Cat intros at a standstill

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #141

acari

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
93
(My cats do not eat right beside each other. There is at least 3-4 feet between bowls, because I want them to have their own space, and notice how much each of them eats.)
The intro guides emphasize the 'getting the bowls closer' for cats to feel more trust and acceptance, but nothing really wrong about 2-3 feet of space.
Actually, you just reminded me of something I read before but didn't fully think about.
There are guides where they say something along the lines of, "If you have more than one cat, don't put their food bowls next to each other, because most cats actually don't like eating close to one another." And I'd kept that in mind for "eventually" - when both K and T were out, we plan to feed on opposite sides of the kitchen - but I never thought about that possibly affecting eating at the gate.
So maybe K and T already accept each other (at least for eating), and now K doesn't want to be so close? Food for thought, pun intended.
Anyway, we've kept K mostly at the same place, like two feet and a stair away, and she's dutifully finished each time.
Though K's style of playing is much more rougher than T's.
I think the challenge will be to get both K and T's play styles to mesh.
You're still building confidence in both cats, and giving plenty of positive associations.
I wonder if that's part of what's causing trouble - that K is much rougher than T. Is it play or is it aggression? Both? I have a video to upload for you, I'll do that after I write this.
K might look like she's taking more time in warming up to T, but actually K has been fairly consistent in adapting to the small and large changes that you are making.
For instance, in changing territories, or site swaps, these are huge changes for cats, and they don't really like huge changes, ...so by K adapting, even if it looks to be tremendously slow...she's still doing it. It shows a lot of progress.
Also, K might not be willing to play at all times like T does, but as long as you can still get her to play half the time, or more, then you are still making progress.
You're right. I have to give K more credit, she is doing well. I have to keep reminding myself to think from a cat's point of view instead of my own.
K continually asks to play but then will only pounce once, look at the toy, then ignore the toy. She definitely doesn't play half the time. I feel like a quarter might even be too generous...I don't know what's up with her and we didn't have her long enough to know if T is affecting it. She doesn't play even if T isn't around/the gate isn't up, but I wouldn't be surprised if T's existence is part of the reason...not sure what to do about it though.

I have a video from earlier tonight that I'd love your perspective on, uploading shortly.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #142

acari

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
93
I was filming because they were sort of behaving, and when K turned around, T started reaching through to try to get K's tail. I was hoping to catch that because it was cute, but then I kept filming because...well, you'll see.
We were so hopeful that they were playing...! And they might have been at the beginning but not at the end, right? I'm not sure and would greatly appreciate your feedback/thoughts on this interaction.
I cut off right away because that was a big reaction from K, but just so you know, K left shortly after this (avoiding me trying to reassure her with pets) and T came right back down to see where K had gone. So T wasn't too traumatized, I suppose.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
1,184
They don't have to eat right next to each other. I do it all the time but it is not necessary. Our main goal is to make a positive association. And 2 or 3 feet away will achieve that.

T is SO CUTE!!! My goodness. T is really trying. K was dong really well then got defensive. It just takes time. When something like this happens I try to de-escalate with calm, confident and loving talk. "It's ok K". Be real calm and confident. T backed up (so got the hint from K) and overall was not that negative. But disappointing. T was doing everything right until reaching out which K obviously did not like. K is still feeling insecure. :(

No, sounds like T was not traumatized.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #144

acari

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
93
They don't have to eat right next to each other. I do it all the time but it is not necessary. Our main goal is to make a positive association. And 2 or 3 feet away will achieve that.
Good to know! We'll keep feeding them at this distance then (and it has been working well so far).
T is really trying. K was dong really well then got defensive.
She really is trying, isn't she? The rolling over is a relatively new behavior, I hope she keeps doing it and I hope it helps K realize things are fine.
I feel bad for T sometimes because she has been so patient with K this whole time and K is being so standoffish. A few times now I've caught T plopping down with a little frustrated noise/grumble after K ignores her, but she keeps trying.
T herself has work to do (more confidence) and only lately has she been staying put when K tries anything.
When something like this happens I try to de-escalate with calm, confident and loving talk. "It's ok K".
Yes, we do, just after I cut off the video, and when I'm not taking video we're trying to talk to her (she ignores us completely though) through it. I just like to show you videos of them interacting without our interference if possible.

Thank you for your comments!! Sigh...
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
1,184
Yes, it is working well. Agreed. Just keep feeding as you are.

T is really trying and is a big reason why all will be well. T will convince K that T is not a threat etc. K will understand. T seems to be doing well, I think she may be more resilient that you think.

