with her food bowl to make sure she eats which is stressful for me. She ate a bit a bit too close to the door today and was a bit hissy afterwards as Luna was meowing on other side of the door.Any tips on how to make it work / get her to the new feeding place? Maybe bring Luna downstairs and put her for feeding? She doesn't seem as bothered.
"We are trying to feed on the opposite sides of the door but as the the new cat (Luna) is upstairs and Misty normally gets fed downstairs I'm finding it hard to lead her to the food." - Ok. We can use treats instead.

" When and if she gets there she seems to eat half no bother and then go away and not come back." - Oh, well that is good. Any positive association and positive encounter is great. All we want is to have them smell the other cat think good things and have a safe and happy time there.

"Whereas if she's downstairs she eats it normally in one go, or most of it." - Ok

" I'm then following her around with her food bowl to make sure she eats which is stressful for me." - And stressful for her so that is not good either way.

" She ate a bit a bit too close to the door today and was a bit hissy afterwards as Luna was meowing on other side of the door." - Ok. So not hissy while eating only after? That doesn't sound bad. Just use words to reassure her, try to make it positive. Another cat (new cat) making noises will cause a reaction but if the resident (existing cat isn't being attacked) then you can make it neutral or positive.

"Any tips on how to make it work / get her to the new feeding place? " - Maybe use healthy treats instead. It sounds like it is kinda working now but if it is easier then feed her in a normal spot and then we can make a positive association using healthy treats or something else.

"Maybe bring Luna downstairs and put her for feeding? She doesn't seem as bothered." - Not yet but in time.

For now, we want to keep Misty about as normal and on the routine pre Luna as much as possible and then make those positive associations at the door.

We'll take it step by step and just see how they go. So far it sounds good. Keep up the great work.. Let me know if you have questions.
 

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I agree with Calico and d&b that this all sounds perfectly normal and not concerning especially for it only being a week. It does sound like feeding by the door just doesn't work out for Misty and that's OK. Also agree with Calico here that using treats is probably the best alternative for you. Is there enough space under the door so you can slip a couple treats under so you can give them treats without them seeing each other? I would try that first and if that goes OK then open the door just enough to slip the treats through and see if they are too excited for the treats to care about each other.

A little hissing doesn't concern me and personally wouldn't stop me from cautiously moving forward. I'd be concerned if there was insistent growling and/or intense swatting under the door. I've come to see that the only way to move forward is to give those small opportunities and see how it goes. So if it were me I'd move pretty quickly from treats under the door to treats with the door cracked open for some visual access or a gate with a visual barrier lifted just a little. If it goes well, great (and by going well I mean nobody is running away scared or trying to kill the other through the door) if there's some minor growling, hissing, swatting but they're still accepting treats I'd keep it steady there to work on the positive associations. If it goes badly well back to slipping the treats under the door without visual access for a bit and continued scent and site swapping.

I do disagree slightly with Calico in one small detail, I'd suggest picking their absolute FAVORITE treats for this regardless of if they are healthy treats. If their favorites are healthy, great, if not that's OK. You only need to give them a few a day and the more they love the treats the fewer they will need to build that positive association.
 
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Hello everyone,

Hope you all had a good festive season, if you celebrate.

Just thought I'd give you an update. Thanks to your advice, I've been leaving a bit of high quality dry food / some treats outside Luna"s door a few times a day for Misty. When I do scent swapping. I also put a couple of treats by the blanket or whatever. In terms of site swapping, Luna has been into every room Misty goes into, but Misty is very reluctant about going into Luna's. I think this is mainly because Luna goes out when Misty's napping and then goes back in her room when Misty is out and about. Should we switch this up?

Misty no longer hisses at us like she did before, nor does she sit outside the door / in the hall near Luna's room. When I've observed her eating treats / food right by Luna's door there is no growling. She then gets up and calmly walks away. We can also stroke her now after stroking Luna and she is much better with it.

We have now cautiously moved onto face to face access. The first couple of times we did it, it was on the other side of a door we cracked open and there was a bit of hissing / growling and one or two swats but both accepting treats and went back to normal after the encounter.

We set up stacked baby gates outside Luna's room with a towel a bit over it and they saw each other from about a metre away. Much less hissing from Misty (Luna has only hissed once, she is v chilled), both accepting treats and then Misty just got up and walked away calmly.

