Introducing Cats - Logistics Questions.

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Twylasmom

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They have had quite a good day today. They both had free run of the house for a good nine hours, much of which was spent sleeping on separate floors. Twyla was actually the one asking for Hooper's door to be opened this morning (she just wanted his food, but still). They had one major squabble complete with Twyla growling and a bit of fur flying, but other wrestling matches were much less heated and they brushed peacefully by each other multiple times. Twyla spent most of the day upstairs but came down a couple of times for a snack and a bit of play. Several times I thought she had enough of Hooper's craziness but she kept coming back for more.

They have a new game that I observed twice today, involving the crinkle tunnel in Hooper's room. He will hide in the tunnel and they will bat at each other through the holes. At one point Twyla stuck her head in one end and he charged at her from the other end. Amazingly, they just rolled and separated. Twyla is funny. She will instigate things but then get all grouchy when Hooper responds. Yesterday I thought she wanted to get away from him and I shut her in the room, but she meowed to be let out almost immediately so I let them get back at it.

We ended the day with them both laying peacefully on the bed for a minute or two. Hooper was still feeling playful and Twyla was ready for a nap so I was able to get him to follow me out of the bedroom and closed the door. Hooper will get a couple of more hours out and then Twyla will have her time to roam this evening and overnight. She still seems to need her own time where she doesn't have to be afraid of being stalked or pounced, and that is the only time she gets on my lap. It was a chilly gray day today and Hooper was a major cuddle bug.
 
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calicosrspecial

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This is AWESOME!!!

"Several times I thought she had enough of Hooper's craziness but she kept coming back for more." - I love this. She is telling us that it is ok.

"They have a new game that I observed twice today, involving the crinkle tunnel in Hooper's room. He will hide in the tunnel and they will bat at each other through the holes. At one point Twyla stuck her head in one end and he charged at her from the other end. Amazingly, they just rolled and separated. Twyla is funny. She will instigate things but then get all grouchy when Hooper responds. Yesterday I thought she wanted to get away from him and I shut her in the room, but she meowed to be let out almost immediately so I let them get back at it." - Too funny. It is interesting how cats interact. We humans think one thing while they are feeling something else. That is why observing them is so important and letting them tells us how they view each other is so important. They both are such wonderful cats. Sure they play too rough (for our liking) but they sure seem to be enjoying themselves (and each other). The fact she instigates and comes back after these tells me she trusts him. That is really a testament to what a great job you all have done!!

"We ended the day with them both laying peacefully on the bed for a minute or two. Hooper was still feeling playful and Twyla was ready for a nap so I was able to get him to follow me out of the bedroom and closed the door. Hooper will get a couple of more hours out and then Twyla will have her time to roam this evening and overnight. She still seems to need her own time where she doesn't have to be afraid of being stalked or pounced, and that is the only time she gets on my lap. It was a chilly gray day today and Hooper was a major cuddle bug." - This is so wonderful and heart warming. They love each other, they love their home. They love their lives. Honestly doesn't get much better than this!! 😍
 
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Twylasmom

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If I needed confirmation that Twyla trusts Hooper, I definitely got it this morning. They were playing with the tunnel and wrestling with each other in a rather rough way so I sat on the floor with them as a distraction. Hooper started playing with a toy and I started using a wand toy to play with Twyla. She started playing with it, flopped on her back and just stayed there, chewing the toy and enjoying a sunbeam. Hooper came up and sniffed her tail and then just walked right on by. Twyla continued to lay on her back and he went about his business. Granted she may have been slightly buzzed on catnip :dizzycat:, which doesn't seem to affect Hooper at all, but she was 100% relaxed the whole time.
 

calicosrspecial

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THAT sure is confirmation!!! AWESOME!!!

GREAT job on distraction!!

Just fantastic!!! I know how my heart is feeling, I am guessing you are over the moon. THAT is a VERY special moment. 😍

FANTASTIC!!!
 
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Twylasmom

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If all goes well tomorrow morning I plan to leave them alone together while I am at work, as I am able to do a shorter day tomorrow. I left them for about 90 minutes on Sunday. I wanted to do it today but I had to stay late and didn't want to do such a long stretch. Once I got home I let Twyla out and they played without incident. They repeated their bird watching time again this morning and overall have been doing great the past few days.

I am now struggling with a feeding issue. Twyla is off her steroids so isn't as hungry, and is more interested in Hooper than eating, especially her wet food, which of course contains her Dasuquin and has extra water to keep her constipation issues at bay. I am going to try and put the Dasuquin in her bedtime meal that she gets after I put Hooper to bed and see how that goes. She is also obsessed with his kitten dry food above everything else so I am thinking of just phasing that out since Hooper already sneaks her food and probably weighs as much as she does. I will also continue to feed breakfasts separately. Not sure what I will do when they are both out 24/7 but hopefully they will be less obsessed and more likely to eat.
 

calicosrspecial

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That sounds like a great plan. They should probably sleep most of the time you are gone and since they do love and respect each other I expect it should go well.

