Need guidance on cat introductions

noani

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Hi everyone!
I've posted about my situation, but a lot has happened. They're both healthy now and ready to meet.
I have two cats now: Charly (1yr 10 mo) and Yoda (1yr 6 mo). Charly has been with me since the age of 4 weeks as an only cat (born to alley cat). Yoda (his brother from another litter) was brought inside about two and a half months ago after a nasty injury and is now healthy. They've been separated this whole time but it's a one bedroom. They are aware of each other, play pawsies, and eat together at baby gate (usually open now).

Previous thread if anyone wants to read the saga.

I haven't done site swapping as Yoda has had ringworm too. They've seen each other daily for about a month now or maybe a bit more, at gate with treats or food. Some hissing from Charly and some swatting. Some growling if Yoda keeps insisting on sniffing him.

I wanted to start site swapping now and one or the other has gotten in / out. They've thus been in the same room for a few minutes at a time now.
Usually it's been: Yoda doesn't care much. Charly goes in and explores. Yoda goes up wanting to smell him, they smell each others nose and then Charly hisses. If Yoda doesn't back up, he swats the air. Then walks away. If Yoda chases him, he'll lie down under the table and growl if he still goes to sniff his tail.

A bit ago, Yoda jumped out of the room. Charly jumped on bed, Yoda too. Charly hissed and swatted and I distracted Yoda with a feather toy. Charly laid down sideways and watched him for a bit. Also ate a treat. Then I led Yoda back into his room.

I've never done this before so I need advice, expertise, help on how to read their interactions so far and what to do next.

After they're both back in their rooms with door closed, Charly had another treat and went about his business as normal. Yoda meowed inside but after a couple minutes I heard him jump on his fave shelf and lie down to chill.

Pics: Charly on cat tree, Yoda on me.
 

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noani

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Got some videos for reference:

Charly is slightly darker, and bit more "long" where Yoda is lighter, less notable stripes and a bit stockier. Yoda is the one eating, following, and in the last one, the one on top.
Charly is the one who hisses.
After the last video, Charly went to eat a treat with his back towards yoda. A bit later, Charly was in between the table and yoda was above him. Charly got very stressed and it started to look like he might strike possibly? so I led him out.
As soon as the door closed, he sat at the closed door eating his dinner.

The door to the room was open during the whole interaction so he could have left if he had wanted to.
 

calicosrspecial

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Got some videos for reference:

Charly is slightly darker, and bit more "long" where Yoda is lighter, less notable stripes and a bit stockier. Yoda is the one eating, following, and in the last one, the one on top.
Charly is the one who hisses.
After the last video, Charly went to eat a treat with his back towards yoda. A bit later, Charly was in between the table and yoda was above him. Charly got very stressed and it started to look like he might strike possibly? so I led him out.
As soon as the door closed, he sat at the closed door eating his dinner.

The door to the room was open during the whole interaction so he could have left if he had wanted to.
Hi, happy to help.

Firstly THANK YOU for saving their lives!!!! They are GORGEOUS!!!

Let's talk about the videos. FANTASTIC!!! They are going to be just fine. Even video 4 is fine. Some hissing but no bad intent.

Just keep doing the basics. Making positive associations (using food) and making every encounter as positive as possible limiting or avoiding negative encounters.

Keep building their confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love (safely).

Keep reassuring Charly but Yoda seems fine with Charly. The hissing is just communication and Yoda is respecting it it seems which is great. But call Yoda's name if he gets to be too much for her. Let her do her part as well. Do the basics I mentioned.

You are doing great so far!!

I will be with you every step until we get them intro'd but keep doing what you are doing and if you want to site swap (and it is safe from the vet's perspective regarding ringworm then go for it. Spend time with Charly in Yoda's territory, reassure, treats, etc.

But the videos tell me they are going to be just fine. Keep it positive for them, keep building their confidence and let's get them fully intro'd. All seems great so far. Should continue.

GREAT JOB!!! :)
 
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ArtNJ

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What can site swapping do for you at this point? You have a one bedroom and its been over a month, I guarranty the smell of both cats is everywhere. At this point site swapping will just add pointless stress. You've done visual access for a long time, you've had actual interactions and they haven't gone too badly at all. Its time to bite the bullet. Yes, there might be a little hissing and swatting as they get used to each other, but there is no perfect process that always does 100% of the work. Quite often they need to finish things up themselves. Your ready - as noted above, things are going pretty well.
 
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noani

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Thank you both so much.
Hi, happy to help.

Firstly THANK YOU for saving their lives!!!! They are GORGEOUS!!!

Let's talk about the videos. FANTASTIC!!! They are going to be just fine. Even video 4 is fine. Some hissing but no bad intent.

Just keep doing the basics. Making positive associations (using food) and making every encounter as positive as possible limiting or avoiding negative encounters.

Keep building their confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love (safely).

Keep reassuring Charly but Yoda seems fine with Charly. The hissing is just communication and Yoda is respecting it it seems which is great. But call Yoda's name if he gets to be too much for her. Let her do her part as well. Do the basics I mentioned.

You are doing great so far!!

I will be with you every step until we get them intro'd but keep doing what you are doing and if you ant to site swap (and it is safe from the vet's perspective regarding ringworm then go for it. Spend time with Charly in Yoda's territory, reassure, treats, etc.

But the videos tell me they are going to be just fine. Keep it positive for them, keep building their confidence and let's get them fully intro'd. All seems greta so far. Should continue.

GREAT JOB!!! :)
The room the videos are in is Yoda's room, formerly known as my bedroom lol. The couch is in there now though, and the bed in the living room.
Yoda isn't as confident in the living room, kitchen, etc. He hasn't really spent any time there at all since coming here. Always been in that room throughout his whole recovery (obvs I spend a couple/few hours a day in there with him at least).

Do you have any advice on how to make it more positive for them? Maybe I need to be distracting Yoda more. He is so curious and wants to sniff and get to Charly all the time! Maybe also because he's tired of almost three months in isolation?
I can get them distracted to some extent with treats but it's short lived distraction.

After the last video, there was a bit where Charly was inside the upside down table and Yoda was walking on the top. That really stressed him out. I'll just put the table back to normal again. I thought it'll be better to not have Charly hide under there but like this it's just the perfect setup for a situation where he'll feel threatened with Yoda walking above him looking at him?

I guess he could have attacked, left the room, or would have been more shook up after the interaction was over (ie both back to respective rooms with door closed) but he went straight for his dinner and has been completely normal after each interaction time. I guess those are good signs?

What can site swapping do for you at this point? You have a one bedroom and its been over a month, I guarranty the smell of both cats is everywhere. At this point site swapping will just add pointless stress. You've done visual access for a long time, you've had actual interactions and they haven't gone too badly at all. Its time to bite the bullet. Yes, there might be a little hissing and swatting as they get used to each other, but there is no perfect process that always does 100% of the work. Quite often they need to finish things up themselves. Your ready - as noted above, things are going pretty well.
Is there an easy way to know how much figuring out I should allow them to do, and when I need to intervene?

