Cat intros at a standstill

cat nap

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Then the second, T comes up and at the apex immediately looks away and backs off, goes no further. K thinking "let's see if T learned...oh T is backing off!" or K wasn't as bothered this time, but if T had kept coming may have gotten a swat. Sometimes I wonder if the give out some discipline for a lesson then back off of it for a bit. Then T sees the chance to try more. Test boundaries in working things out.
I think you're right pearl99 pearl99 . I never saw it this way.
If one cat is giving a lesson to the other cat, and then later backs off,..and then watches and observes how that first lesson's interactions have altered their relationship.
It does run both ways with both cats testing each other's boundaries.

What confuses me, is when one cat wants to dominate the interaction, and appear as top-cat,...but acts way too aggressive...but at the same time wants to play. The cat who wants to dominate, actually looks back for more play.
How could they not get that they just overpowered the other cat, ran them off, and that the other cat does not want to play that way.
I know it has to be their natural instinct to want to be top-cat, ...but still...why do some take the games so seriously.

If each cat is testing the boundaries, then it does make more sense, ...that the next interaction will be based on how the previous one went.
Cats don't see their interactions the same way that us humans do...so that is definitely a good thing.
What we might see as excessive, or too aggressive...the cats might not.
With the passage of time, space, food, play,...they do eventually work things out...except in cat-intros we humans do have to supervise, and intervene, ..so as not to let one cat get bullied, and to also lessen all the stress levels between each cat.

I always saw it as both cats learning from each other concerning how to act and play...but I didn't give enough credit to one cat actually teaching lessons to another.
The way you explained it makes more sense. :)
I'm kind of at the same place with my current 4. I'm having to let them decide where they are comfortable and where not and when to venture and when not. Room swapping worked well with past intros but with the kitties now not as much. Always learning. And adjusting what to do.
(Yes, it's like playing 'chess with cats'...but the cats are 3 moves ahead...and us humans are just reading the rules.)
Adjusting is always good. :thumbsup:
At least it teaches us humans how to be flexible, and only deal with the immediate moments, and let the cats teach us some more.
It's hard to know with K. I don't really think it has to do with me, she's run past me before to get to T.

I just get the feeling that it used to be about territory, but now it's not (or less so)
.
It's more that K's personal bubble for T has an extremely large radius.
For example, the kitchen and living room could easily be considered "K's territory". If K is in her hammock in the kitchen, and T is wandering around, K only reacts if she gets within a certain distance. Otherwise she might watch T, she might ignore her.
In the living room, if K is in her box, T might be under the couch or on the windowsill...or even on top of the couch...or, a few times, under the little table right next to K's box - K only reacts depending on her mood and what exactly T is doing. It's not only her presence that puts K on alert.
If K is sleepy, and T is sleepy right next to her, it's alright. She'll settle down even though she knows T is there.
If K is in her box and T is jumping around noisily in the paper next to her, K will get up and swat at T, chase her off.

A lot of interactions makes it seem like K just doesn't like T being too close,
and what counts as "too close" is inconsistent.
Do you think that still sounds like a territory dispute?
The video #27 did look like a territory dispute, ...with K chasing T off and away.

But after watching it some more times, and how you mentioned that T was bowing/crouching/flattening down, (similar to what dogs do),..then No, ..it could have been an aggressive play interaction. Especially if K looked at T crouching down, as a sign of a threat, or an early sign of an oncoming pounce. So the subsequent run, lunge and hiss from K could have all been done in Play.
I suppose it depends upon how K interpreted all the actions that T was doing.

And you're right,...the territory dispute would be happening all the time...not just at the litter box, ...or at the gate.

I remember you mentioned, previously, about the 'perimeter around K' that T is allowed to enter.
So yeah, it doesn't really sound like ALL the territory.
But at the same time, when T gets too close...or gets into K's space...it kind of is 'territory'.
It's like K sees her 'personal space' as being invaded, ..but not all the time.

The part I found interesting is in video #27, at the 0.30 mark, ...K does look at you...and then seems to look at T.
That means that K is listening to you...even if you said nothing verbally, but just stood there.
I take this as an extremely good sign that K is respecting the boundary, and is respecting both you and also T.
K seems to want T to come back down the stairs, ...which is kind of strange...since she just 'yelled' (hissed) at T...a few seconds ago.
I thought we decided in the end that it wasn't worth it to get K accustomed to T's room - we would have to shut her in there and she simply stays anxious while she's in there. She's never spent any significant time inside, even before we got T, and it was "her" room to begin with...she just left it immediately and took over the entire rest of the house instead.
It's the only room where K doesn't go, not because we stop her from doing it (unless T is in there with her treat ball) but because she chooses not to. She only goes upstairs in the morning to meow at us through the bedroom door (and T is shut in her room at that time).
I don't think she has any interest in claiming the territory and I don't think T particularly cares if K leaves her scent around in there either, but maybe I'm wrong. I'm just not sure about stressing K out. What benefit do we get if K gets comfortable in T's room?
I wasn't thinking of shutting K into T's room....but rather switching cats onto the other side of the gate.
So K gets some time upstairs,...while T is downstairs.
Not long at all. Extremely short.
Just an experiment to see how K would react.

If you think that it would just add more stress to K, then really don't bother doing it.
K might not be ready, and T might also not be ready, yet.
All it would show you is if K could stay upstairs or on the stair landing without being too upset.
I've been thinking about this too but 1. T would never let us get a harness on her. I won't get into it but let's just say simply holding her down for five seconds to apply flea medication is an ordeal. She just knows when something is up no matter how casual we are.
And 2. The cats wouldn't have free roaming abilities and would be tethered to us, which is even more human interference than I would like. It could be detrimental to T since she runs away from most things in any mood, and we would be stopping her from doing so...unless we only had the harness on K? But then that seems really mean to K...
Oh, okay.
(The flea medication I use is called Revolution, and it has an extremely strong smell of alcohol, which causes both my cats to run in terror, trying to get away from the smell. Why they ever changed the ingredients, I don't know.)

The harness, or harness jackets, would have to be on both cats, so that one cat does not feel singled-out, or strange.
You wouldn't have to actually tether them to you, but rather use a long-lead to allow the cats to move, but not at a fast pace, as running or lunging.

But yeah, if you think that it would cause too much chaos, and stress, then it's not crucial to use.
And if the cats would bite you while putting the harnesses on, then again, it's not worth the danger, pain, or aggravation.

We'll brainstorm other ways to slow K down, with distraction, blocking her line of sight, and like you're already doing.
K is listening. She just is not yet consistent with it.
They both have made so much progress from when they both started.
Sorry if I made it sound like we have to go upstairs a lot. We don't, it's only happened a handful of times. Usually T just runs away preemptively and K doesn't chase.
And then the other chases are where K stops somewhere between her immediate spot or at the gate.


We were thinking that we would remove the gate once we were able to have the gate open all day for at least a week. We almost got there last time but then there was the big to-do that I wrote about when K was especially moody.
That actually sounds good.
The gate does serve a very useful purpose, ...not only is it a safe spot that T seems to favour for sleeping on...(and no wonder, since T has her back protected...so what's not to like about that. That photo was great and super adorable and funny. :blush: It's like you told T my dumb idea of hiding the gate for 10 minutes...and T actually flipped over. :crackup: The expression on T's face is priceless. No need to tell T any of my ideas. I don't want T to send 'daggers' my way, or send 'memos' to my cats. :headshake: :tongue: :winkcat:)
Haha! That's actually just kind of how she looks. She looks like that at us too. The only time she doesn't look angry or annoyed is when she is asking for food or being sleepy. And sometimes even then.
She does NOT look like that. haha. :spew::lol:
I've seen her in the other videos, gifs and photos. She does not. :lol:
 

pearl99

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I think you're right pearl99 pearl99 . I never saw it this way.
If one cat is giving a lesson to the other cat, and then later backs off,..and then watches and observes how that first lesson's interactions have altered their relationship.
It does run both ways with both cats testing each other's boundaries.

What confuses me, is when one cat wants to dominate the interaction, and appear as top-cat,...but acts way too aggressive...but at the same time wants to play. The cat who wants to dominate, actually looks back for more play.
How could they not get that they just overpowered the other cat, ran them off, and that the other cat does not want to play that way.
I know it has to be their natural instinct to want to be top-cat, ...but still...why do some take the games so seriously.

I always saw it as both cats learning from each other concerning how to act and play...but I didn't give enough credit to one cat actually teaching lessons to another.
The way you explained it makes more sense. :)
I just sometimes go by my impressions watching. And having read mama cats teaching kittens behavior, and kittens teaching each other when things are not acceptable, transposing it on to introductions. These critters are hard to figure out :headscratch:.
Yes that hits it too, cats learning from each other how-to.
 

