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Old August 30th, 2019, 05:31 PM
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New cat introductions

An update on the general introductions of Dusty to the rest of the critters...

JD is showing some gastrointestinal distress--soft stool and some barfed water this morning--so we backed off. He didn't want to go up to the shed on his walk to see Dusty today, so I let him have his way. He's cuddly, still eating well, and poopin' and peein' on schedule, so it's nothing major, and we have time, so we'll go slower on that end.

Lili did want to see Dusty this morning, so we visited. Dusty never even got up today--she rolled right over on her back and batted at Lili's nose, which was being pushed brazenly against the bars of the kennel. They had a little bit of play before Lili left to practice her agility moves. I still find it so odd that both cats seem more comfortable with the dogs (one of whom is a goofy, bratty, rambunctious teenager ) than they are with each other!!

Name:  Lili and Dusty seem to like each other 8-30-19.jpg
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This afternoon, I brought Dusty into the family room. I thought long and hard about it because I don't want JD to be stressed even more, but in the end, I decided for it. She enjoyed her time inside--she explored, used the litter box, played with a furry-feathery wand, and sat on my lap for a little while before her kitten squirminess got her up and moving around again!

JD was up later and didn't seem upset that she'd been there, so that was a relief. I wondered later if I should have left the potty in the box so he could smell her, but I'd cleaned the box up right away. Should I have left it? Or is there strong enough scent left over after scooping that he should be able to get her smell even if his nose is a little blind?

And, finally, here a few shots of Dusty--one of her sweet little face and the other showing her interesting coat color. Not sure what you'd classify that as other than muted--calico? tortoiseshell? funky tabby?

Name:  Dusty 8-30-19 A.jpg
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Name:  Dusty 8-30-19 B.jpg
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Old August 30th, 2019, 10:47 PM
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Dusty sure is a nice looking little cat. Our Mrg is almost a dead wringer for markings. And we're still trying to figure out what Mrg is.... kind of cotton to the "funky tabby" description.

Glad to hear things seem to be working out okay........that's a plus........just taking time will be the pay off. Even Lili did her bit by nosing her through the cage.......JD probably picked up on her being in the litter box, even with his sniffer ....."blind nose".
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Old August 30th, 2019, 10:54 PM
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That pic with Dusty & Lili is super cute

Dusty is a Dilute Torbie = dilute tortoiseshell tabby, her torti colours & tabby stripes are both muted in tone. (As a reference Lilly is a Torbie w/white = her torti colours & tabby stripes are more pronounced sharper colours plus she has a lot of white.)
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Old August 31st, 2019, 12:25 PM
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A Dilute Torbie! That sounds friendly! It's a very pretty coat color, I have to say.

I remember admiring Lilly's coat when you introduced her a few years ago.
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Old August 31st, 2019, 12:31 PM
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Our Mrg is almost a dead wringer for markings. And we're still trying to figure out what Mrg is.... kind of cotton to the "funky tabby" description.
Have you ever posted pics of the kitties? I can't remember if I've ever seen any or not. But my memory is so bad...it never was what it used to be...that's how bad it is.

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....just taking time will be the pay off.
We're hopin'! I realized this morning that, although JD had some gastro-intestinal issues yesterday (which seem to have resolved already today), he did not have a snotty-sneeze episode or goopy eyes, which would be his usual response to stress! So today we'll take another little trip up to the shed and see how it goes
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Old August 31st, 2019, 05:08 PM
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Well, they've met face-to-face now, with no bloodshed.

JD walked up to the shed and went in willingly, then touched noses with Dusty through the bars, so I tossed caution to the wind and opened the kennel door. They touched noses again, and then JD tried to move closer. Dusty is no pushover, though. She hissed a bit and he backed off, avoiding eye contact. She seemed pretty nonchalant about everything except when he got too close, and then all she did was hiss. He ended up following her around the porch, occasionally trying to sniff her, and playing an odd, slow sort of circling hide-and-seek around furniture and other obstacles. She'd tell him off if he made her uncomfortable, and he'd subside into his alert meatloaf position, averting his eyes. I think they were together about 5 minutes in all.

So is the hissing sort of normal for a first face-to-face meeting? What sorts of things should I watch for that might indicate there's all-out aggression brewing?

It seemed pretty positive to me--no cat fights, no bloodshed... I could have been misinterpreting a whole lot of feline signaling, but I got the impression that she might actually be the more dominant personality. Unfortunately, I also got the impression that JD might still try to be the Boss, even though he's backed down every time so far.

Dusty also had time in the family room again. She loves it there because it's really the only time she really gets to play. She's a hoot to watch with the cat wand--her eyes get so big and round right before she pounces on it!

