Kitten Introduction to a Sassy Adult Cat - Help!

ArtNJ

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Is what your doing now getting any work done (improvement) L lily2021 ? I may have already done my spider phobia analogy for you. You know, some therapists do gradual desensitization therapy to get humans over phobias. They start with something easy, like watching Charlotte's Web, then the spider 12 feet away in a cage, then 10 feet away on the therapists hand, whatever. The therapist moves on when there is no longer any real improvement. You know, maybe your heart rate is still elevated watching the spider eat a bug 6 feet away, but you've stopped shaking and sweating, and watching the spider do that another however many times isn't necessarily going to get you all the way to stone cold bored watching it, so its time to move on. So just take a look at how your cats are doing at the current step, and ask yourself if you think you are still squeezing improvement out. If not, your ready to move on.

If there is still a lot of hissing and growling without visual access, then usually extending the introduction will do additional work. If there isn't a lot of hissing and growling, maybe the cats aren't totally at ease yet, but its likely going to be difficult to get additional improvement without advancing. You can always give it a few extra days and assess if you think improvement is still going on. (I probably could have just said that without the spiders I suppose, but my spider analogy has a lot of fans!)

Its totally fine if the visual step produces a lot of additional stress -- thats what its there for, to let the stress come out with nothing bad happening. Its like the therapist moving the spider from 8 feet to 6 feet and having it eat a bug -- the patient is NOT going to be happy at first, but thats ok, and kind of the point.
 
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lily2021

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Is what your doing now getting any work done (improvement) L lily2021 ? I may have already done my spider phobia analogy for you. You know, some therapists do gradual desensitization therapy to get humans over phobias. They start with something easy, like watching Charlotte's Web, then the spider 12 feet away in a cage, then 10 feet away on the therapists hand, whatever. The therapist moves on when there is no longer any real improvement. You know, maybe your heart rate is still elevated watching the spider eat a bug 6 feet away, but you've stopped shaking and sweating, and watching the spider do that another however many times isn't necessarily going to get you all the way to stone cold bored watching it, so its time to move on. So just take a look at how your cats are doing at the current step, and ask yourself if you think you are still squeezing improvement out. If not, your ready to move on.

If there is still a lot of hissing and growling without visual access, then usually extending the introduction will do additional work. If there isn't a lot of hissing and growling, maybe the cats aren't totally at ease yet, but its likely going to be difficult to get additional improvement without advancing. You can always give it a few extra days and assess if you think improvement is still going on. (I probably could have just said that without the spiders I suppose, but my spider analogy has a lot of fans!)

Its totally fine if the visual step produces a lot of additional stress -- thats what its there for, to let the stress come out with nothing bad happening. Its like the therapist moving the spider from 8 feet to 6 feet and having it eat a bug -- the patient is NOT going to be happy at first, but thats ok, and kind of the point.
I don’t think we are making any progress, for the last week or so I was focused on feeding them together since I read somewhere that was good to do to create a positive association with each other, but now my cat has become obsessed with the food in the kitten room lol! I sometimes let the older cat in the room without any of the kitten food present, but she sniffs around, huffs some and leaves. Her tail body language always looks super irritated as it is low and swishing constantly. I think I’ve been hesitant to move on to other steps because I know my older cat still show aggressive signs through the closed door if she is touched. But maybe if we implement the baby gate and let them observe each other that could help, I know there may be a swat through the gate if either gets too close but that should be fine right? I guess I’m nervous about determining when we would need to separate them again and if treats help at all during this process. The main concern I have with letting them get too close is my cats nails are not clipped, I have a vet appt soon for her to get this done since she will not let us do it and I just fear she will have her claws out or something when I’m close contact with the kitten. We’ve been trying to resume our normal schedules and give the cat lots of love too, and not just the kitten, but she always seems bothered now and wants to be left alone. Hopefully in the next two weeks there is some improvement but think we’ll start with the baby gate this weekend and see how that goes!
 

ArtNJ

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Yeah swatting at the gate is harmless. The food thing causes folks a lot of problems, and isn't even in this site's guide. It doesn't really fit with the desensitization model, and has a different goal. Which is fine, but I'd stop fussing with it given that its causing you problems. (It sounds like you were actually skipping ahead a bit with that step, as folks usually feed on opposite sides of the door, then do visual access, whereas you were trying to feed in the same room?)