I'm a bit more nervous about having them interact in the other room (the living space, Charlys space for now). My beds in there now and I can't block off under it completely. I'm a bit worried if Yoda chases and Charly goes under there, I wouldn't be able to intervene if they did get into a fight.

Another reason I was thinking about site swapping is Yoda hasn't been out here almost at all, and he's not very confident in this area, a little hesitant and guarded. But maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing, to have him not so boisterous compared to Charly who is like "leave me alone dude I don't know you well enough to sniff the tip of my tail" ? Charly may feel more comfortable here too, and there are more places he can go high if he wants.


Should I try to be distracting Yoda with play? Try to play with both (with one toy or two?)? Dispensing treats to keep them distracted?
Im by myself most of the time so managing it is on me. For example, after video four, would you let the interaction continue? Stop before it gets to that point?

Thank you both again! :redheartpump:
 

ArtNJ

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Another frequent poster says "no blood no problem". I wouldn't go that far, but I agree that as long as they don't actually have a full on fight, cats can often move things forward on their own. Its like it takes energy to be growly and hissy, and if nothing that bad actually happens, they get tired of it and are able to chill out a bit.

Once you let them freely interact, your mostly just watching to prevent a fight if need be. Its super difficult to distract stressed cats -- they likely won't play with you, and if one does, the other will likely want to stay far away. They may not take treats. So just in general, I personally think its a mistake to think that you have to or should micromanage it so the interactions are only "positive". Let them hiss and growl. As long as there is no fighting, they can progress past that on their own.

I like to remind people of how some therapists get people over phobias with what is called desensitization therapy. They start with a cartoon of a spider, then a spider in a cage 12 feet away, then closer, closer, and so on. At each step, the human is sweating bullets. Thats the point -- to get the stress out without something truly bad happening, so you can calm down a bit. Its not necessary to take an ice cream break mid-therapy. I mean, imagine it, the therapist says ok, now I think you are ready for a spider on your leg! But to make sure its a good experience, eat this ice cream while it crawls on you! That isn't part of desensitization therapy. So applying that model to cats, your job is just to make sure that things dont go beyond stress, not to make the interactions pleasant. Maybe positive experiences can play a roll in some cat intros, but for the most part, it just doesn't work when cats are stressed -- you need to let them work things out -- stress isn't bad, its a normal part of the process. The point of the desensitization therapy with the therapist is that you don't vomit or have a heart attack at the last step with the spider -- your 100% still expected to be somewhat terrified as the last step is by definition the hardest, and there is more work to be done.
 
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noani

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Another frequent poster says "no blood no problem". I wouldn't go that far, but I agree that as long as they don't actually have a full on fight, cats can often move things forward on their own. Its like it takes energy to be growly and hissy, and if nothing that bad actually happens, they get tired of it and are able to chill out a bit.

Once you let them freely interact, your mostly just watching to prevent a fight if need be. Its super difficult to distract stressed cats -- they likely won't play with you, and if one does, the other will likely want to stay far away. They may not take treats. So just in general, I personally think its a mistake to think that you have to or should micromanage it so the interactions are only "positive". Let them hiss and growl. As long as there is no fighting, they can progress past that on their own.

I like to remind people of how some therapists get people over phobias with what is called desensitization therapy. They start with a cartoon of a spider, then a spider in a cage 12 feet away, then closer, closer, and so on. At each step, the human is sweating bullets. Thats the point -- to get the stress out without something truly bad happening, so you can calm down a bit. Its not necessary to take an ice cream break mid-therapy. I mean, imagine it, the therapist says ok, now I think you are ready for a spider on your leg! But to make sure its a good experience, eat this ice cream while it crawls on you! That isn't part of desensitization therapy. So applying that model to cats, your job is just to make sure that things dont go beyond stress, not to make the interactions pleasant. Maybe positive experiences can play a roll in some cat intros, but for the most part, it just doesn't work when cats are stressed -- you need to let them work things out -- stress isn't bad, its a normal part of the process. The point of the desensitization therapy with the therapist is that you don't vomit or have a heart attack at the last step with the spider -- your 100% still expected to be somewhat terrified as the last step is by definition the hardest, and there is more work to be done.
That does make sense. I need to find some more resources on what I'm watching out for - I've never had two cats at a time and I'm not confident about my ability to tell when to separate so that doesn't happen. In any case, if Charly gets too too stressed I should stop for a bit if I read the spider analogy correctly? Increasing time spent together gradually?

I've watched tons of videos on cat body language and cat fights etc. I need to find some and focus on what happens before so I know what to watch out for I guess?
 

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That does make sense. I need to find some more resources on what I'm watching out for - I've never had two cats at a time and I'm not confident about my ability to tell when to separate so that doesn't happen. In any case, if Charly gets too too stressed I should stop for a bit if I read the spider analogy correctly? Increasing time spent together gradually?

I've watched tons of videos on cat body language and cat fights etc. I need to find some and focus on what happens before so I know what to watch out for I guess?
Eh, if they dont actually seem to want to latch on and actually roll around, its not a fight. They are going to be stressed, and the body language will reflect that. OK, ok, maybe if you have an arched back, puffy fur and actual screaming, not hissing, maybe that is too much? But in general, if they don't want to grab each other (or one doesn't) and roll around getting into it, its ok. Different cats will have different body language for stress, but as long as they dont seem to want to launch at the other cat, your ok.
 
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noani

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Thank you, again!

How long would you recommend letting the interactions go on for now, time per session wise? Just a ballpark number.
 

calicosrspecial

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Thank you both so much.


The room the videos are in is Yoda's room, formerly known as my bedroom lol. The couch is in there now though, and the bed in the living room.
Yoda isn't as confident in the living room, kitchen, etc. He hasn't really spent any time there at all since coming here. Always been in that room throughout his whole recovery (obvs I spend a couple/few hours a day in there with him at least).

Do you have any advice on how to make it more positive for them? Maybe I need to be distracting Yoda more. He is so curious and wants to sniff and get to Charly all the time! Maybe also because he's tired of almost three months in isolation?
I can get them distracted to some extent with treats but it's short lived distraction.

After the last video, there was a bit where Charly was inside the upside down table and Yoda was walking on the top. That really stressed him out. I'll just put the table back to normal again. I thought it'll be better to not have Charly hide under there but like this it's just the perfect setup for a situation where he'll feel threatened with Yoda walking above him looking at him?

I guess he could have attacked, left the room, or would have been more shook up after the interaction was over (ie both back to respective rooms with door closed) but he went straight for his dinner and has been completely normal after each interaction time. I guess those are good signs?



