Help/Advice for introductions

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Graham18

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I am so sorry for the delayed response.

"I did speak a bit too soon." - Ok

" I was bringing him upstairs to my room on his harness to let him get more used to it and Sapphire was up on top of her cat tree. As we were walking by she decided she actually wanted to come down without treats to see him." - Awwww, awesome

" Of course he got excited before I could grab a treat and he tried to jump at her again" - Yep

" and both got a few wacks at eachother before I could pull him away at which point he was much too focused on her and wanting to go back for more (he did go for a treat afterwards but went straight back to her)." - Ok, how was his body language?

"She did follow upstairs afterwards however and went to lay in her room across from him." - how was her body language? Normal? If so that is pretty good.

"It looks so scary when he goes after her" - Yes, it does.

" but really not seeing any other signs of aggression in him so I'm still thinking that it's just rough play hopefully." - And he doesn't seem like a mean cat so I would guess it is just play as well. AND if it wasn't she would be acting more fearful which she doesn't seem to be.

"I want to add, later in the afternoon, I put Fluffy on his harness again before bringing him back upstairs to nap and let Sapphire out of her room." - Ok

"She went half way down the stairs before seeing him and turning around and running back up to her room." - :( How did he react? The fact he didn;t chase her will give her confidence that he "isn't so bad".

"I did bring Fluffy upstairs and gave them treats together from my hands and she would get right close up for treats and then wall back a few feet. " - Ok, that is great!!! It is more the fear of the unknown. When she sees him, is near him she is less fearful then when she is kinda "surprised" by him.

"Yes Fluffy spends most of the time in either his room or my bedroom." - Is it possible to get him into her room as well? And her into his room?

" He's out for around 4 hours a day or so or as much as I can let him out (during the week my mom lets him out in the afternoon when I'm at work). Monday to Friday I'm working/driving to and from work for about 11 hours so my time is super limited." - Understandable.

"I have definitely considered just letting them be after treat time," - I do think it is a bit early for this BUT I think we are really close for this.

" but I think it's more so my anxiety that is holding me back." - Yes, I agree. I think the cats are more ready. BUT hte human needs to be calm and confident as the cats take on our emotions. If the humans are anxious they will be more on guard and therefore more stressed and can get into it.

" Even when he lunges at her while on his harness it kills me inside" - :( PLEASE do not feel badly. He is being a cat and wanting to play. It is normal. I am not a harness user so I just wonder if maybe some of it is the harness. The restraint that might cause some anxiety because cats like to move as they want and not be impeded. Independence. BUT since I am not an expert with harnesses I could be totally wrong.

"and I have to try really hard to keep it from getting too me too much and it's something I think I need to work on." - It is ok, normal. Most people struggle with that. We all need to work on that at some point. You are going to be fine. When we get trust the cats tend to get trust. And cats pick up on our emotions, fears etc. Now if there is a good reason to fear we do something about it but when the fear is maybe a bit overblown then we have to think it through and see if the fear is unwarranted. I will not do anything if I think there is a real risk to the safety of the cats.

"I think I've mentioned it but 90% of the time now both cats are very good. Zero issues at the gates anymore, not even hissing from Sapphire." - Exactly. We are well on the way, we are just not totally there yet.

"It's that 10% of the time when Fluffy does go after her that worries me as it seems to set things back a little." - Yes. But it is why he "lunges" and what tells us a lot about the intent is how she acts. Now, she did run back up the stairs so she is not 100% there yet BUT then she eats with him so she is close.

"I do like your suggestions though I feel like you are probably right about things improving once they can both be out as Fluffy probably feels cooped up." - Yes and he is excited about playing with his sister. But we need to be sure it will not set us back. That is the art of the process.

"I just need to try an eliminate that fear and anxiety from myself." - Yes ;) And you will. :)

"I am still using the diffusers but I don't know if they are working or not," - Ok

"plus still giving them CBD oil and calming treats daily. I do think they're having some effect as Fluffy is much calmer than even a few weeks ago but I honestly couldn't say." - It is difficult to know. :/

"Thank you again for your support and advice :) " - You are welcome.

Now to Rubysmama's post-

Just went back to your first post and see this long introduction process started in February. So nearing 6 months!

"Am I correct, that right now Fluffy is still spending most of his time in his room? If so, and keeping in mind I have never introduced cats, so I could be totally off base here, but my gut thought is that things won't improve substantially until both cats have almost constant full range of the house, so that they both feel as if it is their home." - I would add it is an ownership/confidence thing. SO we want each cat to feel like they own each place in the house and feel that confidence. So we do that using play and then feed after. We use scent soakers (cat trees, scratching posts bedding, etc) so that they can "own" things in the territory and be like "yep, this is mine".

" It just seems like things are moving forward, but extremely slowly." - This last bit does move slowly sadly BUT I do think they are close. We do need to get to the point where we trust them and keep our emotions calm and confident. once we get that breakthrough we will be good to go.

"Again, I have no experience, so this could be very bad idea, and of course, only you know your cats, and their personalities and behaviours. And I would not, at this time, leave them alone if there will not be any humans around to supervise." - Totally agree

"But, I'm wondering, if next time you'll be home for the whole day, if after "treat time" you just let both cats go off on their own, or just see what they do." - I think we are really close to this. I do think the humans need to get a bit more confident and trusting to where the cats are. Though I do think the cats need just a touch more. What we want to avoid is a cat acting like prey and running from the other (as it will lead to a chase then potentially escalate). So I would like a bit more confidence that Sapphire will hold her own rather than run. We are really close though.

"I would also suggest having a large piece of corrugated cardboard handy, that you could put between Fluffy and Sapphire, if Fluffy goes to lunge at her. The cardboard serves 2 purposes. One gets between 2 possibly fighting cats. And two, keeps your hands safe from getting scratched / bit trying to separate 2 possibly fighting cats." - Yes. The one caveat is the humans need to view this calmly and confidently and not be anxious having the cardboard around. Sometimes I see the fat ther eis cardboard makes the humans anticipate trouble and be more anxious which makes the cat more anxious and more likely bad things happening. So having it there (like treats or a toy) and viewing it as a positive thing and being calm and confident about it is really important.

"Another thing I noticed in your first post, you said you had Feliway running. Is that still the case? If so, maybe stop it for a bit. As I think I've read in some cases it can stress cats, as opposed to calming them. Another disclaimer, I've never used Feliway, so no experience with it." - I never use feliway. :/

"And lastly, I'll throw out the idea again of taking both cats out for a drive in the car, and see how they react in the car. And if they seem calm in the car, then "set them both free" once you get back home, and see what happens." - If you do this just make sure no one gets out, etc.

Anyway, just wanted to post some thoughts that have come to my mind.

Again, please remember I've no experience introducing cats, but I have followed lots of threads here, so my ideas/thoughts come from all I've read / learned from other cat parents' experiences.
Absolutely no need to apologize whatsoever :)

To answer your questions..
- The best I could describe his body language is I guess excited. Typically these little spats happen over a period of about 3 seconds before I intervene and he's VERY fast. He'll go from laying down relaxing to flying towards her like that. It's hard to explain how he acts after. The best I can think of is like a dog who is laying down letting out a very quiet half bark, wagging its tail and getting ready to chase a ball if that makes sense. It's very hard to describe.
- Sapphires body language was a bit anxious looking. Even though she followed, she was laying with her tail wrapped around her and just watching.
- I also don't believe that he is a mean cat. I think he's a young very excitable cat and that he may not fully know when he needs to calm down. As I've mentioned he does bite sometimes pretty hard and I don't believe he does it in a mean way and just believes he's having fun. My biggest worry, which I may have mentioned before, is that he will think he is playing and won't stop and will unintentionally bite or hurt Sapphire as he doesn't know the difference between play and back off yet fully.
- He usually doesn't react too much to her (at least with his harness on), unless she gets close to him. He saw him run upstairs and didn't move but just looked. He generally only reacts in fact when she comes to him uncoerced (ie. When she came down from her cat tree without treats involved). This would most likely be a different story if he wasn't restrained by the harness.
- She has slept in his room in the afternoon a few times since I've started putting him upstairs during the day but I don't know if she still does when I'm at work or not. She rarely went into the room that is his room prior to adopting him and has always preferred her room or my bedroom. It also never crossed my mind to put him in her room because the diy gate that is up all day is attached to my door frame and at this point I didn't know if the territory swapping would have any effect since they're used to eachothers scents.
- As for the chasing and lunging I have noticed Sapphire standing her ground a bit more (a month ago she would have taken off right away). As I mentioned, at least when his harness is on, he only tends to lunge/jump/paw when she comes close to him though not always. I've noticed about half the time if he is the one moving towards her he seems to be more calm and wanting to sniff and usually doesn't react until she swats at him and then he starts to paw back at her (I say paw for him because Sapphire is clearly trying to tell him to back off and he just seems to enjoy it as play and gets excited). He may immediately chase her as soon as he is free from the harness without her running but since I haven't tried it I have no idea what he would do.

