Help/Advice for introductions

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Graham18

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"I may have to pause the introductions temporarily. Fluffy had a bit of discharge coming from his eye this morning so I took him to the vet and was given antibiotic eye drops as she said he has a bit of an infection" - Awwwwwwww, poor guy. Not a problem at all to pause the intro. They will be fine when we resume the process.

" but she also mentioned something about an upper respiratory infection but I don't know if she said he had one or he could get one and I was getting confused by everything she was saying. I'm going to call back in the morning and find out for sure." - Ok. I am sure it isn't too bad and can be handled whatever it may be. Just keep us up.

"He generally seems fine, thank you for the concern :) no issues other than a runny eye so just some eye drops twice a day." - That is good. Maybe he scratched his eye and got something in it. Let's hope the drops work.

On the intros, don't worry, a pause will not be an issue. Hang in there and get well soon Fluffy!!!
I spoke to the vet today to get some clarification. She said that Fluffy has an eye infection but she has no way of knowing where it came from so she was assuming it was a virus that caused it in the first place. She said I was fine not to keep that separate at all times and continue introductions as in a small house there really isn't a way to keep it from spreading but as long as both cats are appearing normal everything is fine.

So with that being said I brought Fluffy out on his harness tonight. I'm noticing slight improvements every day now. At one point tonight I had then calmy eating treats within inches of eachother with no major issues. Sapphire would give a little growl or hiss and there was a lesser amount of tail thrashing from Fluffy and he didn't try and lunge at all. After I brought him back to his room Sapphire immediately went up on her tree across the hall where she goes to watch him when I'm playing with him and kept coming over to the gate.

Definite improvement every day.
 

calicosrspecial

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I spoke to the vet today to get some clarification. She said that Fluffy has an eye infection but she has no way of knowing where it came from so she was assuming it was a virus that caused it in the first place. She said I was fine not to keep that separate at all times and continue introductions as in a small house there really isn't a way to keep it from spreading but as long as both cats are appearing normal everything is fine.

So with that being said I brought Fluffy out on his harness tonight. I'm noticing slight improvements every day now. At one point tonight I had then calmy eating treats within inches of eachother with no major issues. Sapphire would give a little growl or hiss and there was a lesser amount of tail thrashing from Fluffy and he didn't try and lunge at all. After I brought him back to his room Sapphire immediately went up on her tree across the hall where she goes to watch him when I'm playing with him and kept coming over to the gate.

Definite improvement every day.
"I spoke to the vet today to get some clarification. She said that Fluffy has an eye infection but she has no way of knowing where it came from so she was assuming it was a virus that caused it in the first place." - Yes, the source is hard to know sadly. :/ But she knows it is an infection and it is being treated.

"She said I was fine not to keep that separate at all times and continue introductions as in a small house there really isn't a way to keep it from spreading but as long as both cats are appearing normal everything is fine." - Ok. I would just try to keep them as separate as possible (the best you can). So not allowing them to rub on the same things if at all possible, etc

"So with that being said I brought Fluffy out on his harness tonight. I'm noticing slight improvements every day now." - Great

" At one point tonight I had then calmy eating treats within inches of eachother with no major issues." - Fantastic!!!

" Sapphire would give a little growl or hiss" - That is fine, jsut telling him not to try anything and if he respects the communication that is great and builds trust and confidence.

"and there was a lesser amount of tail thrashing from Fluffy and he didn't try and lunge at all." - Fantastic. He must be respecting her communication.

" After I brought him back to his room Sapphire immediately went up on her tree across the hall where she goes to watch him when I'm playing with him and kept coming over to the gate." - Awwwwww, fantastic. :)

"Definite improvement every day." - Absolutely!!! We are getting close. :)

Get well soon Fluffy!!!
 
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"I spoke to the vet today to get some clarification. She said that Fluffy has an eye infection but she has no way of knowing where it came from so she was assuming it was a virus that caused it in the first place." - Yes, the source is hard to know sadly. :/ But she knows it is an infection and it is being treated.

"She said I was fine not to keep that separate at all times and continue introductions as in a small house there really isn't a way to keep it from spreading but as long as both cats are appearing normal everything is fine." - Ok. I would just try to keep them as separate as possible (the best you can). So not allowing them to rub on the same things if at all possible, etc

"So with that being said I brought Fluffy out on his harness tonight. I'm noticing slight improvements every day now." - Great

" At one point tonight I had then calmy eating treats within inches of eachother with no major issues." - Fantastic!!!

" Sapphire would give a little growl or hiss" - That is fine, jsut telling him not to try anything and if he respects the communication that is great and builds trust and confidence.

"and there was a lesser amount of tail thrashing from Fluffy and he didn't try and lunge at all." - Fantastic. He must be respecting her communication.

" After I brought him back to his room Sapphire immediately went up on her tree across the hall where she goes to watch him when I'm playing with him and kept coming over to the gate." - Awwwwww, fantastic. :)

"Definite improvement every day." - Absolutely!!! We are getting close. :)

Get well soon Fluffy!!!
He seems to be doing much better. Very little to no eye discharge and the vet said after this week as long as it seems okay to stop giving him the eye drops. He'll be happy about it because he's already learned when it's time and he will just slink away on the floor and won't come up to the bed and generally seems to be scared of me at that moment in time.

