Cat intros at a standstill

cat nap

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Haha, what are your cats up to? Probably plotting something. How to get you to give them more food...
Haha. Yes, I think you're right. My cats are plotting together...that would make total sense, and explains why they are suddenly so chummy.
I'll take that explanation over "maybe they don't like me" any day!
Your cats will always love the one who feeds and plays with them.
All that cuddly stuff is just for show and to get your partner to feed them, too. Extra training.:wink:
I gave it a quick try with the gate closed, when she was acting a little more agitated and focused on T, just to see what would happen. I squished her down...she hated it and wriggled out immediately, and then even went so far as to reach out a paw (she never does this) in my direction. The attitude was aggressive "get away from me" but no claws, and she only barely brushed my arm, the touch itself was gentle.
But yeah...she didn't like that!
I'm not sure that you're supposed to 'squish her down'..:paranoid:..haha. I mean, you're just supposed to hold her back, sort of like what you would do with a person, in a crowd,...loosely hold back their shoulders, not actually squish them down,...unless you're wanting to play 'leap frog' or do some sort of circus/gymnastics jumping or something. Not sure.
But if I were a cat and someone squished me down, I'd be mad as heck, and turn all four paws on the squisher. Whew. Lucky that didn't go too bad. Let's not try that again. :sweat: :paperbag::blush:
Sometimes I think that even two people aren't enough for cat intros, and K and T aren't even particularly aggressive/fighting/hating each other with every ounce of their being. But wouldn't it be nice if you could station someone in every possible space in a house, and also have them ready with cardboard/towels/brooms. More eyes and hands would just be nice! Except you would also need the cats to accept all of these extra people...
Oh, this had me in stitches. :crackup:
All I kept picturing is the worst haunted house, ever, with all these people with cardboard/towels/brooms just waiting around the corners, and in all parts of the house. This would totally freak me out. :fear::jawdrop::eek2:
It's true, that your idea would be good, if it were sci-fi, and you could replicate the humans, and have them stationed in corners, except the cats would probably figure out who the real humans, and fake ones were, so again...not too good.
I guess we just have to stick with the old fashioned way, of just using two humans.:lol:
T at this point has noticed that the gate is open. But she kept looking at K and was hesitant about crossing the "line" (where the gate was open). She eventually came through, but was veeeeeeeery quiet, slow, and sneaky. And she kept checking on K for any movement.
T quietly went downstairs to the front door area then for some reason decided she wanted to talk to us (not sure why she would talk if she was trying to be sneaky) but K didn't even twitch - she was really, really deeply asleep. Possibly snoring.
T returned back to her side of the gate (still quietly) and then repeated a few times (going out, returning to "safety" on her side of the gate), always looking at K.
Yes, that 'talking to the humans' part...does not go with the trying to be 'quiet and sneaky' part. :blush:
I think that T was probably asking you why K was sleeping so soundly
You have EAGLE eyes. For example I thought T wasn't paying attention to me at all during this but she does look up at me. Thank you for going through the videos I post and pointing out these little things that I don't notice!
I wish I had eagle eyes. Cat videos...yes...other stuff...no.
I didn't actually notice the part in the video, where you said that T flinched, ...until I watched it like three times.
I really enjoy your videos, and your descriptions on what is happening, both before, during, and after is very informative.
(You're actually seeing things I probably wouldn't pick up on...like those little leg movements of K, too.)
I know, right?! The change was so sudden (though it might also have to do with us trying in the middle of the day, when they are both sleepier). Maybe she learned quickly that sudden movements will trigger K.
Yes, it seems so sudden, but understandable, too, since our cats process movements, body language, sound, smell,...so much faster than we do,...so it does make sense that their behaviour would change quickly, too.
I know that it seems like sometimes they adapt so slowly, but not really, when you stop and think about how much information they are processing.
It must have to do with the middle of the day, and the sleepiness of the cats, too. Less awake, and more relaxed, too.
I thought it was odd too, I thought for sure K would chase through and possibly up the stairs. But she just stopped. The chase had the attitude of a bluff. Like, "I'm chasing you because I know you'll run, but I don't even need to chase you all the way because you know your place, right?"
Haha. That would be great if every chase were a bluff, ...and in a way, you are right, it actually is...since cats who are playing are really just bluffing their way in play, with all their posturing, body movements, and runs/wrestling. To me, it always looks like they just have to expend this natural built-up energy, with either another cat, or with a run around the house, or running after a toy/object...or pretend toy.

I do wonder if K stopped, as well, because T was much faster. And if K were to pursue, up the stairs, T would have had the higher position/better position for an actual ambush, though T does not seem like the type of cat to actually do an ambush. I do sometimes see my cats break off a chase, mid-run, especially when stairs are involved, so I'm not sure if the stairs are a factor.

I can definitely hear K thinking those thoughts in her head, about the 'not needing to chase all the way', 'because she knows that T will run' and 'know her place'.
Alternatively, it's possible that K treats any area beyond the gate (even if the gate is open) as T's territory, and she just wanted T to return and get out of her space? K doesn't have a problem with coming through to the kitchen after T is put in her room for the night, though, and she sleeps there in the morning before T is let out. So it doesn't seem like she thinks she's intruding on another cat's territory.
This would make sense, if K would stop at the gate, all the time, even on the same floor level, ...but since she stops only when going upstairs, then I'm not so sure.
Though it makes total sense, that K could just be wanting T out of her space.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the future.

I'm just so glad that K stops. It means that you don't have to break it up, and K can walk away.
 

calicosrspecial

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Video 25 and 26 are AMAZING!!! :hyper: :clap2: :yess: They will get along!!! NO DOUBT in my mind now!!!

"no chasing. But no literal face-to-face either (K was sleeping)." - GREAT!!! K knew she was around and didn't care probably. THAT is what we want.

"K started out of her snooze and saw T running out from under the couch, and did a double-take. Then, as T was running up the stairs, K looked at me, like "Am I dreaming or did T just run by?" And since T was out of sight, K just relaxed again and went back to sleep." - This is AMAZING!!! Acceptance. WOW!! I am over the moon with this. Exactly what we want to accomplish.

"blinked sleepily." - Probably eye kisses which is GREAT!!

"T was coming through while K was looking at me, still quiet and sneaky." - Not sneaky but trying to show K she does not mean to be a threat.


"K didn't notice T until T came up right next to my feet, and suddenly she was awake and focused. T went under the couch for some reason... But then K was laser focused on going under the couch, adopting "hunting" attitude. So I stood up, which scared T under the couch, so she scrambled away/made noise, but stayed under - and K was even more focused due to the sound. K really wanted to go under the couch but I got in her way (stepping in front of her, poking her with the broom handle), and eventually she gave up trying to around me and sort of loafed under our coffee table (which is in front of the couch)." - K noticed most likely but didn't care which is great. Yes, prey would hide from a predator as T did. You did a great job of distracting. Avoiding a negative is a positive.

"I'll say here that if K truly wanted to go under the couch she obviously could have. So I feel like she made the decision to wait me/T out, but if I hadn't intervened I do think she would have gone under after T." - Exactly. But K chose not to. If you hadn't intervened she probably would have gone under to encounter T. You did a great job!!

"My partner and I were kind of at a loss because T trapped herself under the couch? We weren't prepared to wait them out for very long because, again, it would mean just staring at K waiting to see if she might attack/chase.We waited for maybe 10 - 15 minutes with nothing happening. I gave K some treats and we opened up the flap of the couch so T might be able to see what K was doing (while K was distracted for a few seconds eating) but T didn't move, still.The few times we got a look at T, she was not quite fully relaxed but also not cowering in fear, though she was all the way in the back corner, away from K. And with very wide eyes." - This happens, you did a good job avoiding negativity.

"K got up after a bit and walked around near the window, then tried to nonchalantly make her way to the side of the couch where T was. But she was still giving off "hunting" vibes (plus she was sitting and waiting "nonchalantly" in a place she never just sits and waits) so I tried to get in her way. She let me deter her for a few tries, then made the decision to ignore both me and the broom (I wasn't very forceful though).She poked her head under and surprisingly didn't just dash under the couch in attack, which is what I was expecting. She slunk slowly through the space to get herself under, and then we didn't have eyes on them. No idea if T was still in the same corner - if she was, then they were directly face to face. But I expect T was already making her way to the other side of the couch. I got worried they might hurt each other under there, so I stuck the broom under blindly (still not forceful, just trying to distract).
It seemed like K ignored it, then I heard her hiss (presumably at T)." _ probably would not stick the broom under. IF a fight was starting then I might try to use it to break it up but if they are coexisting then you can just try to use a treat to distract.

"My partner was in the process of lifting up the flap, and then T dashed out from under the couch and back up to the first stair landing. Definitely a scramble-run, panicked. I think her ears were down." - Totally normal BUT nothing negative happened under there it sounds so it is a positive.

"K stayed under the couch, and after I put the broom down and checked on her, she was just sniffing around and came out when I offered a treat." - Amazing K did not chase T. FANTASTIC!!!

"My partner closed off the gate and T came back down to it to look at K." - GREAT job!!

Overall, I think this is really positive.

"K saw T from across the room and ran over. She ran...but it didn't seem much like a charge or too aggressive. Again it seemed kind of like a bluff? And she stopped at the gate and didn't do anything else, no sounds, no pawing. T did run back up to the landing though." - But again nothing negative happened so a positive. This is normal.

"We gave K a snack and T came back down to watch." - AWESOME!!!

"K wasn't unaffected (she was halfway dodging my petting, didn't really want to be reassured but allowed it to happen) but she wasn't super agitated." - FANTASTIC

"In general, an okay meeting. Not perfect or ideal but it was alright, I think." - Disagree. think this was incredibly telling as to where they are and it was really positive overall. K chose not to hurt T. She accepted in many ways. Overall, really positive. I am HIGHLY ENCOURAGED at what I am seeing and reading.

I have NO DOUBT They will get along.

You need to keep up what you are doing. Makes positive associations, positive encounters. We need to continue to build that trust. T is doing a GREAT job convincing K that she is not a threat AND K is realizing it. T needs to trust a bit more but on the video I see a cat that is making progress. Every time a negative is avoided it is a positive.

"I'm wondering what we're supposed to do in a situation like this, where T traps herself and doesn't know what's going on, and K seems like she's going to go after T? Should we just allow it to happen? Or should we intervene in some way? Should we be trying to flush T out at all?" - I use distraction. Treats, a toy, anything positive to distract. If that doesn't work then I monitor closely and if a fight does break up then I use whatever means necessary. I would not flush out T. Call her sure. Coerce her with treats, yes. But don't grab etc.