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Ugh - last night I had the most wonderful dream that they were next to each other pawing at each other very gently and in play, and they wrestled, slowly, a little bit, then separated happily. I even asked my partner (still in my dream!) if I had dreamt it, and he said "no, they played with each other".
Then I ACTUALLY woke up and of course it was all just a dream. Disappointing!
Ahhh...I love dreams like this! Not the actual 'waking up' part, ...where you suddenly realize that it was ALL a dream, but the actual description of the dream, and how good it was. (You kind of wish that you could go back to sleep for 10 more minutes and continue the same dream, again. But then, we'd probably all want to stay in bed for the whole day, and nothing would ever get done.)

Hey, A acari , this could actually have been a premonition dream! :cloud9:
(In time, you'll actually see ALL this happen. It will be like 'deja-vu'. (Not like in 'the Matrix', where the cat comes walking down the stairs, and the program glitches and repeats,...but like in 'real life'....where you'll get that strong feeling that 'you've been there before' but cannot actually pinpoint how you could have.) :cool2:

(Anyway, ...if you get this wonderful dream again can you just ask your partner, in the dream, "Honey, what calendar date is it exactly, specifically what month and year?" Your partner will probably just mumble something, and then you'll have to go look for a bathroom with no doors on it, or fly in a helicopter or something strange like that..or...have a whole line of kittens walk through your house in single file...Yup, you'll know it's all a dream from those glaring clues. Haha. :blush:)
Yes, that's exactly it, K doesn't know how to play gently at all. I explained above our suspicion about her past that makes her act like that...I wonder if T will be able to successfully teach her to be more gentle?
Yes, T will teach K to become more gentle.
T already is, because each encounter is 'not a strike or aggressive pawing action'.
K is already changing-up her playing actions.
K has initiated a "come chase me" game but only a few times, maybe three? And only back when the gate was fully closed. We haven't seen her be playful like that since the gate has been more open but we're hopeful.
It was very clearly play though, she was bounding around like a crazy thing (normally she is a very sedentary lump), but returning to the gate to see what T was doing or if T was paying attention.
Right. I forgot about those 'come chase me' moves. That is very promising.
If K did those moves with the gate closed, plus K also did that 'roll over and show her belly', then she'll probably do these again.

Just don't know when, since K seems to be in the 'zero to 100 speedster phase' right now.
Most cats get the zoomies, from time to time. It must feel amazing to release all that beautiful energy, and sprint around and do those fabulous turns, jumps and pivots.
Yes, I do think T is smarter than that now!
Not always...she likes to poke the bear. I keep thinking back to what you said about how she can't really be scared of K because she keeps going up to her in "dangerous" situations. I think when K is sleeping/unaware, T just wants to be as annoying as possible.
It sometimes seems like T wants to be 'as annoying as possible', ...but I was watching the recent GIFs more closely,...and it looks like T really likes to come close to K, ...mostly to smell her.
I think it's through Scent, that T gets a better understanding,...of how K is feeling, when she wants to play, what she is doing,..and just get an overall better acquaintance of K.

Most of the Gifs do have T smell first, and then back off. Except of course, for the ones where K is awake, and then T backs off very, very quickly. Smart cat.

(I was kind of thinking about what you mentioned about cat vision, and not seeing as well. It's almost like cats have to get right up to each other and sniff, before they recognize their friends. Plus they get all that other useful information from being able to sniff closely, and in immediate time.)

(My cats do the sniffing and backing-off of one another, too. And they do the 'annoying factor' of sniffing while the other is sleeping, as well.)
Now that T is more familiar with us and the whole house, we're seeing differences between her "play" running and her "scared" running. Play running is when she wants to be chased around by us, we jump out at her and make loud sounds with our feet, and she avoids us deftly and sprints up and down the stairs. We get tired before she does. And when we're catching our breath between chases, she comes right back to us, chirruping, tail up. ("Why are you tired? You're so out of shape.")
Haha. Yes, we have our very own cats...who are 'personal trainers'. (They do always look at us like "Why are you tired? You're so out of shape.") :lol:
Thankfully, they don't actually gossip among themselves and compare notes, on their 'out of shape' humans.
Scared running is when she see us holding something unfamiliar coming in her direction (doesn't matter if it has anything to do with her). She gets low, tail low, and her body position is ready to run in any direction, and she usually runs in the wrong direction to start, then freaks out and scrambles around to try to run ahead of us, usually to go hide in her room. She just looks panicked during these times (but recovers quickly).
It's great that you are noticing all these different 'running patterns'.
For the running with K involved...it's not either of these. It's somewhere between and it depends a lot on K's mood.
Most of the time now it happens while we're prepping dinner. Sometimes K is sleepy and T will brave walking into the kitchen, watching K, and if she decides to run away then it's more on the playful side. ("Ha, ha, you can't catch me!")
Sometimes K is on high alert, turkeying, whipping her head around to look for T. In those cases T will slooooooooowly move into K's line of sight, she'll meet K's eyes (and K is usually glaring, sometimes she makes a tiny jerk in T's direction), and then T will run away - more on the scared side. ("Please don't destroy me, I just want dinner.")
That is so interesting, that the style of running away from K, is 'between the play and panic modes'.
It's really helpful to know this.
This is very interesting, they see really well in the dark! I read that they can't actually see in full darkness, they still need some light, but they use the available light much better than we do. So we have a few nightlights around for K just in case.
I also read that they cannot see in full darkness, too.
What confused me, is that a different article mentions that indoor cats are nearsighted and outdoor cats are farsighted, but didn't explain why. Does it have to do with their eye muscles changing the shape of their eyes? I have no clue. :dunno:

(But I sympathize with my cats, since I'm nearsighted, and if I don't actually put my eye-glasses on the bedside night-table, I have an extremely difficult time trying to find them, in the morning.)

The nightlights are an excellent idea,...but I thought it's because we humans don't want to accidentally trip over a cat laying on the floor. I never thought it was for them. :biggrin:
K has been spending a lot of time on the kitchen side now, I hope she doesn't feel like T's presence is taking away her territory in the living room. It's hard to tell because it hasn't been sunny here lately, and usually she's in the living room for the sun.
Doubtful. K probably wants to make sure that all the food does not go to T. :wink:
If there is no sun, it probably smells better in the kitchen, anyways.

It's cute how both your cats turned their heads when they heard the microwave beep.
I wonder if they associate that with, "oh, food is coming. Have to go watch the humans eat, now. When is our time to eat, based on the humans eating schedules? Dumb humans, they are always eating off-schedule." (oops, that might just be me.)
The main difference in K's behavior lately is that she walks around a bit less confidently and is always searching for T. I can't tell what she's thinking or how she's feeling when she's doing this, for example, is she worried about being ambushed? Is she looking for T just to keep tabs on her? Does she want to go ambush T?
She has been more interested in going upstairs lately, which is "new".
T has a treat ball that we fill with her dry food after she eats her wet food, and it makes a lot of noise. K has never cared before, but now she might sit at the bottom of the stairs, listening intently. And she has gone up once or twice, but we usually follow and K turns around again and goes back down. We don't want K going into T's room unsupervised because that is unequivocally T's territory - not how we meant it to happen but K never liked the room anyway!
K has also gone up once or twice when T is just chilling upstairs, and usually there's some kind of tiny scuffle or disagreement that we can't see, but because K comes right back down and T seems alright when we make it up there (curse our large, slow, human bodies) we're not too worried.
"(curse our large, slow, human bodies)"...Yup. Personal training from our cats will come in handy to improve our human bodies. haha.

Sounds like K is looking around for T, ...to Play.
If K ever starts doing that 'slow-motion, walking on eggshells, movements' that T does...then I'll just flop over.

I like the fact that K is trying "new" things.
It shows adaptability.

Still, feeding and litter box habits have stayed the same throughout, so no problems there.
By the way, the third litter box seems to be claimed by T. But they haven't really used the boxes when the other is near, or K only uses hers overnight or when the gate is closed (not sure if that's on purpose).
If, later, there is still an issue with the boxes, then we might consider putting a microchip door going to the bathroom so that K has her own box and can use it without ever worrying about T. (Then our only problem would be worrying about K ambushing T if she uses the living room box...)
Good that the feeding, drinking, and litter box habits have stayed the same.

Also good idea about the microchip door.

(If you own the home, then it might be easier recessing it in drywall, depending upon what is behind it, like no electrical wires, vents, plumbing, wood, etc. It's cheaper to replace and patch drywall. But it would require extra tunnel pieces, made from wood and drywall, too,...so not sure if the extra work is worth it.)

