Newly introduced cats: attack or rough play incident?

heybeanbag

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Hello, I am currently in the process of introducing my cats. My resident cat, Freddie, is a 1-year-old neutered male tuxedo, and the new kitty, Baguette, is an 11-month-old spayed female brown tabby.

I have been going through the phased introduction process and it was going very smoothly up until this incident. Yesterday, in their 3rd face-to-face meeting, my resident cat, who has shown NO signs of aggression so far, totally pounced on the new kitty and scared her. I actually was able to get footage of the meeting, and have rewatched it several times trying to understand if he was attacking her, or trying to play with her (but took her by surprise instead.) To me, it seems like it was a little aggressive, which really does not match up to how he has behaved so far. Since bringing her home, Freddie hasn't hissed or shown aggressive body language even once. He is generally very curious about her, and gallops over to her safe room door when I go in and out. He likes to hang out near her door and they have played with each other's paws under the door as well. They also eat opposite the door from one another just fine.

I am a little puzzled by the incident and wondering if folks here could check out the video and let me know if it seemed like attack behavior, or play. Since yesterday's incident, I have decided to backtrack and keep them separated, but curious to know if it was just normal behavior.

Here is a link to the video with the whole interaction and a slowed down version of the pounce. Sorry for the shaky camera!

Thanks in advance!
 

Xena44

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He really looked as tho he was scoping her out. I wonder if it was a mistake playing with her with the string toy. She wasn’t aware of his body language and wasn’t able to respond to his inquisitiveness. When he finally pounced, she was totally blindsided and responded accordingly. As was his reaction. Maybe don’t play with them individually. (I know that wasn’t your intent-it just worked out that way) I would consider letting them figure play out on their own at this point as they try to figure each other out. Give your boy a lot of attention so he knows he is number one (But love her up too). Give them time. And lots of supervision. If he is acting like that again, that stalking type behavior, don’t be afraid to break his attention by calling his name and distracting him.
 

cat nap

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Hello, I am currently in the process of introducing my cats. My resident cat, Freddie, is a 1-year-old neutered male tuxedo, and the new kitty, Baguette, is an 11-month-old spayed female brown tabby.

I have been going through the phased introduction process and it was going very smoothly up until this incident. Yesterday, in their 3rd face-to-face meeting, my resident cat, who has shown NO signs of aggression so far, totally pounced on the new kitty and scared her. I actually was able to get footage of the meeting, and have rewatched it several times trying to understand if he was attacking her, or trying to play with her (but took her by surprise instead.) To me, it seems like it was a little aggressive, which really does not match up to how he has behaved so far. Since bringing her home, Freddie hasn't hissed or shown aggressive body language even once. He is generally very curious about her, and gallops over to her safe room door when I go in and out. He likes to hang out near her door and they have played with each other's paws under the door as well. They also eat opposite the door from one another just fine.
Hi heybeanbag heybeanbag ...I think the video you took is really good. :)
Also excellent that you slowed the second version down for us, too.
It shows that your resident cat Freddie...is still rather fearful of the new cat Baguette.:bluepaw:

(If you notice at the 0:10 mark, that Baguette is really enjoying the game, and does a slight movement...where she turns her face fully towards Freddie. But Freddie at that point...just backs up, ever so slightly.
And then at around the 0:18 mark, Freddie's body language is very tense.)

He may have just misread her body cues,...but I'm thinking that he's also very unsure of her...and her movements.
Also, like Xena44 mentioned above, he was totally scoping her out...and seemed to be hyper-focusing on her, and nothing else around him. Wasn't distracted by the toy, at all.

***When Freddie does get hyper focused like this...then just use a piece of cardboard, or towel,...to block his 'line of sight'...so that he is not able to see Baguette. That might help him...to become distracted,...and move his focus on to something else...so he could calm down.
Even stepping between him, might work, before he goes in towards trying to rush Baguette,...but usually it's better to have something to block his full view...and much safer, in case he wants to get through the human, to get to the cat.

He seemed to be trying to take in all of her Scent, and then for whatever reason...my thinking is that he is still Afraid and Territorial...that he attacked...and tried to bite her, or did bite her on her side...trying to get her out of his territory, perhaps.

Either way, you might be facing a minor setback, here, but it's really good that you've decided to take a step back.:bluepaw:
And yes, incidents like this do happen, so no worries there. It's just advised to backtrack, like you said, even move a few steps back...and some members even start over...depending on their situation.

**I would continue with "gate Visuals"...until Freddie's Confidence is built up...and he no longer sees Baguette as any threat.
Baguette seems to be very low key, and not at all bothered by Freddie, which is good, ...except for after she got pounced and bit...but hopefully she won't hold it against him...and become too fearful of him.

When you mentioned that you were doing a 'phased introduction process'...🤔
How long have you been on the intro process?
Can I ask you if you are doing it in Steps or Stages? seeing results and then moving on to the next stage.
Are you spending a week or two on each Step?
Have you also been doing Scent Swapping and Room Swapping, during this time.

Here's a few Cat Site Articles that may help with some tips and further advice:
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction – TheCatSite Articles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I tend to remember cat intros using the 5 Senses method
  1. Hearing ...where the cats can hear each other, but not see each other.
  2. then Scent....and especially the 'swapping the scents, mingling the scents' and 'allowing all the new cat's scents to be all over the home'...so much so...that your resident cat will recognize and accept the new cat as part of their territory. This is the part where "Scent swaps" and "Room Swaps" are practiced to get both cats' scents everywhere.
  3. Visual is next, but you are still doing Scent Exchange, and rewarding any good interactions with treats/food/praise.
  4. Taste is using food and treats to make positive associations and encourage more Acceptance.
  5. Finally, Touch,....is when you've observed that your resident cat is no longer bothered by the smells, or sight of the new cat,...and you've noticed a huge decrease in your resident cat's fear responses.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are other methods, too, Jackson Galaxy's...which I think emphasizes Food, Play, and Love/attention, too.
With a lot of 'catification' ...in having plenty of escape routes, and no dead ends, ...for one cat to corner the other.

I'm not sure if you have 'baby gates/pet gates' or some sort of barrier where you can place it in a doorway, and have the cats see each other, but not be able to get at each other.
This info might help:
If you are into 'diy' and handy at building or setting things up, ...then using some 'wire shelving' might work out even better than buying a bunch of baby gates.
Check out this thread. See post #2 and post #4 for some visual ideas.
Featured - Door blockade for cats getting to know each other

and this online site, for a 'how to build' one:
How to Build a Free-Standing Cat, Dog, or Pet Gate Cheaply, Without Tools

Take your time, in answering,...and reading, too. :)
(I cut and pasted a lot of the above from some previous posts I made...so there is a lot to read.) :read:
The best thing for us humans to be during cat intros, is well rested and relaxed...so that...only calm and neutral feelings are transferred towards our cats. :cloud9:
Even when our cats are acting up...and that happens with cats that have also been together for long, too.
Taking breaks is helpful, too,....and doing non-cat related things.
Good Luck sent your way.
 

Mamanyt1953

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While Freddie is VERY intent on Baguette, his ears are forward and alert, they are not either out to the side, or laid back against the skull. That's a good thing. How long ago was Baguette spayed? And how old was Freddie when he was neutered? I ask because Freddie is VERY interested in Baguette's hindquarters, almost as if he is checking her for mating readiness. I've seen many, many feral females react that way when importuned by a tom cat before they were ready to be courted.
 