I'm trying really hard to decipher what both cats are thinking and struggling.
Had their harness and treat session tonight, and again they were able to have treats about a foot away. Fluffy seemed calm but interested in Sapphire so I wanted to see if I would feel him getting ready to pounce but he didn't. He slowly moved towards her with his nose out looking to sniff her and was very calm about it. She got mad and started hissing, growling and wacking him with her paw (as she does) and of course he kind of just flopped over on his side and started pawing back her (looked like play). Sapphire doesn't run away anymore, she just walks back a few feet and will hunch to the ground with her tail wrapped around her and Fluffy will go off exploring the opposite way, but then after a few minutes, Sapphire comes back close to him (I didn't want to put him away right away to see if she would come for more treats so I could end it on a positive).

After I put him in his room, Sapphire goes up on her smaller tree again to watch him and every now and then would go up to his gate and start hitting him when he tries to play paws with her.

I'm having a hard time figuring out what each one is feeling. Sapphire seems to not like him but continues to be curious about him and I'm starting to wonder if he is a bit scared of her or just respecting her. Contrary to how hyper and playful he is, he can get scared very easily over the most random things.

Either way, my assumption is that if I keep doing what I'm doing, eventually Sapphire may warm up to him and the sniffing will become two way with her getting growly and swatty.
 

calicosrspecial

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He seems to be doing much better. Very little to no eye discharge and the vet said after this week as long as it seems okay to stop giving him the eye drops. He'll be happy about it because he's already learned when it's time and he will just slink away on the floor and won't come up to the bed and generally seems to be scared of me at that moment in time.

I'm trying really hard to decipher what both cats are thinking and struggling.
Had their harness and treat session tonight, and again they were able to have treats about a foot away. Fluffy seemed calm but interested in Sapphire so I wanted to see if I would feel him getting ready to pounce but he didn't. He slowly moved towards her with his nose out looking to sniff her and was very calm about it. She got mad and started hissing, growling and wacking him with her paw (as she does) and of course he kind of just flopped over on his side and started pawing back her (looked like play). Sapphire doesn't run away anymore, she just walks back a few feet and will hunch to the ground with her tail wrapped around her and Fluffy will go off exploring the opposite way, but then after a few minutes, Sapphire comes back close to him (I didn't want to put him away right away to see if she would come for more treats so I could end it on a positive).

After I put him in his room, Sapphire goes up on her smaller tree again to watch him and every now and then would go up to his gate and start hitting him when he tries to play paws with her.

I'm having a hard time figuring out what each one is feeling. Sapphire seems to not like him but continues to be curious about him and I'm starting to wonder if he is a bit scared of her or just respecting her. Contrary to how hyper and playful he is, he can get scared very easily over the most random things.

Either way, my assumption is that if I keep doing what I'm doing, eventually Sapphire may warm up to him and the sniffing will become two way with her getting growly and swatty.
"He seems to be doing much better. Very little to no eye discharge" - I am SO GLAD to hear that!!!

"and the vet said after this week as long as it seems okay to stop giving him the eye drops." - Ok, just recheck with the vet before you stop.

"He'll be happy about it because he's already learned when it's time and he will just slink away on the floor and won't come up to the bed and generally seems to be scared of me at that moment in time." - Yes, they typically do not like that. BUT he is doing AMAZINGLY well handling it. Don't worry, his behavior is normal and he will get over it. Give him some extra love, attention, maybe even a treat after to help him know all is fine.

"I'm trying really hard to decipher what both cats are thinking and struggling." - Hahahahaha, welcome to cat!!! ;)

"Had their harness and treat session tonight, and again they were able to have treats about a foot away." - Perfect

" Fluffy seemed calm but interested in Sapphire" - Great

" so I wanted to see if I would feel him getting ready to pounce but he didn't." - Perfect

" He slowly moved towards her with his nose out looking to sniff her and was very calm about it." - Perfect. He is starting to learn how to approach her.

" She got mad and started hissing, growling and wacking him with her paw (as she does)" - Yep, she is just not ready to totally trust yet. Not an issue.

"and of course he kind of just flopped over on his side" - And THIS is a big deal and a great sign. He is showing her he does not mean harm or anything bad and is being submissive. Anytime they expose their underside they are showing trust (as they are vulnreable there and would never do it to a real threat). SO he is telling her "I don't mean harm, it is ok". Great sign.

"and started pawing back her (looked like play)." - Yep, given the positioning/body language I totally agree.

"Sapphire doesn't run away anymore, she just walks back a few feet and will hunch to the ground with her tail wrapped around her" - PERFECT!!! She is showing trust and confidence. Terrific.

" and Fluffy will go off exploring the opposite way," - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: EXACTLY what we want to see. He is showing her he is not "after" her which builds trust and confidence. Perfect.