As far as being a little tense, thats normal. Its basically hyper vigilance -- the cat is acting like its on guard duty because something bad might happen. A lot of times that persists past the introduction and is something that they need to get past in face to face time. It can be hard to get rid of just through the introduction, but thats ok. The introduction isn't to get them perfectly chill with each other -- its to get them comfortable enough that they won't actually full on fight. They can do the rest.

So yeah - I'd probably go to a visual step now.
 

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My husband and I have been trying to introduce our current cat who is about 4-5 years old to a 4 month old kitten. They are both females and we honestly feel like it has been getting worse. The first week or so we did not let them visually see each other, just be heard through the door. Our resident adult cat thought something was off since we started to shut the office door where the new kitten resides. I then started to drop treats near the door, began feeding them through the door, there were hisses from our resident cat but after a few days I was able to move her closer and even open the door a bit so they can see each other (before that I have been doing so much scent swapping with blankets/toys/etc and our cat just hisses/growls and swishes tail low and aggressively). It’s been about 2 weeks and we moved to feeding them In the same room but we have to hold the kitten since I get a sense that we should not trust her to roam around alone, I feel our cat would hurt the kitten (we are not able to clip her nails as she gets soooo aggressive and she bites, she is the type of cat that lets you know when she’s had enough and she huffs a lot). Our resident cat will also try to bang on the door the kitten is in so we have started to let her in while we hold the kitten and she watches, but our cat is just going in there for food and will full on aggressively hiss and today we tried to distract them by play but our cat cannot be distracted- they were about 6ft apart and our older cat tried to lunge with her teeth at the kitten. Since then they have been separated again and she remains to have access to the house while the kitten remains in her safe zone. We are becoming SO discouraged and stressed over this and feel we cannot trust our resident cat’s aggressive behavior at the end of the day. Any advise would be so appreciated. Thank you!!!
Do NOT lose faith!! I feel like we JUST have gotten our 2 cats comfortable with each other. Resident 4 year old aggressive female (issues with aggression towards guests/ us if she doesn't get her way- very opinionated) and 5 month old female.

Sounds like you may need to back things up and start all over. We took maybe a full month until they came face to face. In the meantime we had to use LOTS of feliway diffuers (multi cat on amazon. works wonders) and we actually ended up putting our resident cat on prozac. We have debated this for years because of her aggression moments towards us.
This is not for everyone- I understand. But talk with your vet. It helped so much and we plan on it being a short term assistance so our cat doesn't feel like the kitten is taking over.

As for the nails- Resident cat HATES getting her nails cut also. I would seriously cry when I had to do it because she would growl at me. Turns out, she has conditioned ME to let her go when she growls. I had to get past that. She needs her nails cut to set her up for success in my house. I was so worried about her scratching the baby, but she doesn't use her nails with the baby- only bats sometimes.

Calming music was a game changer also. They have calming cat music on youtube.

Patience is key :) Good luck!!
 

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thank you so much!! We are going to try the baby gate and hope it helps, should we limit the visuals at first with a blanket and how often should we do that? The kitten seems very curious and not afraid despite alll warning signs our older cat is giving her. I’m not sure if feeding them together has been working because now our older cat has been jetting into the kitten room JUST to eat the kitten food and she hisses and growls aggressively when we try to take it away from her (and she has her food bowls in the kitchen so I think this is odd behavior?) she also completely disregards the kitten through this process and will bang at the door consistently just to get at the food in the kitten’s safe room. As far as the scent swapping with other toys and blankets, sometimes she disregards it or won’t even smell it, other times she will hiss so she has been so hard to read. I really hope we are doing all of this right but it’s so hard to tell!
I started with the door closed for a short time then did the towel part with gates because the time with the closed door was short. I raised the towel a bit every couple of days but soon felt my residents needed full view to fully figure out what was on the other side and have more times in a day that they say each other visually. I'd close the door at night.
With introducing the kitten (Mooshoo, now 2 1/2 years old) I had to stack gates high toward the top of the doorway because she would have jumped/climbed over.
Can they both have the same food? I used food dry that was for all life stages, cat and kitten. But that's dry food- do they both get dry food? I didn't give kitten wet food, I gave adult wet to both.
Maybe if Leia is ignoring the scent it's because she's not bothered by Nala's scent.
 
