Need help introducing two cats

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GHsaltie

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I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. I feel like we are making zero progress, if anything getting worse. Summer redirected at me for the first time in months and scratched up my arm. I'm so tired.
 
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GHsaltie

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And now Leafy has figured out how to remove the harness with her back foot. So I have to either try a different harness or convince her it's okay to leave on. 😞
 

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Yeah my Chrissy was a Houdini in hers too. She would pull backwards out of it somehow. The only one that worked and she couldn't get out of was a 'figure 8' harness.. If you could be able to pull them apart if anything happened that would be great. You might try the kennel thing too to get them used to seeing the other in a different spot.
I feel for you.... It's been long enough now, I wonder what they would do with being together more. I pray they get over all this and get along, I bet you do too!
 

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I know nobody got along in my group either, finally Chrissy had enough being chased and bullied and they tusseled with hair flying. It was funny, everyone settled down then and got along! So don't give up, try to just accept them being not best friends and everything. WILL work out.....
 

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Yes, it actually tightens as they pull against it. It loosens when they don't so walking them is normal. It is the only one Chrissy couldn't escape from.
 

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Hello G GHsaltie ! Just wanted to reach out from my cat introduction thread to yours to say "you're not alone!!" I understand what you're going through and definitely empathize. It's such a long road!! :) And sometimes it feels totally possible and other times like progress has completely stalled.

For what it's worth, we also moved during this process (I'm pretty sure you said you are moving) and I found in the weeks/month leading up to the move my resident cat Hawthorne was much more reactive (and we had some redirected aggression too). I thought I was handling the move like a pro but I think he could still pick up on my stress, plus the changing environment (boxes, furniture disappearing, items moving location, different energy). So bear that in mind - it might not be that you are moving backyards. Just that this is stressful and a difficult time to actually move forwards. Plus, you might want to cut yourself some slack and for now just try to keep status quo or some kind of stable level and then pick things up again once you're settled in your new space. Moving is very stressful and it might be a relief to say "first we move, then we get back to this."
 
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GHsaltie

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F Furmama22 thank you for your response. I've been trying to step away for a bit to clear my head. We are three weeks out from moving currently, but today I'm just really depressed about the whole thing. Summer is just getting worse and worse. Harness training is going nowhere basically. I have managed to get the loop over her head, but as soon as I try to pick up any of the slack she tries to bite and swat. Getting the loop around her chest is a giant NO currently.
I'm so frustrated and depressed over this. I'm afraid for Summer. We have decided to give them six months after our move, and I'm debating on trying to find a cat behaviorist if I can scrounge up the funds. But if there is no progress after six months we are going to make the decision to re-home her. I'm scared though that someone else may not be patient with her as I have. Just thinking of going through with that decision makes me feel sick, I don't want anything bad to happen to her. I guess I'm just venting right now because I don't know what else to do.
 
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We are moving in two weeks. Any suggestions as to how we should go about introducing them in the new home? My husband wants to try letting them interact face to face, assuming I can get Summer used to the harness between now and then. I have my reservations but am open to suggestions. We are going on vacation a week after moving, so should we try a couple days after move in or wait until we get back from vacation?
 
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cat nap cat nap di and bob di and bob F Furmama22 I need help. We had an accident and I'm afraid it's ruined everything. I had switched them today and put summer in the bedroom. I didn't realize the gate wasn't secure and when it came time for supper she busted out. Leafy was next to me but I had my back turned scooping out the food. I heard a bunch of hissing and scrabbling and when I turned around Leaf was on the toilet and summer was on the floor floofed up growling and lashing her tail. The food is in the bathroom closet. Thankfully one of my shirts was lying on the floor so I used that to break line of sight and summer walked out after that. Both are okay now, a bit on edge. Have I messed up all our progress?
 