I LOVE that they bird watch together. :itslove:

I think the feeding ideas you have are very good. Yes, cats tend to like what the other cat has so it can be a little tricky when they have different needs. So shifting her Dasuquin to evening could help her and then shifting Hooper off the kitten food (when the time is right just ask the vet). Just then keep to a routine (set schedule) and then when they are together 24/7 they should settle down and eat their own (it may take a little effort to keep them focused on their own at the beginning though). It will work out fine, you have a great grasp on the situation.
 
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Twylasmom

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That sounds like a great plan. They should probably sleep most of the time you are gone and since they do love and respect each other I expect it should go well.

I LOVE that they bird watch together. :itslove:

I think the feeding ideas you have are very good. Yes, cats tend to like what the other cat has so it can be a little tricky when they have different needs. So shifting her Dasuquin to evening could help her and then shifting Hooper off the kitten food (when the time is right just ask the vet). Just then keep to a routine (set schedule) and then when they are together 24/7 they should settle down and eat their own (it may take a little effort to keep them focused on their own at the beginning though). It will work out fine, you have a great grasp on the situation.
Well, I didn't go through with it this morning. They were chasing and wrestling a lot and I didn't feel comfortable leaving them both out. But they have been out together since I got home and Twyla has made some big progress today on being in the living room at the same time as Hooper. She jumped on the couch while Hooper was on my lap earlier (asking for food, of course) and is now sleeping/watching on a chair while he is wandering around and playing. These are both new behaviors for her with him around. So continuing to increase her comfort level. They also spent time playing with a hex bug toy both this morning and tonight, which was a big hit. Still had a big fur flying encounter earlier but they are getting better every day!
 

calicosrspecial

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That is fine. Just try it when you feel comfortable.

Fantastic progress on Twyla being out in the living room more. I love that she felt confident enough to jump up when he was on your lap AND he didn't go after her. Another great sign. And I love that she is on the chair and he is doing his thing. Again, fantastic.

Good purchase on the toy!!

Yeah, I think they just love to play rough. Some cats like that. It is funny Twyla enjoys it. I always had a picture of her and that definitely surprises me. She has more kitten in her than I thought. As long as they act normal after then we don't have to worry too much. Just monitor. But I think the base of love is respect is strong so any risk would take a long time to cause issues and we could halt it before it became an issue. I am not at all worried but just monitor just to confirm it matches the perception.

I bet they are really cute playing with the big toy..........
 

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Guess who spent over four hours at home alone together and didn't kill each other or break anything in the house?
It almost looks like their tails are touching in that photo. Awesome. :heartshape:
Maybe Twyla is keeping tabs on where Hooper is, behind her, even with her tail. :think:

"Didn't break anything in the house"...Wow...You have some well behaved cats, there.
I didn't think that was possible with all that running around. :blush:
Unless, of course, you managed to put away all the breakables, or anchor them down. :wink:
 
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Twylasmom

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We are continuing to make great progress. Hooper is out for about 13 hours a day and Twyla is usually out the entire time that he is (though may get a break early evening if she needs it). I have left them alone up to 5 and a half hours and will slowly increase that. They still play really rough but no one gets hurt or avoids the other, and they seem to love it. Crazy cats! It usually lasts about half an hour several times a day and then they settle down. But they also walk around, eat together and explore together. Hooper will groom her a little, but she isn't much of a fan.

Tonight Twyla got to sit on my lap for a couple of minutes until Hooper jumped up and started grooming her, which then devolved into play fighting. Still working on getting him to respect when it is her turn for lap time (which momma's boy Hooper loves) or learn how to share. Until he starts doing that I think she still needs her own time to have lap time and at night.

I am very proud of them!
 

calicosrspecial

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:clap2: I am SO PROUD of YOU!! And of course Them as well. But because of all your efforts and love for them they are doing so well and are so happy.

So THANK YOU!!! :hyper::rock:

It is fantastic. Yes, some cats love that rough play. Yes, crazy cats. Hahahahaha. The key is always how they act after. If they rebound quickly or there is no hiding, avoiding, etc then it is just their way of playing.

"But they also walk around, eat together and explore together." - This tells me they are doing great, they love each other.

"Hooper will groom her a little, but she isn't much of a fan." - Too funny. He loves her.

"Tonight Twyla got to sit on my lap for a couple of minutes until Hooper jumped up and started grooming her, which then devolved into play fighting. Still working on getting him to respect when it is her turn for lap time (which momma's boy Hooper loves) or learn how to share. Until he starts doing that I think she still needs her own time to have lap time and at night." - Yep, he just wants to be with you and her. Total love for her. And she is a bit more aloof as they sometimes are. They will be cuddling I am guessing at some point in the future.

Thank you for the update. I just absolutely love them and how they are doing!! Keep up the GREAT work!!
 
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Everything is going well, though there are a couple of things that need fine tuning. I can leave them out now for a full workday, There may be a pillow knocked on the floor or a rumpled up blanket but nothing broken and overall they are getting along well - playing, wandering around together and eating together - though no cuddling that I have seen! Every morning Twyla trots up the stairs when I let Hooper out and she is very playful and active. Not bad for my mature, arthritic girl!

