Introducing new cats

Furballsmom

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Wow, what a great update! Thanks so much, and you-all are doing a terrific job with them :)!
 

calicosrspecial

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Hi all, just an update! Things are going better before and believe or not, Maze has been the trouble maker as of late. She is tiny and extremely quick. She has figured out the time window to escape when we open the door to see her and then go to the other room. We are thinking of permanently putting the gate there to slow her down when we open the door. However with that being said. She has escaped and approached Monty several times. Yesterday Monty was sitting on a chair when Maze approached and just looked at her with no hiss! We decided to have an impromptu play time to wear Maze out and show Monty that she is not a threat. We fed Monty treats and let Maze play by her and fed Maze treats as well and then we ended the session with no incidents! Maze escaped again today while Monty was on the floor and was met with (a not very aggressive) hiss. Maze slowly approached Monty and the sniffed each other and then Monty quietly hissed a few more times and Maze walked away. Again with no real incidents. I assume its more of a “dont mess with me” hiss than an aggressive attack sort of stance. We have been scent swapping and have been using socks for that. I think we are comfortable to move to the gate feeding phase but will keep the door shut after feeding to prevent anymore escapes from Maze.
Hi,

It is not surprising that Maze is the "troublemaker". It is usually the new cat that has the easiest transition as it is new territory to be owned rather than "their" territory that is being "invaded". It it the resident cat that usually has the most difficult adjustment.

"We are thinking of permanently putting the gate there to slow her down when we open the door." - Anything that helps avoid a negative encounter is positive. Now, she may just learn to jump it. But if there is anything you can do to prevent her from escaping (in a positive way) that is great.

"She has escaped and approached Monty several times." - Ideally we would like to keep the escapes to zero.Since a more controlled focused on positive encounters is best.

"Yesterday Monty was sitting on a chair when Maze approached and just looked at her with no hiss!" - That is really good. BUT in intros it often starts out ok and then some of the negatives start showing. Of course that is a generalization but something I see that is very common.

"We decided to have an impromptu play time to wear Maze out and show Monty that she is not a threat. We fed Monty treats and let Maze play by her and fed Maze treats as well and then we ended the session with no incidents!" - With the prior above said this is very positive. BUT I still think it is too early. Again, oftentimes it starts off positive then some negatives can start. It is really important to maximize positive encounters and minimize or avoid any negative encounters. It is really positive they did so well but I caution it is a bit too much too soon in my opinion. But it is a very good sign to a point.

"Maze escaped again today while Monty was on the floor and was met with (a not very aggressive) hiss. Maze slowly approached Monty and the sniffed each other and then Monty quietly hissed a few more times and Maze walked away." - And this is probably an example of why I think the prior paragraph was a bit too much too soon. Hissing is communication and as long as it doesn't progress into something more it is ok. BUT hissing can build and escalate. Very good Maze respected the hiss and that helps build trust and confidence. But I would like to be cautious and keep it a bit more controlled. I am highly confident we will intro them successfully but I personally like it a bit more controlled because if negative feelings and distrust get ingrained it just more time and effort to get them to success.

"I assume its more of a “dont mess with me” hiss than an aggressive attack sort of stance." - I think you are exactly right.

"We have been scent swapping and have been using socks for that." - I think it may be a touch early but as long as they are responding well to the scent swapping that is fine. Just make sure it makes a positive association and they get to the point where they are totally fine with the scent. Just make sure it is all positive.

"I think we are comfortable to move to the gate feeding phase but will keep the door shut after feeding to prevent anymore escapes from Maze." - I honestly think it is a bit too early. I would work on building confidence (play especially with Monty) and keep making those positive associations feeding on each side of the closed door. And also working on distracting if or when needed. So the cats (especially Monty) responding to words, a toy, food. Anything positive. So when they do meet and there is some potential for negativity distraction can be more likely to succeed since avoiding a negative is a positive.

I understand the desire to "get this done" and move fast but the biggest risk I see in intros is a rushed process. I tend to be more conservative in intros than most people but it has worked in those situations I have done.

Make positive associations, maximize positive encounters, minimize or avoid negative encounters. work on building confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love.

Everything I am reading is positive and I am highly confident they will be successfully intro'd but I get a sense you may wan to go a bit faster than desired. We'll have to really watch the cats to let us know. It really is a process and we really want to ingrain in them that they can trust the other cat and that life will only be better with the other cat. Just as in human relationships, it does take some time.

GREAT job!! Let us know how things are going and please feel free to ask anything anytime.
 
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Jkris24

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It has been since I have updated everyone! Nothing has really changed in terms of the cats relationship. We were getting no hissing from scent and hearing eqch other under the door so we finally moved on to the vision factor in which Monty is still hissing and swatting at Maze from behind the gate. Luckily I believe it is purely defensive and not an attack which is good( fortunately Maze obeys her as well which hopefully eventually Monty will realize she is not a threat. Unfortunate news for Monty though. She has been having diarrhea for weeks and tracking it. We locked her up in the bathroom at night (when she usually poops) to isolate any poop being tracked around the apartment which has worked for us. We took to the vet and they are currently testing her feces for parasites. They also gave us medicine that we tried to give Monty with her food and she refused to eat! She lashed out at us shortly after and cut my entire hand when we put her away. She has also been hiding often (which isn’t exactly new as she has always been an extremely shy cat. Vet believes diarrhea could be caused by stress and anxiety especially based on Monty’s behavior. From my understanding she has always had soft stools (info from my fiancee). I personally am not sure the two cats will get along if this is an anxiety related issue. Monty never got along with the previous cat she lived with but they sorted out their differences and at least coexisted. Any tips?
 
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Yes, we switched her to purina proplan sensitive stomach to see how she does with that
 

Furballsmom

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Keeping my fingers crossed!

They also gave us medicine that we tried to give Monty with her food and she refused to eat!
Can you try hiding it in cheese, small bits of Buddig ham, unseasoned baby food or some other treat, or even one of those medicine pill pockets?
 

cataholic07

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Yes, we switched her to purina proplan sensitive stomach to see how she does with that
Purina proplan has alot of crap in it that I wouldnt recommend (lots of fillers that isn't good for sensitive stomachs). Are you feeding only or dry or wet food to? I find wet food can be easier on stomachs as long as it doesnt have carageenan in it. Rawz is a great brand, koha, hounds and gatos. Basically you want a novel protein diet that is easy to digest. A novel protein is whatever flavors she has never had like rabbit, kangaroo etc.

