Introduction started okay then went bad

Ridney

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
32
Purraise
10
Hello, looking for advice. We have resident cat, Frankie, who is about 2 years old and we've had him for 6 months. I recently brought in a new cat, Buddy, who is about 10 years old. I hadn't planned to get another cat but Buddy's owner is going into long term care and needed to find him a home. I was going to bring him home and try to find him a new home but, of course, we fell in love with him. Frankie is playful and boisterous and always getting into things, he is super fun and sweet. Buddy is much more mellow, of course he's still getting used to all this new stuff. He doesn't seem to be aggressive at all, just a really sweet guy. We followed the recommended steps and had them to the stage where they were eating on either side of a baby gate with no issues. Initially there was some hissing from Frankie but we had gotten past that. We decided to try an introduction and seemed to be going well until Frankie lunged aggressively at Buddy. I was able to separate them immediately but then Buddy was quite fearful of Frankie. We went back to having them separated behind a closed door and worked back to them being able to see each other and eat on either side of the baby gate. So back on track. Then we went away for a week, this had been planned for months before we got Buddy. Our usual cat sitter backed out on us so Frankie ended up going to a Cat Hotel for a week and Buddy stayed at home with a friend coming in every day to spend time with him, it was too late to get Buddy into the Hotel. So we got home, Frankie had an awful time at the hotel, very nervous and hid the whole time so he had a bad week. Buddy was fine. After we got home, Frankie slipped through the baby gate and attacked Buddy, bit his ear, scratched him. We got them separated quickly but the damage was done, now Buddy is totally afraid and hiding/hissing in his safe room. I brought in something with Frankie's scent to Buddy's room and he immediately started hissing.
Some other details that may be helpful- Frankie was a very nervous cat when we got him, he is now totally cool but is definitely nervous about new things. Ever since we got him, Buddy has sprayed around his litter box marking his territory. We have one litter box that they can both access (when we allow them into each other's area) Buddy will spray around this box as well. I've never had a cat who sprayed before so not sure if this is normal. They both have their own litter box as well. We have the Feliway diffuser.
Can this relationship be saved? I'm worried Buddy will now be so afraid of Frankie after being attacked. We have them separated completely again and planning to slowly work through the steps again until they are able to see and eat around each other without a reaction but nervous about how we will be able to introduce them in person. Any advice appreciated!
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
4,361
Purraise
2,495
Hello, looking for advice. We have resident cat, Frankie, who is about 2 years old and we've had him for 6 months. I recently brought in a new cat, Buddy, who is about 10 years old. I hadn't planned to get another cat but Buddy's owner is going into long term care and needed to find him a home. I was going to bring him home and try to find him a new home but, of course, we fell in love with him. Frankie is playful and boisterous and always getting into things, he is super fun and sweet. Buddy is much more mellow, of course he's still getting used to all this new stuff. He doesn't seem to be aggressive at all, just a really sweet guy. We followed the recommended steps and had them to the stage where they were eating on either side of a baby gate with no issues. Initially there was some hissing from Frankie but we had gotten past that. We decided to try an introduction and seemed to be going well until Frankie lunged aggressively at Buddy. I was able to separate them immediately but then Buddy was quite fearful of Frankie. We went back to having them separated behind a closed door and worked back to them being able to see each other and eat on either side of the baby gate. So back on track. Then we went away for a week, this had been planned for months before we got Buddy. Our usual cat sitter backed out on us so Frankie ended up going to a Cat Hotel for a week and Buddy stayed at home with a friend coming in every day to spend time with him, it was too late to get Buddy into the Hotel. So we got home, Frankie had an awful time at the hotel, very nervous and hid the whole time so he had a bad week. Buddy was fine. After we got home, Frankie slipped through the baby gate and attacked Buddy, bit his ear, scratched him. We got them separated quickly but the damage was done, now Buddy is totally afraid and hiding/hissing in his safe room. I brought in something with Frankie's scent to Buddy's room and he immediately started hissing.
Some other details that may be helpful- Frankie was a very nervous cat when we got him, he is now totally cool but is definitely nervous about new things. Ever since we got him, Buddy has sprayed around his litter box marking his territory. We have one litter box that they can both access (when we allow them into each other's area) Buddy will spray around this box as well. I've never had a cat who sprayed before so not sure if this is normal. They both have their own litter box as well. We have the Feliway diffuser.
Can this relationship be saved? I'm worried Buddy will now be so afraid of Frankie after being attacked. We have them separated completely again and planning to slowly work through the steps again until they are able to see and eat around each other without a reaction but nervous about how we will be able to introduce them in person. Any advice appreciated!
"Hello, looking for advice." - Hello, welcome.

" We have resident cat, Frankie, who is about 2 years old and we've had him for 6 months." - Ok

" I recently brought in a new cat, Buddy, who is about 10 years old. I hadn't planned to get another cat but Buddy's owner is going into long term care and needed to find him a home. I was going to bring him home and try to find him a new home but, of course, we fell in love with him. Frankie is playful and boisterous and always getting into things, he is super fun and sweet. Buddy is much more mellow, of course he's still getting used to all this new stuff. He doesn't seem to be aggressive at all, just a really sweet guy. " - Ok, great.