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lily2021

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Do NOT lose faith!! I feel like we JUST have gotten our 2 cats comfortable with each other. Resident 4 year old aggressive female (issues with aggression towards guests/ us if she doesn't get her way- very opinionated) and 5 month old female.

Sounds like you may need to back things up and start all over. We took maybe a full month until they came face to face. In the meantime we had to use LOTS of feliway diffuers (multi cat on amazon. works wonders) and we actually ended up putting our resident cat on prozac. We have debated this for years because of her aggression moments towards us.
This is not for everyone- I understand. But talk with your vet. It helped so much and we plan on it being a short term assistance so our cat doesn't feel like the kitten is taking over.

As for the nails- Resident cat HATES getting her nails cut also. I would seriously cry when I had to do it because she would growl at me. Turns out, she has conditioned ME to let her go when she growls. I had to get past that. She needs her nails cut to set her up for success in my house. I was so worried about her scratching the baby, but she doesn't use her nails with the baby- only bats sometimes.

Calming music was a game changer also. They have calming cat music on youtube.

Patience is key :) Good luck!!
this sounds just like our cat, Leia!!! Oh boy is she opinionated, I had no idea they could medicate for that but something I think we will explore, she has a vet appt coming up in two weeks and I’ll see if they can do something because she’s always been this way since we adopted her. She isn’t too aggressive towards people but will not hesitate to lunge for a bite or a batt, sometimes with or without claws. She also has conditioned me to stop trying to clip her nails because she is so bad!! It’s almost frightening so I end up giving up. She isn’t a bad cat, but she is the queen for sure. It’s good to know there could be some hope at the end of all this, just need to hang in there!!
 

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this sounds just like our cat, Leia!!! Oh boy is she opinionated, I had no idea they could medicate for that but something I think we will explore, she has a vet appt coming up in two weeks and I’ll see if they can do something because she’s always been this way since we adopted her. She isn’t too aggressive towards people but will not hesitate to lunge for a bite or a batt, sometimes with or without claws. She also has conditioned me to stop trying to clip her nails because she is so bad!! It’s almost frightening so I end up giving up. She isn’t a bad cat, but she is the queen for sure. It’s good to know there could be some hope at the end of all this, just need to hang in there!!
Yes!! You would not believe how long it took me and her to feel okay with the new kitten. This cat has given me SO much anxiety over the last 4 years. We got a second cat for her to have a friend and bond with, so when we have babies she won't hate us lol.
I had to really re-work my mindset with clipping her nails. I only do one paw at a time, have to really calm myself down before I do it (she can feel when I am upset) and just keep telling myself that her nail clippings are required for her to live with us. It's a much better option than de-clawing.
 

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Yes!! You would not believe how long it took me and her to feel okay with the new kitten. This cat has given me SO much anxiety over the last 4 years. We got a second cat for her to have a friend and bond with, so when we have babies she won't hate us lol.
I had to really re-work my mindset with clipping her nails. I only do one paw at a time, have to really calm myself down before I do it (she can feel when I am upset) and just keep telling myself that her nail clippings are required for her to live with us. It's a much better option than de-clawing.
I have one that used to be like that, and I'd clip just 2 claws at a time. She did get better over time! And I can do one paw at a time now.
 
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Hi L lily2021 ...I love your title. We will just have to find out how sassy this cat is.
Remember to keep your sense of humour, with the whole cat-to-kitten introduction process.
It really helps, especially all the times you want to say, "really,...argh...you're really acting this way again".

So I think you may be moving a tad too fast with these intros.

Here's a Cat Site Article that may help with tips:
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles

The reason I say this, is that you are doing all the steps correctly, but because your adult cat is still showing signs of hissing/growling and being aggressive...then she is still not ready to meet her 'new intruder' into her territory.
Think of the process like a 'slow repetitive routine'....that makes the older cat lessen their 'fight or flight' tendencies.
It lessens their fear.


Here your resident cat is telling you that she is not yet accepting of the 'new kitten's Scent'.
You'll have to wait until ...she becomes bored with her scent.