"Was it a good thing that K was willing to sit and wait, and look away from the couch, even though she knew T was under there? Or was she just content knowing that T was trapped...?" It was very good and GREAT that she looked away AND didn't attack.

You are well ahead of where I think you think you are. This is amazing progress. You need to maintain this, keep making positive associations and positive encounters and watch if any negativity happens and limit it quickly.

But I think you are in a great place. Awesome progress. The hard part is done, now it really is just fine tuning. Finishing it off via making the encounters as positive as possible and reinforcing that. Trust will continue to build.

GREAT job!!
 
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acari

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It's like 'these are the house rules'....'this is what I expect from you cats'....and 'no playing too rough'. :cool2:
You're right, part of it is that they have their own thing going, but part of it is that they live with us, and we have rules for them!
What makes it even more interesting, is that K did know that T was under there, and still did not immediately go after her.
I don't know if K is being very tactical, and not wanting to get ambushed, ...or if she's just learning to wait, and take things a bit slower.
I think T is pretty transparent with her actions and body language for what she wants, but K is not so much. It's so hard to tell what she's thinking, but in any case if she's not attacking T, I'll take it. Maybe K just wants to make sure she won't be bothered, but doesn't feel the need to chase T around?
I'm not sure that you're supposed to 'squish her down'..:paranoid:..haha. I mean, you're just supposed to hold her back, sort of like what you would do with a person, in a crowd,...loosely hold back their shoulders, not actually squish them down,...unless you're wanting to play 'leap frog' or do some sort of circus/gymnastics jumping or something. Not sure.
But if I were a cat and someone squished me down, I'd be mad as heck, and turn all four paws on the squisher. Whew. Lucky that didn't go too bad. Let's not try that again. :sweat: :paperbag::blush:
Ah, usually if we just hold them around the shoulders they will immediately back out. I don't know if you've seen it but there's a very popular video for how to pick up or hold down a cat from a Canadian vet on YouTube (Vancouver Vet? I can't recall) and he says that if you need to hold a cat down, just squish them. Not anything that would hurt the cat of course. I watched a fair few "how to" videos before we adopted, because I've never really picked up any animals before, and I wanted to make sure I did it right.
Both cats are fine with being squished unless something Happens to them during it (if we need to administer medication for example). But they don't attack us for being squished.
So don't worry!
However, the other day K made a slower sudden movement forward toward T when the gate was open and without thinking I did grab her quickly around the shoulders, and that stopped her. But I'm pretty sure it only worked because she wasn't more agitated.
I do wonder if K stopped, as well, because T was much faster. And if K were to pursue, up the stairs, T would have had the higher position/better position for an actual ambush, though T does not seem like the type of cat to actually do an ambush. I do sometimes see my cats break off a chase, mid-run, especially when stairs are involved, so I'm not sure if the stairs are a factor.
Maybe that was K's laziness kicking in...not wanting to exert herself on the stairs. Haha!
I have NO DOUBT They will get along.

You need to keep up what you are doing. Makes positive associations, positive encounters. We need to continue to build that trust. T is doing a GREAT job convincing K that she is not a threat AND K is realizing it. T needs to trust a bit more but on the video I see a cat that is making progress. Every time a negative is avoided it is a positive.
Now that K is not immediately reacting with her version of aggression and is generally slowing things down when T is around, it is a lot easier to see what you mean about actively making positive associations and encounters, and building trust.
Before, we didn't have much opportunity because K was immediately on alert and considering T to be more of a threat, and wouldn't accept anything from us that would make the situation positive.
But now, for example, she'll see T come through the open gate, and will watch her carefully, but she won't get into a pouncing/chasing position. Then maybe T will dash off and surprise K with the motion and noise, but because she is not "at the ready" I am able to give her a treat, and she eats it, and she relaxes.
I think of it as resetting the "anxiety meter". The more things T does that K doesn't like, the more the meter rises, until it hits a certain point and K will attack. Treats, pets, etc. bring the meter back down so that there's a longer period of time before K has enough.
And we try to maximize the interaction without hitting the limit before ending the encounter.

-----

I hope you have been well! I am just giving a quick update. Mostly, the encounters have been very short still, but sometimes K isn't fully asleep and is definitely aware of T. And she hasn't really rushed T, she's been doing very well actually! She is willing to stay near me with treats, instead of going after T.
T has been running around, seemingly trying to test K for chasing, or possibly playing. But K hasn't engaged.
We still try to time the meetings for sleepier times of the day.

There was one notable meeting from earlier this week when K was DEEPLY asleep, snoring and everything.
T crept silently up all the way to the box K was sleeping in, and sniffed the box.
But because K was sooooooooo asleep, she never woke up, and T crept silently away, and eventually went back to her side - so I closed up.
I have no idea what would have happened if K had woken up to see T literally right in her face!
The original video I have is much longer, because T was moving so incredibly slowly and carefully. But I won't subject you to that whole thing, here is the main event:



Anyway, we will keep doing as we have been, I'll update if there are any significant steps forwards...or backwards!
 

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You're right, part of it is that they have their own thing going, but part of it is that they live with us, and we have rules for them!
Exactly. The hardest part is trying to get our cats to understand and abide by the rules. I don't think cats have the word "abide" in their cat dictionary.
What you said before, is so true. You have to get them to think it was all 'their idea', and encourage that behaviour. :idea:
I think T is pretty transparent with her actions and body language for what she wants, but K is not so much. It's so hard to tell what she's thinking, but in any case if she's not attacking T, I'll take it. Maybe K just wants to make sure she won't be bothered, but doesn't feel the need to chase T around?
Yes, I think I'd take the 'K not attacking T' situations, any day, too.
And it is so very difficult to predict, or interpret what K will do next. K does it so fast.

Yes, maybe K is 'laying down her type of rules and expectations' for T to follow?
I guess this is possible, if K wants to set the tone of all the meetings.
Sort of like you have a 'top cat', and then you have a 'follower'.
Ah, usually if we just hold them around the shoulders they will immediately back out. I don't know if you've seen it but there's a very popular video for how to pick up or hold down a cat from a Canadian vet on YouTube (Vancouver Vet? I can't recall) and he says that if you need to hold a cat down, just squish them. Not anything that would hurt the cat of course. I watched a fair few "how to" videos before we adopted, because I've never really picked up any animals before, and I wanted to make sure I did it right.
Both cats are fine with being squished unless something Happens to them during it (if we need to administer medication for example). But they don't attack us for being squished.
So don't worry!

However, the other day K made a slower sudden movement forward toward T when the gate was open and without thinking I did grab her quickly around the shoulders, and that stopped her. But I'm pretty sure it only worked because she wasn't more agitated.
Okay, I thought you were 'joking' about an actual Canadian Vet, on youtube, talking about 'squish that cat' to restrain them.
(It just seems so un-canadian, to actually recommend 'squishing' anything. Canadians are kind of known for apologizing all the time, even when we're the ones getting stepped on. Seriously, no joke, so squishing things to restrain them is a bit odd.) :confused:

So I had to go and look him up. Yup. There's a video called 'How to pick up a cat like a pro'...by 'Helpful Vancouver Vet'. Wow. :lol:
So the part where he says to 'squish that cat'...he's actually just 'holding' the cat Clawdia down, but the cat is already laying flatly on the towel, on the exam table. :blush: I do really like the way he explains things, so now I will have to go watch his other videos. (I've never heard of the 'football carry' either,...so I guess we learn something new everyday.) Thanks. :clover: :thumbsup:

To prevent the cats from backing out, while holding them around the shoulders, ...you do have to get your feet behind them, so that they back up into your legs...but perhaps the Vet's 'squish that cat' method is better. Now that I understand that he's not actually 'squishing' cats but rather 'holding them', or 'restraining them' with 'both hands placed lightly on top of them'. (squish to me, means to 'squeeze' or 'compress'...like you'd do with grapes...so when you and the Vet mention it...I was entirely visualizing something different. :eek2: Ah, the beauty of the English language.) :crazy:

Thank you for clearing up that whole 'squish' thing. haha. :flail::crackup::spew:
Maybe that was K's laziness kicking in...not wanting to exert herself on the stairs. Haha!
Another possible hypothesis,...which further observations will have to prove or disprove. haha.
This would only make sense,...if K suddenly layed down, every time she approached the stairs. :think: :tongue:
I hope you have been well! I am just giving a quick update. Mostly, the encounters have been very short still, but sometimes K isn't fully asleep and is definitely aware of T. And she hasn't really rushed T, she's been doing very well actually! She is willing to stay near me with treats, instead of going after T.
T has been running around, seemingly trying to test K for chasing, or possibly playing. But K hasn't engaged.
We still try to time the meetings for sleepier times of the day.
Excellent!
There was one notable meeting from earlier this week when K was DEEPLY asleep, snoring and everything.
T crept silently up all the way to the box K was sleeping in, and sniffed the box.
But because K was sooooooooo asleep, she never woke up
, and T crept silently away, and eventually went back to her side - so I closed up.
I have no idea what would have happened if K had woken up to see T literally right in her face!
The original video I have is much longer, because T was moving so incredibly slowly and carefully. But I won't subject you to that whole thing, here is the main event:
I love this video GiF.
Does K have some night job as a 'watchman' or 'guard cat', 'security cat' or something...that takes all night to do?
How come K is so sound asleep during the day? Even T cannot believe it. :blush:

T does seem to want to take her 'nine lives' into her paws, and try and tempt fate, and go over to sniff the box with a sleeping K inside.
Do you think that T has thought about your question of "what would have happened if K had woken up to see T literally right in her face!".
I don't think that T has thought about all the possibilities. T really likes to ride the risks.

I love the way T backs up...ever so slowly, and has to make it over the wooden piece in the rocking chair.
Talk about having amazing spatial awareness. T is like a master at backing up, without looking.
That's a skill that cannot be taught. :lol:

You're K and T videos, Gifs and photos are awesome. :thumbsup:
They are so enjoyable to watch. :cloud9:
I hope you both, and the cats, have an enjoyable week with only steps forward, and none back.
 

calicosrspecial

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"Now that K is not immediately reacting with her version of aggression and is generally slowing things down when T is around, it is a lot easier to see what you mean about actively making positive associations and encounters, and building trust. Before, we didn't have much opportunity because K was immediately on alert and considering T to be more of a threat, and wouldn't accept anything from us that would make the situation positive. But now, for example, she'll see T come through the open gate, and will watch her carefully, but she won't get into a pouncing/chasing position. Then maybe T will dash off and surprise K with the motion and noise, but because she is not "at the ready" I am able to give her a treat, and she eats it, and she relaxes. I think of it as resetting the "anxiety meter". The more things T does that K doesn't like, the more the meter rises, until it hits a certain point and K will attack. Treats, pets, etc. bring the meter back down so that there's a longer period of time before K has enough. And we try to maximize the interaction without hitting the limit before ending the encounter." - Exactly. You are doing a great job. Nice progress!!

