Help/Advice for introductions

Furmama22

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Just wanted to say, I feel you!! I read your posts and am constantly struck by the similarities to our situation. Keep the faith!! I feel despair sometimes and then other times I think, both cats have a nice life and cozy spots to nap in the sunshine and I'll get them together eventually, hahah, but it helps to look at the good parts and how far we've come, from the point where Hawthorne could barely see her for five seconds without reacting and now they can almost live alongside each other (with a wall of gates between, of course) and still be mostly normal. They aren't together yet, but that's definitely progress!! Same with Fluffy and Sapphire. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Thank you for your support!

Even though I tried my best to stay calm and think positive, there is still that part of me that is thinking it was negative, or looking at every small thing and thinking that it's something bad, or even constantly thinking that maybe I'm missing something and he's not playing, etc etc.

I will keep going and hope for the best.
"Thank you for your support!" - You are welcome

"Even though I tried my best to stay calm and think positive," - Very good

"there is still that part of me that is thinking it was negative," - That is fine, that is why I am here to help put it in perspective. If I thought it was an issue we would be doing something about it.

"or looking at every small thing and thinking that it's something bad, or even constantly thinking that maybe I'm missing something and he's not playing, etc etc." - It is ok. That is totally normal. If you haven't experienced this multiple times it is hard to know. But once a person does a few hundred etc of these the patterns get pretty common. I am not at all worried about where they are in fact we tested them and they passed.

"I will keep going and hope for the best." - Absolutely. You don't have to hope, they are going to be just fine. :) Just try not to overthink things and just go with it. Both of them are great cats.
 
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Graham18

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Just wanted to say, I feel you!! I read your posts and am constantly struck by the similarities to our situation. Keep the faith!! I feel despair sometimes and then other times I think, both cats have a nice life and cozy spots to nap in the sunshine and I'll get them together eventually, hahah, but it helps to look at the good parts and how far we've come, from the point where Hawthorne could barely see her for five seconds without reacting and now they can almost live alongside each other (with a wall of gates between, of course) and still be mostly normal. They aren't together yet, but that's definitely progress!! Same with Fluffy and Sapphire. :)
I definitely have a hard time seeing the good and how far they have come and I tend to look for the bad in everything which definitely isn't helping haha. I think that lately it's not so much the introductions that are exhausting me, but the constant flip flopping of who needs attention, who needs to have time in the full house, etc. Fluffy meows/howls constantly when he's alone in a room so that makes me feel bad all the time so I want to try and give him as much time out as possible. Keep it up I'm sure we're both almost there! :)
 
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"Thank you for your support!" - You are welcome

"Even though I tried my best to stay calm and think positive," - Very good

"there is still that part of me that is thinking it was negative," - That is fine, that is why I am here to help put it in perspective. If I thought it was an issue we would be doing something about it.

"or looking at every small thing and thinking that it's something bad, or even constantly thinking that maybe I'm missing something and he's not playing, etc etc." - It is ok. That is totally normal. If you haven't experienced this multiple times it is hard to know. But once a person does a few hundred etc of these the patterns get pretty common. I am not at all worried about where they are in fact we tested them and they passed.

"I will keep going and hope for the best." - Absolutely. You don't have to hope, they are going to be just fine. :) Just try not to overthink things and just go with it. Both of them are great cats.
Tonight they seemed to be okay. Sapphire was acting fairly normal, sitting and watching Fluffy from her room or the hallway while I played with him. As you suggested, I kept the face to face very brief and let Sapphire watch Fluffy eat and chase treats. She did come down from the cushions for treats and was a still growling at him when he got within about five feet of her. He was being his normal self, chasing treats and trying to go see her but I did get him to lay down for about 30ish seconds. I will see how they are tomorrow but other than the renewed growling from Sapphire, all seems well. She even got super playful once Fluffy went to bed again.

I do have a few questions for advice..
First, did I allow the interaction to start correctly. I know I was basically forcing it as I was using treats to get them closer together, but I was unsure about letting Fluffy just go to her from further way.

Next, during their next dust-up (because I know there will be quite a few more at least), should I let it play out in the same way as the last one, or should I try using a loud noise (like a clap), to stop it and then seperate them?

Finally, should I continue this staggered approach of letting them interact by allowing it, then the next day having a distance face to face, followed by treats up close the next day and then interaction the next day, repeat? I don't want to allow interaction daily yet as Sapphire still seems unsure and a bit anxious, but I don't want to leave it so long that if there is progress being made, it gets reversed and fluffy just continues to pounce on her.

That's all for today :)
 

calicosrspecial

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I definitely have a hard time seeing the good and how far they have come and I tend to look for the bad in everything which definitely isn't helping haha. I think that lately it's not so much the introductions that are exhausting me, but the constant flip flopping of who needs attention, who needs to have time in the full house, etc. Fluffy meows/howls constantly when he's alone in a room so that makes me feel bad all the time so I want to try and give him as much time out as possible. Keep it up I'm sure we're both almost there! :)
"I definitely have a hard time seeing the good and how far they have come and I tend to look for the bad in everything which definitely isn't helping haha." - Well, a lot of people are like that and when we want our loved ones to be totally safe and totally happy it puts a goal out there that is high. In our human personal relationships we have disagreements, even heated arguments at times but the base of trust, respect and love carries us through. I really believe the same goes for animals, cats included. Our goal in intros is to build that trust and respect so that any disagreement can be gotten over fairly soon after it.

