Introductions and Normal Body Language

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hybriseris

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Nice, cautiously optimistic update. Footsies were going so well - including in Shadow's tough spot outside the guest room door - that I've given them a few glances at each other. All of them have been quiet and calm! They've sniffed noses and Shadow has tried to gently touch Ghost through the baby gate, but no hissing/spitting or anything. Ghost seems a little nervous so I'm going to stay at visual access for the next few days! But I'm relieved to see them either interested in each other, or even the moments where they sniff noses and then just go about their separate business. Thanks again to everyone who's helped me so far, you helped me keep my sanity up to this point!
 

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Nice, cautiously optimistic update. Footsies were going so well - including in Shadow's tough spot outside the guest room door - that I've given them a few glances at each other. All of them have been quiet and calm! They've sniffed noses and Shadow has tried to gently touch Ghost through the baby gate, but no hissing/spitting or anything.
Wow. I didn't think this would happen so soon. :blush:
Shadow sounds like he is getting much more comfortable,...with Ghost. :cool2: :blackcat:

Sniffing noses, is great.
(Sometimes you might see both cats sniff noses, but then one cat might get agitated quickly.)
But it sounds like, in your case, both cats are very good about it.:thumbsup:
That's fantastic, that both cats are getting more and more relaxed. :clover:

(My sibling cats do the 'nose sniffing,' frequently,...and I am not really sure what it actually means, since I find it a bit odd, that my cats 'get up close and personal to sniff noses'...but then often times my female cat...will just, in a split second, seem all angry and bothered by her brother. I often think, that my female cat, Tepaul, may be more likely to 'hold a grudge'...or somehow 'take offense'...to some type of 'wild play'..that my male cat, Tripp, had done, the day before. :dunno:
Or maybe he wanted to play, and she did not.:think:
Tepaul prefers to play 'tag and run', while Tripp likes to 'wrestle'.
He is about 14 or 15 lbs,...versus her 12 lbs,...so there is a clear size difference, too.)
...Ghost seems a little nervous so I'm going to stay at visual access for the next few days! But I'm relieved to see them either interested in each other, or even the moments where they sniff noses and then just go about their separate business. Thanks again to everyone who's helped me so far, you helped me keep my sanity up to this point!
Also interesting, is that you are noticing that Ghost is the one,...who is a little bit hesitant. :thumbsup:
You will probably see a lot of these,..."going back and forth...type of dynamics",...since both cats are still Learning...to 'read the cues' from the opposite cat.

"But I'm relieved to see them either interested in each other, or even the moments where they sniff noses and then just go about their separate business."
This is like the 'best thing ever'...when you actually see your cats...sniff..and 'then go about their separate business'. :yess: :jive::woo:
It shows you that each cat is...Trusting the other,...and able to not strictly focus all their attention towards each other,...and basically, can Turn their backs, on one another.

This is super good.
Trust and Confidence is being built.

"Thanks again to everyone who's helped me so far, you helped me keep my sanity up to this point!"
LOL. Well, I do enjoy the cat intro threads, especially when videos and photos are involved. :lovecat2: :catlove:
The 'cat-to-cat introduction' Journey/Adventures...are all so different, yet with common elements, too.
Of course, you have to do ALL the work, with your cats,...while I just sit back, and make a few comments, here and there. :idea: :compsurfing:

Umm, yeah, "keeping your sanity"..."up to this point'...is not usually stated,...in any of the 'cat to cat intro guides'...but I guess that would be a good goal to have. :blush: :lol: :cool2: :wink:
"up to this point" is hilarious...only because I think we all forget ...what it was like, going 'through the cat intros'...and how stressful some days could be. :eek2: :frustrated: :thud:

It's much more difficult when you are in the 'beginning and middle' of the cat intros, since you cannot see the ending yet, but eventually, with Time and the Steps you have taken, by putting a Plan in place, and following that Plan, you're more likely to see slow, steady, results. (or faster results, depending on the cats...who are surprising us, constantly) (One day you think, "oh, this is not going so well", and then the next day, the cats have settled some more, and lessened their 'fight or flight' instincts.)
 
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One day you think, "oh, this is not going so well", and then the next day, the cats have settled some more
This afternoon I've done stacked baby gates at the guest room door which is Shadow's nervous spot, and there's been a teeny bit of hissing and growling but I find I'm not so bothered by it now. Especially because it was accompanied by a really prolonged bit of nose-sniffing, and then Shadow reaching in and doing the gentlest little "boop" right on Ghost's nose which Ghost didn't mind. 🀣 The hissing also doesn't sound quite so heartfelt now, and he's not especially reactive to Ghost in general. Ghost put his arm through the baby gate and Shadow just watched him, and Ghost was trying to find fault in my baby gate setup climbing up on the bed and jumping around and Shadow just watched. Definitely says to me that I'll stay at this stage until it stops, but we've made good progress!

Ha, as I'm typing this Ghost put his arm through the baby gate again and they almost started playing footsies until Ghost moved a little too confident and Shadow hissed at him! Does it seem like a good idea just to leave them at free visual access while it seems like there's some stress, but mixed with interest/attempts at play?

My sibling cats do the 'nose sniffing,' frequently,...and I am not really sure what it actually means, since I find it a bit odd, that my cats 'get up close and personal to sniff noses'...but then often times my female cat...will just, in a split second, seem all angry and bothered by her brother. I often think, that my female cat, Tepaul, may be more likely to 'hold a grudge'...or somehow 'take offense'...to some type of 'wild play'..that my male cat, Tripp, had done, the day before.
Haha, I like imagining her face when her mood changes! I think this will be the dynamic, albeit not true siblings, of mine - Shadow being the one who randomly takes offense!

