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Beyond Confused

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How are they doing? All is going well and maybe a little better?
It's just more of the same. Nothing has changed. Duncan sometimes hisses, sometimes he couldn't care less that Indy was on the other side of the gate.

And for Indy's part, he's completely oblivious to the fact that Duncan pitches fits.

So same 'ole, same 'ole.
 

calicosrspecial

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It's just more of the same. Nothing has changed. Duncan sometimes hisses, sometimes he couldn't care less that Indy was on the other side of the gate.

And for Indy's part, he's completely oblivious to the fact that Duncan pitches fits.

So same 'ole, same 'ole.
That is totally fine and positive. The fact it is not going negative tells me Duncan is accepting.

Keep doing what you are doing, maximizing positive associations and encounters, minimizing or avoiding negative encounters, distracting Duncan and reassuring him when needed. Keep an eye on how they are acting after the gate sessions. If normal, that is great.

Keep up the great work. They will be intro'd, don't worry.
 

Beyond Confused

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Well, it's been over 5 weeks now, and I feel like we've been in a stagnant place for 3 of them.

They're still eating together. Most times, Duncan is fine. He'll stop and watch Indy and then go back to eating. He's not far from the gate, and he's fine. Other times, like just a few minutes ago, he will walk over to the gate with Indy just on the other side, and hiss and/or growl. I get it - he's just communicating, and Indy is perfectly fine. Either he'll just watch Duncan, or today, he washed his feet, while Duncan growled.

I was there the whole time. It's just the same cycle over and over, and I don't see any movement for better or for worse. it's literally the same. thing. day. after. day. And it's been this way for 3 weeks. There's nothing more I can do to convince Duncan he's okay.

I swear, I'm about to let Indy out and see what happens. This is literally the definition of insanity. :runaround:

/rant over.
 

calicosrspecial

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Well, it's been over 5 weeks now, and I feel like we've been in a stagnant place for 3 of them.

They're still eating together. Most times, Duncan is fine. He'll stop and watch Indy and then go back to eating. He's not far from the gate, and he's fine. Other times, like just a few minutes ago, he will walk over to the gate with Indy just on the other side, and hiss and/or growl. I get it - he's just communicating, and Indy is perfectly fine. Either he'll just watch Duncan, or today, he washed his feet, while Duncan growled.

I was there the whole time. It's just the same cycle over and over, and I don't see any movement for better or for worse. it's literally the same. thing. day. after. day. And it's been this way for 3 weeks. There's nothing more I can do to convince Duncan he's okay.

I swear, I'm about to let Indy out and see what happens. This is literally the definition of insanity. :runaround:

/rant over.
Hang in there. The fact it is not escalating or turning negative is positive. The longer there is no real negativity the more trust is built.

"They're still eating together." - Great. Positive association and positive encounter which builds trust.

"Most times, Duncan is fine." - That is the key and tells me they will be fine in time. BUT we don't want any negative encounters to reduce the trust. Trust (and reputations) take a while to build but can take be destroyed quickly. We are reinforcing to build and ingrain that trust between them. There is obviously a lot of trust between them right now.

"He'll stop and watch Indy and then go back to eating." - That is trust building. Exactly what we want to see and great.

"He's not far from the gate, and he's fine." - Perfect. Again, exactly what we want.

"Other times, like just a few minutes ago, he will walk over to the gate with Indy just on the other side, and hiss and/or growl." - What does he do right after this? Here is where we want to distract and then reassure Duncan. If he rebounds back to normal it is very positive. If the negativity, negative body language lingers then we have more work to do.

"Indy is perfectly fine. Either he'll just watch Duncan, or today, he washed his feet, while Duncan growled." - This is very positive. It tells me Indy is not feeling threatened so Duncan must be warning rather than wanting to be aggressive.

"I was there the whole time." - Feel free to distract and reassure.

" It's just the same cycle over and over, and I don't see any movement for better or for worse. it's literally the same. thing. day. after. day. And it's been this way for 3 weeks." - Think of it as learning an instrument or dating. We do the same thing every day and maybe we don't see progress but it is there. There is no doubt in my mind that the repetition is building trust every single day. The fact it doesn't escalate is very positive.

"There's nothing more I can do to convince Duncan he's okay." - Keep trying distraction and reassuring. And then just time (practice in instrument or dancing or dating mindset).

Are you still doing scent swapping and site swapping if possible?

How is Duncan acting outside of these gate encounters? Normal?

5 weeks is not long for intros. I know it feels like forever but the time invested now saves vast amounts of time in the future. The biggest mistake I see is rushed intros. Negativity sets in and undoing that then rebuilding takes much more time. I know it is frustrating and difficult but if we do this right we'll make your life and the lives of the cats so much better for the next 10-20 years. The investment of a few more weeks now will be well worth it.

