Newly introduced cats: attack or rough play incident?

cat nap

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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
You might just need to take some time off...from the cat intros...even if it's just an afternoon, evening,..a few hours...or a few days. :purplebutterfly::daisy::bluedragonfly:

Sometimes just stepping away from the Routine of cat intros...gets you to come back a bit more re-energized...and gives you valuable time to relax... (and not have to watch, worry, or think about anything to do with the cat intros.)
Because you know that both cats are being well looked after...and really there is no rush...and no time limit to any of these things...then you definitely have to give yourself permission...to just do other things...which you enjoy. :cloud9:

Not to mention, that cat intros,...animal intros,...are always, always stressful. Nothing ever goes according to a Plan.
We put a Plan in place...and try to stick to a Routine...but do need a lot of mini breaks.
There are so many things which are unpredictable...and will make you think..."what's happening now?"...or "Huh? That went better than I thought"...or "I'm not sure what's going on at this point". We all felt like that...or similar to it. :alright: :grouphug::hugs:

So just remember to take it day by day.
When your morale is a bit low...or you're feeling a bit run down...and tired...then take a break.
Do something just for you, ...something totally non-cat related. :)
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 :(
I would definitely remove the cardboard under the bed... heybeanbag heybeanbag .
(I think that the whole idea of the 'cat intro guides' telling you to block off access to inaccessible places...under beds...is just so that when you first bring a cat home...the cat does not constantly hide somewhere...and not come out for days. But it is a rather safe and comfortable spot for a cat to sleep. Especially since you can easily get her out of there with a cat toy. That's kind of impressive.)

I think Baguette...really likes sleeping under the bed...because yes, it is dark,...it feels safe...offering protection from the top and possibly the sides...and it's just a nice, out of the way place...where many cats love to sleep.
It's like a cozy little den, and retains body heat even better.

It does not mean that Baguette does not Trust you...or loves you any less...it's just a great spot for a cat to sleep...and stretch and relax.
Besides, she may love this sleeping spot, now,...but in time...cats alternate and find other favorite sleeping spots, too.
I cannot see it really interfering with her being "open to new experiences"...unless she is hiding there...all the time, day and night.

(It's so true...that we humans...would love our cats to just sleep in the 'cat beds', or 'cat caves', cat boxes,...we buy them...but so many times...our cats just choose not to. Or else they eventually try out the cat beds, various spots we place the cat beds in, or cat blanket spots...but I kind of find that they only do it...in their own sweet time. On the 'cat's schedule, and choosing',...not on the human's schedule. You end up buying an amazing and soft cat bed...and think, "omg, my cat's gonna love this"...and then at home...the cat is placed on it, takes a sniff...and walks away. No excitement, nothing. lol. But all is not lost. Sometimes the cat bed has to air out...and eventually get used. Or one small cat blanket that smells like them, entices them to sleep there.)

I don't think she would poop or pee there...since cats don't normally poop or pee where they sleep...(unless of course they were quite ill, totally fearful, accidental or something.)

(My male cat Tripp, loves dark closets...and also sneaks into an old armoire we have, where the doors were not properly closed..and I could not even imagine him squeezing through...but he does...and often times will startle me, a bit, ...when he decides to come out.)

It's so interesting that Baguette and Freddie were having a 'conversation' through the door. :blush:
(Another member previously told me that cats only 'meow' to humans...and use trills, murmurs, chirps, and other vocalizations with each other. But I'm not sure, about this...since, I've also noticed that one cat will meow, ..the other will listen...get all curious and often times go and investigate. So the 'meow'...must mean something to them, too.)

I wonder if Freddie and Baguette were talking about their human...and wondering why...the door had to be closed. :biggrin:
And why does their human do all these strange things...like place them in one room, then switch them around. :lol::dunno:
It must be so odd...from a cat's perspective. 😸

(PS: Will further reply to your post, later on tonight, since I have some car repairs to take care of during the daytime.
Last night I wrote this reply, then my internet went off. yikes. I feared that I lost the entire post. I was sadly stunned..(and might have used some colourful swear words, too,) since I didn't know if it was backed up or saved as a draft...or not. Luckily it was. whew. Note to self:..always copy and save long replies to Word...or somewhere...and use the 'save draft' feature above...but better to copy and save.)

(PPS. "I'm curious, with your cats Tepaul and Tripp, did you go through an intro process?"
No, actually Tepaul and Tripp are from the same litter. They are female and male siblings. But you wouldn't sometimes guess this, by the behaviour they do. They are not warm and cuddly, with each other. They either act like indifferent roommates, or teenagers...who like their own spaces, have their own schedules, and like the black lab/retriever dog...better than their own sibling.
They are both dominant, too. But very loving with their humans. I love how unique they are. Strangely enough, though, I did catch them sleeping on the same bed, yesterday, and could not believe my eyes...so there is always hope and changes, I guess.)
 
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heybeanbag

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Hi cat nap cat nap - thanks for the reminder to take a break, you are totally right! There's no rush for this process. I will try to remind myself of that when it gets overwhelming. :hearthrob:

I ended up taking the cardboard off the bed and you were right, I think Baguette just enjoys hanging out and sleeping under there. She comes out on her own when I go in the room. She is definitely getting more used to things and has even started sleeping on the bed at night. (Sometimes I wake up because she is licking my face or head, lol)

Last few days have not been too eventful - continued to siteswap the cats and share meals with visual access. Consistent reactions from both cats - Baguette acts reserved but has no problem eating nearby, and Freddie acts activated and intrigued. They have played with each other's paws through the door crack and the baby gate 2 or 3 times for a short moment over the last few days, which I consider a small win.

Here are two videos showing their typical meal time interaction. This one shows them eating peaceful, this one shows how Freddie behaves/vocalizes after they finish up and Baguette walks away. Hopefully the links work! This is their typical behavior so far.

