Cat Introduction .... Failure?

RocketPuppy97

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Hi and hello everyone!
We have a cat named Monty. He moved in with us after a friend of us found him and no-one seemed missed him. We got him castrated and he's about a year old.


And we thought a buddy would be perfect for him. So we got Cosmo back in June. We were told he's a little over one year old. In retrospect the old owners just wanted to get rid of him.
He's a really friendly cat and just wants to be cuddled, no aggression what so ever.


We were dumb and to excited for him to move in with us, so that we let them meet right away.
Not a good idea, I know. Monty ended up chasing Cosmo. And it was not pretty.

We learned from our mistakes and after binge watching every episode of My cat from hell and reading his book and the whole nine yards, we made a screendoor and started slowly feeding them at the door. Everything seemed great. They are both eating directly at the screendoor without a problem.
Then we started Eat, Play Love with feeding them in the same room. No problem.
For breakfast we are still feeding them at the screenshot but it's open. No problem either, Monty just walks away after that, minding his own business. No sign of aggression. We also swap sides everyday and Monty doesn't seem bothered by it.


But this all seems to good to be true.
Today after our eat play love session we decided, to try if they could finally interact with each other.
Monty walked up to him and immediately tried to bite his neck and push him on the ground. No hissing, no growling, no stareing, Tail- or earmovement whatsoever. We separated them right away, because the last time Monty ended up chasing after Cosmo, who tried to give him a nose greeting and acted all friendly. Cosmo is a passive cat and would always choose to run away instead of fighting.

I don't expect them to be best friends I just want to know if it's all lost.
I've read so many articles and they all say something like " after all those steps, put them together in a room and tada, everything is fine"
When do I know that they are ready? Or that we have to re-home one of them?


Thanks for your advice in advance
 
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RocketPuppy97

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Hi!
You don't need to consider rehoming, - this is Monty asserting his dominance. All is not lost.

Can you play with each of them separately, and together and try to wear Monty out? This could help build Cosmos confidence as well.
We play with them every evening, I play with Monty and my significant other with Cosmo. That's working very well. Monty sometimes wants to take a look what Cosmo is doing, but doesn't seem to be aggressive.
Cosmo is walking around the place just fine. Sleeping on the cat tree and trying to make friendly contact with Monty.
 

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Can you play with them together, - unless that doesn't work, of course.
 
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calicosrspecial

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I agree with the other poster. You do not need to worry. It happens.

Everything you have done is exactly right. Play, food, height and love. Going through the intro process.

A couple things I do when I get them finally together. I tried to have them tired out but I also try to make sure the energy from play is still not around. I use distraction as much as possible. So I have treats to get them focused on a positive. If I can get the cats to focus on something other than each other that is good. If they are near but don't actually sniff each other or look at each other that is totally fine. Anything that is positive and not negative. If I can't break that focus on each other I will then stop it and try another time. But typically distraction with food will work with cats. I also have a toy ready to distract the cats. The only issue with that is sometimes both go for the toy and sometimes if both go to it it can create an issue so I am cautious (of course sometimes they play together and it is like YES!!). Breaking focus on each other is really important since a cat would never really look away from a potential threat if I can get them to look away from the other cat I view it as a win. I also try to get any length of time in a positive encounter. If it is a minute as long as it is positive it is good. Start with just small time periods and then expand that. I always try to maximize the positive encounters and minimize any negative encounters.

I also try to keep my emotions as calm, confident and positive as possible during their get together as cats take on our emotions. If we act like everything is ok then they tend to feel it as well. I often talk to them saying "it's ok" in a calm confident voice and say their name. Anything to reassure them that everything is fine and get them focused on something other than the other cat.

Also, have a pillow or a piece of cardboard etc nearby just in case you have to use a physical barrier to break their focus.

Cat intros is a process. A lot of 1 step forward, 1 step back, 2 steps forward, 1 back, and sometimes 1 back. But we just retrench and feed on the side of a gate/door and build that positive association.

You obviously have a lot of knowledge and the desire so I am highly confident you will get them together especially with the success so far. Don't what you experienced is common and not an issue.

We will help you get through this so please ask anything anytime. Hang in there and keep up the great work. You are doing everything right and really well. GREAT JOB!!
 
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RocketPuppy97

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I agree with the other poster. You do not need to worry. It happens.

Everything you have done is exactly right. Play, food, height and love. Going through the intro process.

A couple things I do when I get them finally together. I tried to have them tired out but I also try to make sure the energy from play is still not around. I use distraction as much as possible. So I have treats to get them focused on a positive. If I can get the cats to focus on something other than each other that is good. If they are near but don't actually sniff each other or look at each other that is totally fine. Anything that is positive and not negative. If I can't break that focus on each other I will then stop it and try another time. But typically distraction with food will work with cats. I also have a toy ready to distract the cats. The only issue with that is sometimes both go for the toy and sometimes if both go to it it can create an issue so I am cautious (of course sometimes they play together and it is like YES!!). Breaking focus on each other is really important since a cat would never really look away from a potential threat if I can get them to look away from the other cat I view it as a win. I also try to get any length of time in a positive encounter. If it is a minute as long as it is positive it is good. Start with just small time periods and then expand that. I always try to maximize the positive encounters and minimize any negative encounters.