T is REALLY ADORABLE!!!

Good. It is fine if she ignores it. s long as it de-escalates it is good. Before K would just swat. Now she is only swatting on some of T's pawing. There is progress. It just takes time to build trust. K's body language was really good before that last paw. So I see some positives.

Just keep doing what you are doing and try to distract as needed to make positive encounters.

I know, but they will be intro'd. I see no reason why they will wont.
 

cat nap

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
1,062
Location
Canada
So maybe K and T already accept each other (at least for eating), and now K doesn't want to be so close? Food for thought, pun intended.
Anyway, we've kept K mostly at the same place, like two feet and a stair away, and she's dutifully finished each time.
" Food for thought, pun intended."....lol. Yup, good pun. :blush: There has to be more 'food puns' but I am blanking on all of them.
'I have to go chew on this for a while, and eat a sandwich/soup, and then 'mull it over', for awhile longer. (too much, I know. :crazy: :paperbag: )
Thanks for the laugh of the day....'food for thought'. :crackup:

It's excellent that K's finishing her food. :thumbsup:
I wonder if that's part of what's causing trouble - that K is much rougher than T. Is it play or is it aggression? Both? I have a video to upload for you, I'll do that after I write this.
For me it looks like play, because K does not display any of the typical aggressive postures that cats normally take.

I'm glad that C calicosrspecial mentioned that K is still looking/feeling insecure.
...T was doing everything right until reaching out which K obviously did not like. K is still feeling insecure. :(
This is a great observation, since you can work on it with cats. It's a very verifiable observation, that can be overcome.
It goes back to using Play, Food, Height(area) and Love,...to slowly modify how one cat responds or reacts to the opposite cat's behaviour. K will learn that T poses no threat, and also that the way K plays is not appreciated by T,...especially since T will always run away,...if K continues to strike out at the gate, and scare T.
I think that K is slowly getting this message.

If you notice in the video, K seems to focus in on T's paws, both front paws and back paws.
(In part of the video, when T rolls over, I'm not sure if T was playing with her back paws, tail, or both.)
K strikes out at around 1:02 mark, but if you notice where K is looking, right before this...it actually looks like K is looking at T's back feet or tail (I cannot tell from that angle).

At first I thought that it was because T reached out, and stretched her front paws, but on watching the video closer, and slowing it down,...it looks like K takes everything into consideration, and does not appreciate how all paws of T look, or are placed.
You're right. I have to give K more credit, she is doing well. I have to keep reminding myself to think from a cat's point of view instead of my own.
K continually asks to play but then will only pounce once, look at the toy, then ignore the toy. She definitely doesn't play half the time. I feel like a quarter might even be too generous...I don't know what's up with her and we didn't have her long enough to know if T is affecting it. She doesn't play even if T isn't around/the gate isn't up, but I wouldn't be surprised if T's existence is part of the reason...not sure what to do about it though.
It's definitely hard to always think "from a cat's point of view".....but yes, you are so very right.

If more of us were able to think about 'what our cats are trying to tell us', or 'what they see/feel/display'....then it would be easier to understand them, and sometimes understand the things they do, at certain times of the day, or even certain days in the week...as in 'weather affects my cats, as does the fact that one cat wants to sleep while the other cat wants to play'...examples like that.

When you mention that K likes to 'pounce once on a toy, look, and then ignore it'....this is totally in line with how cats hunt. Cats don't expend unnecessary energy to continually 'pounce' on prey, so what K is doing is actually right in line with hunting.

It's going to make it slightly more difficult to expend any built-up energy that K has, to make a game or toy more interesting for her, and so you'll have to go through a whole rotation of toys, cat-food puzzles, home-made toys, boxes, balls, etc.

It could very well be that K has been keeping on 'alert mode' more so, than wanting to play with her humans, so yes, T being around and offering K a lot of 'viewing and distraction' may contribute to K not wanting so much individual play.
But try to distract K with play, then good treats after,...just to maintain a connection with playing and treats.
Positive distractions and associations, even if momentary, are always a good thing with cats.
 

cat nap

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
1,062
Location
Canada
I was filming because they were sort of behaving, and when K turned around, T started reaching through to try to get K's tail. I was hoping to catch that because it was cute, but then I kept filming because...well, you'll see.
We were so hopeful that they were playing...! And they might have been at the beginning but not at the end, right? I'm not sure and would greatly appreciate your feedback/thoughts on this interaction.
I cut off right away because that was a big reaction from K, but just so you know, K left shortly after this (avoiding me trying to reassure her with pets) and T came right back down to see where K had gone. So T wasn't too traumatized, I suppose.
Alright, well you know how much I enjoy your videos and GIFs of K and T, and even though I commented above, I have to comment some more....with both the serious and silly versions. (I do take your videos seriously, and these intros are serious, but at the same time your cats are way too adorable not to have a running commentary happening in my head. I cannot help it, they are just very photogenic and cute cats.)

