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phoebeandzoe

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Hi everyone, I am new to this forum. 

I need help with our little stray we brought into our home.  Here's the short version of her story...

She's a cute  little black stray that has been around our house for a few years. We have fed her for a while and in the last several months she has let me touch her and then let me hold her.  (I always come in and change my top and use hand sanitizer as I don't want to take a chance on her having something since we have an inside cat). We built a little "Zoe" village for her near the front door but in the bushes up against our house.  My husband found her a outdoor cat house that is filled with soft blankets to keep her warm and surrounded by 4 umbrellas to keep her dry. She seems to like it a lot and goes in there even during the cooler days and always at night.  I always felt "better" since I knew she was relatively safe and warm. 

We have become closer and closer and it appears she really loves me - and I really love her. 

We decided since I am petting and holding her  all the time we should take her to be tested.  We took her to Operation Snip and all tests were negative!!  I cried I was so happy.  She was also treated for a bite on her little rear end and got her rabies shot/tag.   We then set up her appointment to be spayed.  When we picked her up they told us that we had literally saved her life as her uterus was enlarged and infected (the reason why she never had kittens they said) and it would have burst soon.  Made us feel so good!  We moved one of the cars out of the garage and kept her there that night.  The next day we reluctantly let her back outside.  She usually never roamed further than our neighbor and they also looked after her and would feed her when they saw her.  She had started sitting at our front door and looking in our windows meowing.  Our 8 year old  inside kitty, Phoebe - who is our princess and only child, would exchange hisses through the glass door and windows.

It seemed that Zoe wanted to be part of our family so we took the step and  let her in ----- this is why I need help!  We had read things on the internet and kept her on one side of our house.  She was all set up with everything a cat needs  We brought in her little house and she has a bed, kitty tree, litter box and food, water and treats!  The problem is no matter what we did to keep her in that side of the house she always figured out how to get out.  She has truly made herself at home which we are happy about.  I started keeping her in just the one room with all her stuff in it with the door closed but she meows and meows.  I did the sock thing and both cats have smelled each other for a long time.  Every time our Phoebe tries to come out of our bedroom, Zoe chases her and poor Phoebe runs away.  What can we do?  -- any suggestions would be appreciated.  We have always just had one kitty and don't want Phoebe to be traumatized or terrorized.  Zoe is the sweetest little cat - very loving, she loves to be held and petted and she just wants to be near me.  But Phoebe is my kitty too. I hope someone can give me some advice to make this easier for all of us!
 

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How long have they been in the house together? Even under the best of circumstances it can take several weeks or even months for cats to adjust to each other. Soon there will be other folks posting links on how to introduce new cats to each other, and about calming treats and plug-in's that might help. From my experience, a few strategies have helped. First, it would be helpful to spend some time each day trying to engage the two of them in play together. Get a wand toy and play with both of them with it. Laser pointer toys are also great. Give them turns chasing it. They will start to associate each other with positive attention from you. Also reward them with treats in the same room. Another thing I've done when bringing in a new cat has been to give extra attention, new catnip toys, and extra treats to the resident cat. Shower Phoebe with praise and attention. Over the years, my resident cats have learned that a new cat meant a new cat tree, more toys, more play time, etc--not a bad deal. Try to stay calm and positive through this process, they can sense anxiety. It will take some time, but hey will learn to co-exist peacefully. I have five extremely different rescued cats in my home--one is an elderly cat I adopted from a shelter 16 years ago, one was rescued from a situation of hoarding and neglect, and the other 3 were young ferals I trapped and ended up socializing and keeping. One of them is partly lame from an injury. The younger ones horseplay, but they co-exist relatively peacefully. So it definitely can be done! Have maybe 3 feeding stations and at least 2 litter boxes in your house so there won't be conflict over resources. They will learn to share in time. It's wonderful you took Zoe in!
 