Is there an easy way to know how much figuring out I should allow them to do, and when I need to intervene?

I'm a bit more nervous about having them interact in the other room (the living space, Charlys space for now). My beds in there now and I can't block off under it completely. I'm a bit worried if Yoda chases and Charly goes under there, I wouldn't be able to intervene if they did get into a fight.

Another reason I was thinking about site swapping is Yoda hasn't been out here almost at all, and he's not very confident in this area, a little hesitant and guarded. But maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing, to have him not so boisterous compared to Charly who is like "leave me alone dude I don't know you well enough to sniff the tip of my tail" ? Charly may feel more comfortable here too, and there are more places he can go high if he wants.


Should I try to be distracting Yoda with play? Try to play with both (with one toy or two?)? Dispensing treats to keep them distracted?
Im by myself most of the time so managing it is on me. For example, after video four, would you let the interaction continue? Stop before it gets to that point?

Thank you both again! :redheartpump:
Firstly, you are doing great so please try not to worry too much. The videos show them that they are fine. Not overly stressed so if they act like that and act like "normal" shortly thereafter an encounter they are fine. It is when we see changes in behavior (hiding, avoiding, not acting like themselves) then it is something we have to do some work on.

"The room the videos are in is Yoda's room, formerly known as my bedroom lol. The couch is in there now though, and the bed in the living room." - OK, great to know.

"Yoda isn't as confident in the living room, kitchen, etc. He hasn't really spent any time there at all since coming here. Always been in that room throughout his whole recovery (obvs I spend a couple/few hours a day in there with him at least)." - Ok, understandable. For now I would do the face to face sessions in Yoda's room and get Charly to accept a bit more then expand Yoda's territory using things he has put his scent on then we'll do some gradual work in that main area. Don't worry, we'll probably talk often (daily) and take each day at a time. But for now I would do exactly what you are doing, feeding together in the same place as the videos and let them roam and distract as needed.

"Do you have any advice on how to make it more positive for them?" Use calm, confident, loving words. Point at the food. Make a calm movement. They are doing well (as long as it is like the video) so I don't think you have to worry too much.

"Maybe I need to be distracting Yoda more. He is so curious and wants to sniff and get to Charly all the time! " - Maybe and Charly does a pretty good job telling him "no". So you can try the above as well.

"Maybe also because he's tired of almost three months in isolation?" - Maybe but I suspect he is a social cat. And wants a playmate.

"I can get them distracted to some extent with treats but it's short lived distraction." - Ok, how about words, calling his name? I am not sure there is a big need for much distraction if it is like the videos.

"After the last video, there was a bit where Charly was inside the upside down table and Yoda was walking on the top. That really stressed him out." - Ok, here is a good place to distract Yoda if possible. Did Yoda attack? Or do anything negative? Or did he respect Charly's communication?

" I'll just put the table back to normal again. I thought it'll be better to not have Charly hide under there but like this it's just the perfect setup for a situation where he'll feel threatened with Yoda walking above him looking at him?" - I think I would leave it as is. He can't get under it as it is but may be able to if put back to normal.

"I guess he could have attacked, left the room, or would have been more shook up after the interaction was over (ie both back to respective rooms with door closed) but he went straight for his dinner and has been completely normal after each interaction time. I guess those are good signs? " - Ok, yes, that is a GREAT sign. t is a situation like that and a positive resolution that builds trust. So Charly is telling us it wasn't a big deal (and Yoda is behaving which is extremely helpful).

So far I am not reading or seeing anything concerning. All is going well.

"I need to find some more resources on what I'm watching out for - " - Just post anything here and we'll help you interpret, etc. g
"I've never had two cats at a time and I'm not confident about my ability to tell when to separate so that doesn't happen." - Well so far you seem to be doing great. If it gets "serious" real fight then use cardboard to break it up (or a pillow, cushion, etc). Anything you are safe. So far the risk of real escalation seems highly unlikely.

" In any case, if Charly gets too too stressed I should stop for a bit if I read the spider analogy correctly? " - I don't want to step on toes but I would only stop if it seems negative or about to be negative and Yoda can't be distracted to give Charly a break. If you can get Yoda to look away from Charly then it should be fine (and if you wonder if you did the right thing how Charly acts after will tell you if you let it go too far or if it was fine - how fast back to normal Charly takes).

"Increasing time spent together gradually?" - I like to do that trying to keep it as positive as possible to build trust.

"I've watched tons of videos on cat body language and cat fights etc. I need to find some and focus on what happens before so I know what to watch out for I guess? " - We'll help you with your videos of your cats. If you don't get video describe it to us. I wouldn't spend the time, we'll help teach you using your videos. :)

Don't worry, I know it is early in learning about your cats but usually we can tell if there is an issue. So far I am not picking up on anything. There will be ups and downs but we'll help you through them and get them intro'd.

Keep building Charly's confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love (safe). I can go into more detail on any of those if you are unsure.

I don't know your work schedule so not sure when you will post but I will check back tomorrow. I respond mostly in the mornings and early afternoon USA time and then I get a bit tired and have to attend to my ferals so have a difficult time in late afternoon and evenings. I'll check back tomorrow.

Keep up the great work, we'll get them intro'd. :)
 
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noani

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"Maybe also because he's tired of almost three months in isolation?" - Maybe but I suspect he is a social cat. And wants a playmate.
Yes! He was quite bonded to the small colony he was with outside. I actually had doubts about trying to keep him after the surgery and recovery as he was very bonded to some of his mates out there, one especially. I wish I could just take them all :( but he's not going back out, it's too dangerous here (Sicily, Italy) and he seems to have adjusted very well to living inside. He just wants cuddles all the time.
Charly is a bit less interested in direct contact in general. He only accepts cuddles when he wants them, he's usually close by me wherever I am in the house but it's on his terms when he comes for cuddles. Yoda on the other hand, when I'm in with him, he'll want to be petted for hours and just wants attention. Charly quite often just wants to be close but minding his own business.

"I can get them distracted to some extent with treats but it's short lived distraction." - Ok, how about words, calling his name? I am not sure there is a big need for much distraction if it is like the videos.
He doesn't respond to his name much but he can be distracted with a toy or food. Charly is harder to distract, but Yoda is quite easy. At least for a bit.

"After the last video, there was a bit where Charly was inside the upside down table and Yoda was walking on the top. That really stressed him out." - Ok, here is a good place to distract Yoda if possible. Did Yoda attack? Or do anything negative? Or did he respect Charly's communication?
He just kept walking on the bars above Charly and looking at him but with a friendly demeanor (at least I think so. His attitude was the same as in the videos). Charly got stressed about it a bit more and I distracted Yoda with a feather toy.