I also try to keep my emotions as calm, confident and positive as possible during their get together as cats take on our emotions. If we act like everything is ok then they tend to feel it as well. I often talk to them saying "it's ok" in a calm confident voice and say their name. Anything to reassure them that everything is fine and get them focused on something other than the other cat.

Also, have a pillow or a piece of cardboard etc nearby just in case you have to use a physical barrier to break their focus.

Cat intros is a process. A lot of 1 step forward, 1 step back, 2 steps forward, 1 back, and sometimes 1 back. But we just retrench and feed on the side of a gate/door and build that positive association.

You obviously have a lot of knowledge and the desire so I am highly confident you will get them together especially with the success so far. Don't what you experienced is common and not an issue.

We will help you get through this so please ask anything anytime. Hang in there and keep up the great work. You are doing everything right and really well. GREAT JOB!!



Thank you so much for your reply!
It's really tough at times, we just want them to tolerate eachother and when a fight breaks out it's a real bummer. I have too many people around who treat our situation as a failure and all those negative comments about it doesnt make it any easier, so your kind words mean alot.

We will try having them around eachother with treats and play.

How can I differ between play and real fight? I mean I know that Monty probably wasn't playing with him, as Csomo was the only one who was chased.
I was just a little worried, because Monty didn't show any sign of aggression towards him and suddenly tried to bite his neck.
 

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You are very welcome.

I know, it is very hard. I have been there many, many times. You have had so much progress and so many positives so far that give me a lot of confidence. And, what happened is very common. I don't see failure at all. I see a normal process from what you described. Perfect? No. Failure? Absolutely not. It is normal for the resident (existing cat) to be more difficult in intros because it is "their" territory that is being "invaded".

What I view as my goal is to build their confidence (play, food, height and love) and get both cats to be like "I know that cat, that cat is cool. They are no threat to my physical safety or may food or my water or my litter box". A cat only fight because they feel less confident and territorially insecure and worry about a potential "predator" hurting them or taking their food. So that is why using food is really good (along with making a positive association something good to associate but it also shows they are still taken care of and will have life saving food). And making every encounter as positive as possible is important (so they build that trust that the other cat doesn't want to hurt them).

And the more confident a cat is the more likely he will accept and be accepted. So a confident, territorially secure cat doesn't feel threatened so therefore doesn't need to try to "drive away" the other "threat". So if a cat doesn't act like prey (run away) then that shows confidence. But if a cat runs away like Cosmo did it it shows us a little lack of confidence (which is normal and understandable at this point since it is not his territory yet). So we have to build Cosmo's confidence still but also Monty's.

That is why play is so important in building confidence as it replicates what cats do in the wild. Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat - Survival - then groom and sleep. That is survival.

The interaction sounds like a dominate thing. It doesn't sound like a fight really though I am sure it felt that way. It sounds like Monty trying to tell Cosmo "I AM THE BOSS HERE". I take care of a feral colony and 2 of my boys (who almost killed each other in the past) will do that at times. They also rub on each other, sleep together, each together etc. BUT it will happen sometimes.

So there are different levels of fights in my opinion. The worst (blood, fur, etc) all the way to "dust ups" (where they tussle around but don't actually hurt each other they show restraint - which is an important sign because they have to be aware not to hurt the other cat). So that is kind of the range of "fight".

The way I tell between a fight and play are a few things. Body language (eyes dilated, big tails, ears back), awful sounds, how fast they rebound from the fight (do they act normal right after or do they hide, slink away low, not eat, avoid areas, etc). Things like that.

So if they rebound from the incident quickly then it isn't too worrisome. So if they go back to acting "normal" quickly then it wasn't serious. But if they start acting differently then we can judge the magnitude of the incident by the length of the "recovery" time.

How did Cosmo and Monty act after this latest incident?

Also, when I do intros I try to do them in a "neutral - confidence" type place if at all possible. So somewhere where they both feel pretty confident which is usually near the gate. Because I want to make sure they both are feeling as confident as possible in the area I am going to do the intro. So during site swapping I makes sure I play with them in that area. I also will have their scents around (either bedding or scratching posts something that both f their scents are around again to make them feel better.)

What you are experiencing is normal. I am not at all worried especially hearing how things have been going so far. I have seen intros happen in a month and over a year. It depends. But with the knowledge (which you have) and the desire (which you have) and given what I have read here I am highly confident this will work.

Just please post anytime and ask any questions.

Just keep building confidence for both, try to make positive associations, and limit any negative encounters. If you have them by the gate and one is too focused on the other distract in a positive way. Anytime they focus away from the other cat (predator) it is a positive sign. And the more they have an encounter and nothing bad happens it builds that trust between them that the other cat is not a threat.

I hope this is somewhat coherent. Please feel free to ask for any clarification as it is a bit of a stream of consciousness but we'll get there.

Don't worry, you are doing great. Feel free to share any information you think may be important and ask any questions. We are here for you.
 