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heybeanbag

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He really looked as tho he was scoping her out. I wonder if it was a mistake playing with her with the string toy. She wasn’t aware of his body language and wasn’t able to respond to his inquisitiveness. When he finally pounced, she was totally blindsided and responded accordingly. As was his reaction. Maybe don’t play with them individually. (I know that wasn’t your intent-it just worked out that way) I would consider letting them figure play out on their own at this point as they try to figure each other out. Give your boy a lot of attention so he knows he is number one (But love her up too). Give them time. And lots of supervision. If he is acting like that again, that stalking type behavior, don’t be afraid to break his attention by calling his name and distracting him.
Hi Xena44, thank you so much for taking the time to respond :) Your analysis makes a ton of sense to me - that he was super focused on scoping her out. She definitely got caught off guard when she was focused on the toy/exploring instead of Freddie. In the future when I try introducing them again, I'll make sure to not distract them too much!

I was wondering if in future interactions, if Freddie starts to get tense/stalky, should I completely end the interaction and separate them? Or let them continue to be in the same space, but distract him/block him/pick him up until he's calmer but still them be in each other's line of sight?
Thanks so much!
 
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heybeanbag

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While Freddie is VERY intent on Baguette, his ears are forward and alert, they are not either out to the side, or laid back against the skull. That's a good thing. How long ago was Baguette spayed? And how old was Freddie when he was neutered? I ask because Freddie is VERY interested in Baguette's hindquarters, almost as if he is checking her for mating readiness. I've seen many, many feral females react that way when importuned by a tom cat before they were ready to be courted.
Hi Mamanyt1953, thank you for taking the time to watch the videos and respond! Hmm how interesting. Freddie was neutered in early March, and Baguette was just spayed around the end of April
 
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heybeanbag

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Hi heybeanbag heybeanbag ...I think the video you took is really good. :)
Also excellent that you slowed the second version down for us, too.
It shows that your resident cat Freddie...is still rather fearful of the new cat Baguette.:bluepaw:

(If you notice at the 0:10 mark, that Baguette is really enjoying the game, and does a slight movement...where she turns her face fully towards Freddie. But Freddie at that point...just backs up, ever so slightly.
And then at around the 0:18 mark, Freddie's body language is very tense.)

He may have just misread her body cues,...but I'm thinking that he's also very unsure of her...and her movements.
Also, like Xena44 mentioned above, he was totally scoping her out...and seemed to be hyper-focusing on her, and nothing else around him. Wasn't distracted by the toy, at all.

***When Freddie does get hyper focused like this...then just use a piece of cardboard, or towel,...to block his 'line of sight'...so that he is not able to see Baguette. That might help him...to become distracted,...and move his focus on to something else...so he could calm down.
Even stepping between him, might work, before he goes in towards trying to rush Baguette,...but usually it's better to have something to block his full view...and much safer, in case he wants to get through the human, to get to the cat.

He seemed to be trying to take in all of her Scent, and then for whatever reason...my thinking is that he is still Afraid and Territorial...that he attacked...and tried to bite her, or did bite her on her side...trying to get her out of his territory, perhaps.

Either way, you might be facing a minor setback, here, but it's really good that you've decided to take a step back.:bluepaw:
And yes, incidents like this do happen, so no worries there. It's just advised to backtrack, like you said, even move a few steps back...and some members even start over...depending on their situation.

**I would continue with "gate Visuals"...until Freddie's Confidence is built up...and he no longer sees Baguette as any threat.
Baguette seems to be very low key, and not at all bothered by Freddie, which is good, ...except for after she got pounced and bit...but hopefully she won't hold it against him...and become too fearful of him.

When you mentioned that you were doing a 'phased introduction process'...🤔
How long have you been on the intro process?
Can I ask you if you are doing it in Steps or Stages? seeing results and then moving on to the next stage.
Are you spending a week or two on each Step?
Have you also been doing Scent Swapping and Room Swapping, during this time.

Here's a few Cat Site Articles that may help with some tips and further advice:
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction – TheCatSite Articles
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I tend to remember cat intros using the 5 Senses method
  1. Hearing ...where the cats can hear each other, but not see each other.
  2. then Scent....and especially the 'swapping the scents, mingling the scents' and 'allowing all the new cat's scents to be all over the home'...so much so...that your resident cat will recognize and accept the new cat as part of their territory. This is the part where "Scent swaps" and "Room Swaps" are practiced to get both cats' scents everywhere.
  3. Visual is next, but you are still doing Scent Exchange, and rewarding any good interactions with treats/food/praise.
  4. Taste is using food and treats to make positive associations and encourage more Acceptance.
  5. Finally, Touch,....is when you've observed that your resident cat is no longer bothered by the smells, or sight of the new cat,...and you've noticed a huge decrease in your resident cat's fear responses.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are other methods, too, Jackson Galaxy's...which I think emphasizes Food, Play, and Love/attention, too.
With a lot of 'catification' ...in having plenty of escape routes, and no dead ends, ...for one cat to corner the other.

I'm not sure if you have 'baby gates/pet gates' or some sort of barrier where you can place it in a doorway, and have the cats see each other, but not be able to get at each other.
This info might help:
If you are into 'diy' and handy at building or setting things up, ...then using some 'wire shelving' might work out even better than buying a bunch of baby gates.
Check out this thread. See post #2 and post #4 for some visual ideas.
Featured - Door blockade for cats getting to know each other

and this online site, for a 'how to build' one:
How to Build a Free-Standing Cat, Dog, or Pet Gate Cheaply, Without Tools

Take your time, in answering,...and reading, too. :)
(I cut and pasted a lot of the above from some previous posts I made...so there is a lot to read.) :read:
The best thing for us humans to be during cat intros, is well rested and relaxed...so that...only calm and neutral feelings are transferred towards our cats. :cloud9:
Even when our cats are acting up...and that happens with cats that have also been together for long, too.
Taking breaks is helpful, too,....and doing non-cat related things.
Good Luck sent your way.
Hi Cat Nap, thank you so much for taking the time to review the video and for your very thoughtful response!

Wow, I never really thought that Freddie could be afraid of her, but your analysis makes a ton of sense that that is what his body language is showing! Just goes to show my human biases getting in the way - he is generally a VERY confident and curious boy and not afraid of anything so I didn't even consider it as an option. Thanks for bringing that to my attention

In terms of the process so far, I have been following the senses/Jackson Galaxy method, though admittedly it has been rushed. Baguette has only been here a little over a week.

What accelerated it all was that the night before this incident, Freddie actually rushed into the room before I could block him with the pillow I've been using to keep him out. He always gets excited and rushes over to her door when I go near it or in and out of it, trying to catch a peek. It doesn't seem aggressive, just super curious. In fact, the whole time he has seemed really curious and excited - he is always trying to come into the room and meows outside the door. Anyway, this time he was successful, and before I knew it, a face-to-face meeting was happening. It actually went okay (just sniffing, no attacking, posturing, or hissing), but I did separate them pretty quickly since it was not my intention for them to meet yet. At the same time, I was not overly worried, because scent swapping, site swapping, and eating near the door had been going totally fine thus far.

Then, the next morning, I allowed them to have the interaction this post is about, which I am now realizing was way too much, too soon!

As far as backtracking, I have gone back to "no visuals" and just eating on either side of the closed door, which is going fine. They can eat within less of a foot from either side of the closed door, no problem. I do have a baby gate, and on the first day of backtracking, I actually tried feeding on either side of the gate with a sheet over it (no visuals). Freddie ignored his food and tried to climb over the gate! I removed him from the gate and closed the door before he made his way over, but I think it startled Baguette again. So now, it's just back to eating opposite sides of the door, which goes fine. I will definitely look into taller gate options! I will need to find a hack that is renter-friendly - I will look into the links you sent!