" In any case, if Charly gets too too stressed I should stop for a bit if I read the spider analogy correctly? " - I don't want to step on toes but I would only stop if it seems negative or about to be negative and Yoda can't be distracted to give Charly a break. If you can get Yoda to look away from Charly then it should be fine (and if you wonder if you did the right thing how Charly acts after will tell you if you let it go too far or if it was fine - how fast back to normal Charly takes).
Should I have stopped a bit before then maybe? Or where would you say the right time to stop is? Any idea how long an interaction session should be at this stage, roughly?

Keep building Charly's confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love (safe). I can go into more detail on any of those if you are unsure.
Do you mean building his confidence with individual play or together? I play with him every day with a fishing pole that we've modified so I can attach his favourite little stuffed animals to. He doesn't care for ANY store bought cat fishing pole toys, feathers, nothing. Attaching his fave stuffed animals gets him going though and we usually go for about 15, 20 minutes per session (sometimes more, sometimes less. He lets me know when he's done by running to kitchen waiting for his reward treat).
I'm not sure exactly what play food height love entails so I'll look into it now.


I don't know your work schedule so not sure when you will post but I will check back tomorrow. I respond mostly in the mornings and early afternoon USA time and then I get a bit tired and have to attend to my ferals so have a difficult time in late afternoon and evenings. I'll check back tomorrow.
I'm in Italy so time zones and all, but I'm a teacher in a language school and have breaks often during the day so I'm usually here throughout the whole day really. I check frequently anyways and any support is so appreciated, whenever :)

Thank you again so very much. Also for the encouragement in general. I know I worry about it all quite a bit, I just really really don't want to mess up anything or do something that could undo their progress or damage the relationship they could build one day maybe. Charly has been with me since he was a wee bottle baby (abandoned by momma and no other solution as that was right as first lockdown hit here, then all his siblings I managed to get adopted but I knew immediately he was going to end up staying with me) and Yoda, even when he was still with the colony I take care of outside, always had a special place in my heart. I saw him being born while assisting momma, and have seen him grow up and all his siblings being adopted except him. He has always been cuddly and lovey with me for a so called "feral". I mean I would have done the same and taken in any of them had I found them wounded and in a bad way, just as things turned out, it was him and since he's doing fab living inside, he isn't going back out to the dangers of the street.

Anyways, thank you both so much for the support.
 

calicosrspecial

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Yes! He was quite bonded to the small colony he was with outside. I actually had doubts about trying to keep him after the surgery and recovery as he was very bonded to some of his mates out there, one especially. I wish I could just take them all :( but he's not going back out, it's too dangerous here (Sicily, Italy) and he seems to have adjusted very well to living inside. He just wants cuddles all the time.
Charly is a bit less interested in direct contact in general. He only accepts cuddles when he wants them, he's usually close by me wherever I am in the house but it's on his terms when he comes for cuddles. Yoda on the other hand, when I'm in with him, he'll want to be petted for hours and just wants attention. Charly quite often just wants to be close but minding his own business.



He doesn't respond to his name much but he can be distracted with a toy or food. Charly is harder to distract, but Yoda is quite easy. At least for a bit.



He just kept walking on the bars above Charly and looking at him but with a friendly demeanor (at least I think so. His attitude was the same as in the videos). Charly got stressed about it a bit more and I distracted Yoda with a feather toy.



Should I have stopped a bit before then maybe? Or where would you say the right time to stop is? Any idea how long an interaction session should be at this stage, roughly?



Do you mean building his confidence with individual play or together? I play with him every day with a fishing pole that we've modified so I can attach his favourite little stuffed animals to. He doesn't care for ANY store bought cat fishing pole toys, feathers, nothing. Attaching his fave stuffed animals gets him going though and we usually go for about 15, 20 minutes per session (sometimes more, sometimes less. He lets me know when he's done by running to kitchen waiting for his reward treat).
I'm not sure exactly what play food height love entails so I'll look into it now.




I'm in Italy so time zones and all, but I'm a teacher in a language school and have breaks often during the day so I'm usually here throughout the whole day really. I check frequently anyways and any support is so appreciated, whenever :)

Thank you again so very much. Also for the encouragement in general. I know I worry about it all quite a bit, I just really really don't want to mess up anything or do something that could undo their progress or damage the relationship they could build one day maybe. Charly has been with me since he was a wee bottle baby (abandoned by momma and no other solution as that was right as first lockdown hit here, then all his siblings I managed to get adopted but I knew immediately he was going to end up staying with me) and Yoda, even when he was still with the colony I take care of outside, always had a special place in my heart. I saw him being born while assisting momma, and have seen him grow up and all his siblings being adopted except him. He has always been cuddly and lovey with me for a so called "feral". I mean I would have done the same and taken in any of them had I found them wounded and in a bad way, just as things turned out, it was him and since he's doing fab living inside, he isn't going back out to the dangers of the street.

Anyways, thank you both so much for the support.
"Yes! He was quite bonded to the small colony he was with outside. I actually had doubts about trying to keep him after the surgery and recovery as he was very bonded to some of his mates out there, one especially." - Awwwww, I know the struggle but it is best to be indoors if at all possible.

"I wish I could just take them all :( but he's not going back out, it's too dangerous here (Sicily, Italy)" - I know the feeling all too well. :/

" and he seems to have adjusted very well to living inside. He just wants cuddles all the time." - Great he does seem to be doing really well.

"Charly is a bit less interested in direct contact in general. He only accepts cuddles when he wants them, he's usually close by me wherever I am in the house but it's on his terms when he comes for cuddles." - That is normal, not an issue. Just never force attention as I think you know. Just let him initiate it.

" Yoda on the other hand, when I'm in with him, he'll want to be petted for hours and just wants attention." - Awwwwwwwww

" Charly quite often just wants to be close but minding his own business. " - That is fine. As long as he is happy.

"He doesn't respond to his name much " - Ok, keep trying with his name.

"but he can be distracted with a toy or food." - Great, then use a toy and food as the last resort.

" Charly is harder to distract," - Ok but Charly doesn't seem to need to be as much. So work on Yoda to give Charly space.

" but Yoda is quite easy. At least for a bit." - Great

"He just kept walking on the bars above Charly and looking at him but with a friendly demeanor (at least I think so. His attitude was the same as in the videos). " - Ok, that sounds fine. Just distract him if you think it is too much. I don;t see Yoda being aggressive s that is really helpful.

The great thing about ferals in a colony is they tend to learn to be diplomatic, how to get along. Yoda seems really good at that which is SO HELPFUL.

"Charly got stressed about it a bit more " - Ok BUT Charly rebounded quickly so he wasn't too bad.

"and I distracted Yoda with a feather toy." - Great job!!

"Should I have stopped a bit before then maybe?" - I don't think so. There is a balance in my eyes of giving them enough interaction but keeping it as positive as possible. So IF Charly was hiding after, scared, not eating, etc then we would know it was too much. BUT Charly rebounded very quickly so I don't think it was an issue and Charly's actions suggest that is correct. BUT it is something we need to keep watching. It really is more art than science and I get a sense you have good instincts so I think you will find the right balance.