"We followed the recommended steps and had them to the stage where they were eating on either side of a baby gate with no issues." - OK, for how long?

" Initially there was some hissing from Frankie but we had gotten past that." - Ok, hissing is just communication so if it is respected that is good..

"We decided to try an introduction and seemed to be going well until Frankie lunged aggressively at Buddy." - Ok, how soon after?

" I was able to separate them immediately but then Buddy was quite fearful of Frankie." - Understandably.

" We went back to having them separated behind a closed door and worked back to them being able to see each other and eat on either side of the baby gate. So back on track." - Great job

" Then we went away for a week, this had been planned for months before we got Buddy." - Ok, I have a feeling I know where this is going. :/

" Our usual cat sitter backed out on us so Frankie ended up going to a Cat Hotel for a week and Buddy stayed at home with a friend coming in every day to spend time with him, it was too late to get Buddy into the Hotel." - Ok, here we have the issue. :/

" So we got home, Frankie had an awful time at the hotel, very nervous and hid the whole time so he had a bad week." - Yes :/

" Buddy was fine. " - Ok, good.

"After we got home, Frankie slipped through the baby gate and attacked Buddy, bit his ear, scratched him." - Yep. Cats are territorial so a new cat comes in and the resident cat goes to another place. So territorial insecurity sets in and this can happen.

"We got them separated quickly but the damage was done, now Buddy is totally afraid and hiding/hissing in his safe room." - Yes

" I brought in something with Frankie's scent to Buddy's room and he immediately started hissing." - OK. We have to do a total reintro. :/

"Some other details that may be helpful- Frankie was a very nervous cat when we got him, he is now totally cool but is definitely nervous about new things." - Ok

" Ever since we got him, Buddy has sprayed around his litter box marking his territory." - Ok, so he has tendencies of territorial insecurity.

" We have one litter box that they can both access (when we allow them into each other's area) Buddy will spray around this box as well." - Ok :/

" I've never had a cat who sprayed before so not sure if this is normal." - When they have territorial insecurity and lack confidence it can happen easily.

"They both have their own litter box as well. We have the Feliway diffuser." - Ok

"Can this relationship be saved?" - Yes, I believe so and can help you all the way. We have to start from teh beginning and do a full intro process.

" I'm worried Buddy will now be so afraid of Frankie after being attacked." - Well, we need to build their confidence and associate them with good things.

" We have them separated completely again" - Great

" and planning to slowly work through the steps again" - Great. I get a sense the first try at intro'ing them was too fast. Which is the most common problem I see.

"until they are able to see and eat around each other without a reaction" - Yes. We'll just feed on opposite sides of a closed door for now. Start a bit away then slowly move the bowls closer.

" but nervous about how we will be able to introduce them in person. Any advice appreciated! " - Everyone is nervous about the face to face intro's. We can handle it when it is time.

So here is what I want to do. Step up play with both of them in their territories. After play feed treats or a meal. Give them places to go high (cat tree, cat shelving if possible), scent soakers like scratching posts, bedding. Add more litter boxes as litter boxes help a cat "own" the territory more. Stay calm and confident around them. Try to make sure they know they are loved.

We need to build their confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love. As a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted.

And we'll want to make positive associations using food (and that closed door for now) and try to make every encounter as positive as possible. If you sense tension try to reassure the cat, distract them to focus on food or a toy or you (with loving words, etc).

I am happy to help you through the process. It sounds like an unfortunate set of coincidences that happened. But it is done and let's try our best to get them intro'd. intro's can take a lot of time and effort but if you have the knowledge (which hopefully I can provide) and put in the effort success can be had. But it is a process. I am absolutely happy to help.

Hopefully that make sense. Let me know if you have questions or need clarification. Thank you for saving Buddy.
 

Mamanyt1953

Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
28,032
Purraise
54,635
Location
North Carolina
Well, since C calicosrspecial is who I was thinking of calling in on this, my job is done! I will only add, generally, that time and patience are on your side. You cannot ever go faster than the most reluctant cat is willing to go. And spraying is often the equivalent of a cat screaming, "THE BARBARIANS ARE AT THE GATES! FILL THE MOAT!" and quite common in these circumstances.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

Ridney

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
32
Purraise
10
"Hello, looking for advice." - Hello, welcome.

" We have resident cat, Frankie, who is about 2 years old and we've had him for 6 months." - Ok

" I recently brought in a new cat, Buddy, who is about 10 years old. I hadn't planned to get another cat but Buddy's owner is going into long term care and needed to find him a home. I was going to bring him home and try to find him a new home but, of course, we fell in love with him. Frankie is playful and boisterous and always getting into things, he is super fun and sweet. Buddy is much more mellow, of course he's still getting used to all this new stuff. He doesn't seem to be aggressive at all, just a really sweet guy. " - Ok, great.

