Need help introducing two cats

Furmama22

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Sorry not the greatest picture. This is about 7ft apart, no barrier.
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What should I expect for my next step?
Just wanted to say congrats! That's a positive face-to-face step!!! And I'm glad you asked about what's next because that's always been my question too - how to move from a few minutes together with entertainment (food, treats, play) to....just being together. :) But you should feel very good about this!
Also they are both such gorgeous calicos!!
 

di and bob

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Absolutely wonderful! I would just keep feeding them like this, maybe moving them a few inches closer every few days. How do they act when they are done eating? Hopefully they can spend some quiet time observing each other. You could try throwing a few treats their way every so often to keep them busy. Good job!
 
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GHsaltie

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di and bob di and bob I have been shutting the gate as they finish. I'm a bit scared to find out what happens if I don't but I know I need to. Maybe tonight or tomorrow I'll have my husband help me and we can each distract a cat so they can observe without being left completely to their own devices.
 

di and bob

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That's a good idea. Remember, hissing, swatting, and growling are perfectly normal. As long as there are not deep bites. Cats can and often do, a horrible amount of damage if they want to, those poor feral tomcats are horribly maimed and scarred. so what your cats are doing is minor. There will be the occasional tussle with hair flying, and maybe a scratch or two. They still are fighting over being 'top dog' and setting up a hierarchy. Mine still tussle at least once a week, and they are 7-8 years old and mother and sons!
 

Furmama22

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That's a good idea. Remember, hissing, swatting, and growling are perfectly normal. As long as there are not deep bites. Cats can and often do, a horrible amount of damage if they want to, those poor feral tomcats are horribly maimed and scarred. so what your cats are doing is minor. There will be the occasional tussle with hair flying, and maybe a scratch or two. They still are fighting over being 'top dog' and setting up a hierarchy. Mine still tussle at least once a week, and they are 7-8 years old and mother and sons!
G GHsaltie just wanted to say I often do the same! Let them eat and then close the gate because I'm worried about what will happen next. You aren't alone! :)

di and bob di and bob Just curious! Do you have any thoughts on chasing? My one cat seems to think it's fun/is a bit of bully and the other one runs when chased (and is very upset about being chased - she does not think it's fun). We are at the same stage as G GHsaltie in this thread - they can eat a meal together in the same room, but sometimes when the meal is done or the treats have been put away, we then have a chase. Not trying to hijack the thread! Just curious in the context of your comment on hissing, growling, swatting.
 

di and bob

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Females are upset when the boys are unruly. (or another female trying to see where they fit in in the hierarchy.) They are prey-driven so when one runs they are compelled to give chase. Your female will more than likely stand her ground eventually, she will tire of being chased. The bully will either be repelled or learn their place. There will be scuffles, and fur may fly, but eventually, they will calm down. i would intervene if it gets too intense, there is no use in one getting truly hurt. Especially in the beginning when the fun can change to anger quickly. Have a stiff piece of cardboard handy to stick between them. Growls, swats, and hissing are all normal. If one hides from the other and does not come back into sight rather quickly, they are really getting hurt. Deep bites are NOT normal, (bites that break the skin) and they must be separated, small scratches and hair are normal.
 
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GHsaltie

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We just got back from vacation this afternoon and we've been moved to our new apartment for two weeks. Last week before we left on vacation Summer was a bit sketchy and jumpy, hissing more than normal and hyperaware of where Leafy was at. Leafy settled in perfectly fine no issues. While we were gone things were kind of a disaster with the petsitter. She understood things perfectly as far as what's going on and I wasn't going to have her try any intros or anything, just keep them separate. Well that wasn't even an issue because Summer decided she did NOT want this girl in the home. She was sweet and behaved during the introduction visit, but as soon as the petsitter came after we left Summer was very aggressive and attacking her. I am thankful that the girl as least was understanding that Summer is very stressed and with a stranger, but after no improvement during the third visit I couldn't in right mind have this girl keep getting attacked liked that. I was able to make other arrangements with my mom and we got it sorted. Summer was still a jerk a couple times but in time ended up completely ignoring my mom's existence. I thought they would be more comfortable with a petsitter than going to a boarding facility, but I don't think I'm going to do that again.
So here we are now. I'm going to start back with introductions tomorrow with meals at a distance just to see where we are at now that dynamics and environment have changed.
 