She might have IBS and with that you need to deal with the stress. Feliway, anxiety medication, cbd oil are your best bet. Check out this website.
Turns Our Cat’s GI Tract into a Jumbled Mess, Makes Him Feel Lousy
 

calicosrspecial

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It has been since I have updated everyone! Nothing has really changed in terms of the cats relationship. We were getting no hissing from scent and hearing eqch other under the door so we finally moved on to the vision factor in which Monty is still hissing and swatting at Maze from behind the gate. Luckily I believe it is purely defensive and not an attack which is good( fortunately Maze obeys her as well which hopefully eventually Monty will realize she is not a threat. Unfortunate news for Monty though. She has been having diarrhea for weeks and tracking it. We locked her up in the bathroom at night (when she usually poops) to isolate any poop being tracked around the apartment which has worked for us. We took to the vet and they are currently testing her feces for parasites. They also gave us medicine that we tried to give Monty with her food and she refused to eat! She lashed out at us shortly after and cut my entire hand when we put her away. She has also been hiding often (which isn’t exactly new as she has always been an extremely shy cat. Vet believes diarrhea could be caused by stress and anxiety especially based on Monty’s behavior. From my understanding she has always had soft stools (info from my fiancee). I personally am not sure the two cats will get along if this is an anxiety related issue. Monty never got along with the previous cat she lived with but they sorted out their differences and at least coexisted. Any tips?
The diarrhea could be stress or as others have mentioned parasites, proteins, other ingredients, etc. Glad you are getting a test to rule out parasites etc.

Did the vet mention if her intestines were "thick"?

Unfortunately, it is tricky. Taking away territory (having her in the bathroom only) can add to stress. But the fact she is tracking it around makes it difficult. I understand. Is she going outside of the litter box or in the litter box? How often is she going? Can you add litter boxes to reduce the risk of her stepping in it?

For now, I would keep them to scent only. No visual. Try to reassure Monty, keep on a schedule, a routine. Keep calm around her. Try to keep the stress for her as low as possible.

I am guessing you are giving Metro? It is a nasty tasting drug that is hard to administer sadly. Just do your best.

I do think they will get along and accept. I suspect it is mainly driven by some food allergy given the previous history of soft stools or possibly IBD etc. How old is Monty again?

I am not worried about them living together. We can get them to accept each other. I am not worried about that. Given they do handle the scent issue that is a good sign and even under visual it doesn't sound out of the ordinary.

I am interested in understanding the cause of the diarrhea. The vet didn't mention thickness or IBD it sounds but I would ask. It could be an ingredient or a protein issue in the food. So you may have to try different foods. It could be the stress may have aggravated the underlying issue so we need to keep them separated (visually) and really try to stabilize and reassure Monty.

Poor Monty. Let us know what you find out. We'll figure out what is going on and adjust as needed. Hang in there.
 
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No thick intestines were mentioned. It sounded like the vet wanted to rule out parasites before we love towards other conclusions. We are still waiting to hear back from the vet. She goes about 2-3 times a day. She is also dehydrated is my guess because her coat has to s of dandruff- we have tried to encourage her to drink water and it happens on rare occasions. My fiancee said this is has been an issue for awhile but the move I think aggravated the problem as you said because that is when the major diarrhea began. Thanks again!
 
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Also forgot to add but we believe Monty is anywhere rom 8-10. She is a rescue and they were unsure of her age but that was their estimation!
 

calicosrspecial

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No thick intestines were mentioned. It sounded like the vet wanted to rule out parasites before we love towards other conclusions. We are still waiting to hear back from the vet. She goes about 2-3 times a day. She is also dehydrated is my guess because her coat has to s of dandruff- we have tried to encourage her to drink water and it happens on rare occasions. My fiancee said this is has been an issue for awhile but the move I think aggravated the problem as you said because that is when the major diarrhea began. Thanks again!
Ok, that is really good (no thickness).

Yes, it is very good to rule out parasites, etc.

Ok, yes, 2-3 times is a lot. Is it all inside of the box or is it outside at times as well?

I would add a few more litter boxes so she can have clean options as it is hard to keep them clean when a cat is going several times a day.

How often is she peeing?

Does she like wet food? That is a good option to get her moisture if she is not drinking. A lot of times we don't see them drinking and a lot of times if we try to get them to drink they get suspicious and don't. We could tell by how often and how much she pees per day.

Some cats can have issues with a certain protein or ingredient.

Yes, a move, a new cat, etc can cause stress and can exacerbate the issues. How "different" was she acting?

Just really keep her on a routine, give her a lot of love, stay calm and confident around her. Try to get her to get a bit more confident, a bit more comfortable. I am thinking we might want to go slower on the intro and see if that helps.

Yes, Monty is at that age depending on what her background is (before your fiancee got her) that some health issues can start. It is good that their wasn't noticeable thickening. Let's hope it is "just" stress or parasites. I know she is a bit lacking of confidence so I think it is really important to focus on helping her get more comfortable, more confident. Play (which I know she doesn't like), Food, Height (cat tree, scratching post, comfy bedding, etc) and a lot of Love. Keep to a real routine, consistency, slow down the intro (Maze will be fine and as Monty gets more confident that will help in the intro) and give a lot of love. If we can reduce the stress and get her to "own" more of the territory and be more confident let's see if that can help. And we should hear soon from the vet about parasites.

Hang in there, we will figure it out.
 

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I haven't seen an update on this in a while, so I hope things have gotten better.

The physical issues Monty is having could be stress related, but I wanted to toss a couple more ideas out, simply because I went through a rough patch with my kitty a year and a half ago.

Not only did he develop diarrhea, but he also lost a huge patch of fur on the back right side. He started vomiting regularly, too.

There was definitely stress in his world because we lost his other half, so he was mourning that loss. Then, I tried to get him a new friend a couple months later. She tried to harm him a couple times. She eventually went back to the shelter.

Duncan also tested positive for Giardia, which the local shelter claimed they'd never had before. Pfft. Yeah, right. My vet also treated Duncan for parasites.

In addition, we did other tests over a period of months that eventually ruled out several illnesses. My vet was finally confident in her diagnosis of pancreatitis. He's been on meds over a year and a half, and it's all under control. He's doing great!

All this to say that my kitty's issue could've been solely the pancreatitis, or it could've been a combination of these things. I just wanted to give some other suggestions in case testing for other conditions didn't pan out. I think it was related to stress, but...

How is the situation between Maze and Monty now? I brought a new 1-year-old home yesterday. :think: So far, my 12 year old walks by door and hisses, makes funny noises under his breath with no hissing, or he avoids the area altogether. I'm hoping the situation in your home is better now, so it will give me some hope.

Jennifer
 

calicosrspecial

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I haven't seen an update on this in a while, so I hope things have gotten better.

The physical issues Monty is having could be stress related, but I wanted to toss a couple more ideas out, simply because I went through a rough patch with my kitty a year and a half ago.

Not only did he develop diarrhea, but he also lost a huge patch of fur on the back right side. He started vomiting regularly, too.

There was definitely stress in his world because we lost his other half, so he was mourning that loss. Then, I tried to get him a new friend a couple months later. She tried to harm him a couple times. She eventually went back to the shelter.

Duncan also tested positive for Giardia, which the local shelter claimed they'd never had before. Pfft. Yeah, right. My vet also treated Duncan for parasites.

In addition, we did other tests over a period of months that eventually ruled out several illnesses. My vet was finally confident in her diagnosis of pancreatitis. He's been on meds over a year and a half, and it's all under control. He's doing great!

All this to say that my kitty's issue could've been solely the pancreatitis, or it could've been a combination of these things. I just wanted to give some other suggestions in case testing for other conditions didn't pan out. I think it was related to stress, but...