The next time I did it in the morning, Luna was peering behind the towel - so a bit closer - and misty hissed once and swatted and then ran down for her breakfast and was behaving normally.

Last evening was a similar story, she kind of took me by surprise and was trying to get the treats through the gate and she batted me once very gently and then went away for her dinner. When she came up she walked right past the door without even looking.

She did come upstairs this morn see the slightly open door and go under the bed for a bit, but not for long .

Honestly, you think you're getting somewhere with this and then something happens and your confidence gets knocked.

I think these are ok signs? I'm honestly so anxious about this - probably more so than them - as the idea of having to give Luna away is really heart breaking.

Just a couple of questions. How often should we be letting them see each other through the gates? Have been trying for about two times a day in the afternoon / eve as that seems to work better for Misty than first thing. Shall I just leave the towel on and the door open or should they be supervised with treats still?

Have attached some pics so you can see them - Luna is grey and Misty is black.

Thanks in advance, you're all so helpful
 

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kakers

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It sounds like progress is being made! Personally I would give more time with the door open, towel on as long as you are nearby enough to hear if something negative starts to happen. I've found the key is to push their limits (and yours) just a little and then watch carefully to see if they are gradually being more comfortable or getting more scared or anxious. A little hissing, swatting, and growling is normal. They're communicating their boundaries. As long as it's not lasting long and not escalating and neither is hiding for more than a few minutes you're at the right step. When this reduces to never or very infrequent they're ready for the next. Since Misty is the more nervous one we'll go off her and since it sounds she's comfortable walking past the door when it's closed and taking treats when it's open she's ready for it to be open for longer.

Still giving face to face access with the treats periodically and especially if you notice Misty has independently approached the gate calmly, give some treats then. I suspect it won't be long before you can have just the gate and no blanket but we'll see how it goes with the door open longer without the visual access other than at treat times. A couple times a day is probably still enough though adding more times won't hurt will just make the positive association stronger but it's really a balance with not wanting them to get TOO many treats which IMO is a balance only you can decide as far as how many treats is a healthy amount for your cats.

Good job so far! And your cats are adorable 😍
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello everyone,

Hope you all had a good festive season, if you celebrate.

Just thought I'd give you an update. Thanks to your advice, I've been leaving a bit of high quality dry food / some treats outside Luna"s door a few times a day for Misty. When I do scent swapping. I also put a couple of treats by the blanket or whatever. In terms of site swapping, Luna has been into every room Misty goes into, but Misty is very reluctant about going into Luna's. I think this is mainly because Luna goes out when Misty's napping and then goes back in her room when Misty is out and about. Should we switch this up?

Misty no longer hisses at us like she did before, nor does she sit outside the door / in the hall near Luna's room. When I've observed her eating treats / food right by Luna's door there is no growling. She then gets up and calmly walks away. We can also stroke her now after stroking Luna and she is much better with it.

We have now cautiously moved onto face to face access. The first couple of times we did it, it was on the other side of a door we cracked open and there was a bit of hissing / growling and one or two swats but both accepting treats and went back to normal after the encounter.

We set up stacked baby gates outside Luna's room with a towel a bit over it and they saw each other from about a metre away. Much less hissing from Misty (Luna has only hissed once, she is v chilled), both accepting treats and then Misty just got up and walked away calmly.

The next time I did it in the morning, Luna was peering behind the towel - so a bit closer - and misty hissed once and swatted and then ran down for her breakfast and was behaving normally.

Last evening was a similar story, she kind of took me by surprise and was trying to get the treats through the gate and she batted me once very gently and then went away for her dinner. When she came up she walked right past the door without even looking.

She did come upstairs this morn see the slightly open door and go under the bed for a bit, but not for long .

Honestly, you think you're getting somewhere with this and then something happens and your confidence gets knocked.

I think these are ok signs? I'm honestly so anxious about this - probably more so than them - as the idea of having to give Luna away is really heart breaking.

Just a couple of questions. How often should we be letting them see each other through the gates? Have been trying for about two times a day in the afternoon / eve as that seems to work better for Misty than first thing. Shall I just leave the towel on and the door open or should they be supervised with treats still?

Have attached some pics so you can see them - Luna is grey and Misty is black.

Thanks in advance, you're all so helpful
"Hello everyone, Hope you all had a good festive season, if you celebrate." - Hi, thank you, I hope you all did as well.