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phoebeandzoe

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Zoe has only been in the house for a week.  Since closing off the one side of our house wasn't successful, we keep her in one of the bedrooms (turned craft room).  We have been letting Zoe out but as soon as she sees Phoebe a chase ensues.  It seems Phoebe won't stop and swat at her she just runs and goes into one of her hidey places in our bedroom (which I should mention she does all the time.  When Zoe  is in her  room with the door closed Phoebe has walked over and sniffed at the door. Zoe meows inside. They both sniff the rest of the house and I am sure they know each others smell.

Maybe I shouldn't be letting Zoe out?  Zoe seems right at home when we do.  Since Phoebe has gone into "hiding" we figured it would be a good time for Zoe to be out.  Like I said she is very attached to me and likes me to be in her site all the time.

I appreciate your help!
 

shadowsrescue

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At this point the cats should not be having face to face time.  It's way too much too soon.  Here are some articles on cat to cat intros as well as a great video.  It is all a process that can take a few weeks to a few months to many months and months.  So much depends on all of the cats temperaments.  Slow and steady is the best route.  

Keep Zoe in a room of her own.  You can allow her time out of the room, but you must put your other cat away.  They are just not ready for face to face time.

http://www.thecatsite.com/a/the-ultimate-yet-simplified-guide-to-introducing-cats

http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/a-simple-little-trick-to-use-during-new-cat-introductions/

 

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So its Zoe, the new one, whom is doing the chasing?   Its a little surprising , the usual is the opposite, the resident doing the suppressing.  And  adopted homeless are usually eager to adapt, to be submissive...

Arey you sure its chasing? it may be some sort of try to play games, to chase each other.  But perhaps, Phoebe, being a lone cat for so long, is unused to play.  And instead of either give battle or begin to play, she hides...
 
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phoebeandzoe

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Phoebe is the most playful cat I've ever had.  She loves to play, all the time.

Zoe is chasing her.  Phoebe  runs away and doesn't stand her ground.

We are very surprised at this too, not what we thought would happen. 

They have seen each other for a couple of years -- look at each other through the windows and when Phoebe is on the "Phoebe Porch".

When Zoe is out of her room and Phoebe is in her space, Zoe makes herself right at home.  It's amazing really how quickly she has done that.  Sits and sleeps on the sofa and chairs - the back of the sofa, etc.  We are certain they are smelling each other all over the house. Not to mention all over me!   I am doing the sock too.  Zoe is very affectionate and she seems to have adapted to in house living already. 

It's just on the few times they have been out together Zoe chases Phoebe.

I should mention too that Phoebe likes to spend time in hidey places i.e. she has a couple trees, she likes to go in the closet, under the bed and under a table. When Phoebe is in her place we close that door and let Zoe out to enjoy her new home. 

We are very sad that Phoebe (8 yrs old, had her since she was a kitten) is being chased in her house.  We don't want her to be afraid to walk around and do her thing!  And we want to give Zoe the home she deserves too.

Any advice on how to stop Zoe from chasing Phoebe?  Do we need to some kind of introduction?  We are using the water squitter bottle but when she is in pursuit it's difficult to squirt her face!

I love them both very much!
 

shadowsrescue

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Please please please do not squirt her in the face or any other place on her body.  When you squirt a cat with water it does nothing but teach the cat to be fearful of you the human.

Zoe is chasing Phoebe as they are trying to work out territory.  It does not matter to the cats who was there first.  

I brought a feral/stray cat into my home almost 4 years ago.  I had to introduce him to my resident cat of 5 years.  The two took almost a solid year to get used to each other.  The new cat would often chase and try to hurt my resident cat.  During this time, the cats need to be separated.  

Yes, the cats do need to be introduced.  In the above post, there were 2 articles as well as a video on the techniques.  Cats are very territorial and need lots of time to get used to each other.  You also can try having lots of vertical space for the cats to get up high and away.

Slow steady introductions will go a long way in teaching the cats to peacefully coexist.

Just please stop using the squirt bottle.  Here are some articles explaining why not to use the squirt bottle.

http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/the-squirt-bottle-controversy/

https://catingtonpost.com/jackson-galaxy-says-stop-using-a-squirt-bottle-to-discipline-your-cat/
 
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phoebeandzoe

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Someone suggested to us to try that.  It was only one time my husband tried to use the bottle -- we won't do it again.  (Makes me feel bad now we even tried)

Here is the situation as it currently is right now....