How is the situation between Maze and Monty now? I brought a new 1-year-old home yesterday. :think: So far, my 12 year old walks by door and hisses, makes funny noises under his breath with no hissing, or he avoids the area altogether. I'm hoping the situation in your home is better now, so it will give me some hope.

Jennifer
Jennifer,

If you need help intro'ing your new 1 yr old with your 12 yr old please let us know. The formal introduction process is really important to speed up a successful intro.

It is really important to build trust going through the steps. Think of it as dating or taking in a new roommate. It takes time to build trust.

It is important to build positive associations (using food an scent only at first) and trying to make every encounter as positive as possible trying to minimize any negativity. It is all about building trust.

Happy to help anytime. Just ask. Send me a message if I don't see your post if you put one up.
 

Beyond Confused

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Jennifer,

If you need help intro'ing your new 1 yr old with your 12 yr old please let us know. The formal introduction process is really important to speed up a successful intro.

It is really important to build trust going through the steps. Think of it as dating or taking in a new roommate. It takes time to build trust.

It is important to build positive associations (using food an scent only at first) and trying to make every encounter as positive as possible trying to minimize any negativity. It is all about building trust.

Happy to help anytime. Just ask. Send me a message if I don't see your post if you put one up.
Thanks, Calico!

I don't want to hijack this thread, but it doesn't seem like it's been updated in a while. I'll give it a shot.

I will start by saying that I tried to bring a 2 year old torbie into our lives a couple months after my other kitty (Admiral) died. It did NOT go well. Duncan was curious, even seemed willing to give it a shot. He did hiss and growl when he saw her, but I figured that was to be expected. In general, he was mostly, as I said, curious. She, however, was high strung (had her 5 weeks, and she never settled down, even with me), and she attacked him a couple times, one time launching herself from a high perch on a cat tree. The final straw was when I saw Duncan paralyzed with fear in the kitchen. I noticed it was because she had somehow managed to climb to the top of the 3rd stacked baby gate, and she was staring him down from above.

Naturally, I've been quite apprehensive about giving this another shot, but it's been just shy of 2 years since Addy died. Duncan has become more demanding of my attention. It's super adorable, and I love the bond we've created, but I also think it's because he's bored and wants a friend. I've been working from home during all of this COVID stuff, and all day long, he taps me on my arm, walks in front of the computer, brings me presents (toys I'd hidden for him) over and over...like I said, super adorable, but I think he's desperate for another buddy.

Enter Indy. I brought him home yesterday. This kitty is so chill. He had been fostered, and from what I was told, this is him all the time. He LOVES other kitties and he doesn't understand personal space. :lol:
I setup a "loft studio" in my bedroom for him. I have a fluffy blanket and a comfy carrier in the tub, he's got a litter box, toy box, food, water, scratch post, and a window that looks over the backyard. He has it made. He's doing well in there. He loves every bit of attention I give him, and he screams once I leave the room. He only does that for a couple minutes and then he settles right in. When I go in there, he's usually lounging in the tub with a toy.

Duncan (dun dun dun!): natually, he's wary of the stranger. Shortly after I brought Indy home last night, Duncan started planting himself outside the door. There was no hissing, just curiosity. They haven't seen each other, unless Duncan managed to peer into the bathroom when I was trying to scoot in. So that was last night. I have been giving the majority of my attention to this kitty, and I spend time with the other when Duncan is sleeping.

Today: Duncan has been avoiding the bathroom, spending most of his time in the sun room, which is his room anyway - 2 cat trees, 6 large windows, etc. At one point, I picked him up and carried him to the backdoor because I wanted to see what he'd do when we passed the bathroom. Mind you, we didn't pass directly in front of it, but it's probably 5-10 feet from where we walked. He hissed a little, got agitated, did some funny little noises (he always does this - happy, sad, scared, etc). I held him by the backdoor where he could look outside, but he tried to get down the majority of the time. I put him down, and then I sat on the ground. I looked outside, acting nonchalantly. He started circling around me, coming over for head scratches. Occasionally, he would head over to the bathroom door (now maybe 15 feet), and he hissed. He did this a couple of times, and he'd always come right back to me. I didn't react at all when he did that. After that, when he walked over near the door, he would do the funny little noises and then he'd walk away, no hissing. He did that several times. Every time, when he'd walk away without the sass, I would praise him, scratch his head, etc. After maybe 15 minutes of this, he headed back to the sun room, so I followed him. (This is where my desk is.) He's now sleeping peacefully in one of the cat tree boxes. I went in to check on Indy, and now I'm back out here with Duncan.

I know this is getting extremely long, but I was hoping to give you as much information as possible in order to get the best plan together. I know it will take some time, but I'm most definitely hoping this won't take as long. I had the last one for 5 weeks. At the end of that time, that's when she was on top of the baby gates. In addition, when I put her in a different room (say, my bedroom), she would instantly hide and then stay like that for hours. I would also put Duncan in my bedroom and let her roam the house. The last time for was 8 solid hours, and she hid under the couch the entire time. No progress whatsoever, and I followed the Jackson Galaxy tips, or really tried to follow them. I got a LOT of guff from the Humane Society woman who said I didn't try hard enough. When my own mental health is on the line from that stress, sorry...that cat had to go back.

So yeah - scared to death to do this again. I think it'll be different because Indy is so laid back. He has scratches on his head that he got right before I adopted him. The woman said he got them from one of her kitties...so he's not afraid to try, get knocked down, and try again. I'm hopeful.

I took Indy to the vet this morning, and so I left the bathroom door open. I have no idea if Duncan explored, but we were gone for 2 hours.

Again - sorry for the novel. If you're still awake, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how we should move forward, given how it all went down last time. The foster mom said that, depending on how Duncan is doing, she thinks Indy would be ready to go in a couple days. lol HE might be, but I doubt Duncan is!

Thanks ahead of time for your help!
Jennifer
 

calicosrspecial

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Thanks, Calico!

I don't want to hijack this thread, but it doesn't seem like it's been updated in a while. I'll give it a shot.

I will start by saying that I tried to bring a 2 year old torbie into our lives a couple months after my other kitty (Admiral) died. It did NOT go well. Duncan was curious, even seemed willing to give it a shot. He did hiss and growl when he saw her, but I figured that was to be expected. In general, he was mostly, as I said, curious. She, however, was high strung (had her 5 weeks, and she never settled down, even with me), and she attacked him a couple times, one time launching herself from a high perch on a cat tree. The final straw was when I saw Duncan paralyzed with fear in the kitchen. I noticed it was because she had somehow managed to climb to the top of the 3rd stacked baby gate, and she was staring him down from above.

Naturally, I've been quite apprehensive about giving this another shot, but it's been just shy of 2 years since Addy died. Duncan has become more demanding of my attention. It's super adorable, and I love the bond we've created, but I also think it's because he's bored and wants a friend. I've been working from home during all of this COVID stuff, and all day long, he taps me on my arm, walks in front of the computer, brings me presents (toys I'd hidden for him) over and over...like I said, super adorable, but I think he's desperate for another buddy.