Yesterday I did end up retiring the baby gates and building the DIY wire shelving gate so that I could try allowing them to have more passive visual access without me needing to hover around. I was able to get pretty tall shelves and put tinfoil on the top which I think is working to deter anyone from jumping over. Sometimes Freddie walks over and stares at Baguette through the gate, to which she responds by wedging herself deep under the bed, out of his line of sight. I might stop opening the door as wide so that she doesn't feel so "perceived" by him.

I also have been using Classic Feliway diffusers this whole time and just realized there's a specific one for multiple cats. Those should arrive in the mail today, and I read that it can take a week to kick in, so we will see if that helps too.

Basically, things are just steadily chugging along.

That's interesting to hear that Tepaul and Tripp are cordial, but not overly lovey-dovey, and that they like their dog friend more than each other :p Can you explain what you mean by "dominant?" What does that look like as individual cats and in their relationship?
 

cat nap

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Here are two videos showing their typical meal time interaction. This one shows them eating peaceful, this one shows how Freddie behaves/vocalizes after they finish up and Baguette walks away. Hopefully the links work! This is their typical behavior so far.
I cannot see the first video...it says..."error 404 (not found)... The requested URL was not found on this server. That’s all we know."

But the second video looks really, really, good. :thumbsup:
I wonder if you could "embed" the videos...into your thread: ...it might make them easier to view...but no matter...if you can't.
-------------------------------------------------------
*As far as uploading videos...see if this explains it:
How To Upload And Add Videos To Your Posts – TheCatSite Articles
It does mention that it needs to be in MP4 format and only 25MB...which is rather short...so they recommend this video file reducer:
Reduce Video File Size Online, Make Video Smaller (MP4, AVI, MOV, MPEG) | VideoSmaller
(which is mentioned in the above Article).

**Mostly I think that members upload their videos onto youtube, giphy, or other outside video sites...and then "embed" the videos into their posts:
Embed videos
---------------------------------------------------------
In your second video...it kind of looks to me...like Baguette finishes eating...then turns around and lifts her tail.
I wonder if Baguette is giving off more Scent pheromones...there?
(since, I have watched cats...who do this action...as if they are 'marking their food bowls'...for later use...or to 'mark them as theirs?'
I really don't know why they do this...but I have watched it.)

Freddie looks really good.
And yes, he is interested in her, and what she is doing.
But he lets her eat in peace, and does not bother her at all. :)
That is a good sign.
I think that they are doing well.:yess:
 

cat nap

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Hi cat nap cat nap - thanks for the reminder to take a break, you are totally right! There's no rush for this process. I will try to remind myself of that when it gets overwhelming. :hearthrob:

I ended up taking the cardboard off the bed and you were right, I think Baguette just enjoys hanging out and sleeping under there. She comes out on her own when I go in the room. She is definitely getting more used to things and has even started sleeping on the bed at night. (Sometimes I wake up because she is licking my face or head, lol)
(Lol. My female cat also does the 'licking of the face and head...to wake me up, too, I think.
I hope it's not because I am drooling or snoring or something. I wonder if it's a female cat thing, now. lol.)
She also does not like me listening to audiobooks, in bed, so she will attempt to chew on the cords.

Besides pushing her away, or placing her on the floor...I have no idea how to stop it.
I try turning over, on to the other side...and she shows up there, too. :lol: :sleep2:
(It will be easier for you, once they are both fully integrated...and then you can just place them both...outside your bedroom door.) :cloud9:
Last few days have not been too eventful - continued to siteswap the cats and share meals with visual access. Consistent reactions from both cats - Baguette acts reserved but has no problem eating nearby, and Freddie acts activated and intrigued. They have played with each other's paws through the door crack and the baby gate 2 or 3 times for a short moment over the last few days, which I consider a small win.
Playing paws through the door crack and baby gate...is a total win. Yay. :clap: :cheerleader:
Yesterday I did end up retiring the baby gates and building the DIY wire shelving gate so that I could try allowing them to have more passive visual access without me needing to hover around. I was able to get pretty tall shelves and put tinfoil on the top which I think is working to deter anyone from jumping over. Sometimes Freddie walks over and stares at Baguette through the gate, to which she responds by wedging herself deep under the bed, out of his line of sight. I might stop opening the door as wide so that she doesn't feel so "perceived" by him.

I also have been using Classic Feliway diffusers this whole time and just realized there's a specific one for multiple cats. Those should arrive in the mail today, and I read that it can take a week to kick in, so we will see if that helps too.

Basically, things are just steadily chugging along.
That all sounds really good, heybeanbag heybeanbag . :)

So interesting, that you noticed that Baguette would want to wedge herself far under the bed...out of Freddie's line of sight.
That also sounds typical when cats want to sleep...and want no other cat, or human, to observe them.
No prying eyes at all...and be totally relaxed, knowing they are not being watched.
Much more comfortable, not being observed by anyone...and being totally undisturbed during sleep.
:paranoid:
Perhaps, if it's not too much trouble, place some cardboard boxes, in different places of the room,...so Baguette may have other places to go...if she wants to sneak behind them,...and watch Freddie, too.
It might not be so bad, that Freddie is watching Baguette,...since he is getting used to her, more and more,...and to how she moves, and what she does.
His interest or watchful gaze of her...may lessen,...the more he sees her.
Do what you think is best.

Yes, tell us next week, ...if those Feliway for multiple cats work. :greenpaw:
That would be useful to know, for others, too.

(At first I got a little nervous...when I read..."I did end up retiring the baby gates..."...because I automatically thought that you got fed up with the baby gates...and didn't want to use them anymore. I was like "oh, oh"..:paranoid:..but obviously my reading skills need major improvement...since I should not just automatically panic and think that 'retiring baby gates'...means no gate, whatsoever. :eek2: :crackup:
Whew. I have to learn to read better. :compsurfing: :biggrin:)

"Steadily chugging along"...sounds like a good way to go. :clapcat: :tabbycat::geekcat:
That's interesting to hear that Tepaul and Tripp are cordial, but not overly lovey-dovey, and that they like their dog friend more than each other :p Can you explain what you mean by "dominant?" What does that look like as individual cats and in their relationship?
(What I mean by both being "dominant cats"...is that both Tepaul and Tripp...seem to enjoy having Play time, done only their way.
One cat does not really submit to the other. One does not lay down, and allow the other to Play over them. It's like they both enjoy different styles of Play, too. In which each only tries to Play in the style that they enjoy...such as Tepaul...doing the run and tag...but not wrestle at all. And Tripp enjoys the wrestling.)