"but then after a few minutes, Sapphire comes back close to him " - Great, so she is showing she is trusting him more.

"(I didn't want to put him away right away to see if she would come for more treats so I could end it on a positive)." - It was already positive so it could have ended there but it is totally fine you did this as well.
y
"After I put him in his room, Sapphire goes up on her smaller tree again to watch him and every now and then would go up to his gate and start hitting him when he tries to play paws with her." - Awwwwwwwww. She wants to see him. This is the process fo accepting. She seems to kinda want to be with him BUT still doesn't totally trust. BUT is willing to play some at the gate but still teach him manners. It is the process. All is going extremely well. :)

"I'm having a hard time figuring out what each one is feeling." - Hahahaha, yes, it can be confusing BUT hopefully I helped put it in perspective to this point. He wants to play with her, is being diplomatic. She is learning he can be trusted, she is getting there and still has room to go. I don't see much fear in her, just uncertainty. She seems to like him. All is going really well.

"Sapphire seems to not like him " - Totally disagree. She is uncertain which is normal when a potential threat comes into "their" territory. If she didn't like him she would be totally avoiding him, acting very abnormally, etc. I think she actually likes him.

"but continues to be curious about him" - Exactly. She would not be curious and being so good if she was afraid or didn't like him.

" and I'm starting to wonder if he is a bit scared of her or just respecting her." - He is trying to "win her over". So he is understanding her cues and is trying to "play along". So he goes on his side, he doesn't push it, etc. He is being really good and diplomatic. EXACTLY what we want to see. He is doing great and so is she.

" Contrary to how hyper and playful he is, he can get scared very easily over the most random things." - He is a cat. That is how many cats are. Not at all an issue.

"Either way, my assumption is that if I keep doing what I'm doing, eventually Sapphire may warm up to him and the sniffing will become two way with her getting growly and swatty. " - ABSOLUTELY. I have NO DOUBT about that. We never know how close they will become BUT I would not be surprised if he wins her over. They will definitely be successfully intro'd and lead happy lives as a family. THAT I have NO DOUBT about. Fluffy is the perfect cat for Sapphire. He is really good about trying to convince her he is good. :)

The video - PERFECT!!! Eating closely, great body language, near the end the treat is neared each, they both go for it and Sapphire eats it and he respects it. PERFECT!!! Yep, they are going to be just fine!!! :) AWESOME!!!

Keep up the great work!! Going great!!! :clap2::purr:
 
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Graham18

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Small minor update (though I'll probably ramble on).
Brought Fluffy out again tonight say as always. There seemed to be a bit less hissing and growling on Sapphires part at least at first. She Backed up a few feet around the side of the play pen that I have in the living room. Fluffy went into it seeming to want to try and get a bit closer to her at which point she tried swatting at him from the outside. I'm assuming he got a bit excited and thought she was playing and tried to jump towards her (couldn't because he was in the mesh play pen. From that point he seemed to be excited thinking she was playing and kept trying to go towards her so I lured him back to his room with treats.
I didn't notice any negative body language though it was kind of hard to see. He did hiss after the tussle but he wasn't facing her so I'm guessing it was also just out of excitement (he just did the same hiss to a piece of paper on the ground in his room).

And that's today's update. He is playing right now and Sapphire is back up on her tree across the hall watching him.
 

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The video looked very pawsitive, with their heads only inches apart. But then your next update was a little less encouraging. Two steps forward, one step back, I guess.
 
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Graham18

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The video looked very pawsitive, with their heads only inches apart. But then your next update was a little less encouraging. Two steps forward, one step back, I guess.
I'm not too concerned about it I don't think. Sapphire didn't run away and she even came back over to his gate a few minutes later and she came over to visit this morning so she can't be too afraid :)

That picture is 100% them! Hahaha
 

calicosrspecial

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Small minor update (though I'll probably ramble on).
Brought Fluffy out again tonight say as always. There seemed to be a bit less hissing and growling on Sapphires part at least at first. She Backed up a few feet around the side of the play pen that I have in the living room. Fluffy went into it seeming to want to try and get a bit closer to her at which point she tried swatting at him from the outside. I'm assuming he got a bit excited and thought she was playing and tried to jump towards her (couldn't because he was in the mesh play pen. From that point he seemed to be excited thinking she was playing and kept trying to go towards her so I lured him back to his room with treats.
I didn't notice any negative body language though it was kind of hard to see. He did hiss after the tussle but he wasn't facing her so I'm guessing it was also just out of excitement (he just did the same hiss to a piece of paper on the ground in his room).

And that's today's update. He is playing right now and Sapphire is back up on her tree across the hall watching him.
"Small minor update (though I'll probably ramble on)." - You don't ramble at all.

"Brought Fluffy out again tonight say as always." - Great

" There seemed to be a bit less hissing and growling on Sapphires part at least at first." - Great

"She Backed up a few feet around the side of the play pen that I have in the living room." - That is fine.

" Fluffy went into it seeming to want to try and get a bit closer to her" - Awwwwwwwwww, so sweet

" at which point she tried swatting at him from the outside." - Expected, not an issue.