Zoe (stray) is on the sofa in the living room all stretched out sleeping away!  She is right at home, believe me!

Phoebe (resident) is closed in our bedroom (with the slider door open so she can go out on the screened patio).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Typically Phoebe pretty much is always in our bedroom during the day.  She has a tree in there and hidey places she likes.  She'll come out occasionally to have some food and water and we have a tree in the living room she likes to climb in also!  That said, we figured that's a good time for Zoe to be out so we close the bedroom door. Zoe has the house pretty much during the day then.

Later in the day we let Phoebe back out into the house and put Zoe in "her" room on the other side of the house. She meows and meows - she wants to be out in the house in the worse way. She doesn't like to be confined.

We have been keeping Zoe in her room all night and letting Phoebe have run of the house.

The two cats don't even go to the doors of the other cat's room ---- they both know the other one is in there we are sure.  Zoe has eaten dry food from Phoebe's bowl and also the water dish.  Doesn't seem to concern Phoebe as we don't see her get upset or hiss or walk away from it.

Do we just keep doing this day after day?  When should we let them see each other again? It seems like we should be working toward them getting acquainted rather than hiding them from each other all day and all night.

I can't imagine they don't smell each other everywhere - they both are on the floors, the carpet, the furniture, and me!
 

shadowsrescue

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If you watch the video it will give you some excellent tips on how to progress.  In a nutshell the steps are:

There are several steps to a successful introduction, the goal being BFFs, not enemies or angry at you (especially the resident cat). A careful introduction raises the stress level in incremental steps, allowing both cats, especially the resident cat time to acclimate to the stressor before being introduced to the next level. You are going to move the "bar" closer and closer to the resident cat until the final step, a supervised face-to-face, becomes a fender bender and not a car crash.



Step one: Complete separation, putting the new cat is a small room like a bathroom with food, litter and water. Do not let the cats see each other - too much stress too soon. Give the new cat time to adjust. Give both cats time (a week+/-) to get used to this. They will know each other is there. Start feeding the resident cat nearer to the door, adjusting daily until he is at the door eating. Do voluntary scent exchange by rubbing the new cat's cheeks on a sock and then offering the sock as a gift to the resident. Don't force him to smell the sock, don't rub it on him. Observe his behavior and allow it. Rub a clean sock on his cheeks and offer it to the new cat. Continue to do this but never force either cat to interact with the other cat's sock.

When they are reasonably calm with everything in step one go to:



Step Two: Allow the cats to see each other. Two baby gates stacked on top of each other in the open door is a great way. Cracking the door open and blocking it into position so they can't get through the door is another way. I like to offer a special treat during this time to keep the associations positive.  I up the ante with treats and often use plain cooked chicken instead of just cat treats. With many cats the stress of this will make them revert, but it would have been much worse if you had started with this step. Continue as if this was step one, but now with them seeing each other. When they are both calm, no hissing or growling, you can go to:



Step Three: After eating meals and feeling satisfied (full stomach = less aggressive) and trimmed nails, you can start to do brief supervised introductions face to face. Watch their body language and reactions and increase their time together until you are confident that they can manage on their own.  It's good to have vertical space so at least one cat can get up and away if needed.  If you notice tail swishing, ears going back, hissing, growling or deep stares, try to get the cat interested in a toy or treat to get the focus off the other cat.  If this does not work, remove one of the cats before a full blown chase or fight occcurs.



In General, treat the resident cat like he is King. Don't do things to make him jealous. Don't discipline either cat for showing aggression, punishing them for what they feel is a normal behavior (and is normal for them) just raises the stress. And follow your cats' lead on the speed of the introduction, there are no rules other than to listen to them.


 
 
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phoebeandzoe

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Thank you for the reply.  Phoebe (resident cat and princess) will not eat her food near the room Zoe (new cat) is in.