Again, two weeks is very, very short.

Usually it takes a new kitten a week, just to get used to her new place, and 'cheek and body mark and Scent' her new territory.
Not to mention, feel Confident enough to roam around.

What I would do is go back a few steps, and as ArtNJ mentioned above, use those baby gates, or set up wire shelving as a barricade, to allow the older cat to see the kitten play but to not be able to touch her just yet.

Try to remember the 5 Senses approach to cat intros.
  1. Hearing ...where the cats can hear each other, but not see each other.
  2. then Scent....and especially the 'swapping the scents, mingling the scents' and 'allowing all the new kitten's scents to be all over the home'...so much so...that your resident cat will recognize and accept the new cat as part of her territory. This is the part where "Scent swaps" and "Room Swaps" are practiced to get both cats' scents everywhere.
  3. Visual is next, but you are still doing Scent Exchange, and rewarding any good interactions with treats/food/praise.
  4. Taste is using food and treats to make positive associations and encourage more Acceptance.
  5. Finally, Touch,....is when you've observed that your resident cat is not longer bothered by the smells, or sight of the new kitten running around erratically, ..and you've noticed a huge decrease in your resident cat's fear responses.
To provide a recent update on all this, I think we are at the visual point but will be getting the baby gates ASAP. We did have an incident today where Nala snuck out so quick of her room right into the rest of the house. Leia was sitting on top of the couch relaxing and she quickly caught eyes on her We weren’t able to get the her back into her room since she is so quick!! I was thinking Leia would just watch and observe, but she jumped off the spot where she was and got right into the Nala’s face so they were both standing around her cat condo. Leia sniffed her behind and then continued to hiss in her face - my heart was pounding!!! My husband didn’t think we should break it up so we let it play out a bit. Leia kind of ended up cornering Nala under the couch/behind the couch and her pure little eyes looked terrified. Leia kept hissing any time Nala tried to get close but I didn’t like the Cornering. We were kind of able to distract them both with treats away from the area for Leia (we laid them in a line so she would get away from blocking Nala under the couch) and a string toy. Once Leia was moved a bit farther to the other side of the room, Leia got distracted by play which I thought was okay but as Nala tried to participate a bit and crawl out from under the couch, Leia tried to charge her again with hisses & growls. We were able to grab Nala and put her back into her safe room. There was no batting by Leia at all which I was SO surprised with...my heart was pounding!! But did we lose or ruin any progress by letting that play out? That was there first face to face on the ground with us not holding Nala in place. It was a freak accident so I hope not all is lost!
 
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lily2021

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To provide a recent update on all this, I think we are at the visual point but will be getting the baby gates ASAP. We did have an incident today where Nala snuck out so quick of her room right into the rest of the house. Leia was sitting on top of the couch relaxing and she quickly caught eyes on her We weren’t able to get the her back into her room since she is so quick!! I was thinking Leia would just watch and observe, but she jumped off the spot where she was and got right into the Nala’s face so they were both standing around her cat condo. Leia sniffed her behind and then continued to hiss in her face - my heart was pounding!!! My husband didn’t think we should break it up so we let it play out a bit. Leia kind of ended up cornering Nala under the couch/behind the couch and her pure little eyes looked terrified. Leia kept hissing any time Nala tried to get close but I didn’t like the Cornering. We were kind of able to distract them both with treats away from the area for Leia (we laid them in a line so she would get away from blocking Nala under the couch) and a string toy. Once Leia was moved a bit farther to the other side of the room, Leia got distracted by play which I thought was okay but as Nala tried to participate a bit and crawl out from under the couch, Leia tried to charge her again with hisses & growls. We were able to grab Nala and put her back into her safe room. There was no batting by Leia at all which I was SO surprised with...my heart was pounding!! But did we lose or ruin any progress by letting that play out? That was there first face to face on the ground with us not holding Nala in place. It was a freak accident so I hope not all is lost!
One more thing to add is I also thought it was odd that after this whole thing took place, Leia was super affectionate to both of us, letting her pet us, sticking her tail up and not being aggressive to us at all. Whereas the past few days she has been kinda mean and would hiss or bite us if she got sick of any petting haha!
 