One setback I noticed is that since the incident, it has been hard to get Baguette to siteswap. I will put Freddie in the bathroom and open the door and try to invite her to come out, but she is very hesitant and ultimately has not wanted to come out Any advice on making her comfortable again? I think it's tough because the hallway where Freddie jumped her is just outside her door.

Also, I live in a 1 bedroom apartment and throughout this process, I have been sleeping in my living room since Baguette is in the bedroom. I don't think Freddie would appreciate losing access to me at night if I were to sleep in the bedroom with Baguette so that's why I made that choice. What are your thoughts on me eventually starting to sleep in the bedroom again, and taking turns swapping out the cats overnight? I wonder if this would give Baguette time and space to explore and get comfortable in the rest of the apartment. Also, should I switch out their litter boxes if I do this, or allow them to go in each other's boxes?

Thanks for reading and for your time spent on my post!
 

Xena44

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Hi Xena44, thank you so much for taking the time to respond :) Your analysis makes a ton of sense to me - that he was super focused on scoping her out. She definitely got caught off guard when she was focused on the toy/exploring instead of Freddie. In the future when I try introducing them again, I'll make sure to not distract them too much!

I was wondering if in future interactions, if Freddie starts to get tense/stalky, should I completely end the interaction and separate them? Or let them continue to be in the same space, but distract him/block him/pick him up until he's calmer but still them be in each other's line of sight?
Thanks so much!
i don’t think I would separate them unless he really seemed like he was getting aggressive. I would definitely distract him. I’m thinking love him up a bit but also let him see you pet her so he knows she’s a member of the family and supposed to be there. Maybe give them both some treats, so it’s a mutual thing. Close to each other but not too close so neither of them feels like they need to protect their bounty.
 

cat nap

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While Freddie is VERY intent on Baguette, his ears are forward and alert, they are not either out to the side, or laid back against the skull. That's a good thing. How long ago was Baguette spayed? And how old was Freddie when he was neutered? I ask because Freddie is VERY interested in Baguette's hindquarters, almost as if he is checking her for mating readiness. I've seen many, many feral females react that way when importuned by a tom cat before they were ready to be courted.
That is something I never would have thought of.
(I was trying to figure out why he was so interested in her Scent, pheromones,...but it never occurred to me, that he might still be getting riled up by her Scent.

I just thought it was a new, stranger cat Scent,...that he was not familiar with...so he displayed typical territorial aggression.
(I also thought maybe jealousy,...but because he never seemed even interested in the cat toy, or looking at his human...I dismissed the jealousy part.)
Hi Mamanyt1953, thank you for taking the time to watch the videos and respond! Hmm how interesting. Freddie was neutered in early March, and Baguette was just spayed around the end of April
That is very interesting, now.
I know other members, have written that it may take a neutered male cat up to a month to get their hormones to settle.
Online websites mention six weeks.

But I don't know how long it takes for a spayed female cat...to have her pheromone scent changed.
(I can't seem to find scientific articles online, but perhaps it's because I'm not using the proper key words.)
I kind of wonder if Baguette's Scent is affecting Freddie a bit more, now.

You'd still be doing the cat-to-cat intro Steps...but at least now, another perspective on what caused that 'meeting incident' is extremely useful to know.

(PS...Will definitely answer your previous post,...but I have to do it the next day...since I ran out of extra time today.) :blush: :disappointed:
 
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Xena44

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That is something I never would have thought of.
(I was trying to figure out why he was so interested in her Scent, pheromones,...but it never occurred to me, that he might still be getting riled up by her Scent.

I just thought it was a new, stranger cat Scent,...that he was not familiar with...so he displayed typical territorial aggression.
(I also thought maybe jealousy,...but because he never seemed even interested in the cat toy, or looking at his human...I dismissed the jealousy part.)

That is very interesting, now.
I know other members, have written that it may take a neutered male cat up to a month to get their hormones to settle.
Online websites mention six weeks.

But I don't know how long it takes for a spayed female cat...to have her pheromone scent changed.
(I can't seem to find scientific articles online, but perhaps it's because I'm not using the proper key words.)
I kind of wonder if Baguette's Scent is affecting Freddie a bit more, now.

You'd still be doing the cat-to-cat intro Steps...but at least now, another perspective on what caused that 'meeting incident' is extremely useful to know.

(PS...Will definitely answer your previous post,...but I have to do it the next day...since I ran out of extra time today.) :blush: :disappointed:
It takes about 4 weeks for the hormones to quell
 

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Hi Cat Nap, thank you so much for taking the time to review the video and for your very thoughtful response!

Wow, I never really thought that Freddie could be afraid of her, but your analysis makes a ton of sense that that is what his body language is showing! Just goes to show my human biases getting in the way - he is generally a VERY confident and curious boy and not afraid of anything so I didn't even consider it as an option. Thanks for bringing that to my attention
Hello again, heybeanbag heybeanbag ...you're welcome. :)
that's what I noticed in the video...in Freddie's body language...but of course...it was really helpful that Mamanyt1953 and Xena44 ...noticed the other things that wouldn't have occurred to me, too. :biggrin:
Xena44 writing that "it takes about 4 weeks for hormones to quell" is also good to know...since it will explain many of the things you are now seeing.
In terms of the process so far, I have been following the senses/Jackson Galaxy method, though admittedly it has been rushed. Baguette has only been here a little over a week.

What accelerated it all was that the night before this incident, Freddie actually rushed into the room before I could block him with the pillow I've been using to keep him out. He always gets excited and rushes over to her door when I go near it or in and out of it, trying to catch a peek. It doesn't seem aggressive, just super curious. In fact, the whole time he has seemed really curious and excited - he is always trying to come into the room and meows outside the door. Anyway, this time he was successful, and before I knew it, a face-to-face meeting was happening. It actually went okay (just sniffing, no attacking, posturing, or hissing), but I did separate them pretty quickly since it was not my intention for them to meet yet. At the same time, I was not overly worried, because scent swapping, site swapping, and eating near the door had been going totally fine thus far.

Then, the next morning, I allowed them to have the interaction this post is about, which I am now realizing was way too much, too soon!
Ah, okay.
So,...yeah...one week is kind of too rushed...but only because...I usually never even count the first week...since that is the week the new cat takes the time...to settle into the new place, surroundings, territory, routine, and people.

It's a lot of change for the New Cat, (and Resident Cat),...so honestly, ..seeing how calm and happy to Play...Baguette was in your video...is so great and amazing to see.:thumbsup:
She really adjusted fast to you,...and your place. :)

A lot of times, accidental meetings do happen...and like you already noticed...the risk is...sometimes they don't go so well.
Or one cat looks like they are all ready to meet...but in actual fact...they have not had the time...yet...to lessen their total instincts...(which often tell them to 'chase the intruder away'...or the instinct to make sure that all their territory, is not being invaded by some new cat...who wants to eat all their food, take all their resources away, disrupt their sleeping routines,...and challenge them, too.)

It's just a lot of cat's natural instincts...that you try to lessen in doing the cat intros...in steps.
Allowing both cats to get so used to each other's Scent, movements, and way they Play, too.
Usually both cats are highly fearful...but I didn't see that in Baguette.
As far as backtracking, I have gone back to "no visuals" and just eating on either side of the closed door, which is going fine. They can eat within less of a foot from either side of the closed door, no problem. I do have a baby gate, and on the first day of backtracking, I actually tried feeding on either side of the gate with a sheet over it (no visuals). Freddie ignored his food and tried to climb over the gate! I removed him from the gate and closed the door before he made his way over, but I think it startled Baguette again. So now, it's just back to eating opposite sides of the door, which goes fine. I will definitely look into taller gate options! I will need to find a hack that is renter-friendly - I will look into the links you sent!
Freddie sounds like such a fun character. :lol:
He sounds like the type of cat,...that will disregard any barrier placed in front of him...and use his smarts...to find a way over, under or through that barrier, too.
It's going to be a little hard to outsmart your Freddie.:blush:

If you already have a baby gate...maybe you don't need anything else...but some cardboard.
Some other members, somehow ...either taped...or maybe they tacked up, or used some small 'eye hooks' ...with zip ties...to hang the cardboard.?
(I think you can always use wood filler...and paint..(or glue and wood chips, sawdust),...to fill any holes made in the doorway frame...but yes, since renting...then it's best to keep any holes to minimum. Patching small holes is not difficult, but to get them to look perfect, and like the original takes a lot of time, and paint matching.)