As for my sanity...this has been a real test with my anxiety disorder! But I'm happy to see things turning in a good direction, and the advice I've gotten has been invaluable. 😊
 

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This afternoon I've done stacked baby gates at the guest room door which is Shadow's nervous spot, and there's been a teeny bit of hissing and growling but I find I'm not so bothered by it now. Especially because it was accompanied by a really prolonged bit of nose-sniffing, and then Shadow reaching in and doing the gentlest little "boop" right on Ghost's nose which Ghost didn't mind. 🀣 The hissing also doesn't sound quite so heartfelt now, and he's not especially reactive to Ghost in general. Ghost put his arm through the baby gate and Shadow just watched him, and Ghost was trying to find fault in my baby gate setup climbing up on the bed and jumping around and Shadow just watched. Definitely says to me that I'll stay at this stage until it stops, but we've made good progress!
That sounds great, hybriseris hybriseris , especially the part of 'what happens right after'...the little bit of hissing and growling.
The 'reactions of our cats' are fascinating to notice,...but more telling are the subsequent 'actions'...and how long they last for, too.

Shadow doing a gentle 'boop'...surprises me, again,...because it's usually not the case. :biggrin:
(more often it's the 'quick as lightning strike' on the nose...and then the 'newcomer' cat is totally confused, about why that just happened.) :bluepaw:
Another thing which is really good, is that "you" are finding the 'hissing sound' not so bothersome. :thumbsup: :idea:
(It's so interesting, in fact, because if I remember back, the more I was around my aunt's cat, the more used to 'hissing' I also got. I just found it to be a 'part of how he would communicate'...not always, (but more than my female would hiss, when angry or upset.))

We humans...are also Learning to Adapt...during animal introductions. :greenpaw: :clover:
I never even thought about how we Change, Accept, and Adapt, during animal introductions.:think:
(thank you for making me realize this.
It's actually quite a Positive, or a neutral reaction, (by us humans),...in an otherwise stressful sounding situation.
(Especially when some cats sound like sudden 'cobra snake hisses'.) :eek2: :paranoid: :oops: :blush:

"...and Ghost was trying to find fault in my baby gate setup climbing up on the bed and jumping around and Shadow just watched."
That must have been funny.

You might have to change Ghost's name...to "MacGyver" Ghost...if he ever figures out...how to circumvent that baby gate setup.
(it was an old t.v. show in the mid 1980s, with Richard Dean Anderson, where he basically could get out of any predicament, with some chewing gum, or string, or whatever else he had laying around.)

Your Shadow watching Ghost, must have been like, "What in the world is this new guy cat up to ? He just cannot sit still.!"..:blackcat: 😏 :lol:
Ha, as I'm typing this Ghost put his arm through the baby gate again and they almost started playing footsies until Ghost moved a little too confident and Shadow hissed at him! Does it seem like a good idea just to leave them at free visual access while it seems like there's some stress, but mixed with interest/attempts at play?
Yes, most definitely it's a good idea to allow them full visual access. :thumbsup:
The more they see of one another,...the more they Learn about each other.

Also, you can always...go back, to semi-visuals,...if you notice that either cat...is getting too agitated.
Just try a few experiments...and see how they go.

The whole idea of having a baby gate setup...is that it is secure...and it Allows each cat to Safely see each other,...building Confidence, and Learning that the other cat is not really a threat.
Not to mention, taking in a lot of Scent signals, and 'movement signals' too.
Haha, I like imagining her face when her mood changes! I think this will be the dynamic, albeit not true siblings, of mine - Shadow being the one who randomly takes offense!
(Tepaul's face changes so quick, that I often think she will swipe or strike at Tripp...every single time...but luckily she does not.
And they both just walk away, in opposite directions.)
Your two guy cats will probably surprise you, and be closer than my two. :coolcat::lovecat:
(In the past when I had both male cats, they would often love Playing together.)

(The only problems occurred, when one cat wanted to sleep, and the other cat wanted to Play.
Then I'd often hear, a hiss, growl, yowl, or some such ruckus from the other room, or wherever the one cat was sleeping.

I always thought it was the 'one cat' starting the trouble...but no...it just so happened that the one cat would meow more, and do it in such a way, where the other cat looked guilty.
We only caught on, when I finally noticed that each cat would do this to the other,...but the second cat was just more quieter, and a bit sneaky,...while trying to wake up and play with his 'brother'.)
Cats are way too smart, for us humans, most of the time. hahaha. :lol: :dunno: :tabbycat::gingercat:
As for my sanity...this has been a real test with my anxiety disorder! But I'm happy to see things turning in a good direction, and the advice I've gotten has been invaluable. 😊
:)
Anxiety definitely makes things more difficult and challenging.
I think it's that whole 'overthinking' part that you and Rubysmama mentioned.
It basically just tires me out.

Then when I think of all the other things that some people have to deal with, some more difficult, and some perhaps not as difficult, I just come to find...that almost everyone has something, even if they don't ever mention it.
Now, I just try to rest, especially if I'm overly drained or tired, do some physical exercise, some short mindfulness exercises, and not get to overthinking things that are bothering me.

Motivational phrases help, when I place them on my wall, and see them whenever I want.

I cannot really think of a 'motivational phrase' for cat-to-cat introductions...though.
So I'll just give you this one, from the Cat Site, from 2014:
580301_10152105940550676_359072059_n.jpg


(I've always loved this one, but strangely I've never printed it out, and placed it on my motivational wall.:dunno:)

Hope your weekend goes well, with your Shadow and Ghost. :wave3:
 

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Just a short, funny update. Things seem to be going very well. Lots of nose touches, attempted footsies and... a sudden realization that BOTH of my cats are acrobats. 🀣🀣
OMG...This is too Funny!!! :lol:
Where did Shadow think he was going??!! :crackup:

Forget about what I said about Ghost being Macgyver...I think your Shadow...is the guy from 'Mission Impossible'...(Ethan Hunt...played by tom cruise). :cool2: πŸ§—β€β™‚οΈβ›°πŸ”πŸ—»

Wow,...just...wow. :eek2::jawdrop::shocked::lol::crackup:
'Cirque du Soleil'...training...with cats,...showing everyone how its done.
Two acrobat cats...yikes.
(I would think that one acrobat cat...would be plenty.) :crackup::lol: :biggrin:

Shadow took the meaning of...'Vertical Space for cats'...to a whole new level.
Your Shadow cat,..invented the 'new cat sport'...of 'baby-gate climbing'. :lol: :biggrin:
"Only acrobat cats are allowed to attempt this"...(a 'public service announcement' for all other cats out there).