"We followed the recommended steps and had them to the stage where they were eating on either side of a baby gate with no issues." - OK, for how long?

" Initially there was some hissing from Frankie but we had gotten past that." - Ok, hissing is just communication so if it is respected that is good..

"We decided to try an introduction and seemed to be going well until Frankie lunged aggressively at Buddy." - Ok, how soon after?

" I was able to separate them immediately but then Buddy was quite fearful of Frankie." - Understandably.

" We went back to having them separated behind a closed door and worked back to them being able to see each other and eat on either side of the baby gate. So back on track." - Great job

" Then we went away for a week, this had been planned for months before we got Buddy." - Ok, I have a feeling I know where this is going. :/

" Our usual cat sitter backed out on us so Frankie ended up going to a Cat Hotel for a week and Buddy stayed at home with a friend coming in every day to spend time with him, it was too late to get Buddy into the Hotel." - Ok, here we have the issue. :/

" So we got home, Frankie had an awful time at the hotel, very nervous and hid the whole time so he had a bad week." - Yes :/

" Buddy was fine. " - Ok, good.

"After we got home, Frankie slipped through the baby gate and attacked Buddy, bit his ear, scratched him." - Yep. Cats are territorial so a new cat comes in and the resident cat goes to another place. So territorial insecurity sets in and this can happen.

"We got them separated quickly but the damage was done, now Buddy is totally afraid and hiding/hissing in his safe room." - Yes

" I brought in something with Frankie's scent to Buddy's room and he immediately started hissing." - OK. We have to do a total reintro. :/

"Some other details that may be helpful- Frankie was a very nervous cat when we got him, he is now totally cool but is definitely nervous about new things." - Ok

" Ever since we got him, Buddy has sprayed around his litter box marking his territory." - Ok, so he has tendencies of territorial insecurity.

" We have one litter box that they can both access (when we allow them into each other's area) Buddy will spray around this box as well." - Ok :/

" I've never had a cat who sprayed before so not sure if this is normal." - When they have territorial insecurity and lack confidence it can happen easily.

"They both have their own litter box as well. We have the Feliway diffuser." - Ok

"Can this relationship be saved?" - Yes, I believe so and can help you all the way. We have to start from teh beginning and do a full intro process.

" I'm worried Buddy will now be so afraid of Frankie after being attacked." - Well, we need to build their confidence and associate them with good things.

" We have them separated completely again" - Great

" and planning to slowly work through the steps again" - Great. I get a sense the first try at intro'ing them was too fast. Which is the most common problem I see.

"until they are able to see and eat around each other without a reaction" - Yes. We'll just feed on opposite sides of a closed door for now. Start a bit away then slowly move the bowls closer.

" but nervous about how we will be able to introduce them in person. Any advice appreciated! " - Everyone is nervous about the face to face intro's. We can handle it when it is time.

So here is what I want to do. Step up play with both of them in their territories. After play feed treats or a meal. Give them places to go high (cat tree, cat shelving if possible), scent soakers like scratching posts, bedding. Add more litter boxes as litter boxes help a cat "own" the territory more. Stay calm and confident around them. Try to make sure they know they are loved.

We need to build their confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love. As a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted.

And we'll want to make positive associations using food (and that closed door for now) and try to make every encounter as positive as possible. If you sense tension try to reassure the cat, distract them to focus on food or a toy or you (with loving words, etc).

I am happy to help you through the process. It sounds like an unfortunate set of coincidences that happened. But it is done and let's try our best to get them intro'd. intro's can take a lot of time and effort but if you have the knowledge (which hopefully I can provide) and put in the effort success can be had. But it is a process. I am absolutely happy to help.

Hopefully that make sense. Let me know if you have questions or need clarification. Thank you for saving Buddy.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful reply! I agree that we went through the initial intro too quickly and will take much more time doing it again. The vacation timing was just so bad, we had only had Buddy for 3 weeks before we left so too much stress for both of them just meeting and then having the horror of the cat hotel for Frankie :) Buddy is bouncing back from the attack yesterday, he is out from hiding but still skittish. Frankie is also being super cuddly, both are feeling insecure.They are both getting lots of love.
We have 3 litter boxes, one in each of their 'territories' and one communal one in the middle that they can both access separately. Should I get more? I haven't been able to get either of them to use a scratching post yet but they are available and they both have toys. Buddy was just starting to show interest in playing before we went away so will work to get him back to that. He lived his life in a small apartment with a single guy, not sure how much stimulation he got as his owner had no toys, cat bed, blankets or anything when I went to pick him up.
My plan is to keep them completely separated with door closed until they both seem relaxed again and will do the feeding outside the door. Fortunately we have lots of time, we are committed to making this work and giving Buddy a good home.
I will keep you posted and appreciate your guidance as we work through this!
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
4,361
Purraise
2,495
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful reply! I agree that we went through the initial intro too quickly and will take much more time doing it again. The vacation timing was just so bad, we had only had Buddy for 3 weeks before we left so too much stress for both of them just meeting and then having the horror of the cat hotel for Frankie :) Buddy is bouncing back from the attack yesterday, he is out from hiding but still skittish. Frankie is also being super cuddly, both are feeling insecure.They are both getting lots of love.
We have 3 litter boxes, one in each of their 'territories' and one communal one in the middle that they can both access separately. Should I get more? I haven't been able to get either of them to use a scratching post yet but they are available and they both have toys. Buddy was just starting to show interest in playing before we went away so will work to get him back to that. He lived his life in a small apartment with a single guy, not sure how much stimulation he got as his owner had no toys, cat bed, blankets or anything when I went to pick him up.
My plan is to keep them completely separated with door closed until they both seem relaxed again and will do the feeding outside the door. Fortunately we have lots of time, we are committed to making this work and giving Buddy a good home.
I will keep you posted and appreciate your guidance as we work through this!
"Thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful reply!" - You are very welcome.

