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I Have More Trust Issues Than This Feral..

shadowsrescue

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Ignoring each other is a good thing. I would just start slowly this weekend and see how things go. I wouldn't bring in another person. It would only add stress to the situation. I always use yummy food rewards. I spoil my cats with plain cooked chicken. When doing introductions, I always arrive with a ziplock baggie that I shake so they know what goodies are coming!

Keep the interactions brief. It's best to always end on a positive note. Start with just a few minutes. You can try this multiple times each day if all is going well. Then you can gradually increase the amount of time.

Try to just be nonchalant about it. If you are nervous, they will pick up on it. I am always one to talk to my cats and tell them what is going to happen and the behavior I expect!
 
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Ignoring each other is a good thing. I would just start slowly this weekend and see how things go. I wouldn't bring in another person. It would only add stress to the situation. I always use yummy food rewards. I spoil my cats with plain cooked chicken. When doing introductions, I always arrive with a ziplock baggie that I shake so they know what goodies are coming!

Keep the interactions brief. It's best to always end on a positive note. Start with just a few minutes. You can try this multiple times each day if all is going well. Then you can gradually increase the amount of time.

Try to just be nonchalant about it. If you are nervous, they will pick up on it. I am always one to talk to my cats and tell them what is going to happen and the behavior I expect!
Okay, maybe I need to stop and get some tuna. These boys are both CRAZY about fish. I rarely feed it but when I do, they snarfle it up fast.

Do I need to have them each explore each other's territory before I do introductions? TBH, I'm a little iffy about Charlie exploring Finn's room just because I haven't disinfected his litterboxes or room yet since he's obviously been in here. Not sure I want Charlie near his litterboxes til that happens, but I can remove them before letting him in if that step is necessary.

I'm afraid that once I let Finn out of his room he'll be greased lightning and impossible to get back in there easily. Do I just let Finn out while Charlie watches me do it? If they fight, who do I remove first?
 

shadowsrescue

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Ok. First off, I would not allow them access to each other just yet. Have you been doing scent swapping yet? Next is meet and greets through the gate or one of the cats in a cage. This step can last a few days or more.

Room swapping can be done either right after scent swapping or while you are working on face to face through a barrier. I would put Finn in a carrier or carry him out to a space that is more confined but still would have Charlies's scent. At this time I would put Charlie in a closed room ( not Finn's room). Allow Finn to explore for a bit. Then either put Finn in a carrier, cage or even in the bathroom and take Charlie into Finn's room. Just put something over the litter box so he won't use it or pick it up. You really want to watch both of them and see how they react to the other's space.

I wouldn't think you would be ready for face to face without a barrier yet. Have you done any feeding on either side of the gate yet?
 

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Yeah, they both clearly know the other is there and show at least some interest, but I don't see anything aggressive at all. I think you're good to try a face to face introduction and see how it goes. I'd take it slow though, and only when you are close by. If you're still a little nervous about it then do what shadowsrescue shadowsrescue suggested and do it through the gate.
 
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Buffster7

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Thank you guys!! I think I'll be nervous now matter how long I wait.But I've been reading reading reading and I think I can stay calm, now.

Have you been doing scent swapping yet?
Yes, last night I hung Finn's blanket over the gate. Charlie checked it out thoroughly. I later laid it on the chair, and he laid down on it. He's laying down on it in the first video.

Next is meet and greets through the gate or one of the cats in a cage. This step can last a few days or more.
Do you mean like they were doing through the shelving in the video? Or something different? Finn comes out of the baby gate and right up against the shelving. He stuck his paw out through the shelving (not caught on vid) and tried to touch Charlie's face. The only thing that concerned me were that I saw his claws; he wasn't being aggressive at all, it was a friendly gesture. But my concern is that he hasn't been taught how to properly moderate his claws. Charlie pulled his head back slightly, but then put his nose forward to smell the paw. No hissing.

Have you done any feeding on either side of the gate yet?
Yes, I've fed every meal since yesterday on opposite sides of the shelving. No hissing, just lip smacking and snarfing up the food.