(I have to sometimes 'referee their Play runs'...(more so in the beginning, not so much now.)..or just make sure if one cat runs into the room I am in...that the other cat will back down...and not be cornered.
Because Tripp is bigger in size..about 12 or 13 lbs...he also has a size advantage over Tepaul...who is about 10 or 10.5 lbs. She definitely can handle her own, though,...as she can swipe at him, turn, tumble and run away...plus jump easily onto higher chairs, sofas, or side tables, too.)

As individual cats, I just see them as very confident, making their wishes known, and more likely to want things their way.
But they are still gentle, and yes, they do seem to like their dog friend more than each other. lol. Happily they are lovey-dovey with their humans...on their own schedule...and when they choose to be. I admire that.
 

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Hi cat nap cat nap - thanks for the reminder to take a break, you are totally right! There's no rush for this process. I will try to remind myself of that when it gets overwhelming. :hearthrob:

I ended up taking the cardboard off the bed and you were right, I think Baguette just enjoys hanging out and sleeping under there. She comes out on her own when I go in the room. She is definitely getting more used to things and has even started sleeping on the bed at night. (Sometimes I wake up because she is licking my face or head, lol)

Last few days have not been too eventful - continued to siteswap the cats and share meals with visual access. Consistent reactions from both cats - Baguette acts reserved but has no problem eating nearby, and Freddie acts activated and intrigued. They have played with each other's paws through the door crack and the baby gate 2 or 3 times for a short moment over the last few days, which I consider a small win.

Here are two videos showing their typical meal time interaction. This one shows them eating peaceful, this one shows how Freddie behaves/vocalizes after they finish up and Baguette walks away. Hopefully the links work! This is their typical behavior so far.

Yesterday I did end up retiring the baby gates and building the DIY wire shelving gate so that I could try allowing them to have more passive visual access without me needing to hover around. I was able to get pretty tall shelves and put tinfoil on the top which I think is working to deter anyone from jumping over. Sometimes Freddie walks over and stares at Baguette through the gate, to which she responds by wedging herself deep under the bed, out of his line of sight. I might stop opening the door as wide so that she doesn't feel so "perceived" by him.

I also have been using Classic Feliway diffusers this whole time and just realized there's a specific one for multiple cats. Those should arrive in the mail today, and I read that it can take a week to kick in, so we will see if that helps too.

Basically, things are just steadily chugging along.

That's interesting to hear that Tepaul and Tripp are cordial, but not overly lovey-dovey, and that they like their dog friend more than each other :p Can you explain what you mean by "dominant?" What does that look like as individual cats and in their relationship?
It looks like you’re on the right track. Great job lady.
 
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heybeanbag

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Thank you for the encouragement, Xena44 Xena44 !

Thanks for the video tips, cat nap cat nap ! I think for now I'll continue with G-Photos as it's easier for me, but if it continues to be problematic for viewing I'll consider trying the other ways!

That's funny your cat also "bothers" you in bed. Mischievous yet endearing! :catman:Also very interesting to hear what you mean by both cats being "dominant," it gives me a good understanding now of how individual and unique they are. It seems like they both have their own way of doing things, and a mutual understanding of that when it comes to their relationship.

So, I decided to let Baguette and Freddie have a few short face-to-face meetings with Freddie on the harness. I have been keeping the door open with the DIY gate up throughout the day recently, so they can see each other whenever. I noticed they started to seem bored of looking at each other, even facing away, or walking away to do other things or nap. They have also been doing short greetings in the doorway. Mealtime, site swapping, and scent swapping have also been pretty uneventful. I'm not sure if this is the plugins working, but I decided it might be okay to let them meet. Here are some pics of their cuter doorway interactions.

IMG_6298.JPG
IMG_6324.jpg


Anyway, the meet-n-greets...I think they went..okay. Not great, but not terrible? But, I am unsure if I should continue these meetings or take a break for a while.

I tried to take some interaction videos here, here, and here. Apologies for my "baby voice" and the terrible camera work, had to film while also keeping a handle on Freddie.

Even though he seems bored through the gates, basically Freddie turns on "curious intense Freddie mode" when the barriers get taken down. He seems to follow her, trying to touch her, which usually results in her avoiding him under a piece of furniture. At first, he seems kind of playful to me...but I feel like Baguette's hiding and avoidance escalates him and he seems to get more agitated and in "hunt mode" as time goes on and he can't easily access her.

If you get a chance to review, I would be curious what your thoughts are on how to proceed? maybe it's still too soon to be doing face-to-face, despite them being okay at the gates? Baguette seems avoidant of Freddie, I don't want to worsen her perception of him if these meetings would reinforce negative experiences with him. I also kind of wonder what would make her feel more confident to stand up to him and not hide...Thanks!
 
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heybeanbag

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Actually...I am going to be finding a new way to post vids so those links won't work - stay tuned
 
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I'm not sure how to edit a post or I would amend my previous one...here is a video combining the 3 links I posted above.

 

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I'm not sure how to edit a post or I would amend my previous one...here is a video combining the 3 links I posted above.

Man, he is definitely a little brat. That is a fantastic idea with a harness and a leash. He definitely seems to want to smack her a little bit but he’s not so aggressive and focused that he’s not responsive to the harness tugs. How many days have you been trying that approach? Is it behavior improving? It’s really great that she is submissive otherwise you would have trouble. Is he hissing at her? I really couldn’t tell on the video. She hissing back at all. So so good that his focus can be broken easily with a treat. A really angry, aggressive cat wouldn’t care about that. I don’t think I would rush putting them together. I think the supervised visitation with control until he tones down his behavior a little bit I think would not be a bad idea. And he still looks like he would pounce on her. I know it’s kind of difficult for you but rushing it could be Trumatic for everybody involved.
 