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RocketPuppy97

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You are very welcome.

I know, it is very hard. I have been there many, many times. You have had so much progress and so many positives so far that give me a lot of confidence. And, what happened is very common. I don't see failure at all. I see a normal process from what you described. Perfect? No. Failure? Absolutely not. It is normal for the resident (existing cat) to be more difficult in intros because it is "their" territory that is being "invaded".

What I view as my goal is to build their confidence (play, food, height and love) and get both cats to be like "I know that cat, that cat is cool. They are no threat to my physical safety or may food or my water or my litter box". A cat only fight because they feel less confident and territorially insecure and worry about a potential "predator" hurting them or taking their food. So that is why using food is really good (along with making a positive association something good to associate but it also shows they are still taken care of and will have life saving food). And making every encounter as positive as possible is important (so they build that trust that the other cat doesn't want to hurt them).

And the more confident a cat is the more likely he will accept and be accepted. So a confident, territorially secure cat doesn't feel threatened so therefore doesn't need to try to "drive away" the other "threat". So if a cat doesn't act like prey (run away) then that shows confidence. But if a cat runs away like Cosmo did it it shows us a little lack of confidence (which is normal and understandable at this point since it is not his territory yet). So we have to build Cosmo's confidence still but also Monty's.

That is why play is so important in building confidence as it replicates what cats do in the wild. Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat - Survival - then groom and sleep. That is survival.

The interaction sounds like a dominate thing. It doesn't sound like a fight really though I am sure it felt that way. It sounds like Monty trying to tell Cosmo "I AM THE BOSS HERE". I take care of a feral colony and 2 of my boys (who almost killed each other in the past) will do that at times. They also rub on each other, sleep together, each together etc. BUT it will happen sometimes.

So there are different levels of fights in my opinion. The worst (blood, fur, etc) all the way to "dust ups" (where they tussle around but don't actually hurt each other they show restraint - which is an important sign because they have to be aware not to hurt the other cat). So that is kind of the range of "fight".

The way I tell between a fight and play are a few things. Body language (eyes dilated, big tails, ears back), awful sounds, how fast they rebound from the fight (do they act normal right after or do they hide, slink away low, not eat, avoid areas, etc). Things like that.

So if they rebound from the incident quickly then it isn't too worrisome. So if they go back to acting "normal" quickly then it wasn't serious. But if they start acting differently then we can judge the magnitude of the incident by the length of the "recovery" time.

How did Cosmo and Monty act after this latest incident?

Also, when I do intros I try to do them in a "neutral - confidence" type place if at all possible. So somewhere where they both feel pretty confident which is usually near the gate. Because I want to make sure they both are feeling as confident as possible in the area I am going to do the intro. So during site swapping I makes sure I play with them in that area. I also will have their scents around (either bedding or scratching posts something that both f their scents are around again to make them feel better.)

What you are experiencing is normal. I am not at all worried especially hearing how things have been going so far. I have seen intros happen in a month and over a year. It depends. But with the knowledge (which you have) and the desire (which you have) and given what I have read here I am highly confident this will work.

Just please post anytime and ask any questions.

Just keep building confidence for both, try to make positive associations, and limit any negative encounters. If you have them by the gate and one is too focused on the other distract in a positive way. Anytime they focus away from the other cat (predator) it is a positive sign.

I hope this is somewhat coherent. Please feel free to ask for any clarification as it is a bit of a stream of consciousness but we'll get there.

Don't worry, you are doing great. Feel free to share any information you think may be important and ask any questions. We are here for you.



Now I'm a bit relieved, that the fight, I thought was brutal, wasn't the end of the world. It was pretty silent and thats what confused me at the time, because I read "hissing and a bit growling as well as trying to hit the other one is normal" and we had none of that. Just the immidiate chasing and throwing the other one on the ground while biting as it got out of control. They acted more or less normal after we sepereated them, just the interactions between each other seemed a little tense.

We try to make the evening play and eat sessions even more special with very good food such as fine filets, because I thought the better the food the more positve the association :lol:

Do I have to treat both as equals or does Monty get his food before Cosmo does because he's the one who was here first? I have heard both things.

Now I've got new confidence for tomorrow:lovecat:
 

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Now I'm a bit relieved, that the fight, I thought was brutal, wasn't the end of the world. It was pretty silent and thats what confused me at the time, because I read "hissing and a bit growling as well as trying to hit the other one is normal" and we had none of that. Just the immidiate chasing and throwing the other one on the ground while biting as it got out of control. They acted more or less normal after we sepereated them, just the interactions between each other seemed a little tense.

We try to make the evening play and eat sessions even more special with very good food such as fine filets, because I thought the better the food the more positve the association :lol:

Do I have to treat both as equals or does Monty get his food before Cosmo does because he's the one who was here first? I have heard both things.

Now I've got new confidence for tomorrow:lovecat:
Not the end of the world at all. A normal thing that happens in the intro process really. The actions might differ from intro to intro BUT bumps in the road happen. Yes, hissing, growling, swatting usually happen in intros. Hissing and growling are verbal warnings and then the swatting tends to be a bit defensive with a touch of offensive (but it is usually a "stay away " or "don't try anything" type of action).