(The hack with the 'diy wire shelving' may be useful..How to Build a Free-Standing Cat, Dog, or Pet Gate Cheaply, Without Tools ...only because you can move the 'wire frame' anywhere...and even place it in a hallway...if you attach another wire shelf...to it.
To use it to block off a few rooms, if it fits across the hallway width.

(But I find some of those wire shelving pieces to be a bit expensive, when you have to add up all the pieces, at home depot.
Wire - ClosetMaid - Shelving - Storage & Organization - The Home Depot
The only good thing is that you can re-purpose the wire shelving...for other things...like actual shelves, or shoe racks, storage shelves, or even making an indoor cat run, by getting some carpet remnants, and 'hook looping them with zip ties', on top of the shelves, or places where the cats can sleep on.)
But yes, when you cannot drill into stud walls, when renting, then you have to find other creative ways to 'catify' the place.

(One member even draped a very lightweight bed sheet, to their door frame. But I don't know what they used to keep it in place...(hanging from the top of the door frame...to the gate.))
Knowing your Freddie, though, I wonder if a bed sheet would be too easy for him to climb. :bluepaw:
It's the third photo, of Post # 47...of this thread: Need help introducing two cats
See also Post #76...but you cannot actually see the top...so again, not sure.
One setback I noticed is that since the incident, it has been hard to get Baguette to siteswap. I will put Freddie in the bathroom and open the door and try to invite her to come out, but she is very hesitant and ultimately has not wanted to come out Any advice on making her comfortable again? I think it's tough because the hallway where Freddie jumped her is just outside her door.
Does she like a favorite Food, a bit of canned food, chicken, tuna,...or even some cat Treats? ...to entice her to come out and explore.
Or that favorite cat toy...wand toy...which she seemed to like?

Just leaving the door open, too,...is okay...and allowing her to come and go as she wants.
Hopefully it will be within...20-30 minutes...so Freddie is not inside the bathroom too long.

Could you put Freddie in his cat carrier?...it may make it easier to move him around, when he's inside it.
Leave the cat carrier out in the open, door open,...with some treats inside,...and get each cat used to not being afraid of it...and even sleeping in it ?.
Also, I live in a 1 bedroom apartment and throughout this process, I have been sleeping in my living room since Baguette is in the bedroom. I don't think Freddie would appreciate losing access to me at night if I were to sleep in the bedroom with Baguette so that's why I made that choice. What are your thoughts on me eventually starting to sleep in the bedroom again, and taking turns swapping out the cats overnight? I wonder if this would give Baguette time and space to explore and get comfortable in the rest of the apartment. Also, should I switch out their litter boxes if I do this, or allow them to go in each other's boxes?

Thanks for reading and for your time spent on my post!
Yes, sleeping back in your bedroom sounds wonderful, :cloud9:...with taking turns swapping each cat out in the main areas, overnight.
It would give Baguette more time to explore, cheek mark, and get her Scent everywhere in the apartment, too.
Will make it easier for Freddie to Accept her...by becoming even more familiar with her Scent being everywhere.

The litter box question is a good one...and I honestly don't know what the correct answer would be. 🤔
(I know I've read that if cats are too territorial...they will not like another cat going into their box...But...since you want them to accept each other...then not sure if it matters...if one cat goes...and the other just goes on top of it...to re-mark that it is theirs.)
Some cats may not even be bothered...and not mind sharing at all.
The only difficulty would be...if one cat refuses to go into any box...and has accidents on the floor near the box.

Moving boxes is a bit of a pain.
Is there any way...that you can add a third box..somewhere outside the bedroom...just for the time being...and see if any of them will use it? That way there will be two boxes outside the bedroom, and either cat can decide where they want to go.

You don't even really need an actual litterbox...just use a tote box,...the clear ones are good, and cheaper at walmart or homedepot.
Check out this video...of how to make your own...by Fundamentally Feline. (I really like her videos.) She is so informative in so many cat related issues.



(PS...any chance you can post a few photos of Freddie and Baguette, here, in this thread, too.?
I did see your original video, but it's always nice to see photos of the cats..plus..I think that the video may be gone, now?
maybe it's a google thing. idk.)
We all kind of love videos or photos of cats, on this Site. :blush: :catrub::catlove:
 
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heybeanbag

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Hello again, heybeanbag heybeanbag ...you're welcome. :)
that's what I noticed in the video...in Freddie's body language...but of course...it was really helpful that Mamanyt1953 and Xena44 ...noticed the other things that wouldn't have occurred to me, too. :biggrin:
Xena44 writing that "it takes about 4 weeks for hormones to quell" is also good to know...since it will explain many of the things you are now seeing.

Ah, okay.
So,...yeah...one week is kind of too rushed...but only because...I usually never even count the first week...since that is the week the new cat takes the time...to settle into the new place, surroundings, territory, routine, and people.

It's a lot of change for the New Cat, (and Resident Cat),...so honestly, ..seeing how calm and happy to Play...Baguette was in your video...is so great and amazing to see.:thumbsup:
She really adjusted fast to you,...and your place. :)

A lot of times, accidental meetings do happen...and like you already noticed...the risk is...sometimes they don't go so well.
Or one cat looks like they are all ready to meet...but in actual fact...they have not had the time...yet...to lessen their total instincts...(which often tell them to 'chase the intruder away'...or the instinct to make sure that all their territory, is not being invaded by some new cat...who wants to eat all their food, take all their resources away, disrupt their sleeping routines,...and challenge them, too.)

It's just a lot of cat's natural instincts...that you try to lessen in doing the cat intros...in steps.
Allowing both cats to get so used to each other's Scent, movements, and way they Play, too.
Usually both cats are highly fearful...but I didn't see that in Baguette.

Freddie sounds like such a fun character. :lol:
He sounds like the type of cat,...that will disregard any barrier placed in front of him...and use his smarts...to find a way over, under or through that barrier, too.
It's going to be a little hard to outsmart your Freddie.:blush:

If you already have a baby gate...maybe you don't need anything else...but some cardboard.
Some other members, somehow ...either taped...or maybe they tacked up, or used some small 'eye hooks' ...with zip ties...to hang the cardboard.?
(I think you can always use wood filler...and paint..(or glue and wood chips, sawdust),...to fill any holes made in the doorway frame...but yes, since renting...then it's best to keep any holes to minimum. Patching small holes is not difficult, but to get them to look perfect, and like the original takes a lot of time, and paint matching.)

(The hack with the 'diy wire shelving' may be useful..How to Build a Free-Standing Cat, Dog, or Pet Gate Cheaply, Without Tools ...only because you can move the 'wire frame' anywhere...and even place it in a hallway...if you attach another wire shelf...to it.
To use it to block off a few rooms, if it fits across the hallway width.