You'll figure it out. Anyone who can build a gate,...can also build shelves, bookcases, and other 'diy projects'.
Plus you're crafty, so for sure you can make things look pretty. (Just don't let T decide to 'help you with your craft projects'.:tongue:)

Hoping everyone's week goes well and restful.
And more fabulous dreams, too. :)
 
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acari

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The video #27 did look like a territory dispute, ...with K chasing T off and away.
But at the same time, when T gets too close...or gets into K's space...it kind of is 'territory'.
It's like K sees her 'personal space' as being invaded, ..but not all the time.
Yes, it's like she is sensitive about her own bubble of "territory". And only sometimes.
For example, today, the sun finally came out again, and K happily laid down in the living room. And T was in the living room too, at one point lying down with her (two feet away). And that was fine...
K seems to want T to come back down the stairs, ...which is kind of strange...since she just 'yelled' (hissed) at T...a few seconds ago.
K, for the past hour or two (night time), has been extremely active by her standards and is waiting eagerly at the gate looking for T. She clearly wants to play.
But T is hiding upstairs (not in fear exactly, she just doesn't want to see K right now but accepts pets from us, is rolling over, talking, tail up, etc.) and refuses to see K. Like I mentioned before...they seem to want to play with the other at opposite times...
The thing is that K chased T twice tonight, both times seemingly in (rough) play. The first time, T came back down, no problem, and it was pretty clearly play.
But the second time had some sounds, and that was when K seemed a bit agitated, and T decided to stay upstairs (even though the gate stayed open).
After a little bit we decided to close the gate, to see if T would come back down, but she hasn't yet.
I wonder if they were playing to begin with, and then K scared T a bit with how rough she was, so T is just taking a break?
The interesting thing is that T usually likes to be chased around for fun, so I'm not sure what K did to be so much more intimidating.
I wasn't thinking of shutting K into T's room....but rather switching cats onto the other side of the gate.
So K gets some time upstairs,...while T is downstairs.
Not long at all. Extremely short.
Just an experiment to see how K would react.
I see. From what we learned before, K gets anxious and just waits to be let back downstairs.
The worry is really that T might want to go back upstairs, which she has always been able to do (except the very first time way back when...and that was when she repeatedly ran face-first into the gate to try to get back). But if K isn't there to chase her or scare her...she shouldn't really have a reason to go back up?
We can certainly try, I'm curious. I have to think about the best time of day to try it.
The harness, or harness jackets, would have to be on both cats, so that one cat does not feel singled-out, or strange.
I'll think about this too. Maybe what would work is to put a harness on both of them, but only put a leash on K, and then K could be tethered to something in the living room, so that she cannot run close to the stairs...then T could go to her "ultimate" safe zone if needed, and K would not be able to chase?
Hey, A acari A acari , this could actually have been a premonition dream! :cloud9:
I HOPE SO!
What confused me, is that a different article mentions that indoor cats are nearsighted and outdoor cats are farsighted, but didn't explain why. Does it have to do with their eye muscles changing the shape of their eyes? I have no clue. :dunno:
Maybe it has to do with their environment during development/kittenhood. If they are indoors, they have no need to see things that are far, and food is always provided to them, no need to hunt.
But if they are outdoors I expect farsightedness is more useful?
I'm just theorizing.
(If you own the home, then it might be easier recessing it in drywall, depending upon what is behind it, like no electrical wires, vents, plumbing, wood, etc. It's cheaper to replace and patch drywall. But it would require extra tunnel pieces, made from wood and drywall, too,...so not sure if the extra work is worth it.)
Oh, good point. I don't know if it's possible or allowed but I'll check!

-----

Well, I mentioned above that they coexisted rather peacefully during the day, then K chased T seemingly in play, but T didn't really appreciate it. I'm hopeful though, all of this slow introducing has been leading up to them being able to interact with each other without any barrier, so it makes sense that they still have roadblocks now. I'm not surprised that T is scared of K, because the chasing is "new" - without the gate in the way. And T is scared of many things but does alright with repeated exposure...so I hope K will learn, in the meantime, that she would be able to play more if she were more gentle.
 

cat nap

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Yes, it's like she is sensitive about her own bubble of "territory". And only sometimes.
For example, today, the sun finally came out again, and K happily laid down in the living room. And T was in the living room too, at one point lying down with her (two feet away). And that was fine...
K does seem the the more 'sensitive' of the two cats.
Sun must really make K feel good.

(My cats have their own bubble, too, where they don't want the other sibling to sleep right next to them.
I think it's also a matter of trust.
(My cats are okay with the 8-10 ft rule, but can walk next to each other, yet sleeping is best done out of the 10 foot bubble.)
K, for the past hour or two (night time), has been extremely active by her standards and is waiting eagerly at the gate looking for T. She clearly wants to play.
But T is hiding upstairs (not in fear exactly, she just doesn't want to see K right now but accepts pets from us, is rolling over, talking, tail up, etc.) and refuses to see K. Like I mentioned before...they seem to want to play with the other at opposite times...
That is probably going to happen a lot.
One cat always seems to want to play,...when one cat doesn't.

But the good thing with your cats, is that they do engage with each other at other times, or other days,...so really they do like having each other around.
They just have to try and play at the 'same speed'.

I know it will happen, I was just hoping we could come up with more ideas to slow the faster one down, a bit.
The thing is that K chased T twice tonight, both times seemingly in (rough) play. The first time, T came back down, no problem, and it was pretty clearly play.
But the second time had some sounds, and that was when K seemed a bit agitated, and T decided to stay upstairs (even though the gate stayed open).
After a little bit we decided to close the gate, to see if T would come back down, but she hasn't yet.
I wonder if they were playing to begin with, and then K scared T a bit with how rough she was, so T is just taking a break?
The interesting thing is that T usually likes to be chased around for fun, so I'm not sure what K did to be so much more intimidating.
That's great! The more playing and chasing, and T coming back, ...the more they are getting used to each other's styles.
Probably the sounds are what scared T, since they do seem loud, dramatic, and intense.
Hopefully, K did not land any swats or swipes.
Yes, makes sense that T would want to take a break from that.

In video #27, it looks like K pretends to be a 'mighty lioness huntress', and chases T away from the 'pretend watering hole'.
T just looks like..."why can't we play ancient Egypt, where us cats are goddesses?"...or "bionic woman where you move in slow motion?"
I don't think T really cares about hunting or chasing.
(That's why I can't wait until T chases K, even if it is just an accidental run.)
I see. From what we learned before, K gets anxious and just waits to be let back downstairs.
The worry is really that T might want to go back upstairs, which she has always been able to do (except the very first time way back when...and that was when she repeatedly ran face-first into the gate to try to get back). But if K isn't there to chase her or scare her...she shouldn't really have a reason to go back up?
We can certainly try, I'm curious. I have to think about the best time of day to try it.
The more I think about this idea, I had, the more I think it's bad.
I thought that it would help to show how 'entrenched' and 'important' the downstairs territory is to K.
And that it would show K that 'sharing the territory' is not a bad thing.

Problem is that K might take it as 'punishment' and become 'resentful' or 'more upset.'
What if K sees it...as T just stole more of her territory.
K would get more jealous.
That would be a disaster.

Plus, what you both are doing now, is superbly better.
Since T always has a 'safe room' to run back up to.
K does go upstairs, but does not bother to stay for long, and returns, even after a chase...plus K returns on her own.

And you mentioned that you only had the gate open for one week...and then the 'litter box incident' occurred.
So in a way, ...your system, and routine,...is working out far better...and getting good results...without having to 'change things up'.

I'd prefer sticking with your plan...because you are seeing extremely positive results.
Even if there are some roadblocks, setback, scuffles, ...both cats still return to being in the same room.
That's pretty much fantastic.

(sorry for my flippy/floppy brain. I have to remember to give it more thought, before I actually say an idea.)
I'll think about this too. Maybe what would work is to put a harness on both of them, but only put a leash on K, and then K could be tethered to something in the living room, so that she cannot run close to the stairs...then T could go to her "ultimate" safe zone if needed, and K would not be able to chase?
Now this idea with the harnesses on both cats does sound good.
It will take time to learn to be in a harness.
Both cats will see each other in them.

You only really have to put K on a long, but safe, leash or lead,...when you want to teach K to slow down.
Also your way of tethering K sounds okay, ...if it teaches K not to chase.

Plus, walking around the house, with cats on a leash...is like the ultimate in funny antics.
They won't co-operate, at first, so you have to go super, super slow.
And not keep them in harness for too long.

Even if it doesn't work, at least you've taught them another skill, to walk around the house, proudly.
Maybe it has to do with their environment during development/kittenhood. If they are indoors, they have no need to see things that are far, and food is always provided to them, no need to hunt.
But if they are outdoors I expect farsightedness is more useful?
I'm just theorizing.
Yes, that makes sense, since everything inside is fairly close.
Oh, good point. I don't know if it's possible or allowed but I'll check!
If you don't own the home, I wouldn't ask. It's better that the owners don't know about any extra cats, or extra stuff that you want to alter. Then they'll probably find ways to increase the costs, citing damages, and who knows what other things.
If you don't own, then it may be better to just find the cost of a replacement door, which is so much easier to swap out and change, on the hinges. (wooden doors can be patched, too, just a little harder, since the panels are thin, and the doors usually hollow. But paint does cover any blemishes, and I'm sure there are youtube diy videos to explain the steps involved. Youtube has everything.)
Well, I mentioned above that they coexisted rather peacefully during the day, then K chased T seemingly in play, but T didn't really appreciate it. I'm hopeful though, all of this slow introducing has been leading up to them being able to interact with each other without any barrier, so it makes sense that they still have roadblocks now. I'm not surprised that T is scared of K, because the chasing is "new" - without the gate in the way. And T is scared of many things but does alright with repeated exposure...so I hope K will learn, in the meantime, that she would be able to play more if she were more gentle.
Totally agree!
You're totally right.
All the "slow introducing has been leading up to them being able to interact with each other without any barrier,"
and the 'repeated exposure' is helping both cats to adjust to each other.
Plus to listen to their humans, too. :) :catrub: :bluepaw::greenpaw:
 
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acari

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I'd prefer sticking with your plan...because you are seeing extremely positive results.
Even if there are some roadblocks, setback, scuffles, ...both cats still return to being in the same room.
That's pretty much fantastic.

