Cat intros at a standstill

pearl99

In memory of Pearl, my labrador. RIP Pearl.
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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: )
I will have to slow it down and watch :popcorn:.
 

cat nap

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Thank you cat nap cat nap for continuing to accompany me on this journey!!
This is like one of my top favorite threads, :cloud9: so it's you I have to thank, for providing all the detail, descriptions, videos and gifs.:touched:
That is a lot of work. (Last week I was going to badger you for some updates, but held myself back...since I told myself that I had to be patient, too. I can't tell you to be patient with the cat-intros, and then turn around and want to know what your cats are doing...every minute of the day. :blush: Then I would be the opposite of patient, and kind of annoying. :crazy: )
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.
That does make a lot of sense. (My cat Tripp does the cheek marking to my face and head, and he isn't nervous when doing it, but I guess it could be total self-comfort, since he did it ever since he was a kitten, too. I thought he just wanted to mark me, and tell everyone that I was his. haha.)
I like pearl99 pearl99 description above, of "hanging pictures" and thereby being more comfortable in their surroundings.
Makes sense that our cats would be all about being 'comfortable'.
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!
Well if T is peering around corners, and places, with huge wide eyes like that...then no wonder that K would get a little suspicious and nervous seeing that.
I mean, how could you not be suspicious, if you suddenly saw that peeking around a corner?? :crackup::paranoid: :lol:
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.
It must be a form of exercise for T. It's a step stool...good to know...I thought it was just a unique looking side table.
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.
I think T is expecting K to play with her.
This so far has been the pattern of their play.
But I'm really glad that K does not make full effort to catch T or swat her hard, at these points.
It's kind of good that T is so fast, and is learning to just stay out of reach of K's lightning fast moves.

Maybe T really just enjoys the 'dashing away', so even with her humans this becomes automatic. I don't think that T is frightened of you, so it's more that she enjoys the running, and 'keep away' game. It's like playing tag with the humans, but never getting caught.
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!
(That's hilarious. It reminds me of those 'spy movies', where someone is following another person, but when the first person turns around and looks, the 2nd person acts like they are looking at something else.
You have your very own 'spy movie' with your cats acting in the leading roles.)

I wonder if this is an actual 'cat tactic' that is used when you want to pursue your prey? haha.
Act like you don't notice your prey, when they see you. But follow closely behind. When your prey turns your way, then turn away as fast as you can. I suppose it makes a difference depending on how big your prey is, and what your experience has been in the past.
Eg. Walking slowly away, if you think that you've annoyed them enough, or conserving your energy for a potential ambush.
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.
Watching T, there must be a lot of shenanigans going on,...so K is probably confused with all the goofy, invented cat-moves, and games.
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...
You have to admit....cat logic is fun.
It never makes much sense at the time.

You mean that K was jumpy? Or was it T? Why would K be so jumpy? Yup, that's cat logic for you.
I could see both cats being jumpy, since the 'poofy incident' must have scared them both.
Plus, both cats might have needed the extra time to get the adrenaline rush out of their systems.
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......
" 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......"

Haha....Those people are such liars!!! :evilgrin:
I've never seen such posts, unless they are 'commercials for cat food' or some such product.
How could they just move in and their cats be best friends and snuggling immediately??
Their cats are either on drugs, or are the most chill cats in the world. Yes, I suppose it could be possible. Maybe 1 out of 30 times, more or less. Maybe the cats are super old and chilled, or kittens, but regular cats don't act immediately that way.

Yeah, there are cats...just like some people...that do immediately bond, and form friendships, so I guess it can be true.
(My rainbow Spotty was super chilled and grew up with dogs and cats, but still I wouldn't say that he'd immediately snuggle with another cat. Be in the same room, yes,...snuggle....no.)

These cats sound like the cats you see at Vet's offices, that roam around or lounge, and are not bothered by other cats, dogs or people...so yeah, I guess it could happen. :ohwell:
 
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acari

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Hello there, I'm following (lurking) your adventure here! I like reading cat intro threads because I learn so much.
Hello pearl99 pearl99 ! Welcome! I read a lot of threads before I started this one...at least for me, no matter how much I read it just feels different when you're actually working with real live cats. I thought I was prepared...
Anyway, I love your videos. I totally cracked up at the table part with T. Your two are adorable!
Thank you! Well, it's not really me, it's them. But I'll pass on your feedback. :)
(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:
K and T only mark with their bodies when it's mealtime. Otherwise if they are in a good mood they'll push their wet little noses onto our noses, but that's it. None of the bunting that I hear so much about. Maybe one day...
Maybe T really just enjoys the 'dashing away', so even with her humans this becomes automatic. I don't think that T is frightened of you, so it's more that she enjoys the running, and 'keep away' game. It's like playing tag with the humans, but never getting caught.
T really does love to dash away but I do think part of it is that she's much more scared than the normal cat. Scared isn't quite the right word, she's just really restless, jumpy, and is super slow to get comfortable anywhere.
I wonder if this is an actual 'cat tactic' that is used when you want to pursue your prey? haha.
Act like you don't notice your prey, when they see you. But follow closely behind. When your prey turns your way, then turn away as fast as you can.
Maybe, though it doesn't sound very efficient to me. It reminds me of little baby kittens pretending to stalk their mom and the mom letting it happen...maybe T is doing that even though she's around 10 months now, and K is confused because she's never been a mother?
You mean that K was jumpy? Or was it T? Why would K be so jumpy? Yup, that's cat logic for you.
K was weirdly jumpy, T is always jumpy. It's practically part of her personality.
Their cats are either on drugs, or are the most chill cats in the world.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
What drugs? I'll give them to K and T and maybe they'll get along!