Yours sounds like a more dominance thing.

Was there any blood or fur?

It is GREAT that they acted more or less normal after the incident. The faster they rebound the less serious it was.

Of course, we don't want that to happen. It sounds like Cosmo ran (acted like prey) so that triggered an instinct in Monty. If Cosmo held his ground it may not have happened or it could have been a battle right there. It is always tough to know.

:) Play then eating is great. And if they love the food even better. Great to hear you take very good care of them!!

I too agree that treating them as equals is best. I try to keep it as neutral as possible. Keeping them focused on the food instead of each other is best in my opinion. If one finishes before the other and the one that finishes starts to focus on the other cat just try to distract with loving talk etc. Anything to make it a positive and to keep the encounter as positive as possible.

I am a big believer in building confidence through Play, Food, Height (cat trees) and Love. Our emotions have a huge impact on cats. I deal with ferals and my demeanor and feeling shave a huge impact. You have love for your cats. I can tell. That is such an important piece in helping the cats build confidence and creating a positive environment where they feel safe and secure.

I am so glad to hear you are confident. I am highly confident in your situation. Sure there will be some ups and downs but you are 2 months or so into this which is not an issue. Very normal. We'll fine tune things but I am highly confident all will be well.

For now, just work on building confidence and feeding with a barrier. Let's not have them together for a while. Let's monitor how they do with the barrier (distract if needed to keep it positive). You have done a great job so far so I am confident you know how to do it. Then when you think we should try a get together again let us know. At that time we'll try to get them focused on treats or anything but each other. If we get them to look away from each other (mainly Monty but both if possible) then we can end it and do it again and slowly build up that trust. There is some nuance in that but we'll help you through it. The key is really to make every encounter as positive as possible so they (especially Monty) feels no threat from Cosmo.

We'll get there, don't worry. I have not heard one thing I am concerned about. Keep up the great work!!

BTW, I keep forgetting. They are ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!!
 
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RocketPuppy97

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Not the end of the world at all. A normal thing that happens in the intro process really. The actions might differ from intro to intro BUT bumps in the road happen. Yes, hissing, growling, swatting usually happen in intros. Hissing and growling are verbal warnings and then the swatting tends to be a bit defensive with a touch of offensive (but it is usually a "stay away " or "don't try anything" type of action).

Yours sounds like a more dominance thing.

Was there any blood or fur?

It is GREAT that they acted more or less normal after the incident. The faster they rebound the less serious it was.

Of course, we don't want that to happen. It sounds like Cosmo ran (acted like prey) so that triggered an instinct in Monty. If Cosmo held his ground it may not have happened or it could have been a battle right there. It is always tough to know.

:) Play then eating is great. And if they love the food even better. Great to hear you take very good care of them!!

I too agree that treating them as equals is best. I try to keep it as neutral as possible. Keeping them focused on the food instead of each other is best in my opinion. If one finishes before the other and the one that finishes starts to focus on the other cat just try to distract with loving talk etc. Anything to make it a positive and to keep the encounter as positive as possible.

I am a big believer in building confidence through Play, Food, Height (cat trees) and Love. Our emotions have a huge impact on cats. I deal with ferals and my demeanor and feeling shave a huge impact. You have love for your cats. I can tell. That is such an important piece in helping the cats build confidence and creating a positive environment where they feel safe and secure.

I am so glad to hear you are confident. I am highly confident in your situation. Sure there will be some ups and downs but you are 2 months or so into this which is not an issue. Very normal. We'll fine tune things but I am highly confident all will be well.

For now, just work on building confidence and feeding with a barrier. Let's not have them together for a while. Let's monitor how they do with the barrier (distract if needed to keep it positive). You have done a great job so far so I am confident you know how to do it. Then when you think we should try a get together again let us know. At that time we'll try to get them focused on treats or anything but each other. If we get them to look away from each other (mainly Monty but both if possible) then we can end it and do it again and slowly build up that trust. There is some nuance in that but we'll help you through it. The key is really to make every encounter as positive as possible so they (especially Monty) feels no threat from Cosmo.

We'll get there, don't worry. I have not heard one thing I am concerned about. Keep up the great work!!

BTW, I keep forgetting. They are ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!!

There was no blood or fur flying, but that biting seemed really intense.

Somethings I forgot to metion, as I was really tired:
They are both climbing the door, not as often as they used to but today it's a little worse, that's also the time where they paw under ther door. And Monty sometimes sits on the bed, starts to wiggle his butt and jumps at the door where Cosmo is sitting.

Today we also had an incident with Cosmo peeing on clothes that were on the ground. We can't seem to figure out why he did that. The litterbox is clean, there is water and Monty wasn't acting differently as on other days.

I'll try to work with both of them seperately at the door now, because they seem to have much energy right now.

I KNOW RIGHT?! They are both just the cutest and would make perfect buddies for eachother!