(sorry for my flippy/floppy brain. I have to remember to give it more thought, before I actually say an idea.)
No, it's understandable to want to give everything a try. It's not a bad idea but there are pros and cons, and we've both listed many things in either category! I'll keep thinking about it and if there's a time when it makes more sense then I can give it a try.
Maybe K is being more curious about going upstairs because she's finally getting over some feelings about T's existence, and now she wants to try exploring "T's area" and possibly claiming it back for herself, or chasing T into a smaller space...like you said, maybe it's a territory thing...
You only really have to put K on a long, but safe, leash or lead,...when you want to teach K to slow down.
Also your way of tethering K sounds okay, ...if it teaches K not to chase.
The only problem with this (other than being able to put harnesses on both of them) is that K's chasing radius is still unpredictable. Maybe the leash would actually have to be pretty short, otherwise it would be the same as not having the leash at all, because K almost always stops at the stairs.

-----

This morning, K was very active, which was surprising as she was very active last night as well.
Around 10:30 AM she was asking us for food and I took my eyes off her for a second to send an email, I had last seen her walking into the kitchen, presumably to ask my partner for food - and suddenly I heard a chase going upstairs. By the time I got there, K was coming back down the stairs, T was standing in her room peering out.

K didn't seem agitated (sometimes her tail gets poofed up after a chase) and it seems like she didn't chase into T's room, just up the stairs. But T decided to stay upstairs for a little bit after that and we closed up the gate.

We spent some time with K after that on her side of the gate, until she started napping in the sun, then we spent time on T's side of the gate, and T dozed off next to our desks.

We opened the gate up while we ate lunch, because usually when K is lying down in the sun, she's more relaxed.
T came right through, sniffing around.
She slowly crept her way up to K and sniffed her, and K must have woken up because T jumped, but then nothing happened - K relaxed again and T turned around and left. So they were very close, face to face, on the same level (no box in the way).

After lunch, we sat on the couch to keep an eye on the two of them.
T has taken to sitting on the windowsill a lot lately, her new favorite spot, and she really wanted to go up there, but K was lying down in front of the little tree that serves as steps up to the sill.
T spent ages looking longingly up at the sill and debating whether she could step past K, who was watching her carefully (but was lying down still).
T crept very slowly nearby and got to within a foot of K, but then she made the decision to jump up onto the sill directly instead of trying to step onto the tree (as that would have brought her even closer to K).

Once T made the jump up, K turned and pounced up on her and they had a tussle with contact there - they wrestled for a second or two, T on the bottom and K on top. It happened way too fast for me to tell what was happening but I think K was making sounds.
They separated and T started running off towards the stairs, and K had a split second of hesitation where she didn't know if she should go running after her. She ended up going after her but stopped at the gate.
Meanwhile, I had clapped a few times and said HEY once or twice - I honestly don't even know if it helps stop K at this point because it doesn't seem to more than half the time, and maybe it scares T more? But I don't know how else to let K know, in the moment, that it's not acceptable behavior.

For the record, I think if T had moved even more slowly, and hadn't jumped up but used the steps, she could have gotten to where she wanted to be without K attacking. It's not a sure thing, but K was halfway between relaxed and alert before T jumped up. K was actively weighing the threat from T and when T was stepping carefully around and not looking at K, K was alright with it.
To me, it seemed like the sudden jump was the trigger for K, she wasn't ready for it.
But how could I let T know that she needs to move more slowly and be more patient? It's why I didn't intervene before that even though the situation was precarious...T has to learn, too, what K's boundaries are, just like K has to learn not to play roughly with T.

I think T has stayed upstairs since then, a little spooked but acting fine otherwise. It's just telling that she stays upstairs though.

K on the other hand knew immediately she was in trouble once she stopped chasing T at the gate and started looking for places to hide from my glaring at her.
I haven't left her alone since then because now I have a suspicion that she likes being left alone so it's not any useful discipline to give her a "time-out". I have just been very close, but not being nice to her, no pets, no treats, no talking. She understands that I'm not there to keep her company.
We've tried the positive rewards after negative encounters, we've tried time-outs after negative encounters. Both things I am kind of iffy on whether they work for "rewiring" K's brain. It seems to me that the positive rewards in particular connect the positive thing to me, or the treat jar itself, and she separates that from T, who is another issue entirely.

If only it were possible for T to be the one doling out the treats...

Anyway, we will see what happens tonight when we serve up dinner, we will open up the gate again during that time as they usually coexist relatively peacefully (only one chase so far).

But still...it's disheartening that the chasing from K seems to be happening more often. I know it's partially because the gate is open more and more, so of course T will try to test K's boundaries, and of course there will be some "teaching" moments.

I don't doubt that the situation would definitely be worse if we didn't do the introduction process at all so of course progress has been made...but it doesn't feel like a lot of progress given the amount of time and our starting point. Does that make sense? I feel like we started with two cats that weren't super aggressive, just anxious/scared/unsure, and while they still have never had a real, honest, fight (and I'm thankful for that, truly) - we've still got two cats that aren't super aggressive and are anxious/scared/unsure. It drives me nuts sometimes! Are we getting anywhere? What if this is how it's going to be, forever?
 

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No, it's understandable to want to give everything a try. It's not a bad idea but there are pros and cons, and we've both listed many things in either category! I'll keep thinking about it and if there's a time when it makes more sense then I can give it a try.
Maybe K is being more curious about going upstairs because she's finally getting over some feelings about T's existence, and now she wants to try exploring "T's area" and possibly claiming it back for herself, or chasing T into a smaller space...like you said, maybe it's a territory thing...
Thanks for being understanding. Yes, I am kind of like that,...I like to give everything a try, and see how it goes.
No, It's a Terrible idea! ...for right now, at least. (You're just being too kind.)...especially for reasons we both listed.
I do agree, that if in the future, it would be needed...then maybe, maybe...I'd give it a try.

I think I'm wrong about the 'territory thing', too...partially, at least.
(Hear me out, before you just decide..."oh, heck, cat nap probably can't decide between cat food flavours either") :frustrated:

I think you are at the stage of cat-intros,...where the cats are playing rough, but doing the most learning from each other. :argue:
The only problem with this (other than being able to put harnesses on both of them) is that K's chasing radius is still unpredictable. Maybe the leash would actually have to be pretty short, otherwise it would be the same as not having the leash at all, because K almost always stops at the stairs.
Oh, I get what you are saying. Short leash makes sense in that case.
My idea was if there was a way ...where you could teach K to just slow down a bit....then K would learn to slow down at other times, too.
...and suddenly I heard a chase going upstairs. By the time I got there, K was coming back down the stairs, T was standing in her room peering out.
We opened the gate up while we ate lunch, because usually when K is lying down in the sun, she's more relaxed.
T came right through, sniffing around.
She slowly crept her way up to K and sniffed her, and K must have woken up because T jumped, but then nothing happened - K relaxed again and T turned around and left. So they were very close, face to face, on the same level (no box in the way).
After lunch, we sat on the couch to keep an eye on the two of them.
T has taken to sitting on the windowsill a lot lately, her new favorite spot, and she really wanted to go up there, but K was lying down in front of the little tree that serves as steps up to the sill.
T spent ages looking longingly up at the sill and debating whether she could step past K, who was watching her carefully (but was lying down still).
T crept very slowly nearby and got to within a foot of K, but then she made the decision to jump up onto the sill directly instead of trying to step onto the tree (as that would have brought her even closer to K).

Once T made the jump up, K turned and pounced up on her and they had a tussle with contact there - they wrestled for a second or two, T on the bottom and K on top. It happened way too fast for me to tell what was happening but I think K was making sounds.
They separated and T started running off towards the stairs, and K had a split second of hesitation where she didn't know if she should go running after her. She ended up going after her but stopped at the gate.
The more I watch the videos and Gifs, and the more I read your updates, ...plus go back and think about what has already happened ...the more I think that you are NOW at the stage where you will see a lot more rough Play.

(I'm not sure if you read Twylasmom Twylasmom 's thread called: Introducing Cats - Logistics Questions.
But I remember in it, that there was a time when both her cats were chasing, wrestling and rough play-fighting, more than usual, somewhere in the middle, or near the end of the cat-intros. Her cats are different ages, about 11 yr and 1 yr, so senior and young, and of course different personalities.