" I'm assuming he got a bit excited and thought she was playing and tried to jump towards her (couldn't because he was in the mesh play pen. From that point he seemed to be excited thinking she was playing and kept trying to go towards her " - Yep, probably. Body language and how they act after tells it all. But I don't see Fluffy as aggressive or mean so I am assuming it is play. Nothing else to support anything other.

"so I lured him back to his room with treats." - Ok. Can you distract him or her at all? Reassure them? Get them to look away from each other?

"I didn't notice any negative body language though it was kind of hard to see." - Great

" He did hiss after the tussle but he wasn't facing her so I'm guessing it was also just out of excitement (he just did the same hiss to a piece of paper on the ground in his room)." - That is not an issue. Was it when you started luring him back to his room?

"And that's today's update." - That is fine. Of course it is not perfect but if it is play driven (which I think is what it is on his part and somewhat on hers) it is not an issue at all.

" He is playing right now and Sapphire is back up on her tree across the hall watching him." - Ok, great. THAT tells me they think it was fine and that is the most important opinion.

"I'm not too concerned about it I don't think." - Totally agree. You should not be concerned at all. I am not at all.

" Sapphire didn't run away" - EXACTLY!!!

" and she even came back over to his gate a few minutes later" - Awwwwww, yep, that is very telling. She might have wanted to play and was teaching some manners at the same time.

" and she came over to visit this morning so she can't be too afraid :) " - Yep, totally agree. She was not fazed by it at all and that is what matters.

Great to hear how they acted after. Supports the view it was fine, not an issue.

Keep up the great work!! It is just a process and all is going to be fine. :)
 
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Graham18

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"Small minor update (though I'll probably ramble on)." - You don't ramble at all.

"Brought Fluffy out again tonight say as always." - Great

" There seemed to be a bit less hissing and growling on Sapphires part at least at first." - Great

"She Backed up a few feet around the side of the play pen that I have in the living room." - That is fine.

" Fluffy went into it seeming to want to try and get a bit closer to her" - Awwwwwwwwww, so sweet

" at which point she tried swatting at him from the outside." - Expected, not an issue.

" I'm assuming he got a bit excited and thought she was playing and tried to jump towards her (couldn't because he was in the mesh play pen. From that point he seemed to be excited thinking she was playing and kept trying to go towards her " - Yep, probably. Body language and how they act after tells it all. But I don't see Fluffy as aggressive or mean so I am assuming it is play. Nothing else to support anything other.

"so I lured him back to his room with treats." - Ok. Can you distract him or her at all? Reassure them? Get them to look away from each other?

"I didn't notice any negative body language though it was kind of hard to see." - Great

" He did hiss after the tussle but he wasn't facing her so I'm guessing it was also just out of excitement (he just did the same hiss to a piece of paper on the ground in his room)." - That is not an issue. Was it when you started luring him back to his room?

"And that's today's update." - That is fine. Of course it is not perfect but if it is play driven (which I think is what it is on his part and somewhat on hers) it is not an issue at all.

" He is playing right now and Sapphire is back up on her tree across the hall watching him." - Ok, great. THAT tells me they think it was fine and that is the most important opinion.

"I'm not too concerned about it I don't think." - Totally agree. You should not be concerned at all. I am not at all.

" Sapphire didn't run away" - EXACTLY!!!

" and she even came back over to his gate a few minutes later" - Awwwwww, yep, that is very telling. She might have wanted to play and was teaching some manners at the same time.

" and she came over to visit this morning so she can't be too afraid :) " - Yep, totally agree. She was not fazed by it at all and that is what matters.

Great to hear how they acted after. Supports the view it was fine, not an issue.

Keep up the great work!! It is just a process and all is going to be fine. :)
Yes they are both distractable with treats fairly easily. They're both just super fast so it's a bit hard to pre-distract haha. I don't see it being anything but play that Fluffy thinks Sapphire is initiating, and he hissed while he was still in the play pen but he was facing me/kind of looking off into the distance so I don't think it was directed at her and from what I've seen it just likes to hiss at things when he's playing or gets excited.

This morning they were fine for the most part. Sapphire was a bit more on edge than usual. When I started to bring him out she looked a bit concerned and ran up to the top of her bigger cat tree but she came down to within about a foot from him for treats so I'm not overly concerned.
 

calicosrspecial

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Yes they are both distractable with treats fairly easily. They're both just super fast so it's a bit hard to pre-distract haha. I don't see it being anything but play that Fluffy thinks Sapphire is initiating, and he hissed while he was still in the play pen but he was facing me/kind of looking off into the distance so I don't think it was directed at her and from what I've seen it just likes to hiss at things when he's playing or gets excited.

This morning they were fine for the most part. Sapphire was a bit more on edge than usual. When I started to bring him out she looked a bit concerned and ran up to the top of her bigger cat tree but she came down to within about a foot from him for treats so I'm not overly concerned.
"Yes they are both distractable with treats fairly easily." - Great. If there were real issues they would not overlook real fear for something good (treats).