" Or where would you say the right time to stop is?" - When it seems to be getting more negative. Again it is all feel really rather than set rules. So just read their body language, etc and then decide. BUT Yoda seems really good so I think your leeway is really good. Just focus on quality over quantity (minutes).

"Any idea how long an interaction session should be at this stage, roughly?" - As long as you can as long as it is positive. Again, quality over quantity in my book.

"Do you mean building his confidence with individual play or together? " - Individually for now.

"I play with him every day with a fishing pole that we've modified so I can attach his favourite little stuffed animals to. He doesn't care for ANY store bought cat fishing pole toys, feathers, nothing. Attaching his fave stuffed animals gets him going though and we usually go for about 15, 20 minutes per session (sometimes more, sometimes less. He lets me know when he's done by running to kitchen waiting for his reward treat)." - GREAT!!! PERFECT!!! This builds confidence replicating the Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat, Groom, Sleep that often happens in the world (survival). Great work!!

"I'm not sure exactly what play food height love entails so I'll look into it now. " - Ok, So Play is play that builds confidence. Food is feeding after play and using food as a positive association in intro's. So the resident cat has food (something enjoyable) with the other cat there so they know they don't have risk of their food being taken away by the other cat and they make a positive association (food, other cat, all good). Height is going high to surveil the situation on the ground. So cat trees, cat shelving, etc. Height gives confidence as they feel safer (most cats) and it gives them options for escape if needed. Love - Is anything to make the cats feel loved, safe. But only if it is safe. So getting them to purr, giving eye kisses, talking calm, confidently and lovingly to the cats, warm and comfy bedding, etc. I hope that makes some sense. Those all build confidence and a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted.

"I'm in Italy so time zones and all, but I'm a teacher in a language school and have breaks often during the day so I'm usually here throughout the whole day really. I check frequently anyways and any support is so appreciated, whenever :) " - Wow Italy. Wonderful. Your English is amazing.

"Thank you again so very much." - You are welcome but THANK YOU for all you are doing with Yoda and Charly. Saving their lives.

" Also for the encouragement in general." - Well the encouragement comes from the facts.

" I know I worry about it all quite a bit, I just really really don't want to mess up anything or do something that could undo their progress or damage the relationship they could build one day maybe." - Understandable. But you are doing great. We'll have to watch Charly (the resident cat almost always has the most difficult time adjusting since it is "their" territory being "invaded". But so far all seems well. We'll guide you to success. Yoda is REALLY helpful as well so far.

"Charly has been with me since he was a wee bottle baby (abandoned by momma and no other solution as that was right as first lockdown hit here, then all his siblings I managed to get adopted but I knew immediately he was going to end up staying with me)" - Oh wow. Ok, good to know. THANK YOU for saving him!!! And getting the others adopted.

" and Yoda, even when he was still with the colony I take care of outside, always had a special place in my heart." - Awwwwwwww. You take care of a colony as well. YOU are AMAZING!!!!

" I saw him being born while assisting momma, and have seen him grow up and all his siblings being adopted except him. " - Awwwwwwwwwwwww. Now he is adopted. :)

"He has always been cuddly and lovey with me for a so called "feral"." - Feral to me is just a cat born outside. I take in the older, unwell ferals and they adjust with the right kind of love. When you know them from young they really are just normal cats imo.

" I mean I would have done the same and taken in any of them had I found them wounded and in a bad way, just as things turned out, it was him and since he's doing fab living inside, he isn't going back out to the dangers of the street." - You are such a wonderful person. You have a heart of gold!!!

"Anyways, thank you both so much for the support. " - Oh my, you are welcome but THANK YOU for all you are doing!!!

Keep doing what you are doing and let's take it day by day and get them intro'd. We'll have to keep an eye on Charly but I am really impressed with Yoda and his social skills. Keep up the great work and please ask anything anytime. But I would continue face to face encounters using food, let be around each other in a positive way, keep building confidence individually and let's see how they do and we'll adjust or move forward as needed or when ready. But so far so good. Keep up the great work!!!
 
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noani

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Charly walked in tail held high as Yoda was eating. Then went unter Couch cover.
Ignore the numbers, I got confused. They're posted in the right order.

Yoda in the middle, Charly under couch cover at the start:

Charly exploring while Yoda is on couch distracted by toy



Charly eating while Yoda is with me on couch

Both eating at the end. Yoda left, Charly right
 

calicosrspecial

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Charly walked in tail held high as Yoda was eating. Then went unter Couch cover.
Ignore the numbers, I got confused. They're posted in the right order.

Yoda in the middle, Charly under couch cover at the start:

Charly exploring while Yoda is on couch distracted by toy



Charly eating while Yoda is with me on couch

Both eating at the end. Yoda left, Charly right
Video "Yoda in the middle, Charly under couch cover at the start: " - PERFECT!!! Charly comes out ( LOVE IT) and Yoda is fine. Charly looks good as well. Positive.

Video "Charly exploring while Yoda is on couch distracted by toy" - Great, Charly is a little cautious but overall great. Were you playing with Yoda and the toy? Fantastic Yoda was good while Charly explored. Positive encounter that builds confidence.

Video "Charly eating while Yoda is with me on couch" - Great!!! My goodness is Yoda adorable and sweet!!!

They both are GORGEOUS cats!!!

Video "Both eating at the end. Yoda left, Charly right" - So Charly went up to Yoda and they sniffed each other and no negativity. WOW!! AMAZING!!!

How did they act after all of these?

Overall, from the video you are doing an EXCELLENT job!! There is not one thing I thought was negative, bad, etc. Charly looks better than I would have expected, Yoda is AMAZING being so good which is helping Charly.

Terrific!!! Keep doing what you are doing. :)
 
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"Charly is a bit less interested in direct contact in general. He only accepts cuddles when he wants them, he's usually close by me wherever I am in the house but it's on his terms when he comes for cuddles." - That is normal, not an issue. Just never force attention as I think you know. Just let him initiate it.

Yeah I just let him do what he wants and oblige when he comes for cuddles. :flail: The only time I will be approaching him for interaction is before dinner for some play time.

"He doesn't respond to his name much " - Ok, keep trying with his name.

"but he can be distracted with a toy or food." - Great, then use a toy and food as the last resort.
I did distract him with toy and food tonight. I might try and work on him and his name alone a bit tonight and tomorrow (he's getting good at clicker training).
Can I ask why using name to distract is preferable over toy or food?