" I agree that we went through the initial intro too quickly and will take much more time doing it again." - We'll go at the pace the cats will allow so MamanyT1953 is spot on.

" The vacation timing was just so bad, we had only had Buddy for 3 weeks before we left so too much stress for both of them just meeting and then having the horror of the cat hotel for Frankie :) " - Yes :( But it is what it is and we'll just move forward. Not the end of the world and we can deal with it.

"Buddy is bouncing back from the attack yesterday, he is out from hiding but still skittish." - OK, great. We will watch how the cats act to tell us how they are doing. Do all the thing mentioned Play, Food, Height and safe Love and help reassure him, etc, Then we can move forward on the intro.

"Frankie is also being super cuddly, both are feeling insecure." - Yes. Try to play, keep reassuring, giving love, using food etc. Once we stabilize them we can then do some intro work.

"They are both getting lots of love." - GREAT!!!

"We have 3 litter boxes, one in each of their 'territories' and one communal one in the middle that they can both access separately." - Ok.

" Should I get more?" - Well, if Buddy is in a room one should be enough unless he is marking outside of the box. For Frankie we should add them in important places and places where he might be marking/feeling insecure. BUT having them separated and getting them stabilized should help stop the marking.

"I haven't been able to get either of them to use a scratching post yet but they are available" - Ok, as long as they are available that is great.

" and they both have toys." - Great

" Buddy was just starting to show interest in playing before we went away so will work to get him back to that." - Yes, play is so important to building confidence. In the wild hunting (play in a home), capturing, killing then eating are survival so it builds confidence. So play then feeding is really important to replicate that instinct.

" He lived his life in a small apartment with a single guy, not sure how much stimulation he got as his owner had no toys, cat bed, blankets or anything when I went to pick him up." - OK, just do you best and we'll see. Make the toy act like prey, like a mouse, a rabbit or a bird. Those movements. Think of how they move trying to survive a cat nearby.

"My plan is to keep them completely separated with door closed until they both seem relaxed again and will do the feeding outside the door." - Perfect. Start feeding in a few days a good way away from the door then slowly move them closer. Reassure them as needed. If they don't eat then just move it back to where they will.

"Fortunately we have lots of time, we are committed to making this work and giving Buddy a good home." - Great, we'll do everything we can to get them intro'd. We'll want them to have a load of confidence as a confident cat is less likely to attack or be attacked.

"I will keep you posted and appreciate your guidance as we work through this! " - Definitely. I am here for you all the time. I am hands on so need you to be my eyes and ears. As much detail as possible as the nuance can tell us a lot.

We want to get them acting as normal as possible then start feeding on each side of the closed door. And in the meantime play, play play, food, love, getting them as comfortable and confident as possible. Then we can move as fast as the slowest cat.

Ask anything and update any time. :)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

Ridney

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
32
Purraise
10
Hi again, thought I'd introduce the players in our program 😻. Top pic is Buddy and bottom is Frankie. Buddy is more calm today, Frankie is still needing reassurance. Will keep them completely separated and see how they are over the next few days. Will keep you posted calicosrspecial!
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
4,361
Purraise
2,495
Hi again, thought I'd introduce the players in our program 😻. Top pic is Buddy and bottom is Frankie. Buddy is more calm today, Frankie is still needing reassurance. Will keep them completely separated and see how they are over the next few days. Will keep you posted calicosrspecial!
ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!! :catlove:

Is Frankie and indoor/outdoor cat?

So glad to hear Buddy is better today. That is ok Frankie needs more reassurance. The resident cat almost always has the harder time adjusting. Cats are territorial so anytime a potential "threat" "invades" "their" territory it is unsettling. So we need to slowly let the resident cat know the newcomer is not a threat to their safety, food, water, litter box, etc.

Yes, keep them separated totally. No visual access at all. Let's stabilize them then when they are start feeding on opposite sides of the closed door starting a ways away.