So a little recap for myself:

- First building confidence at the door, playing feeding and much love.
- While having them in a room together, having them both entertained and not focusing on each other via treats and playtime, but making sure that electric energy from playing is not around when they are together
- then building up more and more time in the same room while distracted whith treats
 

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There was no blood or fur flying, but that biting seemed really intense.

Somethings I forgot to metion, as I was really tired:
They are both climbing the door, not as often as they used to but today it's a little worse, that's also the time where they paw under ther door. And Monty sometimes sits on the bed, starts to wiggle his butt and jumps at the door where Cosmo is sitting.

Today we also had an incident with Cosmo peeing on clothes that were on the ground. We can't seem to figure out why he did that. The litterbox is clean, there is water and Monty wasn't acting differently as on other days.

I'll try to work with both of them seperately at the door now, because they seem to have much energy right now.

I KNOW RIGHT?! They are both just the cutest and would make perfect buddies for eachother!

So a little recap for myself:

- First building confidence at the door, playing feeding and much love.
- While having them in a room together, having them both entertained and not focusing on each other via treats and playtime, but making sure that electric energy from playing is not around when they are together
- then building up more and more time in the same room while distracted whith treats
Great. No blood or fur. That tells me that Monty showed restraint and didn't really want to hurt Cosmo. It probably was intense so it may be a bit more. Overall, it can be overcome. Not ideal but not the end of the world.

Cat like to climb and screendoors are fun to climb. Ideally I would like them not to be climbing the door. Do you have cat trees for them so they can climb and scratch those?

Does their pawing seem playful or a bit aggressive? I try to make every encounter as positive as possible.

Are you able to block the site of each other at times with the screen door? We want to make their interactions as positive as possible so we try not to have them charge the door etc.

When Monty charges the door how is his body language? Does he hit the door? How does Cosmo react? How does Monty react after that charge?

Cats pee outside of the litter box for 2 reasons. Medical (infection, pain, etc) or behavioral (territorial insecurity typically). Given what happened I am guessing it is territorial insecurity. So I really want to try to keep them separated for now (no site swapping) and try to keep them visually separated for now. Then work on playing with Cosmo. After play feed. Give him a lot of love. Hang out with him, give him treats. If you have a cat tree in there try to get him up on the cat tree. Make sure he has a scratching post in there so he can get his scent on it. When a cat pees he is saying "this is mine" by getting his scent on things. So getting as many things in there with his scent (cat tree, scratching posts, bedding, etc) can help him with ownership of that territory.

For now, let's try to keep Monty away from the door. If you see him going there try to distract him. Play with him away from the door. Just keep them separated for now as we build Cosmo's confidence.

They REALLY are adorable!!

So on the recap. Given what I now know. Let's keep them separated and work on building Cosmo's confidence. play and feed after. Love. Hanging out. Anything to let him know all is well.

For Monty, play with him way from the door for now so it gives Cosmo some room. If possible block the site line for now. If Monty is going by the door try to distract him away from it for now. We can still feed them by the door but watch how they do. If there is any hesitation in eating and focusing on the other cat distract them. We want to try to make their encounters as positive or neutral as possible.

For now, let's keep them totally separated. We need to stabilize Cosmo and build his confidence a bit here before we move forward again.

And let's not do any site swapping or even scent swapping for now. Until we get Cosmo's confidence back up.

When we see them doing well eating at the door and inside the room and not charging the door etc then we'll continue on the plan. But for now, let's build Cosmo's security and confidence. Let's give it about a week and monitor how they are doing.

Please let me know if you have any questions and please feel free to ask anything anytime. This is common in intros and just a bump in the road. We can get through this.
 
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Great. No blood or fur. That tells me that Monty showed restraint and didn't really want to hurt Cosmo. It probably was intense so it may be a bit more. Overall, it can be overcome. Not ideal but not the end of the world.

Cat like to climb and screendoors are fun to climb. Ideally I would like them not to be climbing the door. Do you have cat trees for them so they can climb and scratch those?

Does their pawing seem playful or a bit aggressive? I try to make every encounter as positive as possible.

Are you able to block the site of each other at times with the screen door? We want to make their interactions as positive as possible so we try not to have them charge the door etc.

When Monty charges the door how is his body language? Does he hit the door? How does Cosmo react? How does Monty react after that charge?

Cats pee outside of the litter box for 2 reasons. Medical (infection, pain, etc) or behavioral (territorial insecurity typically). Given what happened I am guessing it is territorial insecurity. So I really want to try to keep them separated for now (no site swapping) and try to keep them visually separated for now. Then work on playing with Cosmo. After play feed. Give him a lot of love. Hang out with him, give him treats. If you have a cat tree in there try to get him up on the cat tree. Make sure he has a scratching post in there so he can get his scent on it. When a cat pees he is saying "this is mine" by getting his scent on things. So getting as many things in there with his scent (cat tree, scratching posts, bedding, etc) can help him with ownership of that territory.

For now, let's try to keep Monty away from the door. If you see him going there try to distract him. Play with him away from the door. Just keep them separated for now as we build Cosmo's confidence.

They REALLY are adorable!!

So on the recap. Given what I now know. Let's keep them separated and work on building Cosmo's confidence. play and feed after. Love. Hanging out. Anything to let him know all is well.