" Or where would you say the right time to stop is?" - When it seems to be getting more negative. Again it is all feel really rather than set rules. So just read their body language, etc and then decide. BUT Yoda seems really good so I think your leeway is really good. Just focus on quality over quantity (minutes).
He is the best behaved little kitty I have ever had (besides some nibble and play biting me initially but who can blame him when he came from the street, he learned so quickly too!) He is definitely helping by being completely non confrontational. If anything, he may be a bit too friendly and eager to interact for Charly I think.

"I play with him every day with a fishing pole that we've modified so I can attach his favourite little stuffed animals to. He doesn't care for ANY store bought cat fishing pole toys, feathers, nothing. Attaching his fave stuffed animals gets him going though and we usually go for about 15, 20 minutes per session (sometimes more, sometimes less. He lets me know when he's done by running to kitchen waiting for his reward treat)." - GREAT!!! PERFECT!!! This builds confidence replicating the Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat, Groom, Sleep that often happens in the world (survival). Great work!!
I watched so many videos and read books and all that to make Charlys life the best possible life he can have inside :) so I try.

"I'm in Italy so time zones and all, but I'm a teacher in a language school and have breaks often during the day so I'm usually here throughout the whole day really. I check frequently anyways and any support is so appreciated, whenever :) " - Wow Italy. Wonderful. Your English is amazing.
Thank you! I'm actually originally from Germany. It's a long story 😂


Keep doing what you are doing and let's take it day by day and get them intro'd. We'll have to keep an eye on Charly but I am really impressed with Yoda and his social skills. Keep up the great work and please ask anything anytime. But I would continue face to face encounters using food, let be around each other in a positive way, keep building confidence individually and let's see how they do and we'll adjust or move forward as needed or when ready. But so far so good. Keep up the great work!!!
Tonight went well I think, Charly didn't hiss once or swat. He looked more relaxed to me as well?
 
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Video "Yoda in the middle, Charly under couch cover at the start: " - PERFECT!!! Charly comes out ( LOVE IT) and Yoda is fine. Charly looks good as well. Positive.

Video "Charly exploring while Yoda is on couch distracted by toy" - Great, Charly is a little cautious but overall great. Were you playing with Yoda and the toy? Fantastic Yoda was good while Charly explored. Positive encounter that builds confidence.

Video "Charly eating while Yoda is with me on couch" - Great!!! My goodness is Yoda adorable and sweet!!!

They both are GORGEOUS cats!!!

Video "Both eating at the end. Yoda left, Charly right" - So Charly went up to Yoda and they sniffed each other and no negativity. WOW!! AMAZING!!!

How did they act after all of these?

Overall, from the video you are doing an EXCELLENT job!! There is not one thing I thought was negative, bad, etc. Charly looks better than I would have expected, Yoda is AMAZING being so good which is helping Charly.

Terrific!!! Keep doing what you are doing. :)
Thank you so much for the feedback!
Charly did look more confident to me too. He walked in tail held high which I haven't seen him do around Yoda since the start (high tail and relaxed body).

After the first vid, where I was playing with the feather with yoda, I went over to the couch and kept wiggling it and he laid down next to me licking the feather and looking at it while Charly did his exploring.

Charly looked at him play a bit but overall just walked around and didn't seem fussed by Yoda playing (at some stage more energetically and then less).

Yes Charly did go up to him at the end. I've run out of his favourite food so I did cheat a bit - I put a little piece of his fave treat on top of his bowl to get him to eat too. Then he wanted to check out yoda's bowl to see if there were any other treat pieces in his maybe (there weren't).

After the vid they ate a little bit more, then I lead Yoda to the couch with a treat and Charly out with another and closed the door. And they both were completely normal like nothing had even happened.

Since it was going so well I decided I'd rather stop there and leave it at that for this session so Charly can have a moment of pure "oh hey maybe he's not so bad or at least he isn't gonna do anything to me".

Thank you so much again for all the help. I appreciate it so much :)

And yes, I may be biased but I too think they are both gorgeous. They look so much alike in some ways, but their personalities are so different! And yeah, Yoda is an absolute cuddlebug and just one of the sweetest cats I've ever met! And I love Charly and his independent aloof little BIG personality too :)
 

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Thank you so much for the feedback!
Charly did look more confident to me too. He walked in tail held high which I haven't seen him do around Yoda since the start (high tail and relaxed body).

After the first vid, where I was playing with the feather with yoda, I went over to the couch and kept wiggling it and he laid down next to me licking the feather and looking at it while Charly did his exploring.

Charly looked at him play a bit but overall just walked around and didn't seem fussed by Yoda playing (at some stage more energetically and then less).

Yes Charly did go up to him at the end. I've run out of his favourite food so I did cheat a bit - I put a little piece of his fave treat on top of his bowl to get him to eat too. Then he wanted to check out yoda's bowl to see if there were any other treat pieces in his maybe (there weren't).

After the vid they ate a little bit more, then I lead Yoda to the couch with a treat and Charly out with another and closed the door. And they both were completely normal like nothing had even happened.

Since it was going so well I decided I'd rather stop there and leave it at that for this session so Charly can have a moment of pure "oh hey maybe he's not so bad or at least he isn't gonna do anything to me".

Thank you so much again for all the help. I appreciate it so much :)

And yes, I may be biased but I too think they are both gorgeous. They look so much alike in some ways, but their personalities are so different! And yeah, Yoda is an absolute cuddlebug and just one of the sweetest cats I've ever met! And I love Charly and his independent aloof little BIG personality too :)
"I watched so many videos and read books and all that to make Charlys life the best possible life he can have inside :) so I try." -I can tell. AND you succeed!!! :)

"Thank you! I'm actually originally from Germany. It's a long story 😂" - :) You are very welcome.

"Tonight went well I think," - AGREED!!

" Charly didn't hiss once or swat." - Great

"He looked more relaxed to me as well?" - Absolutely agree, he looked great.

"Thank you so much for the feedback!" - Of course, you are very welcome.

"Charly did look more confident to me too. He walked in tail held high which I haven't seen him do around Yoda since the start (high tail and relaxed body)." Agreed. And fantastic. His confidence was there.

"After the first vid, where I was playing with the feather with yoda, I went over to the couch and kept wiggling it and he laid down next to me licking the feather and looking at it while Charly did his exploring." - Perfect, great job. Exactly the right thing to do. Well done!!

"Charly looked at him play a bit but overall just walked around and didn't seem fussed by Yoda playing (at some stage more energetically and then less)." - Exactly, positive, very positive.

"Yes Charly did go up to him at the end. I've run out of his favourite food so I did cheat a bit - I put a little piece of his fave treat on top of his bowl to get him to eat too. Then he wanted to check out yoda's bowl to see if there were any other treat pieces in his maybe (there weren't)." - Ahhhhhh, that makes sense. I love he was confident enough to look at what Yoda was having AND how well Yoda accepted that. FANTASTIC. That could have gone badly but they did great. Just keep an eye on them if they do it again and be ready to reassure, calm them, etc.

