Need Advice On How To Progress Cat Introduction! New Cat, 2 Resident Cats

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radarlove413

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Just another update for you guys. Things are a bit better than before, slowly improving as it goes by! Donatello doesn't seem to have a huge problem with Cocoa unless they're staring at each other. Cocoa can be eating and Don will just walk by him. However, if Cocoa's just laying somewhere and Don sees him, Don gives a warning meow or growl and Cocoa runs. We're still trying to break the prey cycle with play. Cocoa still doesn't care, he'll come right back after Don is gone. He did slap Don off of his territory the other day, so it was a good step!

Unless Dunlop is hangry, he's also allowing Cocoa to exist. They've had a few spats if Dunlop tries to get in Cocoa's territory, so now there's more mutual respect going on.

We are saving to modify the house to help make Cocoa more comfortable. I really want to install the Cat Mod system from Catastrophic Creations and make a nice sky highway for Cocoa. It's a work in progress. We want to start with the living room. (with two 4 ft Sisal poles as well!). Then, extend it into the hallway and our bedroom. After that, we want to put a "highway" from the top of the stairs to the basement, since it's the biggest trap point in the house.

Honestly, in the future when we fully renovate our house (basement partially finished, the rest is still 1975 glam haha), we also want to add a tunnel into the basement on the other end of the house. That way, there's another way to get upstairs other than the stairs. We plan on being in our home for decades, so it'll help us with future furry family members too! I'm also super lucky to have a husband who loves cats as much as I do.
 

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Glad things are still improving. And the kitty palace you're planning to create sounds amazing! Will want to see pics once it's in place.
 
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radarlove413

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Glad things are still improving. And the kitty palace you're planning to create sounds amazing! Will want to see pics once it's in place.
Thank you, I definitely will!
 
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radarlove413

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Check it out! The boys tolerated Cocoa helping me with the laundry today. A few months ago he would have been chased away (and this is why I can never get the laundry folded lol)
 

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Excellent! Whatever it takes to help them bond, right. :catrub:
 
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radarlove413

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Another update:

Dunlop and Cocoa are definitely getting better with each other. Cocoa's not really scared of being on the floor with him anymore, and they'll walk by each other with no problems. Cocoa still skids away if Dunlop stares at him too much. He's actually following Dunlop around like a kitten now! He will try and play pounce and bat at him. Dunlop mostly ignores him (no attacks). A few times, Dunlop actually batted back, until he realized it was Cocoa and walked away. They will even sit beside each other and beg for table food!

Don is still... Don. Cocoa has been a bit more bold with him, but still avoids him. Now that it's cooler out, Donatello is back to sleeping on the tower or in a closet, so Cocoa gets hours of time to walk around the house without worry. He's still got a beef with Cocoa DARING to use a littler box when he's around. There's been a few chase and "rip fur outta the butt" incidents, but nothing that's traumatized Cocoa. He literally just waits for Don to leave then goes right back to whatever he's doing. A lot of this happens when he's hungry or not feeling good, so I'm watching it closely. We do discipline Don when he's being a total jerk! Now that Dunlop is less hostile towards him, Don does seem to be accepting him a bit more. Cocoa still has the "prey" instinct when he sees Don. This obviously doesn't help and we've been working to build up his confidence, but these things take time. (Don't worry, Cocoa still gets lots of play time etc)

Yesterday, Dunlop was stretched out in a sunbeam and showing his belly a foot away from Cocoa. Cocoa got all big eyed and play pounced him. Months ago, this would have led to a fight. This time, Dunlop just got super spooked, jumped up and hissed, but then went back to laying down. Hopefully, they can form some kind of bond over the coming months!
 

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Baby steps forward are better than giant steps backwards. :thumbsup:
Though the "rip fur outta the butt" incidents would likely freak me out. :catman:
 
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Here's a holiday update for everyone since it's been a bit :)

It seems like we have two social circles right now. Donatello and Dunlop in one group, Dunlop and Cocoa in the other. I'm happy to report that they mostly tolerate each other now, unless Dunlop is hangry. Cocoa has really grown and filled out. He's bigger than Dunlop now! So we've witnessed a few "showdowns" where Cocoa has come out the winner for that much coveted spot under the Christmas tree. They've also gone down to a few irritated "paw slaps" when they both want to mooch the food I'm eating. Cocoa still tries to play lots with Dunlop. He doesn't seem to get the signals yet. Every little butt pounce is either ignored, or hissed away. We've seen Dunlop let Cocoa slap his tail a few times though! And he's also done a full sunbeam stretch around Cocoa with belly exposed, so that's good.