How long do you think we should wait before letting both cats in the family room at the same time? (I'm assuming that the first time, at least, should involve Dusty being in the kennel and JD roaming the room?)
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Old August 31st, 2019, 08:41 PM
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I finally managed to search out the pics, Reg! I remember now how beautiful your crew is!
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Old August 31st, 2019, 10:47 PM
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If you are not getting the "hydro pole type tail", "the fluffing of the fur", and "the laying back of ears", it would appear as though everything is coming along quite well.

If you have a small cat carrier I think I'd be using it in the family room while one or the other is out exploring the area. Then just reverse the kitties.

If you have a lazer toy, I would be having it in my hand if the 2 of them are out together, in case there is a sign of aggression. I would be pointing the beam on the floor between them. It causes a moment of distraction which can be enough to stop aggression and saves using the old water bottle trick - which really isn't a good idea.

Funny thing is that I was going through the exact same posting of my introduction from 2012 and about half an hour afterwards, I logged into the web site, and lo and behold, there was my introduction that I was looking at about an hour earlier.

It raised a real raft of questions........what did I do wrong? how come it's there? Then I looked up in the upper left corner and saw the date and time that you posted.........and I've been chuckling about it ever since.

We've noticed that female cats we've had tend to become the dominant cat. Missy was hard pressed to be an 8 pound cat and she'd rule all the cats - especially the 3 males - we fostered a cat for someone who was moving and couldn't take him with her - and he was about 18 pounds.
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Old September 1st, 2019, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
So is the hissing sort of normal for a first face-to-face meeting? What sorts of things should I watch for that might indicate there's all-out aggression brewing?
Sounds like things went quite well.

Hissing definitely normal for a first meet. Even for the first couple meets. Dusty's telling JD to back off & watch himself

You want to watch for the ears flat back & staying there, eyes wide, non stop growling, a really loud growly yeowl (really scary sounding), all fur puffed up tail gets at least twice the normal size.

Lilly & Pixi's first face to face meeting - Lilly's ears were forward, she was growing & stomping her front foot, she then charged forward about 3 feet but stopped and turned around and walked away - that was when I knew the girls would be ok with each other.

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How long do you think we should wait before letting both cats in the family room at the same time? (I'm assuming that the first time, at least, should involve Dusty being in the kennel and JD roaming the room?)
I would do at least a one more meet & greets like today.

When you have the two in a larger room, you want to make sure one is not cornering/trapping the other in a corner or under furniture without an escape route ie around or up onto furniture/window sill etc. If you can have one person playing with one cat & another person playing with the other several feet away from each other they associate fun w/each other.
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Old September 1st, 2019, 10:52 AM
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If you have a small cat carrier I think I'd be using it in the family room while one or the other is out exploring the area. Then just reverse the kitties.
Better yet, to protect the upstairs litter box, I put it in a large wire dog crate. It's plenty big to use as a swapping room--in fact, that's where JD was when he first met all the dogs.

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If you have a lazer toy... in case there is a sign of aggression. I would be pointing the beam on the floor between them. It causes a moment of distraction which can be enough to stop aggression
We have multiple lazer toys--one for every room that JD frequents (he's not spoiled, no, not at all )--so we're good there, too!

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Funny thing is that I was going through the exact same posting of my introduction from 2012 and about half an hour afterwards, I logged into the web site, and lo and behold, there was my introduction that I was looking at about an hour earlier.
I'm tricksy! Or maybe it's just your magic touch! Well, and great minds think alike, don't ya know?

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We've noticed that female cats we've had tend to become the dominant cat.
So maybe we're just following the natural course of things. She does seem quite confident. We had her out of the crate in the shed porch this morning with Grace. She went right up to Grace and rubbed on her legs and rubbed faces. Grace actually seemed charmed!
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Old September 1st, 2019, 10:53 AM
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Sounds like things went quite well.
Whew! It's a relief, I can tell you!

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Originally Posted by growler~GateKeeper View Post
You want to watch for the ears flat back & staying there, eyes wide, non stop growling, a really loud growly yeowl (really scary sounding), all fur puffed up tail gets at least twice the normal size.
Will do! From your description, I can see that the first meeting went much better than it might have!

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Originally Posted by growler~GateKeeper View Post
Lilly & Pixi's first face to face meeting - Lilly's ears were forward, she was growing & stomping her front foot, she then charged forward about 3 feet but stopped and turned around and walked away - that was when I knew the girls would be ok with each other.


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I would do at least a one more meet & greets like today.

When you have the two in a larger room, you want to make sure one is not cornering/trapping the other in a corner or under furniture without an escape route ie around or up onto furniture/window sill etc.
Most of the hiding places in the room have at least 2 egresses, so I think we'll be okay. I'll have to watch the corner by the curio, though. Something tells me that if it becomes necessary to go in for a rescue, it might be JD who needs the help, though. He's quite the little gentleman.
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Old September 1st, 2019, 10:57 AM
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Two questions for today.