So the serious take is that it's awesome to see that T can enjoy being so close to the gate, and that K initially does not even try to strike at T.
K turns lightning quick, and then has to think about where to paw at T. Does K paw at T's back paws or front.
No, K paws in the air, and waits until T paws first.
After this, T paws and then leaves her paw on the gate....to which K does not try to hit it, or bite it, or retaliate.

T then moves to a higher step, and proceeds to do her roll, upside down, cute as can be, rolling actions. At one point T plays with either her tail or back paws. This totally confuses K, who has no idea what type of 'cat action' or 'cat distraction' T is attempting.
For whatever reason, K focuses on T's paws, and takes offense, so K lashes out, and scares T away.
(Calicosrspecial mentioned that K still shows insecurity, which totally makes sense, in how K plays.)

What is good, is that T only runs away a few steps, and K just sits and observes.
You mentioned that K left shortly after, and that T came back to see where K went.
All that is positive, and means that T is not frightened and that K can walk away. Walking away is good.

I liked how the classical music was a backdrop to the action.

(Silly take on video, ...(feel free to skip): So K is teaching 'young grasshopper'/apprentice T the fine arts of 'using the paws'.
This starts off well, and K is okay with the progress...until young T decides to move up a stair, and try her own moves....with rolling,
being upside-down, pawing at the air, looking at something else. Playing with her tail or back paws. Basically T is no longer following a well designed set of 'cat-moves' and causing confusion in K.

K gets so annoyed, and does not like that the young apprentice is not following proper roles of cat-play.
K therefore proceeds to show T how to really 'act like an elite olympic cat', and not just fool around.
Of course this scares T. T is only at the amateur level, and has not progressed to any olympic 'pawing' stage, and neither does she want to.

In T's mind:..."Hey, K, look over here. Try to do this roll move, which is really good for relaxing, playing, and stretching. You can even play with your own tail and paws, and no need to hit the gate. It's like yoga cat moves, but much more gymnastic like. It's so easy to learn. All you have to do is roll, stretch, reach, paw...and make up your own moves."

In K's mind:... "Nope. I don't see how that is of any benefit to being a proper cat. You're just trying to confuse and distract me. This is not in any play manual. I don't trust those back paws of yours. You're moving too erratically, and too quickly for me to track. Now I'm not sure what to do. I am not falling for any traps. 'Paws out' mean 'attack' in my book.")

So on a serious note....both T and K will learn from each other's movements, and get used to the other being around.
They will learn from each other.
Day to day they are improving, and learning.
It's so interesting how both T and K make changes, then adjust to the changes they make....and at the same time have to adjust to changes that humans introduce....during the cat intros.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #148

acari

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
93
T is REALLY ADORABLE!!!
Thank you, I feel like recently she has been looking more like a cat and less like a kitten, and she is really looking especially cute now that she's not staring everything down with wide, wide eyes.
For me it looks like play, because K does not display any of the typical aggressive postures that cats normally take.
Are you referring to her body language in general throughout the videos and GIFs you've seen? Either way, it's good to hear, because to us it seems "aggressive"...in comparison to T!
it looks like K takes everything into consideration, and does not appreciate how all paws of T look, or are placed.
You are really eagle-eyed when it comes to these observations. It does seem like K didn't like "something" about what T was doing, it's just hard to know what. But you're right that it looks like she's focusing on T's paws, which is interesting.
It's going to make it slightly more difficult to expend any built-up energy that K has, to make a game or toy more interesting for her, and so you'll have to go through a whole rotation of toys, cat-food puzzles, home-made toys, boxes, balls, etc.
It could very well be that K has been keeping on 'alert mode' more so, than wanting to play with her humans, so yes, T being around and offering K a lot of 'viewing and distraction' may contribute to K not wanting so much individual play.
But try to distract K with play, then good treats after,...just to maintain a connection with playing and treats.
We've tried so many different toys already, including battery-operated motion ones, she ignores them all. But she especially ignores anything that doesn't move by itself/us, so balls and similar "batting" items are 100% out of the question.
It might just be that she is still on "alert mode" as you say.
Thank you so much for the reminder to give her treats after playing, we've forgotten to do that since T arrived, and then since K doesn't play now it's weird to give her treats for just sitting there doing nothing (haha).
(I do take your videos seriously, and these intros are serious, but at the same time your cats are way too adorable not to have a running commentary happening in my head. I cannot help it, they are just very photogenic and cute cats.)
I love and appreciate any feedback or comments you have, serious or not!
This totally confuses K, who has no idea what type of 'cat action' or 'cat distraction' T is attempting.
This is such a perfect description of K's reactions to T's rolling around. I really wonder about K's kittenhood because she seems so baffled by things T does.
And it has seemed like K strikes out whenever T gets too confusing for her. I just have to hope T continues with the same determination to get K to like her, and that K will eventually accept T, confusion and all.
I liked how the classical music was a backdrop to the action.
I know, right? I wasn't paying attention to what was playing in the background until I watched the video back, then it was kind of funny!
(Silly take on video, ...(feel free to skip)
This WHOLE THING was spectacular. And honestly, not even that silly, it's a pretty accurate narration of the video, including the cats' thoughts!! Thank you, this was so fun to read.