Enter Indy. I brought him home yesterday. This kitty is so chill. He had been fostered, and from what I was told, this is him all the time. He LOVES other kitties and he doesn't understand personal space. :lol:
I setup a "loft studio" in my bedroom for him. I have a fluffy blanket and a comfy carrier in the tub, he's got a litter box, toy box, food, water, scratch post, and a window that looks over the backyard. He has it made. He's doing well in there. He loves every bit of attention I give him, and he screams once I leave the room. He only does that for a couple minutes and then he settles right in. When I go in there, he's usually lounging in the tub with a toy.

Duncan (dun dun dun!): natually, he's wary of the stranger. Shortly after I brought Indy home last night, Duncan started planting himself outside the door. There was no hissing, just curiosity. They haven't seen each other, unless Duncan managed to peer into the bathroom when I was trying to scoot in. So that was last night. I have been giving the majority of my attention to this kitty, and I spend time with the other when Duncan is sleeping.

Today: Duncan has been avoiding the bathroom, spending most of his time in the sun room, which is his room anyway - 2 cat trees, 6 large windows, etc. At one point, I picked him up and carried him to the backdoor because I wanted to see what he'd do when we passed the bathroom. Mind you, we didn't pass directly in front of it, but it's probably 5-10 feet from where we walked. He hissed a little, got agitated, did some funny little noises (he always does this - happy, sad, scared, etc). I held him by the backdoor where he could look outside, but he tried to get down the majority of the time. I put him down, and then I sat on the ground. I looked outside, acting nonchalantly. He started circling around me, coming over for head scratches. Occasionally, he would head over to the bathroom door (now maybe 15 feet), and he hissed. He did this a couple of times, and he'd always come right back to me. I didn't react at all when he did that. After that, when he walked over near the door, he would do the funny little noises and then he'd walk away, no hissing. He did that several times. Every time, when he'd walk away without the sass, I would praise him, scratch his head, etc. After maybe 15 minutes of this, he headed back to the sun room, so I followed him. (This is where my desk is.) He's now sleeping peacefully in one of the cat tree boxes. I went in to check on Indy, and now I'm back out here with Duncan.

I know this is getting extremely long, but I was hoping to give you as much information as possible in order to get the best plan together. I know it will take some time, but I'm most definitely hoping this won't take as long. I had the last one for 5 weeks. At the end of that time, that's when she was on top of the baby gates. In addition, when I put her in a different room (say, my bedroom), she would instantly hide and then stay like that for hours. I would also put Duncan in my bedroom and let her roam the house. The last time for was 8 solid hours, and she hid under the couch the entire time. No progress whatsoever, and I followed the Jackson Galaxy tips, or really tried to follow them. I got a LOT of guff from the Humane Society woman who said I didn't try hard enough. When my own mental health is on the line from that stress, sorry...that cat had to go back.

So yeah - scared to death to do this again. I think it'll be different because Indy is so laid back. He has scratches on his head that he got right before I adopted him. The woman said he got them from one of her kitties...so he's not afraid to try, get knocked down, and try again. I'm hopeful.

I took Indy to the vet this morning, and so I left the bathroom door open. I have no idea if Duncan explored, but we were gone for 2 hours.

Again - sorry for the novel. If you're still awake, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how we should move forward, given how it all went down last time. The foster mom said that, depending on how Duncan is doing, she thinks Indy would be ready to go in a couple days. lol HE might be, but I doubt Duncan is!

Thanks ahead of time for your help!
Jennifer
I don't think she would mind (about the thread).

"I will start by saying that I tried to bring a 2 year old torbie into our lives a couple months after my other kitty (Admiral) died. It did NOT go well. Duncan was curious, even seemed willing to give it a shot. He did hiss and growl when he saw her, but I figured that was to be expected. In general, he was mostly, as I said, curious." - Yes, this happens a lot. Cats are territorial by nature so anytime a potential "threat" comes into "their" territory it can cause issues. That is why we want to slowly introduce them first via scent then on and on. And in the trauma of the loss of his friend and it needs more caution. It is very common.

"Naturally, I've been quite apprehensive about giving this another shot, but it's been just shy of 2 years since Addy died." - Understandably but with the right knowledge and the right effort I am not worried.

"Duncan has become more demanding of my attention. It's super adorable, and I love the bond we've created" - Wonderful!!

"but I also think it's because he's bored and wants a friend." - Hmmmmmm, maybe. Cats sense human emotions so I am guessing he is feeling the love and responding.

"I've been working from home during all of this COVID stuff, and all day long, he taps me on my arm, walks in front of the computer, brings me presents (toys I'd hidden for him) over and over...like I said, super adorable" - Agreed.

" but I think he's desperate for another buddy." - Possibly.

"Enter Indy. I brought him home yesterday. This kitty is so chill. He had been fostered, and from what I was told, this is him all the time. He LOVES other kitties and he doesn't understand personal space. :lol: " - Congratulations!!! Wonderful. It is much easier for the new cat since it is new territory and don't feel the need to "defend" the territory. It is almost always the resident cat that has the most difficult adjustment because of the territory ownership issue.

"I setup a "loft studio" in my bedroom for him. I have a fluffy blanket and a comfy carrier in the tub, he's got a litter box, toy box, food, water, scratch post, and a window that looks over the backyard. He has it made. He's doing well in there. He loves every bit of attention I give him, and he screams once I leave the room. He only does that for a couple minutes and then he settles right in. When I go in there, he's usually lounging in the tub with a toy." - Perfect. Is the "loft studio" separated by walls or a door? We will want to keep him (for now) totally separated from Duncan. And we'll want to start making a positive association by feeding on opposite sides of a closed door. How much did Duncan use the bedroom before?

"Duncan (dun dun dun!): natually, he's wary of the stranger. Shortly after I brought Indy home last night, Duncan started planting himself outside the door. There was no hissing, just curiosity. They haven't seen each other, unless Duncan managed to peer into the bathroom when I was trying to scoot in. So that was last night. I have been giving the majority of my attention to this kitty, and I spend time with the other when Duncan is sleeping." - Ok, great. GREAT job on keeping them totally separated. Please try to keep the visual as non-existent as possible (I know it is hard trying to get in and out. Just really try as early visual can be a bump in the road. And reassure Duncan when he is outside of the room. So if you can safely give love, talk calmly, confidently and lovingly to him, give treats. Anything positive to let him know everything is ok, he is loved, nothing is really changing (no physical threat, no threat to his food, water or litter box). If he starts hearing the new kitty distract him with food or a treat or a toy or words, etc.

And feeding meals (if possible) by the door and keeping his focus on the food is good as well.

Also, step up play with Duncan in other areas of the house and after play feed treats. This helps in building his confidence.

Great that you spend time with the new guy when Duncan is sleeping. See if he wants to play and if so play and feed either treats or a meal after. Give him some love if you can safely or just talk lovingly to him. Sit on the floor and just be calm, confident and loving and reassuring. I am not sure how social he is to you yet so we will adjust as needed. We will want to work on building his confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love as a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted (same goes for Duncan).