We have a smaller bedroom (craft room) set up for Zoe.  I have to run to the door to get out and end up closing the door in her little nose! :(

Zoe is very adjusted to the house but does not really like being in that room when she hears us out in the rest of the house.  She is a very affectionate cat and likes people company very much.

After a week of keeping them separated we tried doing the baby gate(s) and Zoe climbed them and got over!  Is there any other suggestion for them to see each other please?

In general Phoebe does not investigate the door to the room Zoe is in.  If we try to crack the door for them to see each other do we bring Phoebe there?  Seems like that would be forcing her to do that - not a positive thing for her at all. (You said treat the resident as King, well believe me she is our princess and has been for 8 years!) It's a lot for her to accept a little sister.  We want to make it easy and less stressful  on her but at the same time be kind to Zoe who just wants a home and a family to love.

Are we doing wrong maybe by letting Zoe be in the house during the day while Phoebe sleeps in the bedroom?  Are we actually making it so the house is "her" territory and not Phoebe's?

I will continue to do the socks -- so far no reaction from either of them.  Right now Phoebe is sitting on an ottoman that Zoe was sitting on earlier -- does she not smell Zoe there?

Do you like the idea of the Feliway, etc products?

In step 3 -- where do you suggest we do the face to face introductions?  If they need to be separated, who gets put where?  And for how long?

Thank you.

P.S. It's very hard on us to hear Zoe meowing so loud and pitiful when she is in her room!  I go in there often but have to try to sneak out as she runs to the door and I end up closing it in her little face.

Tomorrow we take her to our vet -- Operation Snip did all the tests (which were negative!!) and her spaying -- we just want her to have all her blood work done and make sure she is as healthy as she seems!
 
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phoebeandzoe

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What a genius idea with the shelving!  I am pretty sure Zoe would jump the shelving, we would have to make it as high as the doorway.

We have been alternating time out in the house with both Phoebe and Zoe.  A couple hours out for one with open door  and then the other.  Seems fine.  We are retired so we can do this during the day.  We are trying not to disrupt Phoebe's life any more than we already are!  She always goes into her hidey places so we take advantage of that time for Zoe to be out!

Zoe has started eating the dry food we keep down for Phoebe and drinking from her water bowl.  Phoebe does not like this so we put her dry food up on the bathroom counter for now.  The water bowl is still down (they both have water and dry food in their sanctuary places).

This morning Phoebe was on our patio -- Zoe was on the sofa.  I took Zoe over to the closed sliding door so they could see each other.  (We have two sliders to the porch, the one  into our bedroom was open so Phoebe could retreat if she wanted to).  Phoebe came over to the door and  looked inquisitive while Zoe hunched down and did one of those cat meows they do.  She lunged at the door and  hissed a couple times but mostly growled.  I petted Zoe while this was happening and talked to her about Phoebe and I had eye contact with Phoebe. Stayed there a minute or so and then picked Zoe up and put her in her room.

Was that OK to do?  It's a start?
 

shadowsrescue

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What a genius idea with the shelving!  I am pretty sure Zoe would jump the shelving, we would have to make it as high as the doorway.

We have been alternating time out in the house with both Phoebe and Zoe.  A couple hours out for one with open door  and then the other.  Seems fine.  We are retired so we can do this during the day.  We are trying not to disrupt Phoebe's life any more than we already are!  She always goes into her hidey places so we take advantage of that time for Zoe to be out!

Zoe has started eating the dry food we keep down for Phoebe and drinking from her water bowl.  Phoebe does not like this so we put her dry food up on the bathroom counter for now.  The water bowl is still down (they both have water and dry food in their sanctuary places).

This morning Phoebe was on our patio -- Zoe was on the sofa.  I took Zoe over to the closed sliding door so they could see each other.  (We have two sliders to the porch, the one  into our bedroom was open so Phoebe could retreat if she wanted to).  Phoebe came over to the door and  looked inquisitive while Zoe hunched down and did one of those cat meows they do.  She lunged at the door and  hissed a couple times but mostly growled.  I petted Zoe while this was happening and talked to her about Phoebe and I had eye contact with Phoebe. Stayed there a minute or so and then picked Zoe up and put her in her room.