-----

Update: We've been trying to alternate site swapping and gate time. Gate time not meaning the gate at the bottom of the stairs, which is practically the default most of the day for T, but instead blocking off K in the kitchen so T has access to the rest of the house.
Gate time now also refers to blocking off K in the living room and T having access to the upstairs and the kitchen area.
These gate times are usually when they have the most contact, but it's still only for a few minutes (even though we leave the gate up for at least an hour in these configurations).
We tried to give K more space during site swapping but she's always looking for a way out so it's hard for us to block off the stairs area - the staircase is open, so for K it would be really simple to jump out if she decided to...and to me, I think she would risk it without thinking about T's presence. So we're being really cautious and keeping her in T's room only when we swap...she just spends almost the entire time just waiting to be let out. And T doesn't come up to see her because 1. K is grumpy and 2. the rest of the house is much more interesting.
So I'm not sure how helpful the swapping is. K isn't marking anything in there now. She eats her treats immediately though, even staying in her carrier for some seconds before getting up to go to the gate to ask to be let out of the room (previously she would leave the carrier immediately and be on the lookout, stalking and patrolling the room first before eating any treats).

Yesterday evening when we blocked off K in the living room, they had an interaction similar to the last video. T playing/pawing at the gate, K pawing but seemingly more agitated and maybe not playing. K pawed and hissed some in T's face, T moved her head back but didn't actually back away, then I distracted K by waving a treat in her face, which she ate.
Given that T didn't go anywhere and K (resentfully) still ate the treat immediately, I guess it's not really so negative.

Some of the stuff I've read mention that cats hiss at each other for communication (so it's not always an aggressive noise?) and generally meow just for humans, but I feel like I've never heard anecdotes from cat owners about their cats hissing at each other. I'm wondering if you guys hear your cats hissing at each other normally and not aggressively?

P.S. When we play with T in view of K, K is definitely watching the toy now and not T, unless T makes a lot of noise or takes off really suddenly. K is still turkeying but I think she's more relaxed than before watching through the gate.

I haven't taken any new videos since my last post, so I don't have anything to show you. But I'll include this GIF of K squeezing out of the space underneath our media cabinet (I can never record fast enough to get her when she's slinking in). So I guess she can't be too fat if she can fit in there!!
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
1,184
T is ADORABLE.

And so is K. I LOVE how cute she is in that video. Now, I don't like that she is going under there but she sure is cute when she comes out and she looks really good, confident coming out.

"So I'm not sure how helpful the swapping is. K isn't marking anything in there now. She eats her treats immediately though, even staying in her carrier for some seconds before getting up to go to the gate to ask to be let out of the room (previously she would leave the carrier immediately and be on the lookout, stalking and patrolling the room first before eating any treats)." - She probably is thinking "yeah, this is fine in here". If you sense she is bored of it etc then it isn;t imperative you continue. We just want to make that positive association and make it a positive encounter.

"Yesterday evening when we blocked off K in the living room, they had an interaction similar to the last video. T playing/pawing at the gate, K pawing but seemingly more agitated and maybe not playing. K pawed and hissed some in T's face, T moved her head back but didn't actually back away, then I distracted K by waving a treat in her face, which she ate. Given that T didn't go anywhere and K (resentfully) still ate the treat immediately, I guess it's not really so negative." I really like that K was able to be distracted. Turned the focus to something good. Well done.