Yet the thing that stands out, for me, is that her cats had moments of intense rough play-fights, but then were able to eat near each other, and slowly change the way each cat interacted with each other.
What both you and her share is the 'patience of the gods'.
And even though your cat-intro methods, or steps are different, in sequence, since naturally they are different cats,...you both have cats that had to 'rough it up' ...in order to move forward.

Anyhow, my point is that what you are seeing now, I think is the natural progress in cat-intros, where there will be an uptick in play-fights and possibly aggression, ...but that since both cats are settling down, fairly quickly...then it's still moving forward.
Does that make sense.

(I haven't seen a recent update from Twylasmom, since she's probably busy working from home and stuff, but if I do, then I'll ask her if she remembers a time, in her cat-intros, where her cats escalated in their play-fights, and how she noticed that they 'turned the corner'.)

It's difficult, because once you're in the midst of the cat-intros, you don't always notice if it's progress, setback, or a natural turning point.
Meanwhile, I had clapped a few times and said HEY once or twice - I honestly don't even know if it helps stop K at this point because it doesn't seem to more than half the time, and maybe it scares T more? But I don't know how else to let K know, in the moment, that it's not acceptable behavior.
That's a hard one to figure out.
Good that it stops K for at least half the time, but not good if it scares T.
Maybe try not clapping, and saying a different phrase...like, "Okay, enough already." "Yikes, none of that now."...or throwing a pillow the other way...for distraction.
For the record, I think if T had moved even more slowly, and hadn't jumped up but used the steps, she could have gotten to where she wanted to be without K attacking. It's not a sure thing, but K was halfway between relaxed and alert before T jumped up. K was actively weighing the threat from T and when T was stepping carefully around and not looking at K, K was alright with it.
To me, it seemed like the sudden jump was the trigger for K, she wasn't ready for it.
But how could I let T know that she needs to move more slowly and be more patient? It's why I didn't intervene before that even though the situation was precarious...T has to learn, too, what K's boundaries are, just like K has to learn not to play roughly with T.

I think T has stayed upstairs since then, a little spooked but acting fine otherwise. It's just telling that she stays upstairs though.
It's probably what you said before,...that T needs to take a small break from K, and being chased...gets the adrenaline all pumping, so it must be tiring, too.

Again, I'm thinking more and more, that this is Play, and that K was actually waiting for T to approach...like laying in wait.
You cannot really control how they Play, but you are altering how aggressive it gets ...when it is way too rough, and when they don't separate by themselves.

What you are doing is really good, don't doubt yourself. :)
K on the other hand knew immediately she was in trouble once she stopped chasing T at the gate and started looking for places to hide from my glaring at her.
I haven't left her alone since then because now I have a suspicion that she likes being left alone so it's not any useful discipline to give her a "time-out". I have just been very close, but not being nice to her, no pets, no treats, no talking. She understands that I'm not there to keep her company.
We've tried the positive rewards after negative encounters, we've tried time-outs after negative encounters. Both things I am kind of iffy on whether they work for "rewiring" K's brain. It seems to me that the positive rewards in particular connect the positive thing to me, or the treat jar itself, and she separates that from T, who is another issue entirely.

If only it were possible for T to be the one doling out the treats...
"If only it were possible for T to be the one doling out the treats..." Oh, that would be hilarious! :blush: :lol:
The cat-intros would have been over in the first week. :thumbsup:

It's amazing, though, because K still stops chasing T, and turns at the gate.
And even though it must be 'super fun' for K, ...she still knows that you don't approve.
At least K acts 'semi-repentant'. :hmmm:

Also amazing is that T comes back.
Anyway, we will see what happens tonight when we serve up dinner, we will open up the gate again during that time as they usually coexist relatively peacefully (only one chase so far).

But still...it's disheartening that the chasing from K seems to be happening more often. I know it's partially because the gate is open more and more, so of course T will try to test K's boundaries, and of course there will be some "teaching" moments.
I don't think our cats find that their 'rough play fights' are at all upsetting to us, humans. :idea:
They must find it fun, enjoyable, release stress, ...and then go about their routine days.
(Like going to a gym, and working out, or boxing a punching bag.)
I don't doubt that the situation would definitely be worse if we didn't do the introduction process at all so of course progress has been made...but it doesn't feel like a lot of progress given the amount of time and our starting point. Does that make sense? I feel like we started with two cats that weren't super aggressive, just anxious/scared/unsure, and while they still have never had a real, honest, fight (and I'm thankful for that, truly) - we've still got two cats that aren't super aggressive and are anxious/scared/unsure. It drives me nuts sometimes! Are we getting anywhere? What if this is how it's going to be, forever?
I promise you that it won't be like this forever.
(I know that coming from 'flippy/floppy cat nap'...isn't saying much....and you probably wouldn't take it to the bank or anything.)
..But you are at an Excellent stage, right now....even though it's loud, disruptive, and not smooth sailing. :agree:

In the beginning, you could have just said, "whatever, let's just put them together"...and they would have eventually reached some sort of understanding...but one cat would have been super-stressed, and bullied, and full of fear...while the other cat would also be stressed and lashing out instinctively, and probably remain in that frame of mind for a very long time.

You're right, both cats 'weren't super aggressive, ...just anxious/scared/unsure'...but you've allowed the time to lessen those fears.
You've built their confidence
, and avoided many extremely stress filled days in both cats.
You now have cats that are less anxious, scared and unsure
. :bluepaw:
That's all thanks to you both...and the methods you've done.

(I know that before I joined the cat site, I used to make a mess of cat-intros, and the cats showed signs of extreme fear, ...that I wish I could go back in time, and do things over...but I can't. I see that the benefits of slow intros work, and would never go back to just placing a cat in a room, leaving them to come out and join the other animals, whenever they wanted without any gates, and just letting things happen.)

I think that you are so close, and that is why it's driving you nuts.
You can see the days when both cats are so close, and nothing happens,... but you're also seeing altercations...and just want them to get along, already.
That is super frustrating.
And when you're right in the midst of it, it's also disappointing and disheartening....not to mention tiring.

If you can... try to alter the expectations on time, and not be surprised by anything the cats do,... then it might be a little easier to accept when the scuffles, fights and chases happen.

I'm just thinking that the key will be "how to slow K down?"....but I haven't really come up with any good ideas. :greenpaw:

Remember, the fact that they are both interacting is a good thing, and a turbulent bridge that must be crossed.
Because they both come back is also an extremely good thing.

(I know I wrote (and write) way too much...so only take the good parts...and disregard the rest.)
You're doing amazing. Getting results. And you will definitely get K and T to get along. :)
(It's still on 'cat schedules' and not our human expected ones.)
 

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Chiming in here. My two are now out together about eighteen hours a day (I put Hooper, the younger one, in his own room at night so I can get some sleep). They eat together, explore together and once in a great while will actually sit on either side of me on the couch. However, they engage in heavy duty physical play every day, several times a day. It can be rough, and loud! Most of the time I just let it play out and they eventually tire of it, but if Hooper goes into crazy hyperdrive I will distract him with a toy and gauge how Twyla reacts. If she is tired of the play she will take the opportunity to sneak off to her bed upstairs, but often she will wait until I stop playing with Hooper and jump right back in, so I know she is ok.

Honestly, I just had to have faith that they would be ok alone together, because the rough play never stopped, but eventually did become more short lived. I also had to stop hovering so much and accept that this is fun for them, even if it drives me crazy. Fur does fly sometimes, but neither has ever hurt the other. They spend most of the day apart, sleeping in their favorite spots.

(For the record, they have been going at it while I have been writing this!)
 
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acari

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I think you are at the stage of cat-intros,...where the cats are playing rough, but doing the most learning from each other. :argue:
Again, I'm thinking more and more, that this is Play, and that K was actually waiting for T to approach...like laying in wait.
You cannot really control how they Play, but you are altering how aggressive it gets ...when it is way too rough, and when they don't separate by themselves.
I think you're right, and they're slowly trying to work out how play will work now that they have access to each other. Since I last wrote, I don't think we have had any worrying chases but they haven't interacted much at all. T has been keeping her distance for the most part.
T, I think, is starting to have less wild kitten energy, and she's around the age K was when we first got her. K has taken to sleeping more and more, she's mellowing out...a little bit.
I am noticing that K, when she is awake, is looking for T more, not exactly playful but at least curious. T doesn't engage, probably because K is still big and scary (haha).
K has gone upstairs a few times when T is eating dinner in her room (we feed her dry food up there), just to sit at the landing and peer into the room and look at T. It's cute!
Also, I used to always focus on watching K because she would be the aggressor and knew T would run away to safety.
But actually, lately I have found that if they are close together and K is starting to get worried, if I focus on interacting with T instead, it calms both of them down. If I am petting T or just closer to her, T is reassured because I'm cover. K seems to be reassured that I'll be preventing T from rushing her, because T is interacting with me...cat logic...
I see that the benefits of slow intros work, and would never go back to just placing a cat in a room, leaving them to come out and join the other animals, whenever they wanted without any gates, and just letting things happen.
Thank you for reiterating this. I think it's a lot easier for people to say that they did this and that it worked out when it's successful - it's a lot shorter than documenting a long struggle for intros, right? So we get a bias that maybe it works out for more people and that it can't be so bad to do it...
Remember, the fact that they are both interacting is a good thing, and a turbulent bridge that must be crossed.
Because they both come back is also an extremely good thing.
I always need this reminder!!!
My two are now out together about eighteen hours a day (I put Hooper, the younger one, in his own room at night so I can get some sleep).
Thank you for chiming in, Twylasmom Twylasmom ! I've seen your posts around on the forum! I do the same thing with T, she gets her own room at night - partly because I don't trust them to be alone together, unsupervised, all night, and partly because I don't trust T to not destroy everything with her kitten curiosity (though she should be growing out of that, if she hasn't already).