"Mostly, the encounters have been very short still, but sometimes K isn't fully asleep and is definitely aware of T. And she hasn't really rushed T, she's been doing very well actually! She is willing to stay near me with treats, instead of going after T." - FANTASTIC!!! WELL DONE!!

"There was one notable meeting from earlier this week when K was DEEPLY asleep, snoring and everything. T crept silently up all the way to the box K was sleeping in, and sniffed the box. But because K was sooooooooo asleep, she never woke up, and T crept silently away, and eventually went back to her side - so I closed up." - AWESOME!!! Gives T some confidence. K can;t be too afraid!!! :)

Keep up the GREAT work!!! What you are doing is working!! Really well done!! I am so proud of you and your partner AND K and T.
 
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acari

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Okay, I thought you were 'joking' about an actual Canadian Vet, on youtube, talking about 'squish that cat' to restrain them.
Haha, now that I reread it, it sounds like I made it up! But yes, his videos are very nice, though as with most "how to" videos they never show how you're supposed to deal with an unwilling cat.
Keep up the GREAT work!!! What you are doing is working!! Really well done!! I am so proud of you and your partner AND K and T.
Thank you!! It really wouldn't have been possible to make it this far without your help. K and T are also your cats by proxy now.

I have a somewhat unrelated question and I was wondering if either of you had any insight on this:
Whenever T is aware that K is using the litter box, she gets really excited. This has been a constant since T had access to the bottom of the stairs (the stairs face the bathroom, so T can see/hear when K goes to use the box), and now the gate is usually sort of perpendicular to the door so T can get pretty close - but the bathroom is still blocked off.

She presses her little face up against the gate repeatedly and paces around while K is doing her duty, sometimes even talking. But she's staring holes into the space where K is (no actual direct line of sight, the box itself is behind a wall).

If I had to describe her actions it would be almost like, she really, really, really wants to jump out and yell "surprise!" when K comes out of the bathroom, and she's pumping herself up for that moment.

Usually when K actually comes out, T is just crouched out of sight, K will turn and look at her suspiciously before walking away. But I don't think T has scared K for real. Maybe once? Though K sometimes gets the zoomies after using the box, so I'm not sure if it was that, or if T did manage to surprise her.

Is this something I should be worrying about? T has never actually had access to K while she's using the box - like should I be worrying if T might try to ambush K?

Is this normal behavior? T's litter box is pretty far away from K but we can hear T using it, and K has never cared...
 

calicosrspecial

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"K and T are also your cats by proxy now." - Awwww, thanks, I LOVE them!!

"Is this something I should be worrying about?" - I wouldn;t worry. Some cats are jsut really fascinated and as long as the cat using the box isn't bothered it isn't really something to worry about. What we will do when they are intro'd and have access is to call T to move away and use some positive reinforcement to get her out of it.

"T has never actually had access to K while she's using the box - like should I be worrying if T might try to ambush K?" - T may try at some point so when she does have access we will have to work on distracting her.

"Is this normal behavior? T's litter box is pretty far away from K but we can hear T using it, and K has never cared... " - It happens, nothing to worry about, we can handle it in time. When they are intro'd and have access to each other.
 

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Haha, now that I reread it, it sounds like I made it up! But yes, his videos are very nice, though as with most "how to" videos they never show how you're supposed to deal with an unwilling cat.
I was thinking the exact same thing, ...about how the "how to youtube videos" always seem to have the most docile, easy-going, relaxed cats that I've ever seen.
There was one, where I did actually hear the cat growl, and the cat belonged to a Vet, but was being given medicine by the Vet tech.
But I cannot remember if it were liquid meds that were being given, or pills, and I do remember that the Vet tech asks another vet tech for assistance, to hold the cat. (If I can find it again, then I'll post the title, but the cat only growled, so not that unwilling.)

That Vancouver Vet is hilarious. I was watching one, last night, where he talks about 'naming cats'...and said that any names that end in 'high-pitched sounds at the end' were good, for a cat to listen to you.
For example, he has a cat named Lancelot, and calls him Lancie or Pirate is called Piratey. lol. Basically his cat Lancelot responds to Lancy, Fluffy, or anything with an 'eee' sound at the end. I actually didn't care what his cat was called, but couldn't stop watching, because Lancelot would turn his head and look up at the Vet, with any high pitched sound. There is something about this Vet's presentation that is addictive.
I have a somewhat unrelated question and I was wondering if either of you had any insight on this:
Whenever T is aware that K is using the litter box, she gets really excited. This has been a constant since T had access to the bottom of the stairs (the stairs face the bathroom, so T can see/hear when K goes to use the box), and now the gate is usually sort of perpendicular to the door so T can get pretty close - but the bathroom is still blocked off.

She presses her little face up against the gate repeatedly and paces around while K is doing her duty, sometimes even talking. But she's staring holes into the space where K is (no actual direct line of sight, the box itself is behind a wall).

If I had to describe her actions it would be almost like, she really, really, really wants to jump out and yell "surprise!" when K comes out of the bathroom, and she's pumping herself up for that moment.
"Surprise!" ....:crackup::spew::lol:
"If I had to describe her actions it would be almost like, she really, really, really wants to jump out and yell "surprise!" when K comes out of the bathroom, and she's pumping herself up for that moment."

Oh my goodness, A acari , ...the way you set the scene, and describe all of T's actions has me rolling on the floor, laughing.
I know that you're asking a serious, and legitimate question, ...but I just cannot get over the visuals of what T is doing.
I mean, it sounds like T gets super happy when she hears K use her litter box.
Usually when K actually comes out, T is just crouched out of sight, K will turn and look at her suspiciously before walking away. But I don't think T has scared K for real. Maybe once? Though K sometimes gets the zoomies after using the box, so I'm not sure if it was that, or if T did manage to surprise her.
Lol. I would be looking at T suspiciously, too, if I happened to be K, and just wanted to use my bathroom in peace, and then suddenly I see T lurking about, extremely happy, and I'm not sure what T is actually wanting to do.
Is this something I should be worrying about? T has never actually had access to K while she's using the box - like should I be worrying if T might try to ambush K?

Is this normal behavior? T's litter box is pretty far away from K but we can hear T using it, and K has never cared...
I don't think you have to worry. Not this point in time, anyhow.
If anything, I'd always be thinking that K would be the one trying to do the ambushes, and not T.

It is quite normal for one cat to watch and observe while another cat uses the litter box.

(My cats have done it, but usually watch from around a corner, and don't actually interfere with each other while going. Only when they were small kittens did they actually jump into the box, and try to pounce and play with each other.
Also, my previous rainbow cat Sparky, would actually go into the box after rainbow Spotty went, and actually cover up Spotty's poop. It was like the cutest thing that I ever saw, but in retrospect, it probably had to do with instincts and hiding poop smell.)

Maybe what is happening is T is noticing that K looks a lot more energetic, ...since you did mention that K sometimes gets the zoomies after using the box....So maybe T is really, really, wanting to play with K, and also notices that K looks more relaxed and playful, after the litter box.
I really don't know. 🤷‍♀️
T is a very observant cat, and probably wants to catch K when she is at her happiest.

PS. I am so glad that Calicosrspecial answered this question in a straight forward way, because I'm still hung up on the "surprise" aspect of the whole interaction. haha. :lol:
Sounds like your T finds many ordinary things in life to be quite joyful and exciting. That's really nice to see. :blush:
 
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acari

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I wouldn;t worry. Some cats are jsut really fascinated and as long as the cat using the box isn't bothered it isn't really something to worry about. What we will do when they are intro'd and have access is to call T to move away and use some positive reinforcement to get her out of it.
Okay, thank you! I have gotten so used to having to influence K's behavior that I forgot that we could do the same for T.
Oh my goodness, A acari A acari , ...the way you set the scene, and describe all of T's actions has me rolling on the floor, laughing.
I know that you're asking a serious, and legitimate question, ...but I just cannot get over the visuals of what T is doing.
I mean, it sounds like T gets super happy when she hears K use her litter box.
Haha, it is quite funny if you take the worrying about K out of the equation. I have no idea what she might do if she actually had access.
It's also interesting what things she chooses to be brave about and which she is a scaredy-cat about. She's wary of K but doesn't seem to care if the litter box is involved!
(My cats have done it, but usually watch from around a corner, and don't actually interfere with each other while going. Only when they were small kittens did they actually jump into the box, and try to pounce and play with each other.
Also, my previous rainbow cat Sparky, would actually go into the box after rainbow Spotty went, and actually cover up Spotty's poop. It was like the cutest thing that I ever saw, but in retrospect, it probably had to do with instincts and hiding poop smell.)
Maybe T is retaining some kitten memory (she had a brother at the shelter - he was adopted before we visited)?
Aw, Sparky sounds incredibly cute, taking care of Spotty like that.
Alternatively, Spotty wanted to claim the territory with maximum smell, and Sparky didn't agree. Haha!

-----

We opened the gate this evening when they were both a bit more awake, but not riled up, to see what might happen if they were not both sleepy/drowsy.

K had watched T come through the gate, and T went downstairs to sniff our shoes and stuff.

My partner put a large piece of kraft paper over K (she likes to hide under them for some reason) expecting her to come out, but she stayed underneath.

T came back upstairs and went to the gate, but turned around because K was shifting underneath the paper. So there was a large brown crinkling moving lump in the middle of the living room. T couldn't pass up the opportunity to investigate.

She crept toward the paper a few times, but ran back to the gate because maybe I moved my foot, or she heard a sound.
K didn't move an inch throughout this.

Then, she decided to try one more time, and I decided to record. We were a bit apprehensive because we were sure that K would end up chasing T, but at the same time it was an interesting experiment since K was hidden.

Over the course of two minutes (so you have context for how slowly T was moving and how long she took to get to K) T made her way over to the paper. I'm only giving you the last 15 seconds after that two minutes.