"Just thought I'd give you an update. Thanks to your advice, I've been leaving a bit of high quality dry food / some treats outside Luna"s door a few times a day for Misty. When I do scent swapping. I also put a couple of treats by the blanket or whatever. In terms of site swapping, Luna has been into every room Misty goes into," - Great

"but Misty is very reluctant about going into Luna's." - Understandable. Not a surprise or unusual.

"I think this is mainly because Luna goes out when Misty's napping and then goes back in her room when Misty is out and about." - Well, it is because she views it as Luna's territory so is less confident there.

" Should we switch this up?" - No, it is fine to continue doing what you are doing.

"Misty no longer hisses at us like she did before, nor does she sit outside the door / in the hall near Luna's room. When I've observed her eating treats / food right by Luna's door there is no growling. She then gets up and calmly walks away. We can also stroke her now after stroking Luna and she is much better with it." - GREAT!!!!

"We have now cautiously moved onto face to face access. The first couple of times we did it, it was on the other side of a door we cracked open and there was a bit of hissing / growling and one or two swats but both accepting treats and went back to normal after the encounter." - Great, that is normal and sounds really good as they went back to normal quickly.

"We set up stacked baby gates outside Luna's room with a towel a bit over it and they saw each other from about a metre away. Much less hissing from Misty (Luna has only hissed once, she is v chilled), both accepting treats and then Misty just got up and walked away calmly." - Perfect. GREAT JOB!!! And great progress.

"The next time I did it in the morning, Luna was peering behind the towel - so a bit closer - and misty hissed once and swatted and then ran down for her breakfast and was behaving normally." - Ok, god, part of the process.

"Last evening was a similar story, she kind of took me by surprise and was trying to get the treats through the gate and she batted me once very gently and then went away for her dinner." - Ok

" When she came up she walked right past the door without even looking." - GREAT!!

"She did come upstairs this morn see the slightly open door and go under the bed for a bit, but not for long ." - Ok, it is a process about getting to know the other cat is not a threat.

"Honestly, you think you're getting somewhere with this and then something happens and your confidence gets knocked." - Yep, common. It is always 2 steps forward and 1 or or even 3 sometimes steps back. It is totally normal.

"I think these are ok signs?" - Sounds like it is going really well.

" I'm honestly so anxious about this - probably more so than them - as the idea of having to give Luna away is really heart breaking." - Yes, most everyone goes through that. We will not have to give Luna away.

"Just a couple of questions. How often should we be letting them see each other through the gates?" - A few times a day, make it as positive as possible, distract with words, treats, etc if needed. Anytime they look away from each other it is a sign of trust.

" Have been trying for about two times a day in the afternoon / eve as that seems to work better for Misty than first thing. " - Perfect, that is great.

"Shall I just leave the towel on and the door open or should they be supervised with treats still?" - Use treats for now, words to sooth, etc.

"Have attached some pics so you can see them - Luna is grey and Misty is black." - GORGEOUS!!!! Awwwww, I LOVE them!!!! :)

"Thanks in advance, you're all so helpful " - You are welcome.

Keep doing what you are doing, make it as positive as possible, use words to reassure, distract etc to make it positive. And we'll keep moving forward. So far it sounds really positive. GREAT JOB!!!
 
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Raspberrufluff

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Hello everyone

Just thought I'd pop on to give you an update on how we're doing.

We've been showing them to each other twice a day for a while ago, either through the stacked gates or through a slightly opened door.

We've now been leaving the door open with a towel over the gates, apart from when they see each other. Misty seems to have got used to this OK

In terms of when they have sight of each other, sometimes Misty is fine with minimal hissing and then walks away calmly, other times there is a bit more hissing and she runs away for her breakfast / dinner or into the main the bedroom. She always accepts treats. She sometimes goes under the bed for 30 mins or so in the morning after breakfast whether she's seen Luna or not - in the evening she seems to be fine, so this might be a routine thing - but apart from that she's been fine.

In addition to giving treats at the door, I've also noticed that when I speak kindly to Misty if she hisses, it sort of disarms her. There doesn't seem to be any aggression behind the hiss, more that she's unsure.

Misty accidentally got out of her room when Luna was out in the house this morning. They encountered each other on the stairs and Misty hissed once and then there was a mini chase - Misty chased Luna into the kitchen door . She then turned away and came back and Luna got put away again. Both cats acted normally after this interaction.