I want to add that this morning they were fairly fine. Sapphire was still showing a bit of anxiety but not much. At one point he did start to move towards her slightly and slowly and I did notice he started to raise one of his paws while he was laying down and she was growling (I distracted with a treat right away as I didn't want him to hit her). He was fine after that but I noticed something odd with Sapphire that I rarely see and maybe you will know what it means. She walked a few feet from him after treats were done, back to him, and started licking herself very quickly for about 30 seconds and I also noticed some slight twitching. After I put Fluffy away, Sapphire ran up to her room and was really playful for about five minutes. I notice this sometimes but not very often at all.
 
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Graham18

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Both of the cats were pretty good this morning! Sapphire walked right by Fluffy and I was able to distract him before he could jump on her. At one point he had his back to her looking for more treats and she came up and started sniffing him while he was busy. I kept him distracted so she could sniff. Eventually he did turn around and she of course started hitting him and doing a hiss/growl combo. I think he was a little bit shocked because he didn't really react and she kind of moved away back to her cat tree area. I gave him a few more treats and then Sapphire started to come back again. I noticed he was starting to get excited and wanting to go to her so I figured that was time to end it before he got too excited.

I also noticed that in the mornings now, he just lays at his gate crying for her and laying on his harness (still doesn't like when it's put on however).
 

rubysmama

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Sounds like a good morning. :redheartpump:

When Sapphire hiss/growls at him, do you say "don't do that", or you know, something like that? And likewise when Fluffy looks like he's about to lunge at Sapphire?

And, I know this may sound silly, but have you told Sapphire that Fluffy is part of the family now, but that you still love her, and that she's not being replaced.
 

calicosrspecial

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Absolutely no need to apologize whatsoever :)

To answer your questions..
- The best I could describe his body language is I guess excited. Typically these little spats happen over a period of about 3 seconds before I intervene and he's VERY fast. He'll go from laying down relaxing to flying towards her like that. It's hard to explain how he acts after. The best I can think of is like a dog who is laying down letting out a very quiet half bark, wagging its tail and getting ready to chase a ball if that makes sense. It's very hard to describe.
- Sapphires body language was a bit anxious looking. Even though she followed, she was laying with her tail wrapped around her and just watching.
- I also don't believe that he is a mean cat. I think he's a young very excitable cat and that he may not fully know when he needs to calm down. As I've mentioned he does bite sometimes pretty hard and I don't believe he does it in a mean way and just believes he's having fun. My biggest worry, which I may have mentioned before, is that he will think he is playing and won't stop and will unintentionally bite or hurt Sapphire as he doesn't know the difference between play and back off yet fully.
- He usually doesn't react too much to her (at least with his harness on), unless she gets close to him. He saw him run upstairs and didn't move but just looked. He generally only reacts in fact when she comes to him uncoerced (ie. When she came down from her cat tree without treats involved). This would most likely be a different story if he wasn't restrained by the harness.
- She has slept in his room in the afternoon a few times since I've started putting him upstairs during the day but I don't know if she still does when I'm at work or not. She rarely went into the room that is his room prior to adopting him and has always preferred her room or my bedroom. It also never crossed my mind to put him in her room because the diy gate that is up all day is attached to my door frame and at this point I didn't know if the territory swapping would have any effect since they're used to eachothers scents.
- As for the chasing and lunging I have noticed Sapphire standing her ground a bit more (a month ago she would have taken off right away). As I mentioned, at least when his harness is on, he only tends to lunge/jump/paw when she comes close to him though not always. I've noticed about half the time if he is the one moving towards her he seems to be more calm and wanting to sniff and usually doesn't react until she swats at him and then he starts to paw back at her (I say paw for him because Sapphire is clearly trying to tell him to back off and he just seems to enjoy it as play and gets excited). He may immediately chase her as soon as he is free from the harness without her running but since I haven't tried it I have no idea what he would do.

I want to add that this morning they were fairly fine. Sapphire was still showing a bit of anxiety but not much. At one point he did start to move towards her slightly and slowly and I did notice he started to raise one of his paws while he was laying down and she was growling (I distracted with a treat right away as I didn't want him to hit her). He was fine after that but I noticed something odd with Sapphire that I rarely see and maybe you will know what it means. She walked a few feet from him after treats were done, back to him, and started licking herself very quickly for about 30 seconds and I also noticed some slight twitching. After I put Fluffy away, Sapphire ran up to her room and was really playful for about five minutes. I notice this sometimes but not very often at all.
"Absolutely no need to apologize whatsoever :) " - Thank you. :)

To answer your questions..
"- The best I could describe his body language is I guess excited." - Ok, that is what I thought and normal. He is a social cat from what I have read. He likes other cats.

" Typically these little spats happen over a period of about 3 seconds before I intervene and he's VERY fast." - Yes. They are VERY quick.

"He'll go from laying down relaxing to flying towards her like that." - Yes, I know the look.

" It's hard to explain how he acts after. The best I can think of is like a dog who is laying down letting out a very quiet half bark, wagging its tail and getting ready to chase a ball if that makes sense. It's very hard to describe." - Ok, so playful it sounds.

"- Sapphires body language was a bit anxious looking. " - Ok

"Even though she followed, she was laying with her tail wrapped around her and just watching." - That doesn't sound anxious at all. The tail wrapped around is nothing bad in my experience. There would be other signs that would be very noticable. IF you can get a video I can assess it pretty easily.

"- I also don't believe that he is a mean cat." - Great, I thought so.

" I think he's a young very excitable cat and that he may not fully know when he needs to calm down." - Yes, so he is a typical, energetic, fun cat. ;)

"As I've mentioned he does bite sometimes pretty hard and I don't believe he does it in a mean way" - If it was mean it would be noticeable. My guess it is overstimulation causing it.

"and just believes he's having fun." - Could be but probably he is over-stimulated and it comes out that way.

" My biggest worry, which I may have mentioned before, is that he will think he is playing and won't stop" - Possibly BUT he does seem to understand the communication to some degree.

" and will unintentionally bite or hurt Sapphire" - Cats are VERY aware. Even in the wild with ferals they know where the line is (even among cats that don't know each other). Usually bad bites come from a survival response. Otherwise it tends to be more cautious and more of a warring. It is a bit hard ot explain but cats know where the line is and I am 99.9999% sure he knows. There is so much respect and trust between them already I just don't think the risk is that meaningful.

"as he doesn't know the difference between play and back off yet fully." - Hmmmmmm, maybe but I am not sure. It will depend on how Sapphire responds to tell him "stop it".

"- He usually doesn't react too much to her (at least with his harness on)," - Great. IF there were real issues he would always be responding and in a negative way.

" unless she gets close to him." - Most likely to play rather than attack.

" He saw him run upstairs and didn't move but just looked." - I think this is "He saw Her". The fact he didn't respond is amazing!!!

"He generally only reacts in fact when she comes to him uncoerced (ie. When she came down from her cat tree without treats involved)." - Ok, that is all about play I believe.

" This would most likely be a different story if he wasn't restrained by the harness." - You think so? I am not sure.

"- She has slept in his room in the afternoon a few times since I've started putting him upstairs during the day" - Ok, great

" but I don't know if she still does when I'm at work or not." - That is fine.

" She rarely went into the room that is his room prior to adopting him and has always preferred her room or my bedroom." - Interesting. So not surprising she wouldn't really spend time in there.