Donatello is having "smallest man at the gym" syndrome now that Cocoa is our biggest dude. It's gone down from trapping him under the bed to passive-agressive meowing when it's dinnertime with intense eye contact. They mostly stay out of each other's way, or Cocoa chooses to retreat and nap. Neither of them are crazy stressed about it. It's weird though, if Cocoa doesn't see Don, he will just walk by or ignore him. There's even been multiple times where Cocoa has his face in Don's food dish, obliviously stealing Don's food. Don will go up, sniff his butt, and then just hang out by him and wait until he's done. It's all casual. The minute Cocoa realizes he's there, he tenses up, and then Don remembers "oh wait, I actually don't like you" and will hiss or slap. Don will also just ignore Cocoa when he's napping or sleeping sometimes. Cocoa has started to follow Don from above and try to play jump at him, like he did with Dunlop over the summer, so hopefully he's relaxing around him! My husband and I both think Don has more fear-based reactions around Cocoa than aggressive alpha reactions.

Side note - Don's last vet checkup went perfectly a few weeks ago. He's in perfect health, so we know his snits are behavioural. He's actually been cuddling with Dunlop more lately. Hopefully as Cocoa and Dunlop's relationship continues to grow, he'll relax around Cocoa more.

Letting them figure things out is still working well so far. There's definitely things they have to work out yet, but everyone is happy, playful, and has their favorite safe spots in the house.
 

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Here's a holiday update for everyone since it's been a bit :)

It seems like we have two social circles right now. Donatello and Dunlop in one group, Dunlop and Cocoa in the other. I'm happy to report that they mostly tolerate each other now, unless Dunlop is hangry. Cocoa has really grown and filled out. He's bigger than Dunlop now! So we've witnessed a few "showdowns" where Cocoa has come out the winner for that much coveted spot under the Christmas tree. They've also gone down to a few irritated "paw slaps" when they both want to mooch the food I'm eating. Cocoa still tries to play lots with Dunlop. He doesn't seem to get the signals yet. Every little butt pounce is either ignored, or hissed away. We've seen Dunlop let Cocoa slap his tail a few times though! And he's also done a full sunbeam stretch around Cocoa with belly exposed, so that's good.

Donatello is having "smallest man at the gym" syndrome now that Cocoa is our biggest dude. It's gone down from trapping him under the bed to passive-agressive meowing when it's dinnertime with intense eye contact. They mostly stay out of each other's way, or Cocoa chooses to retreat and nap. Neither of them are crazy stressed about it. It's weird though, if Cocoa doesn't see Don, he will just walk by or ignore him. There's even been multiple times where Cocoa has his face in Don's food dish, obliviously stealing Don's food. Don will go up, sniff his butt, and then just hang out by him and wait until he's done. It's all casual. The minute Cocoa realizes he's there, he tenses up, and then Don remembers "oh wait, I actually don't like you" and will hiss or slap. Don will also just ignore Cocoa when he's napping or sleeping sometimes. Cocoa has started to follow Don from above and try to play jump at him, like he did with Dunlop over the summer, so hopefully he's relaxing around him! My husband and I both think Don has more fear-based reactions around Cocoa than aggressive alpha reactions.

Side note - Don's last vet checkup went perfectly a few weeks ago. He's in perfect health, so we know his snits are behavioural. He's actually been cuddling with Dunlop more lately. Hopefully as Cocoa and Dunlop's relationship continues to grow, he'll relax around Cocoa more.

Letting them figure things out is still working well so far. There's definitely things they have to work out yet, but everyone is happy, playful, and has their favorite safe spots in the house.
Hey there! I just came across this thread by recommendation after my own post. 3 months ago we adopted a 3 1/2 year old shelter kitty with a rough past. Since then we've been working at introductions with our 2 resident cats. 2 times the fun!! lol! It's been a very slow process. VERY SLOW! You guys seem to have made great progress. I wanted to ask what is the best advice you could give? I see you mentioned a few times that you feel like that just letting them " work it out" has done wonders for them. Is this saying that you just let them fight it out? I just wanted to clarify because I've always heard that method only leads to a lifetime of chaos. So, I wanted to ask what has worked best for you all. We've had a few nasty run-ins so I feel like we keep taking steps backwards. But we had a pretty successful group feeding this morning without one hiss or growl! That's HUGE for us (though it's still screen door feedings). But it's a beautiful day in VA today, so each nugget got some fresh air time in their kitty tent. Resident kitties, then new kitty. :)
Have a great day everyone! IMG_3430.JPG
 
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