" They're both just super fast so it's a bit hard to pre-distract haha." - Yep :/ Just do your best.

"I don't see it being anything but play that Fluffy thinks Sapphire is initiating," - Makes sense, that is fine.

" and he hissed while he was still in the play pen but he was facing me/kind of looking off into the distance so I don't think it was directed at her" - That is fine, not an issue. He could have felt something on his tail or a puff of wind or something. Either way, not an issue. It would have to be followed by negativity which it wasn't.

"and from what I've seen it just likes to hiss at things when he's playing or gets excited." - Many do that a lot. Very common.

"This morning they were fine for the most part. " - Great

"Sapphire was a bit more on edge than usual." - OK, it happens. No real reason why she would be (from him). Maybe she didn't sleep well, maybe she was hungry, etc. Again, it is what happens after that tells us how important it is.

"When I started to bring him out she looked a bit concerned and ran up to the top of her bigger cat tree" - Ok, not an issue as long as he didn't go after her etc.

"but she came down to within about a foot from him for treats so I'm not overly concerned. " - Oh, yep, well THAT is great!!!! Hahahaha, this is what I am talking about. IF there was any fear nothing negative happened so it builds trust and therefore she goes for the treats next to him. Supports the idea that all is fine.

Keep up the great work!!! :)
 
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Graham18

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"Yes they are both distractable with treats fairly easily." - Great. If there were real issues they would not overlook real fear for something good (treats).

" They're both just super fast so it's a bit hard to pre-distract haha." - Yep :/ Just do your best.

"I don't see it being anything but play that Fluffy thinks Sapphire is initiating," - Makes sense, that is fine.

" and he hissed while he was still in the play pen but he was facing me/kind of looking off into the distance so I don't think it was directed at her" - That is fine, not an issue. He could have felt something on his tail or a puff of wind or something. Either way, not an issue. It would have to be followed by negativity which it wasn't.

"and from what I've seen it just likes to hiss at things when he's playing or gets excited." - Many do that a lot. Very common.

"This morning they were fine for the most part. " - Great

"Sapphire was a bit more on edge than usual." - OK, it happens. No real reason why she would be (from him). Maybe she didn't sleep well, maybe she was hungry, etc. Again, it is what happens after that tells us how important it is.

"When I started to bring him out she looked a bit concerned and ran up to the top of her bigger cat tree" - Ok, not an issue as long as he didn't go after her etc.

"but she came down to within about a foot from him for treats so I'm not overly concerned. " - Oh, yep, well THAT is great!!!! Hahahaha, this is what I am talking about. IF there was any fear nothing negative happened so it builds trust and therefore she goes for the treats next to him. Supports the idea that all is fine.

Keep up the great work!!! :)
Last night was good, there was no hissing or growling from Sapphire at all during treat time.

This morning was a different story. Fluffy really wanted to get to her really badly (still cared more about treats). He would try and get close enough to paw at her at which point the frenzied pawing back and forth would begin and I would have to lure them apart with treats.

At one point Sapphire went to jump back up on her cat tree and he tried to chase after her but I was able to pull him back with the leash. I gave them each another treat further away from eachother and brought Fluffy upstairs to my room as his tail was really thrashing and he was starting to try and bite my hands to get out of the harness.

I'm still unsure if I'm seeing aggressive body language from Fluffy or just wanting rough play. Sapphires ears will go back when they're frantically swatting back and forth but for the most fluffys ears stay up and alert.

One thing I have noticed however, is that Fluffy will be completely silent when he's near Sapphire. Usually he's the most talkative cat but when he's close by her he just stares and doesn't make a sound. I also noticed him opening his mouth today as if to hiss but not making a sound (he does this to toys sometimes).

I'd like to try and get a longer video when my partner is here helping to get some thoughts.
 

calicosrspecial

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Last night was good, there was no hissing or growling from Sapphire at all during treat time.

This morning was a different story. Fluffy really wanted to get to her really badly (still cared more about treats). He would try and get close enough to paw at her at which point the frenzied pawing back and forth would begin and I would have to lure them apart with treats.

At one point Sapphire went to jump back up on her cat tree and he tried to chase after her but I was able to pull him back with the leash. I gave them each another treat further away from eachother and brought Fluffy upstairs to my room as his tail was really thrashing and he was starting to try and bite my hands to get out of the harness.

I'm still unsure if I'm seeing aggressive body language from Fluffy or just wanting rough play. Sapphires ears will go back when they're frantically swatting back and forth but for the most fluffys ears stay up and alert.

One thing I have noticed however, is that Fluffy will be completely silent when he's near Sapphire. Usually he's the most talkative cat but when he's close by her he just stares and doesn't make a sound. I also noticed him opening his mouth today as if to hiss but not making a sound (he does this to toys sometimes).

I'd like to try and get a longer video when my partner is here helping to get some thoughts.
"Last night was good, there was no hissing or growling from Sapphire at all during treat time." - Great

"This morning was a different story." - Ok

" Fluffy really wanted to get to her really badly" - Ok.