I wonder if Ghost was telling Shadow, of the potential 'weakness in the design of your baby gates,'...and naturally your Shadow, had to check out this info for himself. :clap: :lol: 😸😹
 
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Alright, another update! Things have been going so well that I let them physically interact for about three minutes just now. Ghost was too stressed to go past that, but I could use more experienced multi-cat household opinions!

There was NO hissing. There was some growling from Ghost's end (which is a first), and he moved low to the ground. Because he was afraid he would run, and Shadow would chase him, but I THINK it was just interest and not chasing him down to try and fight him. Good body language, stopped and sat down when Ghost turned around and swatted. I kept it super short because in the last ten seconds it felt like it was getting to a point where it would be too much for Ghost and I didn't want to spoil all our progress.

I did quietly supervise with a piece of cardboard in hand, which I only used once when Shadow tried to follow Ghost up the cat tree, Ghost swatted him, and then they stared at each other and then Shadow went to check out a toy on the ground.

Thoughts?

First Meeting
 

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Alright, another update! Things have been going so well that I let them physically interact for about three minutes just now. Ghost was too stressed to go past that, but I could use more experienced multi-cat household opinions!

There was NO hissing. There was some growling from Ghost's end (which is a first), and he moved low to the ground. Because he was afraid he would run, and Shadow would chase him, but I THINK it was just interest and not chasing him down to try and fight him. Good body language, stopped and sat down when Ghost turned around and swatted. I kept it super short because in the last ten seconds it felt like it was getting to a point where it would be too much for Ghost and I didn't want to spoil all our progress.
Sounds really good for a first meeting. :thumbsup:

You have great instincts. :)
By keeping it super short,...and using the 'cardboard'...to 'block each cat's line of sight'...you're enabling both cats NOT to get too riled up,...and also ending on a Positive.

Swatting, swiping, running, and posturing....will probably happen,...but we are just trying to Lessen...more of each cat's Fear responses...so that they become more and more relaxed around one another.

***What you can do for the next time they meet,...is give both cats a really good "Play session" beforehand,...so they are more tired, and expended any 'extra energy' they have.

Plus, if you Play with each, of them,...and the other cat watches,...it will also allow the 'non-playing cat'...to make more observations.
Both cats actually will be Observing each other, regardless, but by Playing near each other, yet...still having the 'baby gates in place as a barrier'...then there is really no fear of 'one cat chasing or pouncing on the other'.
I did quietly supervise with a piece of cardboard in hand, which I only used once when Shadow tried to follow Ghost up the cat tree, Ghost swatted him, and then they stared at each other and then Shadow went to check out a toy on the ground.

Thoughts?
First Meeting
That is super good that Shadow was easily Distracted,...and went to check out that cat toy. :yess:
Great thinking using that piece of cardboard. :agree:

That will help, in the future, when you could just toss a 'cat toy' in their general direction, but not at them,...and they will 'break their focus, on each other'...and separate willingly. :clover:

Is Shadow's tail that Fluffy?
In the video you posted it looks very floofy.
I couldn't really tell if it looks more floofier than in the last photo of him climbing the baby gate.

Sometimes a cat's tail will automatically get all fluffed out,...when they are surprised, apprehensive, or frightened.
It's to make themselves look bigger,...but with some cats...only the tail gets fluffed.
Not their backs, hackles,...or rest of body.

(I just wondered, if it was usually this fluffy,...and you have a cat with a 'feather boa duster' for a tail...which can come in handy at times,...when our cats are 'exploring' underneath our beds, or corners, and places, that we usually miss dusting. :dunno:)
(ooops...I think that's just me...and my cats sometimes come out looking a bit 'grey' versus black...and so I know I have to do more swiffering. (my cats are my reminder buddies. :blush: that I've missed a few spots. More than a few, but whose checking under the beds anyways. :paperbag: :gingercat:πŸ™€)

**Another suggestion you could try...is to place more 'objects'...on the floor...between both cats.
Things like any boxes, cat beds, chairs, backpacks, etc.
Anything really to Allow each cat to 'hide behind it' slightly...so that they don't feel too exposed, and out in the open.

If you notice your Ghost, ..he is using your boots, as a sort of 'shield'...and a bit of protection,...in case your Shadow...attempts a run at him. Very smart cat.
So if you place some items out, even if it looks like an 'obstacle course'...that may help with the meetings.
(just remember to move the items, afterwards,...to the sides...so you don't accidentally trip over them at night. That would not be good.)

*When you have more time, then tell me,...how are they acting...around the baby gates, now?
Are they more interested in each other, now that the first meeting took place?

Do they seem more relaxed? around the gate?
Any laying down, right in front of the gate...as close as possible.
***And can you get them as close as possible to the gate,...with some Treats...to where they are just a few feet from each other. (with the gates between them).

Edit to add: I totally missed the second video, under the daybed. lol.
Umm...maybe just disregard, some of the things I wrote about using objects as obstacles.
Lol. Yeah, I think your cats have already found their own 'objects'.
Yup, you have two very smart cats, there. :lol:
 
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cat nap cat nap I also have lots of boxes, tunnels, and multiple trees for them to get up on or behind! I kept my bedroom door closed when I let them out together just so nothing could happen under the bed where I couldn't reach. πŸ˜… That's under the guest room bed, which is a twin, and easier to intervene if needed around I think.

So at the time you posted I wouldn't have had an answer because they both immediately went to take an approximately 3 hour nap! Lol

Once they both got up, Shadow walked to the gate and laid down, and Ghost came up to him and they sniffed noses quietly and then went about their separate business!

Shadow is sleeping again, as it's very sunny here today and the sunbeam opportunities are too good to pass up.

I'm considering one more very short visit today and then the rest of the night with baby gates up and a site swap so Ghost can stretch his legs.

Is Shadow's tail that Fluffy?
Yes, it's REALLY poofy and pretty long in relation to his body. Sometimes when I see other cats I think about how skinny their tails are and realize they're not - I just see a very poofy cat every day!
 