di and bob

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I feel sorry for you, but what happened is not unusual. Most cats hide. Cats do not like strangers as a rule. As you know it takes a long time for them to adapt. I'm glad your mom could step in. Two weeks in a strange place (to her) most likely had Summer on high alert. Now that you are back everything should calm down. Sooner or later they HAVE to get along!
 
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GHsaltie

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We are back to where we left off, having meals with no barrier and a couple feet apart. It's going well so far and no spats through the gate. Summer definitely is still very stalky and staring so Leaf gives the gate a wide berth but is comfortable enough to pass it. Somewhere in the move I lost Summers harness. I guess I'm in a rut trying to figure out where to go from here until I find and train Summer on the harness.
I also have another irritating issue. Summer has been rattling the gate during the night and early morning. I can somewhat mitigate it by closing the door but I'd rather not and she's found out she can stick her foot under and continue the racket. Any suggestions to either stop the behavior or help her be more comfortable in the room? She's fine during the day but is also let out in the early afternoon so I don't know if she is protesting being put back in for the night or what it is.
 

di and bob

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I'm sure it is. Is there any way to let them together for longer and longer times with supervision and see how it goes?
 
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GHsaltie

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di and bob di and bob I'm sure there is, I'm just not sure how to go about it. I feel like if I let them together it will end in a fight. Summer is very hard to distract, outside of treats, so aside from some form of physical restraint like the harness I don't know how to keep her from pouncing long enough that they can investigate each other. I need to think of something because I feel like they are ready for a next step.
 
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GHsaltie

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Non-update really, just been plugging along with meals together and swapping spaces. They are doing well eating together a couple feet apart, granted I separate before they are completely done. Yesterday we tried for the first time having them in the spare room together. I felt like that would be best as we can control the space and block off any cubbies and eliminate a chase. So we had them both distracted with treats but I don't feel like they are ready yet. Leafy was being difficult wanting to explore the room since she hadn't been in there for a while, but I did manage to get her to focus on the treat. Summer completely ignored her other than a glance or two for maybe a minute but then it was like a switch. She wanted nothing to do with the treat (a chicken puree which she is addicted to) and was very persistent about trying to get at Leafy. She wasn't hyper focused, tail was up but kept trying to dart around the plastic lid I was using as a contact breaker. Leafy didn't care and just wanted the treat, but I don't doubt Summer was looking to punk her. My husband eventually had to grab her and take her back to the other side because she was getting very agitated and I felt like was about to redirect onto me. It was maybe another half a minute of treats and then I led Leaf out.
I'm focusing more on interactions between the gate now, because that's still terrible. I'm trying to get to the point where Summer can be comfortable with Leaf being close to the gate but each and every time she still runs up hissing and smacking.
I don't know where to go from here because I don't feel like we are making any progress. We've been stuck at this junction for weeks now and the only progress thats been made is having meals closer, but as soon as one or the other finishes, Summer wants to jump her. Even now as I'm finishing this Summer is going back over to the door to smack it because she hears Leaf pawing under it.
 

di and bob

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I really think they need more visuals of each other to get used to each other's movements. You might try more direct contact and see what happens. Often there will be a tussle, hair flying, and then they settle down.
 