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To provide a recent update on all this, I think we are at the visual point but will be getting the baby gates ASAP. We did have an incident today where Nala snuck out so quick of her room right into the rest of the house. Leia was sitting on top of the couch relaxing and she quickly caught eyes on her We weren’t able to get the her back into her room since she is so quick!! I was thinking Leia would just watch and observe, but she jumped off the spot where she was and got right into the Nala’s face so they were both standing around her cat condo. Leia sniffed her behind and then continued to hiss in her face - my heart was pounding!!! My husband didn’t think we should break it up so we let it play out a bit. Leia kind of ended up cornering Nala under the couch/behind the couch and her pure little eyes looked terrified. Leia kept hissing any time Nala tried to get close but I didn’t like the Cornering.
Well, what happened is not the ideal face-to-face meeting,...and way too soon...but accidental meetings like this do happen.
Not all is lost. You've just realized that Leia is still fearful of the new kitten Nala, and wants her 'out of her territory'.
And also that Nala got terrified, too.

Since you noticed the Cornering,...can you go around your home, ...and make sure to have many 'escape routes' for both cats to use.
Things such as chairs, side tables, shelves...and boxes...really help any cat escape and feel safety from another cat that is chasing them.
If you notice any 'dead ends' or 'corners' ...try and put something there...to offer some sort of protection to either cat.
We were kind of able to distract them both with treats away from the area for Leia (we laid them in a line so she would get away from blocking Nala under the couch) and a string toy. Once Leia was moved a bit farther to the other side of the room, Leia got distracted by play which I thought was okay but as Nala tried to participate a bit and crawl out from under the couch, Leia tried to charge her again with hisses & growls.
Excellent on the Distraction using treats and that string toy.
Make sure to have something on hand, ...such as a wide piece of cardboard, blanket, or even a large pillow...so that you can sort of 'move Leia away' from seeing Nala, and block her line of sight...especially if she is charging at Nala.

Knowing that you can Distract Leia,...using Play...is also very good...since it will help you...when you need to use Play...to get Leia to relax and focus on something...other than a kitten.
Getting Leia to Play, when doing Visuals is also great...since she will be able to release any 'extra energy' that she may be feeling...when being close to Nala. If Leia is feeling tension, ...then Playing burns off extra adrenaline.
We were able to grab Nala and put her back into her safe room. There was no batting by Leia at all which I was SO surprised with...my heart was pounding!! But did we lose or ruin any progress by letting that play out? That was there first face to face on the ground with us not holding Nala in place. It was a freak accident so I hope not all is lost!
Really good that there was no batting.
And no, you didn't lose or ruin any progress. You just took the 'accelerated route' to seeing how your cat's would react.
It happens, and not all is lost. They still are okay.
You did very well in recognizing, and observing how they reacted...and took action to make sure it ended before any actual fights.

Just move back a few Steps...and concentrate on doing the Visuals...in a more controlled manner...where Nala will be safe...behind a gate...and Leia will have a lot more time to calm down...and slowly Accept the 'little intruder' in her territory.

Remember...Slow Repetitive Steps...are the recommended way to go. :thumbsup:
It builds Confidence in the kitten, and allows the Resident cat to Adapt to the 'new situation' too.

One more thing to add is I also thought it was odd that after this whole thing took place, Leia was super affectionate to both of us, letting her pet us, sticking her tail up and not being aggressive to us at all. Whereas the past few days she has been kinda mean and would hiss or bite us if she got sick of any petting haha!
That is interesting.
It sounds like Leia released some of her fear and tension, albeit by terrifying young Nala,...and felt a lot more secure in her territory.
:think:
I wonder if what you saw as her being all hissy and biting...was just Leia's expression...that she was not too pleased about the new kitten being there...and that she was truly fearful of the kitten.

I don't know. You'll see in the next few days if Leia's actions change, and she becomes less bothered by the new kitten.
Give her time to adjust, and give both cat and kitten equal Playtime, pettings and space. :bluepaw:
 
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lily2021

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Well, what happened is not the ideal face-to-face meeting,...and way too soon...but accidental meetings like this do happen.
Not all is lost. You've just realized that Leia is still fearful of the new kitten Nala, and wants her 'out of her territory'.
And also that Nala got terrified, too.