Was that OK to do?  It's a start?
Yes, that is a start for them both.  The only suggestion I can make is to add some food to the interaction.  You want them to associate good things with each other and food is usually a winner.  They will start to notice that they get special treats when they see this new cat and it will be something to look forward to.  I try to make the treats something extra special.  I make a lot of whole chickens and save some of the dark meat for the cats.  I just put it in small zip lock bags and pop into the freezer for future use.  

For the shelving unit, they come in really tall pieces.  The one I had cut was 12'.  I think you could go to 6' and just be sure you use it while supervising.  I have been using my unit for about 3 weeks now.  I love it, but am ready to move to something less restricting.  I just order a baby gate that is 42" tall and is a walk through.  I am hopeful no one will jump it!

A few years ago, when I brought in my first feral boy, I had to feed him in his room to keep my resident cat out of the food.  I decided to never leave food out.  Just 2 meals a day.  The new cat would eat in his room with the door closed.  I then would offer a bit of dry food before going to bed at night.  It was much easier than leaving food out all day and making sure the wrong cat didn't eat it!

Have they shared or used each others litter box yet?  Sometimes this can be  a source of agitation.  When I see my two using my new boys litter box, I try to clean it right away.  He can still smell it, but at least the urine/stool is cleaned up.

It may take awhile for these two to sort it out.  My first boy took a solid year.  It was hard, very hard.  Yet in the end so worth it.  These two are best buddies now and would be lost without each other.  So odd since they both hated each other at first.  I am hoping they will accept the new boy too.
 
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phoebeandzoe

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I wish I had more of an update to report ----

We are still keeping Phoebe and Zoe separated.  We keep the sliders open with the screens but Phoebe won't go out if she thinks Zoe might be around.  One thing I am not happy about is that Zoe seems to have more of a run of the house while Phoebe stays in our bedroom/bathroom most of the day. Doesn't seem fair.  We have been alternating time in their rooms and the house but again this is really just keeping them from seeing each other.

When we do try to show them to each other Phoebe squirms so much we can't hold onto her.

We feel like maybe we should be moving a little more  forward but are unsure what really to do.  Our vet told us to let them be in the same room together and see what happens.....

To be honest we are scared to do this...but at the same time we think they really need to start seeing each other and realize that each of them isn't going anywhere! 

I bought the book Cat vs Cat by Pam Johnson Bennett and it says pretty much what I have been told her on the cat site. 
 

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If I am correct, Zoe has only been in the house for 3 weeks?  That is not long at all.  She also was just recently brought inside of the house after living outside for a few years.  Also she was recently spayed which does take a cat 3-4 weeks for all hormones to shut down.  

Cats can take weeks to weeks to months to months.  The best advice I can give is to take it slowly.  Phoebe is scared.  Her world has been turned upside down.  Have you tried any Composure with them?  It might help Zoe to calm down and it might make Phoebe feel more secure in her own home.  Also do you have any vertical space where one or both cats can get up and out of the way?

You certainly can try them out together in the same room.  Just be sure to have lots and lots of distractions.  Have you done any feeding of the two behind a gate or other barrier?  Food really is a way to bond cats.  Yet you need to make it something better than just regular cat food or cat treats.  Try plain cooked chicken, canned tuna or salmon.  If you do allow them out together have wand toys so that you can distract them from focusing on each other.  Yet if there is an "attack" of sorts, this will set the cats back and it will take longer.

I also remember using a large dog cage.  I would be the most compliant cat inside and cover the cage on 3 sides.  I would then allow the other cat to safely sniff.  The entire time all received chicken.  If the cats cooperated, I would then switch who went inside the cage.  This too was done for very short periods of time, yet I did this 2-3x a day.  