" I think that lately it's not so much the introductions that are exhausting me, but the constant flip flopping of who needs attention, who needs to have time in the full house, etc. " - Yes, it is tiring. :/ But sometimes taking a step back and trusting them can show results. Sometimes being a helicopter mom can impede rather than help the progress. It really is art rather than science. The only right way is the one that works and there are many potential right ways to progress. Just try to go with it rather than force it. If that makes sense.

"Fluffy meows/howls constantly when he's alone in a room" - Yes, he is ready to be out and about.

" so that makes me feel bad all the time" - Yes and this is where we need to put it in perspective and not have those negative emotions (or try to accept them and move on). In intros we have to do what is best. Just like in life, sometimes we have to do things we don't like but we have to for the good of us. :/ But it tends to work out. :)

"so I want to try and give him as much time out as possible." - Agreed

" Keep it up I'm sure we're both almost there! :) " - :)

"Tonight they seemed to be okay." - Great

" Sapphire was acting fairly normal, sitting and watching Fluffy from her room or the hallway while I played with him." - Great

" As you suggested, I kept the face to face very brief and let Sapphire watch Fluffy eat and chase treats." - Great

" She did come down from the cushions for treats" - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: It is things like this that tell us a lot. GREAT!!

" and was a still growling at him when he got within about five feet of her. " - Totally fine

"He was being his normal self, chasing treats and trying to go see her but I did get him to lay down for about 30ish seconds." - Great. Again, it is things like this that tell us so much. He has no intention of eliminating her.

" I will see how they are tomorrow but other than the renewed growling from Sapphire, all seems well." - TOTALLY AGREE!!! :)

" She even got super playful once Fluffy went to bed again." - Awwwwwwww. If she was really afraid of him she would not be doing that.

"I do have a few questions for advice.." - Ok

"First, did I allow the interaction to start correctly. I know I was basically forcing it as I was using treats to get them closer together, but I was unsure about letting Fluffy just go to her from further way." - You did great!!

"Next, during their next dust-up (because I know there will be quite a few more at least), should I let it play out in the same way as the last one, or should I try using a loud noise (like a clap), to stop it and then seperate them?" - Great question. It depends on how cats respond to louder noises. A "Hey" or a "Clap" shouldn't escalate it so it distracts them long enough to give them a second to halt. So I think that is fine. I just don't see either fearing for their life and trying to really hurt the other one so I think you have good leeway. IF they would stop and just be there that would be GREAT!!!

"Finally, should I continue this staggered approach of letting them interact by allowing it, then the next day having a distance face to face, followed by treats up close the next day and then interaction the next day, repeat?" - Ideally no. This was dictated by there dustup. So if treats close works out do it again the next day. Of if distant face to face works just do that as well. Any positive encounter is good. What we want to do is get over the novelty of the new playmate so they think "I know that cat and I don't need to initiate play, etc". It is like if you get a new outfit or a new car or something at first we tend to think a lot about it, what to use it etc but as time goes on it is more "there".

" I don't want to allow interaction daily yet as Sapphire still seems unsure and a bit anxious," - Ok but she does seem pretty good. Just keep trying to make it positive so she gets a touch less unsure. BUT the more we keep him away the more the uncertainty will last. :/ It is a balance. BUT I do think your risk is pretty low (in the sense of one of them being hurt or a major setback).

" but I don't want to leave it so long that if there is progress being made," - AGREED!!!

" it gets reversed" - Well, I don't think it would really get reversed, they are too far along for that at this point. So if we get a blip some holding back for a bit is fine BUT I don't think it is needed now BUT if you feel better then a few days to a week of it is not a big deal.

"and fluffy just continues to pounce on her." - Well, that is him (wanting to play) so she will need to let him know and that requires some interaction between them.

"That's all for today :) " - Well, I would say that is a great update. The blip (dustup) was a non-event which is great!!

Keep up the great work and try not to overthink this. Just enjoy the cats and go with it. They are going to be fine and how they acted after the dustup supports that.
 
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"I definitely have a hard time seeing the good and how far they have come and I tend to look for the bad in everything which definitely isn't helping haha." - Well, a lot of people are like that and when we want our loved ones to be totally safe and totally happy it puts a goal out there that is high. In our human personal relationships we have disagreements, even heated arguments at times but the base of trust, respect and love carries us through. I really believe the same goes for animals, cats included. Our goal in intros is to build that trust and respect so that any disagreement can be gotten over fairly soon after it.

" I think that lately it's not so much the introductions that are exhausting me, but the constant flip flopping of who needs attention, who needs to have time in the full house, etc. " - Yes, it is tiring. :/ But sometimes taking a step back and trusting them can show results. Sometimes being a helicopter mom can impede rather than help the progress. It really is art rather than science. The only right way is the one that works and there are many potential right ways to progress. Just try to go with it rather than force it. If that makes sense.

"Fluffy meows/howls constantly when he's alone in a room" - Yes, he is ready to be out and about.