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So, I decided to let Baguette and Freddie have a few short face-to-face meetings with Freddie on the harness. I have been keeping the door open with the DIY gate up throughout the day recently, so they can see each other whenever. I noticed they started to seem bored of looking at each other, even facing away, or walking away to do other things or nap. They have also been doing short greetings in the doorway. Mealtime, site swapping, and scent swapping have also been pretty uneventful. I'm not sure if this is the plugins working, but I decided it might be okay to let them meet. Here are some pics of their cuter doorway interactions.
First, just wanted to say that the video you posted above...with all the different pieces in it...is just fantastic. :yess:
(I'll comment on it, in detail, in my next post...just so I don't miss any of the important things you wrote, above)
And those photos with Baguette and Freddie playing paws...under the door, and the first one with Freddie trying to touch her...is the ultimate in cuteness. :lovecat2:

(also, I think you get the 'edit feature'...after posting 20 or 25 posts...plus having been on the Site for "x" number of days.
Then the 'edit feature'...is only available for up to 2 hours...then it goes away. But anyway...just some cat site info...which I may be remembering wrong. idk.)

"Bored"...and "uneventful"...it totally what we want to see. :cloud9:
That is so excellent.
Plus, the 'facing away', 'turning away' with their backs to each other, and 'walking away', too. :bluepaw:
Yes, yes, and yes. :blush:
Anyway, the meet-n-greets...I think they went..okay. Not great, but not terrible? But, I am unsure if I should continue these meetings or take a break for a while.

I tried to take some interaction videos here, here, and here. Apologies for my "baby voice" and the terrible camera work, had to film while also keeping a handle on Freddie.

Even though he seems bored through the gates,
basically Freddie turns on "curious intense Freddie mode" when the barriers get taken down. He seems to follow her, trying to touch her, which usually results in her avoiding him under a piece of furniture. At first, he seems kind of playful to me...but I feel like Baguette's hiding and avoidance escalates him and he seems to get more agitated and in "hunt mode" as time goes on and he can't easily access her.
I think the meet-n-greets went fantastic. :)
Above and beyond, what I expected in such a short span of time.
(and nothing wrong with your film work...especially yeah, because you had to keep a handle on Freddie, too.
How you managed both, I have no idea.)

Freddie is definitely very Playful.
I agree that Freddie does have a "curious intense Freddie mode"...which is an awesome phrase for it..:lol:

But what I liked is that you were able to use the Treats...to distract them both.
And also, that Freddie did back down...a number of times. :thumbsup:
That is so much better, than he first did.

He seems to be learning...to read Baguette's cues...body language, intense stares...and then he realizes...that it is better for him to back away. :bluepaw:
Even though, he wants to enthusiastically play with her.

"But, I am unsure if I should continue these meetings or take a break for a while."
What I think is best, ...is to still continue...with the full gate visuals...even if they totally look bored.
Only because, I think that Baguette might need a bit more time...to become even more comfortable in seeing Freddie,...and maybe it will help her to not be afraid of him so much.

Plus, he still wants to run and do some pouncing...or full on touching...and she does not want that, yet.
I think she just needs more time...to feel fully secure around him.

"At first, he seems kind of playful to me...but I feel like Baguette's hiding and avoidance escalates him and he seems to get more agitated and in "hunt mode" as time goes on and he can't easily access her."
He is definitely playful...but I'm not sure if Baguette's hiding and avoidance...is escalating him...or if he just is Learning how to play with her.

Her Style of Play...might also be different to his...and so they will need more time to watch each other...and more 'meet and greets' ...like you just did above. 🤔

I didn't really ask you about Baguette's Play style...(I think I only asked about Freddie's).
Are they very different to each other, in what you observe?
Does she also like to 'hunt her toys', leap, and pounce?
Does she roll a lot on the floor?

(obviously she loves to climb (that previous gate climbing incident)...so it was interesting that she chose under the chair...instead of on top of it. Probably because it offers more protection.)
That is why I'm also thinking that she needs a bit more time...to get more comfortable.
 

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This is my take on your above video, which is so fun and interesting to watch, since their interactions are so good.:)

Right from the beginning, it looks like Freddie tries to playfully bite Baguette's neck, or cheek, ear,...(not sure which), but Baguette does this awesome move...where she puts her head down, and then rolls it away to her left, right under Freddie's chin.
(I just liked how smoothly she did that.. and evaded his bite...but also kept eye contact with him. It's playful...but for a split second at the 0:05 mark...it almost looks like she makes eye contact with you...as though saying, "If he tries that again, do I have your permission to swat him".:winkcat:)

If you notice, both cats hackles, (the fur running down their back/spine) is standing up.
0:07 mark, the camera goes off of them, for a second or two,
This part of the video, does look like Freddie got too close to her, again, and she did get him back.
Baguette did look fully annoyed at that point, since her posture, and hackles were up...but it was good that she just seemed to shrug it off...and move away.
Freddie, also just decides to turn around at the 0:14 mark.

The next part of the video, where Baguette is laying on her side, on the floor is great, too.
You're giving them Treats, which is reinforcing Positive feelings between them, ..and also you're able to Distract them both with the Treats.
Freddie looks to touch her gently, which is good to see.
Then he moves his paw, towards her again,...but she moves back...and looks unsure...but he looks unsure, too.
So he sits back, and meows. :cool2:

(He really does have such an expressive meow. I think you really named him well. In the former video, before this one, where they were behind the baby gates, and she was eating...It was like Freddie was calling to her, meowing, and telling her to come back to the gate...that he had a full bowl of food, in case she wanted some more. (I know he was not actually saying that, but he did look like he was calling to her with his meows/serenades.))