I am in the process of introducing one of my outside feral boys to my 2 inside boys ( one is a former outside boy too so I have been through this before).  My outside boy has been in a room of his own for 9 weeks now.  I have done room swaps and also bring him downstairs with me in my office.  I have gates or barriers so the other cats cannot get inside.  You could take Zoe to another room in your home and see if Phoebe will come out.  You cannot force her.  She needs to know that she is safe.  This may take time.  The first time I did introductions my resident cat would sit on a cat tree for hours and hours.  He was so afraid to come down.  I had to show him that I would keep him safe.  The Composure helped them both a lot.  

Right now I am allowing my latest outside boy time out of his room to explore.  One of my resident cats is not thrilled.  He is hissing.  I try to distract with a toy or yummy food.  It is most important that you keep check of your emotions too.  If you are tense and uptight, the cats will sense it too.  If you are not ready for them to both be out and about together then listen to your gut.  I personally would not allow them very much time out and about if you have not done any of the exercises in a small room first.  I do nightly interactions between all 3 cats.  My 2 inside boys will come inside the new boys room.  I have chicken in a bag ready to go.  They all come running when they hear the bag.  After a few pieces of chicken, I get a wand toy or string and try to interact.  If no one is interested we just sit.  I watch their body language carefully.  If I sense anything odd, the chicken bag comes back out.  It always stops them in their tracks.  At first this exercise was done between a gate and only for a few minutes.  You ALWAYS want to end on a positive note.  So start with short bursts and then build.  I am now up to 20-30 minutes with the 3 together.  

I have also done some whole house exercises.  I try to do this when my resident cats are napping.  The new boy is curious, but very cautious.  I keep this exercise brief.  Today one of the resident cats came up to the new boy and hissed right in his face.  I had a bag of treats near by and that snapped him out of it.  Gradually as time goes by, I will no longer need the treat bag or chicken.

Remember this can take lots and lots and lots of time.  The first time I did it, it was truly a solid year before the two could coexist.  It has so much to do with the personalities of the cats.  Both of my seemed aggressive and wanted to be top cat.  It really took a lot of time and effort for this to be established peacefully.  Now they are the best of buds.  They sleep together, groom each other and run around the house playing each and every day.  I am hopeful the new boy will fit in too.  

I remember feeling defeated and feeling I had ruined my residents cat life.  I felt so guilty and sad.  Yet this new kitty needed a better life.  He too had been outside for over 2 years.  I was his last hope.  He was not adoptable.  Now looking back all of the work was so worth it.  This kitty is sweet and loving.  He is still skittish from his previous outside life, but he loves being inside.  Zoe and Phoebe will get there, but it will not happen over night.  
 
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phoebeandzoe

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Update- it's been a while....we had Zoe to our vet for shots and blood tests and found out she  had a parasite from rodents when she was outside.  We gave her a two day medicine dose and had her rechecked in two weeks.  The vet told us that the two can not be in contact with each other as it could be transmitted to Phoebe.  We took her back to the vet to be rechecked and it was not gone.  We did a three day medicine dose this time and took her back last week.  She was clear!  So we started putting out a shared water bowl in the kitchen/feeding area.  She also has a bad infection in her eyes (from being outside too) and we are almost to the end of a 4 week dose of azithromycin for her.  Poor little kitty!  She is so good about taking the medicine -- my husband holds her and I just open her mouth and squirt it in there followed by her breakfast!  She is a good little cat. I am thinking about putting some of each others kitty litter in each of their  boxes next.

We are continuing to have Phoebe and Zoe take turns around in the house. The routine is this - Phoebe is our first thing in the morning.  She likes to jump in her trees and look out at her kingdom and go out on the porch and have her leisurely breakfast. Then about 9 or so when Phoebe in out on the porch we close the family room slider and the bedroom door and let Zoe out.  We give her the medicine and her breakfast and then she hangs out doing Zoe stuff until around noon-1:00  or so.  Then we switch them again and Phoebe is out in the house until she eats her dinner and does Phoebe stuff  which includes being the porch.  Around 7:00 when Phoebe is on the porch or in her tree in the bedroom we close the doors and let Zoe out for her dinner and she stays out until around 10:30.  Then she goes into her sanctuary for the night. Phoebe has the house all during the night. (and we never want to put Phoebe in her room - we always wait until she is already in there doing what she does or is relaxing on the porch first).  She is queen of the house!