If you're still a little nervous about it then do what shadowsrescue shadowsrescue suggested and do it through the gate.
I think I'll be ready to try a face-to-face this weekend. I just don't know how to go about it. Do I open the shelving from Finn's room and let him out while Charlie watches? Maybe make a very small opening just large enough for noses, and if that goes well, large enough for the head, and so on?

Thank you again for your ideas and input! Oh, and shadowsrescue, no sooner had I asked you if your cats had ever jumped your extra tall baby gate than Finn did it yesterday! Jumped right over it and landed on the floor between the gate and the shelving. He hasn't tried to scale that yet, but I wouldn't put it past him.
 
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Okay, I've been cleaning and disinfecting Finn's room. I put him in a carrier and put the carrier on my bed where Charlie and I sleep. Discarded litter, disinfected boxes, etc. Let Charlie into the room to explore and this is what I find. Do I need to wash the blanket again since it has Charlie's scent on it now? Or is it good to mix scents?

Amazon Photos

Edited to add:
I ended up turning the blanket on the bed over so Charlie's smell wouldn't be as strong, then covered it with a couple more throw blankets. Brought Finn back and laid on the bed and cuddled with him - he is fine.
Got the boys dinner and fed them together, now Finn is in his room and I'm cuddling with Charlie.
 
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Talien

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Okay, I've been cleaning and disinfecting Finn's room. I put him in a carrier and put the carrier on my bed where Charlie and I sleep. Discarded litter, disinfected boxes, etc. Let Charlie into the room to explore and this is what I find. Do I need to wash the blanket again since it has Charlie's scent on it now? Or is it good to mix scents?

Amazon Photos
The more used to eachother's scent they are the better, as long as he's not doing something like hissing at the blanket you're good.
 
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Buffster7

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The more used to eachother's scent they are the better, as long as he's not doing something like hissing at the blanket you're good.
Okay good, thank you Talien! I had to remove a couple of Finn's toys because Charlie had drooled all over them - they were soaked. And Charlie's not a drooler. So I'm not sure what that meant, but removed the toys just in case.
 
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Talien

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Okay good, thank you Talien! I had to remove a couple of Finn's toys because Charlie had drooled all over them - they were soaked. And Charlie's not a drooler. So I'm not sure what that meant, but removed the toys just in case.
.....Ok, yeah, that's a new one. I've not seen that before. I've seen Cats pee on toys and bedding used by other Cats, but not drool all over them. Hopefully someone else has an idea.
 

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Hey! You are moving along! I just went back to catch up.
No to another person right now. When all is settled it’s good to get them used to other people in case they ever need kitty sitting or you have to be away but I totally agree that right now is not the time. I think that is more for multiple human households.

Yes to the tuna! Treats during any teaching process.

Intros through the gate. Getting closer by degrees and not all at once.

Scent swapping should increase. Charlie certainly put his scent on that blanket. Lol The mixed scents is a good thing.

First walks through the house while inside a carrier are a great thing. That gives everyone a chance to orient and sniff up close. Try putting the carrier down to see how the kitties behave towards each other. That is similar to using the cage.

When you decide to do a face to face, a harness and leash might be helpful on Finn. If you do this, let him try the harness a few times before going into the room. Having the harness and leash does two things, one is keeping Finn from dashing off, the second is having a way to pull him back if there is any problem. I don’t expect any but as you know, I believe in precautions. Lol You don’t want to ever put your hands into a cat discussion. A large piece of cardboard, a broom or other tool for separation.

Drooling a lot? Has Charlie always drooled? It may be excitement. That can happen. Oh boy! New toy!

I think you have it all covered. No need for nerves. From watching the interactions, I think they’ll do very well. Just stay calm. They may think they own the house but in reality, you’re the biggest cat in the house. :whiskers: I try not enforce that here, kitties like to own the world. :lol: Every now and then I do have to remind Precious of that though. He would dominate the universe and I don’t want him opening the refrigerator all the time. He just won’t close the door!
 
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You guys are going to think I did this on purpose, but I promise I did not. The boys met face to face tonight.