"It also never crossed my mind to put him in her room because the diy gate that is up all day is attached to my door frame and at this point I didn't know if the territory swapping would have any effect since they're used to eachothers scents." - Yes. But I don't think it would hurt. And their response would be interesting. But I agree, they are well beyond that phase so totally not necessary.

"- As for the chasing and lunging I have noticed Sapphire standing her ground a bit more (a month ago she would have taken off right away)." - Great, exactly what we want to see.

" As I mentioned, at least when his harness is on," - Yes. I don;t use a harness in intros so I am not the greatest at interpreting and understanding the nuance there but I would think it is not the harness but the relationship at this point that is helping it. But just my sense.

"he only tends to lunge/jump/paw when she comes close to him though not always." - Yes

" I've noticed about half the time if he is the one moving towards her he seems to be more calm and wanting to sniff" - Ok, THAT tells me he has no bad intention towards her.

" and usually doesn't react until she swats at him and then he starts to paw back at her (I say paw for him because Sapphire is clearly trying to tell him to back off and he just seems to enjoy it as play and gets excited)." - Great, that makes sense. He wants to trust her, doesn't totally so gets defensive. THAT is normal.

"He may immediately chase her as soon as he is free from the harness without her running but since I haven't tried it I have no idea what he would do." - Yes, he probably will and if she can hold her place they might bat a bit but I think they both know where the line is and have no intention of hurting the other. IF we can distract at that point it would be GREAT.

"I want to add that this morning they were fairly fine." - Great

" Sapphire was still showing a bit of anxiety but not much." - Good, how so?

"At one point he did start to move towards her slightly and slowly " - Ok, that is fine.

"and I did notice he started to raise one of his paws while he was laying down and she was growling" - That is defensive. Not an issue.

" (I distracted with a treat right away as I didn't want him to hit her)." - Perfect. When they are that easily distracted they are fine. It means it was not serious.

" He was fine after that" - Great. Supports the prior view of it not being a big deal.

"but I noticed something odd with Sapphire that I rarely see and maybe you will know what it means. She walked a few feet from him after treats were done, back to him, and started licking herself very quickly for about 30 seconds and I also noticed some slight twitching." - Not an issue at all. Probably an itch or something. I would not worry at all about that.

"After I put Fluffy away, Sapphire ran up to her room and was really playful for about five minutes. I notice this sometimes but not very often at all. " - Awwwww, sounds like she was kinda excited about the experience. Sounds really good to me.

I am really excited. I think we are so close to a face to face (no harness). When you are feeling more confident let me know. I think the cats are really close if not there already. IF I was in-house I personally (and I know you are not me and I don't expect you to be) would give it a try. I think they would be fine (with my ability to distract, stay, calm, de-escalate, etc).

Exciting!! GREAT JOB!!! Keep up the great work!!! :)

Sorry, just saw this.

"Both of the cats were pretty good this morning!" - Great

" Sapphire walked right by Fluffy and I was able to distract him before he could jump on her. " - AWESOME!! GREAT job!!! Encounters like that build confidence as the trust is built. And the more confident a cat is the less likely they attack or get attacked (or act like prey then get attacked).

"At one point he had his back to her looking for more treats and she came up and started sniffing him while he was busy. I kept him distracted so she could sniff." - Awwwwww, great. GRET job distracting him!!! Did she hiss at all after she finished sniffing?

" Eventually he did turn around and she of course started hitting him and doing a hiss/growl combo." - Ahhhh, yes. She would have hissed probably even if he didn't turn around and look at her.

" I think he was a little bit shocked because he didn't really react" - Maybe or maybe he just respected it. It is great he could have a "potential threat' behind him and he acts so good. Tells me he doesn't view her as a potential threat. :)

" and she kind of moved away back to her cat tree area." - Totally fine

" I gave him a few more treats and then Sapphire started to come back again." - Great

" I noticed he was starting to get excited and wanting to go to her so I figured that was time to end it before he got too excited." - Great. He so wants to play with her. :/ Soon.

"I also noticed that in the mornings now, he just lays at his gate crying for her and laying on his harness (still doesn't like when it's put on however). " - Awwwww, he so wants to be with her. It will be soon. Poor guy. :/ Not long though.

Keep up the great work!!! Let's get comfortable with a face to face. :)
 
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Graham18

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Sounds like a good morning. :redheartpump:

When Sapphire hiss/growls at him, do you say "don't do that", or you know, something like that? And likewise when Fluffy looks like he's about to lunge at Sapphire?

And, I know this may sound silly, but have you told Sapphire that Fluffy is part of the family now, but that you still love her, and that she's not being replaced.
Yes I definitely do my best to talk to them when I have them out together :)
I also do talk to Sapphire a lot. I'll lay with her on her bedroom floor and talk to her and tell her that her brother just wants to play with her and she's my baby girl etc etc haha.

"Absolutely no need to apologize whatsoever :) " - Thank you. :)

To answer your questions..
"- The best I could describe his body language is I guess excited." - Ok, that is what I thought and normal. He is a social cat from what I have read. He likes other cats.

" Typically these little spats happen over a period of about 3 seconds before I intervene and he's VERY fast." - Yes. They are VERY quick.

"He'll go from laying down relaxing to flying towards her like that." - Yes, I know the look.

" It's hard to explain how he acts after. The best I can think of is like a dog who is laying down letting out a very quiet half bark, wagging its tail and getting ready to chase a ball if that makes sense. It's very hard to describe." - Ok, so playful it sounds.

"- Sapphires body language was a bit anxious looking. " - Ok

"Even though she followed, she was laying with her tail wrapped around her and just watching." - That doesn't sound anxious at all. The tail wrapped around is nothing bad in my experience. There would be other signs that would be very noticable. IF you can get a video I can assess it pretty easily.

"- I also don't believe that he is a mean cat." - Great, I thought so.

" I think he's a young very excitable cat and that he may not fully know when he needs to calm down." - Yes, so he is a typical, energetic, fun cat. ;)

"As I've mentioned he does bite sometimes pretty hard and I don't believe he does it in a mean way" - If it was mean it would be noticeable. My guess it is overstimulation causing it.

"and just believes he's having fun." - Could be but probably he is over-stimulated and it comes out that way.

" My biggest worry, which I may have mentioned before, is that he will think he is playing and won't stop" - Possibly BUT he does seem to understand the communication to some degree.

" and will unintentionally bite or hurt Sapphire" - Cats are VERY aware. Even in the wild with ferals they know where the line is (even among cats that don't know each other). Usually bad bites come from a survival response. Otherwise it tends to be more cautious and more of a warring. It is a bit hard ot explain but cats know where the line is and I am 99.9999% sure he knows. There is so much respect and trust between them already I just don't think the risk is that meaningful.

"as he doesn't know the difference between play and back off yet fully." - Hmmmmmm, maybe but I am not sure. It will depend on how Sapphire responds to tell him "stop it".

"- He usually doesn't react too much to her (at least with his harness on)," - Great. IF there were real issues he would always be responding and in a negative way.

" unless she gets close to him." - Most likely to play rather than attack.

" He saw him run upstairs and didn't move but just looked." - I think this is "He saw Her". The fact he didn't respond is amazing!!!

"He generally only reacts in fact when she comes to him uncoerced (ie. When she came down from her cat tree without treats involved)." - Ok, that is all about play I believe.

" This would most likely be a different story if he wasn't restrained by the harness." - You think so? I am not sure.

"- She has slept in his room in the afternoon a few times since I've started putting him upstairs during the day" - Ok, great

" but I don't know if she still does when I'm at work or not." - That is fine.

" She rarely went into the room that is his room prior to adopting him and has always preferred her room or my bedroom." - Interesting. So not surprising she wouldn't really spend time in there.

"It also never crossed my mind to put him in her room because the diy gate that is up all day is attached to my door frame and at this point I didn't know if the territory swapping would have any effect since they're used to eachothers scents." - Yes. But I don't think it would hurt. And their response would be interesting. But I agree, they are well beyond that phase so totally not necessary.

"- As for the chasing and lunging I have noticed Sapphire standing her ground a bit more (a month ago she would have taken off right away)." - Great, exactly what we want to see.