"After the vid they ate a little bit more, then I lead Yoda to the couch with a treat and Charly out with another and closed the door. And they both were completely normal like nothing had even happened." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: THAT tells us they were fine with everything.

"Since it was going so well I decided I'd rather stop there and leave it at that for this session so Charly can have a moment of pure "oh hey maybe he's not so bad or at least he isn't gonna do anything to me"." - REALLY WELL DONE!!! Exactly the right thing to do.

"Thank you so much again for all the help. I appreciate it so much :) " - You are very welcome but thank you for all you are doing!!! You are doing great and making my job easy. :)

"And yes, I may be biased but I too think they are both gorgeous. " - :) YES!!! I am not biased and think the same thing!! :)

"They look so much alike in some ways," - They do, their markings are amazingly gorgeous.

" but their personalities are so different! " - Awwwwwwww

"And yeah, Yoda is an absolute cuddlebug and just one of the sweetest cats I've ever met!" - He sure seems like it.

" And I love Charly and his independent aloof little BIG personality too :) " - Awwwwwwwww :)

Keep up the great work!!!
 
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noani

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Little Tuesday morning update:
So every time I open the door to go in to Yoda, Charly will somehow dash. He wants in there so badly lol. This morning, he got in twice and both times, there were zero hisses, nothing.

The "charly in table, Yoda standing over him" situation represented itself, but he didn't hiss or swat this time. Just looked up at him and sat there. Yoda sat there looking at him too. Neither seemed tense. Led Charly out so I could clean up yoda's room a bit and play with him alone a bit.

Then the second time he got in as I was trying to leave the room. Charly went under the couch cover again (he has always done that, even when it was just the two of us and the couch was in the living room. I rotate couch covers but when this one is on, he's under there ALL. THE. TIME. It's only with this cover though so I don't think it's an issue. He just likes hanging out there and seeing if any prey comes by for him to hunt maybe :lol:
Anyways Charly was under there and Yoda went up and kept sniffing his tail that was sticking out (never said he was good at hiding... Lol). Again no hisses! Nor swatting or anything.
I led Yoda to the living room with his feather and he kicked around on the bed for a bit. I thought Charly may get jealous of his territory and shoot out but he stayed in there hanging out under the couch. Then Yoda and I went back in and Yoda went on couch with his feather (he sure is obsessed with that thing! Charly could care less about feather toys so maybe it's helping that they don't fight over the toy or anything).
I then led Charly back out because basically I was in a time crunch to get to work. If I didn't have to leave, they probably could have stayed together way longer..

So here's my reflections: four days of interacting, two days of some hissing and swatting, two days of no hissing no swatting at all and Charly clearly wants in there. I feel like it's me now stopping them from interacting and being together more. They both seem to want to be around each other, although they may have slightly different levels of desired proximity :lol:

Tomorrow is a national holiday here so I have the day off, meaning I can be home and spend lots of time with them. Do you think I could just give them free reign of the whole place rather than just yoda's room (supervised of course!) for a bit? Like door open and let them explore both rooms to their liking, distracting Yoda if he bothers Charly?
He didn't seem bothered by Yoda going into "his" rooms.
 

calicosrspecial

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Little Tuesday morning update:
So every time I open the door to go in to Yoda, Charly will somehow dash. He wants in there so badly lol. This morning, he got in twice and both times, there were zero hisses, nothing.

The "charly in table, Yoda standing over him" situation represented itself, but he didn't hiss or swat this time. Just looked up at him and sat there. Yoda sat there looking at him too. Neither seemed tense. Led Charly out so I could clean up yoda's room a bit and play with him alone a bit.

Then the second time he got in as I was trying to leave the room. Charly went under the couch cover again (he has always done that, even when it was just the two of us and the couch was in the living room. I rotate couch covers but when this one is on, he's under there ALL. THE. TIME. It's only with this cover though so I don't think it's an issue. He just likes hanging out there and seeing if any prey comes by for him to hunt maybe :lol:
Anyways Charly was under there and Yoda went up and kept sniffing his tail that was sticking out (never said he was good at hiding... Lol). Again no hisses! Nor swatting or anything.
I led Yoda to the living room with his feather and he kicked around on the bed for a bit. I thought Charly may get jealous of his territory and shoot out but he stayed in there hanging out under the couch. Then Yoda and I went back in and Yoda went on couch with his feather (he sure is obsessed with that thing! Charly could care less about feather toys so maybe it's helping that they don't fight over the toy or anything).
I then led Charly back out because basically I was in a time crunch to get to work. If I didn't have to leave, they probably could have stayed together way longer..

So here's my reflections: four days of interacting, two days of some hissing and swatting, two days of no hissing no swatting at all and Charly clearly wants in there. I feel like it's me now stopping them from interacting and being together more. They both seem to want to be around each other, although they may have slightly different levels of desired proximity :lol:

Tomorrow is a national holiday here so I have the day off, meaning I can be home and spend lots of time with them. Do you think I could just give them free reign of the whole place rather than just yoda's room (supervised of course!) for a bit? Like door open and let them explore both rooms to their liking, distracting Yoda if he bothers Charly?
He didn't seem bothered by Yoda going into "his" rooms.
"Little Tuesday morning update:" - Great, let's see.

"So every time I open the door to go in to Yoda, Charly will somehow dash. He wants in there so badly lol." - Interesting. How is Charly's body language when dashing in?

"This morning, he got in twice and both times, there were zero hisses, nothing." - GREAT!!!

"The "charly in table, Yoda standing over him" situation represented itself, but he didn't hiss or swat this time. Just looked up at him and sat there. Yoda sat there looking at him too. Neither seemed tense. " - FANTASTIC!!!

"Led Charly out so I could clean up yoda's room a bit and play with him alone a bit." - Good job.

"Then the second time he got in as I was trying to leave the room. Charly went under the couch cover again (he has always done that, even when it was just the two of us and the couch was in the living room. I rotate couch covers but when this one is on, he's under there ALL. THE. TIME. It's only with this cover though so I don't think it's an issue. He just likes hanging out there and seeing if any prey comes by for him to hunt maybe :lol:" - Awwwwwwwww. Yes, cats are creatures of habit so not an issue.

"Anyways Charly was under there and Yoda went up and kept sniffing his tail that was sticking out (never said he was good at hiding... Lol). Again no hisses! Nor swatting or anything." - Great. So Charly was ok with Yoda sniffing his tail? Hahaha, n the other video his tail was sticking out as well. Sooooooooooo cute!!

"I led Yoda to the living room with his feather and he kicked around on the bed for a bit." - Great

" I thought Charly may get jealous of his territory and shoot out but he stayed in there hanging out under the couch.: - Great sign.

" Then Yoda and I went back in and Yoda went on couch with his feather (he sure is obsessed with that thing! Charly could care less about feather toys so maybe it's helping that they don't fight over the toy or anything)." - Perfect. Again, great job.