Finn and I were playing in his room, and Charlie came up to the barrier and actually stuck his paws through the slats, reaching for Finn. Finn came over and stuck his paws up to Charlie's, kind of tapping them. I let them sniff for a while and then resumed playing with Finn. Charlie started giving little distress cries he's been doing lately, so I stepped out to check on him. So did Finn. Up til now he's been doing pretty good about staying within the barrier. He'll come out of the baby gate, but he generally had been too timid to try to come out the barrier. Maybe the patty-cake playing or the overture that Charlie made emboldened him, but he went ninja on me and I didn't even realize what had happened for a couple seconds.

The moment of shock when I turned to close the barrier and caught movement out of the corner of my eye and saw it was Finn moving down the hallway! At first Charlie acted afraid and hissed, but then he sat back and let Finn go. I was totally unprepared - I had nothing! No broom, no cardboard, no nothing. So I grabbed a towel out of the closet real quick just in case there was a fight, and it was clear Finn was set on exploring and had no intention of being caught. When I realized this, my panic rose and I think Charlie sensed it, so he looked like he was going to start going after Finn - he wasn't charging, but he was moving toward him with intent. Finn turned and looked at Charlie, and Charlie stopped. And let him go!

Thank goodness for Charlie's food bowl which had some dregs from dinner!! Finn couldn't resist and stopped to lick it clean and I was able to grab him (this was after following him for one full loop around the house, which I'm sure increased the tension for both of them; no one likes being stalked, but I didn't now what else to do). I put him back in his room - he allowed me and was STILL affectionate, but his tail was whipping back and forth so I know he felt the tension. I played with him a bit, then gave him a treat, then turned on his Music for Cats and beat a fast path to Charlie. Lots of "good boys" and gave him a treat, too.

Now I closed Charlie and me in my room. First, I want him to know we're alone so he's not jumpy and fearful like he was. Second, I don't trust him not to go spray a piece of furniture now that his house has been truly invaded. I played with Charlie in the room for a while and now he's sitting on my bed grooming himself and I can finally breathe! I can't believe that happened and that it's over and how well the boys handled themselves! I think if I hadn't been so afraid, they would have done even better. I'm sure the picked up on my anxiety.

Now to figure out Charlie's behavior. Is he really a scaredy-cat but a big bluffer? Finn did not appear afraid of him at ALL. I don't know what to think of that, either. Sorry for the novel. I am wound up!

Drooling a lot? Has Charlie always drooled? It may be excitement. That can happen. Oh boy! New toy!
No, he never drools! And he has an identical toy, so I'm not sure why he would be so drooly - maybe he was excited to have his room back! (He used to bird watch in that room from the window)
 

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Well. I had to smile that you got through this just fine! I know it startled you but the guys did okay. Has your heart stopped pounding? Yes, I do know the feeling. It’s all okay though and I can promise we don’t think you did that on purpose. These things happen all the time with cats. They are masters of evasion. Remember, they pretty well own the world. Lol I’m glad it went okay. I could just picture the whole thing of Charlie following your lead to catch Finn. OMG! When Charlie stopped it was probably because Finn turned to face him. He may have been just following out of curiosity but being faced made him consider what Finn would do next. Just following the cat body language and not necessarily backing down. It’s safe to follow someone who has their back to you but you must think about things when they face you. If they didn’t react badly at that moment it was a good interaction. Nobody bowed up or fluffed out so that’s good. Just continue on as you have been. Each time will show you more of how they will interact but it’s all been going very well. Yay! You did great.
If Charlie hasn’t been drooling before that’s very good. It was most likely just being excited. If he starts doing it all the time or eating with any difficulty then I would look at his teeth but this just seems like a natural reaction to being in the room and having access to the toys Finn had been playing with. Happy and excited!
I saw your post about cleaning after reading about Coccidia. Always good to sanitize regularly but I don’t think you have to worry about Finn having Coccidia. The most serious risk is to kittens, old kitties or cats with compromised immune systems and Diarrhea is a symptom you would probably notice. Ewww! :eek:
 
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Buffster7

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If they didn’t react badly at that moment it was a good interaction. Nobody bowed up or fluffed out so that’s good.
Well, Charlie initially fluffed out a bit but it definitely appeared to be more of a fear response than aggression. Hi "vipped" Finn - meaning he fluffed and whipped himself around but moved away from Finn rather than toward him. Then he sat down which I took as a good sign. This morning when we got up he ran from the room, eager to see what was on the other side of the door.