" As I mentioned, at least when his harness is on," - Yes. I don;t use a harness in intros so I am not the greatest at interpreting and understanding the nuance there but I would think it is not the harness but the relationship at this point that is helping it. But just my sense.

"he only tends to lunge/jump/paw when she comes close to him though not always." - Yes

" I've noticed about half the time if he is the one moving towards her he seems to be more calm and wanting to sniff" - Ok, THAT tells me he has no bad intention towards her.

" and usually doesn't react until she swats at him and then he starts to paw back at her (I say paw for him because Sapphire is clearly trying to tell him to back off and he just seems to enjoy it as play and gets excited)." - Great, that makes sense. He wants to trust her, doesn't totally so gets defensive. THAT is normal.

"He may immediately chase her as soon as he is free from the harness without her running but since I haven't tried it I have no idea what he would do." - Yes, he probably will and if she can hold her place they might bat a bit but I think they both know where the line is and have no intention of hurting the other. IF we can distract at that point it would be GREAT.

"I want to add that this morning they were fairly fine." - Great

" Sapphire was still showing a bit of anxiety but not much." - Good, how so?

"At one point he did start to move towards her slightly and slowly " - Ok, that is fine.

"and I did notice he started to raise one of his paws while he was laying down and she was growling" - That is defensive. Not an issue.

" (I distracted with a treat right away as I didn't want him to hit her)." - Perfect. When they are that easily distracted they are fine. It means it was not serious.

" He was fine after that" - Great. Supports the prior view of it not being a big deal.

"but I noticed something odd with Sapphire that I rarely see and maybe you will know what it means. She walked a few feet from him after treats were done, back to him, and started licking herself very quickly for about 30 seconds and I also noticed some slight twitching." - Not an issue at all. Probably an itch or something. I would not worry at all about that.

"After I put Fluffy away, Sapphire ran up to her room and was really playful for about five minutes. I notice this sometimes but not very often at all. " - Awwwww, sounds like she was kinda excited about the experience. Sounds really good to me.

I am really excited. I think we are so close to a face to face (no harness). When you are feeling more confident let me know. I think the cats are really close if not there already. IF I was in-house I personally (and I know you are not me and I don't expect you to be) would give it a try. I think they would be fine (with my ability to distract, stay, calm, de-escalate, etc).

Exciting!! GREAT JOB!!! Keep up the great work!!! :)

Sorry, just saw this.

"Both of the cats were pretty good this morning!" - Great

" Sapphire walked right by Fluffy and I was able to distract him before he could jump on her. " - AWESOME!! GREAT job!!! Encounters like that build confidence as the trust is built. And the more confident a cat is the less likely they attack or get attacked (or act like prey then get attacked).

"At one point he had his back to her looking for more treats and she came up and started sniffing him while he was busy. I kept him distracted so she could sniff." - Awwwwww, great. GRET job distracting him!!! Did she hiss at all after she finished sniffing?

" Eventually he did turn around and she of course started hitting him and doing a hiss/growl combo." - Ahhhh, yes. She would have hissed probably even if he didn't turn around and look at her.

" I think he was a little bit shocked because he didn't really react" - Maybe or maybe he just respected it. It is great he could have a "potential threat' behind him and he acts so good. Tells me he doesn't view her as a potential threat. :)

" and she kind of moved away back to her cat tree area." - Totally fine

" I gave him a few more treats and then Sapphire started to come back again." - Great

" I noticed he was starting to get excited and wanting to go to her so I figured that was time to end it before he got too excited." - Great. He so wants to play with her. :/ Soon.

"I also noticed that in the mornings now, he just lays at his gate crying for her and laying on his harness (still doesn't like when it's put on however). " - Awwwww, he so wants to be with her. It will be soon. Poor guy. :/ Not long though.

Keep up the great work!!! Let's get comfortable with a face to face. :)
In response to today's intros, she didn't actually hiss until he turned to look at her and began her hisses and swatting. She seemed very intent on just sniffing him. Of course I was doing my best to distract away from eachother as I was worried he'd turn and immediately jump on her.

Of course their spats with the harness have never gotten to a point beyond back and forth swatting but I do still feel that Fluffy would get a bit over stimulated (from what I've seen afterwards), and continue to try and play rough with her. At times when it does happen it can be hard to distract with treats as neither seems to care about them that much at that point.

On another note, tonight, Sapphire walked by Fluffy again as I was trying to get him back to his room. During the whole intro he was very interested in getting near her and not in a calm way but I was able to distract with treats (a few times I had to give a slight tug on his harness to get his attention). While she was walking by I definitely had to hold the leash while I went for the treats as he was starting to pull. After that he really wanted to follow her and was trying really hard to go near her but I eventually got him into his room. He was also in a mood tonight as he decided he wanted his kibble almost immediately after his wet food and started to bite me to the point where I had to give him a time out as he wouldn't stop so he may have been on the mischievous side tonight.

I will try my best to get more videos. When I have them out together it's difficult to use my phone and do everything else all at once. I'll see if I can find an old digital camera to set up.

Next week I'm traveling out of province for work from Monday to Friday so my partner will be fully taking care of the cats alone so there may not be a huge amount of progression, but once I return and things still seem to be going well, HOPEFULLY, I'll be ready to move up to the next step.
 
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In the last post I meant to say that even though I was distracting with treats, they weren't working as well and I did have to restrain him with the leash quite a bit as even before she walked by him he was trying to follow her everywhere she went very intently.
 

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Yes I definitely do my best to talk to them when I have them out together :)
I also do talk to Sapphire a lot. I'll lay with her on her bedroom floor and talk to her and tell her that her brother just wants to play with her and she's my baby girl etc etc haha.


In response to today's intros, she didn't actually hiss until he turned to look at her and began her hisses and swatting. She seemed very intent on just sniffing him. Of course I was doing my best to distract away from eachother as I was worried he'd turn and immediately jump on her.

Of course their spats with the harness have never gotten to a point beyond back and forth swatting but I do still feel that Fluffy would get a bit over stimulated (from what I've seen afterwards), and continue to try and play rough with her. At times when it does happen it can be hard to distract with treats as neither seems to care about them that much at that point.

On another note, tonight, Sapphire walked by Fluffy again as I was trying to get him back to his room. During the whole intro he was very interested in getting near her and not in a calm way but I was able to distract with treats (a few times I had to give a slight tug on his harness to get his attention). While she was walking by I definitely had to hold the leash while I went for the treats as he was starting to pull. After that he really wanted to follow her and was trying really hard to go near her but I eventually got him into his room. He was also in a mood tonight as he decided he wanted his kibble almost immediately after his wet food and started to bite me to the point where I had to give him a time out as he wouldn't stop so he may have been on the mischievous side tonight.

I will try my best to get more videos. When I have them out together it's difficult to use my phone and do everything else all at once. I'll see if I can find an old digital camera to set up.

Next week I'm traveling out of province for work from Monday to Friday so my partner will be fully taking care of the cats alone so there may not be a huge amount of progression, but once I return and things still seem to be going well, HOPEFULLY, I'll be ready to move up to the next step.
"Yes I definitely do my best to talk to them when I have them out together :) " - GREAT!!! Cats take on our emotions and humans can give confidence so it is always great to talk to them in a calm, confident and loving voice. I do it with ferals I never met before and it is amazing how well it helps clam things down which then can lead to trust and confidence.

"I also do talk to Sapphire a lot. I'll lay with her on her bedroom floor and talk to her and tell her that her brother just wants to play with her and she's my baby girl etc etc haha." - Perfect!!

"In response to today's intros, she didn't actually hiss until he turned to look at her and began her hisses and swatting." - Great

" She seemed very intent on just sniffing him." - Perfect

" Of course I was doing my best to distract away from eachother as I was worried he'd turn and immediately jump on her." - Yes, good job. Just try to stay really calm in that moment. Don't stress and worry about him jumping on her. It is hard but it can help since cats really can sense our anxiety, etc.

"Of course their spats with the harness have never gotten to a point beyond back and forth swatting but I do still feel that Fluffy would get a bit over stimulated (from what I've seen afterwards), and continue to try and play rough with her. " - Yes, understandable. That is where she needs to be confident and step up and tell him "NO!!!".