-----

Well, like I said, they haven't interacted much! So nothing hugely positive but also nothing negative.
K seems to spend a little bit of time each day trying to get T to play, but T is suspicious. She should be, because K's version of "play" so far is "I'll hide, and if she comes up to me I'll chase her".
Maybe two days ago K chased T up the stairs but there were no sounds at all and nobody was poofy. T is, I think, trying to figure out if K can be trusted, because usually she's fine but she'll stay in the upstairs area or the stair landing between instead of coming all the way back down. K sometimes waits around to see if T will come down so she can chase again, but then will get bored of waiting and leave.
To be very clear, in these particular instances we really think K is playing. They're different from the negative chases I mentioned before...though those might also be play...

The gate has stayed open a lot these days, if another week or so passes without incident then we may consider removing it then.
 

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......T has been keeping her distance for the most part.
T, I think, is starting to have less wild kitten energy, and she's around the age K was when we first got her. K has taken to sleeping more and more, she's mellowing out...a little bit.
Awwww...already...T "is starting to have less wild kitten energy,"

How come they grow up so fast??
You mean that T has moved from kitten-hood, into the 'teenage phase'...and is now approaching the 'young adult phase.'
No more misjudging jumps and missing the mark, running into things, knocking all things off of low coffee and side tables?

I guess it's inevitable and partly okay. I mean we don't really want our cats to stay in kitten-hood forever, and hurt themselves or tear up the place,...but still it's so fun to watch 'all that wild kitten energy' and then ...whoops...sleep where you fall.
I am noticing that K, when she is awake, is looking for T more, not exactly playful but at least curious. T doesn't engage, probably because K is still big and scary (haha).
Yeah, I suppose that T figures that K still needs to 'learn the gentle art of playing, with gentle paws, roll-overs, and slow-motion movements' versus 'target acquired, launch, run and chase'.
(It's like T would like to have a 'proper tea party' with no unruly guests,...and K is into 'fast action play' like the 'marvel universe' super-heroes.)

Good that K is curious. Perhaps by studying T, ...K will learn that she does not have to run and chase her every time.
K has gone upstairs a few times when T is eating dinner in her room (we feed her dry food up there), just to sit at the landing and peer into the room and look at T. It's cute!
If they don't bother each other while eating, then that's another one for the 'get along' or 'share the resources' column.
Also, I used to always focus on watching K because she would be the aggressor and knew T would run away to safety.
But actually, lately I have found that if they are close together and K is starting to get worried, if I focus on interacting with T instead, it calms both of them down. If I am petting T or just closer to her, T is reassured because I'm cover. K seems to be reassured that I'll be preventing T from rushing her, because T is interacting with me...cat logic...
Yes, that's total cat logic. haha. So you're basically the 'protection, buffer zone, cover,'.
It's nice to see that finally, they view you as their 'safety zone', and are showing more respect/restraint.

I don't get the part where..."K seems to be reassured that I'll be preventing T from rushing her," ???
T actually 'rushes K'? ...(You mean in slow-motion?
Since when does T rush K? I know you mentioned the ambush at the litter-box, previously...but wasn't that just a 'surprise, I'm here' kind of action from T? I guess that is a bit of a rush at K, in a way.)

It's really good that you are trying new things, and changing up what you normally do.
It must make the cats stop and think, "hey, what's this human doing now?" ..."I better pay attention"
Always good to try new things, just to see how the cats react.
Thank you for reiterating this. I think it's a lot easier for people to say that they did this and that it worked out when it's successful - it's a lot shorter than documenting a long struggle for intros, right? So we get a bias that maybe it works out for more people and that it can't be so bad to do it...
I actually get the opposite bias, having read so, so many intro threads, where the intros are rushed and then the cats react very aggressively in natural ways, but then take so much time to decrease their natural reactions.
A lot does depend upon the personalities of the cats, and that's often very difficult to determine in the first 2 months.
(Plus initially 1-2 months just for cats to accept the new home, and feel at ease with their home and humans, and then more months to get accustomed to other cats/animals. Again, depending on personalities.)

You're right, though,..."it it a lot shorter than documenting a long struggle for intros"...so it makes sense of presenting some cases which show this bias.
Well, like I said, they haven't interacted much! So nothing hugely positive but also nothing negative.
K seems to spend a little bit of time each day trying to get T to play, but T is suspicious. She should be, because K's version of "play" so far is "I'll hide, and if she comes up to me I'll chase her".
(I still like your idea of T "doling out the cat treats". haha. Too bad you cannot come up with some sort of "harness-like...dispenser method, ...where T can actually do this." I think you'd have to patent it, and make millions.
Of course, there'd be a large learning curve, too,...since both cats would probably stop and eat the treats, and then maybe get into further fights. All good inventions must have started with huge problems to overcome. Oh, well).
Maybe two days ago K chased T up the stairs but there were no sounds at all and nobody was poofy. T is, I think, trying to figure out if K can be trusted, because usually she's fine but she'll stay in the upstairs area or the stair landing between instead of coming all the way back down. K sometimes waits around to see if T will come down so she can chase again, but then will get bored of waiting and leave.
To be very clear, in these particular instances we really think K is playing. They're different from the negative chases I mentioned before...though those might also be play...
It's fascinating that K still stops at a certain location...particular spots...or after a certain time.
Even when there is no actual gate there,... on the stairs, or upper room, ...to stop her from running all the way at T.

It has to be Play, especially if K is waiting for T to come back down.

The gate has stayed open a lot these days, if another week or so passes without incident then we may consider removing it then.
You might have to prepare yourselves for some incidents to actually happen. But as long as they are not super aggressive, with blood form scratches or swipes,...or chunks of fur-flying (not the usual shedding from Spring, and letting go of fur from the poofy incidents)...then it shouldn't be too bad.
Up till now, both K and T are really doing well. You've only mentioned that one wrestling tumble, from the 'windowsill incident-cat tree jump'...so I'm actually kind of surprised.

The way you're doing the gradual exposures, of opening up the gate, and the 'using yourself as protection', plus the things that you've already done...have probably shown the cats that they don't have to always play rough, or always be chasing non-stop.
At least it seems that they are not NOW chasing non-stop.
Another little victory, I'd say.

Hope you all have a relaxing and warm upcoming Easter, Passover or Spring weekend, or just a regular relaxing weekend.
Stay safe, stay well. :)
 
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acari

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How come they grow up so fast??
You mean that T has moved from kitten-hood, into the 'teenage phase'...and is now approaching the 'young adult phase.'
No more misjudging jumps and missing the mark, running into things, knocking all things off of low coffee and side tables?
T actually doesn't jump very much, I can't imagine that she's not capable of it but she prefers to jump up only partway and then scramble up with her front paws on whatever ledge she can grab.
And, both of them somehow do not knock anything over...they don't jump up where they're not supposed to go or anything like that. I wonder if that's rare? I always hear people complaining that their cats knock things off tables.
I don't get the part where..."K seems to be reassured that I'll be preventing T from rushing her," ???
T actually 'rushes K'? ...(You mean in slow-motion?
Since when does T rush K? I know you mentioned the ambush at the litter-box, previously...but wasn't that just a 'surprise, I'm here' kind of action from T? I guess that is a bit of a rush at K, in a way.)
No, T does not rush K. But K acts like she thinks that T might run at her, even though T has never done it.

-----

We are pretty much still in the same place. The new things are: T is much more comfortable in the living room and is spending lots of time at the window, especially when it's open. She likes to stare out at the trees.
K has been staying out of the living room, which is a bit unusual but she has her phases, plus it hasn't been very sunny. So perhaps she prefers her cozy bed and/or hammock.

K has been going upstairs more often to peer in at T, who will just retreat a bit further into the room and lie down, waiting for K to leave. Occasionally she will talk at K (little questioning trills), but of course K doesn't respond.

There have been a few more chases but these I feel are borderline on whether they are problems. I would say we are 85% sure they are playing. We have had one where K was particularly mean and T was doing nothing at all, just lying down quietly.
The other chases I think K was playing in her way, and T was maybe a little bit freaked out by it, but we still haven't had to close the gate at all and T has still always acted fine right after.

I am keeping an eye on them in case K is chasing T away and banishing her to her room, because that wouldn't be very good.

I think maybe after this weekend we will think about taking the gate away. We'll see!
 
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acari

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Hello everyone! We have not set up the gate today and things seem normal, but they have both started to only really get active in the evening.