Third part where the cats walk around that comfortable looking grey beanbag chair, Freddie does a little dramatic hop...at the 1:11 mark.
That part I think is what caused Baguette to run.
:think:
At the 1:53 mark, I held my breath, and was so glad when Freddie backed up.
He kind of went for the green cat toy
There was a mutual stare-down, there, but Freddie turns and backs away. :greenpaw:

At the 2:12 mark, he goes back, and gives her space. Then he starts to playfully creep forwards, towards her.
He tries to go to her right side, then left side.
He's trying so hard...to get her to engage in Play...but she just won't. :bluepaw:
If you get a chance to review, I would be curious what your thoughts are on how to proceed? maybe it's still too soon to be doing face-to-face, despite them being okay at the gates? Baguette seems avoidant of Freddie, I don't want to worsen her perception of him if these meetings would reinforce negative experiences with him. I also kind of wonder what would make her feel more confident to stand up to him and not hide...Thanks!
I know that in my last post,...I did say to still do more gate visuals...but at the same time..I do think you are getting really good results with these above 'meet-n-greets'.
But yes, you are absolutely right...that you don't want Baguette's perception of Freddie to change...and become fearful, or too annoyed.

My thinking is that Baguette will feel more Confident...once Freddie is a bit more calmer around her.
But I am also wondering...How to get Baguette to engage in Play...with Freddie...(and right now,...all I can come up with is that they still need 'more calm time'...so that Baguette can send out her cues...and Freddie learns to respect them.)

**I wonder if you can try a little experiment...in where you are sitting down on the sofa, or any where...where Freddie can be in harness...but sitting or laying next to you.
Say you are watching tv, or computer, or reading,...and sitting calmly, with Freddie near you...and Baguette is free to be anywhere in the room, too.
This way, ..you might see how long Freddie could remain totally calm, and not moving towards Baguette.

It might only be like one minute, or two minutes...but it would be interesting to see if Freddie could watch Baguette, or not watch her, ..and not always want to go up to her. The harness is really helping in your control of him.

Right now, he is just so excited, ..and wants her to Play with him.
But she won't unless he is a bit more calm. (or at least until Baguette also learns all Freddie's moves.)
At first, he seems kind of playful to me...but I feel like Baguette's hiding and avoidance escalates him and he seems to get more agitated and in "hunt mode" as time goes on and he can't easily access her.
I'm still thinking about what you said above. I do understand it, but I don't know if Freddie's actions are causing her to hide...or like you are thinking that her hiding ..are causing Freddie to act this way.
It's actually an interesting point, and you're probably right...since cats do act and react to each other...all the time.

To me,...it just looks like Freddie just gets a bit frustrated...now.
But since these are still early days...of both cats getting to know each other...then I fully think with time, and more exposure...they are constantly adjusting to each other.

I'm not sure about the part of wanting to have Baguette stand up to Freddie...and not hide...just yet.
You want to see her Confident...which to me, she totally is.
But her hiding, under furniture...might also just be the way she reacts to his playful moves.

I kind of love the way Baguette does not over-react to everything Freddie does.
I also love the way Freddie is changing, and acting more respectful.
(I know that a big part of that has to do with you, all the things you've been doing with them, and the harness,...but it's still a good thing to see.) :)
 

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First, just wanted to say that the video you posted above...with all the different pieces in it...is just fantastic. :yess:
(I'll comment on it, in detail, in my next post...just so I don't miss any of the important things you wrote, above)
And those photos with Baguette and Freddie playing paws...under the door, and the first one with Freddie trying to touch her...is the ultimate in cuteness. :lovecat2:

(also, I think you get the 'edit feature'...after posting 20 or 25 posts...plus having been on the Site for "x" number of days.
Then the 'edit feature'...is only available for up to 2 hours...then it goes away. But anyway...just some cat site info...which I may be remembering wrong. idk.)

"Bored"...and "uneventful"...it totally what we want to see. :cloud9:
That is so excellent.
Plus, the 'facing away', 'turning away' with their backs to each other, and 'walking away', too. :bluepaw:
Yes, yes, and yes. :blush:

I think the meet-n-greets went fantastic. :)
Above and beyond, what I expected in such a short span of time.
(and nothing wrong with your film work...especially yeah, because you had to keep a handle on Freddie, too.
How you managed both, I have no idea.)

Freddie is definitely very Playful.
I agree that Freddie does have a "curious intense Freddie mode"...which is an awesome phrase for it..:lol:

But what I liked is that you were able to use the Treats...to distract them both.
And also, that Freddie did back down...a number of times. :thumbsup:
That is so much better, than he first did.

He seems to be learning...to read Baguette's cues...body language, intense stares...and then he realizes...that it is better for him to back away. :bluepaw:
Even though, he wants to enthusiastically play with her.

"But, I am unsure if I should continue these meetings or take a break for a while."
What I think is best, ...is to still continue...with the full gate visuals...even if they totally look bored.
Only because, I think that Baguette might need a bit more time...to become even more comfortable in seeing Freddie,...and maybe it will help her to not be afraid of him so much.

Plus, he still wants to run and do some pouncing...or full on touching...and she does not want that, yet.
I think she just needs more time...to feel fully secure around him.

"At first, he seems kind of playful to me...but I feel like Baguette's hiding and avoidance escalates him and he seems to get more agitated and in "hunt mode" as time goes on and he can't easily access her."
He is definitely playful...but I'm not sure if Baguette's hiding and avoidance...is escalating him...or if he just is Learning how to play with her.

Her Style of Play...might also be different to his...and so they will need more time to watch each other...and more 'meet and greets' ...like you just did above. 🤔

I didn't really ask you about Baguette's Play style...(I think I only asked about Freddie's).
Are they very different to each other, in what you observe?
Does she also like to 'hunt her toys', leap, and pounce?
Does she roll a lot on the floor?

(obviously she loves to climb (that previous gate climbing incident)...so it was interesting that she chose under the chair...instead of on top of it. Probably because it offers more protection.)
That is why I'm also thinking that she needs a bit more time...to get more comfortable.
Right on Cat Nap!
 

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Hi heybeanbag heybeanbag ...was that a good 'wow'...(emoji purraise)...or a 'I cannot believe it wow'...and 'I am shocked'...kind of 'wow'.
I never know with that emoji...what it actually means. lol. :lol: :dunno: :blush:
(maybe my take on the videos was kind of hard to believe. idk. That's just what I saw.) :biggrin:

Like this emoji...:catlove:
What does it actually mean?
It says...'cat love'...but then it shows a smiley...that goes up to the cat....and suddenly disappears??
"Is the cat dreaming about their human?"...or..."Did the cat make the human disappear?"
I find this emoji so confusing...but I do use it ...on occasion...because I like the emojis.

