Need help introducing two cats

cat nap

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I don't feel like we making progress anymore, if anything I feel like things are regressing. Summer is getting worse about trying to attack Leaf through the gate. If she is anywhere close Summer will run up and claw at her, and I have noticed an increase in bushed fur and a hiss or two from Summer.
When Summer runs up to the gate...what does Leafy do?
Does Leafy just sit near the gate...and try and fight Summer back?

There is actually nothing wrong with Summer running at the gate, if Leafy is protected.
At least Summer is getting all her aggression, fear or territorial aggression out of her system.
(As long as Summer is not 'redirecting' her aggression at you or your husband.)
I have been letting Summer explore Leafs bedroom this week, have still been swapping scents, playing and offering treats by the gate to try and reinforce positive.
That is excellent.
Does Summer still have a huge reaction to anything with Leafy's Scent on it....like a cat blanket, cat toy, cat brush...sock, t-shirt...all with Leafy's Scent on it.?
Leave it by Summer's food dish...and see any reaction.
I tried to leave the door open Saturday before last at least most of the day, it was very stressful and I feel like they were getting worse the longer I left it open so I think it ended up being maybe three hours?
Three hours is great.
But did you have to watch or listen all the time?
Or could you just leave it open...and walk away...and do something else.
Not pay any attention to Summer.
(maybe Summer is acting up....because she is also being watched.)

(Since the gate is a barrier...and offers protection...and if there is no way that either cat could jump across the gate...then why not just leave it open ...after work...and on weekends, too.?)
Does Summer do some sort of loud howling, or vocalizing...every time she is at ...or near the gate?
That would sound stressful...but if Summer eventually walks away...then that would be good.

If you do think that three hours is too long...and that it is stressing Leafy out too much...then just do smaller time increments...and increase them.
It all really depends on how Leafy is being affected.
What am I doing wrong? Is this just never going to happen?
You are doing absolutely nothing wrong.
Summer just sounds highly reactive, still, and very territorial.:frown:

**You might need to ask your Vet...if putting Summer on some calming medication ...would help her? 🤔
Just for the time of these intros.
Ask about Prozac, or Zylkene? Nutricalm liquid, or Composure.
See this thread:
see Post#24...Kitten Introduction to a Sassy Adult Cat - Help!
(And if you do a "advanced Search" ..you can bring up a few more threads, Search Results for Query: prozac for cat)

If you do want to try this route, then ask your Vet about the transdermal prozac, that is rubbed on the ear, or the chewable form:
Fluoxetine Twist-a-Dose Transdermal Gel

Members here, have mentioned using Composure, Zylkene, and gabapentin for various situations, too.
My main concern with medications being used in cats during cat intros...is side effects.
Medications for Cat Behavior Problems: Aggression, Anxiety, and More on MedicineNet

It would still be worth it to ask your Vet about any calming medications, though.
It might really help Summer, short term.

G GHsaltie ...is there any way that you can post a Video....of how Summer acts near the gate? 🎥🎞📱
*As far as uploading videos...see if this explains it:
How To Upload And Add Videos To Your Posts – TheCatSite Articles
It does mention that it needs to be in MP4 format and only 25MB...which is rather short...so they recommend this video file reducer:
Reduce Video File Size Online, Make Video Smaller (MP4, AVI, MOV, MPEG) | VideoSmaller
(which is mentioned in the above Article).

**Mostly I think that members upload their videos onto youtube, giphy, or other outside video sites...and then "embed" the videos into their posts:
Embed videos
 
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GHsaltie

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cat nap cat nap when Summer runs up Leaf will dart away from the gate and usually watch from a distance at that point until Summer leaves again. I'm just worried that it will become habit and Summer will feel like she needs to constantly chase Leaf away. I know she still feels threatened by her presence, but I don't know what to do to help her realize she doesn't need to feel threatened.
So far Summer hasn't redirected back at us in these moments. My husband can even pick her up talking to her and she will be perfectly fine. I'm usually a bit more cautious and will talk to her in a light voice to grab her attention and then start petting her and she'll be fine then. She'll follow me or go do something else but it's always right back to the gate if Leaf comes up.