"Today: Duncan has been avoiding the bathroom, spending most of his time in the sun room, which is his room anyway - 2 cat trees, 6 large windows, etc." - Ok, that is fine. We will go at his pace. We don't want to force his interactions with the new guy's room. Everything we want to do should be basically as positive as possible and on his terms.

" At one point, I picked him up and carried him to the backdoor because I wanted to see what he'd do when we passed the bathroom." - The bathroom to the Indy's room?

"Mind you, we didn't pass directly in front of it, but it's probably 5-10 feet from where we walked. He hissed a little, got agitated, did some funny little noises (he always does this - happy, sad, scared, etc). I held him by the backdoor where he could look outside, but he tried to get down the majority of the time." - Ok, yes, what we want to do is make it as positive as possible and not force anything. With that said, I am not surprised. Cats like routines and to do things on their terms. So we will utilize some inducements to help encourage encounters in time. For now, just work on building confidence (Play, Food, Height and Love) with him and if he is by the new guy's territory then reassure him, talk lovingly, give treats, etc.

"I put him down, and then I sat on the ground. I looked outside, acting nonchalantly. He started circling around me, coming over for head scratches." - PERFECT!! WELL DONE!! This is GREAT!!

"Occasionally, he would head over to the bathroom door (now maybe 15 feet), and he hissed." - Totally normal and not to worry. Just tell him it is ok, stay calm and confident, reassure him. Distract him with something positive as well if possible.

"He did this a couple of times, and he'd always come right back to me. I didn't react at all when he did that." - You can just reassure him that all is ok. The fact nothing negative happened to him is actually a positive (that the new cat didn't attack etc). Hissing is communication so if that communication is respected (no negativity) then it isn;t that bad. Of course we don;t want a hiss but in this situation it is fine.

"After that, when he walked over near the door, he would do the funny little noises and then he'd walk away, no hissing. He did that several times." - GREAT!! But it is still early. The biggest mistake I see people make is getting positives and thinking all is fine now and it is early. It is a process. Reinforcing positives and trust.

"Every time, when he'd walk away without the sass, I would praise him, scratch his head, etc." - great. But feel free to do this even if he had some hissing etc. Just reassure him that he is safe, everything is fine.

"After maybe 15 minutes of this, he headed back to the sun room, so I followed him. (This is where my desk is.) He's now sleeping peacefully in one of the cat tree boxes." - LOVE to hear this. Exactly what we want. We'll want to keep getting these results. So we want to keep trying to get these results. Ending on a positive is a positive !! Well done!!

"I went in to check on Indy, and now I'm back out here with Duncan." - great. Indy was doing well?

"I know this is getting extremely long, but I was hoping to give you as much information as possible in order to get the best plan together." - Don't worry. The most important thing is information. You are my eyes and ears so I need you to tell me as much as possible so I can understand the situation.

"I know it will take some time, but I'm most definitely hoping this won't take as long." - I will do everything in my power to make it happen as quickly as possible. The key is too avoid negatives as much as possible. There are always steps forward and steps back. I do and have done A LOT of intros. We'll go at the pace the cats allow us. Intros can last a month up to over a year. It just depends. Avoiding negativity helps speed up the process.

"I had the last one for 5 weeks. At the end of that time, that's when she was on top of the baby gates. In addition, when I put her in a different room (say, my bedroom), she would instantly hide and then stay like that for hours. I would also put Duncan in my bedroom and let her roam the house. The last time for was 8 solid hours, and she hid under the couch the entire time. No progress whatsoever, and I followed the Jackson Galaxy tips, or really tried to follow them. I got a LOT of guff from the Humane Society woman who said I didn't try hard enough. When my own mental health is on the line from that stress, sorry...that cat had to go back." - I understand. It is a lot easier to have someone go step by step than be on your own doing an intro. Don't worry, I will be with you every step of the way.

"So yeah - scared to death to do this again." - Understandable but please don't be. No reason to be. I am with you now. I have intro'd cats that have tried to literally kill each other (serious blood, injuries, etc). It all comes down to knowledge and effort. If you want this as much as I think you do we'll be fine.

"I took Indy to the vet this morning, and so I left the bathroom door open. I have no idea if Duncan explored, but we were gone for 2 hours." - This is what we call "site swapping". It is way too early to start this at this point. That will be in our future though at the appropriate time.

"Again - sorry for the novel." - NO apologies needed. This is very helpful

"If you're still awake" - I totally am. Not an issue.

,"I'd love to hear your thoughts on how we should move forward" - So for now I would like to keep them totally separate, no visual. I would like you to step up play with Duncan and feed treats or a meal after. Keep him on a schedule and about as consistent as what is was like before Indy (so feed at the same times, play at the same times, etc). Reassure him, love him. If he is focused on Indy's territory reassure, make it positive, use treats, get him to focus on something else (other than Indy). Keep his life as much the same as it was pre-Indy. For Indy, work on building confidence (Play, Food, height and Love). At some point we will want to start feeding by the closed door to Indy's room to make a positive association (food is good so that smell of that other cat and good food - good positive things). If you sense tension or negativity reassure, distract, etc. And since the door is closed the new guy can't attack and cause a negative encounter.

"The foster mom said that, depending on how Duncan is doing, she thinks Indy would be ready to go in a couple days. lol HE might be, but I doubt Duncan is!" - Yes, we need to work with Duncan. To build his confidence,. trust and territorial security. Let him know the new guy is not a threat, not a negative. He still gets love and good food and is safe and has his litter box etc. It really is like dating or moving in with a roommate, it takes some time to build trust. But I have not read any reason why this will not work. If we follow the process I am highly confident they will get intro'd. Not sure when as it is too early but the process really does work.

You are very welcome.

Please let me know if you have any questions. For now let's take it slow and see how it goes and we will go from step to step. Ask any questions anytime. And provide any details.

Talk soon and ask for any clarifications.
 

Beyond Confused

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Thank you for responding so quickly!

Yes - the "loft studio" is my bathroom, so doors & walls. As for how much he was in the bedroom and/or bathroom - all the time. Because cats have a natural fascination with people using the toilet or showering, he would always follow me in there and stay for the duration. I will also find him just sitting on the bathroom scale sometimes when I'm not even in there. Must be because he's all of 9 lbs because you wouldn't find me just hanging out on the scale! :lol:
As for the bedroom - again, all the time. He sleeps with me probably 75% of the time. He's also in there when I'm getting ready and tidying up.

I don't think he's managed to see Indy, really. I did buy some treats tonight (temptations - his one and only.) I can only give them very sparingly because of the pancreatitis. He's on a super strict diet, but I asked the vet today about using it for this introduction period. My plan is to only use these once we get to the part where he's outside the bathroom and not pitching a fit. I also picked up the Feliway plug in as well as the spray tonight. I've got the plug in, in, and I've sprayed his cat trees, and I'm thinking about spraying outside the bathroom door.