I know I get kind of carried away...when watching videos. :blush: :paperbag:
That has always been what draws me to a thread...it's the videos, and photos...posted.

I just like all the little things cats do.
(Then, I just try to notice, ...when my cats are doing the same.) :)
I am constantly learning about things on the cat site.

I hope you're having a good day with your sassy but stylish Baguette and talented and vocal Freddie. :catrub::bicolorcat: :tabbycat:
 
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heybeanbag

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Xena44 Xena44 and cat nap cat nap , thanks so much for checking out the video!

I used the "Wow" emoji because I was surprised to learn about Freddie's playful intentions based on your assessment! :lol: I was thinking that he was being predatory to her, but now I'm understanding that he is more playful (and still maybe a little predatory..) It makes sense as well with the behavior I've seen develop since this last post. Thanks so much for taking the time to analyze the blow-by-blow, your interpretation is very detailed and helpful...there's a lot I think I miss or misinterpret! And yes emojis can be helpful but also confusing about what they are intended to mean. :biggrin: It was definitely a good "wow".

Also, the harness was cat nap cat nap 's idea, Xena44 Xena44 ! It has been majorly helpful in addition to the treats. Especially if they start to go under the bed or couch. Re: hissing - there hasn't been much hissing at all, except once or twice when they both ended up in a stare down under the couch. Those times, Baguette def hissed at him. Definitely moments of raised hair, though.

So, I have continued with a few meet-n-greets since my last post. Yesterday morning I was pleased to see both of them "playing" with each other through the gate! Baguette rolls on her back and seems very engaged and playful. They did this for 30+ mins! Since doing meet-n-greets, I noticed that Baguette suddenly spends a lot more time right up at the gate. She seems to want to come out of her room a lot more to spend time in the living room. Not sure if it's the plugins picking up, or her hormones decreasing or increased exposure to Freddie, or the confluence of them all, but I was happy to see this :)


Throughout the day yesterday and once today we had a few more meetings. Some were better than others.

One meeting, Baguette actually bolted out when I was opening the gate and ran to play in the cat tunnel in the living room. Freddie ran after her, and I was like OMG since he wasn't harnessed. I scrambled around to get a sight blocker and his harness, and not sure what happened in the tunnels in that brief moment, but she ended up sprinting past me, back into her room, where I then closed the gate again. Not sure if Freddie pounced her then. She seemed okay after, and hung out by the gate again.

In another meeting later on, Baguette came out to the living room and I had Freddie harnessed. She nervously hid under the couch, but I was really impressed and pleased with Freddie, because he mostly left her alone and played with the wand toy. In this interaction, he seemed to loads more respectful towards her and I was surprised how easily distracted he was by the toy. I felt this was a huge improvement!

This morning first thing, I let Freddie into her room harnessed. He ended up tackling her, and she seemed to actually engage in the wrestling. I think it started out okay, but it escalated into what seemed like a more aggressive struggle...she definitely yelped and then bolted under the bed. For most of it, she was on her back and he was on top. But near the end, I also saw Freddie get on top of her back and bite her neck, not sure if that is a normal play move, or a dominance or mating type thing? Shackles were very much raised after that, and when I separated Freddie, he definitely redirected aggression and tried to bite me as led him away :/ I think it was a bad idea to let them meet at this time of the day because Freddie is usually very energetic first thing in the morning. Afterward, I tried to get him to play with the wand toy, but lately he seems much less interested in his toys. He really just wants to play with Baguette! A little while later, I also found a small clump of her hair stuck in his paw :/ so I think he put his claws out. I wish I was able to film it...it was somewhere between play fighting and real fighting I think. Baguette definitely did not like it after the first few moments. I still wonder if Freddie ever learned to retract his claws during play...I hope that if he didn't, he will still learn to.

Anyway, I think we're going to take a break for today. I think that the meetings are having a net-positive effect, but the last one was a little intense. Even though Freddie has been a handful most of these meetings, I agree that it's great how Baguette seems to shake it off quite easily. She will usually come right back to the gate even after a tussle. Though right now, she's chilling across the room...

As far as play style - with interactive toys, Baguette will start chasing them instantly, whereas Freddie can sometimes take a while to "warm up" and "get into" the game. She likes to chase it, doing flips and jumps in the air to catch the toy. When she catches it, she likes to carry it away in her mouth. Freddie will also sometimes get to that point. Sometimes he is more "stalk then rush" style, then "chase and grab it" style. It depends on the toy for him. They both enjoy doing "laps" when chasing toys as well. Baguette also really loves sparkle or puff ball toys, and is quite good at entertaining herself with them (Freddie will only play with those if I throw it for him). She likes to pick up the ball and bring it to where there's an "obstacle", like underneath a piece of furniture or her cat cave, and use her imagination to make the game harder, trying to get the ball from underneath the thing. They also both like the cat tunnel, hiding in it to hunt an object, and then shooting out to capture it. Also, even though she climbed the gate that one time, I would say she is mostly and underneath things/ground-oriented type cat. Only this week has she started hanging out more on her cat tree, and even then she never sits on the higher levels of it...
 