Finn was already getting antsy in his room, but now that he's been out, he's definitely unhappy being in there. He yowled and cried last night and started meowing the minute he heard us this morning (he's normally quiet until I bring his breakfast). I need to cat-proof the house and tape up my furniture today! My scat cat mats won't arrive til Tuesday! He has no manners - walks on my nightstand, my computer, even my face. I want to train him not to go on my counters or dining tables.

If he starts doing it all the time or eating with any difficulty then I would look at his teeth but this just seems like a natural reaction to being in the room and having access to the toys Finn had been playing with. Happy and excited!
Charlie had a dental done at the within the last year, so he should be good there -I think it was excitement!

I saw your post about cleaning after reading about Coccidia. Always good to sanitize regularly but I don’t think you have to worry about Finn having Coccidia. The most serious risk is to kittens, old kitties or cats with compromised immune systems and Diarrhea is a symptom you would probably notice. Ewww!
Poor thing, little miss Wanda Heart. :( You know I have a real phobia about parasites. Even just reading about it had my skin crawling - I had to go disinfect! Took both litter boxes out to the garage, dumped and bleached them. I'm still waiting for Finn to have a solid stool - his are still diarrhea after those antibiotics. Pet store was sold out of probiotics so I've been using some of mine in his food; I may not be using enough. I've been super sparing with the amount I add to his food because I read human probiotics would be fine, but I don't know dosage.

Anyway, I know you are exhausted and that it'll take a while to rebound from all the missed sleep. I hope that you can grab several naps over the next few days and get a few good nights sleep soon!
 
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I fed the boys on opposite sides of the barrier this morning, and they both hung around once they were done, obviously curious about each other. I'm just going on gut instinct here and have no plan of action. :paranoid:

I let Finn out and off he went to explore! I was much more calm than I was last night. He is more interested in exploring than he is in Charlie, even. He and Charlie did get right up close and personal and sniff each other's mouths and faces. Charlie got in a good butt sniff while Finn was checking himself out in the floor mirror.

The only time I got a little nervous was when Finn went exploring under the master bedroom bed. That is Charlie's 'safe place' and Charlie stood guard and was waiting when Finn came out. He gave Finn a hiss and a tentative half-hearted swat, and that was it. The beauty of if is that Finn appears to be oblivious to Charlie's fear or anger, and I think it disarms Charlie a bit. Had Finn reacted to the swat, Charlie might have reinforced it. However, Finn just kept walking like NBD, and Charlie was like, "Huh. IDK" and then followed him to see where he was off to next.

I got Finn back to his room by giving Charlie a treat then shaking the treat bag in his room and gave him his there.

Now what? Do I do this several times a day? Just once or twice a day? At what point do I allow Finn to stay out for a little longer?
 
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I love reading your stories about Finn and Charlie! Some of your descriptions are very funny, too! If it were my situation, I'd probably do this a few times a day for a little while, letting them out together for longer and longer periods of time. I think you'll know when the time is right Finn to be out for good -- maybe start on a weekend or when you are home for a few days. It might be sooner than you think! Others with more experience will have better advice. Keep up the good work!
 

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If it was me, I'd let him out as long as I could follow him around just to be sure he's not getting into trouble. It's been my experience that if Cats are going to fight with eachother they'll usually do it right away, otherwise the resident Cat may be slightly territorial at first but will get over it eventually.
 
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Okay, thank you guys. That confirms what I had in mind regarding a few times a day. I was thinking maybe 2/3 times daily for a few days, but it went so well this morning that I wondered when it might be time to leave Finn out longer.