I don't know how to proceed from here. I feel they need to get used to the sight of each other so maybe leave the towel off the gates, with still some treats by the door?

I think I am also overstressing quite a lot at the minute and probs just need to leave them be a bit more as I know they pick up on that. I think I am probably the most stressed out out of all of us.

Would appreciate any advice
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello everyone

Just thought I'd pop on to give you an update on how we're doing.

We've been showing them to each other twice a day for a while ago, either through the stacked gates or through a slightly opened door.

We've now been leaving the door open with a towel over the gates, apart from when they see each other. Misty seems to have got used to this OK

In terms of when they have sight of each other, sometimes Misty is fine with minimal hissing and then walks away calmly, other times there is a bit more hissing and she runs away for her breakfast / dinner or into the main the bedroom. She always accepts treats. She sometimes goes under the bed for 30 mins or so in the morning after breakfast whether she's seen Luna or not - in the evening she seems to be fine, so this might be a routine thing - but apart from that she's been fine.

In addition to giving treats at the door, I've also noticed that when I speak kindly to Misty if she hisses, it sort of disarms her. There doesn't seem to be any aggression behind the hiss, more that she's unsure.

Misty accidentally got out of her room when Luna was out in the house this morning. They encountered each other on the stairs and Misty hissed once and then there was a mini chase - Misty chased Luna into the kitchen door . She then turned away and came back and Luna got put away again. Both cats acted normally after this interaction.

I don't know how to proceed from here. I feel they need to get used to the sight of each other so maybe leave the towel off the gates, with still some treats by the door?

I think I am also overstressing quite a lot at the minute and probs just need to leave them be a bit more as I know they pick up on that. I think I am probably the most stressed out out of all of us.

Would appreciate any advice
"Hello everyone" - Hello!!

"Just thought I'd pop on to give you an update on how we're doing." - Great, let's see

"We've been showing them to each other twice a day for a while ago, either through the stacked gates or through a slightly opened door." - Great

"We've now been leaving the door open with a towel over the gates, apart from when they see each other. Misty seems to have got used to this OK" - Great. The key is try to make it as positive as possible. The resident/existing cat almost always has the most difficult time adjusting since cats are territorial.

"In terms of when they have sight of each other, sometimes Misty is fine with minimal hissing and then walks away calmly," - GREAT!!!

" other times there is a bit more hissing and she runs away for her breakfast / dinner or into the main the bedroom." - Ok, it is a process so that is expected. Try to reassure her, make it as positive and non-threatening as possible. Stay calm and confident when she does this. Act like all is fine.

" She always accepts treats." - Ok, GREAT!!! So something good (treats) is better than any perceived fear.

" She sometimes goes under the bed for 30 mins or so in the morning after breakfast whether she's seen Luna or not - in the evening she seems to be fine, so this might be a routine thing - but apart from that she's been fine." - Ok, good. Yes, probably a routine thing. Cats are creatures of habits, routines, don't like change. So it doesn't sound like an issue.

"In addition to giving treats at the door, I've also noticed that when I speak kindly to Misty if she hisses, it sort of disarms her. " - GREAT, EXACTLY the right thing to do. To let her know Luna is not a threat.

"There doesn't seem to be any aggression behind the hiss, more that she's unsure." - Great, it is probably a warning to Luna to "not try anything". Resident cats are unsure as they just don't know if this new cat is a threat to their physical being, their food, their water, their litter box, etc.

"Misty accidentally got out of her room when Luna was out in the house this morning. They encountered each other on the stairs and Misty hissed once and then there was a mini chase - Misty chased Luna into the kitchen door . She then turned away and came back and Luna got put away again." - Ok, that happens. Doesn't sound like an issue, anything out of the ordinary.

" Both cats acted normally after this interaction." - AND THIS is the key. To see how serious it was. how long did it take for each of them to get back to normal?

"I don't know how to proceed from here. I feel they need to get used to the sight of each other so maybe leave the towel off the gates, with still some treats by the door?" - Well, we want a more "controlled" environment if at all possible. We want to try to avoid as many negative encounters as possible. How do you think they would do with that? Would you be near to distract if needed?

"I think I am also overstressing quite a lot at the minute" - OK. I actually didn't pick up on that in your post. What are you stressing about? I am not reading anything to suggest any warning signs, etc.

" and probs just need to leave them be a bit more" - Yeah, I need to think of how best to proceed.