They have seen each other a lot through the sliding door in our family room when Phoebe is on the porch.  I am so proud of our Phoebe as she has gotten more brave and has not been immediately running back into the bedroom (her sanctuary place).  Zoe however, does stalk the sliding door and makes those cat sounds.  I have been trying to redirect her to a toy or something.  Helps some times.  She does get a little aggressive at me in that she paws at my feet when I walk away!  But she has not drawn blood, just making a point. 

It's was about time for Zoe and Phoebe to switch places in the house just before and Phoebe was up in her tree in the bedroom so I held Zoe and opened the door so they could see each other.  Zoe hissed and Phoebe jumped down and retreated under the bed.  I then put Zoe in her sanctuary place and let Phoebe come out into the house.  I read in the Cat vs Cat book that we need to let  Zoe to know that behavior is not good. I kissed her before I closed the door!  I miss her when she is not out -- I really can't wait for the day when we can all live together happily ever after!!  (sounds silly, doesn't it?)

We really want to start taking the next steps.  I feel they are getting more comfortable with each other's presence.  Zoe goes to the bedroom door all the time.  Sometimes they are on each side of the door.  They are aware of each other no doubt.  Zoe has been in the family and in our house now since the beginning of February.  They have both come a long way since then.  Zoe has taken over the house and it seems like we are having to switch thinking -- like Phoebe is the new cat and Zoe is the resident cat!  We are thinking about each of us holding them on opposite ends of a room.  Maybe work on getting a little closer each time.  It's Zoe that worries me -- we need to figure out how to get her calm and have her not feeling threatened by Phoebe.  Advice on this part of our journey anyone?

I would like to add a really nice thing -- when Zoe was outside and when she came in she didn't know how to play.  I tried so many times with all kinds of toys to no avail.  Well.......she knows how to play now!!!  She is so playful and runs all around like a crazy cat chasing anything!!!  Phoebe is also a very playful cat even being 8 years old.  I think they would like to play together and I hope and pray that day comes!
 

shadowsrescue

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Have you tried any Composure liquid Max?  It is a nonsedating calming supplement.  I used it a few years ago when I brought a feral inside and did introductions.  I would not have survived without it.  My poor resident kitty was a mess.  He was so afraid of this feral boy.  Composure was so helpful.  I gave 1/2 t in the morning wet food to the feral cat and 1/4 t. to my resident cat.  It allowed the feral boy to get control of himself and not act so aggressive.  It also helped to calm my resident kitty.  I gave another dose in their evening meal usually 1/4 t. for each.  I did this for a good 4 months and then started to taper off a few months after that.  They do sell treats, but it takes 3-6 treats for the right amount.  The treats are rock hard and quite large.  My cats did not like them.  The composure is chicken flavored.  You can find it on Amazon or Chewy.com.  It is Composure liquid Max.

Also are you using Feliway plug ins?  Just be sure you have enough.  One is usually not enough.  I found they now make Multi Cat feliway.  I have been using it since February.  It works very well. 
 
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phoebeandzoe

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Yes, we are using the Multi Cat Feliway plug ins.  I have one in each of their sanctuary rooms.  I think it helps.  In fact, I am waiting on more from Amazon right now!

I will look up the Composure liquid Max, thanks!

I am worried that once we let them both "out" Phoebe will end up being "trapped" in our bedroom if Zoe camps out at the door and she will be afraid to come out.  When I see her there should I redirect her attention away from the door?   I am hoping the more they see each other the more they will just say to themselves -- oh, there's that other car again!  It is getting better so I think we are moving in the right direction.  You, as well as reading the Cat vs Cat book, tell us we have to be patient and we are doing that for sure (it's been 6 weeks now!).  We want happy kitties!
 
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phoebeandzoe

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P.S. Composure liquid Max and the treats are on their way!  I hope this will help the kitties too! 
 
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