-----

Anyway, nothing new has happened - my partner has returned to work so we have less time now for the gate to be open, because I can't always just sit around watching them. We're still at a point where I have to be at the ready, so I can't really do other stuff...sigh.

Well, I guess something kind of new, but I'm not sure of its significance - both K and T were at the gate yesterday, and T turned around to sniff at the floor. Her backside was up against the gate, and for some reason K came up and sniffed at T's butt for a while before turning around to use her scratching pad.
I'm not sure T noticed.

Do cats sniff butts to be friendly, or is that just dogs?

(...Is it weird to say "sniff butts"?)
 

pearl99

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Well, I guess something kind of new, but I'm not sure of its significance - both K and T were at the gate yesterday, and T turned around to sniff at the floor. Her backside was up against the gate, and for some reason K came up and sniffed at T's butt for a while before turning around to use her scratching pad.
I'm not sure T noticed.

Do cats sniff butts to be friendly, or is that just dogs?

(...Is it weird to say "sniff butts"?)
They do sniff butts, like dogs, for information. Do I know you? Are you a friend? Seeing what's new, getting to know another cat, assess things.
Not weird. No other way to describe it :agree:
 

cat nap

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K and T only mark with their bodies when it's mealtime. Otherwise if they are in a good mood they'll push their wet little noses onto our noses, but that's it. None of the bunting that I hear so much about. Maybe one day...
Marking at mealtimes seems universal. (It's like our cats have to make sure their 'human servants' know how much they are appreciated, mark us to hurry up, or so we cannot wander away and begin another task.) I'd like to think it's the appreciation part. :catrub:
Wow, if you're getting a little wet nose, then that's another sign of affection, too. :lovecat2:

(When you're watching the last ten minutes of a t.v. program, or the news, and your cat decides to start bunting you...then...ahh...it's a little inconvenient, and I swear that the cats time it exactly, so that it is the last 10 minutes of a live television program. Cats have some type of internal clock, or are really paying attention to how 'interested in the screen-time' we humans are getting. :geekcat:)
T really does love to dash away but I do think part of it is that she's much more scared than the normal cat. Scared isn't quite the right word, she's just really restless, jumpy, and is super slow to get comfortable anywhere.
Maybe, though it doesn't sound very efficient to me. It reminds me of little baby kittens pretending to stalk their mom and the mom letting it happen...maybe T is doing that even though she's around 10 months now, and K is confused because she's never been a mother?
I forgot how young T still is. She's still a kitten at around 10 months. (For some reason I thought she was closer to 1 year. Some cats will act like this until 1.5, and some until 3 years.) (I know we all want our kittens to mature, and not act destructive, but when they do, and when they are older, then you look back and miss those days of kitten-craziness. It goes by way too fast. :winkcat: )

(You know I had to look up 'red light-green light' because I never heard of that children's game. It sounds like fun. I learn something new on the cat-site, everyday. :thumbsup: )

Maybe K was more of a serious type of kitten, who liked to 'play-hunt' and 'direct her actions towards more serious cat stuff' like eating, grooming, watching her mom, directing the other kittens...and winning all the competitions.
T was probably more 'flighty' like you called her before, and liked to zip-by, invent games, explore, and mimic what she sees.
Their personalities are just unique and different, like all our cats are. No two cats are alike, that's what makes them so interesting. :think:
K was weirdly jumpy, T is always jumpy. It's practically part of her personality.
Haha. K is now copying T. That would be cool to see.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
What drugs? I'll give them to K and T and maybe they'll get along!
:crackup:You don't need any drugs. :lol:
Although, I do kind of wonder why no one has yet invented a 'cat pheromone' to aid with cat-introductions. Probably because it would have to mask the natural scents from a cat, and would later cause more confusion, or aggression when it wears off. They probably tried and have yet to discover the 'how to bottle the friendly cat scent', but 'not too friendly' and also have a 'skunk away type' to ward off too much closeness.
Then they'd have to come up with the one you mentioned, above, ....the 'we just moved in, so use 'instant snuggly cat scent', Nonsense. :headshake: :barfgreen: :wink:

The ones I'm thinking about are for super aggressive cats, and some are just 'calming agents' but your K and T don't need any.
Most of those 'calming treats' would probably cause K and T to sleep too much, and then you wouldn't even get a good indication of how they'd get along....they'd always be sleeping.

Plus, you want to get the true and natural response from your cats, not any 'altered responses'.
(I gave some catnip to Tripp, a while back, on one of his toys,...he acted all amped up, and did get into a small tussle with Tepaul, later in the day. Tepaul seemed to like the catnip, and played more intensely with the cat toy. I still don't like how it alters the natural way a cat acts. I'll try this experiment one more time, but if Tripp acts up, then the cat nip will have to go.)
Anyway, nothing new has happened - my partner has returned to work so we have less time now for the gate to be open, because I can't always just sit around watching them. We're still at a point where I have to be at the ready, so I can't really do other stuff...sigh.

Well, I guess something kind of new, but I'm not sure of its significance - both K and T were at the gate yesterday, and T turned around to sniff at the floor. Her backside was up against the gate, and for some reason K came up and sniffed at T's butt for a while before turning around to use her scratching pad.
I'm not sure T noticed.

Do cats sniff butts to be friendly, or is that just dogs?

(...Is it weird to say "sniff butts"?)
I've got to agree with pearl99 pearl99 here....."Not weird. No other way to describe it.:agree:"
If you would have said 'sniff the backside'....I would have said "where exactly", and if you used terms like 'derriere, rear, posterior'...it would not be as direct, and a little vague...or not to the point....So as long as you're using these terms 'on the cat site', and not during any dinner meetings, or dinner chat, ...then I'd say you're okay. haha. :blush:

I also agree with pearl99...that cats do sniff each other's butts to get all the info that they can about the other cat...health, mood, familiarity, where they've been, how they feel, etc. I think it relieves tension and stress, too, but I don't remember where I read that.