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Just let them interact again. Was again only about two or three minutes. No growling from Ghost this time but still very nervous. Lots of nose sniffing.

I'm glad to know some chasing is to be expected because that seems to be Shadow's MO. He chases, and then when Ghost finds somewhere to stop so does he and he just sits.

When he lived with my Grandmother and could go outside and play with the neighborhood cats, he used to show some of the same behavior though more intense because the other cat welcomed it. He'd sloooowwwllly stalk the other cat through the bushes and then whoosh, chase him like a flash! Then there'd be some serious wrestling before they'd bake themselves together in the sun in my Grandmother's driveway. So that helps me not get so nervous about the chasing behavior.

When Ghost is just sitting, Shadow goes to check out a toy or something else in the room. It seems to just be when he's moving that Shadow feels the need to follow him. Up until the last 10 seconds, he was AWESOME because if I called his name and tapped the floor he'd leave Ghost and come back to me. In the last ten seconds I started to get that feeling they'd reached enough discomfort to stop and for today, they'll be done!

As always, endless thanks for the input!
 
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cat nap cat nap I also have lots of boxes, tunnels, and multiple trees for them to get up on or behind! I kept my bedroom door closed when I let them out together just so nothing could happen under the bed where I couldn't reach. πŸ˜… That's under the guest room bed, which is a twin, and easier to intervene if needed around I think.

So at the time you posted I wouldn't have had an answer because they both immediately went to take an approximately 3 hour nap! Lol
Sounds like your place is a cat haven, with so many different cat objects for them to explore. :cloud9:
Ahh, so that second video, was taking place under a twin bed,...where Ghost just placed himself in the 'safest location possible'...behind the posts, and with his side against a wall, so no 'Shadow cat' could sneak up on him. :greenpaw:

Good that they both cats went and took naps. :cloud9:
Having that short meeting must have caused a tiny adrenaline rush, and so they needed to sleep it off,...or just like typical cats...they sleep during the day...and will be up at night, running around. :tabbycat: :bigeyes:
OR some more 'gate climbing practice'...:blush: :eek2:

No worries about the timing of answering my questions.
I realized that I wrote up those questions...so badly...with using the word, "now"...to make it sound like I needed 'immediate responses'. :headshake: :lol: :dunno:
There is no such thing..as immediate 'anything'...when it comes to cats. :doh::flail:

(I'm not even sure 'if opening a can of their favourite wet food'...elicits the same quick response that it used to, when our cats were younger.)
Once they both got up, Shadow walked to the gate and laid down, and Ghost came up to him and they sniffed noses quietly and then went about their separate business!

Shadow is sleeping again, as it's very sunny here today and the sunbeam opportunities are too good to pass up.

I'm considering one more very short visit today and then the rest of the night with baby gates up and a site swap so Ghost can stretch his legs.
:thumbsup:
Yes, it's REALLY poofy and pretty long in relation to his body. Sometimes when I see other cats I think about how skinny their tails are and realize they're not - I just see a very poofy cat every day!
:lol:
 

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Just let them interact again. Was again only about two or three minutes. No growling from Ghost this time but still very nervous. Lots of nose sniffing.

I'm glad to know some chasing is to be expected because that seems to be Shadow's MO. He chases, and then when Ghost finds somewhere to stop so does he and he just sits.

When he lived with my Grandmother and could go outside and play with the neighborhood cats, he used to show some of the same behavior though more intense because the other cat welcomed it. He'd sloooowwwllly stalk the other cat through the bushes and then whoosh, chase him like a flash! Then there'd be some serious wrestling before they'd bake themselves together in the sun in my Grandmother's driveway. So that helps me not get so nervous about the chasing behavior.
Oh, that is really good that when Ghost stops,..that Shadow does too. :)
Also good that Shadow decides to sit.
Sitting is showing the other cat,..that the 'sitting cat' is not a threat.

It seems like your two boy cats, are quickly picking up...on each other's cues.

Shadow sounds like he really likes to play,...so I'm hoping with a little more Time,...and Ghost getting more used to Shadow...that they will both enjoy...the run, chase, or wrestle, too.

It's so interesting that now, the roles have reversed a bit, with Ghost...putting on the brakes,...and wanting Shadow to slow down a bit.
Will be interesting to see and hear, how those dynamics...move back and forth.

I think it's a bonus that Shadow has been around other cats before, and did real well. :lovecat2::blackcat:

This other thread, I was on last year, has some good videos,...that you can skip through and watch, if you want.
It actually does not resemble Shadow or Ghost at all,...but it may make you feel a bit better,...in case you get a bit nervous, at seeing the chasing behaviour.
Newly introduced cats: attack or rough play incident?
The first few videos do not work, but if you start around post #28...and just skim the videos...then you may get a sense of how the member's cats progressed, with their intros.
Again, totally different cats, and situations, but still interesting to watch, and see some actual cat intros...and see that they worked out.
When Ghost is just sitting, Shadow goes to check out a toy or something else in the room. It seems to just be when he's moving that Shadow feels the need to follow him. Up until the last 10 seconds, he was AWESOME because if I called his name and tapped the floor he'd leave Ghost and come back to me. In the last ten seconds I started to get that feeling they'd reached enough discomfort to stop and for today, they'll be done!

As always, endless thanks for the input!
I am just really glad that Shadow actually stops,..and is able to go check out a toy,...listen to your Voice,...or when you tapped the floor.
It really shows that you can Distract Shadow quite easily.
That is awesome work. :biggrin:

Perhaps the need to follow Ghost...is only because Ghost is still a 'new cat'...and 'unknown' to Shadow.
Shadow still has to establish...or reinforce his dominance, in his territory,.
..and so whenever any 'new cat' will walk away...then I think it's quite natural for the 'resident cat'...to keep an eye on him, and make sure he does not do anything 'not in view'.

Eventually,..when more Trust is established, between your two cats,...then they won't need to even watch each other, all the time.
Right now it just sounds like Ghost needs some more Confidence building,...and Shadow needs more Time, to Accept Ghost as another cat who can be Trusted.

