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I Have More Trust Issues Than This Feral..

Jcatbird

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Charlie did give a clue at the start. His tail was flipping a bit. Then he stood his ground. When Finn leaped up, it was on. Finn is ready to be exploring but it’s just too early. He jumped ahead of the curve and is pushing the pace. He is young and feeling so much better now! His energy level is improved so it’s not surprising he enjoyed that climb. It’s a shelving tree! Whee! I think you just have to back up a little. In doing this it is always a process where we have to step back at times. Progress and then regress. I’ve never had a situation where this didn’t happen. Relax, let them return to enjoying meals together and wait until Charlie shows no tail twitching or intimidation. The Flying Finn above him must seem a little scary. Finn will probably continue to fly but Charlie will learn that this does not mean Finn is coming out. They’ll calm down again to a point you can begin to move forward again but give them that time. Seeing how well they eat together is really sweet. They’ll get there.
 
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Buffster7

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Charlie did give a clue at the start. His tail was flipping a bit. Then he stood his ground. When Finn leaped up, it was on. Finn is ready to be exploring but it’s just too early. He jumped ahead of the curve and is pushing the pace. He is young and feeling so much better now! His energy level is improved so it’s not surprising he enjoyed that climb. It’s a shelving tree! Whee! I think you just have to back up a little. In doing this it is always a process where we have to step back at times. Progress and then regress. I’ve never had a situation where this didn’t happen. Relax, let them return to enjoying meals together and wait until Charlie shows no tail twitching or intimidation. The Flying Finn above him must seem a little scary. Finn will probably continue to fly but Charlie will learn that this does not mean Finn is coming out. They’ll calm down again to a point you can begin to move forward again but give them that time. Seeing how well they eat together is really sweet. They’ll get there.
This is what I need to know, thanks Jcatbird! I would not have caught on to the tail twitching. What did you think of Finn's reaction when he approached the barrier and pawed at Charlie's face? Friendly, or assertive/dominant? I have yet to learn to read subtle body language of cats. I may need to share some videos as this process progresses to get your opinion on body language if that is okay. I sure do appreciate your input.

Finn is definitely pushing boundaries and super agitated at being cooped up - my fault for letting him explore. We did have time for a 15 min nap today.
 

Jcatbird

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Well, Charlie starts things off with a curious but nervous twitch and when Finn sees him he came over and poked him. I took that to mean,” get back, nosy.” Then Finn goes straight up the shelving. I wouldn’t say aggressive or dominant at that point. It could have evolved into that but I think it was more , stop that and I can come out there too! I feel like Finn really wants to have his space still. Charlie was just checking things out and maybe wanting to go in, Finn just responded. The nap with Finn was great. He gets undivided attention in his space. That needs to happen. I would be tempted to put a blanket over the shelving for a couple of days to chill things out a minute and give them peak a boo sessions. That might get Finn to back off the shelf vaulting. Bet he does it again when Charlie noses in again. Finn may be just protecting himself from possible prowlers since they had that one ,excited ,early meeting. Nothing bad is going on. All natural and expected.
I’ll be glad to share my thoughts any time. I don’t think the agitation is necessarily from being cooped up but maybe knowing Charlie is out and he wants equal rights. Love the snap shot napshot! !!
 

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OH, i finally finally had time to catch up on this adorable thread! Wow, sounds like great progress is coming along! So happy to hear Finn learned to stop biting? Wow, what a little genius to learn so quickly!
Such great advice and info being sent your way, Buffster!
I am just so glad the 3 of you are all together and safe and it is heading into the right direction!!
YESssss!!!
 

rubysmama

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I don't have anything advice to add, but wanted to post again, just to say I'm still here and reading every post, and enjoying watching your videos of the boys, and learning from the advice you're receiving.

Charlie and Finn are such cutie pies, and I'm sure will eventually be best buds. :catrub:
 
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Buffster7

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I wouldn’t say aggressive or dominant at that point. It could have evolved into that
Yes, that's what I was wondering/feeling. Thanks for interpreting it for me. Any time Finn sees Charlie, even if it's through his carrier, out comes his paw - he's fearless for being such a tiny thing. He looks bigger in pictures than what he is; I would say he weighs all of 7 lbs. But that fearlessness feistiness combined with claws...maybe when the time comes I should have nail caps put on just for introduction period. Thank you again for your feedback. I hope that you are resting and healing! Off to catch upon your thread.