(But I find some of those wire shelving pieces to be a bit expensive, when you have to add up all the pieces, at home depot.
Wire - ClosetMaid - Shelving - Storage & Organization - The Home Depot
The only good thing is that you can re-purpose the wire shelving...for other things...like actual shelves, or shoe racks, storage shelves, or even making an indoor cat run, by getting some carpet remnants, and 'hook looping them with zip ties', on top of the shelves, or places where the cats can sleep on.)
But yes, when you cannot drill into stud walls, when renting, then you have to find other creative ways to 'catify' the place.

(One member even draped a very lightweight bed sheet, to their door frame. But I don't know what they used to keep it in place...(hanging from the top of the door frame...to the gate.))
Knowing your Freddie, though, I wonder if a bed sheet would be too easy for him to climb. :bluepaw:
It's the third photo, of Post # 47...of this thread: Need help introducing two cats
See also Post #76...but you cannot actually see the top...so again, not sure.

Does she like a favorite Food, a bit of canned food, chicken, tuna,...or even some cat Treats? ...to entice her to come out and explore.
Or that favorite cat toy...wand toy...which she seemed to like?

Just leaving the door open, too,...is okay...and allowing her to come and go as she wants.
Hopefully it will be within...20-30 minutes...so Freddie is not inside the bathroom too long.

Could you put Freddie in his cat carrier?...it may make it easier to move him around, when he's inside it.
Leave the cat carrier out in the open, door open,...with some treats inside,...and get each cat used to not being afraid of it...and even sleeping in it ?.

Yes, sleeping back in your bedroom sounds wonderful, :cloud9:...with taking turns swapping each cat out in the main areas, overnight.
It would give Baguette more time to explore, cheek mark, and get her Scent everywhere in the apartment, too.
Will make it easier for Freddie to Accept her...by becoming even more familiar with her Scent being everywhere.

The litter box question is a good one...and I honestly don't know what the correct answer would be. 🤔
(I know I've read that if cats are too territorial...they will not like another cat going into their box...But...since you want them to accept each other...then not sure if it matters...if one cat goes...and the other just goes on top of it...to re-mark that it is theirs.)
Some cats may not even be bothered...and not mind sharing at all.
The only difficulty would be...if one cat refuses to go into any box...and has accidents on the floor near the box.

Moving boxes is a bit of a pain.
Is there any way...that you can add a third box..somewhere outside the bedroom...just for the time being...and see if any of them will use it? That way there will be two boxes outside the bedroom, and either cat can decide where they want to go.

You don't even really need an actual litterbox...just use a tote box,...the clear ones are good, and cheaper at walmart or homedepot.
Check out this video...of how to make your own...by Fundamentally Feline. (I really like her videos.) She is so informative in so many cat related issues.



(PS...any chance you can post a few photos of Freddie and Baguette, here, in this thread, too.?
I did see your original video, but it's always nice to see photos of the cats..plus..I think that the video may be gone, now?
maybe it's a google thing. idk.)
We all kind of love videos or photos of cats, on this Site. :blush: :catrub::catlove:

Hi Cat Nap, thanks so much for your reply! I find your responses really intuitive, supportive, and helpful! Thanks for taking the time.

It's helpful to think of cat introductions how you said - that they're an opportunity for both cats to slowly lessen their total instincts. That makes a lot sense to me to think about it that way!

You have a good read on both Baguette and Freddie! She has blossomed a lot, and quickly. Yes Freddie is absolutely a character! Actually, when I first adopted him, his rescue name was Borat, LOL. He is a very confident and vocally expressive fella.

I got a second baby gate at the local hardware store and stacked it on top of the existing one I have. So far it seems to work to keep Freddie out! Today is the first time I am keeping the gates up with a sheet pinned to it to prevent visual access. So far, Freddie's scoped it out once or twice and seemed to assess that it's too tall to be worth jumping on/over. But, I am also supervising. So far they both sniffed each other through the sheet and Freddie trilled a few times. He poked his paw gently through one of the holes while laying on his belly and then they both went elsewhere on their respective sides to nap! I take it as a good sign. Will post a pic of the gate setup at the bottom.

Also, site swapping is going much better since I last posted! Baguette has started getting curious and coming out on her own. And when I put Freddie in the bathroom (and then into her room), he is slightly less "protesty". Usually he meows a lot (and immediately) if I put him in the bathroom or anywhere separate from me. But lately he's been quiet for the first few minutes! I am definitely seeing improvement and feeling generally more confident about the whole situation. It seems like they are getting used to it all...fingers crossed! We have been doing site swapping in the afternoons as well, when the cats are usually the mellowest. Also, in the last two site swaps, Freddie actually peed in Baguette's litter box! She didn't seem to mind after the fact.

Thanks for confirming my thoughts around sleeping back in the bedroom, and switching out the cats! Now I feel much better about trying it :) I think tonight I will give it a shot, and let Baguette roam around the apartment for the night. Hopefully Freddie reacts okay to being stuck in the bedroom! Thanks for the info on the DIY litterbox as well.

And here are some pics of the babies :D
Thank you again for your curiosity and support around my situation!

Freddie:
IMG_5847.JPG

IMG_6020.jpg


Baguette:

IMG_6113.JPG

IMG_6115.jpg


The gate setup:
IMG_6155.JPG
IMG_6165.JPG
 

cat nap

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Hi Cat Nap, thanks so much for your reply! I find your responses really intuitive, supportive, and helpful! Thanks for taking the time.

It's helpful to think of cat introductions how you said - that they're an opportunity for both cats to slowly lessen their total instincts. That makes a lot sense to me to think about it that way!

You have a good read on both Baguette and Freddie! She has blossomed a lot, and quickly. Yes Freddie is absolutely a character! Actually, when I first adopted him, his rescue name was Borat, LOL. He is a very confident and vocally expressive fella.

I got a second baby gate at the local hardware store and stacked it on top of the existing one I have. So far it seems to work to keep Freddie out! Today is the first time I am keeping the gates up with a sheet pinned to it to prevent visual access. So far, Freddie's scoped it out once or twice and seemed to assess that it's too tall to be worth jumping on/over. But, I am also supervising. So far they both sniffed each other through the sheet and Freddie trilled a few times. He poked his paw gently through one of the holes while laying on his belly and then they both went elsewhere on their respective sides to nap! I take it as a good sign. Will post a pic of the gate setup at the bottom.
How are things going with those beautiful cats, heybeanbag heybeanbag ? :)
Did you end up sleeping back in your bedroom, yet?
I'm just curious, if your Freddie was able to sleep with you for the night, and act mellow...or be glued to the bedroom door,...and want out? :sleep::gingercat:

Your baby gate set-up...looks really good. :thumbsup:

I'm still thinking that Freddie might be able to jump up over it...since it looks to be about five feet tall...so maybe you should just attach a one foot piece of cardboard to the top...just in case. :bluepaw:
(That is just me, though, I'm a bit overly cautious.) :blush:

I really like the way you took the photos...from different angles, too.
They look great.
Also, site swapping is going much better since I last posted! Baguette has started getting curious and coming out on her own. And when I put Freddie in the bathroom (and then into her room), he is slightly less "protesty". Usually he meows a lot (and immediately) if I put him in the bathroom or anywhere separate from me. But lately he's been quiet for the first few minutes! I am definitely seeing improvement and feeling generally more confident about the whole situation. It seems like they are getting used to it all...fingers crossed! We have been doing site swapping in the afternoons as well, when the cats are usually the mellowest. Also, in the last two site swaps, Freddie actually peed in Baguette's litter box! She didn't seem to mind after the fact.

Thanks for confirming my thoughts around sleeping back in the bedroom, and switching out the cats! Now I feel much better about trying it :) I think tonight I will give it a shot, and let Baguette roam around the apartment for the night. Hopefully Freddie reacts okay to being stuck in the bedroom! Thanks for the info on the DIY litterbox as well.