"Some of the stuff I've read mention that cats hiss at each other for communication (so it's not always an aggressive noise?) and generally meow just for humans, but I feel like I've never heard anecdotes from cat owners about their cats hissing at each other. I'm wondering if you guys hear your cats hissing at each other normally and not aggressively?" - Absolutely. Hissing is communication. A "stop it"or "let me alone" etc. The response of the other cat is then what either escalates or the message is taken. I don't hear hissing often but it happens and it doesn't escalate into fights. They respect the communication. And that is actually positive that a cat can tell another cat to "knock it off". So hissing in of itself doesn't worry me, it is what happens that is important.

"When we play with T in view of K, K is definitely watching the toy now and not T, unless T makes a lot of noise or takes off really suddenly. K is still turkeying but I think she's more relaxed than before watching through the gate. " - This is great. We want exactly that. Focus off of T and on to something else that is positive.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #150

acari

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
93
And so is K. I LOVE how cute she is in that video. Now, I don't like that she is going under there but she sure is cute when she comes out and she looks really good, confident coming out.
Ah, I should have mentioned that she just goes under for like, a minute, she's not hiding in there or anything. Sometimes she just gets it in her head that she should check it out under there and does so, then comes right back out. T pokes around in there too, but there isn't anything of interest, they just like crawling around I think.

C calicosrspecial Thanks so much for your answers! With that context for hissing it lines up well with how K behaves, like she kind of isn't sure of what T's intentions are so she paws the gate or hisses to get T to stop (even though T is just trying to play).

We'll do one more room swap, maybe during the day tomorrow to make things different, and see how K is then. If she's still bored (as she has been) and just waiting to leave, then we'll stop the swapping and just focus on the "real" gate times.
 

Sugasmom

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
51
Reaction score
37
It’s only temporary. They’ll work it out. Yeah some cats are curious and want to find out more about the new stranger in the house yet some just don’t want to know and rather stay away. Are there any rooms downstairs where you can keep T? Maybe if they were on the same floor it’s easier for them to smell each other more often. Right now, T sees her upstairs room as a safe comfortable place to be.

Whatever you do, don’t ever try to carry the cats and drop them in the same room just to speed things up. That always ends badly.

Some people used Feliway but I’m not sure about the effectiveness since it didn’t work with my cats at that time. But it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.
That's just what I did, I did not know you had to casually introduce cats and I put Heidi in the same room with Cocoa and they are now best friends!!! They play, eat and sleep together but Suga usually just watches them but she occasionally plays too.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #152

acari

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
93
That's just what I did, I did not know you had to casually introduce cats and I put Heidi in the same room with Cocoa and they are now best friends!!! They play, eat and sleep together but Suga usually just watches them but she occasionally plays too.
S Sugasmom I have definitely been tempted to do this and I'm so glad it worked out for your cats! Were/are they young?

I don't really know the science behind a slow introduction but I figure if all cats have different personalities like people, and most people don't get along right off the bat, then if I have the time (and energy...) to ease them into living with each other, then it raises the chances of them being friends for life. And maybe they already weren't destined to be friends, but at least then they might accept each other's existence as acquaintances, instead of possibly fighting.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
1,184
"Ah, I should have mentioned that she just goes under for like, a minute, she's not hiding in there or anything. Sometimes she just gets it in her head that she should check it out under there and does so, then comes right back out. T pokes around in there too, but there isn't anything of interest, they just like crawling around I think." - That is great. Nothing to worry about then.

"Thanks so much for your answers! With that context for hissing it lines up well with how K behaves, like she kind of isn't sure of what T's intentions are so she paws the gate or hisses to get T to stop (even though T is just trying to play)." - You are welcome. Exactly, I think it shows that K is still cautious and the hisses are more defensive.

Yeah, I think that is a good plan. Site swapping usually comes before visual contact in my intros so at this point gate time is best if K is getting restless.

The biggest mistake I see is rushing intro's. It of course can work but if it doesn't it can make intro's much more difficult as negatives have to be undone and then you have to build that trust. For example, if some steals from you it takes a lot longer to trust them then if they didn't steal in the first place, Now, my biggest fault is I go too slow and am too cautious at times. But the risks of that tend to be much lower than rushing. What I try to do is let the cats tells me when they are ready. But we want to always minimize negatives and maximize positives to build trust so they are like "I know that cat, that cat is cool, no threat". That is why when a cat looks away is such a positive as no cat would take their eyes off a real threat,

K's body language in the videos is really positive for that reason and that is why I am confident we will get there. Sure, it is slower than we may like and some of the signs do not match her body language (I am kind of surprised we are seeing some of the pawing but we are seeing less of it it seems) but i don;t see any reason why they will not be successfully intro'd. Keep working on distraction as that will help a lot when we get them together without a barrier. And that is why I love to hear that K likes to watch the toy when T is playing with it.
 