Wow, what a little genius to learn so quickly!
He really is the smartest cat I've ever been around! He's self-aware in mirrors, he watches videos with interest, and he's very sensitive to my correction. I usually just have to say "no" once or twice before he learns and stops doing something. I guess that's how he stayed alive so long on his own with some really aggressive street cats around here.

Charlie and Finn are such cutie pies, and I'm sure will eventually be best buds.
I'm praying for that, I truly am!
 
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Buffster7

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Whoops, I posted then went to edit and the post *poofed*.

I'm going to post a link to 3 videos and am asking for any input on body language and sounds. Charlie has been sitting outside Finn's door making noises (second video) quite often, so I'm trying to come up with a way to allow these boys to "see" each other through the barrier without Finn having to be in a carrier or my having to literally stand guard over it. The other two vids show some interaction between Charlie and Finn, but I can't decide if it's friendly or borderline?

Jcatbird Jcatbird and shadowsrescue shadowsrescue and anyone else who knows cat body language - if you get the chance to check these out (I think you can use the arrows to view one after the other) I would love your opinion on the Charlie sounds and the body language. Thank you guys!

Amazon Photos
 
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shadowsrescue

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Hmmmm. The pawing through the gates seems pretty harmless. Yet, it's through a gate and if the gate wasn't there, who knows what would happen.

Charlie seems very interested, but he is marking with his face. Not a bad thing, but he is making sure his scent is right there.

I didn't see any tail swishing. To me, it seemed pretty friendly and curious. Yet, with the batting of the paws, that could turn more aggressive if they were face to face.

I love the new Finn cage!! Brilliant to stack the pass through gate on top of the other and use pool noodles!!

Is there any way that you could stand outside of Finn's door and use a wand toy or laser to play with him and then give Charlie a turn on his side? Then reward both with a treat.

I would try many sight visits throughout the day while you can. Just supervise and see watch. Allow them a few minutes, then give a few treats and close the door. Try to end on a positive note. Then the next time, stretch it 1-2 minutes longer. Be prepared to redirect if needed!
 

Jcatbird

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OMG! They are so smart and funny!!I love watching them. As Shadowrescue said, no apparent aggression. In the first video Charlie starts poking for fun. Everything is good and just at the very end, Finn pokes back enough that Charlie gets just a little worried. His ears went back. After that Charlie is marking by rubbing his face. When he is closed away from Finn, he calls him. Lol Finn came too! A little nice play under the door. No threat to Charlie there and he stays calmer but I think that was when he did spin away and then mark with his face. The third video he seems calmer still. I think he just gets a little nervous. Finn is a ball of lightning energy and Charlie wants to play, just not sure if it’s okay yet. The door closed always worked for me to encourage sympathy and curiosity. The gates are great! I just think it’s a matter of playing peek a boo with them a little longer and follow the previous info about slowly increasing the visits through the gate. Watch the ears, tail and when Charlie backs away from the door. Any of those movements indicate he’s feeling nervous or agitated. Charlie really seems to want to play. Once he can trust Finn is safe, I still think they’ll be fine. Finn seems to want to play too. He’ll have to learn how to play a little calmer but some of that just comes as he grows older. He still has a lot of kitten in him and still has to learn about inside rules. I love the suggestion of playing with them both through the gate as the other watches. Time with the door closed too! I think private time where neither can see the other is going to be a key ingredient.
 
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Buffster7

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Thank you both so much. It helps to check progression of body language to make sure I'm not missing anything and to help me know what to look for. Your responses are so very helpful.

I love the new Finn cage!! Brilliant to stack the pass through gate on top of the other and use pool noodles!!
Haha - do you know he ended up jumping right over them both?! Little bugger. I had to put them back the way they were with the shelving around them - he cannot be contained!

Is there any way that you could stand outside of Finn's door and use a wand toy or laser to play with him and then give Charlie a turn on his side? Then reward both with a treat.
Sadly, no. I was hoping for that with the baby gates today, but Finn jumps over every barrier. When I stand inside the shelving, I can't reach through to play with Charlie.

I would try many sight visits throughout the day while you can. Just supervise and see watch. Allow them a few minutes, then give a few treats and close the door.
I feed them on the other side of the shelving a couple inches from each other's face, and they barely acknowledge each other. They'll sniff through the shelving when they're done but then they lose interest and walk away. Weird? It never ends on a negative note - not til Finn enters Charlie's territory.

just at the very end, Finn pokes back enough that Charlie gets just a little worried. His ears went back.
I saw that, too, and wondered about it. Finn appears to have the potential to play rough or be dominant - I'm watching him (insert DeNiro eyes here), but really appreciate your feedback as this progresses.