When T sticks her head under, she makes a tiny trilling questioning sound, sort of like "Hello?"



As you can see, K chases her almost immediately. But I can't imagine that she didn't know T was coming up to her over such a long time, and with T sniffing the paper - earlier in the video I took (but not in the GIF) she even lightly brushes the edge of the paper.
I suppose it is still possible that she wasn't aware...but don't cats have really excellent hearing and sense of smell?

And judging from the way K came out of the paper, she probably had some view of T's feet or when T was lowering her head down to peek in...but I'm not sure.

I stopped recording in case I was needed, of course, but T ended up dashing all the way around the room to hide behind the rocking chair, and K ended up underneath the "coffee" table. (So K didn't chase her all the way, and didn't continue chasing even when T stopped moving.)

My partner walked over to stand between them, and I grabbed the treat jar and crouched down to K, shaking and opening the jar.
She looked toward me for an instant but then focused on T again, who I think was looking for a chance to escape.

As I was getting a treat out (this is all happening within like, five seconds), T dashed away back around to her side of the gate and back up to the first landing, peering around the corner.
K almost started after her, but I put a treat in her face and she deigned to eat that instead.

K stayed turkeyed under the table, pupils wide, looking for T.

T was fine, and ate her treats readily. Then she came back down to see what K was doing. So even though there was a chase, I think it wasn't very negative.

But I wonder what you might think of the GIF? You only see K at the very end and the chase is very fast.

I wonder if they were playing or not...? Another thing to note is that K didn't make any sound during this, no hissing, no growling, etc.

I gave K a snack a bit later and her tail was brushing against the gate - T reached a paw out for it and K hissed at her for that, very quickly. T backed off and K continued eating, though she rotated around so that her tail was no longer within reach. That sounds like healthy communication to me ("leave me alone, I'm eating").
 

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That sounds like a really good encounter. Tough to know about the video but what happens before and after tells us a lot. GREAT job distracting. Does seem like a lot of play. Overall, I say continued good signs. Well on the way to being intro'd.

"K hissed at her for that, very quickly. T backed off and K continued eating, though she rotated around so that her tail was no longer within reach. That sounds like healthy communication to me ("leave me alone, I'm eating")." - Totally agree.

Keep up the great job!!
 

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Haha, it is quite funny if you take the worrying about K out of the equation. I have no idea what she might do if she actually had access.
It's also interesting what things she chooses to be brave about and which she is a scaredy-cat about. She's wary of K but doesn't seem to care if the litter box is involved!
It's so natural to be worried about things beforehand, but I find with our cats, that sometimes half the stuff we worry about doesn't actually happen, or happens in a way that we cannot predict, so it's just better to tackle things as they happen.
I understand that it is good to be prepared, though, so trying to 'nip things in the bud' or 'try to guide the way things evolve' is not a bad way to look at things, but sometimes we waste too much energy in setting up all the scenarios, and they don't even happen in the way we worry. Okay, I'm rambling now, so I better stop. :crazy: :rolleyes2:

I like the way that T approaches situations, because she, to me, is just the right amount of cautious, but also brave,...and if you watch her, T is actually the one that tries to set the tone of the meetings. T learns so quickly if something is not working, and then tries a different approach...like for example the way she slooowly walks around K.
Maybe T is retaining some kitten memory (she had a brother at the shelter - he was adopted before we visited)?
Aw, Sparky sounds incredibly cute, taking care of Spotty like that.
Alternatively, Spotty wanted to claim the territory with maximum smell, and Sparky didn't agree. Haha!
I do sometimes wonder, how much memories our cats can retain, and how much is instinct and learned behaviour.
My animals fascinate me, in how purposeful their actions are, and how they can get me to do things.
They dream, and have rapid-eye movements, too, so I also wonder what they dream about, which we'll probably never know.

"Alternatively, Spotty wanted to claim the territory with maximum smell, and Sparky didn't agree."
(You're absolutely right,...haha....I never thought of the 'maximum smell' ...'claiming territory' angle. ...That makes a lot of sense.
I just thought that Spotty was being messy and fast, and acted like he had no time to cover, but what you said about 'claiming maximum territory' makes more sense.) :barfgreen:
We opened the gate this evening when they were both a bit more awake, but not riled up, to see what might happen if they were not both sleepy/drowsy.

K had watched T come through the gate, and T went downstairs to sniff our shoes and stuff.

My partner put a large piece of kraft paper over K (she likes to hide under them for some reason) expecting her to come out, but she stayed underneath.

T came back upstairs and went to the gate, but turned around because K was shifting underneath the paper. So there was a large brown crinkling moving lump in the middle of the living room. T couldn't pass up the opportunity to investigate.

She crept toward the paper a few times, but ran back to the gate
because maybe I moved my foot, or she heard a sound.
K didn't move an inch throughout this.

Then, she decided to try one more time, and I decided to record. We were a bit apprehensive because we were sure that K would end up chasing T, but at the same time it was an interesting experiment since K was hidden.
I like this type of experiment.
These are the best kinds, where you don't know what is going to happen. :clover:
Over the course of two minutes (so you have context for how slowly T was moving and how long she took to get to K) T made her way over to the paper. I'm only giving you the last 15 seconds after that two minutes.

When T sticks her head under, she makes a tiny trilling questioning sound, sort of like "Hello?"
I swear, I honestly think your cats are somehow reading your previous posts.
(My cats might be reading them too, because strangely they have been getting along a bit too well, in the past month.)
As you can see, K chases her almost immediately. But I can't imagine that she didn't know T was coming up to her over such a long time, and with T sniffing the paper - earlier in the video I took (but not in the GIF) she even lightly brushes the edge of the paper.
I suppose it is still possible that she wasn't aware...but don't cats have really excellent hearing and sense of smell?

And judging from the way K came out of the paper, she probably had some view of T's feet or when T was lowering her head down to peek in...but I'm not sure.

I stopped recording in case I was needed, of course, but T ended up dashing all the way around the room to hide behind the rocking chair, and K ended up underneath the "coffee" table. (So K didn't chase her all the way, and didn't continue chasing even when T stopped moving.)
Amazing.:think:

If you slow down the GIF, and watch around the 14.22 mark, you can actually see K's paw fly out from under the paper, and K is the one who initiates the chase, not T.
At the 14.44 mark it looks like a 'classical Surprise' attack, but I don't think that K manages to actually swat T, because T is so amazingly fast. I can't believe how quick T turns, and gets away from K's paws. :eek2:

Was there any part of this chase, where K did manage to swat or hit T?

Totally playing, and totally aware of each other the whole time. You're right, that cats' hearing and sense of smell is highly acute. I'm not sure about the scientific amounts, but for sure they hear and smell things that we can't. K and T both knew where each cat was, so that makes it even more interesting, in how the play progresses.

It seems like that rocking chair area is some sort of alternate 'safe place' for T. She uses it a lot for both protection, and another obstacle to hide behind. And that coffee table must be 'safe space' for K, so that nothing approaches her from above.
I like the way your two cats choose strategic spots of furniture, with each having easy access but good vantage points.
That's a smart cat move.
My partner walked over to stand between them, and I grabbed the treat jar and crouched down to K, shaking and opening the jar.
She looked toward me for an instant but then focused on T again, who I think was looking for a chance to escape.

As I was getting a treat out (this is all happening within like, five seconds), T dashed away back around to her side of the gate and back up to the first landing, peering around the corner.
K almost started after her, but I put a treat in her face and she deigned to eat that instead.

K stayed turkeyed under the table, pupils wide, looking for T.

T was fine, and ate her treats readily.
Then she came back down to see what K was doing. So even though there was a chase, I think it wasn't very negative.

But I wonder what you might think of the GIF? You only see K at the very end and the chase is very fast.

I wonder if they were playing or not...? Another thing to note is that K didn't make any sound during this, no hissing, no growling, etc.
Great how your partner stands between them, but also great how you were able to distract K for that instant, and then again to get her to eat a treat.

The way they play is interesting, because I cannot decide who the smarter... or rather who the more strategic cat is,..since they are both smart.
For a while, I think...."well that was a good move, getting behind that furniture, or using that paper as a shield", and then it's "oh, oh, what were you thinking in getting that close?".... They are totally playing, though, and feeling each other out. :thumbsup:
I gave K a snack a bit later and her tail was brushing against the gate - T reached a paw out for it and K hissed at her for that, very quickly. T backed off and K continued eating, though she rotated around so that her tail was no longer within reach. That sounds like healthy communication to me ("leave me alone, I'm eating").
K really enjoys her treats, but she kind of set herself up for getting her tail touched, by leaving it brushed up against the gate.
I suppose that T has to learn not to touch, or come anywhere near K while she's eating, so yes, it is good communication between the cats.

In your opinion, are the interactions with the gate open, becoming longer with more periods of just walking around, sleeping, and doing different things?
Do the cats also seem less jumpy and scared, and more purposeful in their movements?
Do they also watch each other less often, with the gate down?

And how are they with playing with wand toys, now? or other toys, paper and things?
(To me it looks like great progress, but I'm just wondering what your thoughts are.)
 
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They dream, and have rapid-eye movements, too, so I also wonder what they dream about, which we'll probably never know.
Me too! It is so cute to see them clearly dreaming about something. And I really think they have nightmares sometimes too, sometimes K will suddenly wake up and start talking, looking really worried, until I tell her things are fine. Then she might go back to sleep.
If you slow down the GIF, and watch around the 14.22 mark, you can actually see K's paw fly out from under the paper, and K is the one who initiates the chase, not T.
At the 14.44 mark it looks like a 'classical Surprise' attack, but I don't think that K manages to actually swat T, because T is so amazingly fast. I can't believe how quick T turns, and gets away from K's paws. :eek2:
Yes, originally I thought K was facing the other way actually (head closer to the camera). So I was surprised when I slowed it down and saw that she was basically facing T when T poked her head under...so she must have seen T's feet at the very least.
T's bounding away was so fast and athletic. I think she would win the championship trophy for "scared acrobatics".
Was there any part of this chase, where K did manage to swat or hit T?
The only possible hit would have been caught in the video, she might have been able to get a paw in. But like you said it's really close, K might not have actually touched T. The remainder of the chase that was not caught on video definitely had no physical contact.
And that coffee table must be 'safe space' for K, so that nothing approaches her from above.
I think you're right, she doesn't want us swooping down on her. But it's annoying, because we also can't reach her to pet her or reassure her.
For a while, I think...."well that was a good move, getting behind that furniture, or using that paper as a shield", and then it's "oh, oh, what were you thinking in getting that close?".... They are totally playing, though, and feeling each other out. :thumbsup:
"What were you thinking in getting that close?" is really T's theme song.
Yesterday evening, we opened up the gate and they were keeping their distance from each other. I had to do some work so I asked my partner to keep an eye on them.
I sat down and suddenly heard chasing sounds followed by T making a lot of noise running up the stairs (all the way up).
My partner said that T was over near the couch, and K was going towards her under the dining table. T for some reason decided the best course of action would be to try to escape by running directly past K, instead of around her...so K "tried to tackle her" (my partner's words, I didn't see it) and there may have been some physical contact, maybe not.
But T was a bit shaken, because she stayed up in her room for a little bit (came running back down when we got out her dinner a few minutes later).
I scolded K but gave her pets, and I think she did feel bad/guilty.
They still ate next to each other with the gate between without issue.