cat nap

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
1,062
Location
Canada
Are you referring to her body language in general throughout the videos and GIFs you've seen? Either way, it's good to hear, because to us it seems "aggressive"...in comparison to T!
You are really eagle-eyed when it comes to these observations. It does seem like K didn't like "something" about what T was doing, it's just hard to know what. But you're right that it looks like she's focusing on T's paws, which is interesting.
Yes, I was referring to how K does not display typical aggressive posture, such as ears laid back, and down, fur standing up, always tracking her target.

K actually uses intimidation, if you were to look back to the first video (number 2),...to make herself look so much larger than T.
This is very normal for a cat to do...make yourself look bigger, so that the other animal, cat, will not try to attack.

K does seem to have a more aggressive style of play, and she looks to be stronger, but T looks faster and lighter.
I watched the videos in sequence, with number 4, still being my favourite, in that T's paw/claw got hung up, but K didn't really do anything aggressive to attack.
It's also great to see how T has gained so much confidence in her area, humans, and also with K.
T definitely trusts K more, now, then when you started.
I do think it will help if you can design the gate with allowing more access, but still maintaining protection for both cats.
We've tried so many different toys already, including battery-operated motion ones, she ignores them all. But she especially ignores anything that doesn't move by itself/us, so balls and similar "batting" items are 100% out of the question.
It might just be that she is still on "alert mode" as you say.
Thank you so much for the reminder to give her treats after playing, we've forgotten to do that since T arrived, and then since K doesn't play now it's weird to give her treats for just sitting there doing nothing (haha).
Haha...yes, I guess it does seem a little weird to just give treats for just sitting...but then again, if it makes K feel better, and more 'secure' in her home, and place, territory, ....with all the changes....then it could really help.

(My cats are similar to K, in that they will wait for us to roll the ping pong over, paw it back in any direction, then get us to have to retrieve, and roll it back to them again. We get more exercise, then the cats do, while the cats lay there. lol. Oh, well. :ohwell: :tongue:)
I love and appreciate any feedback or comments you have, serious or not!
I'm glad. I just wanted to let you know that I was not just sitting back, not taking things seriously, while you were doing all the tremendous effort, and that I do appreciate all the time and work that goes into cat-intros.
You're doing a fantastic job, so I don't want you to think that I minimize it with humour.
(I'm glad you get my humour, too. It's hard to convey that online, sometimes.)
This is such a perfect description of K's reactions to T's rolling around. I really wonder about K's kittenhood because she seems so baffled by things T does.
And it has seemed like K strikes out whenever T gets too confusing for her. I just have to hope T continues with the same determination to get K to like her, and that K will eventually accept T, confusion and all.
Yes, I agree, although even knowing K's kittenhood might not explain everything she does now.
But yes, I can see how you'd wonder about it, because of some of the things she does.
I think that our cats are born with, and develop their own unique personalites over time, as they encounter different situations.

At first I thought that K was just focused on the treats, food, on the other side of the gate, and then over-reacted to that.
But after watching K watching T, when no food was involved, I was looking for any patterns.
K does seem confused, like you mention, about how T acts....but it's probably us humans....just not picking up on the extremely subtle signs that our cats give out. In this instance, K see things that we don't pick up on.
For instance, when Calicosrspecial said that K is still insecure, that had me thinking about K's responses/actions under this umbrella.
If K is still feeling insecure about either her territory, losing some of her human's affection, or having to share it,...then K would still strike out at T.
If it's more a matter of not having access to play with T, ...then that may also cause some frustration, and insecurity.
I know, right? I wasn't paying attention to what was playing in the background until I watched the video back, then it was kind of funny!
(Yeah. I'm not really into classical music, since it sometimes seems so intense, and probably conveys a whole set of stories behind the music, or invokes a whole set of emotions,...that's probably why people love or enjoy it.
I sort of prefer songs with lyrics, songs you can dance to, spanish guitar, ...but mainly the songs with lyrics is what I listen to.)

It did really fit in well with the video. It was like you would have dubbed it in, if you were to do that.
(I'm not sure how classical music is supposed to calm down cats, either....Maybe it's a certain type, that I just don't listen to.
Soft classical, relaxing, meditative? Members have mentioned 'classical music for cats'...maybe I should try some.)
 

cat nap

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
1,062
Location
Canada
A acari ...I forgot to ask you: How do both T and K act like, when they are placed within their cat carriers?