Venting is good. Just take a deep breathe. You are absolutely on track.

We are going to have to think about doing a session with no gate with you involved to some degree (safely without at risk of being hurt in any way). I think in a week but I need to understand where Duncan is right now. Whether you think he would escalate, if he can be distracted away from a confrontation from Indy, etc.

I think you are really close. I just do not want Duncan to get stressed and then fall more ill. Indy is going to be fine. I am most worried about Duncan. If Duncan was healthy I would actually be doing no gate now. But I just want to take it slower to protect him. If we have a fight and negativity it could cause him too much stress and therefore health issues.

Let me know about the questions. Hang in there, you are doing great and we are going to get there. You honestly are much closer than you think but we are not there yet so please do let Indy out yet.
 

Beyond Confused

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"Other times, like just a few minutes ago, he will walk over to the gate with Indy just on the other side, and hiss and/or growl." - What does he do right after this? Here is where we want to distract and then reassure Duncan. If he rebounds back to normal it is very positive. If the negativity, negative body language lingers then we have more work to do.
Duncan is fine. He's fine when he's hissing and growling, too. I tapped the floor and said his name, and he quickly turned around and walked over to me. He's not traumatized, and neither is Indy.


Are you still doing scent swapping and site swapping if possible?
I mean - Duncan is always walking and sniffing in the hallway where Indy eats. He's doing it right now. He walked in the bathroom the other day, while I was cleaning it, and Indy was in the bedroom.

I put Indy in the bedroom sometimes, and he's rolling around and climbing/lying on the bed, which is where Duncan sleeps.

Days where Duncan hangs out in bed, I will allow Indy out to roam the house. He checks and sniffs, etc.


How is Duncan acting outside of these gate encounters? Normal?
Same as he's always been - sweet, loving, he wants to be near me, etc. He's just fine. In fact, he just brought me a toy as a gift.


We are going to have to think about doing a session with no gate with you involved to some degree (safely without at risk of being hurt in any way). I think in a week but I need to understand where Duncan is right now. Whether you think he would escalate, if he can be distracted away from a confrontation from Indy, etc.
I can distract Duncan pretty easily, but I've never tried it without the gate, so this would be a test for sure.
 

calicosrspecial

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Duncan is fine. He's fine when he's hissing and growling, too. I tapped the floor and said his name, and he quickly turned around and walked over to me. He's not traumatized, and neither is Indy.




I mean - Duncan is always walking and sniffing in the hallway where Indy eats. He's doing it right now. He walked in the bathroom the other day, while I was cleaning it, and Indy was in the bedroom.

I put Indy in the bedroom sometimes, and he's rolling around and climbing/lying on the bed, which is where Duncan sleeps.

Days where Duncan hangs out in bed, I will allow Indy out to roam the house. He checks and sniffs, etc.




Same as he's always been - sweet, loving, he wants to be near me, etc. He's just fine. In fact, he just brought me a toy as a gift.




I can distract Duncan pretty easily, but I've never tried it without the gate, so this would be a test for sure.
"Duncan is fine. He's fine when he's hissing and growling, too." - This is great. Better than I was picturing.

"I tapped the floor and said his name, and he quickly turned around and walked over to me."- Perfect!!! That is greatly positive.

"He's not traumatized" - Great, that tells me it is not worrying behavior. Great

" and neither is Indy." - Yes, I expected that and that tells me Duncan is not serious.

"I mean - Duncan is always walking and sniffing in the hallway where Indy eats. He's doing it right now. He walked in the bathroom the other day, while I was cleaning it, and Indy was in the bedroom." - Great.

"I put Indy in the bedroom sometimes, and he's rolling around and climbing/lying on the bed, which is where Duncan sleeps." - Yes, Indy is doing great. AND he is being and going to be VERY helpful in the future as a confident cat is more likely to accept AND be accepted.

"Days where Duncan hangs out in bed, I will allow Indy out to roam the house. He checks and sniffs, etc." - Great He is building more security in the rest of the house which is great.

"Same as he's always been - sweet, loving, he wants to be near me, etc. He's just fine. In fact, he just brought me a toy as a gift." - Perfect. That supports my belief they are much closer than we may realize. That tells me he is more confident and more accepting of Indy. This is fantastic!!!

"I can distract Duncan pretty easily" - Great, that will be extremely helpful.

"but I've never tried it without the gate, so this would be a test for sure." - It is always a test. Start preparing emotionally. You will feel nervous, anxious so that can cause the cats anxiety and issues. So really try to prepare for when they get together and stay calm and confident (I know it is easier said than done).

I think next weekend (8 days)we should try without the gate? What do you think?

I will say I am ever more confident now than I was before. Thanks for the great update.

When we go no gate/barrier I do expect some issues but how they rebound will tell us a lot.

Great job!!
 