K sulked all evening by hiding in a bed that's tucked away in a cabinet, she almost never uses that one.

When I finished my work later and went over to her side, she came out and then went up to T who was lying down at the gate, and made a tiny meow. I think that was her version of an apology. T rolled over obligingly and put her paws up, K ignored her in favor of then asking for food (she never stays apologetic for long).
In your opinion, are the interactions with the gate open, becoming longer with more periods of just walking around, sleeping, and doing different things?
Do the cats also seem less jumpy and scared, and more purposeful in their movements?
Do they also watch each other less often, with the gate down?

And how are they with playing with wand toys, now? or other toys, paper and things?
(To me it looks like great progress, but I'm just wondering what your thoughts are.)
The interactions with the gate are getting better but so slowly. We're trying to open the gate when they're more awake too now and K is almost always on alert. I might be able to distract her with treats but she'll whip her head around to keep an eye on T, and she's always in a ready-to-pounce position if T is within a certain distance.

T is wary of getting close to K because it always ends in a chase or a swat or something.

When the gate is open...T walks around relatively freely on her side of the gate and sometimes she doesn't feel like coming through the opening, so she'll lie down at the gate like she usually does. K doesn't really move around, she's too busy watching T or looking for treats.

The past two days or so, K sometimes will immediately dart through the opening (when T is on the stairs) to go sit in the kitchen. So she walks right by T without looking at her or caring about her. Usually it's meal or snack time. She's on alert for T's appearance and makes half-hearted chasing motions (easily held back by us) but she's more concerned about asking for food.
T will usually take the opportunity to wander around the living room (cautiously) or try to sneak closer to K, turning around to the stairs when she's spotted.

They don't seem less jumpy/scared yet though. T will still randomly dash around, surprising K, and T will run away if we come near (gate up or down, she's not comfortable with the area...but in general she is still hesitant sometimes even in her own room).

I also haven't noticed that they watch each other less often. T is always watching K in case K will attack, usually for coming too close (meaning five feet or so). K is almost always watching T unless she's eating or sleepy.

Toys are the same for the two of them. T still goes wild for the same toy and K still doesn't want to play 99.9% of the time.

Somehow we still feel so close but so far for this introduction. K has never just come up to T, even at the gate, calmly or just to hang out, lie down (maybe two or three times EVER, for maybe 15 seconds, out of the months we've been doing this intro). Almost always if they interact directly K is pawing at T (too roughly for T's liking, though T does want to play she would prefer it to be more gentle) or now, with the gate down, K is running at T.

It's weird how it seems like they're improving, but the final goal keeps moving further away too?
 

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Me too! It is so cute to see them clearly dreaming about something. And I really think they have nightmares sometimes too, sometimes K will suddenly wake up and start talking, looking really worried, until I tell her things are fine. Then she might go back to sleep.
I forgot about the nightmares, too. The cats start mumbling, murmuring, and softly growling in their sleep, and their legs are sometimes twitching like running. It is suddenly surprising, when everything is quiet, and suddenly I hear this. But yeah, they know it's a dream, because they don't just bolt up, and take off running. That would be alarming.
Yes, originally I thought K was facing the other way actually (head closer to the camera). So I was surprised when I slowed it down and saw that she was basically facing T when T poked her head under...so she must have seen T's feet at the very least.
T's bounding away was so fast and athletic.
I think she would win the championship trophy for "scared acrobatics".
I couldn't tell where K was, but for sure she was fully aware of T,... and if she wanted to, K could have grabbed T's paws at any time.
K could have hurt T at any time, if she really wanted to, but she doesn't.
So that's why I think it was purely in Play, ...and that K was actually waiting for T to look under.

"T's bounding away was so fast and athletic. I think she would win the championship trophy for "scared acrobatics".
"scared acrobatics"....haha.
This is another area where my thinking moves back and forth,... I don't think that T is actually that scared of K.
Why would T walk on up to K, when she's sleeping, or when she's hiding under paper,...if she were truly scared?.
Wouldn't T just want to avoid K, ...if she were really scared.

I think K and T are just trying to figure out ways to Play with each other, ...but their play-styles are not yet getting into sync.
One cat likes to run, while one likes to pounce and probably will prefer boxing/swatting, wrestling, tumbling, and getting more physical.
But I still think it will be T who will set the pace, and tone, and not K.
The only possible hit would have been caught in the video, she might have been able to get a paw in. But like you said it's really close, K might not have actually touched T. The remainder of the chase that was not caught on video definitely had no physical contact.
That is good. It means that even if there is a chase, then it could end with no physical contact, and no prolonged chasing, either.
Short bursts of energy, followed by running and chasing, and no actual rough-fighting surprises me.
I always expect it to end in a rough wrestle, so I'm sort of surprised that K does actually stop.
I think you're right, she doesn't want us swooping down on her. But it's annoying, because we also can't reach her to pet her or reassure her.
At that point in time, in the midst of a Play chase, or new cat interaction,....I highly doubt that K wants to be pet or reassured.
I'm thinking that K just wants to sit, and take in her surroundings, and is still in "play-mode".
K's probably thinking about her next move.

(I know that with my cats, when I have to intervene, or referee, that Tripp acts like the 'best game in the world is suddenly over' and he now has to focus on me, and go back into 'proper cat etiquette around his humans'. haha. Sometimes you can actually see Tripp, trying to decide what to do next.)
"What were you thinking in getting that close?" is really T's theme song.
""What were you thinking in getting that close?" is really T's theme song.".. :crackup::lol: ..OMy gosh, my ribs are going to hurt again from laughing too much. My eyes start watering, and then I cannot see the screen, anymore.
Laughter is the best medicine, though, ..so I just have to remember to breathe. :blush:
This IS a perfect theme song for T. :thumbsup:
Yesterday evening, we opened up the gate and they were keeping their distance from each other. I had to do some work so I asked my partner to keep an eye on them.
I sat down and suddenly heard chasing sounds followed by T making a lot of noise running up the stairs (all the way up).
My partner said that T was over near the couch, and K was going towards her under the dining table. T for some reason decided the best course of action would be to try to escape by running directly past K, instead of around her...so K "tried to tackle her" (my partner's words, I didn't see it) and there may have been some physical contact, maybe not.
This is more like what I would expect them to do. And yes, our cats wait for us to 'sit down' before they attempt their shenanigans.
(I think they have super hearing, or super timing,...not sure which.)
But T was a bit shaken, because she stayed up in her room for a little bit (came running back down when we got out her dinner a few minutes later).
I scolded K but gave her pets, and I think she did feel bad/guilty.
They still ate next to each other with the gate between without issue.
T couldn't have been too upset, if she came back down for food.
Plus, eating right next to each other, even with a gate, means they were both not too upset.
K sulked all evening by hiding in a bed that's tucked away in a cabinet, she almost never uses that one.

When I finished my work later and went over to her side,
she came out and then went up to T who was lying down at the gate, and made a tiny meow. I think that was her version of an apology. T rolled over obligingly and put her paws up, K ignored her in favor of then asking for food (she never stays apologetic for long).
K does really remind me of my Tripp.
They'll both be apologetic for like 5 minutes, and then want the whole thing forgotten. Then they just seem to repeat similar actions with slightly various maneuvers or twists, and wonder why their humans are again telling them to 'stop', or 'hey', or 'be nice'.
Our cats totally understand us, but still have to try and see how far to 'push the envelope'...test the limits.

K and T are still new to interacting, though, so will definitely need more time to learn how to approach, play, and interact with each other.
To me, they are progressing exceptionally well, because they seem to respect each other, and also are listening to you both, even when it seems like they are not.
 

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The interactions with the gate are getting better but so slowly. We're trying to open the gate when they're more awake too now and K is almost always on alert. I might be able to distract her with treats but she'll whip her head around to keep an eye on T, and she's always in a ready-to-pounce position if T is within a certain distance.

T is wary of getting close to K because it always ends in a chase or a swat or something.

When the gate is open...T walks around relatively freely on her side of the gate and sometimes she doesn't feel like coming through the opening, so she'll lie down at the gate like she usually does. K doesn't really move around, she's too busy watching T or looking for treats.
It's interesting, because to me they look like major improvements, but I guess when you are in the midst of the cat-intros,...then they feel like immensely slow.
The past two days or so, K sometimes will immediately dart through the opening (when T is on the stairs) to go sit in the kitchen. So she walks right by T without looking at her or caring about her. Usually it's meal or snack time. She's on alert for T's appearance and makes half-hearted chasing motions (easily held back by us) but she's more concerned about asking for food.
T will usually take the opportunity to wander around the living room (cautiously) or try to sneak closer to K, turning around to the stairs when she's spotted.
So the kitchen is the best place in the house, in K's opinion...besides her place in the sun, I suppose.
It's true that it's kind of universal that most cats will come running/walking, or show up quite quickly, when they hear treats, cans, or food-time.
They don't seem less jumpy/scared yet though. T will still randomly dash around, surprising K, and T will run away if we come near (gate up or down, she's not comfortable with the area...but in general she is still hesitant sometimes even in her own room).

I also haven't noticed that they watch each other less often.
T is always watching K in case K will attack, usually for coming too close (meaning five feet or so). K is almost always watching T unless she's eating or sleepy.

Toys are the same for the two of them. T still goes wild for the same toy and K still doesn't want to play 99.9% of the time.
Maybe it's just that the videos seem different to me, then. For some reason, I do see K and T acting more purposeful in their movements, and of course T is much slower with her movements in some, where she is cautious and exploring.
Those are hilariously fun to watch.