When they play, how do you know if they're getting too rough? Will they separate and bristle/hiss/growl if it gets too rough? If they continue to wrassle and tussle can I just let them, assuming everything is okay?

And when we finally put them together for the night, should we put one in a crate, or will they be okay together as long as they showed no problems earlier?

Okay, so three questions : What about feeding time when they're together. Do cats guard their food like dogs sometimes do? Should we try to keep them separate the first few meals? Luckily, they show similar eating habits--they eat what's in front of them and clean the bowl right away.
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Old September 1st, 2019, 10:03 PM
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Hi Hazel I had hopes of doing this earlier this evening, but it's been one of those days.

When it comes to feeding what we have found is that the cats like to be separated somewhat whether it's 2 or 3 feet or different rooms it depends on the animal. For instance Yogi likes to eat on top of the chest freezer Mrg on the floor by the freezer and BB prefers the front room, go figure.

What I used to do when introducing a new cat to the household was to keep them separated for a few days, then usually on a weekend we would allow the newbie in with the other cats and monitor them on the Saturday. Put it in the safe room for the night, and do the same on Sunday. If there was no confrontations on those 2 days then we leave them together at nights. We had no problems with our crew doing this.

I happened to come across this website a few weeks ago that might be of interest to you. It's called CatPro.com and it has some good articles on it. Here's an article I think might be of interest to you.

https://catspro.com/how-to-make-cats...ach-other.html

I hope you're able to access this on the computer. I found it quite interesting.
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Old September 2nd, 2019, 09:43 AM
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Thanks, Reg! We're going to have them both in the family room today for monitored play times, then again tomorrow. We do have a large kennel with a litter box in it downstairs in the Kitty Palace, too--we use it to keep JD safe if there are workmen in the house, and it's open the rest of the time so he can use the litter box. I'm thinking maybe the first night they're together downstairs we might put Dusty in there...

Yesterday, when I was in the shed with both of them, I put a couple of treats on my knee as I was crouched down and they both had front paws on my knee at the same time, their heads only inches apart, while they ate their treats. I missed the shot, since I wasn't sure how they'd react, but I have some from just seconds later that I'll post when I get a chance to sit down and edit them. (I'm so OCD driven that when we take in a new critter, all my time seems to go toward settling them it! I'm as fascinated by them as Lili is! )
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Old September 2nd, 2019, 09:47 AM
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Oh, Reg--that's an excellent article!!! Thank you for that! Will have to sit down and study it more later. (Right now, Lili needs an agility fix and a few zoomies around the yard or we'll suffer for it later! )
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Old September 2nd, 2019, 01:39 PM
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Something I didn't see in that article Hazel was a reference to the fights between dogs, and between cats.

When dogs get into a fight they have 3 options, they are fight, flight, or submit. With cats they only have 2 options and they are, fight or flight. The reasons for this, I understand, are because dogs are a more sociable animal, being a pack animal. Cats are more independent and able to live on their own. This is another reason why we go to such lengths when introducing a new cat in a house that already has animals. Trying to rectify after a fight can be very difficult, and sometimes almost impossible.

So an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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Old September 2nd, 2019, 05:07 PM
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This is another reason why we go to such lengths when introducing a new cat in a house that already has animals. Trying to rectify after a fight can be very difficult, and sometimes almost impossible.

So an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
They did have a bit of a spat this afternoon. As encouraged as I was yesterday, I'm that discouraged today.

We tried them both in the family room today, which is one of JD's areas, but fairly neutral (everyone uses it). JD keeps waiting until Dusty's back is turned and then charges her. If she sees him coming and turns around, she'll hiss and he backs off. If he connects, the ears go back, the paws start flying and it gets noisier. Nothing too extended--they break it off right away and just stare at each other with ears up again--but I finally separated them and ended the session.

Should we go back to meetings in more neutral territory--in the shed porch? Give it a rest for a day?

Meanwhile, Grace and Dusty are just all snootchie-snootchie nice-nice and Lili (who is too exuberant to let them loose in a room together) play bows and lies right down on the floor next to Dusty's kennel so they can play through the bars... It's just JD who can't seem to find it in his heart to play gentle
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 09:17 AM
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Yesterday, they had 2 sessions together. The early session, Dusty was in the kennel with the litter box and there wasn't any problem. The later session was when she was out and JD got testy.