I just let Finn out again, but I was actually more uncomfortable this time. I fed them together, then put Finn back in his room, but Charlie started crying at his door, and Finn started wailing in response. So I thought hmmm, maybe try again? I regretted it almost immediately - Charlie was definitely more stalkerish this time, so I got nervous right off the bat. Finn looked jumpier to me, too. And he will DEFINITELY need supervision at first. The first thing he did was go to my couch:

Guess I know he's a vertical scratcher. ;)

Good to know that if a fight is going to break out, it is usually right away! That'll help me relax when he's out roaming. I really don't think they'll fight, but if they do, I prefer to be prepared. I walk around following Finn with a towel around my neck that I can drop between them if it happens, but the towel freaks Finn out.
Thanks for your input - it helps more than you think!

Right after I put Finn back in his room, Charlie crawled under his blankets. It always cracks me up how he can get under a blanket by himself-this is when he wants to be left alone:
 
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Awwww! Charlie. Ignore the cat behind the blanket! Lol Your security blanket. Mama does the exact same thing. It cracks me up too. Her wall of solitude and shuts out the lights for a nap. Every time I take the blanket to wash it she puts up a huge fuss and grabs it to try and stop me. I have a back up blanket but she knows the difference. Lol.

The visit between the kitties will be a bit tense for awhile. How often to you meet new people that just showed up and still feel calm? Never! You have to get to know them first. The tension will subside over time. With all of you.;) Each cat had their own pace to get comfortable. I know that Finnhas been there awhile but the meeting is still brand new. They are doing a really great job though. I don’t see anything that should cause you concern. It’s all good! :yess: The scratching is to assert that he now lives there too. Double sided tape! Finn may get tape on his paws a few times but it does help. I know it’s awful but I always go awww but then have to laugh at the tape shake as they try to escape the sticky. (If it sticks to a paw, I get it off immediately though) Poor kitties. I have cat arton my sofa too. Sofa covers help a bunch! I now put something over the arm areas. That seems to be the best spot. Those mats they seek to ease foot comfort when standing in one place a long time work well. They are think and the cats like them. The runner welcome mats with little nubs are a favorite as well. The cats prefer them to the sofa. Dollar stores have them for 3 dollars. If you see black mats in my photos, that’s what you are seeing. Added bonus with those, they catch and litter particles from paws. I love those mats!:hellocomputer:
 
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Buffster7

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Awwww! Charlie. Ignore the cat behind the blanket! Lol Your security blanket. Mama does the exact same thing.
Heck, THIS 'mama' does, too! I have my favorite blanket and I'm not above pulling it over my head and hiding from the world for a while! :lol:

The visit between the kitties will be a bit tense for awhile.
For some reason it helped to read that - thank you. This is all going much better than I anticipated, but it still makes me tense. I was so surprised to see Charlie flop down in Finn's presence today. I'm starting to wonder if he doesn't have pain. He rarely stands for long anymore; if he can flop down, he will. I worry about his weight causing joint problems and arthritis. All these extra treats through this introduction process aren't going to help. Thinking about getting some CBD oil for him and see if I can detect a difference in his behavior and in his activity level.

The scratching is to assert that he now lives there too.
I did not know that!! For some reason it makes me so happy that he feels free to mark a place for himself! I mean, it needs to not be on my sofa, but I'm so glad he feels that this is "home"!!
I have 3 large scratching posts that he's not seen yet that I'm going to place around the house. Hopefully that will help.
Thank you so much for your feedback! It sure does calm the jitters. :hugs:
 

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Having Finn around may spur Charlie to be more active which should help mobility and any extra weight he may have. I have heard that CBD oil is helpful but I have no idea about dosage. There was just a mention of that when someone mentioned her arthritic kitty on the thread about the ferals. You could ask there.

Cover your head? Me too but with a heating pad. Lol The cats hate it and try to pull it off to see if I am okay under there. Lol Or, Purry just walks across my face. o_O :lol:
Oh yes, a bit of tension is just natural between any freshly met creatures. Two or four legged. It will pass. Each visit teaches them more about each other and their place in the family. You might want to put one scratching post near where Finn already scratched. It may divert him from the sofa. If needed, block that spot with the post.
Very glad that something said helped you. If it eases your worries, that’s great. You’d do just fine without it though. You really do have this going beautifully.:clap2:
 

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