"At times when it does happen it can be hard to distract with treats as neither seems to care about them that much at that point." - Yes. Let's try to start working on using a toy and see if that works. I am not sure how easy it will be with the harness but if we can get a toy to distract that is good. Also, maybe block the site with a piece of cardboard and if the focus is broken it might end it.

"On another note, tonight, Sapphire walked by Fluffy again as I was trying to get him back to his room." - Awwww, great. Her confidence will help immensely in keeping him in check.

" During the whole intro he was very interested in getting near her and not in a calm way" - Yes, he so wants to play with her. :/

" but I was able to distract with treats (a few times I had to give a slight tug on his harness to get his attention)." - Ok, let's try a toy as well and see if that helps.

" While she was walking by I definitely had to hold the leash while I went for the treats as he was starting to pull." - Yes. BUT he couldn't get to her which helps her confidence.

"After that he really wanted to follow her and was trying really hard to go near her but I eventually got him into his room." - Awwwwww, he wants so bad to play with her.

" He was also in a mood tonight as he decided he wanted his kibble almost immediately after his wet food and started to bite me to the point where I had to give him a time out as he wouldn't stop so he may have been on the mischievous side tonight." - Sounds like he was overstimulated with her. :/ If you can pull out a toy and see if we can drain some of that energy at that point.

"I will try my best to get more videos. When I have them out together it's difficult to use my phone and do everything else all at once. I'll see if I can find an old digital camera to set up." - Sounds good. I know it is VERY hard to do.

"Next week I'm traveling out of province for work from Monday to Friday so my partner will be fully taking care of the cats alone so there may not be a huge amount of progression, but once I return and things still seem to be going well, " - Sounds good. Be safe. Is your partner capable? Even stability will be fine. We just don't want any negativity. They might be on edge missing you so there could be some excess anxiety/energy so playing it safe is not a bad thing. It will not set us back.

"HOPEFULLY, I'll be ready to move up to the next step." - Please do not put pressure on yourself. When you are ready we'll move forward. It is going to be fine. :)

"In the last post I meant to say that even though I was distracting with treats, they weren't working as well and I did have to restrain him with the leash quite a bit as even before she walked by him he was trying to follow her everywhere she went very intently." - Yes. He really wants to be with her, play with her. It is frustrating for him. But it will be soon I think when they can be together. Just keep playing as much as you can with him especially in those areas they are together.

Also, think about cat shelving and places Sapphire can go high when we have them face to face or she can watch him. It would be great if she can go high and feel safe and maybe prevent him from pursuing. We'll see.

Keep up the great work.
 
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"Yes I definitely do my best to talk to them when I have them out together :) " - GREAT!!! Cats take on our emotions and humans can give confidence so it is always great to talk to them in a calm, confident and loving voice. I do it with ferals I never met before and it is amazing how well it helps clam things down which then can lead to trust and confidence.

"I also do talk to Sapphire a lot. I'll lay with her on her bedroom floor and talk to her and tell her that her brother just wants to play with her and she's my baby girl etc etc haha." - Perfect!!

"In response to today's intros, she didn't actually hiss until he turned to look at her and began her hisses and swatting." - Great

" She seemed very intent on just sniffing him." - Perfect

" Of course I was doing my best to distract away from eachother as I was worried he'd turn and immediately jump on her." - Yes, good job. Just try to stay really calm in that moment. Don't stress and worry about him jumping on her. It is hard but it can help since cats really can sense our anxiety, etc.

"Of course their spats with the harness have never gotten to a point beyond back and forth swatting but I do still feel that Fluffy would get a bit over stimulated (from what I've seen afterwards), and continue to try and play rough with her. " - Yes, understandable. That is where she needs to be confident and step up and tell him "NO!!!".

"At times when it does happen it can be hard to distract with treats as neither seems to care about them that much at that point." - Yes. Let's try to start working on using a toy and see if that works. I am not sure how easy it will be with the harness but if we can get a toy to distract that is good. Also, maybe block the site with a piece of cardboard and if the focus is broken it might end it.

"On another note, tonight, Sapphire walked by Fluffy again as I was trying to get him back to his room." - Awwww, great. Her confidence will help immensely in keeping him in check.

" During the whole intro he was very interested in getting near her and not in a calm way" - Yes, he so wants to play with her. :/

" but I was able to distract with treats (a few times I had to give a slight tug on his harness to get his attention)." - Ok, let's try a toy as well and see if that helps.

" While she was walking by I definitely had to hold the leash while I went for the treats as he was starting to pull." - Yes. BUT he couldn't get to her which helps her confidence.

"After that he really wanted to follow her and was trying really hard to go near her but I eventually got him into his room." - Awwwwww, he wants so bad to play with her.

" He was also in a mood tonight as he decided he wanted his kibble almost immediately after his wet food and started to bite me to the point where I had to give him a time out as he wouldn't stop so he may have been on the mischievous side tonight." - Sounds like he was overstimulated with her. :/ If you can pull out a toy and see if we can drain some of that energy at that point.

"I will try my best to get more videos. When I have them out together it's difficult to use my phone and do everything else all at once. I'll see if I can find an old digital camera to set up." - Sounds good. I know it is VERY hard to do.

"Next week I'm traveling out of province for work from Monday to Friday so my partner will be fully taking care of the cats alone so there may not be a huge amount of progression, but once I return and things still seem to be going well, " - Sounds good. Be safe. Is your partner capable? Even stability will be fine. We just don't want any negativity. They might be on edge missing you so there could be some excess anxiety/energy so playing it safe is not a bad thing. It will not set us back.

"HOPEFULLY, I'll be ready to move up to the next step." - Please do not put pressure on yourself. When you are ready we'll move forward. It is going to be fine. :)

"In the last post I meant to say that even though I was distracting with treats, they weren't working as well and I did have to restrain him with the leash quite a bit as even before she walked by him he was trying to follow her everywhere she went very intently." - Yes. He really wants to be with her, play with her. It is frustrating for him. But it will be soon I think when they can be together. Just keep playing as much as you can with him especially in those areas they are together.

Also, think about cat shelving and places Sapphire can go high when we have them face to face or she can watch him. It would be great if she can go high and feel safe and maybe prevent him from pursuing. We'll see.

Keep up the great work.
They should be fine next week I think :) maybe a bit more anxious than usual. I'll definitely still wait a bit after I get back as I'm hoping to see a bit of consistency in how they are acting. Sapphire still doesn't show confidence all of the time and still shows a bit of fear or anxiety at times. For example, after I brought Fluffy downstairs to his room tonight she was very cautious coming down the stairs and when I brought him out she was very cautious and would only come over for a treat (after thinking about it for a few seconds), and then she would immediately go back to being a few feet away and start growling. To be fair, Fluffy was definitely not very calm and was constantly moving around and looking for her or for treats. I did try and play with this crinkly plastic toy he loves but he completely ignored it when out.

In regards to his biting last night, I do think it's food related as in the past he's only done it when he decides he wants his kibble and even when I bring him out at that time (with Sapphire in her room), he follows be around non stop and meows (howling type meow) non stop, which he only does when he wants food. This week I've started working an hour earlier so he's been getting breakfast an hour earlier so I'm wondering if that's what's triggering it. I've thought about feeding him earlier at night but I do like to feed him right before bed time at 9 pm and I don't want to alter his schedule and give in to his crying for food but I'm wondering if it would make him calmer when he's out.

I also noticed this morning that the feliway in my bedroom was empty and of course I'm over thinking and wondering if that's why he was a bit more hyper last night even though it probably wasn't.
 

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They should be fine next week I think :) maybe a bit more anxious than usual. I'll definitely still wait a bit after I get back as I'm hoping to see a bit of consistency in how they are acting. Sapphire still doesn't show confidence all of the time and still shows a bit of fear or anxiety at times. For example, after I brought Fluffy downstairs to his room tonight she was very cautious coming down the stairs and when I brought him out she was very cautious and would only come over for a treat (after thinking about it for a few seconds), and then she would immediately go back to being a few feet away and start growling. To be fair, Fluffy was definitely not very calm and was constantly moving around and looking for her or for treats. I did try and play with this crinkly plastic toy he loves but he completely ignored it when out.