For Monty, play with him way from the door for now so it gives Cosmo some room. If possible block the site line for now. If Monty is going by the door try to distract him away from it for now. We can still feed them by the door but watch how they do. If there is any hesitation in eating and focusing on the other cat distract them. We want to try to make their encounters as positive or neutral as possible.

For now, let's keep them totally separated. We need to stabilize Cosmo and build his confidence a bit here before we move forward again.

And let's not do any site swapping or even scent swapping for now. Until we get Cosmo's confidence back up.

When we see them doing well eating at the door and inside the room and not charging the door etc then we'll continue on the plan. But for now, let's build Cosmo's security and confidence. Let's give it about a week and monitor how they are doing.

Please let me know if you have any questions and please feel free to ask anything anytime. This is common in intros and just a bump in the road. We can get through this.
We have one cat tree in the bedroom (where Cosmo lives for the most part) and we have one in the livingroom. There are also shelves ins the hallway where the door is so there is plenty to climb on.

The pawing doesn't look that aggressive to me, Monty paws under the door and Cosmo just lays there, not a little bit bothered by it. If he thinks Monty did enough he'll paw back but not in an aggressive way.
Even when Monty jumps at the door, most of the times Cosmo doesn't seem bothered by it. Monty has his ears forward facing, tail wiggeling and after wiggleing his butt he'll jump. He'll usually paw under the door if Cosmo shows no reaction.

It's odd because Cosmo walks around as if this place is his. He climbs the Cattree, lays on the wardrobe and cheerfully greets us when we enter the room.
Even if we sideswap. He walks around, tail lifted up high with that little bow on top. Sleeping on Montys Cattree and at the window and just freely roaming around.
I read this right after finishing my evening round with each one of them. I played with Cosmo at the door and with Monty right after that, then I fed them with the gate open, as we always do in the morning. Just a few looks and still eating like there is no towmorrow haha.
 

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We have one cat tree in the bedroom (where Cosmo lives for the most part) and we have one in the livingroom. There are also shelves ins the hallway where the door is so there is plenty to climb on.

The pawing doesn't look that aggressive to me, Monty paws under the door and Cosmo just lays there, not a little bit bothered by it. If he thinks Monty did enough he'll paw back but not in an aggressive way.
Even when Monty jumps at the door, most of the times Cosmo doesn't seem bothered by it. Monty has his ears forward facing, tail wiggeling and after wiggleing his butt he'll jump. He'll usually paw under the door if Cosmo shows no reaction.

It's odd because Cosmo walks around as if this place is his. He climbs the Cattree, lays on the wardrobe and cheerfully greets us when we enter the room.
Even if we sideswap. He walks around, tail lifted up high with that little bow on top. Sleeping on Montys Cattree and at the window and just freely roaming around.
I read this right after finishing my evening round with each one of them. I played with Cosmo at the door and with Monty right after that, then I fed them with the gate open, as we always do in the morning. Just a few looks and still eating like there is no towmorrow haha.
Great on the cat trees!! Perfect.

Almost like Monty wants to play?

How does Monty walk around? Tail up or down? Tall or lower to the ground? Normal pace or a little slower? Close to the door and in other parts of their room.

How does Cosmo walk around? Tail up or down? Tall or lower to the ground? Normal pace or slower? Close to the door and in other parts of the room.

Cosmo sounds confident in his room. It is most likely that the incident where Monty got on him caused a little insecurity. Or it could be medical so we need to watch it. Watch how he walks around his room, his body language. If he is going in the same places. Things like that. If you sense he is less confident or different then it is probably insecurity. Would be odd he would get an infection but we do have to keep a medical cause in the back of our mind.

That is really good about his reaction after the site swapping. That is exactly what we like to see.

What seems to have changed is the incident with Monty biting him etc. Which can cause an insecurity. BUT it is GREAT to hear that Cosmo has been showing great signs of confidence. I suspect Cosmo will rebound quickly but let's just work on building his confidence.

Cosmo is neutered, correct?

So after the peeing incident they did really well at the gate? If so GREAT!!! I did not expect to hear that. Be cautious and try to make every encounter as positive as possible but that is great news.

I have another question. Where in the room did Cosmo pee? Was it by an outside window? Do you have ferals in your area that may come around the house?

Please keep us up on how things are going. Anything you think of that may be different. More information is better than less.

Keep up the great work. I am really glad to read your last post. That is positive. just take it slow though. Maximize positive encounters and try to minimize negatives.
 

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I think you did not ruin the intros and all is not lost! As others have mentioned, no blood and fur is great!

I think there are people here with way better advice than I have, so I’ll just share our somewhat similar situation. We adopted Olive November 2017 as an abandoned stray in our backyard. I 100% rushed the intros to residents Gohan and Trin. We had about 6 days of smell swapping where we would let her in to explore our “basement” that opened up tot he backyard. Then we would let the boys see where she had been. Then we had her stay inside with the door closed. I kept pushing the intros too fast. Trin was mostly fine, he started out grumpy and would chase her around but his 14 lb clumsy tabby self was no match for her ninja-esque teleportation around the room and this soon turned into play.