T dashing around is stuff I love, too, because she is acting so kitten-like, so young, and exuberant.
That random dashing to me, would be so natural, lively and playful. I just love seeing that.

Watching each other makes sense, for each cat always, but the fact that K is comfortable enough to fall asleep, while T is walking about is a good sign.
K does not even seem to be bothered by T, just for the fact that she does not even bother to wake up, with T walking about the room.
A cat that is so alert, afraid, and territorial, would never allow an intruder to just wander about.
Somehow we still feel so close but so far for this introduction. K has never just come up to T, even at the gate, calmly or just to hang out, lie down (maybe two or three times EVER, for maybe 15 seconds, out of the months we've been doing this intro). Almost always if they interact directly K is pawing at T (too roughly for T's liking, though T does want to play she would prefer it to be more gentle) or now, with the gate down, K is running at T.
Again, I guess it's just our perspectives are different.

I somehow only really start counting the progress from the time of the ("Saint-Saens and Rondo Capriccioso...cat video #22")...where K rolls onto her back...which was jan. 26th...and then of course the ("laying in the sunshine" video....#25)...which was on Feb. 9th.
I guess to me, those are the two places where so much progress was observed, and the months before this were just laying foundation for these times.

So technically, in my mind, it's only been like one month of concrete solid advancements, even though you started the cat intros from before...mid November 2019...I think...so realistically 3+ months...but in cat nap time....only 1 month of solid advancements.
(Obviously, I am terrible at telling time. Time seems to move too fast for me to notice. Or maybe I just forget about all your hard work from yesterday, and only look at today.) 🧐 :):geekcat::paperbag::blush:

Regardless, though, even though I cannot keep time, ...I still think that both K and T have made so many improvements, and are doing so well, because they are making progress every day.
It's weird how it seems like they're improving, but the final goal keeps moving further away too?
(I suppose it's like one of the members on here, told me long ago, to break things down into manageable pieces/chunks, when trying to tackle any project.)

You're already doing that A acari , by following the plan you set out....in the cat-intros.
You're probably just aiming for the 'final goal' a little too soon. It will happen, maybe not in the way you imagine it, or by the orderly steps we all want to see, but both cats will get to that place. The good thing is that your cats are responding, which is great to hear.

I suppose it is slow, but it cannot be rushed. Even if you were to place signs everywhere by the gate, saying "cats play nice"....both K and T would not read them. K would tear them down and chew on them, and T would happily put them back up, all over the place. (My cats ignore me at times, so I imagine other cats do the same.)

Focus on the things that are working, which you already are, and just keep reinforcing those methods. :deal:
Your methods are working, so even though K is responding slower and seems to want to play too rough, and T wants more gentle play, ...I think that you are slowly modifying each cat's behaviour...and definitely seeing improvements.
Focus on the little improvements, and maybe not on the final goal...since I bet you'll arrive there, without even realizing it. :)
 
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acari

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Why would T walk on up to K, when she's sleeping, or when she's hiding under paper,...if she were truly scared?.
Wouldn't T just want to avoid K, ...if she were really scared.

I think K and T are just trying to figure out ways to Play with each other, ...but their play-styles are not yet getting into sync.
One cat likes to run, while one likes to pounce and probably will prefer boxing/swatting, wrestling, tumbling, and getting more physical.
But I still think it will be T who will set the pace, and tone, and not K.
You're right, T can't be scared in that way. But I don't know how else to describe how...flighty she is about everything. It is interesting that she continues to push K's boundaries.
And I think you're also right that they don't know how to play with each other, especially without the gate. T just wants to go, go, go, and K crosses the line from playing to fighting/negative way too quickly.
I always expect it to end in a rough wrestle, so I'm sort of surprised that K does actually stop.
We had a negative encounter (more on that below) yesterday night but I don't think they ended up "wrestling" still.
To me, I think K is much more concerned with keeping T at arm's length and not about harming her in any significant way.
Watching each other makes sense, for each cat always, but the fact that K is comfortable enough to fall asleep, while T is walking about is a good sign.
K does not even seem to be bothered by T, just for the fact that she does not even bother to wake up, with T walking about the room.
A cat that is so alert, afraid, and territorial, would never allow an intruder to just wander about.
If T is far enough away, K will close her eyes, but she won't sleep unless it's the time of day when she's extremely sleepy.
If T is within a certain distance/in eyesight, K will pretend to be relaxed (body position) but her eyes will be wide open and laser focused on T.
If T is within a foot or two it's the danger zone - K will at the very least start getting up, head up, following T with her head. But it's a toss-up if she will actually go after T, depending on a lot of different things. If T is just cautiously walking by, perhaps K will go back to pretending to be relaxed. If T stays where she is, K might take offense and go after her.
Focus on the things that are working, which you already are, and just keep reinforcing those methods. :deal:
Your methods are working, so even though K is responding slower and seems to want to play too rough, and T wants more gentle play, ...I think that you are slowly modifying each cat's behaviour...and definitely seeing improvements.
Focus on the little improvements, and maybe not on the final goal...since I bet you'll arrive there, without even realizing it. :)
Thank you for the encouragement...my partner had a break from work this month so we've both been home and we had hoped for them to be intro'ed faster with the both of us around to supervise, but we're still not there yet and the month is already over!

However the past week or so has been really good (except for the aforementioned negative incident).

K used to stay over on her side of the gate and wait for us to bring her kibble, but now she comes right up to the cardboard and basically asks to be let through, even if T is right there. And she'll walk right by T.
If T is blocking the way, however, K is hesitant. I get the feeling she doesn't like how unpredictable T is and doesn't want to be surprised if T suddenly tries anything.
We have a large piece of cardboard standing in the dining room/kitchen, and interestingly they use it as a barrier for themselves. T goes on the inside "track" and K goes around on the outside. Sometimes they're actually right next to each other, just on either side of the cardboard.
K is usually focused on food but she's on the lookout for T to appear.
T is usually focused on K, peeking around and then hiding again when K turns to look at her.
We've also been opening the gate when we're prepping their dinner and it has mostly been uneventful. They both hang out in the kitchen with the cardboard between, then they follow us to their side of the gate and eat with the gate open (then we close it, because we don't want T to disturb K while she's cleaning, etc.).

Once, when they were both walking back down the hall toward the gate, each on their side of the cardboard wall, they weren't paying attention to each other, just to us (holding food). So they exited the "wall" at the same time and were neck-and-neck.
T wasn't paying attention so kept walking, but K got surprised seeing T so close, and she immediately bopped T in the middle of her back, once, then a glancing blow a second time (T jumped a bit and then ran up the stairs to the first landing).
But they both seemed fine and ate dinner without a problem.

We can almost not supervise them with the gate open but not quite. It depends on how close they are to each other - the closer, the more supervision is needed. In the middle of the afternoon when they're just sleeping in different spots in the house, no problem for the gate to be open...but of course...they're sleeping.

Before I describe the negative thing that happened last night, I have some GIFs for you of them behaving really well! I would post the videos in their entirety but they're really long. I'll just give you the highlights.

These are actually all from Tuesday - in the daytime, then in the evening. Both times the interaction/them being near each other was for at least five minutes, which to me in cat time is an eternity when things can happen in seconds!










And then these are from Wednesday evening:
I wonder if K doesn't attack because the gate (even though it's open) is in the way? If T were this close without the gate there's no way something wouldn't have happened.




Okay...now about what happened last night (sorry for such a long post).
They had been REALLY GOOD all day, the gate was open most of the time.
T has taken to hanging out under the couch, which I think is an odd choice for a safe space when K can get under too, but maybe when T is under there she would just rather not be bothered by us humans?

In the evening, T was getting playful, and K was waking up and was seemingly also playful. She went over to the bottom of the stairs (this is the first time she's done this when the gate is up and T is around so it's significant) and really looked like she was about to play with T. I caught a picture of her right before stuff went down:

IMG_20200227_225459.jpg

Here, she's looking up at T, who is peering around the corner at the first landing.

My partner and I were just chit-chatting, and observing K, wondering what she was going to do (she was wiggling the tiniest bit), noticing that she was playful.

Before we knew it, she'd run up the stairs and then both of them were out of sight.

But we didn't hear anything horrible, just that there was some running, but no sounds of hard chasing/scrambling and we figured T went to her room. We started up the stairs to see what happened, and K was already coming back down, seemingly fine.
My partner saw T first in her room and said, "Whoa! She's all puffed up!"
And indeed T was puffed up. Her fur was standing on end, back arched, tail low. Ears were up though. We've never seen her do that before. Of course we're aware that it's not a good thing for her to poof up like that but it was still kind of funny.
So both me and my partner went into her room to comfort her, and she deflated.

The only thing we can think of is that she reacted that way because she didn't like K entering her room? Or perhaps K chased her further in than we thought/heard? It seems like T might have crashed into her water fountain because there was water on the floor and her tail was wet, maybe she scared herself with the water?
She doesn't puff up in fear (or hasn't before), she usually cowers and makes herself really small in a corner. So maybe she was angry?

Now my partner and I were petting her a bit, talking to her, and discussing between ourselves what might have happened.

T got up and walked out of the room and down the stairs. We were slow to follow but were just like, "Oh, she's already going back downstairs, maybe she's not so bothered after all."

But then before we knew it we heard a scuffle and a lot of vocalizing. My initial reaction to the sound would be to call it a scream but I looked up cats screaming and that's not it at all. I guess the closest would be like...high-pitched growling? Vocalized hissing? Weird meowing? It was loud enough to be worrying but not LOUD in the way screams are, if that makes sense. I would say this lasted for four or five seconds (and we still didn't have line of sight coming down the stairs).

When we first heard the noise I very loudly said HEY from the top of the stairs, but they didn't stop, and my partner started going down. He also said HEY and then the sounds stopped - then I heard him say STOP IT!
I didn't go down the stairs because I didn't want to block T from coming back up if she were scared/running away.
T came running up the stairs and into her room.

Unfortunately neither me or my partner saw anything so we have no idea if they were in physical contact with each other or what happened exactly...or who made the noise...or if it was both of them...we have no idea.

Maybe K was still agitated from the chase and wasn't fine, or she was waiting at the bottom of the stairs, and when T came down there was a disagreement? Or maybe T was determined to say her piece so she went down and harassed K? Sigh.

Anyway my partner thinks T had run under the couch (why?), and he saw K go under after her, but didn't see T exit - only that she did end up back in her room.