Absolutely GORGEOUS cats!!!!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

Ridney

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
32
Purraise
10
Thanks, they are super cute! Frankie is an indoor/outdoor cat, he is full of beans, when he doesn't get his outdoor time he tears around the house like crazy!
I think I was too focused on getting Buddy settled initially and didn't take into account how upsetting the whole thing was to Frankie, lesson learned :/ I'm feeling much more confident now and they are both settling better now that they aren't seeing each other. I'm still planning total separation for at least a few more days as I can see Frankie is still feeling a bit insecure and Buddy is still jumpy.
thanks again, I will keep you updated, appreciate your input.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
4,361
Purraise
2,495
Thanks, they are super cute! Frankie is an indoor/outdoor cat, he is full of beans, when he doesn't get his outdoor time he tears around the house like crazy!
I think I was too focused on getting Buddy settled initially and didn't take into account how upsetting the whole thing was to Frankie, lesson learned :/ I'm feeling much more confident now and they are both settling better now that they aren't seeing each other. I'm still planning total separation for at least a few more days as I can see Frankie is still feeling a bit insecure and Buddy is still jumpy.
thanks again, I will keep you updated, appreciate your input.
Super cute is an UNDERSTATEMENT!!!! :)

"Frankie is an indoor/outdoor cat, he is full of beans, when he doesn't get his outdoor time he tears around the house like crazy!" - Ahhhhhhh, ok. Are there a lot of cats outside? Ferals or neighbor cats?

"I think I was too focused on getting Buddy settled initially and didn't take into account how upsetting the whole thing was to Frankie," - Yes and that happens often.

Indoor/outdoor cats can be a challenge as well. Indoors is their "safe and owned" territory so an "intruder" can be very unsettling to them.

" lesson learned :/ " - Not the end of the world.

"I'm feeling much more confident now" - Great. They should pick up on that.

" and they are both settling better now that they aren't seeing each other." - Yes. It is happening a lot faster than I would have thought so that is great.

" I'm still planning total separation for at least a few more days" - Oh my. I am actually thinking weeks. :/ We need to really go at their pace. So our next step is feeding on opposite sides of the closed door. Then if all goes well we will introduce some scent swapping (getting something with the other cat's scent on it and place it in their room ) Still no visual access.

I know this is not fast enough but doing the work on the front end saves time in the long run.

" as I can see Frankie is still feeling a bit insecure" - Yes, try to really step up play with him and then feed after play.

"and Buddy is still jumpy." - Ok, understandably.

"thanks again, I will keep you updated, appreciate your input." - You are welcome and thank you. We really want to avoid negative associations, negative encounters so do your best to make it as positive as possible. Just like getting a new roommate or going on your first dates trust needs to be built and it doesn't (typically) happen overnight. It takes a bit of work.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

Ridney

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
32
Purraise
10
Here I am rushing things again! Definitely agree weeks of separation, not days. When should I start feeding on opposite sides of the closed door? Are there signals I should look for to know they are ready?
I rarely see cats in the area, there are a couple several houses down but they seem to stay in their yard and Frankie doesn't venture that far.
 

KrazeeVTmama

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
1
Hello, looking for advice. We have resident cat, Frankie, who is about 2 years old and we've had him for 6 months. I recently brought in a new cat, Buddy, who is about 10 years old. I hadn't planned to get another cat but Buddy's owner is going into long term care and needed to find him a home. I was going to bring him home and try to find him a new home but, of course, we fell in love with him. Frankie is playful and boisterous and always getting into things, he is super fun and sweet. Buddy is much more mellow, of course he's still getting used to all this new stuff. He doesn't seem to be aggressive at all, just a really sweet guy. We followed the recommended steps and had them to the stage where they were eating on either side of a baby gate with no issues. Initially there was some hissing from Frankie but we had gotten past that. We decided to try an introduction and seemed to be going well until Frankie lunged aggressively at Buddy. I was able to separate them immediately but then Buddy was quite fearful of Frankie. We went back to having them separated behind a closed door and worked back to them being able to see each other and eat on either side of the baby gate. So back on track. Then we went away for a week, this had been planned for months before we got Buddy. Our usual cat sitter backed out on us so Frankie ended up going to a Cat Hotel for a week and Buddy stayed at home with a friend coming in every day to spend time with him, it was too late to get Buddy into the Hotel. So we got home, Frankie had an awful time at the hotel, very nervous and hid the whole time so he had a bad week. Buddy was fine. After we got home, Frankie slipped through the baby gate and attacked Buddy, bit his ear, scratched him. We got them separated quickly but the damage was done, now Buddy is totally afraid and hiding/hissing in his safe room. I brought in something with Frankie's scent to Buddy's room and he immediately started hissing.
Some other details that may be helpful- Frankie was a very nervous cat when we got him, he is now totally cool but is definitely nervous about new things. Ever since we got him, Buddy has sprayed around his litter box marking his territory. We have one litter box that they can both access (when we allow them into each other's area) Buddy will spray around this box as well. I've never had a cat who sprayed before so not sure if this is normal. They both have their own litter box as well. We have the Feliway diffuser.
Can this relationship be saved? I'm worried Buddy will now be so afraid of Frankie after being attacked. We have them separated completely again and planning to slowly work through the steps again until they are able to see and eat around each other without a reaction but nervous about how we will be able to introduce them in person. Any advice appreciated!