In regards to his biting last night, I do think it's food related as in the past he's only done it when he decides he wants his kibble and even when I bring him out at that time (with Sapphire in her room), he follows be around non stop and meows (howling type meow) non stop, which he only does when he wants food. This week I've started working an hour earlier so he's been getting breakfast an hour earlier so I'm wondering if that's what's triggering it. I've thought about feeding him earlier at night but I do like to feed him right before bed time at 9 pm and I don't want to alter his schedule and give in to his crying for food but I'm wondering if it would make him calmer when he's out.

I also noticed this morning that the feliway in my bedroom was empty and of course I'm over thinking and wondering if that's why he was a bit more hyper last night even though it probably wasn't.
"They should be fine next week I think :) " - Great

" maybe a bit more anxious than usual." - Yes, maybe. I wouldn't worry.

" I'll definitely still wait a bit after I get back as I'm hoping to see a bit of consistency in how they are acting." - Well, let's see how they are doing after you get back and we'll proceed prudently.

"Sapphire still doesn't show confidence all of the time and still shows a bit of fear or anxiety at times." - Yes, that is normal.

" For example, after I brought Fluffy downstairs to his room tonight she was very cautious coming down the stairs and when I brought him out she was very cautious" - Ok, but the more times she is cautious and it is unwarranted it will build her trust and confidence.

"and would only come over for a treat (after thinking about it for a few seconds), and then she would immediately go back to being a few feet away and start growling." - I am not bothered by that at all. That is not a problem., She is just telling him not to try anything and if he behaves it will build her trust.

"To be fair, Fluffy was definitely not very calm and was constantly moving around and looking for her or for treats." - Ok, even better, sounds like she did really well in a potentially uncertain situation.

" I did try and play with this crinkly plastic toy he loves but he completely ignored it when out." - Ok, Usually a wand toy might be better since you can make "the prey" act more interesting (like prey).

"In regards to his biting last night, I do think it's food related as in the past he's only done it when he decides he wants his kibble and even when I bring him out at that time (with Sapphire in her room), he follows be around non stop and meows (howling type meow) non stop, which he only does when he wants food. " - Sounds like he gets too excited, overstimulated.

"This week I've started working an hour earlier so he's been getting breakfast an hour earlier so I'm wondering if that's what's triggering it." - OK, could be that he is hungry.

" I've thought about feeding him earlier at night but I do like to feed him right before bed time at 9 pm and I don't want to alter his schedule and give in to his crying for food but I'm wondering if it would make him calmer when he's out." - I don't see any issue moving up his feeding time a bit if you want.

"I also noticed this morning that the feliway in my bedroom was empty and of course I'm over thinking and wondering if that's why he was a bit more hyper last night even though it probably wasn't. " - Could be. If you refill it then we will see.

Sounds pretty good. Sapphire is the key, if she is acting better we are in great shape AND I think she is. :) Keep up the great work!!
 
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Graham18

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"They should be fine next week I think :) " - Great

" maybe a bit more anxious than usual." - Yes, maybe. I wouldn't worry.

" I'll definitely still wait a bit after I get back as I'm hoping to see a bit of consistency in how they are acting." - Well, let's see how they are doing after you get back and we'll proceed prudently.

"Sapphire still doesn't show confidence all of the time and still shows a bit of fear or anxiety at times." - Yes, that is normal.

" For example, after I brought Fluffy downstairs to his room tonight she was very cautious coming down the stairs and when I brought him out she was very cautious" - Ok, but the more times she is cautious and it is unwarranted it will build her trust and confidence.

"and would only come over for a treat (after thinking about it for a few seconds), and then she would immediately go back to being a few feet away and start growling." - I am not bothered by that at all. That is not a problem., She is just telling him not to try anything and if he behaves it will build her trust.

"To be fair, Fluffy was definitely not very calm and was constantly moving around and looking for her or for treats." - Ok, even better, sounds like she did really well in a potentially uncertain situation.

" I did try and play with this crinkly plastic toy he loves but he completely ignored it when out." - Ok, Usually a wand toy might be better since you can make "the prey" act more interesting (like prey).

"In regards to his biting last night, I do think it's food related as in the past he's only done it when he decides he wants his kibble and even when I bring him out at that time (with Sapphire in her room), he follows be around non stop and meows (howling type meow) non stop, which he only does when he wants food. " - Sounds like he gets too excited, overstimulated.

"This week I've started working an hour earlier so he's been getting breakfast an hour earlier so I'm wondering if that's what's triggering it." - OK, could be that he is hungry.

" I've thought about feeding him earlier at night but I do like to feed him right before bed time at 9 pm and I don't want to alter his schedule and give in to his crying for food but I'm wondering if it would make him calmer when he's out." - I don't see any issue moving up his feeding time a bit if you want.

"I also noticed this morning that the feliway in my bedroom was empty and of course I'm over thinking and wondering if that's why he was a bit more hyper last night even though it probably wasn't. " - Could be. If you refill it then we will see.

Sounds pretty good. Sapphire is the key, if she is acting better we are in great shape AND I think she is. :) Keep up the great work!!
I definitely think she is very much improving. There are just those odd times where something seems a bit off with her for a day or two. For example, how I've felt she has been a bit more reserved/anxious the last few days around Fluffy and just in general. I was trying to read up on potential causes for the twitchy back, excessive grooming, and random bursts of energy I mentioned in her and I came across something called FHS in cats which I read can be triggered by stress and anxiety. Of course I'm no vet so I'm just going to keep and eye on her and I may take her to a vet to get their opinion on it when I return from my work trip, but until then I will keep up with what I'm doing for the time being :)
 
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I decided not to bring Fluffy out tonight as I wanted to avoid any stress for Sapphire. She had a few episodes of the twitching back, excessive grooming and running around shortly after I got home and then again after I gave her and Fluffy treats at the gate. My mom also told me that every day this week Sapphire has hidden under the bed when my mom comes over which she hasn't done in awhile so I'm going to attempt to figure out what has been stressing her, if anything. I'm also thinking about getting a flea comb and checking for fleas as I've noticed both cats shaking their heads a lot this week.
 

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I definitely think she is very much improving. There are just those odd times where something seems a bit off with her for a day or two. For example, how I've felt she has been a bit more reserved/anxious the last few days around Fluffy and just in general. I was trying to read up on potential causes for the twitchy back, excessive grooming, and random bursts of energy I mentioned in her and I came across something called FHS in cats which I read can be triggered by stress and anxiety. Of course I'm no vet so I'm just going to keep and eye on her and I may take her to a vet to get their opinion on it when I return from my work trip, but until then I will keep up with what I'm doing for the time being :)
"I definitely think she is very much improving." - Great, agreed.

" There are just those odd times where something seems a bit off with her for a day or two." - It happens. There are always ups and downs. BUT if they can be good together even once it tells us they can much more often.

"For example, how I've felt she has been a bit more reserved/anxious the last few days around Fluffy and just in general." - Ok. BUT as long as he isn;t doing anyhting negative to her she'll realize her fears are unwarranted.

I was trying to read up on potential causes for the twitchy back, excessive grooming, and random bursts of energy I mentioned in her and I came across something called FHS in cats which I read can be triggered by stress and anxiety." - How often is she doing this? How often do cats with FHS do this? I have seen pretty much every cat I have known do this at least once or a few times.

"Of course I'm no vet so I'm just going to keep and eye on her and I may take her to a vet to get their opinion on it when I return from my work trip," - Sounds good.

" but until then I will keep up with what I'm doing for the time being :) " - I think so. I just am not seeing a very stressed cat in Sapphire but you know her best.

" I decided not to bring Fluffy out tonight as I wanted to avoid any stress for Sapphire." - Ok.

" She had a few episodes of the twitching back, excessive grooming and running around shortly after I got home and then again after I gave her and Fluffy treats at the gate. " - Ok.

"My mom also told me that every day this week Sapphire has hidden under the bed when my mom comes over which she hasn't done in awhile so I'm going to attempt to figure out what has been stressing her, if anything. " - Ok. Hmmmmmmm. I wouldn't make too much out of it to be honest. Sometimes cats do that. NOW if she was hiding a lot, not going by Fluffy, avoiding, acting abnormally more often then I would say something might be up. I am not there so I can't assess it but from what I read I just don't see a lot of stress (excessive) in Sapphire. If there was there would be a lot of signs. There is also a danger where the humans get stressed, anxious nd the cats pick up on it and become more stressed and anxious. And it becomes a feedback loop. Maybe I am missing something but Sapphire seems like a normal resident cat near the end of the intro process.