Things that need fine tuning:

The past two days Twyla has done a scarf and barf with the meal they get when I get home from work. This is not an issue at breakfast or nighttime meal. I haven't been leaving out food while I am at work because they will both eat it before I even get out the door! I'm not sure if it would help to get a couple of timed feeders that would open midday. The barfing hasn't been an issue when I am home all day, or when they were separated during the day. I have ordered an elevated bowl for her wet food to see if that helps, I already have one for her dry but it is a little small for her face.

Hooper doesn't always allow her to have litter box privacy. Even though there are three boxes he will follow her to the box and this sometimes causes her to pee on the wall (I have pee pads up so it isn't a major cleanup issue) and I think it may also be making her hesitant or interrupting her when she wants to poop. This is a problem since she has had constipation issues in the past. She does have about 10 or 11 hours overnight when he is not out, but that doesn't always coincide with her potty schedule. If I am around and sense she is heading to her box I will distract Hooper, but of course can't do that when I am not home. So I am not quite sure how to remedy this. Any suggestions?
 

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I have heard of having a top entry box and the others regular rectangular, where she would have to jump to the top and go through the big hole in the top into the litter. Doubtful Hooper would also try to follow and jump in at the same time?
If Twyla would use a box like that.
I've used them when I had a little pug that loved to snack in the litter boxes :eek2:
 

calicosrspecial

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So great to hear.

"Every morning Twyla trots up the stairs when I let Hooper out and she is very playful and active. Not bad for my mature, arthritic girl!" - WONDERFUL!!! Tells me they are doing well when you are gone.

No cuddling yet.........................that you have seen. ;)

Maybe a slow feeder might help? She must be eating too quickly? How long is it between her breakfast and this meal? She is off her steroids that make her hungrier than usual, correct?

Excellent advice on trying some other litter boxes. Add some of those rather than replacing. Also, I would monitor him (during the weekend) rather than distracting him as to how he interacts with her around the litter box. To see what he is doing and how she is responding. I would then tell him "no" and then encourage him to leave her alone. Also, is it possible her arthritis is acting up a touch and causing her some issues "getting into a better position"?

Other than that I am not exactly sure what else can be done. Cats are pretty good listeners typically so telling Hooper to leave her alone could be helpful. And as time goes by the infatuation and obsession should wear off but that will not be an immediate solution.

Let us know how it goes if anything is working. Good luck.
 
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Twylasmom

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I have heard of having a top entry box and the others regular rectangular, where she would have to jump to the top and go through the big hole in the top into the litter. Doubtful Hooper would also try to follow and jump in at the same time?
If Twyla would use a box like that.
I've used them when I had a little pug that loved to snack in the litter boxes :eek2:
The jumping in and out isn't good with her arthritis. I did try one of those when I first got her because she is a litter thrower and she didn't take to it anyway. I was disappointed!

So great to hear.

"Every morning Twyla trots up the stairs when I let Hooper out and she is very playful and active. Not bad for my mature, arthritic girl!" - WONDERFUL!!! Tells me they are doing well when you are gone.

No cuddling yet.........................that you have seen. ;)

Maybe a slow feeder might help? She must be eating too quickly? How long is it between her breakfast and this meal? She is off her steroids that make her hungrier than usual, correct?

Excellent advice on trying some other litter boxes. Add some of those rather than replacing. Also, I would monitor him (during the weekend) rather than distracting him as to how he interacts with her around the litter box. To see what he is doing and how she is responding. I would then tell him "no" and then encourage him to leave her alone. Also, is it possible her arthritis is acting up a touch and causing her some issues "getting into a better position"?

Other than that I am not exactly sure what else can be done. Cats are pretty good listeners typically so telling Hooper to leave her alone could be helpful. And as time goes by the infatuation and obsession should wear off but that will not be an immediate solution.

Let us know how it goes if anything is working. Good luck.
She was definitely eating too quickly (and too much, because Hooper is a less motivated eater and she will eat his portion if I don't pick it up) and one of those days it was probably ten hours between meals. Quite frankly, she is a bit of a pig, steroids or no steroids. When I am home all day they get three or even four smaller meals, which is what she prefers. I am thinking of scattering a few small dishes around the house during the day with a few kibble in each so they can hunt for it and see what that does. I also think the elevated bowl will help, and it is a better option with her arthritis.

As for the litter box, she already has a tendency to shoot over the sides of the box which is why I tape up pee pads. I have caught Hooper in the act when she is in the box. He isn't being aggressive, but will either just sit right next to the box and watch, try to stick his nose in, or even get in the box with her! Usually she can get her business done before he shows up but he comes running the second he hears scratching noises. Hopefully this is something he will outgrow.

Twyla just tried to join Hooper on my lap a bit ago. It was unsuccessful but good to see. I try and give them lots of things to investigate together. Their curiosity wins out every time. They are pretty cute together most of the time!
 

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Could you obtain a large poly box, insert a cat flap that's for just her and put her litterbox inside with the large box upside down over it?
 
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