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I just got married this past weekend and have moved into my husband's home, including my cat. My husband also has a cat. Both are spayed females, mine is six in a couple weeks his is two. I had read about keeping one cat in a room and gradually introducing them to each other through the door and via mealtime so that's what I've been doing. I think I messed up though. My cat has confined herself to the bedroom closet until yesterday she seemed a bit more curious as to where she is so I decided to switch them, put my husband's cat in the bedroom and let mine roam around through the night she even came and slept in the bed with us. My cat seems emotionally better, happier not as scared except she sprayed on the bathroom wall and not sure where else yet. She has sprayed in the past when in a stressful environment with a previous cat. My husband's cat is now super on edge and angry. They are back in their respective places now but his cat is slinking around, hiding and growling at me when I come close. She even swatted out and scratched my foot when I walked past her. She perked up a bit when I gave her breakfast, but I'm still giving her some space to come calm. I'm heartbroken that I may have messed everything up and I'm worried they will never get along. I don't want to have to rehome one of them but I have doubts that they will ever accept each other. Please help, is there any chance this could turn out okay?
FIRST cat packs are created via common food and common grooming smell while you keep them separated if possible into two rooms via closed (I put in a screen) door. ALSO-there is a LOVELY new helper called a calming collar which uses pheromones to help.

1)GO GET a large bottle of red cat urine enzyme remover and the calming collars for BOTH cats.
2)It is VITAL to have at LEAST two pans and if possible three in various locations to have space AFTER you wipe EVERYTHING down and if you haven't a good nose get a US light to check.
3) get a special set of grooming brushes, hard and soft bristle. And each day ALL the people use both, and then groom BOTH cats so you create a group smell making very certain that you hit hair on people and jaws on cats.
4) Create a hide play box. First human plays favorite toy inside this box which has cut outs that would allow paws or peek to the interesting movement that is happening inside the box. If you have valarian root-rub it inside and about the holes. After human 1 does their cat, pick up and switch cats and play. Then feed them separately inside and out with a treat. Reverse.
5) If after two or three days of this, try using the string or other toy close to the holes and see if paws start going in and possibly touching the inside or outside cat to invisibly play while smelling each other. ALL cats should have been trained via treat and grooming to accept claw clipping fore and by now as part of grooming/rub down routine.
6) if a MAJOR hissing does not happen at any site of each other when the two separated cats see each other invest in two TALL cat trees spaced at least 2 feet apart in a favored location-say a sunny window-and rub with valarian,catnip mix and use the brushes to rub all the pads so group smell is over both. It may not make them buddies but it may be an armed neutrality time share possible. Don't give up easily. Give them space, extra litter pans and (once) I introduced an opposite sex MELLOW kitten to distract the aggressor as a desperate attempt despite my allergies. It made 6-and the kitten is sitting on my computer wanting food at 9 so I hope this helps.
 
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GHsaltie

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di and bob di and bob we just did another session out together, except in the living room this time where we have more space. It was better I think except that i was trying to play with Leaf and once she realized Summer had a treat she tried to run over there. So I switched to play/treat/play with Leaf and that was better. They both ignored each other I just don't know if that's really enough to do any good?
 

di and bob

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Of course it is! I think its wonderful! A bigger room is a great idea, maybe you could put a cat tree there where one could perch and watch the other. I pray they are on their way to making a family unit. All the luck!
 
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GHsaltie

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di and bob di and bob we do have a large cat tree by the patio doors, thats where I had leafy out playing around the tree. But as soon as she heard the crinkling of the treat packet she tried to dart over there. I don't think she even cared that Summer was there, and thankfully Summer wasn't bothered that Leafy was dashing towards her. I'm coming up with various ideas to try and eliminate the need for treats to be in the mix. Its hard when Summer doesn't play much. Although I got some feathered mice which she is slowly beginning to love, she doesn't like anything on a string so a human can't really play with her.
 

di and bob

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It still sounds like things are progressing, just remember if there is a spat all is not lost. they are trying to find their place in the household and fights are almost inevitable. A quick tussle with no one really getting hurt is fine, deep bites are not. a cat can really hurt another if they want to, so I really don't think your two are serious. it just takes a lot of time, as you know well!
 
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GHsaltie

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Nothing new to report but I have noticed that Summer is starting to like me a lot more. She has always preferred my husband and only acknowledged my existence for food but the last couple weeks she has actually been seeking me out to cuddle or for scritches. I got a bunch of different mouse and crinkle toys last week and she's starting to really enjoy that too. Its nice to see her loosening up learning how to play.
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