I did just get home from the store, so I was putting the groceries away. To my surprise, he walked right out to the kitchen, and walked over to the bathroom door a couple of times, NO HISSING! After he stood over there for a few seconds the second time, I walked away out to the sun room. I knew he'd follow, and I didn't want to push my luck. I'm not sure if Indy was making any noise or not, but Duncan is, of course, aware he's in there. I kept telling him he was a good boy, and I pet his head a few times.

As for playing with Duncan, at night, we have been playing on my bed with his laser light, which he loves. He's not big on toys outside of that. I was thinking that I'd try on the kitchen floor tonight...he'd be in the vicinity but distracted by the light? Is that a good idea?

Regarding how adjusted Indy is with me - it's as if I've always had him. He is one of the coolest, calmest kitties I've ever met. Every time I go in there, he immediately runs up to me, crawls in my lap and starts flip flopping and laying like a baby in my arms. Then, he'll look out the window (while on my lap) and then return his attention to me. He LOVES attention, and we bonded instantly. No worries there. This kitty is NOT lacking confidence! Ha!

" At one point, I picked him up and carried him to the backdoor because I wanted to see what he'd do when we passed the bathroom." - "The bathroom to the Indy's room? " Correct.

(As I'm typing, he just wandered over to the bathroom door, sniffed around and walked away - no drama at all. I did put the plug in near there, but I'm sure it's way too soon for that to work.)

I'm definitely not trying to get too far ahead of the game and thinking that not hissing (at this stage) means everything is OK, but I'll take the little victories where I can get them. :)

"I went in to check on Indy, and now I'm back out here with Duncan." - "great. Indy was doing well? " Yep! I don't think (I hope, anyway) anything can rile Indy up.

As far as feeding goes, I have tried to put Duncan on a schedule before, but it didn't go well. He would vomit up white foam. He has always been free fed, and what he does is he eats a few bites, walks away, and comes back periodically to get more. The old vet (even though she only dealt with cats, I don't think she knew a thing about them. That's a whole other story) told me to do scheduled feedings, but the new vet feels like the free feeding is working well, especially with his condition. But I will definitely step up the play, if he'll let me. After he sniffed the bathroom a few minutes ago, he wandered around. When I called him and dangled my hand, he came trotting over as always. He's really quite calm right now. He just crawled back in his carrier (he sleeps in there all the time).

Now, what I CAN do with the food is - I have to pick it up anywhere from 30-45 minutes before he gets his medicine, and then I have to keep it up for another 30-45 minutes after the medicine, or he'll vomit. I can start doing the same with Indy. It's kind of scheduled but not totally? Sorry - I'm not trying to be difficult, but the pancreatitis kind of changes the food situation. And like I said - the same goes for treats, which is a bummer. My cats (Duncan and Admiral) were completely hooked on those things, so it was a sad day when I had to stop. But I've been given the green light to give little bits at a time once things start progressing.

Thanks again!

(Since Duncan is catnapping, I'm going to check on my little nugget in the other room. :)
 

Beyond Confused

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While I can't give them treats through this whole process, I did splurge today and bought some cans of the wet version of Duncan's food. He loves wet food, yet he gets bored with it really quickly, and so much of it will go to waste. Well, I was told that Indy loves wet food, so he'll gladly keep it from going to waste.

So this was the "treat" I gave them tonight for dinner. I took Duncan's bowl from its normal spot and moved it probably 3.5 feet closer to the bathroom. Duncan immediately came to eat. Of course, he took a little and walked away. A little while later, I spotted him, not only eating more of the food, but he was sitting with his back to the bathroom door!

Add to this, he has walked up to or walked past the bathroom door numerous times this evening, and not one hiss. When he stops, he just stands there, staring at the door with his tail twitching.

I know there's so much more to do, but I am actually hopeful this time around. Plus, it really helps knowing what a cool cat Indy is compared to the frantic mess Gracie was.
 

Beyond Confused

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Thanks! :)

Duncan has been actually really normal for the most part. Last night we played again right before bed, and then he slept with me most of the night. Before bed, any time he'd walk by the bathroom, there would be no hissing. Sometimes he would stop, sometimes he'd keep walking. It was the same when I woke up this morning.

One of our rituals in the morning is that I pick him up (which he loves first thing in the morning), and we go around, opening the blinds and windows. He had just walked by the bathroom a minute or so before I went to pick him up. When I picked him up, he started meowing and trying to get down. I just held him and kept talking to him, going about opening the blinds. Some of the blinds are in the bed/kitchen/laundry area, so he hissed as we walked by. Opening the backdoor was the last thing I did. I stood there for a minute with him, looking outside, then I put him down. He was a bit agitated, so I sat down on the floor like I did yesterday. He walked over to the bathroom area 1 or 2 times, hissing, but then he'd make his way back to me and rub against my foot or let me rub his head. I sat down there for maybe 5 or 10 minutes. When I stood up, Duncan ran ahead to the dining/sun room area of the house. He totally calmed down then.

When he was in his litter box, I made my way to the bathroom to spend some time with Indy. He was super sweet and loving, soaking up every bit of attention he could get. He sat on my lap, looking out the window, and then turned back for more hugs/snuggles. Eventually, I got up and straightened up the bathroom and cleaned his box. He was sprawled out on the floor as I shimmied out the door. I noticed Duncan had been sitting on the other side, but when I opened the door, he was in mid sprint back toward the sun room. He didn't see Indy, unless maybe he peeked under the door.

Anyway, when I came out, I noticed that he had retrieved one of his hidden toys and had it laid out for me. I praised him and then cleaned his box, hid his toy again.

Currently, I am sitting in the living room, near the hallway/bathroom. Duncan is sitting out here, acting normally. He even walked by the bathroom or used the hall to go to my bedroom with me. He didn't hiss or anything.
Now, though, as I sit in the recliner, Indy is yelling in the bathroom, so Duncan turned and hissed a couple times. But now, all is quiet and Duncan is lying on the floor halfway between me and the bathroom.

So that's our morning update. :hellocomputer:
 

calicosrspecial

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Thank you for responding so quickly!

Yes - the "loft studio" is my bathroom, so doors & walls. As for how much he was in the bedroom and/or bathroom - all the time. Because cats have a natural fascination with people using the toilet or showering, he would always follow me in there and stay for the duration. I will also find him just sitting on the bathroom scale sometimes when I'm not even in there. Must be because he's all of 9 lbs because you wouldn't find me just hanging out on the scale! :lol:
As for the bedroom - again, all the time. He sleeps with me probably 75% of the time. He's also in there when I'm getting ready and tidying up.

I don't think he's managed to see Indy, really. I did buy some treats tonight (temptations - his one and only.) I can only give them very sparingly because of the pancreatitis. He's on a super strict diet, but I asked the vet today about using it for this introduction period. My plan is to only use these once we get to the part where he's outside the bathroom and not pitching a fit. I also picked up the Feliway plug in as well as the spray tonight. I've got the plug in, in, and I've sprayed his cat trees, and I'm thinking about spraying outside the bathroom door.

I did just get home from the store, so I was putting the groceries away. To my surprise, he walked right out to the kitchen, and walked over to the bathroom door a couple of times, NO HISSING! After he stood over there for a few seconds the second time, I walked away out to the sun room. I knew he'd follow, and I didn't want to push my luck. I'm not sure if Indy was making any noise or not, but Duncan is, of course, aware he's in there. I kept telling him he was a good boy, and I pet his head a few times.