There might be some dominance and submissive action going on, too, because I have noticed that my female cat does not like it when her butt is sniffed too long, by the male cat, but strangely when the dog does it, then it's somewhat okay. I read that we shouldn't interfere with animals while they are butt sniffing, but I tend to tell my dog to stop, or 'enough already' because he seems to want to read a 'whole novel' instead of a 'short text message' when he sniffs the cats.
With the cats, I just let them do whatever they want, though the female tends to sit down when she's had enough.

For K and T this must be significant, since it's a new behaviour you noticed.
Hopefully, it means that K is accepting T more and more. :)
 
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acari

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(When you're watching the last ten minutes of a t.v. program, or the news, and your cat decides to start bunting you...then...ahh...it's a little inconvenient, and I swear that the cats time it exactly, so that it is the last 10 minutes of a live television program. Cats have some type of internal clock, or are really paying attention to how 'interested in the screen-time' we humans are getting. :geekcat:)
Cats always bother you at the most inconvenient times. Maybe it's because they do get attention, because we want them to leave us alone for another few minutes!
I forgot how young T still is. She's still a kitten at around 10 months.
I don't have a good idea of how different a kitten at 10 months is from a cat of a year. K has changed even though she was supposed to be a year old when we adopted her, I was just looking at her first pictures and she actually looks younger (granted, she has gained weight...haha).
Although, I do kind of wonder why no one has yet invented a 'cat pheromone' to aid with cat-introductions.
Like you mentioned, there are ones already for (theoretically) reducing aggressiveness, and then the ones that are supposed to emulate like "motherly" pheromones, so that the cats might get tricked into thinking they're all part of the same litter (no need to fight).
But I think way back at the beginning of the thread I tried one of those, and it actually made K even more wary and anxious, so we're not doing it again!
Maybe the idea is that, even if the perceptions of the cats are altered in the beginning, eventually when you take away the extra pheromones their brains will be rewired to accept the other cat(s)?
Or, there are plenty of people who write that they just refill continually...
(I gave some catnip to Tripp, a while back, on one of his toys,...he acted all amped up, and did get into a small tussle with Tepaul, later in the day. Tepaul seemed to like the catnip, and played more intensely with the cat toy. I still don't like how it alters the natural way a cat acts. I'll try this experiment one more time, but if Tripp acts up, then the cat nip will have to go.)
I might have already said this, sorry if that's the case:
We give K a catnip toy every so often because she can use up some energy on it, kicking it, rolling around. It's short-lived, she doesn't do it for very long at all.
For T - first of all, she's scared to go near the catnip toy, so she never plays with it.
But then, after the toy has been put away, when T goes to smell where the toy was, she goes COMPLETELY NUTS. She grabs the carpet with her claws and tries to rip it up, then dashes back and forth like a crazy thing. I guess it still exerts energy, which is good, but she really reacts so differently than K!
So...maybe we won't try catnip toys with T, at least for now...maybe when she's older?

-----

The weekend update is that yesterday and today, we've had the gate open practically all day, except for an hour blip yesterday morning.
They're not interacting much, just sleeping in different parts of the house, usually not in view of each other, but that's pretty much the goal!
However, when they're properly awake we do have to keep an eye on them. Earlier this morning I had to distract K from going after T in the living room, but she allowed herself to be lured away with treats.

T has crept up on K multiple times now in the hammock, usually jogging away when K seems more irritated. My partner reports that K was sleeping rather deeply when T slowly came up, then hit K with her nose, waking her up. Nothing happened there, but then T continued to be obnoxious and close and not respecting personal space, so K swatted at her before going back to sleep.

When T is being obnoxious I prefer to let K draw the line as long as K isn't overly agitated - I think T has to learn boundaries.

It's interesting what K is okay with as it keeps changing, and sometimes isn't consistent. For example she might be alert and watching if she is in the hammock and T is walking by, going to the window, sniffing around, but she won't get ready to pounce or anything.
But she was in my partner's lap the other day and when T came by (same distance as hammock), she meowed and her tail got poofy, then she hopped down. T had already dashed off to the stairs for sanctuary in case K decided to chase, but we reassured K so nothing happened.

And sometimes K can't be bothered to react to T, even if she's being super annoying. She was drinking water at her fountain the other day and T for some reason decided to run/pounce at her, stopping abruptly a foot or two away, then turning and dashing back. K just looked up, then returned to drinking water.
T for some reason! decided to rush at K two more times! and K just looked up each time, then continued drinking water.
I say "for some reason" but of course T was trying to play. But sort of ill-advised to rush at K when she's not paying attention...
Anyway, when T tried the final time, K made a bluff at a chase and swatted at her but it was very slow by cat standards and very much a teaching moment, so I consider that fine.