" (still cared more about treats)." - Great, that is a good sign.

" He would try and get close enough to paw at her" - Ok, did it seem like play?

" at which point the frenzied pawing back and forth would begin" - Yes, it will.

"and I would have to lure them apart with treats." - Ok, and they did stop with the treats? If so, great.

"At one point Sapphire went to jump back up on her cat tree and he tried to chase after her but I was able to pull him back with the leash." - He was rambunctious this morning.

" I gave them each another treat further away from eachother" - Great, and they did well?

" and brought Fluffy upstairs to my room as his tail was really thrashing and he was starting to try and bite my hands to get out of the harness." - Ok, sounds like he had A LOT of energy.

"I'm still unsure if I'm seeing aggressive body language from Fluffy or just wanting rough play." - Well, if treats are distracting him it can't be too negative or aggressive. If it was serious (aggressive) there is no way a treat would distract him.

"Sapphires ears will go back when they're frantically swatting back and forth" - Yes, that is normal. More defensive.

" but for the most fluffys ears stay up and alert." - Ok, good. No hair up, big tail? If it was negative body language it tends to be pretty obvious (if it is serious).

"One thing I have noticed however, is that Fluffy will be completely silent when he's near Sapphire. Usually he's the most talkative cat but when he's close by her he just stares and doesn't make a sound." - Awwwwww. Maybe he knows silence helps. I would have to see it but I think that is fine.

"I also noticed him opening his mouth today as if to hiss but not making a sound (he does this to toys sometimes)." - Yes, they will do that sometimes. Cats do that so as not to attract attention.

"I'd like to try and get a longer video when my partner is here helping to get some thoughts. " - Sounds great.

This morning doesn't sound bad. Maybe it wasn't ideal but there are always two steps forward, one or two back. And some days they have more energy or didn't sleep well or is hungry etc. It all depends on how they act after that tells us the most. I am guessing Fluffy was being mischievous. We see over the next few days if that is correct.

IF you sense it is getting a little negative (not saying this was really) then just end it and make it end on a positive. This morning sounds fine though.

Hang in there. Everything seems expected, normal. intro's are never linear or perfect BUT I think they accept each other quite a bit just not 100% yet. We will get there.

Keep up the great work!!
 
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"Last night was good, there was no hissing or growling from Sapphire at all during treat time." - Great

"This morning was a different story." - Ok

" Fluffy really wanted to get to her really badly" - Ok.

" (still cared more about treats)." - Great, that is a good sign.

" He would try and get close enough to paw at her" - Ok, did it seem like play?

" at which point the frenzied pawing back and forth would begin" - Yes, it will.

"and I would have to lure them apart with treats." - Ok, and they did stop with the treats? If so, great.

"At one point Sapphire went to jump back up on her cat tree and he tried to chase after her but I was able to pull him back with the leash." - He was rambunctious this morning.

" I gave them each another treat further away from eachother" - Great, and they did well?

" and brought Fluffy upstairs to my room as his tail was really thrashing and he was starting to try and bite my hands to get out of the harness." - Ok, sounds like he had A LOT of energy.

"I'm still unsure if I'm seeing aggressive body language from Fluffy or just wanting rough play." - Well, if treats are distracting him it can't be too negative or aggressive. If it was serious (aggressive) there is no way a treat would distract him.

"Sapphires ears will go back when they're frantically swatting back and forth" - Yes, that is normal. More defensive.

" but for the most fluffys ears stay up and alert." - Ok, good. No hair up, big tail? If it was negative body language it tends to be pretty obvious (if it is serious).

"One thing I have noticed however, is that Fluffy will be completely silent when he's near Sapphire. Usually he's the most talkative cat but when he's close by her he just stares and doesn't make a sound." - Awwwwww. Maybe he knows silence helps. I would have to see it but I think that is fine.

"I also noticed him opening his mouth today as if to hiss but not making a sound (he does this to toys sometimes)." - Yes, they will do that sometimes. Cats do that so as not to attract attention.

"I'd like to try and get a longer video when my partner is here helping to get some thoughts. " - Sounds great.

This morning doesn't sound bad. Maybe it wasn't ideal but there are always two steps forward, one or two back. And some days they have more energy or didn't sleep well or is hungry etc. It all depends on how they act after that tells us the most. I am guessing Fluffy was being mischievous. We see over the next few days if that is correct.

IF you sense it is getting a little negative (not saying this was really) then just end it and make it end on a positive. This morning sounds fine though.

Hang in there. Everything seems expected, normal. intro's are never linear or perfect BUT I think they accept each other quite a bit just not 100% yet. We will get there.

Keep up the great work!!
I'm 90% convinced it wasn't negative and to me it just looks negative as he'll be laying calmly one second and the next he's right up at her at high speed. It's the 10% that is eating away at me.

Things afterwards were slightly more tense (as I did have to bring him up to my room because I could tell he wasn't going to be calm at all). Sapphire did go up to her room across the hall from mine but wouldn't come close to his gate for treats, she just stayed sitting in her room watching him. After I went downstairs, a few minutes later I heard a ruckus at his gate that I'm assuming was another pawing match but I just let it be.