As for playing with Duncan, at night, we have been playing on my bed with his laser light, which he loves. He's not big on toys outside of that. I was thinking that I'd try on the kitchen floor tonight...he'd be in the vicinity but distracted by the light? Is that a good idea?

Regarding how adjusted Indy is with me - it's as if I've always had him. He is one of the coolest, calmest kitties I've ever met. Every time I go in there, he immediately runs up to me, crawls in my lap and starts flip flopping and laying like a baby in my arms. Then, he'll look out the window (while on my lap) and then return his attention to me. He LOVES attention, and we bonded instantly. No worries there. This kitty is NOT lacking confidence! Ha!

" At one point, I picked him up and carried him to the backdoor because I wanted to see what he'd do when we passed the bathroom." - "The bathroom to the Indy's room? " Correct.

(As I'm typing, he just wandered over to the bathroom door, sniffed around and walked away - no drama at all. I did put the plug in near there, but I'm sure it's way too soon for that to work.)

I'm definitely not trying to get too far ahead of the game and thinking that not hissing (at this stage) means everything is OK, but I'll take the little victories where I can get them. :)

"I went in to check on Indy, and now I'm back out here with Duncan." - "great. Indy was doing well? " Yep! I don't think (I hope, anyway) anything can rile Indy up.

As far as feeding goes, I have tried to put Duncan on a schedule before, but it didn't go well. He would vomit up white foam. He has always been free fed, and what he does is he eats a few bites, walks away, and comes back periodically to get more. The old vet (even though she only dealt with cats, I don't think she knew a thing about them. That's a whole other story) told me to do scheduled feedings, but the new vet feels like the free feeding is working well, especially with his condition. But I will definitely step up the play, if he'll let me. After he sniffed the bathroom a few minutes ago, he wandered around. When I called him and dangled my hand, he came trotting over as always. He's really quite calm right now. He just crawled back in his carrier (he sleeps in there all the time).

Now, what I CAN do with the food is - I have to pick it up anywhere from 30-45 minutes before he gets his medicine, and then I have to keep it up for another 30-45 minutes after the medicine, or he'll vomit. I can start doing the same with Indy. It's kind of scheduled but not totally? Sorry - I'm not trying to be difficult, but the pancreatitis kind of changes the food situation. And like I said - the same goes for treats, which is a bummer. My cats (Duncan and Admiral) were completely hooked on those things, so it was a sad day when I had to stop. But I've been given the green light to give little bits at a time once things start progressing.

Thanks again!

(Since Duncan is catnapping, I'm going to check on my little nugget in the other room. :)
Well, this reply is slow. Afternoons and evenings are more difficult for me since I take care of a feral colony and as age takes hold I get more tired nowadays.

"Yes - the "loft studio" is my bathroom, so doors & walls." - Ok, good, very helpful.

"As for how much he was in the bedroom and/or bathroom - all the time." - Yes, makes sense. We'll want to keep Indy in the "loft studio/bathroom" as much as possible. We'll want to allow Duncan access to the bedroom as much as possible. Since cats are territorial we want to try not to take much territory away. If we can create a little "buffer" zone by the bathroom door to limit interactions that can be helpful. How we do that I am not sure.

"As for the bedroom - again, all the time. He sleeps with me probably 75% of the time. He's also in there when I'm getting ready and tidying up." - Yes, so it is going to be very important to try to maintain this as much as possible. If he is sleeping with you and enjoying things with Indy in the bathroom it creates a positive association so it is really positive. What we want to try to address is if he hears Indy and runs to the bathroom door and has an "encounter" that may not be positive. We want to try to keep it as positive as possible.

"I don't think he's managed to see Indy, really." - Very good, let's try to keep it that way.

"I did buy some treats tonight (temptations - his one and only.) I can only give them very sparingly because of the pancreatitis. He's on a super strict diet, but I asked the vet today about using it for this introduction period. My plan is to only use these once we get to the part where he's outside the bathroom and not pitching a fit." - Yes, his health is most important. And the good news is, we can make a positive association without treats. So it should be just his normal meal food and/or love. It is really anything that the cat likes and that the human can be safe. It is really all about the cat feeling safe and secure and the encounter being as positive as possible. We can work around his diet, that is not a problem.

"I did just get home from the store, so I was putting the groceries away. To my surprise, he walked right out to the kitchen, and walked over to the bathroom door a couple of times, NO HISSING! After he stood over there for a few seconds the second time, I walked away out to the sun room. I knew he'd follow, and I didn't want to push my luck. I'm not sure if Indy was making any noise or not, but Duncan is, of course, aware he's in there. I kept telling him he was a good boy, and I pet his head a few times." - Great job in handling that!! Very good job distracting him from the door in a positive way and ending it on a positive note. That is what I call a "positive encounter". Duncan definitely knows he is there but Indy did't do anything threatening or negative. So it is a positive. Now, there will be hissing at times in the future. But our goal is to reassure Duncan and turn it into a positive. Since Indy can't hurt him or threaten him any fear will be more in Duncan's mind rather than physical.

"I kept telling him he was a good boy, and I pet his head a few times." - This is what I call "Love". EXACTLY the right thing to do (when it is safe). Reassures him, gives him confidence, positive associations. Perfect!!

"As for playing with Duncan, at night, we have been playing on my bed with his laser light, which he loves." - Perfect. PLaying in the bedroom on the bed is great. Builds confidence, builds territorial security. And a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted. And since he is near Indy it is a positive association which is also what we want. Now, we'll have to watch that he doesn't get too "amped" up and get too much energy and redirect it towards Indy. But this is great, keep it up. VERY helpful for our process.

"He's not big on toys outside of that." - That is fine. As long as he enjoys the laser light it is great.

"I was thinking that I'd try on the kitchen floor tonight...he'd be in the vicinity but distracted by the light? Is that a good idea?" - Sorry I didn't see this earlier. As long as he wouldn't hurt himself on the floor running around as floors can be slippery sometimes. If you think he is confident in the kitchen you don;t have to and the bedroom play is great.

"Regarding how adjusted Indy is with me - it's as if I've always had him. He is one of the coolest, calmest kitties I've ever met. Every time I go in there, he immediately runs up to me, crawls in my lap and starts flip flopping and laying like a baby in my arms. Then, he'll look out the window (while on my lap) and then return his attention to me. He LOVES attention, and we bonded instantly. No worries there. This kitty is NOT lacking confidence! Ha!" - Perfect. Just keep building his confidence and doing what you are doing. He will be very helpful in the process. He sounds absolutely adorable!!

"I'm definitely not trying to get too far ahead of the game and thinking that not hissing (at this stage) means everything is OK, but I'll take the little victories where I can get them. :) " - TOTALLY. Yes, there are always ups and downs. I am not at all worried. We are going to be fine.