***Whenever you end a good 'meet and greet'... or 'face to face'...then also remember to give both cats plenty of Treats, or a bit of food that they like,...so to Establish even more 'good feelings'...and Positive associations...with what just happened, and further creating their bonds.

I was going to ask you about each cat's Play Style, and if they enjoy playing with their cat toys, in similar ways?
...but I think I'll save that for later.
Because, again, there are no 'immediately now'...questions...that I need answered. :blush: πŸ€”

We are all on 'cat time'...not 'human time'...well, it's actually both,...but 'cat time' rules...in cat-to-cat intros. :lol:
Hope you and your fur crew have a good week. :bluepaw::catrub::bigeyes: :bicolorcat:
 
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cat nap cat nap Oh I didn't think you were rushing my answer by any means, my apologies! I just meant I saw your answer, but had nothing to report because of their snooze. They seem to be kind of synchronized in their schedule somehow.

Thank you for the link! I definitely think having some examples will help me suss out what I'm seeing. I have one of my looooong work days ahead of me and I'm looking forward to going through the videos on my lunch break. πŸ™‚

As for play styles, Ghost seems to enjoy independent play, mostly with balls, springs, and kicker toys. I've tried wand toys with different "prey" and he doesn't get as excited. Sometimes he'll go nuts if I throw one of the balls but he seems to enjoy solo play more! Shadow however, will play solo for a max of 30 seconds before he gets bored. He LOVES wand toys, mostly with feathers and sometimes fake rats/mice. He'll go nuts for it. He's got a mean backflip to try and catch them!

I've included some videos that I thought would crack you up. I love Ghost's face watching Shadow climb. This is also the bravest I've seen Ghost, so I think we're getting there!

Gate Footsies
Gate Footsies 2
 

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cat nap cat nap Oh I didn't think you were rushing my answer by any means, my apologies! I just meant I saw your answer, but had nothing to report because of their snooze. They seem to be kind of synchronized in their schedule somehow.
Synchronized in their schedule...for cats...is great.!
(then when one is sleeping, the other guy cat won't want to bug him...hopefully.) :crossfingers:
Time will tell.

No apologies necessary.
(My younger sister said that I ask too many questions...lol. So I figure I must do this online, as well. yikes.
Oh well, that's just me.)
I totally understood what you meant.
"Cat's are sleeping...= nothing to report". :blush:
Thank you for the link! I definitely think having some examples will help me suss out what I'm seeing. I have one of my looooong work days ahead of me and I'm looking forward to going through the videos on my lunch break. πŸ™‚
Going through 'cat videos' on your lunch break??
Is that allowed.? :dunno:
:spew: :lol:
Shouldn't that be done at home, while relaxing, at night. :lovecat2: :catlove:
As for play styles, Ghost seems to enjoy independent play, mostly with balls, springs, and kicker toys. I've tried wand toys with different "prey" and he doesn't get as excited. Sometimes he'll go nuts if I throw one of the balls but he seems to enjoy solo play more! Shadow however, will play solo for a max of 30 seconds before he gets bored. He LOVES wand toys, mostly with feathers and sometimes fake rats/mice. He'll go nuts for it. He's got a mean backflip to try and catch them!
Good to know.
(Shadow sounds like my male Tripp.
While Ghost sounds more like Tepaul,...except that my Tepaul..will often not even want to play with a 'new toy'...like a spring...and then the 'next day'...I catch her independently playing with the toy.)
Hmmm...I wonder if both Ghost and Tepaul...use more strategy...and like quiet play...versus 'show off' loud playing. πŸ€”
I've included some videos that I thought would crack you up. I love Ghost's face watching Shadow climb. This is also the bravest I've seen Ghost, so I think we're getting there!
:crackup:I cannot stop watching your videos. :blush:
They are hilarious! :lol:
(I think they have basically made my whole week. Thank you.) :thumbsup:

Every time I watch them,...I see something new.
And it makes me laugh some more. :flail::lol::crackup:

Are you sure that your Shadow is 9 years old...because he climbs like a kitten. :crackup:
And you're right,...Ghost's face watching Shadow climbing...is priceless. :clover:
Shadow's tail...is amazing.
It must help him balance, or something.

The second video is great, too. :)
Both cats are playing 'front paw boxing'...and at one part Ghost taps Shadow with his left.
I don't actually think Ghost even hit Shadow, but he gets his left paw...too close into Shadow's face.

Shadow takes offense.
Shadow immediately counter strikes with his right paw.
(if you slow down the video,...it's even better.) :thumbsup:

Yes, your two cats are so close. :biggrin:
**Keep doing the Gate, for now, to get them even more relaxed.
Plus, it's fun to see them interact...and be able to touch each other...but still have the opportunity to move back...without one cat getting chased or too angry.
 
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Hmmm...I wonder if both Ghost and Tepaul...use more strategy...and like quiet play...versus 'show off' loud playing.
I would say they've definitely got more creative brains! Imagining that spring is going to run at any moment, wild games where the ball is the biggest mouse imaginable... Big imaginations!

Are you sure that your Shadow is 9 years old...because he climbs like a kitten.
Haha! There are many times I wonder if his age is accurate. He was trapped from a feral colony and they only estimated he was around 2. He lived a tough life out there - he was trapped with 60% of his teeth missing, and I sometimes wonder if he was separated from his Mom early because the way he plays is a little socially awkward sometimes. Never stopped him from making friends but still! 🀣

**Keep doing the Gate, for now, to get them even more relaxed.
So, good and not so good things.

On my lunchbreak I usually head home, and both boys were sleepy and relaxed so I let them out and they interacted very well. Wouldn't call it "chasing" since Shadow just trotted around after him, and then they both settled under the ottoman where they boxed a little and just sat next to each other.

When I got home I tried another brief interaction after playing with Shadow to get some of his energy out. This didn't go as well. Ghost jumped in a box I left out, and when he jumped out Shadow chased him and they ended up in front of the lazy susan cabinet in my kitchen where Ghost clearly felt trapped. (He easily jumps on my island and could use that to escape but I think it happened so fast he was surprised.) Ghost let out this awful snarl-shriek and I separated them with my cardboard and put them back behind baby gates. And it DID happen fast so I can't honestly say whether it was aggressive on Shadow's part. It didn't seem to be - no hissing, growling, etc from him, it SEEMED to be rough play that Ghost just absolutely wasn't ready for. No fur flying, and definitely no blood.