They haven't been playing together like they were through the gate though. I don't think they know how to play with each other without the barrier in the way, though T is trying with the sudden dashing around (her way of playing). However, it just startles K whenever T is running around noisily. So I'm not sure if they're going to figure this out anytime soon...
 

cat nap

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Cats always bother you at the most inconvenient times. Maybe it's because they do get attention, because we want them to leave us alone for another few minutes!
Yes, that's often true, but I think it's more like our cats know that whatever we are doing at that particular instant, is not really that important,...in the 'big scheme of things', 'the big picture'. And it's more like our cats want us to pay attention to them and relax, by patting them, than watching a monitor or screen.
I don't have a good idea of how different a kitten at 10 months is from a cat of a year. K has changed even though she was supposed to be a year old when we adopted her, I was just looking at her first pictures and she actually looks younger (granted, she has gained weight...haha).
K probably looks and feels younger, now that she has T around to 'keep an eye' on. :clover:
There probably is not much of a difference between a kitten of 10 months to a cat of 1 year,...but for some odd reason I just thought T was older. I think for a cat,...it's all about their unique personality showing through.
Like you mentioned, there are ones already for (theoretically) reducing aggressiveness, and then the ones that are supposed to emulate like "motherly" pheromones, so that the cats might get tricked into thinking they're all part of the same litter (no need to fight).
But I think way back at the beginning of the thread I tried one of those, and it actually made K even more wary and anxious, so we're not doing it again!
Maybe the idea is that, even if the perceptions of the cats are altered in the beginning, eventually when you take away the extra pheromones their brains will be rewired to accept the other cat(s)?
Or, there are plenty of people who write that they just refill continually...
Ah, yes, you're talking about the diffusers or sprays, which I've never used, and from reading, seem like only the sprays may be safe, since the plug-ins can be dangerous from overheating. (I tend to think that any plug-in is kind of dangerous. Even my cell phone or laptop chargers give off way too much heat, imo.)
I found this article to be interesting, 2015, for the fact that you have to be aware of who funds actual studies, or who funds the actual article/their motivation, and also sometimes the comments sections are very informative.
Another study shows that Feliway™ doesn’t work | cats and squirrels and other important things…

Good that you tried one with K, and at least could tell the rest of us that they made things worse.

"Maybe the idea is that, even if the perceptions of the cats are altered in the beginning, eventually when you take away the extra pheromones their brains will be rewired to accept the other cat(s)?"
I'm not sure how a cat's brain actually works, or if it can be rewired because of how strong their instincts are. Wouldn't it just revert back to the original instinctual behaviour,.. but it is an interesting idea. So what you're thinking is that you change a cat's perceptions in the beginning, so as to lessen their fears and a pattern is created, but then when the synthetic pheromone is removed, then the cats are more accepting of formerly perceived threats.
I'm not sure, since I think that pheromones are always in flux, dynamic and changing, so to reproduce 'friendly ones' which would be universal seems a bit impossible, for now, at least.

My idea was more having to do with reading a recent thread where the member accidentally sprayed her cat with feliway, not knowing that this is toxic, and not to be sprayed on animals, but her other cat actually did stop and not pounce on her female cat.
If they could invent some type of useful pheromone spray, which would be similar to the 'vanilla trick', or something along those lines, non-toxic to cats, then it might help in lessening aggressive play.
Ode to vanilla extract
(But again, it would be like choosing a fragrance or perfume that every human would like...kind of impossible. Some scents make me nauseous. So I figure that our cats, who rely on Scent so heavily, would not benefit from any present day synthetics...since they can't be universal for all cats, either.)

The idea of calming treats is another one, which I'm not too sure about, since again it alters a cat, for a short time, and like you experienced...what if it makes the cat more anxious and wary?
Though in truly aggressive cats, it would be worth a try. (Your cats are not like this. They are actually the opposite of aggressive, and just learning to 'mesh their play styles'.) Your cats are just learning to like each other, in a natural way, and a natural time-frame.
I might have already said this, sorry if that's the case:
We give K a catnip toy every so often because she can use up some energy on it, kicking it, rolling around. It's short-lived, she doesn't do it for very long at all.
For T - first of all, she's scared to go near the catnip toy, so she never plays with it.
But then, after the toy has been put away, when T goes to smell where the toy was, she goes COMPLETELY NUTS. She grabs the carpet with her claws and tries to rip it up, then dashes back and forth like a crazy thing. I guess it still exerts energy, which is good, but she really reacts so differently than K!
So...maybe we won't try catnip toys with T, at least for now...maybe when she's older?
Yes, it sounds like T is a bit of a 'light weight' or overly sensitive to the catnip. Wow, perhaps her sense of smell is just greater.
Good thinking about not trying out any catnip toys when T is around. Yikes. I don't think you need T to become more dashing, flighty or bouncy than usual. T probably throws it into 'overdrive' when the catnip is around. T would be like the best 'cat detective' for finding places that catnip has been. (A 'catnip-toy search-and-rescue cat'...to find lost catnip toys. :crackup::eek2:)
 

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The weekend update is that yesterday and today, we've had the gate open practically all day, except for an hour blip yesterday morning.
They're not interacting much, just sleeping in different parts of the house, usually not in view of each other, but that's pretty much the goal!
However, when they're properly awake we do have to keep an eye on them. Earlier this morning I had to distract K from going after T in the living room, but she allowed herself to be lured away with treats.

T has crept up on K multiple times now in the hammock, usually jogging away when K seems more irritated. My partner reports that K was sleeping rather deeply when T slowly came up, then hit K with her nose, waking her up. Nothing happened there, but then T continued to be obnoxious and close and not respecting personal space, so K swatted at her before going back to sleep.