"As far as feeding goes, I have tried to put Duncan on a schedule before, but it didn't go well. He would vomit up white foam. He has always been free fed, and what he does is he eats a few bites, walks away, and comes back periodically to get more. The old vet (even though she only dealt with cats, I don't think she knew a thing about them. That's a whole other story) told me to do scheduled feedings, but the new vet feels like the free feeding is working well, especially with his condition." - Whatever is best for him. So continue free feeding as you do. Then we can take a few pieces of his regular food and see if he will eat (almost like treats) by the door to Indy (in time). There are no set rules, principles, yes, but we work and adjust to the cat's needs.

"But I will definitely step up the play, if he'll let me." - Great.

"After he sniffed the bathroom a few minutes ago, he wandered around. When I called him and dangled my hand, he came trotting over as always." - GREAT job. That is what we try, positive distraction. Give love (if safe). That was what I call a positive encounter. Our goal is to get him to think of Indy in a positive way, to trust him. Really good job handling it like you did.

"He's really quite calm right now. He just crawled back in his carrier (he sleeps in there all the time)." - Perfect.

"Now, what I CAN do with the food is - I have to pick it up anywhere from 30-45 minutes before he gets his medicine, and then I have to keep it up for another 30-45 minutes after the medicine, or he'll vomit." - That is fine. Just keep doing that. It is important for him to feel well and stay as healthy as possible.

"I can start doing the same with Indy." - I don't think you have to change anything with how you feed Indy. Indy will be fine in the intro process. We just need to get Duncan to trust him. So my focus is mostly on Duncan and positive associations and positive encoutners at this point.

"It's kind of scheduled but not totally? Sorry - I'm not trying to be difficult, but the pancreatitis kind of changes the food situation." - You are not difficult at all. It is totally fine.

"And like I said - the same goes for treats, which is a bummer. My cats (Duncan and Admiral) were completely hooked on those things, so it was a sad day when I had to stop. But I've been given the green light to give little bits at a time once things start progressing." - Well, if we can avoid treats (which I think we will be able to) that is probably best. So our goal is to limit or avoid treats if at all possible. I want Duncan to be in the best health as possible.

"While I can't give them treats through this whole process, I did splurge today and bought some cans of the wet version of Duncan's food." - GREAT.

"He loves wet food, yet he gets bored with it really quickly, and so much of it will go to waste." - Is it possible to give as treats and refrigerate it? Is it safe to do that? We could use this for "treats" during the door intro/feeding phase.

"Well, I was told that Indy loves wet food, so he'll gladly keep it from going to waste." - Is it ok for Indy to have? Just ask the vet as I don't know if it is prescription, etc.

"So this was the "treat" I gave them tonight for dinner." - I read each paragraph at a time so you did EXACTLY what I would have done. GREAT job!!! Exactly the way to do it. A healthy thing for him.

"I took Duncan's bowl from its normal spot and moved it probably 3.5 feet closer to the bathroom. Duncan immediately came to eat. Of course, he took a little and walked away. A little while later, I spotted him, not only eating more of the food, but he was sitting with his back to the bathroom door!" - WOW!!! GREAT!!! Again, EXACTLY what we are trying to achieve. Positive association, positive encounter. Great job!! We'll want to keep reinforcing this. So keep doing this for now.

"Add to this, he has walked up to or walked past the bathroom door numerous times this evening, and not one hiss. When he stops, he just stands there, staring at the door with his tail twitching." - Perfect. It is all about getting him to trust Indy. First via scent. Good signs so far. Feel free to reassure him, give love (if can be done safely), continue trying to play, etc. Positive associations, positive encounters, building confidence.

"I know there's so much more to do, but I am actually hopeful this time around." - I am highly confident. I am not at all worried. I am much more than hopeful!!!

"Duncan has been actually really normal for the most part. Last night we played again right before bed, and then he slept with me most of the night. Before bed, any time he'd walk by the bathroom, there would be no hissing. Sometimes he would stop, sometimes he'd keep walking. It was the same when I woke up this morning." - Perfect. What is really important is he slept with you and his life is the same as it was pre-Indy. No changes, no threat. That consistency is really important. Great job!!

"One of our rituals in the morning is that I pick him up (which he loves first thing in the morning), and we go around, opening the blinds and windows. He had just walked by the bathroom a minute or so before I went to pick him up. When I picked him up, he started meowing and trying to get down." - It may be that he felt it wasn't on his terms. But I am not worried.

"I just held him and kept talking to him, going about opening the blinds."- Good job.

"Some of the blinds are in the bed/kitchen/laundry area, so he hissed as we walked by." - That is normal, I am not worried.

"Opening the backdoor was the last thing I did. I stood there for a minute with him, looking outside, then I put him down. He was a bit agitated, so I sat down on the floor like I did yesterday. He walked over to the bathroom area 1 or 2 times, hissing, but then he'd make his way back to me and rub against my foot or let me rub his head. I sat down there for maybe 5 or 10 minutes. When I stood up, Duncan ran ahead to the dining/sun room area of the house. He totally calmed down then." - And that is the right thing. He was a little agitated maybe BUT you calmed him down. All was well, he ended happy. Turned a minor negative into a positive. He rubbed on you, got love. EXACTLY the right thing to do!! Well done!! Ended on a positive note.

"When he was in his litter box, I made my way to the bathroom to spend some time with Indy. He was super sweet and loving, soaking up every bit of attention he could get. He sat on my lap, looking out the window, and then turned back for more hugs/snuggles. Eventually, I got up and straightened up the bathroom and cleaned his box. He was sprawled out on the floor as I shimmied out the door." - GREAT!!!

"I noticed Duncan had been sitting on the other side, but when I opened the door, he was in mid sprint back toward the sun room. He didn't see Indy, unless maybe he peeked under the door." - Sounds like he was there and had a positive encounter. That is absolutely fine. I think that was a positive encounter for Duncan.

"Anyway, when I came out, I noticed that he had retrieved one of his hidden toys and had it laid out for me. I praised him and then cleaned his box, hid his toy again." - Awwwwwwww, wow. He is doing much better than I would have thought. Really great job!!

"Currently, I am sitting in the living room, near the hallway/bathroom. Duncan is sitting out here, acting normally. He even walked by the bathroom or used the hall to go to my bedroom with me. He didn't hiss or anything." - great.

"Now, though, as I sit in the recliner, Indy is yelling in the bathroom, so Duncan turned and hissed a couple times. But now, all is quiet and Duncan is lying on the floor halfway between me and the bathroom." - Totally normal and understandable. So this is where I will reassure. Tell them all is well, reassure. Give love (if safely). Use positive distraction. Hissing is communication. Duncan is probably telling Indy "Don't try anything". And of course, Indy can;t do anything negative and Duncan has his territory, his mom, etc. All is good. So it turns out ok and builds that trust. It takes repetition and reinforcement to let Duncan build that trust that all is going to be well. Again, I am not at all worried, normal part of the process.

Great job!! I am not at all worried. Just keep doing what you are doing for now. I am really happy with what I am reading so far. There will be ups and downs but I don't see any reason to be worried.

Keep up the great work and update us anytime and ask for any clarifications anytime.
 
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