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Yeah the biting of the back of the neck since she is still hormonal, could be a breeding thing. Even though he doesn’t have the hormones, he must still have the instinct. And it’s quite obvious that he’s going to be the dominant character in this house. I think you’re absolutely correct about taking a break for a day or so. And I think your assessment that he must’ve pounced on her when they were out and about seems to be right on since she bolted right back for her safe space. I think your instincts are good and I think you’re progressing well. Freddie is progressing well. Can you trim Freddie's toenails? She might get scratched when he starts feeling a little bit over the line playful. And I don’t know if this is correct but I’m thinking leaving hers alone so that way if Freddy gets too rough she can have some way of letting him know to stop if he gets hurt a little bit. Cat Nap or anyone else going to weigh in on that? (Is your gate wire shelving that is zip strip together? That is what it looks like if I were you I would put in a few more zip strips going up the seam to prevent any legs from being able to go through and get stuck. But that’s a great idea for a tall gate!.). Let me ask you a question, when you mention somebody else in the thread and you post their name and icon, how do you do that? It’s such a great way of tagging somebody in a post and I can’t figure it out.
 

cat nap

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Can you trim Freddie's toenails? She might get scratched when he starts feeling a little bit over the line playful. And I don’t know if this is correct but I’m thinking leaving hers alone so that way if Freddy gets too rough she can have some way of letting him know to stop if he gets hurt a little bit. Cat Nap or anyone else going to weigh in on that?
This is a fantastic idea.
Trimming Freddie's nails, will definitely help prevent Baguette from being scratched. :greenpaw::bluepaw: :greenpaw::bluepaw:
And leaving Baguette's alone, ...may help her to teach him what she likes...and does not like.
Excellent idea, Xena44 Xena44 .:thumbsup:
(Is your gate wire shelving that is zip strip together? That is what it looks like if I were you I would put in a few more zip strips going up the seam to prevent any legs from being able to go through and get stuck. But that’s a great idea for a tall gate!.).
Another great idea, too, Xena44. :biggrin:

I was hoping, though,...that there would be some way...to allow both cats to touch each other, with their paws. 🤔
I'm looking at that gate...and thinking, how could you do that safely...so that both cats' paws would not be injured.

The only thing that comes to mind...is either using larger zip ties...and creating longer 'hinge loops'.
Or using two or more ..zip ties together...to create more of an opening...in that shelf joining part to the other shelf...but then how do you prevent the whole gate from being 'squeezed together'...if one cat decides to use their whole body weight and push on the gate.
You'd need to wedge something between the 'shelf openings'...to prevent them being squeezed together.

(Another idea, was to use a hacksaw...and cut the middle section of each 'wire shelf'...(about three wires up..from the bottom..say 2 inches from the bottom)...to take out that whole middle section...by three wires...but then you'd have to file the sharp edges down...so well, and place some duct tape on them...to again prevent any paws or cat's arms...from getting hurt.)(They would be able to see each other...and touch each other with their paws underneath.)

(Raising the whole gate system up...on some thick books, might also work...but how do you secure it...so that the entire 'gate shelf'...does not crash down.)
(Or moving the whole thing to the side...and leaving a side gap...but then again...how do you make the whole thing secure...so the cats cannot push the whole thing open, or accidentally get their paws squeezed, stuck, or wedged.)

I just kind of wish they could touch paws...so that they learn to play gently...and have a more 'controlled way' of touching...but not fully getting to one another, just yet.

They are both so Playful...they remind me of kittens. :loveeyes: :lol: :cool2:
And then I thought about it,...and actually they are still young cats...so it should not be surprising...that Freddie acts like a total kitten, still...just in a bigger body. lol.
And it’s quite obvious that he’s going to be the dominant character in this house.
Umm...I don't know about that, yet. :think:
They both might entirely surprise, you. :blush:
She might end up sharing the 'dominance'...or even calling the shots.
Male cats will often submit to female cats, too.
Only time will tell.

Yes, Freddie is very, very playful...and though he might try to be the dominant one, at times, in Play,...I actually think that they may share this back and forth...dominance...in how they interact and play with each other.
(I do know what you mean, though, ..since it looks like Baguette will sometimes submit...to his 'style of playing'...but in time...you never know. She may just be learning his moves...to counter with some strong ones of her own.)

(They do remind me, of my own cats, male and female, except they are better matched in size...and Freddie and Baguette are far more playful, at this particular age, than mine were. Mine were super playful, when small,...but then grew apart...and now are friendly to one another, but not playful with each other...as Freddie and Baguette are. I do know they say that cats tend to slow down around three years of age, (I think that was true)...but they don't stop playing...they just move from that wild and crazy 'kitten type playing'...to a more leisurely type of playing. Also, sometimes one wants to play...while the other does not. Every cat is different, though.)
Let me ask you a question, when you mention somebody else in the thread and you post their name and icon, how do you do that? It’s such a great way of tagging somebody in a post and I can’t figure it out.
All you have to do is...use the @ symbol...and type it out...then right next to it...start typing the first few letters of the member's name...and a 'drop down list'...should appear to you.
You then choose the name from that list...and click on it.
The system takes care of the rest.

(I do use it within threads...where the members are already there...but I don't use it to 'call on' members from other places...since I figure they might be busy...and it might get annoying...to always have 'call mentions'...sending out emails to them. Though, when I read a few critical threads in "Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care" subforum...where time was critical...then I do think I used the tag.)

It definitely is a great way of 'tagging someone'...in a post.
If you are on a desktop, and go way to the bottom of the main page...right above the dates of the Cat Site...you will see this line:
"Home & Forums | Cat Articles | Site Help | About TheCatSite.com"

If you click on Site Help...it will take you here:
Site Help – TheCatSite Articles

And finally, this is the thread about 'call mentions'...which probably explains it better...than I just did. :blush:
Did Someone Mention… You? – TheCatSite Articles
 

Xena44

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cat nap cat nap Thank you! You’re the best. I love your idea about them being able to touch paws. I think that would be an amazing trust builder. seems to me the removing of a horizontal wire seems like it would be the easiest way to do that. (With the sanding of the cut ends and duct tape). If that leaves a space too big, it can be made smaller with a thick piece of cardboard with holes in it? Or something of the sort. And yes, one never knows how the dominance issue will work out.
 
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heybeanbag

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Xena44 Xena44 cat nap cat nap
Good idea to let them touch paws more through the gate! I don't have a way to saw or cut the wire shelving, but what I ended up doing was creating a larger gap in between the two shelves using looser zip ties (per Cat Nap suggestion). I put a 10lb hand weight at the base of the crack and placed a stuffed toy higher in the crack so that it won't collapse and pinch anyone. So far it seems to work!