When T is being obnoxious I prefer to let K draw the line as long as K isn't overly agitated - I think T has to learn boundaries.
Yes, definitely, T has to learn boundaries from K.
I didn't know that T is now being more bolder, and approaching and touching K with her nose.:think:
That's actually an excellent sign, but you're right,...K does have to teach T her boundaries, ...especially while sleeping.
It's interesting what K is okay with as it keeps changing, and sometimes isn't consistent. For example she might be alert and watching if she is in the hammock and T is walking by, going to the window, sniffing around, but she won't get ready to pounce or anything.
But she was in my partner's lap the other day and when T came by (same distance as hammock), she meowed and her tail got poofy, then she hopped down. T had already dashed off to the stairs for sanctuary in case K decided to chase, but we reassured K so nothing happened.
Hmm...I wonder if K was 'protecting' or more like 'guarding her human'. :bluepaw:
K may feel that your partner belongs to only her. :blush:

But more than likely, K just wanted to Play in that situation,
and again show T who the 'boss of the house' is.
It is interesting that K being in her hammock,... relaxed and just observing,... doesn't have the same 'territorial' consequences.

It's like K is taking everything in stages, or steps, and 'slowly will allow' T to gain access to 'her stuff, her humans, her space'.

(Kind of like us humans, in a way, since when we were small, we were 'told to share our stuff' with our siblings...but really some of us were okay with sharing, but some would only share when the actual 'toy' was already played with, and had become old or boring.
And also being a little jealous, or a lot, when the older sister got to go to the store, while the younger ones were left behind...sometimes.)

Okay, granted, cats can't be 'told to share' ...but your thread does have me noticing how cats do things in stages, steps, where they slowly feel comfortable with new things, and then advance onto other stages. It's actually quite fascinating. :clover:

(I don't think I ever thought my cats' abilities to share... had to be slow... and in a somewhat orderly pace.
Yes, the familiarity with introducing another cat/animal was slow...but I didn't give much thought to Sharing...being slow, too.) :salam:
And sometimes K can't be bothered to react to T, even if she's being super annoying. She was drinking water at her fountain the other day and T for some reason decided to run/pounce at her, stopping abruptly a foot or two away, then turning and dashing back. K just looked up, then returned to drinking water.
T for some reason! decided to rush at K two more times! and K just looked up each time, then continued drinking water.
I say "for some reason" but of course T was trying to play. But sort of ill-advised to rush at K when she's not paying attention...
Anyway, when T tried the final time, K made a bluff at a chase and swatted at her but it was very slow by cat standards and very much a teaching moment, so I consider that fine.
So T is choosing to Play, but chooses the times...when K is busy doing something else.
And yes, totally ill-advised when another cat is drinking water, ...or eating, going to the litter box, etc. :lol:

I didn't know that T was this annoying. haha.
Although, maybe it's still all strategy....since if T is choosing to pounce and play/annoy K ...while K is distracted and doing other things, like drinking, ...then T feels she has a way better chance of escaping.
There is a little bit of genius in both your cats, ...and it switches back and forth....as to who figures out different things first.

It must be so entertaining to watch...how they approach things, observe, and learn. :cloud9:
They haven't been playing together like they were through the gate though. I don't think they know how to play with each other without the barrier in the way, though T is trying with the sudden dashing around (her way of playing). However, it just startles K whenever T is running around noisily. So I'm not sure if they're going to figure this out anytime soon...
I was going to ask you about having the gate up, still, ...at this point in time?
  • Is it now more for 'protection' so that K does not hurt T?
  • Or is it because it's easier to keep an eye on both cats when the gate is up?
  • Does T still do destructive things like chewing, or exploring places that she shouldn't be? like knocking things over in the craft-room, before?
If K does get 'startled' then that is still a bit of a problem,...since then....I would guess that K would want to 'retaliate' and 'chase T back'.
But it does sound like they are playing, more and more, ...so I do think that slowly they are still learning each other's signals.
  • I'm just curious, if K looks to be 'slowing down in her chases' and 'not really wanting to play as rough, or try to capture T'?
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.
I found the above observations that you had to be fascinating.

It's like K has certain zones, and areas/distances which trigger K into actual movement, but also depend upon what she is doing, sleeping, drinking, relaxing...or where she actually is, at the time, also time of day.
And it also depends upon where T is moving to. Near or far.

It must have to do on how T reacts in these situations, and her facial expressions and subtle movements.
(Almost like playing a game, and assessing the odds of 'getting to your goal'...or not.)
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.
The above, with how both cats use the cardboard as a barrier between them is also interesting.
It reminds me of another old thread, I read, about a member using 'plexiglass' between their cats, while they were eating right next to each other.

It's like your cats are slowly getting used to each other, but still need that little bit of a barrier, to feel safer.
Yet they don't need it all the time.

So does it make them feel safer?
Or is it like a 'road sign' or something, which gets them to 'slow down'.

If it's helping to manage their Play sessions, then it's still useful.
But if it's not really doing much, then you might not need to have it fully closed...or might not need it at all.

I hope you all are having a good week. :)
 
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Ah, yes, you're talking about the diffusers or sprays, which I've never used, and from reading, seem like only the sprays may be safe, since the plug-ins can be dangerous from overheating. (I tend to think that any plug-in is kind of dangerous. Even my cell phone or laptop chargers give off way too much heat, imo.)
We saw all the reviews about possible overheating and unplugged it at nighttime...maybe that had something to do with it not working, but I don't think so.
Though in truly aggressive cats, it would be worth a try. (Your cats are not like this. They are actually the opposite of aggressive, and just learning to 'mesh their play styles'.) Your cats are just learning to like each other, in a natural way, and a natural time-frame.
I saw the vanilla post back when I was reading all the different intro threads on here! But yes, K and T were never at a truly violent level of aggression.
Yes, definitely, T has to learn boundaries from K.
This has been a common thread the past few days! T continues to test K but we've been leaving it alone so far and anytime K has done anything, she still stops and comes back to us and doesn't pursue T further. And T will come right back, sometimes to bother her again...
So T is choosing to Play, but chooses the times...when K is busy doing something else.
And yes, totally ill-advised when another cat is drinking water, ...or eating, going to the litter box, etc. :lol:

I didn't know that T was this annoying. haha.
T is definitely completely annoying to K. Sometimes to us too! She loves to follow K around when K isn't looking.
I think K doesn't really know how to react to her little shadow.
Although, maybe it's still all strategy....since if T is choosing to pounce and play/annoy K ...while K is distracted and doing other things, like drinking, ...then T feels she has a way better chance of escaping.
I didn't think about this part - T feeling like she has a better chance of escaping...but it makes perfect sense to me!
I was going to ask you about having the gate up, still, ...at this point in time?
  • Is it now more for 'protection' so that K does not hurt T?
  • Or is it because it's easier to keep an eye on both cats when the gate is up?
  • Does T still do destructive things like chewing, or exploring places that she shouldn't be? like knocking things over in the craft-room, before?
It's a no for all of those questions, actually!
Well, T chews a bit on the curtains, but that's kind of expected.
I've been asking myself for the past few days why we put up the gate actually, because we haven't had to close it off with the cardboard at all. :O
I think I've been hesitant to remove it because they're used to it, and having the gate open like this is still relatively new. So instead of suddenly taking it away before they're fully comfortable, I'm leaving it for now...maybe a few more days, and we can think about no gate at all!!
Still, T does run upstairs for safety, and K doesn't really go up. So even though the gate is open, they still separate the house that way for themselves.

Also, we've been lining the bottom of the gate with a blanket and t-shirt, and T has been using it as a bed sometimes...I don't want to take away a "bed" for her because she doesn't seem to understand the concept of boxes.
I'm just curious, if K looks to be 'slowing down in her chases' and 'not really wanting to play as rough, or try to capture T'?
Yes! The chase is definitely slower, T is less panicked when running.
However, we're still having a hard time telling if K is playing or not, yesterday she tried to pounce on T from above and we're not sure if that was Bad or Playing.
So does it make them feel safer?
Or is it like a 'road sign' or something, which gets them to 'slow down'.

If it's helping to manage their Play sessions, then it's still useful.
But if it's not really doing much, then you might not need to have it fully closed...or might not need it at all.
"Road sign" is a great way to put it. It's still a barrier that T feels safer behind, even if it's open, and K will usually stop short of it.

-----

Anyway, like I said above, we've had a few days now where we don't block off at all, and they've been really good!

T is awake a lot more than K, and K snoozes the day away. K is a lot more chill when sleepy and T is taking the opportunity to get close and lie down within a foot or two, and K has been allowing it for the most part!

My partner has been catching most of their interactions as I've been stuck on my computer in the other room. So here's a picture he caught of them being EXTRA GOOD the other day, but it's not a good picture because I'm a better photographer. :)

IMG_20200309_130123.jpg

And here is one from today, while T was roaming around on the couch arm/back, K was too sleepy to care!
IMG_20200312_170118.jpg

WE ARE SO CLOSE! K still huffs and doesn't seek out T's attention, ever. And if T gets too close she still gets anxious, wary, and might lash out.
She hissed at T just now after she (K) used the litter box, because T tried to surprise her (annoying!!). But she didn't chase or anything, only a hiss.
They really are almost coexisting, especially if they're both sleeping.

...Maybe I should just hope that they are sleepy all the time? Haha...
 
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T was just using "K's" litter box downstairs and K was turkeying right outside the bathroom, and my partner had walked over and tried to distract her with some pets (but didn't get her to walk away in time) - right when T stepped out of the box, K darted in and pounced on her (with a yowl), scaring T, and T ran all the way downstairs first. Then when we'd gotten our "HEY"s in and K left the bathroom/gate area (the gate is right in front of the bathroom), T ran back up to the first landing.

T has been using the downstairs litter box a lot, I think for two reasons: she doesn't want to miss any action by going upstairs, and she also has been "insecure" from the beginning (using K's box a lot).

T is generally alright, only she's staying upstairs for now.

The litter box thing is really becoming a problem now that both of them are kind of doing it (waiting outside for the other). Usually, we are able to just gently shoo them away. But both cats are not really fully comfortable/they don't feel fully safe using the box.
For example K, before using the box, will check around to see exactly where T is or what she's doing.
The difference is that T has never actually ambushed her, just pretended like she wanted to.

The only thing I've read so far about litter boxes and multiple cat problems is that you're supposed to prevent this by having multiple boxes, so that a cat won't think "they're using my box, therefore I have no box to use".
"Resource guarding", I suppose.
Anyway, we already have two boxes, one upstairs for T (since K doesn't go up) and one downstairs for K (but now both of them). But T is making the decision to continue using the box downstairs...
I know the rule is number of cats + 1, I've mentioned it before but we couldn't think of a good place for a third box while the gate situation was happening.

At first K didn't really care much about T using her box, so we thought it was just a matter of getting T to stop being annoying/nosy.

We can put another box somewhere on the first floor or on the stairs but because the cats focus on each other when the other is using the box, I don't know if it'll help. To me it doesn't seem like it'll matter that there's another box available, because each cat only cares if a box is being used by the other cat...

*** I just rearranged the living room to put a litter box in the corner and will report back on whether that helps.
 
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Okay T finally came back down into the living room, and K for some reason went after her immediately!

And then continued to be agitated - we were telling her HEY and she was completely ignoring us, running away from us searching for T, then she even went upstairs after her which is highly unusual. (No contact at any time during this though.)

K is under the couch now feeling quite badly because I did yell at her. I don't know why she's being especially horrible to T today. I'll go reassure her after I hit post on this but the entire morning she's been absolutely mean to T, which is so odd because she was more cheerful than usual with us (the humans) in the morning, before we let T out.