" as I know they pick up on that. " - Yes they do but it doesn't sound like it is a big issue for them so far.

"I think I am probably the most stressed out out of all of us." - :( Well, you then are a normal cat parent in the intro process. The cats seem to be doing well so you may be correct. The good news is, when I hear that I am actually a bit happy as it tells me the human thinks the cats aren't that stressed and THAT is what is most important as that tells me they are going to be just fine.

"Would appreciate any advice " - Ok

So I am trying to think of how we can get them to have positive encounters and positive associations. I love the gate work, it seems to be working well. Sounds like the site swapping is going well. For now, I would keep doing the gate sessions, I would like to see a bit more progress with Misty and then maybe do a face to face in a more neutral area using treats. Keeping it short, etc. I think it is too early for that with Misty at this point but it sounds like we should be able to do it soon. Just keep those gate encounters positive. And when Misty is relaxed more, less focused on Luna, etc then we'll know she is ready.

But so far it sounds really good. So I would keep doing what you are doing, maybe extend the time, keep reassuring Misty. Get her less focused on Luna.

Are any of the cats cuddlers? Hang out on laps, legs, etc?

How are they playing? Is Misty playing well? If you pull out a toy by Luna does she chose the toy?
 
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Raspberrufluff

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Hi,

The cats went back to normal straight away. Both are eating and playing well. Site and scent swapping going well.

We switched things up at the gate, which has really helped. Instead of being inside with Luna, I stay outside with Misty which helps me control the situation better. She still growls a bit but is otherwise completely distracted by food. She sticks around the gate for longer and then calmly walks away. I can even get her to come back for a bit more food / treats. The only problem is that Luna has to be really close to the treats to see them so try to do that after the session as she can't see them when I put them through the gate.

We've tried doing some eat, play, love sessions which seems to be going well. Misty gets food and Luna gets food/ to play with her toy. These seem to be going well, with the occasional hiss from Misty if Luna gets super close. As I said before I feel that there is no intent behind Misty's hisses or growls.

Think we had a bit of a breakthrough today. Misty slow blinked at Luna when she was on the windowsill. Luna then tried to get a bit closer and then Misty growled a bit bit was still accepting treats. I took a video but had to stop filming when she growled but she was totally fine after. The session ended on a positive note with Luna exploring a bit more of the room and then leaving calmly. Footage is below.

 

weili

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We brought our new, 2 yr old cat home last week. She’s a female. Our existing cat is about 7ish and also a female. Both cats are quite confident and friendly in nature.

We had read all the advice re keeping them separate, but on the second day the new cat slipped by us, found our existing cat under the bed and then chased her up the stairs. No physical damage was done – think the encounter only lasted a couple of minutes – but there was some yowling and existing cat’s fur went all puffy. We separated them quickly and they have been separated for a week

Existing cat went and hid under the bed for about half an hour after the incident, but then came out and sat with us and ate her food etc.

This was a week ago and I’m anxious that their first encounter was like that. I understand these things take time and am fully prepared for that, but I don’t want this negative encounter to ruin any chance of them at least tolerating each other. Would really appreciate some advice / guidance from you lovely people.

Positive behaviour I’ve noticed

Both cats are eating fine, using trays fine and coming for strokes / playing. Existing cat still sometimes goes under the bed for five or so minutes but then will come out again and carry on her day. The last couple of days she hasn’t hidden at all

Existing cat not hissing outside the door and can walk past it.

I did some scent swapping yday – rubbed a sock on the new cat and brought her blanket / scratch post down. Existing cat sniffed these on her own terms and didn’t react

New cat has been exploring shared areas of the house alone and existing cat doesn’t seem to have reacted. Also when she’s being stroked and hears the new cat meowing she still stays for strokes and doesn’t immediately leave to investigate

Things I’m a bit worried about

When I stroke the existing cat after I’ve stroked the new cat / actively present my hand to her, she hisses. This is a bit confusing as when she approaches things on her own she seems to be fine. I’d appreciate people’s thoughts on this.

When we pass her in the narrow corridor between our bedroom and the new cat’s bedroom, she hisses at us. Same on the stairs

Sometimes when she’s sitting near the door, her tail is swishing even though she’s not hissing. She’s never there for long.