HOWEVER a MAJOR update is that, I've mentioned that K has been venturing back upstairs now to look in at T. Yesterday, she actually WENT INTO T'S ROOM.
T was inside playing with her paper or a spring or something, so on the left side of the room, away from the door.
On the right side of the room we have a large armchair in the corner, and there is a window on the back wall (facing the door). T's cat house is directly in front of the window, she very occasionally sleeps inside but generally likes climbing onto the top of the house to look out the window.

K strolled in, went up on the armchair, jumped up to the top of the house, then went and turkeyed on the windowsill, sometimes looking in T's direction.
T ended up lying down on the ground, still on the left side of the room but she wasn't cowering in a corner or anything like that, just watching K. A bit wary.

After about two minutes (to me an eternity) K decided to hop back down onto the armchair. She looked down at T and hissed, and I also heard a low growl. But both sounds weren't loud or aggressive, I could barely hear it...seemed like a mild warning, like maybe "don't try anything while I leave the room".

I wonder if K is trying to claim the room as her space too? I don't think T would care except for the loss of her "safety zone" from K...but she has other places to hide in the house if she wants to, so I'm not really worried now.

It has really seemed like K is trying to get T to play these few days but T generally doesn't want to engage, because she's kind of scared of K and doesn't want to get hurt. If K doesn't lose her patience and keeps asking T to play (and doesn't lash out meanly other times) then I have hope that they'll become friends. K is kind of moody and sometimes she is unpredictable with how she interacts with T, I think this is what's stopping them from playing with each other.

Otherwise I guess they'll just keep their distance and co-exist that way.
 

pearl99

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That sounds great with no gate! I caught Waffles last night, while I was on my bed reading a book with Gracie just at the side of the bed on the floor on a towel I keep there (she lays on it in the morning when the sun hits that spot) just sitting at the door giving Gracie lots of slow blinks and looking around. Kind of like "can we maybe be friends?" First time I've seen him do that with her. :hellocat:Nice to see some progress.
Mine just coexist with Gracie.
Congrats on things going well with yours! Such a lot of progress over the months!
 

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HOWEVER a MAJOR update is that, I've mentioned that K has been venturing back upstairs now to look in at T. Yesterday, she actually WENT INTO T'S ROOM.
T was inside playing with her paper or a spring or something, so on the left side of the room, away from the door.
On the right side of the room we have a large armchair in the corner, and there is a window on the back wall (facing the door). T's cat house is directly in front of the window, she very occasionally sleeps inside but generally likes climbing onto the top of the house to look out the window.

K strolled in, went up on the armchair, jumped up to the top of the house, then went and turkeyed on the windowsill, sometimes looking in T's direction.
T ended up lying down on the ground, still on the left side of the room but she wasn't cowering in a corner or anything like that, just watching K. A bit wary.

After about two minutes (to me an eternity)
K decided to hop back down onto the armchair. She looked down at T and hissed, and I also heard a low growl. But both sounds weren't loud or aggressive, I could barely hear it...seemed like a mild warning, like maybe "don't try anything while I leave the room".
FANTASTIC! :thumbsup:
To have an interaction like this, without any chasing, fighting, cornering, pouncing,...is truly fantastic. :cloud9:

Regardless of the hissing and low growling,...which is just a way that K likes to communicate,...the fact that K strolled into the room, hopped up, looked around and then...left the room without any confrontation...is totally awesome.

If you can have more of this type of interaction,...rather than just chasing and trying to pounce,...then both cats are well on their way to developing a friendship.
I wonder if K is trying to claim the room as her space too? I don't think T would care except for the loss of her "safety zone" from K...but she has other places to hide in the house if she wants to, so I'm not really worried now.
I don't think that K is trying to claim the space,...because K would have chased T out of the room, if she wanted to claim it. :think:
I think it's more that K is now, finally, willing to 'share the space', and is still slowly allowing T to become a part of her "overall space".

If K is moving away from those "please don't destroy me, I just want dinner" glares, to low growls and hisses,...then that is true progress. Not to mention, ...that any type of interaction that is NOT a run and chase is also great.
It will show K that she can act differently around T, and no negative outcomes will happen.
Then, perhaps the runs and chases will be more playful, and less rough.

It seems like K and T have turned a major corner, in their interactions, now. :idea:
It has really seemed like K is trying to get T to play these few days but T generally doesn't want to engage, because she's kind of scared of K and doesn't want to get hurt. If K doesn't lose her patience and keeps asking T to play (and doesn't lash out meanly other times) then I have hope that they'll become friends. K is kind of moody and sometimes she is unpredictable with how she interacts with T, I think this is what's stopping them from playing with each other.

Otherwise I guess they'll just keep their distance and co-exist that way.
I think we all have that hope when animals first meet, that they'll become best friends.
Then reality hits, ...and we hope that they just learn to 'co-exist peacefully'...but still that hope remains, that they eventually become friends.

It's really good to aim for 'peaceful co-existence'. Then whatever happens, in any good ways, after that,...seems like a bonus.
By doing all the slow introductions, and setting up a lot of space, effort, time,...I think that you've created an amazing place for each cat to grow and thrive, and not to feel threatened or fearful. :)
You and your partner, have done all that, A acari ...and should be extremely proud and confident in your efforts. :cheerleader:

I do agree that K seems to now be trying to get T to play more, and I don't blame T for not engaging fully, ...or yet,..since more time has to pass until K looks to change her style of play to become consistently gentler, softer and more predictable.
Both cats have changed so much from the beginning, so who knows how things will evolve.
It's definitely pointing in the right direction.
That sounds great with no gate! I caught Waffles last night, while I was on my bed reading a book with Gracie just at the side of the bed on the floor on a towel I keep there (she lays on it in the morning when the sun hits that spot) just sitting at the door giving Gracie lots of slow blinks and looking around. Kind of like "can we maybe be friends?" First time I've seen him do that with her. :hellocat:Nice to see some progress.
Mine just coexist with Gracie.
Congrats on things going well with yours! Such a lot of progress over the months!
It is amazing when you see progress! :biggrin:
It's also amazing when you notice that one cat won't give up...with their attempts and tries of wanting to be friendly.
Yay for Waffles doing those slow blinks at Gracie. :loveeyes:

Even when we don't notice the progress...it's still happening.

I totally agree with you pearl99 pearl99 ...that A acari has made so much progress over the months.
And you're both right about co-existence being the goal.
Everything else is just a bonus.
 

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You are in very good hands.

I am reading this and see everything that is all part of the process.

But I am seeing progress as well. It may not feel like it being in the near end of it but I am not reading anything that suggests this is not going to work. I was highly confident it was going to work before and am more so now.

All the surprises you are seeing are totally normal.

There is a lot of acceptance. You are definitely still on the right track and success is ahead. I am not so certain there will not be more than co-existence in the future. You may be surprised.

Keep up the great work and keep getting the great advice you are getting. One day it will be like a switch flips and you'll know. Of course wildness will happen later but it will be in a much easier to understand.

GREAT job!!
 
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acari

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I caught Waffles last night, while I was on my bed reading a book with Gracie just at the side of the bed on the floor on a towel I keep there (she lays on it in the morning when the sun hits that spot) just sitting at the door giving Gracie lots of slow blinks and looking around. Kind of like "can we maybe be friends?" First time I've seen him do that with her. :hellocat:Nice to see some progress.
That's amazing! I hope that they do become friends! Now whenever I hear about non-bonded cats being friendly to each other I get double the fuzzy feelings, because I know that a lot of cats have to work at it.
I don't think that K is trying to claim the space,...because K would have chased T out of the room, if she wanted to claim it. :think:
I think it's more that K is now, finally, willing to 'share the space', and is still slowly allowing T to become a part of her "overall space".
Oh, interesting, that's true. I didn't think about that.
I dunno if it's K sharing the space with T or the other way around. But maybe K is just trying to show T that there's nothing to be scared of (as long as T doesn't try any funny stuff)?
K has a hard time keeping track of where T is so I'm not sure if she was looking for T last night, but T was under the couch downstairs and K ended up going into T's room by herself.
She sniffed around at everything carefully, then left. She didn't bother using the litter box so what you said about her not wanting to claim the space seems legit.
There is a lot of acceptance. You are definitely still on the right track and success is ahead. I am not so certain there will not be more than co-existence in the future. You may be surprised.

Keep up the great work and keep getting the great advice you are getting. One day it will be like a switch flips and you'll know. Of course wildness will happen later but it will be in a much easier to understand.
Thank you for all your help and encouragement C calicosrspecial ! I hope you are right and that they become closer than just accepting each other's presence.

-----

So the gate has not been up for at least a whole week now without any (negative) chasing incidents, which is GREAT.

There are very short moments where they surprise us, for example one evening we were trying to get T to finish the last bite of her food (she always leaves just one bite no matter how much or little we give her) and K came around instead, within a foot of T (who was lying down on the kitchen floor).
We let K eat the bite instead, which we normally wouldn't do, but they were sooooooooooo close to each other that we didn't wanna ruin the mood. After K was done licking everything up, she did turn to look at T, who jumped a bit and got up, then K pawed in the air in T's direction - but she purposefully didn't hit T (she was definitely within arm's reach). I think it was just a "get out of my way". This all happened, again, with them being only about a foot away from each other!