Usually introducing cats is done from one in a carrier in the room whike the other roams free sniffing each other in a protected way this way. Its not too late to give this a shot. Have you ever tried feliway? Please, please try this! This has saved many a cat residence from spraying and bad behavior. There is multi cat and regular. Buy multi cat because it has mother cat pheromones in it, the regular has regular cat pheromones not mama cats. That is one, two is definitely 2 litter boxes, both cleaned to start. Clean up the spray with white vinegar or a natural enzyme cleaner to eliminate their smelling of it. Are they both spayed/neutered? Also they do make cat calming break away collars as well. We use a dog version on our dog with high anxiety, but we also used to regularly use a calming drop added to wet food for rescued cats. We have succesfully held up to 10 new cats for short stints with the calming liquid and the feliway. My cats lay under the feliway diffuser, the entitled brats that they are haha. If after all of this, you may find they do not get along, but those thjngs I mentioned are worth a try for certain if you really desire to keep them both. They have absolutely saved me from rehoming a cat in the past. Some cats are simply the kind that have to be solitary. Some are not. I have only had this issue unresolvanle once in many years, and it was a maine coon cat sort of known for this type of stubborness.
Good luck and I hope you have found a wealth of information here.
 

KrazeeVTmama

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
1
Im such a putz You have the feliway and 2 litterboxes, which feliway do you have and where is it in relation to them when they are together? I find the radius to be smaller than they claim. I skimmed your question as a kid was shoving their ipad in my face, my apologies.
 

Mamanyt1953

Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
28,032
Purraise
54,635
Location
North Carolina
AH...feeding on either side of the door. Start at the shortest distance that BOTH cats are comfortable with. Every few days, inch the bowls closer together. If someone gets antsy, back them up just a little, then continue on. They will be calling the shots, here. Slow and easy, as they get accustomed to the scent and sound of each other.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
4,361
Purraise
2,495
Here I am rushing things again! Definitely agree weeks of separation, not days. When should I start feeding on opposite sides of the closed door? Are there signals I should look for to know they are ready?
I rarely see cats in the area, there are a couple several houses down but they seem to stay in their yard and Frankie doesn't venture that far.
"Here I am rushing things again!" - It is ok, most people do. That is the biggest and most common mistake I see.

"Definitely agree weeks of separation, not days." - Great. And we'll go at their pace.

" When should I start feeding on opposite sides of the closed door? " - When you feel like they are stabilized/acting normal. Sounds like it can be pretty soon (a few days). Then Mamanyt1953 writes it exactly correct as to how to do it.

"Are there signals I should look for to know they are ready?" - The way they walk, the way they act, etc. So normal, as confident as possible, not a lot of anxiety. So they seem like they are relaxed, doing well, not hiding, avoiding, etc. You will get the feeling if they are acting pretty normal. Then when we do the feeding exercise we will know if we are correct and they are ready.

"I rarely see cats in the area, there are a couple several houses down but they seem to stay in their yard and Frankie doesn't venture that far. " - Ok. Good. Most areas have ferals which we don't see. But as we get into the intro more we'll deal with whatever might be happening.

Think of this like dating, or getting a roommate, or practicing piano, etc. The more repetition of positives the more trust and confidence is built and the better we can handle a twist in the future situation.

Let us know how they are doing so we can know when to do the door feeding exercise.
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
4,361
Purraise
2,495
Usually introducing cats is done from one in a carrier in the room whike the other roams free sniffing each other in a protected way this way. Its not too late to give this a shot. Have you ever tried feliway? Please, please try this! This has saved many a cat residence from spraying and bad behavior. There is multi cat and regular. Buy multi cat because it has mother cat pheromones in it, the regular has regular cat pheromones not mama cats. That is one, two is definitely 2 litter boxes, both cleaned to start. Clean up the spray with white vinegar or a natural enzyme cleaner to eliminate their smelling of it. Are they both spayed/neutered? Also they do make cat calming break away collars as well. We use a dog version on our dog with high anxiety, but we also used to regularly use a calming drop added to wet food for rescued cats. We have succesfully held up to 10 new cats for short stints with the calming liquid and the feliway. My cats lay under the feliway diffuser, the entitled brats that they are haha. If after all of this, you may find they do not get along, but those thjngs I mentioned are worth a try for certain if you really desire to keep them both. They have absolutely saved me from rehoming a cat in the past. Some cats are simply the kind that have to be solitary. Some are not. I have only had this issue unresolvanle once in many years, and it was a maine coon cat sort of known for this type of stubborness.
Good luck and I hope you have found a wealth of information here.
Great advice.

The only thing is with the carrier idea. "Usually introducing cats is done from one in a carrier in the room whike the other roams free sniffing each other in a protected way this way."

The risk of using a carrier in that manner in my opinion is the cat in the carrier can feel trapped, at risk. Since there is no escape route. I like to do it in separate rooms with a door and then gates (to allow visual at the appropriate time). And then go to site swapping where we swap territories with each other. This way neither cat feels vulnerable (as the other cat is not circling them) and they can retreat away from the barrier to get space.