And here are some pics of the babies :D
Thank you again for your curiosity and support around my situation!
Also great that you noticed the time...that both cats are at their "mellowest". :greenpaw:
That's very useful to know.

I haven't seen the movie Borat...but I think that Freddie is way too handsome, and way too elegant looking...so glad you changed the name.
Freddie to me looks more like a James Bond...very handsome and sleek.
His tuxedo is awesome. And his back legs look like he is wearing full black pants...which makes his tuxedo look even better. :cool2:
That right front arm/paw...is also cute,...with a black armband.
Freddie could pass for a superhero, too, ...but not sure what his super power would be, yet. 🤔

Baguette is also beautiful. :lovecat2:
With her tabby stripes...and those intelligent larger ears.
She has gentle looking and intelligent eyes.
And her facial and forehead markings are awesome. :catrub:

How did you choose the names for your cats?
And Thanks so much for the photos. :) :thumbsup:

And remember...take the cat intros...slowly...so as to allow each cat to adjust.
(Even if Freddie gives you a hard time...and wants to go fast.) :dancingblackcat::coolcat:
 

cat nap

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I just happened on to this thread, I have no advice to add to the above, but I had to say also I thought of Antonio Banderas in "Mask of Zorro." :)
Oh, my goodness, YES...you're absolutely right, pearl99 pearl99 :thumbsup:
Freddie does look like Antonio Banderas in the "Mask of Zorro". :shocked:
Wow. That is so accurate. :agree: :lol::crackup:

(I couldn't decide to give you a 'heart emoji'...or a 'laughing one'...since it's totally spot on. :lol: :heartshape:)
Yesterday, I kept thinking 'batman'...but batman is so dark and moody/broody...and it just didn't fit...unless it was the "Lego's Movie" 'batman'...he's kind of cute.
But now, of course...it has to be Antonio Banderas in "Mask of Zorro". :loveeyes:
 
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heybeanbag

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How are things going with those beautiful cats, heybeanbag heybeanbag ? :)
Did you end up sleeping back in your bedroom, yet?
I'm just curious, if your Freddie was able to sleep with you for the night, and act mellow...or be glued to the bedroom door,...and want out? :sleep::gingercat:

Your baby gate set-up...looks really good. :thumbsup:

I'm still thinking that Freddie might be able to jump up over it...since it looks to be about five feet tall...so maybe you should just attach a one foot piece of cardboard to the top...just in case. :bluepaw:
(That is just me, though, I'm a bit overly cautious.) :blush:

I really like the way you took the photos...from different angles, too.
They look great.

Also great that you noticed the time...that both cats are at their "mellowest". :greenpaw:
That's very useful to know.

I haven't seen the movie Borat...but I think that Freddie is way too handsome, and way too elegant looking...so glad you changed the name.
Freddie to me looks more like a James Bond...very handsome and sleek.
His tuxedo is awesome. And his back legs look like he is wearing full black pants...which makes his tuxedo look even better. :cool2:
That right front arm/paw...is also cute,...with a black armband.
Freddie could pass for a superhero, too, ...but not sure what his super power would be, yet. 🤔

Baguette is also beautiful. :lovecat2:
With her tabby stripes...and those intelligent larger ears.
She has gentle looking and intelligent eyes.
And her facial and forehead markings are awesome. :catrub:

How did you choose the names for your cats?
And Thanks so much for the photos. :) :thumbsup:

And remember...take the cat intros...slowly...so as to allow each cat to adjust.
(Even if Freddie gives you a hard time...and wants to go fast.) :dancingblackcat::coolcat:
cat nap cat nap
So, funny enough, right after I posted my previous reply, none other than BAGUETTE came crashing over the top of the gates! I thought everything was chill because Freddie was napping, and I thought he would be the one to try and scale it, not her!

Next thing I know, I see her face poking over the top of the gates! She definitely didn't think through what she would do once she got over...she freaked and came crashing down (with the gates) and scrambled around the bathroom nearby before running back into the room. It all happened so fast! Luckily she wasn't injured or anything but definitely startled. Freddie, on the other hand, was in a deep sleep about 20 feet away on a chair. He woke up with a very "????" expression and they definitely saw each other for a brief moment. He definitely tensed up. Luckily it was all over quickly and they seemed to go back to normal.

Whew - I just did NOT think Baguette would be the one to do that! Lesson learned. The silver lining is that it's good to know she is gaining confidence! I will definitely have to add cardboard and reinforce the barrier like you said, though!

Yes, I have started sleeping back in the bedroom again! I have kept Freddie in there with me the last two nights and let Baguette roam around. I think they have been using each other's litter boxes which is good. Freddie is really great and sleeps with me or occupies himself until about 5 or 6am, then meows at the door to be let out. It makes sense to me given that cats are crepuscular. I then switch the cats and catch a couple more hours of sleep. Freddie does meow a bit at the door like he wants to come back in - but I usually let it go and he occupies himself in the rest of the apartment.

I think this has been generally going well, but today I noticed Freddie had a bit more of an "attitude" with me. I suspect he isn't too pleased about the stranger taking up his territory at night. It's nothing too bad, but he has been more mischievous and more bite-y today. Like trying to bite my hands and ankles and chewing up some blankets. In these moments I just try to redirect him to his Kickeroo or make him chase the wand toy until he's exhausted. Plus lots of pets and loving. I'm not sure if I will do the switch tonight...I might just sleepin the living room again to give him a break.

Otherwise, I have started doing dinner time with visuals. Because feeding time on either side of the door had been going well for a week+, I decided to try it out. I have been using the baby gates + slightly raised sheet for the last ~2 nights. It seems fine - Baguette doesn't even seem to care and just eats her food, then walks a bit away to clean herself. Freddie comes right up to the gate and looks at her intently, letting out small meows. He then eventually eats. No hostile body language, just very "activated" at the sight of her. He always acts like he wants to go in there, looking for cracks in the baby gate, before settling down. Overall it is pretty uneventful, but I'm still unsure how to read his reaction. I will try and continue these visual feedings until he stops having such a strong reaction? (pic of him and how he acts during visual feeding time below)

Honestly I think Baguette is super ready to be out and about and I'm pretty sure she accepts Freddie. She has a very unbothered air towards him! She's also getting more confident and even has started meowing tiny greeting meows at me :hearthrob: (before, she was stone cold silent). But I think Freddie still feels very much "????" and gets very stimulated when he sees her. Plus, he's had a bit of that attitude today. So I am thinking, like you said, to keep going slowly.

I was curious if you could provide any signs/signals that would let me know when it would be time for them to try meeting again? Would it essentially be the lack of any significant behavior? I just don't really know if his "activation" when he sees her is more so due to a need to get closer/see her more?

Aw thanks for your nice comments about them! Yes Freddie has such interesting markings and his black pants totally crack me up! Plus the fact that his little back toes are white :p I can totally see him being a James Bond or Batman, except the fact that he's way too goofy! The name Freddie comes from Freddie Mercury, from Queen :) He is just so vocal, so I felt it matched! He has such a range of vocalizations and inflections. He reminds me more of human or a cartoon than a cat :lol::lol:

Baguette is so cute with her stripes and polka dot tummy! She's much more calculating and skeptical than her Freddie counterpart. I ended up going with the name Baguette because she reminds of a sassy bread loaf...with class! Haha it doesn't make all that much sense but I feel like it fits her :) She is very athletic and playful, which is why I felt she might be a good match for Freddie, who is also very athletic and needs tons of playtime. She's is also very gentle and loves to rub up against me or lick my hand when I pet her.

I believe they were both previously strays and lived in colonies before they were rescued. Here's to hoping they can form their own 2-cat squad!