Anyway, for the first time in maybe five days, we're closing off the gate. So I guess that's why we haven't taken the gate down yet...

SIGH! :bawling::cloudy:
 

pearl99

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First I'll say I'm not greatly experienced with cat intros, but I see the newest litterbox as necessary with the above, so I think that is good. Litterbox in the living room is not so much fun, but have to do it sometimes. Can put some of T's poo/pee balls in the new one to encourage use.
Maybe K is owning the living room. Establishing her territory against T? Is there a way, maybe during K's sleep times, to have her separated in a different room to let T run around the downstairs separately? So T gets some more scent around.
Or maybe it's just K asserting more now and will calm down once she feels she's gotten the message across.
I'm sure cat nap cat nap will have ideas and knows more than me, I'm just throwing out.
 
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Maybe K is owning the living room. Establishing her territory against T? Is there a way, maybe during K's sleep times, to have her separated in a different room to let T run around the downstairs separately? So T gets some more scent around.
Yes, in general, K's "territory" is the living room/downstairs area. It's how we had the cats separated at first (T upstairs, K downstairs). But now for the past week while the gate has been open, T has been running around fairly freely downstairs, and before the gate was open we switched up the gate position so that T had time in the living room with K in the kitchen. There should be plenty of T's scent around pretty much everywhere.

Basically the whole process has just been to get K used to T being in her territory...T is the invader. It's just odd that K has been taking great strides in accepting T this past week but suddenly this morning was so aggressive? I would say even more aggressive than any time before, but mostly because she was able to further chase down T (before, the gate was in the way).
 

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First I'll say I'm not greatly experienced with cat intros, but I see the newest litterbox as necessary with the above, so I think that is good. Litterbox in the living room is not so much fun, but have to do it sometimes. Can put some of T's poo/pee balls in the new one to encourage use.
I doubt I know more than you pearl99 pearl99 ....:) :lovecat2: :read: :dunno: ...I just read, apply, and try.
It's just a matter of 'brainstorming together' and each of us, have different and unique experiences with our cats, so any extra and useful suggestions do matter. :thumbsup:

I definitely agree that adding another litter box will help the situation, if it is a matter of being 'territorial over the litter box'.
I also wonder if the issue is like you mentioned to me, before, A acari ...about how cat's view their litter boxes and poop, and 'claim their own territory by the scent of their poop'. (You mentioned this to me, while talking about my former cats Sparky and Spotty..and how Sparky would go in and cover up Spotty's poop.)
Maybe K is owning the living room. Establishing her territory against T? Is there a way, maybe during K's sleep times, to have her separated in a different room to let T run around the downstairs separately? So T gets some more scent around.
Or maybe it's just K asserting more now and will calm down once she feels she's gotten the message across.
This is also an excellent point, if K is seeing her territory as only being downstairs, and T's as only being upstairs.
Then K would not want T to cross into her territory, and K would try to avoid being in T's.
Yes, in general, K's "territory" is the living room/downstairs area. It's how we had the cats separated at first (T upstairs, K downstairs). But now for the past week while the gate has been open, T has been running around fairly freely downstairs, and before the gate was open we switched up the gate position so that T had time in the living room with K in the kitchen. There should be plenty of T's scent around pretty much everywhere.

Basically the whole process has just been to get K used to T being in her territory...T is the invader. It's just odd that K has been taking great strides in accepting T this past week but suddenly this morning was so aggressive? I would say even more aggressive than any time before, but mostly because she was able to further chase down T (before, the gate was in the way).
The thing is that if it were only about territory and who is invading it, then K would be constantly trying to run T off.
I don't get a sense of that being the case, here.
You wouldn't be getting photos, like the ones your partner took, where both cats were so close to each other. :think:

What usually does happen in cat intros...is that you will always get some sort of cat-fight where one cat is being too aggressive with the other one, ...or too rough. :agree:

I don't understand why K yowled, in this case, and acted so extremely upset.
Does she really like that bathroom, or that litter box, or she had T cornered ...so the yowl was a warning of approach. Hmm.
K may be trying to assert her dominance, in this case.
She does seem like from the beginning, that she always wants to be the dominant cat.

Unfortunately, you'll probably see more of this type of roughness, and trying to be assertive.
But it is strange, because at the same time, K does not mind T being close to her, while she is sleeping...so she still trusts her, too.
Okay T finally came back down into the living room, and K for some reason went after her immediately!

And then continued to be agitated - we were telling her HEY and she was completely ignoring us, running away from us searching for T, then she even went upstairs after her which is highly unusual. (No contact at any time during this though.)

K is under the couch now feeling quite badly because I did yell at her
. I don't know why she's being especially horrible to T today. I'll go reassure her after I hit post on this but the entire morning she's been absolutely mean to T, which is so odd because she was more cheerful than usual with us (the humans) in the morning, before we let T out.

Anyway, for the first time in maybe five days, we're closing off the gate
. So I guess that's why we haven't taken the gate down yet...
SIGH! :bawling: :cloudy:
If both cats have calmed down, ...do you think it would be terrible to leave the gate open?
Leave it in place, but still have it open?
That way, you could still observe how both cats act....and as long as no actual contact was made, and no hurting of the other cat happened....then both cats could still adjust to being around each other, ...if they want.

It's definitely stressful hearing them fight, but it also gives them an opportunity to respond to each other.
I suppose it depends on how agitated either of them are.
 

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I did have something similar when I brought Mooshoo home at age 12 weeks, Waffles was 3 years. When it was time they could be in the living room together Waffles started not wanting Mooshoo around sometimes. LIke he was teaching her a lesson, it did calm down-with Moo trying and trying, not giving up. It was like she was convincing him of one thing (I want to be here) and he was convincing her of something else (You mind ME). They worked it out, but I did have to keep an eye out.
 