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Works for me.
:yess: :clap2:

Keep working on distracting and reassuring during this week.

I think we'll probably do it at the door to the bedroom. Duncan will feel very confident there.

Or do you think there is a better place?

We do want multiple escape routes as possible.

We'll want them to be pretty hungry when we do it as well. So they can focus on the food rather than each other. We will want you to be distracting as needed as looking away helps build trust and confidence. It gets a little tricky because they do get curious. We will keep it short then build on time. Quality over quantity.

We'll go through it again when we get ready to do it. Just prepare mentally as it can cause some ups and downs. BUT we are well past the real risk point. It is just a question of "when" not "if" they will be intro'd.

Keep up the great work and please let me know if there is any increase in negativity this upcoming week.

Great job!!
 

Beyond Confused

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:yess: :clap2:

Keep working on distracting and reassuring during this week.

I think we'll probably do it at the door to the bedroom. Duncan will feel very confident there.

Or do you think there is a better place?

We do want multiple escape routes as possible.
The living room is probably best because they can either run to the bedroom, dining room, kitchen, and sun room. The bedroom would have them pigeon-holed.
 

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The living room is probably best because they can either run to the bedroom, dining room, kitchen, and sun room. The bedroom would have them pigeon-holed.
Ok. Good. Anywhere Duncan feels very confident and where Indy will feel pretty confident.

We don't want too "unstructured" So in a "no man's land". We want something to be able to keep them somewhat in their respective territories (like the gate territory). So we can kind of keep them in their existing territory at the beginning.

We want to be able to distract them to avoid a conflict or a chase. I tend to do it basically where the gates are typically. Because that is the area they are most comfortable at. The only issue is that is a bit away from the bathroom I believe. So coordinating it could be a bit challenging.

It is a bit tricky. We want escape routes but we don't want a chase because if a cat runs they look like prey and it triggers the hunting instinct in the other cat and it can turn into a negative. BUT we want the cat to look around and go "ok, I am not cornered there are escape routes" so they tend to be more calm since they feel like they can get away. If that makes sense.

So something to think about. We have a little time to figure it out. It will be fine.
 

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The only issue is that is a bit away from the bathroom I believe. So coordinating it could be a bit challenging.
What is a bit away from the bathroom? The living room? No, there's just a little hall between the bathroom and the living room, the gates, and the bedroom...yet there are plenty of places to scatter, if need be. The sun room has 2 large, high cat trees, which could help Duncan, since he loves those things.

My entire main floor is less than 900 sq feet, so it's not too crazy. The attic area and the basement are closed off by doors that I never leave open.
 

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What is a bit away from the bathroom? The living room? No, there's just a little hall between the bathroom and the living room, the gates, and the bedroom...yet there are plenty of places to scatter, if need be. The sun room has 2 large, high cat trees, which could help Duncan, since he loves those things.

My entire main floor is less than 900 sq feet, so it's not too crazy. The attic area and the basement are closed off by doors that I never leave open.
Yes, the living room. I am trying to figure out how to get them together without having one run towards the other. Where they are pretty much there and the food goes down etc.

So trying to get them in place without anyone running towards the spot. So how we let them out (Indy basically) and get Duncan to come. If we do it at the gate removing the gates will probably scare them and a chase could happen.

Hmmmmmm, I need to think about this. I think Duncan would be fine to walk up towards Indy whereas if Indy came running out it would cause Duncan some anxiety. But how we achieve that is what we need to figure out. Let's think about it.

I am sure we will overthink everything but being prepared is good. I could see a few scenarios playing out. Trying to figure out the best for all of them.

Awwww, thank you Furballsmom and Pearl. That is very kind and a great compliment from people I respect.
 

Beyond Confused

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Great interactions today and yesterday between the two.

This morning, I sat with Duncan, and he immediately chowed down on his breakfast, back to the gates. He walked off right after. I was in the half bath, forgetting that Indy was still on the other side of the gate. I walked out and found Duncan sitting right on the other side, watching Indy - no stress, no hissing or meowing, and Indy was thrashing around, chasing a squeaky today.

I continued getting ready walking between the kitchen and the bathroom. Another time, I found Duncan happily eating his breakfast, again, back to the gates.

I only heard him meow once at Indy, and it wasn't even a threatening meow, so that was great. I'm noticing, too, that Indy will go and spend more time lounging in the bedroom doorway when he's not eating. I don't know if that's his way of giving Duncan some space or what, but they both seem quite satisfied with the arrangement.

So, good couple of days.
 

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Great interactions today and yesterday between the two.

This morning, I sat with Duncan, and he immediately chowed down on his breakfast, back to the gates. He walked off right after. I was in the half bath, forgetting that Indy was still on the other side of the gate. I walked out and found Duncan sitting right on the other side, watching Indy - no stress, no hissing or meowing, and Indy was thrashing around, chasing a squeaky today.