Pics of Freddie at dinner:

First he looks and trills/chirps at her.
IMG_6182.JPG

Then he decides to start eating. Very chill body language - though might be due to the height of the visual window?
IMG_6183.JPG
 

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The fact that you are actually doing site swapping is excellent. This gets the scents of both cats all over the entire house. GOOD STUFF!

While I can't quite decide if Our Boy is just eating very lazily or peering under the sheet, the main thing is that he's eating right next to the barrier. That's a win.

As for Baguette going over the barrier...it's always the quiet, shy ones who surprise us! Good for her, in so many ways.
 

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So, funny enough, right after I posted my previous reply, none other than BAGUETTE came crashing over the top of the gates! I thought everything was chill because Freddie was napping, and I thought he would be the one to try and scale it, not her!

Next thing I know, I see her face poking over the top of the gates!
She definitely didn't think through what she would do once she got over...she freaked and came crashing down (with the gates) and scrambled around the bathroom nearby before running back into the room. It all happened so fast! Luckily she wasn't injured or anything but definitely startled. Freddie, on the other hand, was in a deep sleep about 20 feet away on a chair. He woke up with a very "????" expression and they definitely saw each other for a brief moment. He definitely tensed up. Luckily it was all over quickly and they seemed to go back to normal.

Whew - I just did NOT think Baguette would be the one to do that! Lesson learned. The silver lining is that it's good to know she is gaining confidence! I will definitely have to add cardboard and reinforce the barrier like you said, though!
Wow. I did not ever envision that it would be Baguette jumping the gate. :eek2:
Perhaps my 'detective skills'...of 'cat observation'...are not as good as I thought. :paranoid:
It was mild mannered Baguette...who jumped your gate...while Freddie...is who we both thought would do it. :blush: :crackup:

(I was going to ask if your Baguette is now the one with some special cat super powers...like she is an ordinary cat during the day, but turns into a 'mighty huntress' at night?? Could she possibly of read this cat thread...somehow...if you left your computer in her room, or she read it over your shoulder,...but I only posted it last night, and she jumped it last night...so this theory does not make much sense. She does not appreciate that we both disregarded her athletic jumping ability, ..I think. :headshake: ) :biggrin:

But, yeah, I guess we both learned a lesson here: ...'never underestimate the quiet and mild cats'. :bluepaw: :blush:
Yes, I have started sleeping back in the bedroom again! I have kept Freddie in there with me the last two nights and let Baguette roam around. I think they have been using each other's litter boxes which is good. Freddie is really great and sleeps with me or occupies himself until about 5 or 6am, then meows at the door to be let out. It makes sense to me given that cats are crepuscular. I then switch the cats and catch a couple more hours of sleep. Freddie does meow a bit at the door like he wants to come back in - but I usually let it go and he occupies himself in the rest of the apartment.
You're totally right,...I tend to forget that cats are crepuscular...and that 7pm...2am, 5am-7am...is some magical time for them.
Why 5am...I don't know. :sleep: Can't they just wait until 7am. :rolleyes2:

(I tell my 6 year old female cat, Tepaul,...that she does not have to wake me up so early. It's not like she has a job to go to, has to get ready, and take a bus, or something. I blame my younger sister, for the 5 am cat awake time...since that is the time she wakes up...and so in turn the female cat wakes up...and has to watch all the usual routines. My 6 year old male cat, Tripp, is much more easy going with sleeping in to 7 am.)
I think this has been generally going well, but today I noticed Freddie had a bit more of an "attitude" with me. I suspect he isn't too pleased about the stranger taking up his territory at night. It's nothing too bad, but he has been more mischievous and more bite-y today. Like trying to bite my hands and ankles and chewing up some blankets. In these moments I just try to redirect him to his Kickeroo or make him chase the wand toy until he's exhausted. Plus lots of pets and loving. I'm not sure if I will do the switch tonight...I might just sleepin the living room again to give him a break.
Hmm...you know what...we might have to work on...Freddie's 'bite-y attitude'. 🤔
I think what you are doing with the Kickeroo and wand toy...is fantastic.
Redirecting any of his bitey behaviour...onto the toy. :thumbsup:

**Try also to have a broom, handy,...so that if he goes for your ankles...you can gently push him away.
See if he attacks the broom, too, ..and tries to bite it?
Better the broom, than your ankles...but just curious...if he's biting for attention,...Play,...and if it happens at only certain times of the day...if you notice the time of day? weather? near feeding time?

I wish there were something made for cats...such as good cat chews...or chew sticks...(like they make for dogs)...and then you could also use that for Freddie to chew on...and no hands or ankles.
The chewing the blankets might be a 'self soothing' behaviour. Not sure.

If Freddie was separated from his siblings at a young age...then he might NOT have learned proper 'bite inhibition'.
Also if when he was younger...humans played with him with their hands...and now he sees 'hands as cat toys', too.
You mentioned that you believed that both Freddie and Baguette were previous strays who lived in colonies...so I guess we will never know...how they grew up.

How long have you had Freddie for? :greenpaw:
(You might have said, ...but I probably missed it.)
Also, when you are Playing with the wand toy, with him,...does he look like he is 'aggressively attacking the toy'...and does he Play very intensely, very focused.?
Does he like to jump a lot? pounce and run?
Or more lay down, and use all his paws to swipe at the toy?
Otherwise, I have started doing dinner time with visuals. Because feeding time on either side of the door had been going well for a week+, I decided to try it out. I have been using the baby gates + slightly raised sheet for the last ~2 nights. It seems fine - Baguette doesn't even seem to care and just eats her food, then walks a bit away to clean herself. Freddie comes right up to the gate and looks at her intently, letting out small meows. He then eventually eats. No hostile body language, just very "activated" at the sight of her. He always acts like he wants to go in there, looking for cracks in the baby gate, before settling down. Overall it is pretty uneventful, but I'm still unsure how to read his reaction. I will try and continue these visual feedings until he stops having such a strong reaction? (pic of him and how he acts during visual feeding time below)

Honestly I think Baguette is super ready to be out and about and I'm pretty sure she accepts Freddie. She has a very unbothered air towards him! She's also getting more confident and even has started meowing tiny greeting meows at me :hearthrob: (before, she was stone cold silent). But I think Freddie still feels very much "????" and gets very stimulated when he sees her. Plus, he's had a bit of that attitude today. So I am thinking, like you said, to keep going slowly.

I was curious if you could provide any signs/signals that would let me know when it would be time for them to try meeting again? Would it essentially be the lack of any significant behavior? I just don't really know if his "activation" when he sees her is more so due to a need to get closer/see her more?
What you are doing with the feedings at the gate sounds really, really, good.
Very positive.
And raising the bed sheet, every day,...is also helpful...so as not to overwhelm...either cat.

Wonderful, too, that Baguette is 'talking' to you by giving you tiny greeting meows...meaning she is feeling more and more Comfortable, every day. :lovecat2:

I am so glad that you noticed that Freddie is still "activated"...by the sight of Baguette.:bluepaw:
And that you notice that Freddie gets very stimulated when he sees her.

***I could be totally wrong here, but I think that...you will have to wait a few more weeks...until the Pheromones...are totally out of Baguette's system. (Being like a month to six weeks after her spay surgery.)
Freddie's strong reaction to seeing Baguette, ...might be excitement, of the 'new stranger cat being here'...but it could totally be that he is still reacting Strongly to her Scent...(and from what Xena44 said, it would be about 4 weeks to leave her system.)
He does not actually have to be close to her, to pick up her Scent. (Since a cat's sense of smell is so strong.)

***What we DO NOT want...is a repeat...of the first or rather third meeting?...where Freddie pounced on Baguette. :whistle:
So the key question now is...how do you prevent that?