"I'm also thinking about getting a flea comb and checking for fleas as I've noticed both cats shaking their heads a lot this week." - Good idea. Or it could be something else. I see pretty much every cat do this at times. Sometimes the nerves get overactive" or something, sometimes I am sure it is something more (FHS). I guess I have never had a cat diagnosed with FHS but have seen the behavior so I am just not sure where the line is. I would guess there is other behavior that support it being a problem? Not sure.

Just monitor, speak to your vet. And just keep reassuring/building confidence with them.
 
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"I definitely think she is very much improving." - Great, agreed.

" There are just those odd times where something seems a bit off with her for a day or two." - It happens. There are always ups and downs. BUT if they can be good together even once it tells us they can much more often.

"For example, how I've felt she has been a bit more reserved/anxious the last few days around Fluffy and just in general." - Ok. BUT as long as he isn;t doing anyhting negative to her she'll realize her fears are unwarranted.

I was trying to read up on potential causes for the twitchy back, excessive grooming, and random bursts of energy I mentioned in her and I came across something called FHS in cats which I read can be triggered by stress and anxiety." - How often is she doing this? How often do cats with FHS do this? I have seen pretty much every cat I have known do this at least once or a few times.

"Of course I'm no vet so I'm just going to keep and eye on her and I may take her to a vet to get their opinion on it when I return from my work trip," - Sounds good.

" but until then I will keep up with what I'm doing for the time being :) " - I think so. I just am not seeing a very stressed cat in Sapphire but you know her best.

" I decided not to bring Fluffy out tonight as I wanted to avoid any stress for Sapphire." - Ok.

" She had a few episodes of the twitching back, excessive grooming and running around shortly after I got home and then again after I gave her and Fluffy treats at the gate. " - Ok.

"My mom also told me that every day this week Sapphire has hidden under the bed when my mom comes over which she hasn't done in awhile so I'm going to attempt to figure out what has been stressing her, if anything. " - Ok. Hmmmmmmm. I wouldn't make too much out of it to be honest. Sometimes cats do that. NOW if she was hiding a lot, not going by Fluffy, avoiding, acting abnormally more often then I would say something might be up. I am not there so I can't assess it but from what I read I just don't see a lot of stress (excessive) in Sapphire. If there was there would be a lot of signs. There is also a danger where the humans get stressed, anxious nd the cats pick up on it and become more stressed and anxious. And it becomes a feedback loop. Maybe I am missing something but Sapphire seems like a normal resident cat near the end of the intro process.

"I'm also thinking about getting a flea comb and checking for fleas as I've noticed both cats shaking their heads a lot this week." - Good idea. Or it could be something else. I see pretty much every cat do this at times. Sometimes the nerves get overactive" or something, sometimes I am sure it is something more (FHS). I guess I have never had a cat diagnosed with FHS but have seen the behavior so I am just not sure where the line is. I would guess there is other behavior that support it being a problem? Not sure.

Just monitor, speak to your vet. And just keep reassuring/building confidence with them.
She seemed much better this morning. I honestly don't know much about FHS so I couldn't say for certain. All of the symptoms just matched up. She had several episodes last night where she would take off a few feet, stop and start licking her back extremely fast, start spinning around trying to chase her tail, repeat. It happened about six seperate times. This morning she was happy and fine for the most part. She wasn't downstairs when I brought Fluffy out so I did bring him upstairs to see here and she seemed unphased. It just really don't know what to make of it.
 

calicosrspecial

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She seemed much better this morning. I honestly don't know much about FHS so I couldn't say for certain. All of the symptoms just matched up. She had several episodes last night where she would take off a few feet, stop and start licking her back extremely fast, start spinning around trying to chase her tail, repeat. It happened about six seperate times. This morning she was happy and fine for the most part. She wasn't downstairs when I brought Fluffy out so I did bring him upstairs to see here and she seemed unphased. It just really don't know what to make of it.
"She seemed much better this morning." - Great

" I honestly don't know much about FHS so I couldn't say for certain." - I don't either. Interestingly, someone I just started helping mentioned it as a possible issue with their cat. It is actually not something I hear a lot about. :/

" All of the symptoms just matched up." - Ok

"She had several episodes last night where she would take off a few feet, stop and start licking her back extremely fast, start spinning around trying to chase her tail, repeat. It happened about six seperate times." - Ok. It could be something as simple as a big bite, or knotted hair, or something dropped on her fur like a piece of food or water or something, etc. I would guess if it is something more it would be happening fairly often. It is good to ask the vet. I will say, I don't think it is impeding their intro so from that perspective I don't see it as an issue that will hold us back.

"This morning she was happy and fine for the most part." - OK, great.

" She wasn't downstairs when I brought Fluffy out so I did bring him upstairs to see here and she seemed unphased." - Great. That is a great sign.

"I just really don't know what to make of it." - Yeah, I don't think you have to worry that much. She is doing great and if she does have FHS I don't think it is going to impede their intro. I am not an expert but given her progress to date it doesn't seem to have been an issue at least so far.

Hang in there and don't worry. All is going to be fine. If all goes well we'll be doing a face to face pretty soon. :)
 
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"She seemed much better this morning." - Great

" I honestly don't know much about FHS so I couldn't say for certain." - I don't either. Interestingly, someone I just started helping mentioned it as a possible issue with their cat. It is actually not something I hear a lot about. :/

" All of the symptoms just matched up." - Ok

"She had several episodes last night where she would take off a few feet, stop and start licking her back extremely fast, start spinning around trying to chase her tail, repeat. It happened about six seperate times." - Ok. It could be something as simple as a big bite, or knotted hair, or something dropped on her fur like a piece of food or water or something, etc. I would guess if it is something more it would be happening fairly often. It is good to ask the vet. I will say, I don't think it is impeding their intro so from that perspective I don't see it as an issue that will hold us back.

"This morning she was happy and fine for the most part." - OK, great.

" She wasn't downstairs when I brought Fluffy out so I did bring him upstairs to see here and she seemed unphased." - Great. That is a great sign.

"I just really don't know what to make of it." - Yeah, I don't think you have to worry that much. She is doing great and if she does have FHS I don't think it is going to impede their intro. I am not an expert but given her progress to date it doesn't seem to have been an issue at least so far.

Hang in there and don't worry. All is going to be fine. If all goes well we'll be doing a face to face pretty soon. :)
She does seem fine today for the most part. My mom said that she came out and sat on the couch this afternoon and Fluffy was brought out and put in the play pen and there were no issues (Sapphire will usually hide from my mom under the bed in her room so I view this as quite the accomplishment).

She only had one small episode today though at some point she did throw up her wet food (not sure why), but she's still eating and she seemed fine when I brought Fluffy out.

I'll still keep an eye on her to be sure :)
 

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She does seem fine today for the most part. My mom said that she came out and sat on the couch this afternoon and Fluffy was brought out and put in the play pen and there were no issues (Sapphire will usually hide from my mom under the bed in her room so I view this as quite the accomplishment).

She only had one small episode today though at some point she did throw up her wet food (not sure why), but she's still eating and she seemed fine when I brought Fluffy out.

I'll still keep an eye on her to be sure :)
"She does seem fine today for the most part." - Great

" My mom said that she came out and sat on the couch this afternoon" - Great

" and Fluffy was brought out and put in the play pen and there were no issues" - Great. Where was Sapphire when Fluffy was in the playpen?

"(Sapphire will usually hide from my mom under the bed in her room so I view this as quite the accomplishment)." - Agreed. I LOVE she sat on the couch!!!

"She only had one small episode today" - What was the episode?

" though at some point she did throw up her wet food (not sure why)," - Poor thing. Was it hot? Did she eat too fast? Hairball? If it happens once in a while it isn't too worrisome.

"but she's still eating" - Great

" and she seemed fine when I brought Fluffy out." - Great

Are you thinking she threw up because of stress from Fluffy? I do not get that impression (of course I am not there but still).