Escape routes during intros are really important. If a cat feels cornered it is more likely to have to fight to get out from the corner. And fights are negative and can set the process back.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

Ridney

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
32
Purraise
10
Hi again, things are progressing slowly. Buddy seems to be bouncing back faster than Frankie. He came out of his room this morning for a few minutes when Frankie was outside. Prior to us going away he was happily coming out of his room and into the tv room several times a day and now he is still nervous about it but did come today so progress. Frankie is still not himself, I can see that he is feeling a bit stressed. He comes looking for me as soon as he comes in and is getting lots of pets/assurance. He has always been cuddly but he is definitely more wanting to know where I am and following me around. He does same with my husband. They still have no visual access to each other. The Feliway is right outside the door of the room Buddy is in, I went ahead and ordered another one last night to boost the effect. It does seem to work on Frankie, he will go and lie down underneath it regularly and it's not a spot he would ever lie down before. I might have to get one for every room!! It's the Feliway friends.
So we'll keep working away, glad to see some progress. I will keep you posted and thanks again for all the input!
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
4,361
Purraise
2,495
Hi again, things are progressing slowly. Buddy seems to be bouncing back faster than Frankie. He came out of his room this morning for a few minutes when Frankie was outside. Prior to us going away he was happily coming out of his room and into the tv room several times a day and now he is still nervous about it but did come today so progress. Frankie is still not himself, I can see that he is feeling a bit stressed. He comes looking for me as soon as he comes in and is getting lots of pets/assurance. He has always been cuddly but he is definitely more wanting to know where I am and following me around. He does same with my husband. They still have no visual access to each other. The Feliway is right outside the door of the room Buddy is in, I went ahead and ordered another one last night to boost the effect. It does seem to work on Frankie, he will go and lie down underneath it regularly and it's not a spot he would ever lie down before. I might have to get one for every room!! It's the Feliway friends.
So we'll keep working away, glad to see some progress. I will keep you posted and thanks again for all the input!
"Hi again, things are progressing slowly." - That is fine, great to see any progress.

"Buddy seems to be bouncing back faster than Frankie." - Great. I was interested to see if he might.

"He came out of his room this morning for a few minutes when Frankie was outside." - Great. What did Frankie do when Buddy was back in his room? Was he sniffing around more than usual?

Any marking at all?

"Prior to us going away he was happily coming out of his room and into the tv room several times a day" - Yes.

" and now he is still nervous about it but did come today so progress." - Understandably nervous/cautious. It is good that he was confident enough to come out but most importantly nothing negative happened when he was out. The key is to maximize positive encounters and minimize or avoid negative encounters.

" Frankie is still not himself, I can see that he is feeling a bit stressed." - :( Ok. It will take some time. Having a potential "threat" come in the house then having territory "taken away" by having to go to the cat hotel can be unsettling. So totally understandable. So we will want to do things to help him. So good food, play if possible, safe love, places to feel safe hanging out, etc. We jsut want him to feel safe and comfortable as possible.

"He comes looking for me as soon as he comes in and is getting lots of pets/assurance." - GREAT JOB!!!

" He has always been cuddly but he is definitely more wanting to know where I am and following me around." - Awwwwwwwww, that does happen.

" He does same with my husband." - Awwwww, great.

" They still have no visual access to each other." - Perfect. No visual yet. I actually didn't want any site swapping yet but if he was ok coming back after Buddy was in "his" territory then it is fine. Just let me know how Frankie was doing after he came in (if he sniffed a lot, marked, etc).

" The Feliway is right outside the door of the room Buddy is in, I went ahead and ordered another one last night to boost the effect." - Ok

" It does seem to work on Frankie," - GREAT

" he will go and lie down underneath it regularly and it's not a spot he would ever lie down before. " - SO how close to Buddy's room is it? Very interesting. And they aren't pawing under the door at each other or anything?

"I might have to get one for every room!! It's the Feliway friends." - :)

"So we'll keep working away," - Great

" glad to see some progress. " - AGREED!!! Where do you think Frankie is vs normal (pre-Buddy)? 80%, 50%, 25% of normal? How about pre cat hotel/vacation with Buddy around?

"I will keep you posted and thanks again for all the input! " - Great. You are very welcome.