To me intros are all about letting the cats know the other is not a threat to their food, water, personal safety, litter box, etc. So I try to do things to reassure them that all those are safe.

"I then led Charly back out because basically I was in a time crunch to get to work. If I didn't have to leave, they probably could have stayed together way longer.." - Great job.

One thing I like to do is to keep making those encounters as positive as possible. Sometimes early in intros things are fine as neither is confident enough to stand up to the other cat, start anything, etc. So I like to get past that "honeymoon" period to make sur that what we are seeing (good things) are due to acceptance, confident, territorial security, etc rather than that initial caution that sometimes happens between cats.

"So here's my reflections: four days of interacting, two days of some hissing and swatting, two days of no hissing no swatting at all and Charly clearly wants in there. " - So far fantastic!!! It is still a bit early but so far so good and I get every sense all is going to be well. Let's keep doing what you are doing, doing those face to face encounters with supervision making them as positive as possible and reassuring them and distracting if need be. Yoda is being really helpful being so diplomatic and that is really helping Charly feel more safe and confident around him.

"I feel like it's me now stopping them from interacting and being together more. " - I disagree, I don't think so. I think you are doing the wise thing to build trust and confidence.

"They both seem to want to be around each other, although they may have slightly different levels of desired proximity :lol:" - Yes, agreed. As long as they have trust they will be able to work any issues.

"Tomorrow is a national holiday here so I have the day off, meaning I can be home and spend lots of time with them." - Great!!

" Do you think I could just give them free reign of the whole place rather than just yoda's room (supervised of course!) for a bit? Like door open and let them explore both rooms to their liking, distracting Yoda if he bothers Charly?" - I think that is fine. Make sure it is supervised. Stay calm and confident around them. Make it positive for them. Don't force interaction let them chose. Keep it as positive as possible.

"He didn't seem bothered by Yoda going into "his" rooms. " - Great but it is still early. And in Charly's territory Yoda will be less confident which cause some issues (a confident cat is less likely to attack or be attacked and vice versa). But I am not seeing any offensive body language etc so I suspect it should be fine for a while. Just keep it as positive as possible (quality over quantity of time) and just enjoy and love them as you do. They will pick up on your positive energy and that should help them.

GREAT job!! Keep up the great work. :)
 
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"Little Tuesday morning update:" - Great, let's see.

"So every time I open the door to go in to Yoda, Charly will somehow dash. He wants in there so badly lol." - Interesting. How is Charly's body language when dashing in?

"This morning, he got in twice and both times, there were zero hisses, nothing." - GREAT!!!

"The "charly in table, Yoda standing over him" situation represented itself, but he didn't hiss or swat this time. Just looked up at him and sat there. Yoda sat there looking at him too. Neither seemed tense. " - FANTASTIC!!!

"Led Charly out so I could clean up yoda's room a bit and play with him alone a bit." - Good job.

"Then the second time he got in as I was trying to leave the room. Charly went under the couch cover again (he has always done that, even when it was just the two of us and the couch was in the living room. I rotate couch covers but when this one is on, he's under there ALL. THE. TIME. It's only with this cover though so I don't think it's an issue. He just likes hanging out there and seeing if any prey comes by for him to hunt maybe :lol:" - Awwwwwwwww. Yes, cats are creatures of habit so not an issue.

"Anyways Charly was under there and Yoda went up and kept sniffing his tail that was sticking out (never said he was good at hiding... Lol). Again no hisses! Nor swatting or anything." - Great. So Charly was ok with Yoda sniffing his tail? Hahaha, n the other video his tail was sticking out as well. Sooooooooooo cute!!

"I led Yoda to the living room with his feather and he kicked around on the bed for a bit." - Great

" I thought Charly may get jealous of his territory and shoot out but he stayed in there hanging out under the couch.: - Great sign.

" Then Yoda and I went back in and Yoda went on couch with his feather (he sure is obsessed with that thing! Charly could care less about feather toys so maybe it's helping that they don't fight over the toy or anything)." - Perfect. Again, great job.

To me intros are all about letting the cats know the other is not a threat to their food, water, personal safety, litter box, etc. So I try to do things to reassure them that all those are safe.

"I then led Charly back out because basically I was in a time crunch to get to work. If I didn't have to leave, they probably could have stayed together way longer.." - Great job.

One thing I like to do is to keep making those encounters as positive as possible. Sometimes early in intros things are fine as neither is confident enough to stand up to the other cat, start anything, etc. So I like to get past that "honeymoon" period to make sur that what we are seeing (good things) are due to acceptance, confident, territorial security, etc rather than that initial caution that sometimes happens between cats.

"So here's my reflections: four days of interacting, two days of some hissing and swatting, two days of no hissing no swatting at all and Charly clearly wants in there. " - So far fantastic!!! It is still a bit early but so far so good and I get every sense all is going to be well. Let's keep doing what you are doing, doing those face to face encounters with supervision making them as positive as possible and reassuring them and distracting if need be. Yoda is being really helpful being so diplomatic and that is really helping Charly feel more safe and confident around him.

"I feel like it's me now stopping them from interacting and being together more. " - I disagree, I don't think so. I think you are doing the wise thing to build trust and confidence.

"They both seem to want to be around each other, although they may have slightly different levels of desired proximity :lol:" - Yes, agreed. As long as they have trust they will be able to work any issues.

"Tomorrow is a national holiday here so I have the day off, meaning I can be home and spend lots of time with them." - Great!!

" Do you think I could just give them free reign of the whole place rather than just yoda's room (supervised of course!) for a bit? Like door open and let them explore both rooms to their liking, distracting Yoda if he bothers Charly?" - I think that is fine. Make sure it is supervised. Stay calm and confident around them. Make it positive for them. Don't force interaction let them chose. Keep it as positive as possible.

"He didn't seem bothered by Yoda going into "his" rooms. " - Great but it is still early. And in Charly's territory Yoda will be less confident which cause some issues (a confident cat is less likely to attack or be attacked and vice versa). But I am not seeing any offensive body language etc so I suspect it should be fine for a while. Just keep it as positive as possible (quality over quantity of time) and just enjoy and love them as you do. They will pick up on your positive energy and that should help them.

GREAT job!! Keep up the great work. :)
I'm pretty confident Yoda won't attack even if not confident - he didn't attack when we took him to the vet with his injury and he sure was stressed and scared out of his mind. He didn't even scratch me when I caught him!!!
He's also never gotten into any fights with any of the cats outside. He's a very "not likely to be bothered" cat.

Do you think the chances are high that, after two days of hissing, growling, and swatting, and now two days of none of that, Charly will turn again and become aggressive to him maybe?
he doesn't seem to be scared of him and when he went in, it was tail held high curved at top. I'm not sure I remember correctly but I think that's positive body language?
 
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