Since you noticed the Cornering,...can you go around your home, ...and make sure to have many 'escape routes' for both cats to use.
Things such as chairs, side tables, shelves...and boxes...really help any cat escape and feel safety from another cat that is chasing them.
If you notice any 'dead ends' or 'corners' ...try and put something there...to offer some sort of protection to either cat.

Excellent on the Distraction using treats and that string toy.
Make sure to have something on hand, ...such as a wide piece of cardboard, blanket, or even a large pillow...so that you can sort of 'move Leia away' from seeing Nala, and block her line of sight...especially if she is charging at Nala.

Knowing that you can Distract Leia,...using Play...is also very good...since it will help you...when you need to use Play...to get Leia to relax and focus on something...other than a kitten.
Getting Leia to Play, when doing Visuals is also great...since she will be able to release any 'extra energy' that she may be feeling...when being close to Nala. If Leia is feeling tension, ...then Playing burns off extra adrenaline.

Really good that there was no batting.
And no, you didn't lose or ruin any progress. You just took the 'accelerated route' to seeing how your cat's would react.
It happens, and not all is lost. They still are okay.
You did very well in recognizing, and observing how they reacted...and took action to make sure it ended before any actual fights.

Just move back a few Steps...and concentrate on doing the Visuals...in a more controlled manner...where Nala will be safe...behind a gate...and Leia will have a lot more time to calm down...and slowly Accept the 'little intruder' in her territory.

Remember...Slow Repetitive Steps...are the recommended way to go. :thumbsup:
It builds Confidence in the kitten, and allows the Resident cat to Adapt to the 'new situation' too.


That is interesting.
It sounds like Leia released some of her fear and tension, albeit by terrifying young Nala,...and felt a lot more secure in her territory.
:think:
I wonder if what you saw as her being all hissy and biting...was just Leia's expression...that she was not too pleased about the new kitten being there...and that she was truly fearful of the kitten.

I don't know. You'll see in the next few days if Leia's actions change, and she becomes less bothered by the new kitten.
Give her time to adjust, and give both cat and kitten equal Playtime, pettings and space. :bluepaw:
Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this great feedback cat nap!! Today & yesterday we have started with the gate visuals, goes okay but Leia always hisses, growls and has batted through the cat a few times when Nala gets too close (it didn’t seem that she had her claws out though so that is good). Nala really wants to go beyond the gate and play with Leia but unfortunately the closer she gets the more Leia will hiss/growl. We are able to play with them both and it subsides for a bit, but Leia will lock eyes and just observe her, Nala will then back away from the gate. I feel she may need a great deal of time with this as I am thinking she loves being the queen bee and enjoys the fact that Nala only has one room haha! Time will tell, but I think we will only remove the gate once Leia has stopped hissing or growling at her- really hoping that happens some day!!
 

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Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this great feedback cat nap!! Today & yesterday we have started with the gate visuals, goes okay but Leia always hisses, growls and has batted through the cat a few times when Nala gets too close (it didn’t seem that she had her claws out though so that is good). Nala really wants to go beyond the gate and play with Leia but unfortunately the closer she gets the more Leia will hiss/growl.
Sure anytime, lily2021. There's some really good suggestions and posts on this thread, and reading them back brings many tips and ideas together. Mainly that cat-to-kitten introductions cannot be rushed...if the Resident Cat is not too accepting yet.

Fantastic, on starting the gate Visuals.
It's okay if Leia is always hissing and growling, for now, since she will calm down with time, and she is getting her aggravation out of her system.
Also great the Nala is not scared of Leia and still wants to get closer to the gate.
We are able to play with them both and it subsides for a bit, but Leia will lock eyes and just observe her, Nala will then back away from the gate.
Try to see if...when Leia locks eyes with Nala...and does the 'focused stare,'...(not just the usual looking and observing),...but the actual 'stare'...that looks like "target acquired and locked on"...if you could then Distract Leia with Play, or a sound like 'chirping birds make'...any soothing sound really...to get her attention away from 'locking on to Nala'.