Thank you for your kind words :itslove:. After a good interaction my spirits get a little high and then a not so good interaction tends to bring me down and I worry and overthink.
 

calicosrspecial

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I'm 90% convinced it wasn't negative and to me it just looks negative as he'll be laying calmly one second and the next he's right up at her at high speed. It's the 10% that is eating away at me.

Things afterwards were slightly more tense (as I did have to bring him up to my room because I could tell he wasn't going to be calm at all). Sapphire did go up to her room across the hall from mine but wouldn't come close to his gate for treats, she just stayed sitting in her room watching him. After I went downstairs, a few minutes later I heard a ruckus at his gate that I'm assuming was another pawing match but I just let it be.

Thank you for your kind words :itslove:. After a good interaction my spirits get a little high and then a not so good interaction tends to bring me down and I worry and overthink.
"I'm 90% convinced it wasn't negative" - OK, great. Tells me it wasn't negative.

" and to me it just looks negative as he'll be laying calmly one second and the next he's right up at her at high speed." - That can be negative and positive. Cats chase each other all the time to play and it is fine and cats chase each other to bully, dominate, etc. So looking at the body language, context etc tells us which it is. When there isn't total trust yet it can be blurry so takes a bit more analysis to determine which it is. But every indication it is normal and not an issue at all.

"It's the 10% that is eating away at me." - Yes, understandable. But remember nothing is ever perfect. The key is to get the right view and work on any issues that might be.

"Things afterwards were slightly more tense" - Ok. Just tells us we don't have total trust yet.

"(as I did have to bring him up to my room because I could tell he wasn't going to be calm at all)." - Yes

" Sapphire did go up to her room across the hall from mine but wouldn't come close to his gate for treats, she just stayed sitting in her room watching him." - Ok. The length of time to get back to normal tells us a lot. So again, a little caution after is not a big deal and just tells us they aren't there yet (which we know).

"After I went downstairs, a few minutes later I heard a ruckus at his gate that I'm assuming was another pawing match but I just let it be." - Interesting. She couldn't be too afraid if she engaged with him.

"Thank you for your kind words :itslove:. " - You are very welcome.

"After a good interaction my spirits get a little high and then a not so good interaction tends to bring me down and I worry and overthink. " - Exactly. Because you are a normal, caring human being that loves their cats and want what is best for them. ;)

Don't worry, they are going to be just fine. I am not sure when but I do know they will be successfully intro'd. No doubt about it.
 
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"I'm 90% convinced it wasn't negative" - OK, great. Tells me it wasn't negative.

" and to me it just looks negative as he'll be laying calmly one second and the next he's right up at her at high speed." - That can be negative and positive. Cats chase each other all the time to play and it is fine and cats chase each other to bully, dominate, etc. So looking at the body language, context etc tells us which it is. When there isn't total trust yet it can be blurry so takes a bit more analysis to determine which it is. But every indication it is normal and not an issue at all.

"It's the 10% that is eating away at me." - Yes, understandable. But remember nothing is ever perfect. The key is to get the right view and work on any issues that might be.

"Things afterwards were slightly more tense" - Ok. Just tells us we don't have total trust yet.

"(as I did have to bring him up to my room because I could tell he wasn't going to be calm at all)." - Yes

" Sapphire did go up to her room across the hall from mine but wouldn't come close to his gate for treats, she just stayed sitting in her room watching him." - Ok. The length of time to get back to normal tells us a lot. So again, a little caution after is not a big deal and just tells us they aren't there yet (which we know).

"After I went downstairs, a few minutes later I heard a ruckus at his gate that I'm assuming was another pawing match but I just let it be." - Interesting. She couldn't be too afraid if she engaged with him.

"Thank you for your kind words :itslove:. " - You are very welcome.

"After a good interaction my spirits get a little high and then a not so good interaction tends to bring me down and I worry and overthink. " - Exactly. Because you are a normal, caring human being that loves their cats and want what is best for them. ;)

Don't worry, they are going to be just fine. I am not sure when but I do know they will be successfully intro'd. No doubt about it.
I believe the part of me that isn't fully convinced Fluffy isn't be aggressive stems from how different he acts when he's playing with toys vs being around Sapphire. He's very obviously excited when he is playing or wants to play and is very talkative. When he's around her, other than the odd tail thrash, he doesn't act excited. I thought it may have just been the harness but after having that thought I've noticed he's the same way when he's behind the gates. If she comes near them or even a few feet away, he'll stop whatever he is doing and either just lay/sit there silent staring at her, or he'll pace back and forth against the gate.
 