No Summer doesn't react to her scent anymore that I have noticed, she acts like it's not even there.

We have a small apartment so I can't really not watch unless I go into the master bedroom, which I can try. My husband has suggested we just leave it open overnight, or all day and ignore it, but I think I'm too scared to try that yet. Leaf doesn't seem too affected but I'm worried if it goes on constantly all day then she will start to be afraid of coming out of the bedroom or associate Summer as bad.
As for vocalizing from Summer, only a couple times she would go into the master bedroom and meow kind of high-pitched and lost sounding? Not sure if that makes sense. But no yowling or angry meows.

I have thought about medicines, or some other means to calm Summer and perhaps I need to consider it more thoroughly. I was giving her calming treats but it didn't seem to do anything. I've also tried the Feliway diffuser and again, no change. My concern with meds like you is the side effects. I don't want to give her something that could cause issues.
I'll try to get a video sometime this week.
 
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GHsaltie

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I still haven't gotten a video. I can't seem to catch them in the moment but still working on it. Yesterday I had the door open for a good 4-5 hours I think? It was mostly okay, the normal stuff. I even went into town for almost two hours, no clue how they did then. Towards the end I noticed leaf at the door and Summer was stalking her, so I quickly grabbed the treats and caught Summers attention. I used that to drag the moments out allowing Summer to look at Leaf up at the gate and right before I felt like she was focusing to much I'd distract with a treat. Did that maybe three times and then I put Summer away to let Leaf out. That went really well, it's the best Summer has been so far I think, and we were only a couple feet from the gate.
This morning however was very... charged and went terrible. I started with breakfast and left the door open. After Summer finished she immediately crouched down right up at the gate and was watching Leaf as she finished. Once she did finish she slinked farther away and then started wandering around the room and meowing. She was also antsy to get out as I normally let her out after breakfast on the weekends, this I feel was my major mistake. So only a few minutes after breakfast Leaf came up to the gate meowing quietly, Summer had walked off at this point but came running up and was not happy at all. She was trying hard to get her this time, ears flat, fur up, spitting and hissing. I was able to distract her with treats after the initial moment passed and led her into our bedroom to chill. This was about three hours ago now and Leaf has been having time out.
I'm just not sure where to go at this point. It feels like every time we make slight progress we then take a big step back.
 

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I still haven't gotten a video. I can't seem to catch them in the moment but still working on it. Yesterday I had the door open for a good 4-5 hours I think? It was mostly okay, the normal stuff. I even went into town for almost two hours, no clue how they did then. Towards the end I noticed leaf at the door and Summer was stalking her, so I quickly grabbed the treats and caught Summers attention. I used that to drag the moments out allowing Summer to look at Leaf up at the gate and right before I felt like she was focusing to much I'd distract with a treat. Did that maybe three times and then I put Summer away to let Leaf out. That went really well, it's the best Summer has been so far I think, and we were only a couple feet from the gate.
Sounds good. :)
Now....
Try to do more of that...where...you leave full Visual access...with the gate there...and no supervision.

(It does not matter if Summer is stalking Leafy...behind the Gate...since she cannot get to Leaf...all she can do is walk back and forth...and wear herself down...wearing off more of her adrenaline.)

When you say "stalking her"..is that what you are meaning?
Summer walking back and forth...at the gate?
Hitting the gate?
Trying to intimidate Leafy?

Also, Summer might be 'expecting' treats...from you now...each and every time she does 'stalk at the gate'.
**Don't reward her with any.
Only reward Summer...if she behaves well.