" so that makes me feel bad all the time" - Yes and this is where we need to put it in perspective and not have those negative emotions (or try to accept them and move on). In intros we have to do what is best. Just like in life, sometimes we have to do things we don't like but we have to for the good of us. :/ But it tends to work out. :)

"so I want to try and give him as much time out as possible." - Agreed

" Keep it up I'm sure we're both almost there! :) " - :)

"Tonight they seemed to be okay." - Great

" Sapphire was acting fairly normal, sitting and watching Fluffy from her room or the hallway while I played with him." - Great

" As you suggested, I kept the face to face very brief and let Sapphire watch Fluffy eat and chase treats." - Great

" She did come down from the cushions for treats" - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: It is things like this that tell us a lot. GREAT!!

" and was a still growling at him when he got within about five feet of her. " - Totally fine

"He was being his normal self, chasing treats and trying to go see her but I did get him to lay down for about 30ish seconds." - Great. Again, it is things like this that tell us so much. He has no intention of eliminating her.

" I will see how they are tomorrow but other than the renewed growling from Sapphire, all seems well." - TOTALLY AGREE!!! :)

" She even got super playful once Fluffy went to bed again." - Awwwwwwww. If she was really afraid of him she would not be doing that.

"I do have a few questions for advice.." - Ok

"First, did I allow the interaction to start correctly. I know I was basically forcing it as I was using treats to get them closer together, but I was unsure about letting Fluffy just go to her from further way." - You did great!!

"Next, during their next dust-up (because I know there will be quite a few more at least), should I let it play out in the same way as the last one, or should I try using a loud noise (like a clap), to stop it and then seperate them?" - Great question. It depends on how cats respond to louder noises. A "Hey" or a "Clap" shouldn't escalate it so it distracts them long enough to give them a second to halt. So I think that is fine. I just don't see either fearing for their life and trying to really hurt the other one so I think you have good leeway. IF they would stop and just be there that would be GREAT!!!

"Finally, should I continue this staggered approach of letting them interact by allowing it, then the next day having a distance face to face, followed by treats up close the next day and then interaction the next day, repeat?" - Ideally no. This was dictated by there dustup. So if treats close works out do it again the next day. Of if distant face to face works just do that as well. Any positive encounter is good. What we want to do is get over the novelty of the new playmate so they think "I know that cat and I don't need to initiate play, etc". It is like if you get a new outfit or a new car or something at first we tend to think a lot about it, what to use it etc but as time goes on it is more "there".

" I don't want to allow interaction daily yet as Sapphire still seems unsure and a bit anxious," - Ok but she does seem pretty good. Just keep trying to make it positive so she gets a touch less unsure. BUT the more we keep him away the more the uncertainty will last. :/ It is a balance. BUT I do think your risk is pretty low (in the sense of one of them being hurt or a major setback).

" but I don't want to leave it so long that if there is progress being made," - AGREED!!!

" it gets reversed" - Well, I don't think it would really get reversed, they are too far along for that at this point. So if we get a blip some holding back for a bit is fine BUT I don't think it is needed now BUT if you feel better then a few days to a week of it is not a big deal.

"and fluffy just continues to pounce on her." - Well, that is him (wanting to play) so she will need to let him know and that requires some interaction between them.

"That's all for today :) " - Well, I would say that is a great update. The blip (dustup) was a non-event which is great!!

Keep up the great work and try not to overthink this. Just enjoy the cats and go with it. They are going to be fine and how they acted after the dustup supports that.
Thank you :)

I just want to clarify that I shouldn't be pushing for interaction every day but rather going up in steps based on how they are doing. Last night I did you a far face to face for example and tonight I was thinking treats close by but then I was unsure if tomorrow I should let them try interacting again or just stick to treats together.
 

calicosrspecial

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Thank you :)

I just want to clarify that I shouldn't be pushing for interaction every day but rather going up in steps based on how they are doing. Last night I did you a far face to face for example and tonight I was thinking treats close by but then I was unsure if tomorrow I should let them try interacting again or just stick to treats together.
"I just want to clarify that I shouldn't be pushing for interaction every day but rather going up in steps based on how they are doing." - Exactly. SO if someone is stressed, acting abnormal, etc then hold off. If someone is on edge a touch then maybe feed him on the floor and let her watch. If they are doing well do some close treats. There are so set rules, etc, just whatever will maximize the chance at a positive encounter AND get them interacting in some way.

Hopefully that makes more sense?

So given that and given how I think they are doing I would do some close treat and just keep it short and positive.

" Last night I did you a far face to face for example" - Yes, I think it went really well.

" and tonight I was thinking treats close by" - Ahhhhh, ok. We are on the same page. Totally agree.

"but then I was unsure if tomorrow I should let them try interacting again or just stick to treats together." - Play it by ear and how they are doing. So if tonight goes well (close treats, short and sweet and positive) then I would try the same tomorrow and if they are doing well give them a bit of leeway to interact. If you sense tension tomorrow (and we will talk before you do this anyway) then just stop the close treats and don't let them interact.

Does that kinda clarify? Just let me know. :)

Don't worry, you are well past the absolute risk point. A significant mistake (which I don't envision at all) may slightly delay them getting intro'd but they will be intro'd. Successfully. They are going to be just fine. I suspect very soon in fact.
 