I continued getting ready walking between the kitchen and the bathroom. Another time, I found Duncan happily eating his breakfast, again, back to the gates.

I only heard him meow once at Indy, and it wasn't even a threatening meow, so that was great. I'm noticing, too, that Indy will go and spend more time lounging in the bedroom doorway when he's not eating. I don't know if that's his way of giving Duncan some space or what, but they both seem quite satisfied with the arrangement.

So, good couple of days.
:yess: :hyper: :clap2:

"I sat with Duncan, and he immediately chowed down on his breakfast, back to the gates. He walked off right after. I was in the half bath, forgetting that Indy was still on the other side of the gate. I walked out and found Duncan sitting right on the other side, watching Indy - no stress, no hissing or meowing, and Indy was thrashing around, chasing a squeaky today." - This is AWESOME!!!

"I continued getting ready walking between the kitchen and the bathroom. Another time, I found Duncan happily eating his breakfast, again, back to the gates." - Perfect a sign of acceptance again.

"I only heard him meow once at Indy, and it wasn't even a threatening meow, so that was great. I'm noticing, too, that Indy will go and spend more time lounging in the bedroom doorway when he's not eating. I don't know if that's his way of giving Duncan some space or what, but they both seem quite satisfied with the arrangement." Awesome. Whatever the reason it shows Duncan Indy isn;t a threat. Doesn't get any better really from a new cat.

"So, good couple of days." - I LOVE your understatement. Ummmmm, yep, a couple of good days!!! :D:purr:

Keep up the great work. Next weekend we'll be doing no gate intro. :)
 

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Things are still going well. As I'm typing, Indy is shoving his feet under the living room door, and Duncan is trying to grab them. There's no hissing or anger.
They also just got done eating on opposite sides of the gates.

I'm ready to start giving this a shot tomorrow (saturday). I'm still thinking that the living room is the place to do it. The hallway door will be open, which leads to the bedroom and bathroom. It also leads in a different direction towards the dining room, sun room, and kitchen.

In the past, when Duncan and Admiral would fight (here in the living room), I'd stand up as if I was going to break them up, and they'd scatter. One would always run to the bedroom, and the other would head for the sun room. I would close the hallway door to keep them separated. Even though they could've easily just circled the house to get back to each other, they would always end up standing on either side of the door, crying for each other. :lol: :sniffle: I miss Admiral.

But anyway, this living room area worked for them, so I'm sure it'll be OK this time.
 

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Things are still going well. As I'm typing, Indy is shoving his feet under the living room door, and Duncan is trying to grab them. There's no hissing or anger.
They also just got done eating on opposite sides of the gates.

I'm ready to start giving this a shot tomorrow (saturday). I'm still thinking that the living room is the place to do it. The hallway door will be open, which leads to the bedroom and bathroom. It also leads in a different direction towards the dining room, sun room, and kitchen.

In the past, when Duncan and Admiral would fight (here in the living room), I'd stand up as if I was going to break them up, and they'd scatter. One would always run to the bedroom, and the other would head for the sun room. I would close the hallway door to keep them separated. Even though they could've easily just circled the house to get back to each other, they would always end up standing on either side of the door, crying for each other. :lol: :sniffle: I miss Admiral.

But anyway, this living room area worked for them, so I'm sure it'll be OK this time.
Ok, do the no gate intro in the place you think Duncan is most confident and secondly where you think Indy might be confident enough.

What we will want to do is get Indy eating first, totally focused on his food. Then call Duncan over for his food. Use distraction to get him focused on his food. If he is ignoring it and focusing on Indy distract with words, love (if safe and no risk to you). If you can get Duncan to look away and keep Indy focused on anything other than Duncan it is a win.

Keep it short, end it on a positive when one or they are done eating and they start focusing on each other.

It might be a bit tricky ending it. Getting Indy back into his territory without Duncan following. Do your best to reassure, distract, keep it calm.

I would like to keep it near somewhere where we can end it easily.

We could face a chase caused by one walking or running away so be aware and try to distract as best as possible or get a door closed. Use a pillow if need be to distract them.

Stay calm and confident, reassure them, distract them.We'll see where we are. I suspect they are going to do well but we never know. I do know they will be intro'd. Just when with what bumps in the road I don't know. I will say they/you have done great. They are way ahead of where I thought they would be.

Awwwww, thhose "fights" might have been their way of playing. I know, we always miss our loved ones but they still live in our souls. I have lost so many over the years but I still love them and think of them always. But at times it is hard. But know we add another life to love. We don;t replace as we can never but we do add.

Let me know if you have any questions and good luck!!! No matter what happens I know they will be intro'd so I am not worried what happens. Just keep it short, keep it positive and we will build from there.
 
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