I now feel quite awful like maybe I did something wrong, or this is a bad sign, but I'm not as panicked as I've felt at other points in this process! Definitely discouraged though.

Ghost is a little wary at the gate, but they've had some paw boxing since the incident, but there's also been some renewed hissing and smacking the gate from Shadow. I think I will stick to the gate as you've suggested for at least the next few days and the hissing disappearing again before I try again, and stick to midday interactions when they're both at their most relaxed.

I read through the thread you linked and I feel very similar to the OP there. I don't know what I would be doing during this process without the posters here, and you specifically!

Here's some video of their boxing on my lunch break.

 
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Haha! There are many times I wonder if his age is accurate. He was trapped from a feral colony and they only estimated he was around 2. He lived a tough life out there - he was trapped with 60% of his teeth missing, and I sometimes wonder if he was separated from his Mom early because the way he plays is a little socially awkward sometimes. Never stopped him from making friends but still! 🀣
😼 :lol::spew:
So, good and not so good things.

On my lunchbreak I usually head home, and both boys were sleepy and relaxed so I let them out and they interacted very well. Wouldn't call it "chasing" since Shadow just trotted around after him, and then they both settled under the ottoman where they boxed a little and just sat next to each other.
Sounds good so far. :thumbsup:
When I got home I tried another brief interaction after playing with Shadow to get some of his energy out. This didn't go as well. Ghost jumped in a box I left out, and when he jumped out Shadow chased him and they ended up in front of the lazy susan cabinet in my kitchen where Ghost clearly felt trapped. (He easily jumps on my island and could use that to escape but I think it happened so fast he was surprised.) Ghost let out this awful snarl-shriek and I separated them with my cardboard and put them back behind baby gates. And it DID happen fast so I can't honestly say whether it was aggressive on Shadow's part. It didn't seem to be - no hissing, growling, etc from him, it SEEMED to be rough play that Ghost just absolutely wasn't ready for. No fur flying, and definitely no blood.

I now feel quite awful like maybe I did something wrong, or this is a bad sign, but I'm not as panicked as I've felt at other points in this process! Definitely discouraged though.
This isn't so awful, and you didn't do anything wrong.
And you are so right.
It is a Process...and so...it will have some ups and downs...(and twists and turns...because of course, we are dealing with cats).:) :dunno: :petcat::bigeyes::tabbycat:

Cat-to-cat introductions are never 'straight forward'.
Sometimes things will look like 'set-backs'...but they really are not.
It could have been that Ghost decided to jump into a box, have some fun, and accidentally 'scared Shadow'...in turn...causing that whole 'chase'

Or perhaps Shadow,...still needs some more time...to 'settle down a bit'...because if you noticed, in the videos, you posted up until now,...Shadow is still being very 'reactive' to Ghost.
(Although, if you go back to the beginning of your thread...then the progress that both Shadow and Ghost have made...is huge.)

Ghost seems to be the 'more gentler player'
...for now.
(Except Ghost did get his paw into Shadow's face, and then Shadow quickly reacted to that.)

In that first Footsie video, it was actually quite interesting, that Shadow, around the 0:12 mark...decides to go and climb the gate.
It looked like Shadow was actually looking for a 'way into the room'...and at around the 0:14 mark...you can actually see Shadow, look left and then right...at any possible openings.
It was kind of amazing, at how much thought Shadow puts into this. :think:

I just don't know if Shadow wanted to get inside the room, because he wanted to actually strike, and roughly Play with Ghost,..some more,...and the gate barrier was preventing him.

**That is why I think, that allowing both cats more time, on opposite sides of the Gate,...will lessen Shadow's 'determined' and 'slightly heightened focus'...on Ghost.
Shadow still seems a little bit more 'ambitious and determined' than Ghost...in his wanting to play with Ghost.

Try not to be too discouraged, because you are doing amazingly well.
(It's probably just because it's natural for us humans to want things to go smoothly, and then when one cat is aggravating another cat, and we have to 'step in and referee'...we naturally feel stressed.)

It's not like we can sit both cats down, and give them a 'lecture'...as to why they cannot scare each other.
(Although, I think I have done this with my Tripp, who seems to listen,..and then repeats the same behaviour of bothering his sister, the next time. But as long, as both your cats are Learning, from each other, and from you....about the 'house rules'...then it's all good.)
Ghost is a little wary at the gate, but they've had some paw boxing since the incident, but there's also been some renewed hissing and smacking the gate from Shadow. I think I will stick to the gate as you've suggested for at least the next few days and the hissing disappearing again before I try again, and stick to midday interactions when they're both at their most relaxed.
Sounds good.

**I would suggest only sticking with the 'gate interactions' right now,...and skipping the midday interactions...for at least one week...but that is entirely up to you.

My reasoning..is that if you notice, when both cats were under the ottoman...that Shadow was still extremely focused on Ghost.
Ghost was very hesitant.

And it looked like Ghost was not sure, if any of his actions...would provoke Shadow....so Ghost moved ever so slowly, and did not want to provoke Shadow in any way.
Shadow never took his eyes off of Ghost.

But Ghost did look away.
Ghost if the more submissive cat...which is good.
(it's more difficult when both cats are dominant.)
I read through the thread you linked and I feel very similar to the OP there. I don't know what I would be doing during this process without the posters here, and you specifically!

Here's some video of their boxing on my lunch break.
You'd be fine. :)
Thank you for the compliment. :blush:

I don't remember how the OP felt,...I kind of only remember the videos. All I remember is that the OP did a lot of work, and it worked out between the two cats. For a while though, I was nervous, since I could not think of anything useful, to get the female cat to want to engage in Play.