K stayed turkeying under the couch. My partner went to talk to her, and then I went to console T, who seemed a bit shaken but accepted pets and rubbed against me a bit. She ate her treats without issue and then turned her attention to her treat ball (which we use to hold her kibble).
I went to talk to K next and she came right out for a treat.
After T finished emptying her ball, she came downstairs, maybe a little cautiously, but generally fine.

So within maybe 10 minutes they were both relatively back to normal, but we didn't open the gate again for the night.

It really seemed like K was playing at first. But maybe she got overwhelmed/too excited and it turned negative.

We think maybe we've been pushing it with the gate open so much so we're going to dial it back until they're friendly at the gate again, and now we're going to have a policy that if the cats are doing "new" things (like K being at the bottom of the steps) even at the risk of interrupting their playing/something positive, we'll have one person with each cat so at least one of us will be able to see what's happening.
 

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Before I describe the negative thing that happened last night, I have some GIFs for you of them behaving really well! I would post the videos in their entirety but they're really long. I'll just give you the highlights.

These are actually all from Tuesday - in the daytime, then in the evening.
Both times the interaction/them being near each other was for at least five minutes, which to me in cat time is an eternity when things can happen in seconds!
Thank you so much A acari ....for your update and for posting these GIFs.
You totally made my weekend, :cloud9: because I was wondering about K and T this past week, and figuring that they were probably getting along, and that T was probably slinking about...walking ever so slowly. I guess I wasn't altogether wrong in my guesses.

(I'm going to break up my replies into a couple of posts, and obviously not answer in any type of order.) :hellocomputer:

Your GIFs and descriptions are amazing.
I don't know why I watch them in 'suspense'...reading that you already said that the cats were "behaving really well".
It's just that, when a person doesn't know what's about to happen, and sees T getting extremely close to K,...then I figure 'anything could happen'. :paranoid: :cringe: :blush:
And yes...." Both times the interaction/them being near each other was for at least five minutes, which to me in cat time is an eternity when things can happen in seconds!"....
I totally agree. Five minutes in 'cat time' is an eternity. :thumbsup:

1st Gif: I'm just going to call it "The hammock and side-table".
1st part: I watched and kept thinking, "Wow, is T ever cheek-marking that side-table. She really wants to take 'ownership' of that table. Not too sure if K will appreciate that."

2nd part: Cue the music. This is where I figured that T's 'theme song' would insert nicely. "What were you thinking in getting so close?". :blush: I'm just not sure how dramatic this music should be. :eek2:
When T gets closer and sniffs the hammock, at the 3.04 mark, I thought, "Oh, oh. What were you thinking. You know that you're in striking distance of K's paws, right?" :shocked:

And then when T flinches at the 11.34 mark, ....I think I flinched, too.
Not sure if K made some sort of sound or movement that made T flinch...but I was scared. :fear:
T moves back and seems to look under the table, and I think, "Yes, go under there. Do it. Good move."

3rd part: "But no, T doesn't go under the table for protection"....I get nervous again.
But nothing happens. Heads and ears are moving. T stays low. This seems to be the 'pause in the movie' where everything seems okay. :cool2:

4th part: Then the fourth part happens. The beginning part is so hilarious, where T slowly creeps up her head to be above the table.
I don't think you could have directed this part to be any better. (If this were a film, it would have all the drama, suspense, action of any of those big budget horror/action/drama films.)
K is totally aware of T creeping her head up, at 1.41 mark, and the look on T's face is priceless. :crackup:

Then at the 5.41 mark, where T places her right paw into the hole in the table, I was thinking it was for distraction, but it's really to get a 'paw hold' so that she can hoist herself up.
T's a genius, but she cannot quite pull herself up with one paw, so she attempts using both.

K has enough of watching T's ineffectual attempts at climbing up, so she seems to lay her head back down...at the 12.86 mark.
(In my mind, though, I think K is just pretending.) :think:
T's angles are all wrong, so she decides to use her left paw and gets into a better position. Now she manages to pull herself up.
At the 23.30 mark, T's back legs are on the table, but K quickly moves and swats, T has her eyes already closed and manages to scramble down. Whew. Was that close. 😊

It was fun to watch, because no contact was ever made, but the way they were playing was very dramatic, and respectful.
I'm not sure why K didn't just go and chase after T at this point. Maybe because she was sleepy, and nicely relaxed,...or like you mentioned before...that K doesn't really want to chase T, ..she just wants to move her a certain distance away...so that she can thoroughly relax and not have T sneaking up on her. :thumbsup:

To me, both cats are Playing right here. They just have a very unique style of interacting. Where I think there will be a play-fight and chase, ...it turns out to be just an approach, movement, swat, and ending. Their style of playing is very reserved, and K seems to hold back, a lot.

The "Pink Bed GIF".
This GIF is just as dramatic as the 'hammock' one, but somehow I wasn't as scared. (when I say 'scared' I don't actually mean literally frightened, ...I mean I'm just expecting some unexpected drama with chasing, and play-fighting, because of how both cats are so close to each other. Scared is the wrong word. Excited, or any word that means 'awaiting an unexpected outcome'.
You already know the outcomes to these videos, but I don't...so it's much more exciting for me to watch them. Unexpected anticipation would be a better term.) :idea:

1st part: T's again approaching from that side of the room. That must be her favorite side to walk on.
The way T gets frightened and moves back, as K re-positions herself in the bed is funny.
I mean, was T thinking that somehow K's paws would reappear from underneath. Maybe, if T thinks it's another "hiding under the brown paper" chase/ambush.
I love the way cats think and approach new things. You can almost see the 'thinking wheels' that move them to act.

2nd part: This one is interesting because of the way that T and K are definitely aware of each other, and T still proceeds to focus on the underside of the cat bed.
I think K and I, have the same thoughts, here, "What is T up to now?". :think:

3rd part: It's cute that T still wants to go walk around the bed but still has to make sure where K is. That sniff, look and stretch is adorable.

4th part: T does an extremely smart thing, here, in walking on the side of K's back paws, and not in front of her.
The way they both look at each other, and then T wisely turns and slooowly walks away, like she's walking on eggshells, is very smart.
(I wish we knew what they were saying with their eyes. Just the looks alone, must convey all sorts of meaning, but I doubt us humans are quick enough to pick it up.)

And then these are from Wednesday evening:
I wonder if K doesn't attack because the gate (even though it's open) is in the way? If T were this close without the gate there's no way something wouldn't have happened.
I think you're right. T is using the gate as a sort of 'shield'.
But it's still hilarious. :biggrin:

"Open gate....paws through...GIF"
It's almost like T is asking K to 'play paws' through the gate...even though it's open.

The second part of the Gif makes me laugh some more, because it actually looks like K is saying, "Hey, humans, can you believe this T cat? I mean when they were giving out 'intelligence' in the cat kingdom, I think T might have been last in line. T actually thinks that I cannot just move around the gate, and play some real paws. This T cat comes up with the goofiest games."

I love the way they are both interacting. :lovecat2: :caticon::blackcat:
 

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Okay...now about what happened last night (sorry for such a long post).
They had been REALLY GOOD all day, the gate was open most of the time.
T has taken to hanging out under the couch, which I think is an odd choice for a safe space when K can get under too, but maybe when T is under there she would just rather not be bothered by us humans?

In the evening, T was getting playful, and K was waking up and was seemingly also playful
. She went over to the bottom of the stairs (this is the first time she's done this when the gate is up and T is around so it's significant) and really looked like she was about to play with T. I caught a picture of her right before stuff went down:
(Your posts are not any longer than my replies. haha.
I enjoy reading them, and if you'd ever write a novel,...I think I'd enjoy reading that, too. I wish I was independently wealthy, since then I'd offer to publish the things you write, but alas, maybe in another lifetime.)

I think that under couches, and chairs, are the ideal spots for cats to lounge. They must feel safe, plus have the advantage of multiple escape routes,...and also I do think that our cats enjoy being with their humans...so perhaps under the couch the cats feel close to the humans, but yet still protected. Plus it's darker, quieter, and they can still keep an ear, or eye, on things that move around them.
But they also enjoy being on top of things, tables, cat trees, beds...so I suppose they choose the place based on how they feel in that moment, too.
Here, she's looking up at T, who is peering around the corner at the first landing.

My partner and I were just chit-chatting, and observing K, wondering what she was going to do (she was wiggling the tiniest bit), noticing that she was playful.

Before we knew it,
she'd run up the stairs and then both of them were out of sight.

But we didn't hear anything horrible,
just that there was some running, but no sounds of hard chasing/scrambling and we figured T went to her room. We started up the stairs to see what happened, and K was already coming back down, seemingly fine.
My partner saw T first in her room and said, "Whoa! She's all puffed up!"
And indeed T was puffed up. Her fur was standing on end, back arched, tail low. Ears were up though. We've never seen her do that before. Of course we're aware that it's not a good thing for her to poof up like that but it was still kind of funny.
So both me and my partner went into her room to comfort her,
and she deflated.
I should not laugh, but the 'deflated' part gave me a good visual.

(My rainbow cat Sparky used to do the puffing up part...mostly with his tail, on two separate occasions that I remember, and where I actually didn't really recognize him. He must have seen something outside the window, and went into what I call 'full halloween cat mode'...with the tail poofed up, fur standing up, arched back,...exactly how you described T. The other time, something must have scared him in the basement, since only his tail was super-poofed up. Again, I didn't recognize him.)

I think this must be an automatic reaction for some cats. Not all cats.
Maybe it's like a startle response, and the automatic reaction is to make themselves appear so much more bigger, so that if anything feels threatening, then they can scare off the offending predator.
I find it fascinating when they only poof up certain parts of their bodies....like their tails, and not the rest.

If you do remember the "pink bed GIF", T does have a little 'poofiness' when she slowly walks away at the end. It's minor in the 'poofy rating department'...perhaps a 2 or 3 of poofy...but it's still there. In some of the other videos, T manages to poof up her tail and have her fur on her back, (hackles) stand up.

Here's an internet article that talks about 'piloerection'....which I just call poofiness. They say it's caused by an adrenaline rush, which makes sense. All About Piloerection — Not a Dirty Word, We Swear!
The only thing we can think of is that she reacted that way because she didn't like K entering her room? Or perhaps K chased her further in than we thought/heard? It seems like T might have crashed into her water fountain because there was water on the floor and her tail was wet, maybe she scared herself with the water?
She doesn't puff up in fear (or hasn't before), she usually cowers and makes herself really small in a corner. So maybe she was angry?

Now my partner and I were petting her a bit, talking to her, and discussing between ourselves what might have happened.