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"I just want to clarify that I shouldn't be pushing for interaction every day but rather going up in steps based on how they are doing." - Exactly. SO if someone is stressed, acting abnormal, etc then hold off. If someone is on edge a touch then maybe feed him on the floor and let her watch. If they are doing well do some close treats. There are so set rules, etc, just whatever will maximize the chance at a positive encounter AND get them interacting in some way.

Hopefully that makes more sense?

So given that and given how I think they are doing I would do some close treat and just keep it short and positive.

" Last night I did you a far face to face for example" - Yes, I think it went really well.

" and tonight I was thinking treats close by" - Ahhhhh, ok. We are on the same page. Totally agree.

"but then I was unsure if tomorrow I should let them try interacting again or just stick to treats together." - Play it by ear and how they are doing. So if tonight goes well (close treats, short and sweet and positive) then I would try the same tomorrow and if they are doing well give them a bit of leeway to interact. If you sense tension tomorrow (and we will talk before you do this anyway) then just stop the close treats and don't let them interact.

Does that kinda clarify? Just let me know. :)

Don't worry, you are well past the absolute risk point. A significant mistake (which I don't envision at all) may slightly delay them getting intro'd but they will be intro'd. Successfully. They are going to be just fine. I suspect very soon in fact.
That definitely clarifies it thank you!
I was concerned by not allowing them full interaction every day that things would just stay in one spot and not progress further.
I do imagine there will still be tension as even on their best encounters there is still some tension but I will see.
 

calicosrspecial

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That definitely clarifies it thank you!
I was concerned by not allowing them full interaction every day that things would just stay in one spot and not progress further.
I do imagine there will still be tension as even on their best encounters there is still some tension but I will see.
"That definitely clarifies it thank you!" - Great, you are welcome.

"I was concerned by not allowing them full interaction every day that things would just stay in one spot and not progress further." - No, I am not at all worried about that. As long as they have a positive encounter in whatever form and avoid negatives it will build trust or maintain trust. So if he is eating on the ground and she is watching that absolutely builds trust and confidence. Things like that.

"I do imagine there will still be tension as even on their best encounters there is still some tension but I will see." - Yes but the tension will subside or they will learn how to de-escalate themselves. Cats are smart and more diplomatic than we typically realize. Fluffy is a great cat with no intention of hurting her and she is a great cat with no intention of hurting him. The dustup gives me a lot of confidence in that.

So if the tension is mild just try to go with it while trying to de-escalate and if it seems more then just redirect him, separate, reassure, and try another time.

All is going to be well. :) Don't worry. I have total confidence you will do great and therefore the cats will do great.
 
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"That definitely clarifies it thank you!" - Great, you are welcome.

"I was concerned by not allowing them full interaction every day that things would just stay in one spot and not progress further." - No, I am not at all worried about that. As long as they have a positive encounter in whatever form and avoid negatives it will build trust or maintain trust. So if he is eating on the ground and she is watching that absolutely builds trust and confidence. Things like that.

"I do imagine there will still be tension as even on their best encounters there is still some tension but I will see." - Yes but the tension will subside or they will learn how to de-escalate themselves. Cats are smart and more diplomatic than we typically realize. Fluffy is a great cat with no intention of hurting her and she is a great cat with no intention of hurting him. The dustup gives me a lot of confidence in that.

So if the tension is mild just try to go with it while trying to de-escalate and if it seems more then just redirect him, separate, reassure, and try another time.

All is going to be well. :) Don't worry. I have total confidence you will do great and therefore the cats will do great.
Thank you for the advice :)

Unfortunately tonight didn't go as well as I thought it would. Sapphire seemed fine and both her and Fluffy were eating dinner across the room from eachother. She came over for treats about five feet away from Fluffy as he was calmly still eating his dinner. He stopped eating once and looked at her and started to walk to her and of course she hissed but at that point I had already showed Fluffy his food and he was back to eating. Out of nowhere Sapphire suddenly looked scared and ran upstairs really low to the ground. I went upstairs to see her and she was sitting in the corner of her room looking really scared and wouldn't even come out for a treat. I waited a few more minutes downstairs before putting Fluffy back behind the baby gates.

At about a minute after he was behind the baby gates she came downstairs and was sitting a few feet from the gates for a minute before walking into the living room. I tried to bring Fluffy out again and had them eating treats maybe three feet away. Sapphire was hissing and growling at him and then suddenly bolted upstairs. Fluffy tried to chase her but he was right beside me so I just held onto him and once she was upstairs he followed me back to his room for bedtime. When I went upstairs, Sapphire was hiding underneath a rack of clothes and a minute later she was running around upstairs wanting to play. I'm extremely confused why she was acting up and down. Could she be more scared of him from the pouncing than previously thought?

I will try again tomorrow and see how she is.
 

calicosrspecial

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Thank you for the advice :)

Unfortunately tonight didn't go as well as I thought it would. Sapphire seemed fine and both her and Fluffy were eating dinner across the room from eachother. She came over for treats about five feet away from Fluffy as he was calmly still eating his dinner. He stopped eating once and looked at her and started to walk to her and of course she hissed but at that point I had already showed Fluffy his food and he was back to eating. Out of nowhere Sapphire suddenly looked scared and ran upstairs really low to the ground. I went upstairs to see her and she was sitting in the corner of her room looking really scared and wouldn't even come out for a treat. I waited a few more minutes downstairs before putting Fluffy back behind the baby gates.