Re: trimming nails, also a great idea! I actually trimmed both of their nails after their last tussle, but that's good to know that I could let Baguette's grow a little longer so she can give Freddie some warnings.

They haven't been interacting too much through the widened crack (I think they are still figuring out it's there), but they did play robustly at the gate this morning, with Baguette really engaging in the play, and running back and forth to the gate. It was cute! They also did some playful mock-posturing which was entertaining to see.

I had taken the weekend off from any face-to-face visits, but let them have two visits today since their gate playing was going well. The first one was interesting - Freddie came into her space and then immediately mounted her. It was very slow motion almost, and she totally submitted to him for a moment. I also noticed that at one point he released his bite on her neck, and started licking her head? Then she escaped under the bed, came out again, and hissed at him from her cat tree before I ended the meeting. She had her ears back and things felt tense so I felt it might be best to end it there. What was cool to see though, was that she took a "higher" stance than him on her cat tree.

Second meeting I invited her into the living room, then brought Freddie in from the bathroom where I had temporarily put him. He was pretty good and left her alone for the most part. She ended up hiding under the couch as usual, and growled at any attempts Freddie made to play with her. He bopped her a few times trying to engage in play, but she was totally not having it. She got very stiff and her body didn't move a muscle, except for her eyes which darted around to follow his movements. Even when he was busy playing with a toy, she didn't budge or relax from her "ready" state. Freddie was being mostly very good and I just ended the meeting after a while when it didn't seem like she was going to loosen up at all.

She's very submissive to him still, but she definitely tells him to back off at times, which he's becoming more receptive to. But overall she still reacts very triggered when face-to-face with him. My biggest question right now is if I should let them having longer interactions, and let her "tell" him off more...? I guess I'm getting good results with all-day gate visuals and short meetings. But I'm starting to feel like they are too short maybe? Just wonder if more time is needed when they are face-to-face to sort stuff out. But I also don't want their relationship to become worsened, if it ends every time in a struggle.

I'm curious if in the cat introduction process, is there any point at which my intervention in their interactions could start doing more harm than good? I feel like I tend to end their meetings when I sense tension, or when a tussle happens. But I'm wondering, should I be giving them more opportunity to work things out, even if it seems "scary" to me? For example, should I be creating more opportunity to let Baguette "teach" Freddie her boundaries even if it is a bit messy getting there? I think I also still struggle to read aggressive play from a real fight...which is the original topic of this thread haha :confused2: I just tend to break up and separate them every time they have a "dust up," but maybe it's not as bad as I think...? I worry about Baguette getting bullied, but maybe I should let it play out a bit more?
 

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Xena44 Xena44 cat nap cat nap
Good idea to let them touch paws more through the gate! I don't have a way to saw or cut the wire shelving, but what I ended up doing was creating a larger gap in between the two shelves using looser zip ties (per Cat Nap suggestion). I put a 10lb hand weight at the base of the crack and placed a stuffed toy higher in the crack so that it won't collapse and pinch anyone. So far it seems to work!

Re: trimming nails, also a great idea! I actually trimmed both of their nails after their last tussle, but that's good to know that I could let Baguette's grow a little longer so she can give Freddie some warnings.

They haven't been interacting too much through the widened crack (I think they are still figuring out it's there), but they did play robustly at the gate this morning, with Baguette really engaging in the play, and running back and forth to the gate. It was cute! They also did some playful mock-posturing which was entertaining to see.

I had taken the weekend off from any face-to-face visits, but let them have two visits today since their gate playing was going well. The first one was interesting - Freddie came into her space and then immediately mounted her. It was very slow motion almost, and she totally submitted to him for a moment. I also noticed that at one point he released his bite on her neck, and started licking her head? Then she escaped under the bed, came out again, and hissed at him from her cat tree before I ended the meeting. She had her ears back and things felt tense so I felt it might be best to end it there. What was cool to see though, was that she took a "higher" stance than him on her cat tree.

Second meeting I invited her into the living room, then brought Freddie in from the bathroom where I had temporarily put him. He was pretty good and left her alone for the most part. She ended up hiding under the couch as usual, and growled at any attempts Freddie made to play with her. He bopped her a few times trying to engage in play, but she was totally not having it. She got very stiff and her body didn't move a muscle, except for her eyes which darted around to follow his movements. Even when he was busy playing with a toy, she didn't budge or relax from her "ready" state. Freddie was being mostly very good and I just ended the meeting after a while when it didn't seem like she was going to loosen up at all.

She's very submissive to him still, but she definitely tells him to back off at times, which he's becoming more receptive to. But overall she still reacts very triggered when face-to-face with him. My biggest question right now is if I should let them having longer interactions, and let her "tell" him off more...? I guess I'm getting good results with all-day gate visuals and short meetings. But I'm starting to feel like they are too short maybe? Just wonder if more time is needed when they are face-to-face to sort stuff out. But I also don't want their relationship to become worsened, if it ends every time in a struggle.

I'm curious if in the cat introduction process, is there any point at which my intervention in their interactions could start doing more harm than good? I feel like I tend to end their meetings when I sense tension, or when a tussle happens. But I'm wondering, should I be giving them more opportunity to work things out, even if it seems "scary" to me? For example, should I be creating more opportunity to let Baguette "teach" Freddie her boundaries even if it is a bit messy getting there? I think I also still struggle to read aggressive play from a real fight...which is the original topic of this thread haha :confused2: I just tend to break up and separate them every time they have a "dust up," but maybe it's not as bad as I think...? I worry about Baguette getting bullied, but maybe I should let it play out a bit more?
I think letting their interactions be a little bit longer, even if they seem uncomfortable, and letting their tussles work themselves out as long as they don’t get overboard is a good idea. I think you’re probably reading them better than you think. It’s just stressful anticipating what possibly could happen when wanting to prevent a real fight, so I understand preemptive action. I think you’re doing very well. Your separation job on the gate sounds perfect. and honestly if you get that worried, just break it up. They may pick up on your stress level and that will never help anything. There’s no race here. Take your time and let them work it out slowly.
 
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