"I'll still keep an eye on her to be sure :) " - Great :)

Sounds like a great day. More evidence they are getting there. Keep up the great work!! :)
 
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"She does seem fine today for the most part." - Great

" My mom said that she came out and sat on the couch this afternoon" - Great

" and Fluffy was brought out and put in the play pen and there were no issues" - Great. Where was Sapphire when Fluffy was in the playpen?

"(Sapphire will usually hide from my mom under the bed in her room so I view this as quite the accomplishment)." - Agreed. I LOVE she sat on the couch!!!

"She only had one small episode today" - What was the episode?

" though at some point she did throw up her wet food (not sure why)," - Poor thing. Was it hot? Did she eat too fast? Hairball? If it happens once in a while it isn't too worrisome.

"but she's still eating" - Great

" and she seemed fine when I brought Fluffy out." - Great

Are you thinking she threw up because of stress from Fluffy? I do not get that impression (of course I am not there but still).

"I'll still keep an eye on her to be sure :) " - Great :)

Sounds like a great day. More evidence they are getting there. Keep up the great work!! :)
I don't think it was stress. I think it was just from eating too fast as it was right after she had dinner.

All seems well though so far!
 
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I don't think it was stress. I think it was just from eating too fast as it was right after she had dinner.

All seems well though so far!
Small update.
We decided tonight to let Fluffy come out with just his harness on but no leash. I gave him his kibble while he came out which he gobbled up and I was able to keep him busy with treats (I tried toys with no luck). He would go for a treat every time even if I threw it ten feet in the opposite direction. After each treat he would look to try and go to sapphire. He wasn't running (which could be because of the harness), more of just a fast paced walk, not as fast as when he would go for a treat though. Overall it was fairly good. I used treats to keep him from going too close to Sapphire. She looked a little bit nervous but still had some treats. Eventually she did run upstairs right as I put Fluffy's leash back on to take him to his room (I noticed he was getting pretty excited so I didn't want to ruin a positive experience). Sapphire didn't hide, she just laid in her room for a few minutes before coming back downstairs.

My question is, are there times when I should be letting him go to her so she can try and put him in his place or should I still be keeping him away from her with distractions?
 
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calicosrspecial

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I don't think it was stress. I think it was just from eating too fast as it was right after she had dinner.

All seems well though so far!
"I don't think it was stress." - Great, I didn;t think you did but then I wondered. GREAT to know you didn't as I don't think it was either.

" I think it was just from eating too fast as it was right after she had dinner." - Yes, that is often the cause. :/

"All seems well though so far! " - Great!! :)

Small update.

"We decided tonight to let Fluffy come out with just his harness on but no leash." - Wow

" I gave him his kibble while he came out which he gobbled up and I was able to keep him busy with treats (I tried toys with no luck)." - Great. Was Sapphire already out there and if so, where was she?

" He would go for a treat every time even if I threw it ten feet in the opposite direction. After each treat he would look to try and go to sapphire." - Serious??? WOW!!! Small update????? THIS IS HUGE!!!!!! :) :yess: :hyper: :clap2:

"He wasn't running (which could be because of the harness), more of just a fast paced walk, not as fast as when he would go for a treat though." - Amazing!!! Where was Sapphire? What was she doing?

"Overall it was fairly good." - Oh my goodness, this is AMAZING!!!

" I used treats to keep him from going too close to Sapphire." - Great

" She looked a little bit nervous but still had some treats." - If she is enjoying something positive she isn't too scared and is making a positive association and having a positive encounter. This is incredible!!!

"Eventually she did run upstairs right as I put Fluffy's leash back on to take him to his room (I noticed he was getting pretty excited so I didn't want to ruin a positive experience). " - Ok, not an issue if he was good and didn't chase.

"Sapphire didn't hide, she just laid in her room for a few minutes before coming back downstairs." - :yess::hyper::clap2: This is a HUGE confidence builder. She might have feared him BUT nothing bad happened. Or she wanted to play and wanted him to chase her. :/

"My question is, are there times when I should be letting him go to her so she can try and put him in his place or should I still be keeping him away from her with distractions? " - For now, I would continue distracting. And then in time we will let them challenge each other. But I am SO PROUD of them (and you) right now!!! I would not have done this yet (wrongly) BUT they did AMAZING!!! He has no intention of hurting her, eliminating her, etc. Of course it could escalate in a fear driven situation but wow, they did amazing!!! I am speechless, they are going to be just fine!!! :)

Let's do the work and finish off their intro. For now, distract, keep it positive, etc. Watch body language. Stay calm and confident as they will feed off your energy.

Wow, FANTASTIC!!! :) I love how you say "small update". This is HUGE DEAL!!! :cheerleader:

I wish you could feel my excitement, my happiness, my smile right now. I am ecstatic!!!!
 
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"I don't think it was stress." - Great, I didn;t think you did but then I wondered. GREAT to know you didn't as I don't think it was either.

" I think it was just from eating too fast as it was right after she had dinner." - Yes, that is often the cause. :/

"All seems well though so far! " - Great!! :)

Small update.

"We decided tonight to let Fluffy come out with just his harness on but no leash." - Wow

" I gave him his kibble while he came out which he gobbled up and I was able to keep him busy with treats (I tried toys with no luck)." - Great. Was Sapphire already out there and if so, where was she?

" He would go for a treat every time even if I threw it ten feet in the opposite direction. After each treat he would look to try and go to sapphire." - Serious??? WOW!!! Small update????? THIS IS HUGE!!!!!! :) :yess: :hyper: :clap2:

"He wasn't running (which could be because of the harness), more of just a fast paced walk, not as fast as when he would go for a treat though." - Amazing!!! Where was Sapphire? What was she doing?

"Overall it was fairly good." - Oh my goodness, this is AMAZING!!!

" I used treats to keep him from going too close to Sapphire." - Great

" She looked a little bit nervous but still had some treats." - If she is enjoying something positive she isn't too scared and is making a positive association and having a positive encounter. This is incredible!!!

"Eventually she did run upstairs right as I put Fluffy's leash back on to take him to his room (I noticed he was getting pretty excited so I didn't want to ruin a positive experience). " - Ok, not an issue if he was good and didn't chase.

"Sapphire didn't hide, she just laid in her room for a few minutes before coming back downstairs." - :yess::hyper::clap2: This is a HUGE confidence builder. She might have feared him BUT nothing bad happened. Or she wanted to play and wanted him to chase her. :/

"My question is, are there times when I should be letting him go to her so she can try and put him in his place or should I still be keeping him away from her with distractions? " - For now, I would continue distracting. And then in time we will let them challenge each other. But I am SO PROUD of them (and you) right now!!! I would not have done this yet (wrongly) BUT they did AMAZING!!! He has no intention of hurting her, eliminating her, etc. Of course it could escalate in a fear driven situation but wow, they did amazing!!! I am speechless, they are going to be just fine!!! :)

Let's do the work and finish off their intro. For now, distract, keep it positive, etc. Watch body language. Stay calm and confident as they will feed off your energy.

Wow, FANTASTIC!!! :) I love how you say "small update". This is HUGE DEAL!!! :cheerleader:

I wish you could feel my excitement, my happiness, my smile right now. I am ecstatic!!!!
Thank you again :)
Yes she was already out at the base of her cat tree when he came out. She generally stayed in that area a few feet from her cat tree and a few feet from the stairs. She was definitely a bit unsure as he was moving around quite a bit between going for treats and then trying to go back to her :)

I may try again tonight as I'll have my partner to help but after today it'll be slow on updates until I return from my work trip.

I did bring him out this morning with the leash on. They are treats fine a foot or so from eachother. Sapphire did go up on her cat tree and I could tell Fluffy wanted to play with her really badly. He wanted to follow her and was kind of walking back and forth around the tree and at one point he did half jump up with just his front paws onto the lower level as if to try and get closer to her. Since then he's been very excited. Meowing non stop to come out of his room, so I put sapphire in her room and let him out and he's just sitting outside of her door meowing now haha.

I'm sorry for updating every little thing every single day. It's just helpful for me to get a response even to the smallest of things :)
Again thank you for your patience and for all of your help!
 
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