Otherwise, T has been avoiding K a lot. She scurries under the couch if K comes into the living room, and she'll go upstairs if she's not near the couch. I think she doesn't want to accidentally provoke K.

Just this morning, T was on the windowsill, and K came into the living room. She was peering under the couch for T (again she's not very good at noticing where T is), and T was watching her. I feel like T understood that K was looking for her, because she made a tiny little trill, which caught K's attention. Then, K decided to walk away. So that was peaceful!

This is not really related to introductions but two nights ago, K suddenly got REALLY SUPER TERRIFIED of nothing. She just stared unblinkingly into the hallway/living room and hid in places she normally doesn't hide. Didn't want to be pet, tail down, very tense. I got really worried about her because she'd never acted like this before.
At first I thought it might have been about T (she was zooming around and making a lot of noise, but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary) but she acted fine around T the next day, even though she was still jumpy.
She's mostly back to normal now but do your cats do this sometimes? I have no idea what spooked her. Maybe ghosts?
 

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This is not really related to introductions but two nights ago, K suddenly got REALLY SUPER TERRIFIED of nothing. She just stared unblinkingly into the hallway/living room and hid in places she normally doesn't hide. Didn't want to be pet, tail down, very tense. I got really worried about her because she'd never acted like this before.
At first I thought it might have been about T (she was zooming around and making a lot of noise, but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary) but she acted fine around T the next day, even though she was still jumpy.
She's mostly back to normal now but do your cats do this sometimes? I have no idea what spooked her. Maybe ghosts?
Could it be weather related? Cats are very sensitive and may even feel the change even if we don't. Twyla is super scared of thunderstorms (and even heavy rain) and will hide for hours and if she is out she is very withdrawn and not responsive.
 

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You are welcome but Catnap, Pearl99 and Twylasmom deserve all the credit. They have done a great job helping you.

Another great encounter (with the food).

"Just this morning, T was on the windowsill, and K came into the living room. She was peering under the couch for T (again she's not very good at noticing where T is), and T was watching her. I feel like T understood that K was looking for her, because she made a tiny little trill, which caught K's attention. Then, K decided to walk away. So that was peaceful!" - This is awesome and tells us that all is going to be well (among other encounters).

Just keep working on building T's confidence and making those positive associations and positive encounters. T needs a bit more but overall they are doing great.

Keep up the great work!!
 

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That's amazing! I hope that they do become friends! Now whenever I hear about non-bonded cats being friendly to each other I get double the fuzzy feelings, because I know that a lot of cats have to work at it.
I do too. Am heavy into introducing Ziggy and Waffles now, having them together daily for a time with supervision and with treats, wand toys for distraction and a piece of cardboard for stopping things if needed in hand. Hard with being just one person! I need 4 arms. They are doing okay, slow going. Ziggy is quite playful for 13 years old, so I'm hoping maybe in a year she can play chase and pounce with Moo and Waffles (maybe wishful thinking.)

It's so fun to read about the progress with yours! I am betting things will warm up in time, from my point of view they have a great start.
 

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I am not so certain there will not be more than co-existence in the future. You may be surprised.
Calicosrspecial is absolutely right.
I'm not sure why I wrote my last post as though there would be any doubts.

When you think back at how K and T have already played, all the times that the gate was closed, and they still attempted to play...then really there should be no doubts that they will Play again.
Now, is probably the time where they are 'feeling each other out', and being a bit cautious, or just waiting for more acceptance.

With me, 'peaceful co-existence' does mean friendship. :)

(With my 5 year old siblings I just want them to be peaceful.)
(Just the other day, it was the female Tepaul, who went and chased her brother. That is kind of rare, here, or at least she does it less often, since it always seems like the boy Tripp starts all the chases. I was like, "Hmm, maybe I shouldn't think it's always him that starts the chases. I wonder what's gotten into her?") :blackcat:
Oh, interesting, that's true. I didn't think about that.
I dunno if it's K sharing the space with T or the other way around. But maybe K is just trying to show T that there's nothing to be scared of (as long as T doesn't try any funny stuff)?
K has a hard time keeping track of where T is so I'm not sure if she was looking for T last night, but T was under the couch downstairs and K ended up going into T's room by herself.
She sniffed around at everything carefully, then left. She didn't bother using the litter box so what you said about her not wanting to claim the space seems legit.
Excellent about K going into T's room by herself.
By K doing that extra sniffing, it's like K is more accepting of T's scent. :thumbsup:
Or she was actually trying to find T, like you mentioned, and sniffed the last place she figured that T would be.
Whatever the reason, ...it's still good.
There are very short moments where they surprise us, for example one evening we were trying to get T to finish the last bite of her food (she always leaves just one bite no matter how much or little we give her) and K came around instead, within a foot of T (who was lying down on the kitchen floor).
We let K eat the bite instead, which we normally wouldn't do, but they were sooooooooooo close to each other that we didn't wanna ruin the mood. After K was done licking everything up, she did turn to look at T, who jumped a bit and got up, then K pawed in the air in T's direction - but she purposefully didn't hit T (she was definitely within arm's reach). I think it was just a "get out of my way". This all happened, again, with them being only about a foot away from each other!
Wow. That would be another excellent interaction.

You know who K reminds me of.
(I'm not sure if you know the British singer Adele, who has the voice of an angel,..she's an amazing singer,...but when she talks...she has the mouth of a sailor...meaning she swears a lot, and laughs, too. :blush: )
That's who K reminds me of. K is so beautiful, but she has to hiss, growl, give a look...or paw... with that "get out of my way", or the "don't try anything while I leave the room" swear words attached. haha.) :biggrin:

(Okay, seriously though, K would be like the 'older sister'...who just has to tell the 'younger sister' what to do.
Like at all times.) :tongue:

I think with our cats, they are constantly communicating, both verbally and non-verbally.
They probably do more non-verbal communication, but like you said before, us 'slow humans' don't even pick that up. :bluepaw:

Hey, maybe with K licking the small leftovers from T, ...K will actually start liking T even more.
K will associate even better things with T,... since T, for whatever reason, leaves her a bite of food. (like a small gift basket?)

(My female cat Tepaul will also, mostly every time, leave a bite of wet food. Not sure why. Perhaps she thinks she has to, as though she's in the wild, and needs to store her cache? It's not like she comes back to it...so I don't know. Tripp does not leave anything.)
Otherwise, T has been avoiding K a lot. She scurries under the couch if K comes into the living room, and she'll go upstairs if she's not near the couch. I think she doesn't want to accidentally provoke K.

Just this morning, T was on the windowsill, and K came into the living room. She was peering under the couch for T (again she's not very good at noticing where T is), and T was watching her. I feel like T understood that K was looking for her, because she made a tiny little trill, which caught K's attention. Then, K decided to walk away. So that was peaceful!
I love moments like the windowsill one, where simple communication is made, and the cats go on about their day.
Peaceful is great. :cloud9:

Your idea that 'T does not want to provoke K' makes total sense.
It would be the smart thing to do.
It's like T is showing K, that she will not engage in aggressive play.
This is not really related to introductions but two nights ago, K suddenly got REALLY SUPER TERRIFIED of nothing. She just stared unblinkingly into the hallway/living room and hid in places she normally doesn't hide. Didn't want to be pet, tail down, very tense. I got really worried about her because she'd never acted like this before.
At first I thought it might have been about T (she was zooming around and making a lot of noise, but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary) but she acted fine around T the next day, even though she was still jumpy.
She's mostly back to normal now but do your cats do this sometimes? I have no idea what spooked her. Maybe ghosts?
Could it be weather related? Cats are very sensitive and may even feel the change even if we don't. Twyla is super scared of thunderstorms (and even heavy rain) and will hide for hours and if she is out she is very withdrawn and not responsive.
I would also think, like Twylasmom, that it could be weather changes approaching.
Or Sounds that K heard through the walls? Sounds/noise in the distance?
Any smells coming in from outside?

(My cats will act super terrified if they hear the slightest noise, like the furnace coming on, ...but not all the time.
And sometimes I have absolutely no idea why Tepaul will be laying on me, and suddenly jump up, startled, wide awake and then run away. You'd think that laying on me, that she would feel protected, ...but no...it's more like suddenly it's "everyone run for the hills". Tepaul is the more jumpy of the two cats. It always seems like she sleeps very, very lightly.)

I don't really believe in ghosts, unless they are the friendly kind. I don't really think they can haunt you or anything. But I do believe in life after death, having a soul or spirit, energy, ...so who knows.
If it's like the t.v. drama "Saving Hope", then yeah, maybe some are momentarily around. Not sure.

Can cats see things and sense things that we cannot see. I guess that would be possible, too.
But I'm still more inclined to think that it would be something tangible, and science could explain it, if it had the proper measuring tools.
 
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