Gohan became extremely territorial. Once he saw her poke her head into a room, he would sprint at her and chase her back down to her basement. If he caught her before she got down there would be a football tackle and sometimes a face swat from him. She would hiss and growl but was not aggressive. This went on for months.

Here we are 20 months later and they can relax in the same area together, they constantly play-fight and they sniff noses at mealtimes. The chasing was very aggressive, and while it was happening there were nights I despaired it would ever work it. I was depressed and upset, and so stressed out. But it does work out, it just may take a while. In time you will look back on this, if not fondly, then in amazement at how far you’ve come.
 
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Great on the cat trees!! Perfect.

Almost like Monty wants to play?

How does Monty walk around? Tail up or down? Tall or lower to the ground? Normal pace or a little slower? Close to the door and in other parts of their room.

How does Cosmo walk around? Tail up or down? Tall or lower to the ground? Normal pace or slower? Close to the door and in other parts of the room.

Cosmo sounds confident in his room. It is most likely that the incident where Monty got on him caused a little insecurity. Or it could be medical so we need to watch it. Watch how he walks around his room, his body language. If he is going in the same places. Things like that. If you sense he is less confident or different then it is probably insecurity. Would be odd he would get an infection but we do have to keep a medical cause in the back of our mind.

That is really good about his reaction after the site swapping. That is exactly what we like to see.

What seems to have changed is the incident with Monty biting him etc. Which can cause an insecurity. BUT it is GREAT to hear that Cosmo has been showing great signs of confidence. I suspect Cosmo will rebound quickly but let's just work on building his confidence.

Cosmo is neutered, correct?

So after the peeing incident they did really well at the gate? If so GREAT!!! I did not expect to hear that. Be cautious and try to make every encounter as positive as possible but that is great news.

I have another question. Where in the room did Cosmo pee? Was it by an outside window? Do you have ferals in your area that may come around the house?

Please keep us up on how things are going. Anything you think of that may be different. More information is better than less.

Keep up the great work. I am really glad to read your last post. That is positive. just take it slow though. Maximize positive encounters and try to minimize negatives.

Its' hard for me to tell, because I have no comparison what Monty would be like if he wanted to play with another cat.
Cosmo walks with his Tail up, almost everywhere with huge steps and in a normal pace. He walks like that almost everywhere except when Monty is making trouble at the door, then his tail goes down and swishes from side to side. Everthing else stays the same.
Monty is walking like that aswell, except when he's bored and tries to jump at the door. Then he walks like he is when he's chasing after a toy.

And yes Cosmo is neutered, otherwise it would probably by a disaster by now xD

We had two or three peeing incidents since we got him, but we can't pinpoint the cause, today could have been because of Monty's biting yesterday. It's usually right next to our laundry basket, especially if there are clothes on the ground, but that's also a place he likes to sit and watch the gate. The other place is beside the bed on my bf's side also on clothes on the ground. We live under the roof sohave mostly roof windows.

It's just a bit difficult to distract Monty from the door if Cosmo is laying there and we are doing something else. The distraction lasts for a moment and after 5 minutes he'll be there again, but I think it decreased in the past weeks.

I'll try playing with both at the door with my bf, as Monty seemed a little distracted the last few day when we played int the livingroom, he didn't lash out at him or something like that, he just thought that what was going on on the otherside of the room was far more interesting than playing with me. He was wandering of while mid play, walking over to Cosmo and with a few treats I could lure him back to my side of the room, that happens around 4 or 5 times until we decide to feed them after 10~ minutes or so

I'm writing all over the place, I'm sorry but I keep remebering things out of the blue xD
 
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I think you did not ruin the intros and all is not lost! As others have mentioned, no blood and fur is great!

I think there are people here with way better advice than I have, so I’ll just share our somewhat similar situation. We adopted Olive November 2017 as an abandoned stray in our backyard. I 100% rushed the intros to residents Gohan and Trin. We had about 6 days of smell swapping where we would let her in to explore our “basement” that opened up tot he backyard. Then we would let the boys see where she had been. Then we had her stay inside with the door closed. I kept pushing the intros too fast. Trin was mostly fine, he started out grumpy and would chase her around but his 14 lb clumsy tabby self was no match for her ninja-esque teleportation around the room and this soon turned into play.

Gohan became extremely territorial. Once he saw her poke her head into a room, he would sprint at her and chase her back down to her basement. If he caught her before she got down there would be a football tackle and sometimes a face swat from him. She would hiss and growl but was not aggressive. This went on for months.

Here we are 20 months later and they can relax in the same area together, they constantly play-fight and they sniff noses at mealtimes. The chasing was very aggressive, and while it was happening there were nights I despaired it would ever work it. I was depressed and upset, and so stressed out. But it does work out, it just may take a while. In time you will look back on this, if not fondly, then in amazement at how far you’ve come.

It's good to know that even if the first impression was ruined, because we couldn't wait for them to meet, that things can work out and be okay in the end.