Are they both nervous, meowing, agitated?
Or do they relax and sleep?
 

cat nap

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
1,062
Location
Canada
Some of the stuff I've read mention that cats hiss at each other for communication (so it's not always an aggressive noise?) and generally meow just for humans, but I feel like I've never heard anecdotes from cat owners about their cats hissing at each other. I'm wondering if you guys hear your cats hissing at each other normally and not aggressively?
I haven't heard my cats hissing, lately,...but I am sure that my female cat does...it's probably just too low, or fast, for me to catch it.

(She definitely growled a couple of days ago, when her sibling brother, approached her,...and she backed herself up into a corner. She growled, he stopped. He ignored me calling him, so I snapped my fingers which actually worked this time since he was four feet away from me. I was about to get up off the sofa, because I was not sure if he would stop and turn. He knows that we don't allow him to chase or corner her, especially when we are all in the living room watching t.v. or on laptop. She does not mind running sometimes, but does not like any rough wrestling. She's more a swat and run type of cat, while he is more chase, wrestle and roll.)

My aunt's cat will hiss at me 80% of the time. I honestly think he does use the hiss to communicate. It scares me, but I know he's like that, so I just talk to him in my normal voice.

I agree with Calicosrspecial, that the 'cat hiss' is just communication used by cats, and that what happens afterwards is much more important.
(I know that some threads I have read have members suggest that people hiss at their cats to stop them from doing something. I would never suggest that, ...since we humans don't really know the different pitch sounds contained within a hiss. How do we know that we aren't telling the cat/kitten something really bad....so I don't think hissing at our cats is ever a good idea. Just my opinion.)
I haven't taken any new videos since my last post, so I don't have anything to show you. But I'll include this GIF of K squeezing out of the space underneath our media cabinet (I can never record fast enough to get her when she's slinking in). So I guess she can't be too fat if she can fit in there!!
Haha....Wow. K is amazing. :lol:
I'd never think she'd fit under there. I like the way K comes out, and then proceeds to do some more stretching of her claws/paws on the scratching board. She's such a cool cat. :cool2:

(My cats also like to sometimes sleep undisturbed beneath the sofa, beds, side tables, and places that are dark. They used to be able to fit under a wardrobe that belonged to my mom, but now just like to crawl into the actual wardrobe if we forget to close the door. It surprises me at the number of places that they find to sleep.)

When you have the time, watch this informative video. I could not believe my eyes. Perhaps all our cats already know about this video. K's probably watching other TCS videos, while we're all sleeping. I wouldn't be surprised. :blush:
See: Catio access (need some ideas to teach cats!!)
Post #17.

Update: We've been trying to alternate site swapping and gate time. Gate time not meaning the gate at the bottom of the stairs, which is practically the default most of the day for T, but instead blocking off K in the kitchen so T has access to the rest of the house.
Gate time now also refers to blocking off K in the living room and T having access to the upstairs and the kitchen area.
These gate times are usually when they have the most contact, but it's still only for a few minutes (even though we leave the gate up for at least an hour in these configurations).
...
Would you be able to do this "Gate time", ...but also be able to switch each cat, to the other side of the gate, every so often,...so that no one cat gets too accustomed to that one side?
Basically, you want each cat to find their own 'special spaces' on each side of the gate.

Also, is there any way that you can leave the gate up for more than an hour, so that both T and K get the most exposure....even if it's just looking at a gate from far away, and not necessarily being right up to it?
 

Sugasmom

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
51
Reaction score
37
S Sugasmom I have definitely been tempted to do this and I'm so glad it worked out for your cats! Were/are they young?

I don't really know the science behind a slow introduction but I figure if all cats have different personalities like people, and most people don't get along right off the bat, then if I have the time (and energy...) to ease them into living with each other, then it raises the chances of them being friends for life. And maybe they already weren't destined to be friends, but at least then they might accept each other's existence as acquaintances, instead of possibly fighting.
Heidi will be 3yrs old in June and Cocoa will be 2yrs old this in March.They about a year apart.
 

Sugasmom

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
51
Reaction score
37
S Sugasmom I have definitely been tempted to do this and I'm so glad it worked out for your cats! Were/are they young?