T got up and walked out of the room and down the stairs. We were slow to follow but were just like, "Oh, she's already going back downstairs, maybe she's not so bothered after all."

But then before we knew it we heard a scuffle and a lot of vocalizing. My initial reaction to the sound would be to call it a scream but I looked up cats screaming and that's not it at all. I guess the closest would be like...high-pitched growling? Vocalized hissing? Weird meowing? It was loud enough to be worrying but not LOUD in the way screams are, if that makes sense. I would say this lasted for four or five seconds (and we still didn't have line of sight coming down the stairs).

When we first heard the noise I very loudly said HEY from the top of the stairs,
but they didn't stop, and my partner started going down. He also said HEY and then the sounds stopped - then I heard him say STOP IT!
I didn't go down the stairs because I didn't want to block T from coming back up if she were scared/running away.
T came running up the stairs and into her room.
Hmm...so there was some sort of interaction or altercation that caused T to get all poofed up, but then T decides to go back downstairs again.
It doesn't seem that it was all that bad in T's mind, then.

The vocalizing does sound like it was caterwauling or some type of yowling with growling/hissing thrown in.
It's good that you heard this, and that the cats were communicating with each other, because then they can further learn what each of them will allow, and how to move past any differences that they have.

Also good that both cats stopped when your partner went downstairs. At least both cats will come to understand that whatever they were doing is not okay.
Unfortunately neither me or my partner saw anything so we have no idea if they were in physical contact with each other or what happened exactly...or who made the noise...or if it was both of them...we have no idea.

Maybe K was still agitated from the chase and wasn't fine, or she was waiting at the bottom of the stairs, and when T came down there was a disagreement? Or maybe T was determined to say her piece so she went down and harassed K? Sigh.

Anyway my partner thinks T had run under the couch (why?), and he saw K go under after her, but didn't see T exit - only that she did end up back in her room.

K stayed turkeying under the couch.
My partner went to talk to her, and then I went to console T, who seemed a bit shaken but accepted pets and rubbed against me a bit. She ate her treats without issue and then turned her attention to her treat ball (which we use to hold her kibble).
I went to talk to K next and she came right out for a treat.
After T finished emptying her ball, she came downstairs, maybe a little cautiously, but generally fine.

So within maybe 10 minutes they were both relatively back to normal, but we didn't open the gate again for the night.

Besides the intense vocalizing, the above interaction doesn't sound all that bad or extremely negative.
Yes, something happened to cause one, or the other cat, to vocalize, and either feel cornered, upset, or react in fear and defense,...but if they managed to get over their initial contact or interaction, and then again managed to get over the second interaction in a relatively short time-frame, then both cats are doing rather well.
It really seemed like K was playing at first. But maybe she got overwhelmed/too excited and it turned negative.

We think maybe we've been pushing it with the gate open so much so we're going to dial it back until they're friendly at the gate again, and now we're going to have a policy that if the cats are doing "new" things (like K being at the bottom of the steps) even at the risk of interrupting their playing/something positive, we'll have one person with each cat so at least one of us will be able to see what's happening.
Yes, maybe K was too ambitious, overwhelmed, or too excited and perhaps approached T in a more excited manner, and T may have automatically reacted to K's initial attempts at playing, or that K's playing was a bit too rough for T. It also could be that T was just extremely vocal, or K was, so they were expressing their desires of not wanting any rough playing.

I think you might hear more of this type of vocalizing and play, but if it ends like the above did, and you both could manage to stop it with just a 'hey, hey, hey' or 'stop it', then it's already going in the right direction.

You both have really good instincts when it comes to cats, and cat-introductions, and cat behaviour.
I know you mentioned that you didn't have cats before, but the way you're patiently going about the cat-intros, and adjusting your methods to help the cats adjust is extremely perceptive. You're basing it all on what you observe, and again trying things like 'clicker training' and different methods of using cardboard for separation, eating in different areas, opening the gate at different times, and putting in a lot of effort to allow your cats to feel more relaxed.

It's really informative the way you both do things, and also the level of patience that you both have is so high. :)
 
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acari

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Thank you cat nap cat nap for continuing to accompany me on this journey!!

1st Gif: I'm just going to call it "The hammock and side-table".
1st part: I watched and kept thinking, "Wow, is T ever cheek-marking that side-table. She really wants to take 'ownership' of that table. Not too sure if K will appreciate that."
T loves to cheek mark everything. I mean everything. K only ever does it half-heartedly and not often...T does it enough for the both of them. Based on the way T does it I wonder if it's less about ownership/territory and more about self-comfort. For example she does it lots and lots if she is nervous/unsure.
And then when T flinches at the 11.34 mark, ....I think I flinched, too.
Not sure if K made some sort of sound or movement that made T flinch...but I was scared. :fear:
No, there's no sound in the video, actually. I rewatched that a few times too and I'm not sure what made T flinch.
The beginning part is so hilarious, where T slowly creeps up her head to be above the table.
Isn't it so funny and cute? T is a drama queen like that. She likes to lie down on her side and peer around corners with huge wide eyes and it always looks like that.
I was nervous when filming but I couldn't help laughing at her!
Then at the 5.41 mark, where T places her right paw into the hole in the table, I was thinking it was for distraction, but it's really to get a 'paw hold' so that she can hoist herself up.
That time it was for the paw hold but T actually just likes to stick her paws through the hole there for some reason (also, it's a step-stool, so the hole is a hand-hold). When K isn't there she'll do the same if she's playing with the stool.
To me, both cats are Playing right here. They just have a very unique style of interacting. Where I think there will be a play-fight and chase, ...it turns out to be just an approach, movement, swat, and ending. Their style of playing is very reserved, and K seems to hold back, a lot.
Here, yes, K was reserved. I think it's a lot of ungainly movement for K to get up from the hammock, that's most of why I felt alright leaving them be. Even if K really wanted to jump out and chase T, it would kind of take too long and too much effort...and she's lazy. So T was pretty safe.
It's interesting that T always comes up to K. What is she expecting?
But it also makes sense...K never goes to T. If her attention is on T she's usually thinking about chasing her away or swatting, so the handful of times K has happened to walk towards T (calmly/not really paying attention to T), T is already dashing away just in case. To be fair, T does this with us also. She hardly ever stays in place if we're walking toward her no matter our intentions, even if we're just walking by and not looking at her at all.
The "Pink Bed GIF".
The way they both look at each other, and then T wisely turns and slooowly walks away, like she's walking on eggshells, is very smart.
This has happened more and more. T is always looking at K and if K is staring back, T busies herself with sniffing around or turning to walk the other way.
However, if K isn't looking/walking in another direction, you'll see T trotting bravely behind, stopping when K turns around/notices her. As if they're playing "red light green light". It's a lot like the litter box situation - it seems like T is trying to sneak up on K so she can go "SURPRISE!" but she never gets close enough for it. And I don't know if T could possibly expect a good reaction from K!
"Open gate....paws through...GIF"
It's almost like T is asking K to 'play paws' through the gate...even though it's open.

The second part of the Gif makes me laugh some more, because it actually looks like K is saying, "Hey, humans, can you believe this T cat? I mean when they were giving out 'intelligence' in the cat kingdom, I think T might have been last in line. T actually thinks that I cannot just move around the gate, and play some real paws. This T cat comes up with the goofiest games."
You have K's internal monologue spot on. It's so funny when K decides she's going to be chill about T's shenanigans.
I think this must be an automatic reaction for some cats. Not all cats.
Maybe it's like a startle response, and the automatic reaction is to make themselves appear so much more bigger, so that if anything feels threatening, then they can scare off the offending predator.
I find it fascinating when they only poof up certain parts of their bodies....like their tails, and not the rest.
Thank you for the link! I've never seen K poof up except for her tail, sometimes in reaction to T when she's being really super obnoxious. We'll keep an eye on T to see if it happens again, and if so, what might have triggered it.
Besides the intense vocalizing, the above interaction doesn't sound all that bad or extremely negative.
Yes, something happened to cause one, or the other cat, to vocalize, and either feel cornered, upset, or react in fear and defense,...but if they managed to get over their initial contact or interaction, and then again managed to get over the second interaction in a relatively short time-frame, then both cats are doing rather well.
The two days after the incident, they were mostly back to normal, but K was rather jumpy even when T wasn't around. More easily startled by us walking by or making sudden noise.
Sigh...cat logic is not linear...
It's really informative the way you both do things, and also the level of patience that you both have is so high. :)
We really hope we get there soon. It's so frustrating to see those "cute" posts people make online where they're like, "We just moved in together and our cats are snuggling, they're best friends!" ...I wish......
 

pearl99

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T loves to cheek mark everything. I mean everything. K only ever does it half-heartedly and not often...T does it enough for the both of them. Based on the way T does it I wonder if it's less about ownership/territory and more about self-comfort. For example she does it lots and lots if she is nervous/unsure.
Hello there, I'm following (lurking) your adventure here! I like reading cat intro threads because I learn so much.
So, I think of the cheek marking thing as similar to us "hanging pictures." Like when we move somewhere we hang pictures to make it feel like home. And it's comforting to do it. I kind of get the same feeling when my cats rub my legs when I'm standing up.
Anyway, I love your videos. I totally cracked up at the table part with T. Your two are adorable!
 

cat nap

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Hello there, I'm following (lurking) your adventure here! I like reading cat intro threads because I learn so much.
So, I think of the cheek marking thing as similar to us "hanging pictures." Like when we move somewhere we hang pictures to make it feel like home. And it's comforting to do it. I kind of get the same feeling when my cats rub my legs when I'm standing up.
Anyway, I love your videos. I totally cracked up at the table part with T. Your two are adorable!
That's great to know, pearl99 pearl99 ...followers/lurkers are always welcome, here. :blush: :wave3:

That "hanging pictures" analogy for the cheek marking is really good.
I can totally see that, now. It truly is quite comforting to do. (My cat Tripp does it to me, too, but usually to my entire face, neck, and gives head bunts. I thought he was trying to own me, or mark me as his,...but now I'll just think he's "hanging pictures" and comforting himself and me, too. :cloud9: :thumbsup:

That video part with T creeping up to the table still gets to me. I watched it like 5-10 times, and it never loses it's funny quality.
Like A acari mentioned, T may be a drama queen, ...and she really knows how to use those facial expressions. :crackup:
(If you slow down the GIFs to half speed, while watching on a computer, ...it's even better, because the expressions are so intense. :biggrin: )
 
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