***I suggest that you start 'harness training'...Freddie, now.
(please don't shoot the messenger...it's just a suggestion.) :blush:
This is the reason why: If you begin 'harness training Freddie'...it will take some time. First day, he will hate it. You leave it on for 5 or 10 minutes, he will roll, and roll, and roll. Then you build up more time with him. Until you could safely lead him around your apartment.

This way...when you are ready...again...to do the Face-to-face meeting...then you will have some control...over Freddie...and make sure he does not chase, pounce, or jump on Baguette.
(of course, this plan may backfire...and Baguette might be the one to chase Freddie)...(but since the last time...Freddie was the biter...then we still have time to work on this.) (which actually means that you do all the 'work'...and I just casually comment. :cloud9:
I know it's not fair..:lol:..it's just the way it is..in the virtual world. :crazy: :dunno: :clover: :blush: )
I hope this makes sense.

Just give it some thought, and see if it's something you think...would be helpful to do.
(Worst case, you have a 'harness trained cat'...that is useful...if you ever have to go to the Vet...and he likes to jump off the table.)
(If possible harness training Baguette would also be helpful...but it's just more work....and it would be better to do...when you...have gained her total Trust in you.)

***So basically the signs/signals...would be a huge decrease in Freddie's "activation", stimulation mode,...due to Baguette's hormones/pheromones decreasing.
Having some more Time..
.where you can observe...both cats...under Full Visual Gate access...and they seem pretty bored, calmer, ..and not having to 'always intently stare, focus, or hyper watch' ...each other.
Both cats look away, can sleep with their backs to each other, turn their backs to each other, ..etc.
Sometimes it just takes Time...and the cats having observed each other...build up their mutual Trust.

**At the same time, of doing Full Gate Visuals...still continue to do Scent Swaps...where you place a piece of clothing, t-shirt, sock, cat blanket,...with Baguette's Scent on it...and place it near Freddie's food dish.
Notice how he takes the Scent in...is he super interested still...or just...casual sniff, or does he reject it.
 
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heybeanbag

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HI cat nap cat nap , thanks for your suggestions, I'll try keeping a broom nearby for his bite attacks.

Bit of an update on some new behavior from Baguette and then I'll respond to your questions below-

So, last night I did site swapping and Freddie stayed in the bedroom while Baguette explored the living room. Early this morning, I got up to switch them back. A note - I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but it has been difficult most times to get Baguette back into the bedroom. She evades all my approaches and I have to coax her with treats and toys to come out and go back into the bedroom. She clearly does not like being pursued, so it takes a while to get her back into her room. She doesn't really act "evade-y" when we're in the bedroom together, only in the rest of the apartment. Anyway, I got her back in the room and I got back in bed. Freddie was then crying outside the door, which is not unusual for him - he cries to get out and then wants back in - not out of the ordinary

But then - Baguette starts meowing a ton! For minutes on end. And she usually barely ever meows at all. But it was like she and Fred were almost having a conversation or a little back and forth or something - this went on for probably 5 mins. She had a "crying" tone. I tried to comfort her and pet her a bit not knowing why she was crying - wasn't sure if she was just responding to Freddie, or wanting to go back out into the living room. She seemed receptive to being pet and comfort, but was also bite-y and seemed very stimulated. Eventually I got back in bed again, and the next thing I know she is ripping apart the under-the-bed cardboard barrier I had put up to keep her out of that area! She has not tried to do that before. She ended up getting under there and staying under the bed for several hours. Also, I was under the weather so I just didn't feel like trying to get her out in the moment. She just seemed weirdly activated and anxious, like her ultimate goal was to get under there. It was a type of energy I hadn't seen from her before. Anyway, later on, I opened the cardboard a bit and she casually just came out from under to chase the toy I was waving in front of her. She didn't seem "fearful" to come back out.

After I got her out, I went back to the barrier and reinforced it with more tape. I left the room and she got back under AGAIN. Then, she came out easily again with a toy. A bit later, I also let her and Freddie have some facetime with food through the gate. It was fine and then looked at each other for a while, him right up at the gate, and her a distance away. She got close once or twice and he stuck his paws through the gate every time she got near. Eventually, he walked away and when I check on her, she had somehow gotten under the bed again

I went back to reinforce the barrier since she had broken through a different area, coaxed her out with a toy again, and when I left the house for a little, I came back only to notice she had gotten under there, yet again. I plan to go get more tape this afternoon, but it appears that every time I leave the room now, she goes under the bed. It seems pretty easy to get her out though, so I can't tell if she just likes hanging out in the dark or if she is insecure and hiding. I'm wondering if I should just remove the cardboard if she's going to get under there anyway. Any thought on this? I feel pretty discouraged by this behavior because if she spends a lot of time under there, I'm worried she won't be open to new experiences. I wish she would hide in the woolen cat cave I got her instead :( I'm also worried if she spends too much time under there, she might try to poop or pee there. Just feeling saddened and discouraged by this :(

Now for your questions:

I have had Freddie since Mid-March of this year, so he is fairly new in my life. I had been wanting to adopt for years but wasn't in the right living situation to do so until this year. I actually intended on adopting a bonded pair at the beginning of my search, but when I met Freddie, he jumped in my lap and gave me a "hug" and that was it :) It was more like he adopted me. The very first day I took him home, he was super confident, and signaled he was ready to explore the whole apartment within 30 minutes! He adjusted very quickly. Although the rescue org wasn't able to tell me much about his past, his bio did state he would be good with other cats or even a dog, so I felt I could get him a friend in the future if needed.

There are some clues that make me think he may have been separated from his family when he was young, though, like you said...for one, he is very needy and needs a lot of playtime and attention. The first week I brought him home, I could see on the cat cam that he would cry at the door for the first ~5 mins of me leaving. He has since stopped doing that, but he is very attached to me - likes to follow me and "look" for me (except when he's napping). Pretty much any instance where he's separated from me, even if I'm just in the bathroom or in Baguette's room, he cries at the door. He's calmed down a lot since I first got him, but the other thing is that he requires A LOT of playtime. I usually set aside about ~2hours a day to play with him. His neediness and high activity level are actually why I thought he would benefit from another cat friend! The folks at the rescue org also recommended getting a friend for him sooner than later, before he really "establishes" himself as the resident cat (not sure if that made a difference)

Interesting question about his play style - hmm, he really likes to chase the object, but he doesn't always "kill" it. Sometimes he likes to just catch it and then let it go again. Only occasionally with bird feather toys does he "bite" and "kill" it. I guess I would say his play style is intense and focused. But when he plays with balls and the like, he's much more springy and jumpy, kind of just bopping the ball around for the joy of it. Sometimes he will lay down and swipe at wand toys too.

As for harness training, that is a very interesting suggestion! Actually Freddie is already used to wearing one. We have gone on a handful of garden walks. Good suggestion, maybe I will make use of that down the line!

I will continue taking things slow, especially with this new caving behavior from Baguette. I am sensing from both cats a more erratic energy. From Freddie, I sense that he's feeling his schedule is thrown off by the site swapping, and he is super eager to sniff Baguette even though he gets so activated when actually seeing her. From Baguette, I sense that she's feeling both cooped up, yet overwhelmed at the same time if that's possible? As for me, my morale is feeling a bit low :( I just want everyone to be happy and their best selves

I believe Baguette will be coming up on 4 weeks being spayed next Monday, so hopefully, within the next 3 weeks things will simmer down.

I am very appreciative of this community and you especially cat nap cat nap for your support! Thanks for taking the time to read my long essay-like posts and for following up with support and suggestions. It means a lot!

I'm curious, with your cats Tepaul and Tripp, did you go through an intro process?
 
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