Let me know the answers to the questions above. Will be interesting. Hopefully no marking by anyone. That is a big goal.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

Ridney

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
32
Purraise
10
There has been no marking by either of them since Saturday which is a big step for Buddy as he was marking around the litter boxes daily. Being safe in his room with no visual of Frankie seems to be helping. Frankie just had the one marking incident on Friday night he hasn't ever marked before or since. It was after the disaster that led to my asking for help.
Frankie wasn't extra interested when he came in, he will usually come over and kind of check out the door for a few seconds but more interested in getting a treat.
Their set up is that Buddy is in our office room, it is in the hallway linking our living room to our TV room at the back of the house. There is a bathroom across from Buddy's room. This hallway is kind of a through way for all. We've put up a tall dog gate with a blanket over it across the hall. So Buddy is in his room for the most part with the door closed. The Feliway is on the other side of the gate about 2 feet from the door and Frankie will often lie there under the Feliway. I generally leave the gate closed so Frankie can't hang around too much outside the door but it will be open in the evening when there is more traffic back and forth with dinner, going outside, etc. When Frankie is going through the hall he'll generally stop and sniff at the door and then move along quickly, no hissing or any puffed up fur or anything. It's just a small area, the hall outside Buddy's door.
I would say Frankie is about 60% back to usual, even my husband notices he isn't as confident, coming for lots of pets/cuddles, etc.
Prior to our going away Frankie would stick his paws under the door in a playful way and Buddy would just look at him :) He hasn't done this at all since we returned. This was when they could see each other at times. That's why we thought things were going so well, they had been eating on either side of the gate where they could see each with no reaction. I'm confident we'll get back to that with time!
 

calicosrspecial

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
4,361
Purraise
2,495
There has been no marking by either of them since Saturday which is a big step for Buddy as he was marking around the litter boxes daily. Being safe in his room with no visual of Frankie seems to be helping. Frankie just had the one marking incident on Friday night he hasn't ever marked before or since. It was after the disaster that led to my asking for help.
Frankie wasn't extra interested when he came in, he will usually come over and kind of check out the door for a few seconds but more interested in getting a treat.
Their set up is that Buddy is in our office room, it is in the hallway linking our living room to our TV room at the back of the house. There is a bathroom across from Buddy's room. This hallway is kind of a through way for all. We've put up a tall dog gate with a blanket over it across the hall. So Buddy is in his room for the most part with the door closed. The Feliway is on the other side of the gate about 2 feet from the door and Frankie will often lie there under the Feliway. I generally leave the gate closed so Frankie can't hang around too much outside the door but it will be open in the evening when there is more traffic back and forth with dinner, going outside, etc. When Frankie is going through the hall he'll generally stop and sniff at the door and then move along quickly, no hissing or any puffed up fur or anything. It's just a small area, the hall outside Buddy's door.
I would say Frankie is about 60% back to usual, even my husband notices he isn't as confident, coming for lots of pets/cuddles, etc.
Prior to our going away Frankie would stick his paws under the door in a playful way and Buddy would just look at him :) He hasn't done this at all since we returned. This was when they could see each other at times. That's why we thought things were going so well, they had been eating on either side of the gate where they could see each with no reaction. I'm confident we'll get back to that with time!
"There has been no marking by either of them since Saturday " - :yess: :hyper: :clap2:

"which is a big step for Buddy as he was marking around the litter boxes daily." - Agreed

" Being safe in his room with no visual of Frankie seems to be helping." - Great

" Frankie just had the one marking incident on Friday night he hasn't ever marked before or since." - Ok, good to know.

" It was after the disaster that led to my asking for help." - Ok, great

"Frankie wasn't extra interested when he came in, he will usually come over and kind of check out the door for a few seconds but more interested in getting a treat." - GREAT!!!

"Their set up is that Buddy is in our office room, it is in the hallway linking our living room to our TV room at the back of the house. There is a bathroom across from Buddy's room. This hallway is kind of a through way for all." - Ok

"We've put up a tall dog gate with a blanket over it across the hall." - Ok. At what end?

" So Buddy is in his room for the most part with the door closed." - Great

" The Feliway is on the other side of the gate about 2 feet from the door and Frankie will often lie there under the Feliway." - Wow, that is close. Great he does so well.

" I generally leave the gate closed so Frankie can't hang around too much outside the door" - Great, good job,

" but it will be open in the evening when there is more traffic back and forth with dinner, going outside, etc." - Ok

"When Frankie is going through the hall he'll generally stop and sniff at the door and then move along quickly, no hissing or any puffed up fur or anything. " - OK. Good. If you see him reassure him, tell him it is "ok" etc. Try to make it as positive as possible.

"It's just a small area, the hall outside Buddy's door." - Yes

"I would say Frankie is about 60% back to usual," - Usual pre Buddy or pre vacation? 60% is pretty good either way.

" even my husband notices he isn't as confident, coming for lots of pets/cuddles, etc." - Yes, but that will help.

"Prior to our going away Frankie would stick his paws under the door in a playful way and Buddy would just look at him :) " - Ok, good.

"He hasn't done this at all since we returned." - Understandably.

" This was when they could see each other at times." - Ok

"That's why we thought things were going so well, they had been eating on either side of the gate where they could see each with no reaction." - Yes, often we see it go ok right away then it deteriorates. It happens often. :/

"I'm confident we'll get back to that with time! " - AGREED!!! :) I will do everything in my ability to get them there!!! :)

Keep up the great work!! So far so good!!! There will be ups and downs (that is normal) but if we can stabilize them then start the re-intro I think we will get there. :)

Great job!!! Just post before taking the next step so I can let you know it is ok.
 
Top