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Unfortunately, you'll probably see more of this type of roughness, and trying to be assertive.
But it is strange, because at the same time, K does not mind T being close to her, while she is sleeping...so she still trusts her, too.
Yes, this strangeness is what's throwing us off. It doesn't seem logical.
If both cats have calmed down, ...do you think it would be terrible to leave the gate open?
Leave it in place, but still have it open?
That way, you could still observe how both cats act....and as long as no actual contact was made, and no hurting of the other cat happened....then both cats could still adjust to being around each other, ...if they want.

It's definitely stressful hearing them fight, but it also gives them an opportunity to respond to each other.
I suppose it depends on how agitated either of them are.
Well, we had thought they were both calmed down the first time, and the gate had been left open. T stayed upstairs and K stayed downstairs. And usually, when T comes back down, they both just do their own thing, and we like to let them do that.
But this time, T had come back down and gotten chased for no reason - that's why we blocked it off (we already left it open before, more negativity happened/it escalated).

K is sleeping in the living room now and I think T is sleeping at the gate, things are seemingly normal. But we're about to check on them and see if we can open up again, because now is prime "sleepytime" and maybe K will allow T to live if she walks nearby.

If not, maybe we'll revisit opening during dinnertime as the sounds of food have been a good distraction for K so far. If that also turns into a fight (it would be the first time) then maybe we'll close off for the rest of the day/night.
Waffles started not wanting Mooshoo around sometimes. LIke he was teaching her a lesson, it did calm down-with Moo trying and trying, not giving up. It was like she was convincing him of one thing (I want to be here) and he was convincing her of something else (You mind ME). They worked it out, but I did have to keep an eye out.
This sounds a lot like K and T...we're having to keep an eye out, like you said.

-----

It's just disheartening because they've really been so great with each other the past week, and yesterday they even played at the gate like they used to (first time since the gate has been open). So we thought we were in a really good place.
Well, like calico said, cat introductions are not linear...so it's understandable.
 

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I did have something similar when I brought Mooshoo home at age 12 weeks, Waffles was 3 years. When it was time they could be in the living room together Waffles started not wanting Mooshoo around sometimes. LIke he was teaching her a lesson, it did calm down-with Moo trying and trying, not giving up. It was like she was convincing him of one thing (I want to be here) and he was convincing her of something else (You mind ME). They worked it out, but I did have to keep an eye out.
pearl99 pearl99 ...Do you remember how long these intros took? where you didn't really have to supervise them anymore?
(I remember it took me 9 months for cats-to-puppy/dog intros, (where I was kind of clueless...a few years before I joined the Cat Site.)

Well, we had thought they were both calmed down the first time, and the gate had been left open. T stayed upstairs and K stayed downstairs. And usually, when T comes back down, they both just do their own thing, and we like to let them do that.
But this time, T had come back down and gotten chased for no reason - that's why we blocked it off (we already left it open before, more negativity happened/it escalated).

K is sleeping in the living room now a
nd I think T is sleeping at the gate, things are seemingly normal. But we're about to check on them and see if we can open up again, because now is prime "sleepytime" and maybe K will allow T to live if she walks nearby.

If not, maybe we'll revisit opening during dinnertime
as the sounds of food have been a good distraction for K so far. If that also turns into a fight (it would be the first time) then maybe we'll close off for the rest of the day/night.
Another thing that I was thinking, ...is that perhaps what you are hearing is just more dramatic than the fight or interaction actually is.

(I know that my previous cats, and also the present ones will sometimes vocalize so loudly, ...that I'd think that someone was getting extremely hurt, or that blood was flying around, by the awful, screaming, screeching sounds. I go to look, and they are not even touching each other...just loudly vocalizing and their body language postures are not all that aggressive.)

So sometimes a cat fight is more 'noise and dramatic expression', than it actually is contact. Though contact usually does occur, either before or after, especially if it's lightning fast swats, and then running away. Wrestling and cornering causes the most growling, hissing and vocalizing.
It's just disheartening because they've really been so great with each other the past week, and yesterday they even played at the gate like they used to (first time since the gate has been open). So we thought we were in a really good place.
Well, like calico said, cat introductions are not linear...so it's understandable.
So true, ...they are never linear.

I still think that you are in a good place, ...because these kinds of interactions have to eventually happen, for whatever reason that our cats take offense to. Or sometimes even because one cat enjoys rough play, ...while the other cat does not.

Don't get too disheartened, ...because they have been acting good this past week, ...they will again.
Sometimes they just do need extra time to get the adrenaline out of their systems.
Hopefully sleeping it off, does help.
 

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Colorado, USA
pearl99 pearl99 ...Do you remember how long these intros took? where you didn't really have to supervise them anymore?
(I remember it took me 9 months for cats-to-puppy/dog intros, (where I was kind of clueless...a few years before I joined the Cat Site.)
I think it was about 4 months total. Mainly because of Waffles not accepting Moo totally for awhile. Moo was the funniest thing, she just kept convincing Waffles to play with her, totally in tune with his vibes. She was never going to give up or accept that wasn't accepting her. Then they got to chasing, playing tag, stalking each other, running up like going to tackle then stop and run away, bopping etc. It was a joy to watch, because Waffles is very shy and scared of everything and hadn't been terribly playful. There are still times when they get irritated and swat with ears back or hiss or yell, but sibling-like ya know. And when Moo was about 14 months old she stopped taking any guff from Waffles to get off a sleeping spot or sleeping right next to me. Up to then Waffles was in charge.
 
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