At about a minute after he was behind the baby gates she came downstairs and was sitting a few feet from the gates for a minute before walking into the living room. I tried to bring Fluffy out again and had them eating treats maybe three feet away. Sapphire was hissing and growling at him and then suddenly bolted upstairs. Fluffy tried to chase her but he was right beside me so I just held onto him and once she was upstairs he followed me back to his room for bedtime. When I went upstairs, Sapphire was hiding underneath a rack of clothes and a minute later she was running around upstairs wanting to play. I'm extremely confused why she was acting up and down. Could she be more scared of him from the pouncing than previously thought?

I will try again tomorrow and see how she is.
"Thank you for the advice :) " - You are welcome

"Unfortunately tonight didn't go as well as I thought it would." - OK, let's see

" Sapphire seemed fine and both her and Fluffy were eating dinner across the room from eachother." - Perfect

" She came over for treats about five feet away from Fluffy as he was calmly still eating his dinner. " - LOVE that she came towards him.

"He stopped eating once and looked at her and started to walk to her and of course she hissed " - Ok, fine so far

"but at that point I had already showed Fluffy his food and he was back to eating." - GREAT. A positive step to help her build trust.

"Out of nowhere Sapphire suddenly looked scared and ran upstairs really low to the ground." - Hmmmmmm, any idea what might have spooked her? I am not reading anything to suggest Fluffy.

" I went upstairs to see her and she was sitting in the corner of her room looking really scared and wouldn't even come out for a treat." - Hmmmmmm, ok. Was there a noise? Something outside? Something fall inside? When this happens you can jsut sit with her (sit on the floor), give eye kisses, calm, confident loving words, etc.

" I waited a few more minutes downstairs before putting Fluffy back behind the baby gates." - Ok

"At about a minute after he was behind the baby gates she came downstairs and was sitting a few feet from the gates for a minute before walking into the living room." - Really positive. So that tells me it wasn't Fluffy that spooked her IF it was spooked. Do you think she might have wanted him to chase her to play?

" I tried to bring Fluffy out again and had them eating treats maybe three feet away. " - WOW!!! AWESOME!!! Yep, wasn't Fluffy that spooked her IF she really was spooked.

"Sapphire was hissing and growling at him" - Was he staring at her? Going after her? Anything to seem more forward towards her?

" and then suddenly bolted upstairs." - Hmmmmm, if he didn't do anything "forward" towards her I think she wants him to chase her.

" Fluffy tried to chase her" - Ok, understandable

" but he was right beside me so I just held onto him and once she was upstairs he followed me back to his room for bedtime." - Great, so he has no intention to go after her, hurt her in an aggressive way (non play).

"When I went upstairs, Sapphire was hiding underneath a rack of clothes" - Hmmmmmmm, maybe to ambush him when he would come up? Or did she seem really scared?

" and a minute later she was running around upstairs wanting to play." - Ok!!! YEP, she wants him to chase her and play. A weird way but some cats do do that. In fact, I have one like that. I am like 99.9% she wanted him to chase her to have some fun, play.

" I'm extremely confused why she was acting up and down. Could she be more scared of him from the pouncing than previously thought?" - Nope, I think it is all about play. IF she was so afraid she wouldn't come towards him when he was eating, or have treats with him after being so scared, or coming down right after he goes behind his gate, or wants to play immediately after "hiding" under a rack of clothes.

"I will try again tomorrow and see how she is. " - Absolutely. I think this is just her way of getting him to play.

Actually, I call tis interaction extremely positive. Fluffy shows us he has no bad intentions and I am pretty sure she wants to play. So maybe it didn't go as well as you thought BUT I do believe it went very well. I think they showed us that they have no intent of harming each other.

Keep it up. For now, if you can keep him from chasing her I think that would be good (for now). But keep doing what you are doing. Fantastic!!!
 
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"Thank you for the advice :) " - You are welcome

"Unfortunately tonight didn't go as well as I thought it would." - OK, let's see

" Sapphire seemed fine and both her and Fluffy were eating dinner across the room from eachother." - Perfect

" She came over for treats about five feet away from Fluffy as he was calmly still eating his dinner. " - LOVE that she came towards him.

"He stopped eating once and looked at her and started to walk to her and of course she hissed " - Ok, fine so far

"but at that point I had already showed Fluffy his food and he was back to eating." - GREAT. A positive step to help her build trust.

"Out of nowhere Sapphire suddenly looked scared and ran upstairs really low to the ground." - Hmmmmmm, any idea what might have spooked her? I am not reading anything to suggest Fluffy.

" I went upstairs to see her and she was sitting in the corner of her room looking really scared and wouldn't even come out for a treat." - Hmmmmmm, ok. Was there a noise? Something outside? Something fall inside? When this happens you can jsut sit with her (sit on the floor), give eye kisses, calm, confident loving words, etc.

" I waited a few more minutes downstairs before putting Fluffy back behind the baby gates." - Ok

"At about a minute after he was behind the baby gates she came downstairs and was sitting a few feet from the gates for a minute before walking into the living room." - Really positive. So that tells me it wasn't Fluffy that spooked her IF it was spooked. Do you think she might have wanted him to chase her to play?