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This morning Fluffy tried to instigate playing by pawing at Sapphire and she starts hitting him and growling as usual but didn't run away. I kept Fluffy out on his harness for about half an hour looking out the window behind my couch. At one point Sapphire did come over on the floor nearby to watch him and I held him to make sure he wouldn't try and jump on her. Before I brought Fluffy upstairs to my bedroom for the morning I let him go see his sister on the floor again. He was fairly calm but then I noticed him starting to raise his butt a little before he tried to pounce again (to no luck because of his harness). Again Sapphire kind of just backed up a little and wrapped her tail around herself as she sat and growled but didn't run away. She did follow upstairs after I brought him up there and just sat in her room across the hall watching him.

I'm still more convinced that Fluffy is trying to play more than trying to be aggressive but I'm just not sure and I'm worried that it's not going to really stop and then lead to an escalation.

The behaviour department at the rescue where I got both of them has assured me that both behaviours are normal for young male and female cats and has told me that I can try letting the small spats and tussles play out in a supervised and controlled manner. I definitely don't think that they or myself are ready but I'm worried that with how close they were getting a few days ago to Fluffy now feeling that Sapphire will play with him, that things aren't going to change from this point.
 

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I believe the part of me that isn't fully convinced Fluffy isn't be aggressive stems from how different he acts when he's playing with toys vs being around Sapphire. He's very obviously excited when he is playing or wants to play and is very talkative. When he's around her, other than the odd tail thrash, he doesn't act excited. I thought it may have just been the harness but after having that thought I've noticed he's the same way when he's behind the gates. If she comes near them or even a few feet away, he'll stop whatever he is doing and either just lay/sit there silent staring at her, or he'll pace back and forth against the gate.
"I believe the part of me that isn't fully convinced Fluffy isn't be aggressive stems from how different he acts when he's playing with toys vs being around Sapphire." - Ok, let's see.

" He's very obviously excited when he is playing or wants to play and is very talkative." - Yes, great

" When he's around her, other than the odd tail thrash, he doesn't act excited." - OK, probably him trying to be diplomatic and show her he isn't a threat.

" I thought it may have just been the harness but after having that thought I've noticed he's the same way when he's behind the gates." - Yes, I would guess it is him trying to "behave" as much as he can.

" If she comes near them or even a few feet away, he'll stop whatever he is doing and either just lay/sit there silent staring at her," - Awwwwwwwwww.

" or he'll pace back and forth against the gate." - He may be a bit frustrated he can't play with her.

I am not seeing those reasons as anything negative or concerning etc. In fact, I think that is really good of him.

"This morning Fluffy tried to instigate playing by pawing at Sapphire" - Awwwwwwwwww

" and she starts hitting him and growling as usual but didn't run away." - Yes but great she didn't run. There is trust building.

" I kept Fluffy out on his harness for about half an hour looking out the window behind my couch." - Ok

" At one point Sapphire did come over on the floor nearby to watch him" - WHOA. So he was off his leash with her around?

" and I held him to make sure he wouldn't try and jump on her." - Ok. He didn't "fight" to get out of your arms? If so that is really good.

"Before I brought Fluffy upstairs to my bedroom for the morning I let him go see his sister on the floor again. He was fairly calm but then I noticed him starting to raise his butt a little before he tried to pounce again (to no luck because of his harness)." - Ok, good. SO he was on the harness. Yes, I am sure he wanted to play with her.

"Again Sapphire kind of just backed up a little and wrapped her tail around herself as she sat and growled but didn't run away." - GREAT!!!

" She did follow upstairs after I brought him up there and just sat in her room across the hall watching him." - Awwwwww, yes, she is doing great. She doesn't seem bothered to much by him wanting to play.

"I'm still more convinced that Fluffy is trying to play more than trying to be aggressive " - Totally agree

"but I'm just not sure and I'm worried that it's not going to really stop and then lead to an escalation." - Understandable. I don't get a sense he would intentionally hurt her but she has to believe that and trust it so it doesn't escalate from her side. She is getting there just not yet. But she will.

"The behaviour department at the rescue where I got both of them has assured me that both behaviours are normal for young male and female cats" - Totally agree

" and has told me that I can try letting the small spats and tussles play out in a supervised and controlled manner." - Well, this is where it is more art than science. There are many ways to success. Your rescue and ArtNJ tend to be on that side, I tend to be on the other (only letting them tussle when I am sure they are past any risk point). The difficult part is the "controlled" part. The more trust and confidence they have the less likely it escalates. There will be "spats and tussles" probably at times all through their lives together (not often and not serious) so it is just part of multiple at houses but with trust and respect they work out just fine. We just need to get a bit more trust and respect. A lot is already there we just need a bit more. And we will get it.

"I definitely don't think that they or myself are ready" - I agree but that is my style.

" but I'm worried that with how close they were getting a few days ago to Fluffy now feeling that Sapphire will play with him, that things aren't going to change from this point. " - I wouldn't worry about that. I actually don't have any worries (other than length of time it takes and that isn't really a worry). All indications are they are going to be just fine. He is doing great, she is coming along really nicely building trust and confidence. Just keep doing what you are doing. I think we are pretty close to doing a face to face no restraint. Not there yet but I think we are really close.

Try not to worry, just enjoy the cats, enjoy life and keep up the great work. I really am not worried in the least.
 
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