Thanks in advance for your help, really appreciate it as am quite anxious about the situation
I found that some people will bring the scent of the other cat the original residing cat to see if they like him or her. Cat hisses or shows anger means they don't like the cat. I don't know what to do about that situation. But your good if they have no reaction. But they will get along I'm not sure about the process though how to do it. Probably continue what you are doing it should be fine. Their contact was short.
 

calicosrspecial

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Hi,

The cats went back to normal straight away. Both are eating and playing well. Site and scent swapping going well.

We switched things up at the gate, which has really helped. Instead of being inside with Luna, I stay outside with Misty which helps me control the situation better. She still growls a bit but is otherwise completely distracted by food. She sticks around the gate for longer and then calmly walks away. I can even get her to come back for a bit more food / treats. The only problem is that Luna has to be really close to the treats to see them so try to do that after the session as she can't see them when I put them through the gate.

We've tried doing some eat, play, love sessions which seems to be going well. Misty gets food and Luna gets food/ to play with her toy. These seem to be going well, with the occasional hiss from Misty if Luna gets super close. As I said before I feel that there is no intent behind Misty's hisses or growls.

Think we had a bit of a breakthrough today. Misty slow blinked at Luna when she was on the windowsill. Luna then tried to get a bit closer and then Misty growled a bit bit was still accepting treats. I took a video but had to stop filming when she growled but she was totally fine after. The session ended on a positive note with Luna exploring a bit more of the room and then leaving calmly. Footage is below.

"The cats went back to normal straight away. Both are eating and playing well. Site and scent swapping going well." - GREAT!!!!

"We switched things up at the gate, which has really helped. Instead of being inside with Luna, I stay outside with Misty which helps me control the situation better." - Excellent. AND it helps give Misty confidence. The resident cat is the key most of the time in intros. So giving them confidence is very important and helpful.

"She still growls a bit" - That is common and is communication. Telling the other cat "not to try anything". A warning.

" but is otherwise completely distracted by food." - And that is really positive. So the perceived threat of Luna is not as large as the benefit or reward of something good (food). Really a good sign.

"She sticks around the gate for longer and then calmly walks away. " - Great. The key is to make it a positive association and a positive encounter.

"I can even get her to come back for a bit more food / treats." - Fantastic. So the benefit of something good (food) is greater than any fear.

"The only problem is that Luna has to be really close to the treats to see them so try to do that after the session as she can't see them when I put them through the gate." - Ok, that isn't such a big problem. As long as Misty has a positive association and a positive encounter that is what is most important.

"We've tried doing some eat, play, love sessions which seems to be going well." - Great

" Misty gets food and Luna gets food/ to play with her toy." - Great

" These seem to be going well,' - Great, confidence building.

" with the occasional hiss from Misty if Luna gets super close." - Totally normal. The key is the hiss doesn't lead to anything negative. Hissing is communication. SO if that communication resolves a potential situation is is actually positive. Of course, it does tell us Misty is not comfortable totally yet but she is getting there.

" As I said before I feel that there is no intent behind Misty's hisses or growls." - Which is great and tells me they will be intro'd. :)

"Think we had a bit of a breakthrough today. Misty slow blinked at Luna when she was on the windowsill." - Awwwwwwwwww. Eye kiss.

" Luna then tried to get a bit closer" - Yes, understandable.

"and then Misty growled a bit" - Ok, that is fine.

"bit was still accepting treats." - GREAT!!!

"I took a video but had to stop filming when she growled " - Great, I will watch now.

"but she was totally fine after." - And that is the key. How they rebound from a potential negative encounter tells us how serious it was in their eyes. Fast rebound means it wasn't serious.

Video - Fantastic. Body language is GREAT. Misty looks relaxed which is really important. Luna looks perfect, not at all worried (which tells me Misty's is not threatening).

GREAT job!!! Keep up the great work!!! All is going well. Build confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love (safely) and make those positive associations and positive encounters.

I can safely answer your question in the title. No, you did not "mess up". :)
 

calicosrspecial

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I found that some people will bring the scent of the other cat the original residing cat to see if they like him or her. Cat hisses or shows anger means they don't like the cat. I don't know what to do about that situation. But your good if they have no reaction. But they will get along I'm not sure about the process though how to do it. Probably continue what you are doing it should be fine. Their contact was short.
Weili,

"I found that some people will bring the scent of the other cat the original residing cat to see if they like him or her." - Well, what we really want to do by bringing the scent is to make a "Positive Association". So since it is only scent there is no physical risk or threat. So what we want to do is give something good like food, or treats to make a positive association with the other cat's scent so the residing/resident cat thinks "oh, I smell that other cat but I have something good so therefore the other cat might be ok".