" I tried to bring Fluffy out again and had them eating treats maybe three feet away. " - WOW!!! AWESOME!!! Yep, wasn't Fluffy that spooked her IF she really was spooked.

"Sapphire was hissing and growling at him" - Was he staring at her? Going after her? Anything to seem more forward towards her?

" and then suddenly bolted upstairs." - Hmmmmm, if he didn't do anything "forward" towards her I think she wants him to chase her.

" Fluffy tried to chase her" - Ok, understandable

" but he was right beside me so I just held onto him and once she was upstairs he followed me back to his room for bedtime." - Great, so he has no intention to go after her, hurt her in an aggressive way (non play).

"When I went upstairs, Sapphire was hiding underneath a rack of clothes" - Hmmmmmmm, maybe to ambush him when he would come up? Or did she seem really scared?

" and a minute later she was running around upstairs wanting to play." - Ok!!! YEP, she wants him to chase her and play. A weird way but some cats do do that. In fact, I have one like that. I am like 99.9% she wanted him to chase her to have some fun, play.

" I'm extremely confused why she was acting up and down. Could she be more scared of him from the pouncing than previously thought?" - Nope, I think it is all about play. IF she was so afraid she wouldn't come towards him when he was eating, or have treats with him after being so scared, or coming down right after he goes behind his gate, or wants to play immediately after "hiding" under a rack of clothes.

"I will try again tomorrow and see how she is. " - Absolutely. I think this is just her way of getting him to play.

Actually, I call tis interaction extremely positive. Fluffy shows us he has no bad intentions and I am pretty sure she wants to play. So maybe it didn't go as well as you thought BUT I do believe it went very well. I think they showed us that they have no intent of harming each other.

Keep it up. For now, if you can keep him from chasing her I think that would be good (for now). But keep doing what you are doing. Fantastic!!!
To me she definitely did seem to be quite scared of him. When I found her hiding she really didn't come out until she was absolutely sure he wasn't out. She was very cautious coming towards him while he was eating as well (very low to the ground, tail low, etc). Her hissing and growling during the second treat attempt was also more vocal than I've seen recently and her body was in a pretty tense position as well. I don't know if I mentioned it, but she wouldn't even come halfway into her room for a treat the first time I found her hiding in the corner.

This morning proved to be a little bit better. She was laying in a cardboard box just outside of the baby gates relaxing while I played with Fluffy behind the baby gates to keep him distracted from watching her. When Sapphire went to lay up on her cushions, I let Fluffy out for treats and she immediately got up and changed to her crouched down ready to run position. He was being really good and even laid down and I got Sapphire to come down from the cushions for a treat. She wouldn't come any closer than about 8 to 10 feet away, and as soon as he wasn't looking, she ran back upstairs to the corner under the clothes again (very low to the ground nervous half run half walk). Once she was up there I couldn't get her to come out what until Fluffy was back behind the gates and then she was fine.
 

calicosrspecial

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To me she definitely did seem to be quite scared of him. When I found her hiding she really didn't come out until she was absolutely sure he wasn't out. She was very cautious coming towards him while he was eating as well (very low to the ground, tail low, etc). Her hissing and growling during the second treat attempt was also more vocal than I've seen recently and her body was in a pretty tense position as well. I don't know if I mentioned it, but she wouldn't even come halfway into her room for a treat the first time I found her hiding in the corner.

This morning proved to be a little bit better. She was laying in a cardboard box just outside of the baby gates relaxing while I played with Fluffy behind the baby gates to keep him distracted from watching her. When Sapphire went to lay up on her cushions, I let Fluffy out for treats and she immediately got up and changed to her crouched down ready to run position. He was being really good and even laid down and I got Sapphire to come down from the cushions for a treat. She wouldn't come any closer than about 8 to 10 feet away, and as soon as he wasn't looking, she ran back upstairs to the corner under the clothes again (very low to the ground nervous half run half walk). Once she was up there I couldn't get her to come out what until Fluffy was back behind the gates and then she was fine.
"To me she definitely did seem to be quite scared of him." - Hmmmmmm, ok

" When I found her hiding she really didn't come out until she was absolutely sure he wasn't out." - Ok. It is very good that the fear was not realized.

" She was very cautious coming towards him while he was eating as well (very low to the ground, tail low, etc)." - Ok, good to know.

" Her hissing and growling during the second treat attempt was also more vocal than I've seen recently and her body was in a pretty tense position as well." - Ok

" I don't know if I mentioned it, but she wouldn't even come halfway into her room for a treat the first time I found her hiding in the corner." - Ok

"This morning proved to be a little bit better." - Great

" She was laying in a cardboard box just outside of the baby gates relaxing while I played with Fluffy behind the baby gates to keep him distracted from watching her." - Prefect, great job!!

" When Sapphire went to lay up on her cushions, I let Fluffy out for treats and she immediately got up and changed to her crouched down ready to run position." - Ok

" He was being really good and even laid down and I got Sapphire to come down from the cushions for a treat." - GREAT!!! More of this and she will trust.