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No, they did not continue to fight, so that is progress in itself. The fact that Summer walked out and did not continue to pursue Leafy is good too. They may need a fight to get it out of their systems, I know peace reigned in my house when Chrissy finally quit running and stood her ground. Definitely wait until after vacation to start any introductions in the new house, and make SURE whoever is taking care of them knows what is going on. A new environment may be what they need, they are both starting on new territory, and one doesn't have dominance yet. they will be on equal ground as far as territory goes. they will both be scared too, so may actually grow closer because they are familiar with each other. I would get some calming treats from Amazon or Walmart, start with half a dose and see if that helps. it has been almost a year, and they should be more used to each other. Any face to face should have one of them on a leash to be pulled up and away if the fighting gets too intense. A quick roll about and then separating would be normal, with each going to separate corners. Are there any experts you can contact online that may shed a little more help? You could direct them to your story here on The Cat Site
 
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GHsaltie

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di and bob di and bob thank you, that certainly helps me feel a bit better. I did find a cat behaviorist a couple weeks ago who is a few hours from me but offers video consultations. I'm thinking about it because I want to give them every chance I can.
I was watching them a bit more this evening and I'm almost starting to wonder if Summer sees the gate as kind of a game for her sometimes? For a few hours now she has completely ignored leafy at the gate, but now for a few times she has run up and then promptly crouched around this corner. I can't figure out if she is truly being mean and territorial or what this is?
PXL_20210731_212411291.jpg

P.S. ignore the mess everything is in upheaval right now.
 

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di and bob di and bob thank you, that certainly helps me feel a bit better. I did find a cat behaviorist a couple weeks ago who is a few hours from me but offers video consultations. I'm thinking about it because I want to give them every chance I can.
I was watching them a bit more this evening and I'm almost starting to wonder if Summer sees the gate as kind of a game for her sometimes? For a few hours now she has completely ignored leafy at the gate, but now for a few times she has run up and then promptly crouched around this corner. I can't figure out if she is truly being mean and territorial or what this is?
View attachment 389972
P.S. ignore the mess everything is in upheaval right now.
Just wanted to quickly say that I agree with di and bob di and bob - I think the fact that no actual fight occurred is a positive thing! That said, I'm no expert in this so I'll leave it to the other experts to weigh in, but from what I've learned from the folks on here, it's not ruined at all!
 
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GHsaltie

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Leafy isn't scared of her, not when the gate is between them at least. I noticed one of the times that Summer came up leafy did an about face and jumped away with her tail arched and off to the side like they do when excited. She certainly isn't comfortable with Summer but she isn't fearful. I've also been thinking about Summer's origin and kittenhood. My husband got her when she was about a year old I think? By that point she had spent several months cooped up in a cage by herself and before that she spent her young kitten months in a shelter. If I remember correctly she was abandoned at the shelter at maybe three or four months old. I wonder if a lot of her trouble is that she has no foundation and simply never got the chance to be a kitten and socialize with her litter. Doesn't really make a difference at this point I guess I'm just rambling. Makes me feel a bit better if I can understand her psychologically more.
 

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That could definitely contribute to her social interactions with other cats. Kittens learn from each other about limits and how to play nice. There I a LOT of screaming and play fighting until they find out that they are actually hurting each other and learn to play nice. Summer hasn't had this. She has to learn to play nice. When they have interacted, other than the screaming and fur flying, was there blood drawn, or real wounds happening? The cats I have now are mother and sons and they STILL have fur flying once in a while. I have one bully that regularly holds his brother down and leaves hair behind, while the poor little brother is screaming. It is going on 7 years later! I have tried everything, and have finally concluded as long as there is no blood drawn and he stops when I yell, I guess that is as good as it gets......
 
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The only time there has been blood was when the door wasn't shut all the way and Summer snuck in there super early in the morning. Leafy was on her bed with summer standing in front of her and had a nick in her ear and a cut on her nose. Otherwise it's just been stand offs or the brief hiss and swatting.
 

di and bob

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I would maybe let them have a little more face time together, supervised and with you ready to step in with cardboard/blanket if necessary. Hissing, swatting, growling and fluffed hair are all normal. Cats can do horrible damage if they wanted to, a scratch on the nose is minor.
 
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GHsaltie

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Sorry not the greatest picture. This is about 7ft apart, no barrier.
PXL_20210807_102433415.jpg

What should I expect for my next step?
 
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