I just think it’s a matter of playing peek a boo with them a little longer and follow the previous info about slowly increasing the visits through the gate. Watch the ears, tail and when Charlie backs away from the door.
Okay, more peekaboo. I can do that. I moved the cage out of Finn's room today. Should I try to put him in the cage and wheel him out into the living room, or not yet?

Thank you both again - very much!
 

Jcatbird

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Ummm. Well. I think I would stick with a consistent routine for a few more days. It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster ride the past few days. How much longer before you will have to be gone during the day?
 
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Buffster7

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Ummm. Well. I think I would stick with a consistent routine for a few more days. It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster ride the past few days. How much longer before you will have to be gone during the day?
Okay, I can wait. I wanted the cage out of there since the room is small and feels crowded. Was going to break the cage down to store it, but decided to keep it assembled in case it's still needed or in case it would help in introductions.

I've actually not been home much the last coupled days, but I'll officially start on Monday - then it's going to get pretty hairy.
 

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Okay. I know that you wanted the integration done by the time you had to be gone but they just aren’t ready yet. I still feel that consistent routine as things are right now is the way to go.

Thinking AHEAD a little bit...Could you move the cage outside the door but keep it handy? It might be useful in a little later stage of introductions. After a bit of consistent visits where things are now, (at times when you are at home) you could move Finn into the cage for the next stage of visits. I really do find the cages helpful. They restrain but also offer a view to the rest of the world while also providing a secure feeling for both kitties once they realize, nothing goes further. Maybe you could roll it so that if Finn escapes, he ends up in the cage? I know it would be a pain to roll it back and forth but transferring Finn from the room to the cage might be tricky. Lol He is a bit of an escape artist. The other option later is probably going to be carrier visits for awhile. If neither idea works then I can think of one other but I think keeping the cage inside will still be a good thing.

As for play through existing barricades, how about a piece of string?
 
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Buffster7

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Thanks Jcatbird! Sorry for my brief reply last night; I was so exhausted that I was falling asleep while typing it.
Could you move the cage outside the door but keep it handy? It might be useful in a little later stage of introductions.
Yes, the cage is in the hallway outside his door. You're right, he's an escape artist, so I've been trying to think about how to get him into his cage when that time comes. The only option I can think of is to roll it right to the door and try to get him in that way. So I'll keep the cage in the hallway for now, then, and not break it down and store it away.

The other option later is probably going to be carrier visits for awhile.
Oops. I thought I was supposed to be doing carrier visits now. I did one yesterday - put Finn in a carrier so I could get the cage out of the room, and let he and Charlie sniff through the carrier gate and fed them treats.

As for play through existing barricades, how about a piece of string?
No dice there, either - the narrow horizontal bars of the shelving don't allow much maneuvering, and when I've stuck string through there, Charlie has zero interest. It is really difficult to get him to play, and that's on a good day.

I'll continue as we are right now and upload vids when something interesting or curious happens. Relying on you guys a little bit to let me know when it's okay to proceed based on the vids. I was anxious to get the intros out of the way, but didn't expect them to be integrated yet. It has made me sad, though, that due to my absence and greatly lessened time with Finn these past couple days, he has gone from confident cat to needy and insecure - the starving-for-affection kitty that he was when I first brought him in. He even tried to bite yesterday but applied no pressure - just put his teeth on my arm like he was thinking about it. So I know he needs continued hands-on socializing, but my schedule is just not going to allow a whole lot. It is impossible to do anything while in his room - he demands full attention and is all over me, my computer, everything. So time in his room is time away from everything I need to be getting done. Poor little guy. :(
 

rubysmama

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Is the cage something you could put him in, so that he's in the same room as you, but unable to climb all over you and your stuff?

Do you have a radio/music playing in his room when you're gone?
 
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Buffster7

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Is the cage something you could put him in, so that he's in the same room as you, but unable to climb all over you and your stuff?

Do you have a radio/music playing in his room when you're gone?
I could try it (the cage with me in the room). I'm nearly sure he would complain the whole time if I were in sight, but of course there's no way to know until I try! I spent about an hour in his room with him this evening, and he is so cagey after spending so much time alone these past couple days that he would not settle down. I tried to play him to exhaustion, but his meows were incessant and almost angry sounding and he had that 'wild' feel about him like the first week.

I play that Music for Cats when I leave his room at night, but I don't usually play music in there during the day - do you think I should?
 
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