" She wouldn't come any closer than about 8 to 10 feet away, and as soon as he wasn't looking, she ran back upstairs to the corner under the clothes again (very low to the ground nervous half run half walk). " - Ok

"Once she was up there I couldn't get her to come out what until Fluffy was back behind the gates and then she was fine." - Ok

So keep doing what you are doing but let's keep the interactions so that he doesn't get too close to her. So as long as he doesn't do anything negative she will build trust. So let him eat and let her watch, let her watch him play, if she comes down for a treat just try to keep him a bit away, if she runs try to make sure he doesn't chase. As long as her fears are not realized she will trust him. Let's see how she improves in the next few days.
 
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"To me she definitely did seem to be quite scared of him." - Hmmmmmm, ok

" When I found her hiding she really didn't come out until she was absolutely sure he wasn't out." - Ok. It is very good that the fear was not realized.

" She was very cautious coming towards him while he was eating as well (very low to the ground, tail low, etc)." - Ok, good to know.

" Her hissing and growling during the second treat attempt was also more vocal than I've seen recently and her body was in a pretty tense position as well." - Ok

" I don't know if I mentioned it, but she wouldn't even come halfway into her room for a treat the first time I found her hiding in the corner." - Ok

"This morning proved to be a little bit better." - Great

" She was laying in a cardboard box just outside of the baby gates relaxing while I played with Fluffy behind the baby gates to keep him distracted from watching her." - Prefect, great job!!

" When Sapphire went to lay up on her cushions, I let Fluffy out for treats and she immediately got up and changed to her crouched down ready to run position." - Ok

" He was being really good and even laid down and I got Sapphire to come down from the cushions for a treat." - GREAT!!! More of this and she will trust.

" She wouldn't come any closer than about 8 to 10 feet away, and as soon as he wasn't looking, she ran back upstairs to the corner under the clothes again (very low to the ground nervous half run half walk). " - Ok

"Once she was up there I couldn't get her to come out what until Fluffy was back behind the gates and then she was fine." - Ok

So keep doing what you are doing but let's keep the interactions so that he doesn't get too close to her. So as long as he doesn't do anything negative she will build trust. So let him eat and let her watch, let her watch him play, if she comes down for a treat just try to keep him a bit away, if she runs try to make sure he doesn't chase. As long as her fears are not realized she will trust him. Let's see how she improves in the next few days.
Thank you I will keep it up! I just remembered I had my laptop on the ground last night the first time she got scared and ran way as I was trying to record the session so it's possible that scared her if she saw herself on the screen but I'm unsure. I'm having more and more difficulty reading her body language lately as she seems perfectly relaxed one second, scared or anxious the next, and then hyper and playful a minute later. I will keep with the updates on how they are doing.
 

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Thank you I will keep it up! I just remembered I had my laptop on the ground last night the first time she got scared and ran way as I was trying to record the session so it's possible that scared her if she saw herself on the screen but I'm unsure. I'm having more and more difficulty reading her body language lately as she seems perfectly relaxed one second, scared or anxious the next, and then hyper and playful a minute later. I will keep with the updates on how they are doing.
"Thank you I will keep it up!" - You are welcome, you are doing great.

" I just remembered I had my laptop on the ground last night the first time she got scared and ran way as I was trying to record the session so it's possible that scared her if she saw herself on the screen but I'm unsure." - Ok, that can do it. Even if the laptop is rarely on the floor it can do it. Any change can be unsettling. Does it make some noise?

" I'm having more and more difficulty reading her body language lately as she seems perfectly relaxed one second, scared or anxious the next, and then hyper and playful a minute later. " - Yes, body language can be difficult. That is why observing how they act after is really important. So if a cat bops another cat on the head they might have negative body language at that moment BUT if they go back to normal quickly then they are telling us it was not really a big deal. So Sapphire may have negative body language in and slightly after the moment BUT she seems to bounce back quickly. So to me it seems it is more fear of fear than reality of fear. Meaning, anticipation of something bad happening rather than something bad already happening. It really helps that Fluffy is being so good.

"I will keep with the updates on how they are doing." - Thank you. You are my eyes and ears so the more info the better. Or video if possible.

I am not at all worried, she/they are going to be fine. IF we get Fluffy out of the novelty interest in her (which might be a longshot) it could go really quickly. Fingers crossed. Either way, they are going to be just fine.

Keep up the great work.
 
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Good morning! I just wanted to give a small update and I managed to take a short but uneventful video.

Sapphire seemed a bit better last night. She was still acting very cautious, but she didn't run way. She would hiss and growl if Fluffy looked at her too long but nothing besides that. After I put Fluffy back behind the baby gates, I even had Sapphire chasing a toy in his site so he could watch and she seemed more than happy to play (I let her smell a bit of cat nip before I brought Fluffy which 95% of the time doesn't effect her but sometimes it makes her more playful).

This morning things seemed okay as well. She was a little reserved and would only go a few feet from her spot to quickly grab a treat and would give a small hiss if Fluffy looked at her too long. Fluffy was being surprisingly very good which is why I was able to take a video. He gets distracted by a box which may have had a treat under it but I'm not sure. At the end of the video he notices Sapphire again and starts to try and go see her.

Tonight and tomorrow won't be very exciting as I'll be alone for the face to face sessions so I tend to keep them short and nothing too crazy that I can't control.

Fluffy and Sapphire Sept 30/21
 

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Good morning! I just wanted to give a small update and I managed to take a short but uneventful video.