Thank you, for sharing your story
 

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Its' hard for me to tell, because I have no comparison what Monty would be like if he wanted to play with another cat.
Cosmo walks with his Tail up, almost everywhere with huge steps and in a normal pace. He walks like that almost everywhere except when Monty is making trouble at the door, then his tail goes down and swishes from side to side. Everthing else stays the same.
Monty is walking like that aswell, except when he's bored and tries to jump at the door. Then he walks like he is when he's chasing after a toy.

And yes Cosmo is neutered, otherwise it would probably by a disaster by now xD

We had two or three peeing incidents since we got him, but we can't pinpoint the cause, today could have been because of Monty's biting yesterday. It's usually right next to our laundry basket, especially if there are clothes on the ground, but that's also a place he likes to sit and watch the gate. The other place is beside the bed on my bf's side also on clothes on the ground. We live under the roof sohave mostly roof windows.

It's just a bit difficult to distract Monty from the door if Cosmo is laying there and we are doing something else. The distraction lasts for a moment and after 5 minutes he'll be there again, but I think it decreased in the past weeks.

I'll try playing with both at the door with my bf, as Monty seemed a little distracted the last few day when we played int the livingroom, he didn't lash out at him or something like that, he just thought that what was going on on the otherside of the room was far more interesting than playing with me. He was wandering of while mid play, walking over to Cosmo and with a few treats I could lure him back to my side of the room, that happens around 4 or 5 times until we decide to feed them after 10~ minutes or so

I'm writing all over the place, I'm sorry but I keep remebering things out of the blue xD
Yes, understandable. As I think you mentioned before, if he is growling, hissing, hair is up, ears are back, eyes dilated, tail big, and the tail swishing fast back and forth, those are the signs most of the time that it is more serious. It can be very confusing so another way to judge is how they act after. If it is serious then they act differently (hide, walk low, walk slow, avoid areas etc) and if it isn't too serious then they act like normal. It really takes a lot of detective work and really looking at the situation.

Ok, great. So Cosmo is showing confidence BUT still has some way to go with Monty (which is VERY normal and common). SO we want to continue building his confidence so he shows that more when Monty is around and causing trouble etc. And the more confidence he has the more accepting he will be and the more trust he will have. And the more they have encounters where nothing back happens the more trust will be built between them which reduces the risk of a negative event.

It sounds like Monty is confident as well. He may be viewing Cosmo as somewhat of a toy or prey. So the more confident we can get Cosmo (and act less like prey) the less likely Monty should go after him.

The more confident cats are the more likely they will accept another cat or animal and the more likely they will be accepted.

Yes, agreed. I figured Cosmo was neutered but wanted to confirm. Very good.

Is there any chance an animal or rodent is in the space between the roof and the ceiling?

But I am guessing it has something to do with Monty charging the door. Clothes on the floor can have scents (of other animals on them) so that can cause issues. Is that possible? Also, clothes are soft and can be an attractive place to pee for a cat since it is kind of like litter. I suggest if any way possible keeping clothes off the floor, have a scratching post near the spot where they peed, and/or add a litter box near there.

So cats usually pee because they get stressed. It can be because of another cat or animal. So it makes sense that Cosmo went where he sits near the gate especially if Monty charged the gate or otherwise was intimidating. But cats can also get stressed because of human stress. We have stress at work or stress in our relationship. And cats pick up on our emotions really easily. They can sense when we are stressed or upset etc and they take our emotions. So the more stressed we are the more they are and then they do things like pee or act up. Finally, cats can smell scents so anything unfamiliar on our clothes or through a window can cause insecurity. A lot of times we can't pinpoint the cause of peeing but building confidence (play, food, height and love) and territorial security combined with being calm and confident and loving around the cat usually stops that behavior by building their confidence and territorial security.

Yes, it can be very hard to distract since we can't be there 24/7. Just do your best. Try to get things that might attract his attention. Like having a cat tree by a window (if it is safe and can't tip into the window) or having a toy that he can play with. Or have a ball he can push around and play football with (as long as he can't grab it and throw it into anything and break things).

It is GREAT that he is less interested in Cosmo and his room in the last few weeks. That is really our goal. To get the cats to be so comfortable with the other cat and not view them as a threat or anything and to not focus on them. When we get cats to look away from the other cat it is a BIG POSITIVE step forward because no cat would turn their back on a potential predator. It is really getting the cat to not worry about a physical threat or a threat to their food, water or litter box.

That is fine. As long as the interaction (play, feeding, etc) is a positive experience. No going after the other cat, no negative body language from either one, etc. Anything that is a positive encounter is positive. Do what you feel is best and watch their body language and reactions. If you see any negativity distract or end it and try to turn it into a positive.

This is terrific. Your post is perfect. Any info is helpful. It is hard because I am trying to get a picture of the situation so information is very helpful.

I am actually very happy where you are. We have work but I am highly optimistic we will succeed. It takes knowledge and desire/effort. You have both.

Stay optimistic, calm and confident with them as our emotions are very important as cats take on/feel our emotions. Keep working on building confidence (Play, Food, Height and Love). And try to make every encounter as positive as possible and keep observing their body language.

You are doing great. Keep up the great work!!
 
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