I don't really know the science behind a slow introduction but I figure if all cats have different personalities like people, and most people don't get along right off the bat, then if I have the time (and energy...) to ease them into living with each other, then it raises the chances of them being friends for life. And maybe they already weren't destined to be friends, but at least then they might accept each other's existence as acquaintances, instead of possibly fighting.
I never would have did that intentionally we were having company and I was throwing everything in bedroom and they just ended up in same room together.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #159

acari

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
85
Reaction score
93
HELLO SORRY I will respond to other posts soon! But JUST NOW I think K and T were legitimately playing at the gate and I wanted to type it out before I forgot anything. I of course did not have my phone and could not record, I am sorry.

My partner and I were on T's side of the stairs, both of us, which is unusual, we just both felt like it for a few minutes.
T initially thought it was very weird that both of us were there but she got over it.
While my partner and I were chatting, K came up to the gate suddenly to paw at the gate (without sound), and T was trying to go paw for paw in play.

We sort of thought K might not be playing, so we started talking to her from through the gate, and things calmed down a bit.
K turkeyed and watched T closely as T cleaned and rolled around a bit.
Then, K pawed again, maybe a smidge slower than lightning, and T stayed put and tried to go paw for paw again. This is when we thought they might be playing.

K then suddenly ran off into the living room into her paper.
Then she suddenly ran to the gate but my partner, who could see her, says that it was unlike the "charging" from before, much closer to the way she runs when she's playing, including wiggles, sort of pouncing. She went to the gate to paw at T, vocalized a bit, then ran off suddenly again.
T stayed at the bottom of the steps the entire time watching K, occasionally running up one or two stairs out of sight or ducking behind the laundry detergent or rice bag to hide from K.

K ran back and forth to the gate a few more times, including some pouncing wiggles, and sort of reacting to T's pawing...it all just seemed playful to us even though K is a bit rough (but then, she plays pretty rough too).

At the end, K trotted (actually trotted, not ran) over to hide behind a piece of tissue paper on the kitchen side, still in line of sight of T. I think T got too excited and ran off at this point, so my partner climbed back over the rail to give K some treats and a serving of kibble (normal serving of food, but also as a "reward" - the timing worked out).

And my partner also reported that K was unusually "upbeat" when he gave her the kibble.

I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW although I will be realistic...maybe this will never happen again...maybe K is just in a really good mood for some reason...
 

cat nap

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
1,062
Location
Canada
HELLO SORRY I will respond to other posts soon! But JUST NOW I think K and T were legitimately playing at the gate and I wanted to type it out before I forgot anything. I of course did not have my phone and could not record, I am sorry.
Fantastic!! :clap: :yess::cheerleader::woo::banana2::jive:
My partner and I were on T's side of the stairs, both of us, which is unusual, we just both felt like it for a few minutes.
T initially thought it was very weird that both of us were there but she got over it.
While my partner and I were chatting,
K came up to the gate suddenly to paw at the gate (without sound), and T was trying to go paw for paw in play.
Do you think that you both being on the same side of the gate made this happen? I don't know. Whatever it was, I hope it happens again, and again. Yay!
We sort of thought K might not be playing, so we started talking to her from through the gate, and things calmed down a bit.
K turkeyed and watched T closely as T cleaned and rolled around a bit.
Then, K pawed again, maybe a smidge slower than lightning, and T stayed put and tried to go paw for paw again. This is when we thought they might be playing.

K then suddenly ran off into the living room into her paper.

Then she suddenly ran to the gate but my partner, who could see her, says that it was unlike the "charging" from before, much closer to the way she runs when she's playing, including wiggles, sort of pouncing. She went to the gate to paw at T, vocalized a bit, then ran off suddenly again.
T stayed at the bottom of the steps the entire time watching K, occasionally running up one or two stairs out of sight or ducking behind the laundry detergent or rice bag to hide from K.


K ran back and forth to the gate a few more times, including some pouncing wiggles, and sort of reacting to T's pawing...it all just seemed playful to us even though K is a bit rough (but then, she plays pretty rough too).

At the end, K trotted (actually trotted, not ran) over to hide behind a piece of tissue paper on the kitchen side, still in line of sight of T. I think T got too excited and ran off at this point, so my partner climbed back over the rail to give K some treats and a serving of kibble (normal serving of food, but also as a "reward" - the timing worked out).
What a great way to 'reward' that interaction. :thumbsup:
Really fast thinking on your parts. :yess:
And my partner also reported that K was unusually "upbeat" when he gave her the kibble.

I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW although I will be realistic.
..maybe this will never happen again...maybe K is just in a really good mood for some reason...
No, it will happen again! :blush: :cloud9:
Let's just take the 'win' for tonight. haha. :lol:

Cats will definitely repeat actions. :bluepaw:
We just have to figure out, ...how you got this to happen. For now, let's just enjoy. :jive:
 
Top