What is great about your two cats, is that they are already at the Stage of wanting to Play with each other.
Both cats just need more Time
, to lessen the 'intensity of their Play'.
Ghost seems to do the 'paw boxing fairly evenly'...and is learning to respect Shadow.
Shadow, just needs more Time,...to not be 'so focused on Ghost'.

**We will just have to think up some more ways...to get Shadow to become more easily Distracted, and also...to become less intense, or intimidating to Ghost.

***The videos you are posting are really good, to see where each cat is at. :catrub:
It's so much easier giving a bit of advice, when we actually see videos...and slow them down, too.
Both cats will get there, and both cats are still Learning, and Respecting each other.

**I think they are still at different 'fear levels' and 'Confidence levels'...so it will take a bit more time.

Plus, if you really think about the actual weeks that you've spent on the cat intros...and not count the first two...due to having to have Ghost isolate...then it's really been only three weeks...this saturday. (I think)
For you, it may feel like months...but that's just because it always does when introducing animals.

Time warps during cat introductions...until regular Routines happen, or are noticed.
You've already noticed when both cats are more relaxed and sleepy,...which is good.

If you ever need to take a break,...and step away from doing any 'cat related intro sessions'...to allow yourself to 're-energize'...or just do some other things...then give yourself permission to do this
.
Cat intros should be fun, exciting, and relaxing as well.
Trying to Balance the Stress of New situations with the cats,...with the Fun, Exciting, relaxing parts is always a challenge.

They can be tiring, because it's not like we do them everyday,...but when you...step back...and see all the Progress that you have already made...then it's all worth it. :greenpaw::catrub:
 
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Or perhaps Shadow,...still needs some more time...to 'settle down a bit'...because if you noticed, in the videos, you posted up until now,...Shadow is still being very 'reactive' to Ghost.
This is why posting the videos is so invaluable for me too, because I noticed but I didn't actually interpret it as reactive! Watching back I definitely see what you mean, and now I'm noticing it in his play. This gives me a good benchmark for when things seem to be settling down, when Shadow isn't so reactive to him when they're playing through the gate.

**That is why I think, that allowing both cats more time, on opposite sides of the Gate,...will lessen Shadow's 'determined' and 'slightly heightened focus'...on Ghost.
**I would suggest only sticking with the 'gate interactions' right now
Got it, and agreed. In all honesty my anxiety about them physically interacting is too heightened now anyway and I wouldn't be helpful to them as a neutral party, so we'll ALL take a break and see how a week with the gate up goes.

I've got a few hours before work this morning, and they're interacting through the gate and last night's renewed hissing seems to have gone away. The overnight break was good. There's a lot of gentle boop boop boop and then BAP where Shadow reacts to some offense I don't see. 🀣 But now I feel more confident in what I'm looking for, to see less of that going forward whenever they meet without the gate again.

The other thing Shadow does is occasionally "stalks" Ghost, where if Ghost is at the gate he'll lower himself down and go reeeaaalllly slow towards him until the last few seconds where he trots up and smacks the gate. Again, it doesn't feel aggressive per se, but I like your word of "intense", so I would guess I'd like to see that behavior lessened before they have a meet again. The good thing is that Ghost seems to feel safe with the barrier of the gate, and doesn't get fearful, so I think it'll be good for his confidence in the meantime.

Thank you for reminder to take a break. I do occasionally feel consumed by any less than perfect moment between the two of them, so this progress at the gate has been so good for my ability to be less wrapped up in the process. I'm probably taking the incident much harder than I need to, so we step back and try again at a later date. It makes me feel better to have the gates up too so Ghost can be more involved with the household even if he can't be free roam yet.

I do often say about my animals that I wish we could talk so I could just hash out a problem...but only for a few minutes, because most of the time I don't think I want to hear what foul language Shadow has for me. 🀣
 

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This is why posting the videos is so invaluable for me too, because I noticed but I didn't actually interpret it as reactive! Watching back I definitely see what you mean, and now I'm noticing it in his play. This gives me a good benchmark for when things seem to be settling down, when Shadow isn't so reactive to him when they're playing through the gate.
Yes, you get so much valuable info, from just videotaping...and watching it back.
Also, watching it back..at a slower speed, helps you see some things more clearly...because with our cats...things happen at lightning fast speeds. :thumbsup:
There is no way, that our eyes or brains could take things in so fast.

For an animal that spends most of its day sleeping, I am fascinated at how fast our cats can move, and with how much precision they have.
(Especially when I see my Tripp, or Tepaul,...actually miscalculate jumps...and then fall...and act like, "No big deal, I planned on falling",... or "The sofa, or bed, must have been wider yesterday, since I don't remember rolling off it, while stretching." :crazy:)
Got it, and agreed. In all honesty my anxiety about them physically interacting is too heightened now anyway and I wouldn't be helpful to them as a neutral party, so we'll ALL take a break and see how a week with the gate up goes.
Take it day by day...and then re-assess.
(I'm so 'flippy-floppy'...since I also see the benefit of what you were doing at midday, too,.πŸ€”..and I'm thinking about...how that would impact the overall...cat intro process.)

My hesitation is only because if either cat is not ready, and we move too fast, to the next Stage, then a potential fight may occur, or more added Fear, and it usually takes a cat a bit longer to get over this fear. :bluepaw:

(Another member on this Site, who deals with feral cats, taught me that having a 'solid foundation' is important...for both cats to be able to move forward, and that Positive interactions...do a lot to build upon themselves.

That's where the Confidence building part comes in.
When a 'brush up' happens, then it may take a little longer to re-build that Trust, between the two cats.

I've got a few hours before work this morning, and they're interacting through the gate and last night's renewed hissing seems to have gone away. The overnight break was good. There's a lot of gentle boop boop boop and then BAP where Shadow reacts to some offense I don't see. 🀣 But now I feel more confident in what I'm looking for, to see less of that going forward whenever they meet without the gate again.
Fantastic that both cats can so quickly...recover...and go back to a more gentler style of Play. :yess:
That is awesome, and so good to see.
How both cats react afterwards...will tell you far more information, about how long it takes each cat to recover, and if they saw the previous meeting as bothersome, or not.