" Cat hisses or shows anger means they don't like the cat." - So I disagree with that. Cats are territorial and do not like change so they often do not like another animal's scent because they could be a threat to their physical safety, their food access, water access, litter box access, favorite places (beds, etc). SO just because a cat hisses it really doesn't matter at that point.

" I don't know what to do about that situation." - On this site you will learn all about what to do. :)

" But your good if they have no reaction." - Agreed!!! Overall, this thread is very interesting and is going very well.

"But they will get along" - Agreed!!! :)

" I'm not sure about the process though how to do it." - On this thread and other threads the process should be better defined and hopefully helpful.

"Probably continue what you are doing it should be fine." - Exactly!!! :)

" Their contact was short." -Yes, what I try to do in intros is make positive associations using food maximize and maximizing positive encounters and minimizing or avoiding negative encounters. So it is all about the "quality" of time (positives) rather than the "quantity" of tie (length of togetherness). And we try to expand the time trying to make it as positive as possible.

I hope that helps a little in your understanding of the intro process. It is incomplete but hopefully helps a little. :)
 

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R Raspberrufluff I've just been reading through your thread and it is great to hear how you are doing. You are doing great, sticking with your guys at their own pace and I feel confident they are settling in well together. They may or may not end up as snuggle buddies but unless some unpredictable upset comes in from off side it sounds like Misty and Luna will share their space nicely. The video looks great.

I introduced Mouse to a new house mate about 18 months ago. He was 10 and she was almost 3. I tried keeping them separated but madam barged out of her room almost instantly and introduced herself... I worried sick about Mouse being upset and stressed, and Millie getting hurt as she is so much smaller than he is. I think the biggest issue was probably my anxiety. 🙄. They skirted about each other and Millie tested out her boundaries while I tried to sit back, sweating buckets, but thankfully they quickly sorted themselves out. More luck and Mouse's good nature than design I think. They don't snuggle or groom but do get along really well with each other. Sure your two will too.

Just be sure each of them has their own favourite, safe, space and try to minimise any possible sneaky ambush spots should one of them fancy a bit of challenging to see who's boss.
Keep letting us know how you're all doing. 😁
 
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Raspberrufluff

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Thanks so much. I totally relate to the biggest issue being the human's anxiety. Now that the cats are ok with each other being like a metre away, we're going to try getting them more comfortable with each other closer up. This is challenging as Luna is a bit weary of coming near Misty sometimes. If Misty hisses she tends to back off. Doesn't hide or anything and will still stay in the same room, but is just wary of her. I suppose this is partly a good thing as Luna knows her boundaries, but it does make it a bit challenging bringing them together.

We had some success of playing with Luna and dragging the toy up onto the bed where Misty was and she watched her play for a bit. She didn't react, just looked a little bemused. She then got down and watched Moon playing from under the bed, hissed a couple of times and just left slowly and calmly. She was completely fine after the interaction.

There was another chasing incident yesterday. Misty chased Luna downstairs and Luna went into the living room. Misty then went in the kitchen to finish her breakfast and Moon followed her. Misty looked like she was going to eat but then hissed and then chased Luna upstairs. They ended up with Misty under the bed and Luna on top of the bed. Again, each cat was fine basically directly after the interaction. Misty came out from under the bed and was playing with the toy straight away.

I think they seem to be fine if they're in a room together and can leave on their own terms but if Misty comes across Luna she doesn't like it as I suppose she feels she's blocking her way.

As I've said before, I don't think there's any real malice there. Misty is generally a bit sassy anyway. I do wonder if they'll just tolerate each other and whether it's worth trying to get them together even more or just letting them out and see how they go. We are at home all day to supervise. Misty also sleeps a lot and Luna just wants to be with us all the time so the amount of time they'd actually come into contact with each other is minimal. I just don't really know what to do from here and would appreciate advice
 
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Raspberrufluff

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We tried another playing session again and Misty seemed fine with Luna on the bed. Then she went under the bed and watched her play from there for a bit. As soon as Luna left, she came out fine. Then on her way downstairs, Luna was right at the gate and she hissed at her twice and then swatted. Then she was fine when I went downstairs. Such a moody madam!
 
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