If you have to lead Summer away, to another room,...then try with a wand toy, first,...(and then reward with a treat...when she is finally at the location you want her to be).
(It is really good, that you know you can Distract Summer with Treats, ...just make sure it is not given as a reward for behaviour you don't want to see, or right after a negative behaviour,....Only for behaviour that you do want to see.)
Building up the Positives.
This morning however was very... charged and went terrible. I started with breakfast and left the door open. After Summer finished she immediately crouched down right up at the gate and was watching Leaf as she finished. Once she did finish she slinked farther away and then started wandering around the room and meowing. She was also antsy to get out as I normally let her out after breakfast on the weekends, this I feel was my major mistake. So only a few minutes after breakfast Leaf came up to the gate meowing quietly, Summer had walked off at this point but came running up and was not happy at all. She was trying hard to get her this time, ears flat, fur up, spitting and hissing. I was able to distract her with treats after the initial moment passed and led her into our bedroom to chill. This was about three hours ago now and Leaf has been having time out.
I'm just not sure where to go at this point. It feels like every time we make slight progress we then take a big step back.
I'm not really seeing any major mistakes, here.
I'm a bit confused.🤔
Isn't Leafy acting her usual self.
And Summer is acting...her usual self...by rushing at the gate, ears flat, spitting and hissing?

Since you were able to Distract Summer with the treats...after the 'spitting incident' had passed...and led her into her bedroom to chill...then why are you thinking that ...no progress is being made?
Cat intros are like this...always going back and forth....up and down.
**The only thing I'd suggest is ...only giving treats...well after Summer has calmed down...so that she does not expect treats...after each time she is behaving with aggression towards Leafy.

You are doing really well.:)
It's just so stressful...to hear a cat when they are being all hissing and spitting.
**If you are actually standing there...and happen to be in between Summer and the gate...then use a large piece of cardboard..or towel...to break Summer's line of sight.

If you are not between Summer and the gate..then...
**Clap your hands...throw a small pillow, or cat toy...towards Summer's direction...(but not at her)...and see if this will Distract her enough...to break her out of her hissy fit.

The Gate Visuals, ...are done so that both cats can observe...and study the movements of the other cat.
Leafy seems very Confident..no matter what Summer does. :bluepaw:
Now it's just a matter of building up Summer's confidence...so she no longer has to be afraid...or fear Leafy.

You're really doing well, G GHsaltie ...and should take a lot of credit...for all the efforts you are making.
Not to mention all the Patience you have. :)
The big part now...is the constant Routine.
And allowing the cats to do their own thing...by the gate.
when you need a break...just shut the door....and re-energize yourself.
My husband has suggested we just leave it open overnight, or all day and ignore it, but I think I'm too scared to try that yet. Leaf doesn't seem too affected but I'm worried if it goes on constantly all day then she will start to be afraid of coming out of the bedroom or associate Summer as bad.
Since Leaf already knows what Summer is like.
Then, yes, your husband's suggestion is really good.
The more they see of each other...the more the cats will get used to each other.
 
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GHsaltie

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cat nap cat nap thank you for the encouragement, it helps to know that this is all normal. What you said about the treats makes complete sense, I don't know why it didn't occur to me that she could see it as a reward for bad behavior. I'll try to change things up some as to how I handle the situation.
I guess I felt Summer was worse yesterday morning because so far she hadn't been doing a lot of hissing and spitting, whereas that one time she did.
When I say she stalks Leaf this is what I mean
PXL_20210509_232955660.jpg
She doesn't pace at the gate, but she will stalk from across the room and then either run at the gate if Leaf is there or crouch in front of it.
The rest of yesterday she did well, we left home again for about an hour and Summer was oddly sedate? When we got home she was lying on top of the cat chair which is directly across the living room from Leafys bedroom. Leaf was sitting there at the gate talking to me and Summer didn't care! She was just watching her from the chair, didn't even lift her head up. I have no clue what was the deal with that but it felt good.
 

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That is a fantastic photo, G GHsaltie .
I could see that as stalking, for sure.
Cats do Play like that, too,...the stalking, pouncing, play thing...but they don't spit...when playing...so yeah...we just have to find a way to get all that aggression out of Summer's system.
If you can do Full Visuals at night, like your husband suggested,...that may help.

Quick question:
When you put Summer into Leaf's room, and have the gate there...with Full Visuals,...does Summer also try to run up to the gate, hiss, spit...and act all defensive, or offensive?
If Summer is placed in Leafy's room...does her behaviour change at all?
Being that she is now in Leafy's territory...her room...(with the gate in place.)...I was wondering if Summer gets more calm, curious, or still aggressive.
 
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