Sapphire seemed a bit better last night. She was still acting very cautious, but she didn't run way. She would hiss and growl if Fluffy looked at her too long but nothing besides that. After I put Fluffy back behind the baby gates, I even had Sapphire chasing a toy in his site so he could watch and she seemed more than happy to play (I let her smell a bit of cat nip before I brought Fluffy which 95% of the time doesn't effect her but sometimes it makes her more playful).

This morning things seemed okay as well. She was a little reserved and would only go a few feet from her spot to quickly grab a treat and would give a small hiss if Fluffy looked at her too long. Fluffy was being surprisingly very good which is why I was able to take a video. He gets distracted by a box which may have had a treat under it but I'm not sure. At the end of the video he notices Sapphire again and starts to try and go see her.

Tonight and tomorrow won't be very exciting as I'll be alone for the face to face sessions so I tend to keep them short and nothing too crazy that I can't control.

Fluffy and Sapphire Sept 30/21
"Good morning! I just wanted to give a small update and I managed to take a short but uneventful video." - Good morning, great. Uneventful is good!! ;)

"Sapphire seemed a bit better last night." - Great

" She was still acting very cautious," - That is ok as long as any fear is not realized.

" but she didn't run way." - Great!! Improvement

" She would hiss and growl if Fluffy looked at her too long but nothing besides that. " - Great and if he respects it even better.

"After I put Fluffy back behind the baby gates, I even had Sapphire chasing a toy in his site so he could watch and she seemed more than happy to play (I let her smell a bit of cat nip before I brought Fluffy which 95% of the time doesn't effect her but sometimes it makes her more playful)." - GREAT!! Exact right thing to try AND great that she did play!!

"This morning things seemed okay as well." - Good

" She was a little reserved and would only go a few feet from her spot to quickly grab a treat and would give a small hiss if Fluffy looked at her too long. " - Ok, totally fine

"Fluffy was being surprisingly very good which is why I was able to take a video." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: FANTASTIC!!!

" He gets distracted by a box which may have had a treat under it but I'm not sure. " - Great, THAT shows her is not solely interested/focused on her

"At the end of the video he notices Sapphire again and starts to try and go see her." - OK, normal cat behavior

"Tonight and tomorrow won't be very exciting as I'll be alone for the face to face sessions so I tend to keep them short and nothing too crazy that I can't control." - Perfect

GREAT update!!! :)

Video - Perfect. She might be a touch cautious BUT he shows no intent of going after her (or you redirected him) so I love she ia watching and all is going well.

So overall, great update!! Keep up the great work. :)
 
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"Good morning! I just wanted to give a small update and I managed to take a short but uneventful video." - Good morning, great. Uneventful is good!! ;)

"Sapphire seemed a bit better last night." - Great

" She was still acting very cautious," - That is ok as long as any fear is not realized.

" but she didn't run way." - Great!! Improvement

" She would hiss and growl if Fluffy looked at her too long but nothing besides that. " - Great and if he respects it even better.

"After I put Fluffy back behind the baby gates, I even had Sapphire chasing a toy in his site so he could watch and she seemed more than happy to play (I let her smell a bit of cat nip before I brought Fluffy which 95% of the time doesn't effect her but sometimes it makes her more playful)." - GREAT!! Exact right thing to try AND great that she did play!!

"This morning things seemed okay as well." - Good

" She was a little reserved and would only go a few feet from her spot to quickly grab a treat and would give a small hiss if Fluffy looked at her too long. " - Ok, totally fine

"Fluffy was being surprisingly very good which is why I was able to take a video." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: FANTASTIC!!!

" He gets distracted by a box which may have had a treat under it but I'm not sure. " - Great, THAT shows her is not solely interested/focused on her

"At the end of the video he notices Sapphire again and starts to try and go see her." - OK, normal cat behavior

"Tonight and tomorrow won't be very exciting as I'll be alone for the face to face sessions so I tend to keep them short and nothing too crazy that I can't control." - Perfect

GREAT update!!! :)

Video - Perfect. She might be a touch cautious BUT he shows no intent of going after her (or you redirected him) so I love she ia watching and all is going well.

So overall, great update!! Keep up the great work. :)
I will try and take more videos if I do get the opportunity. I'm hoping that I can have them eating treats close together again this weekend if everything continues to go well.
 

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I will try and take more videos if I do get the opportunity. I'm hoping that I can have them eating treats close together again this weekend if everything continues to go well.
"I will try and take more videos if I do get the opportunity." - Great. If possible.

" I'm hoping that I can have them eating treats close together again this weekend if everything continues to go well." - Ok, but that is not even really necessary. Even if you get them to do what they did in the video it will build trust and confidence. Maybe that is even better and maybe she will chose when to eat treats closer.

I am really happy at this last update. Maybe it isn't perfect BUT it sure is pretty good!!

Don't worry, you are doing great!!
 
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Good morning! No real updates from last night or this morning but I was able to take another short video last night. No hissing or growling from Sapphire last night except she hissed at him when I was carrying him downstairs which made him start to bite me.

Sapphire was napping this morning and didn't come downstairs unit shortly after I put Fluffy back in his room for the morning so I didn't get the chance to do a face to face.

Enjoy the video and have a great day!

Fluffy and Sapphire Sept 30/21 Pt 2
 
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