When you are able to Distract Leia, then this will be a good sign.
We want Leia to observe Nala as much as possible, ...we just want her to not get that 'angry looking stare' in her features.
I feel she may need a great deal of time with this as I am thinking she loves being the queen bee and enjoys the fact that Nala only has one room haha!
Haha. Yes, that is probably true...wanting to be the queen bee and all. :blush:
(Just explain to Leia that she will always be the queen bee, ...no matter what.) :biggrin:
(Nala shall be her 'kitten maidservant'. :greenpaw:)

But...Leia will be in for a surprise.
Because you will have to "Swap places" with Nala and put her on the other side of the gate,...and place Leia into that room.
Not for long. At first just do it for 20 minutes...and then increase the time. If you can spend time with Leia in the room, that would be great, since then Leia will not think she is being punished, having a time-out, or losing territory.

The best would be if you could...somehow arrange for the gate to block off half your home...so that both cats have a somewhat equal amount of territory.
Say by placing the gate in a hallway, and using cardboard to keep it up, if you can.
But if you cannot,..then that is okay, too.

The switching places with the cats will work, too.
Time will tell, but I think we will only remove the gate once Leia has stopped hissing or growling at her- really hoping that happens some day!!
Hissing and growling is not really a problem. Aggressive Batting, striking and swiping are.
Your cat-to-kitten intro process...will happen fairly quick.
Especially now that you have a Routine going. Cats love routines.

It's just a matter of Slowly doing Repetitive Routines...so that the Resident Cat is comfortable with sharing her space.
Feel free to post photos whenever you want, too. You know we all love them, here. :thumbsup:
 
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lily2021

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Yeah swatting at the gate is harmless. The food thing causes folks a lot of problems, and isn't even in this site's guide. It doesn't really fit with the desensitization model, and has a different goal. Which is fine, but I'd stop fussing with it given that its causing you problems. (It sounds like you were actually skipping ahead a bit with that step, as folks usually feed on opposite sides of the door, then do visual access, whereas you were trying to feed in the same room?)

As far as being a little tense, thats normal. Its basically hyper vigilance -- the cat is acting like its on guard duty because something bad might happen. A lot of times that persists past the introduction and is something that they need to get past in face to face time. It can be hard to get rid of just through the introduction, but thats ok. The introduction isn't to get them perfectly chill with each other -- its to get them comfortable enough that they won't actually full on fight. They can do the rest.

So yeah - I'd probably go to a visual step now.
Thank you! The gate worked okay, our older cat would hiss and growl on and off. We have started to do some supervised face to faces, but our older cat fixates on the kitten and will try to scare her/corner her behind the couch, it almost looks like she’s hunting her down and distraction by toys wasn’t working (only for the kitten). Today I tried again and our older cat walked into The room hisses and growled as soon as she spotted the kitten, the kitten waitedin the corner of the room just watching her. Our older cat walked right up to her face, hissed and then batted her pretty aggressively- she wasn’t harmed thank god! I interrupted it and our older cat ran out of the room and they were separated again. It’s been about 4 weeks now and I feel like we haven’t made any progress!
 

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The gate worked okay, our older cat would hiss and growl on and off. We have started to do some supervised face to faces, but our older cat fixates on the kitten and will try to scare her/corner her behind the couch, it almost looks like she’s hunting her down and distraction by toys wasn’t working (only for the kitten).
Today I tried again and our older cat walked into The room hisses and growled as soon as she spotted the kitten, the kitten waitedin the corner of the room just watching her. Our older cat walked right up to her face, hissed and then batted her pretty aggressively- she wasn’t harmed thank god! I interrupted it and our older cat ran out of the room and they were separated again. It’s been about 4 weeks now and I feel like we haven’t made any progress!
Hi L lily2021 ...you are definitely making progress. :wave3:
It just may feel slow...because it has to be at Leia's speed.

you've just slightly ...skipped ahead...a few steps.
Try to go back,...a step...and concentrate more on the Baby gates...and Visuals...with also using Food or treats...to get Leia...to come up to the gate.
Feed them both...on opposite sides of the gate...and watch what Leia does.

(Then see if you can get Leia to come up to the gate...using a Play wand toy.)
The closer you can get Leia to come to the gate...the better.

(While you're doing th
e Gate Separation....still do the Scent Exchanges....and Room swaps.)
Make sure that each cat's toy, blanket, or cat bed....is in the other cat's territory.
 
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