Mostly, I think that we humans...see the meetings...as a bit more troublesome...than our cats do.
But then again, it's better to Allow the cats more time to Adjust...than to give them total access...since, IF they are given the access too soon, they may just repeat the endless cycles of one cat chasing, while the other cat is stressed and fearful.

Allowing Time in a safe manner, Builds up both cat's Confidence levels,...and they still get to Observe the other cat, too.
The other thing Shadow does is occasionally "stalks" Ghost, where if Ghost is at the gate he'll lower himself down and go reeeaaalllly slow towards him until the last few seconds where he trots up and smacks the gate. Again, it doesn't feel aggressive per se, but I like your word of "intense", so I would guess I'd like to see that behavior lessened before they have a meet again. The good thing is that Ghost seems to feel safe with the barrier of the gate, and doesn't get fearful, so I think it'll be good for his confidence in the meantime.
Hahaha....I just repeated...exactly what you said here, above, in your paragraph. :thumbsup:
Great minds think alike...:idea: :crackup:
I think that's how the saying goes. :lol:
Thank you for reminder to take a break. I do occasionally feel consumed by any less than perfect moment between the two of them, so this progress at the gate has been so good for my ability to be less wrapped up in the process. I'm probably taking the incident much harder than I need to, so we step back and try again at a later date. It makes me feel better to have the gates up too so Ghost can be more involved with the household even if he can't be free roam yet.
Sure, no problem.
Maybe it's because we put a lot of time constraints, on ourselves,... and in our minds, we run scenarios, of what things 'should look like' at a given point in time....with our cats' introductions.

It's almost like we 'chart a graph'...or take the different 'Stages/Steps'...in cat introductions to become a linear advancing arrow.
Forgetting, that with cats, there are so many unknowns, Instincts, and our cats are constantly taking in information, from their own environment,..from each other's Scent, slight Movements, and Hearing, Vibrations,...that we humans...could never know.
Our cats are just amazing creatures. period. :blackcat::caticon: :greenpaw::bluepaw: :catrub:

Yeah, don't be too hard on yourself. :)
Perfect moments do exist...in cat introductions...but overall perfection does not...or is too fleeting to notice.
Eventually, when you see both your cats getting along, and being in the same room with each other, and totally acting bored, and not even bothering each other...then that would be a type of 'perfection to me'.
Trust me, you'll get there. :bluepaw:

Another thing about Cat Introductions...that sometimes causes a lot of stress in us humans..is simply the fact that we ARE observing our cats...in a close way.
When you think about it,...just that act of 'watching, closely paying attention, and wondering about what we see'...does cause us to think more, and to naturally stress more,...so as long as we are aware of it...and don't overdo it...then it's a good thing.

Easier said than done, though.
Since I think many of us view 'cat intros'...as problems to solve.
"Here's the problem. Solve it"...but we forget that it actually involves two beautiful animals, (or more),...that are also trying to 'work out how to get along in the same space'...(and sometimes, us humans, don't really allow for this 'extra time'...to come into play).

We humans are more like, "let's get it done."
**While our cats are more like, "hey, this strange cat, is still whipping his tail, twitching his whiskers, smacking his lips and swallowing, and tracking my movements with his eyes. yikes. What do my instincts tell me to do." :greenpaw: :bluepaw:

So basically us humans just try our best, when it comes to our cats. :catrub:
I do often say about my animals that I wish we could talk so I could just hash out a problem...but only for a few minutes, because most of the time I don't think I want to hear what foul language Shadow has for me. 🀣
:crackup::lol: Yeah, I totally agree with you there.
The 'only for a few minutes' part would be good.

(I do believe my Tripp would not swear, since his meows are very soft, and gentle, and he seems to be an 'ultra sensitive' guy cat, when he gets reprimanded. Though, I do think, he would probably 'mumble under his breath'...while walking away. It's the typical 'teenager cat mentality'...but he's already 7 yrs old.
With Tepaul, she is constantly chatty, so she would probably be telling me to 'do things' and not just sit at the computer, watch any sports,or sleep, or give her any new foods, with awful flavours.)

So on second thought,...it might really be Better...that our animals can't talk to us, verbally,...I guess. :stars: πŸ—£ :crackup::lol:
 

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Is it wrong, that I suggest taking breaks from cat-to-cat intros...but then I strongly miss the 'daily updates'. :confused2: :clover::dunno:
Even hearing, things like, "The cats are sleeping.":bluepaw:
"okay, then." :blush:

In my mind, it's been like 3 days...and then I look back at the last update, and it's only yesterday, morning. :eek2:
Huh.
How come it feels longer? :dunno:

And why am I wondering if Shadow and Ghost, had a good 'midday luncheon' break, too?
or were they miserable, and wanting to get out and play? :runaround:
Were they just sleeping? :sleep:

Arrrghhh...talk about not being able to take my own advice. :bluepaw:
I think I might be going into a bit of 'Shadow and Ghost withdrawal' now. :idea:
(It always happens to me at the end of threads...not in the middle.
Okay, maybe near the end of threads.) :crazy:

Hope you and your fur crew are doing well. :thumbsup:
 
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Hilariously, I could have posted many times in the last 36-ish hours but thought hmm... maybe I should tone it down, maybe I'm being a bit much. 🀣

I do believe my Tripp would not swear, since his meows are very soft, and gentle, and he seems to be an 'ultra sensitive' guy cat, when he gets reprimanded. Though, I do think, he would probably 'mumble under his breath'...while walking away. It's the typical 'teenager cat mentality'
I love this! Very vivid imagery. Tripp & Ghost are kindred spirits in that way.

It was rainy in my neck of the woods and the boys seemed to feel it today. Two sleepyheads! I've refrained from any meetings with the gate down, just sticking to letting them interact through it and watch each other. There's been zero hissing/growling/etc though I notice Shadow is still prone to the harder bops occasionally - though it does seem to be playful, and not slapping through the gate like a few days previous, but I thought that before too!

I've included five videos for you, because I am constantly filming them. 🀣 I think you should be able to scroll through this album but let me know if not.

I especially enjoy the one where Shadow is showing off how flexible he is while grooming himself.

 
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