So today, we're backing off to one session with them both in the room but Dusty in the kennel with the litter box. Maybe if we just do that often enough, they'll become accustomed enough to each other to be buddies? They don't need to be best buds--we'd settle for sharing space without getting into any fights...
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 03:03 PM
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I had a thought early this morning Hazel, and I don't know whether it could be causing a bit of a problem. With Dusty spending a lot of her time in the shed porch, and JD up at the house, I am wondering if it is having the effect of cats from 2 different dwellings. JD's number one priority is the dwelling and the family room, but the shed porch is further down his list of priorities. Therefore Dusty isn't interfering in his territory that much as it is up at the family room.

My thought would be to have them both up at the house, and separated for a few days, and then start introductions. This way they had both realize that there is another feline in the area and the time would have a tendency of eliminating the tension of the territorial invasion.

Ideally if you could set up a safe room for Dusty with her litter box, food, water, and something to sleep on. You could also secure the door so that it would be open about an inch so the 2 can see one another from time to time as well as sticks foot through the hole, or touch noses. This could help to make the introduction a little easier.

Here's a photo of a piece of plywood I cobbled up for a door and it seemed to work quite well. I put heavy wire mesh in the hole in the bottom of the door so the crew could view the newbie.

So something like this isn't feasible then I think I'd be trying to get them to spend as much time together in the same area but separated. If using a kennel I would be switching them from time to time, so Dusty would be leaving her scent around the house.

Something to think about.
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 05:24 PM
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That makes sense about the territory issue and being in different living areas. Unfortunately, we don't have a doorway, or an extra room, to close off for just Dusty (small house, too many mammals in it! ) The only room that would maybe work would be the family room, but it's a communal area. So I can't keep her there all the time, but we still have the kennel in there that she can use when she's in the house. Maybe if we just have Dusty in the kennel during those times that JD comes up? He's there for half an hour in the afternoon and about an hour-and-a-half in the evening--just him and me, occasionally Grace. The rest of the time, he's in his basement Kitty Palace, and maybe he'll just assume she's in the family all the time now?

I did bring Dusty in again and put her in the kennel in the family room before bringing JD up. There was a little batting and hissing, but then I started thinking that maybe I could show them good things happen when they're together. A friend had sent us some salmon treats a while back and I know JD likes them, so I gave Dusty a few in the kennel and dropped a few just outside the kennel for JD. They ate them peaceably, side by side (well, yeah, but with the kennel door between them ). Dusty even reached through the bars and hooked one of JDs treats out from under his nose.

After that, there was no more hissing or batting. They stared at each other for a while, and then JD came up on my lap. So now I'm more encouraged again... (Yes, I know--mercurial moods! I'm known for them! )

btw, I love that idea of the mesh window in the bottom of the door barrier! Did you hinge the door, too?
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 06:16 PM
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I didn't know you got another cat hazel! How
long did have your new pretty cat?
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Old September 3rd, 2019, 09:46 PM
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She's another stray, Barkingdog. She showed up on the...hmmm...I'm thinking it was the night of the 25th of August. She's such a little sweetie!
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Old September 4th, 2019, 07:41 PM
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In regards to the plywood door Hazel I did not hinge it. I tacked a piece of 1 x 2 up the back just behind the door, and shorten the door to about 4 inches above the striker plate. I then fastened the string to the door handle and put a nail in the top of the little plywood door on the striker plate side, so I could pull the door to touch the 1 by 2 to stop it from falling out, or the door to be pushed wide open. On the other side I put a sliding pin that would go in the hole in the striker plate where the door latch went to stop the plywood door from falling out.

I was going to hang the towel down from the wood trim at the top of the door casing to cover the hole, and stop any of the cats that were thinking of jumping through that hole.
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Old September 4th, 2019, 08:31 PM
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It's well-engineered, Reg--you should patent it! You must have read hubby's mind--he wondered if any of the cats were able to jump over the insert.

Introductions went pretty well again today. Our schedule was crazy, so neither cat got much attention until after dinner. After we ate, I brought Dusty in to run around the family room for a while, then locked her in the family room kennel. Got JD up and let him loose. They sat and stared at each other for a number of minutes, with JD getting up and moving closer in small increments. Finally, he sort of sniffed her through the bars and sat down again.

Dusty reached through the bars and playfully tried to touch him. He spurned the advance, but at least he didn't slap at her! And, in less than 20 minutes, he had gotten nonchalant enough that he came up in my lap for his usual evening snooze. She lay down in the kennel and had a nap. So they aren't hyper-alert about each other any more
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Old September 5th, 2019, 08:08 PM
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It's an optimistic day! They were up together twice, with Dusty in the kennel most of the time. I let her out with treats on the floor for a few seconds at a time so they know good things happen when they're together. It seems to be working.

The second session was the longer one--about an hour with both in the room and maybe 10 minutes total with both of them free. At one point, they were both standing with front paws on my knee to take a treat, heads only a few inches apart. Another time, JD was in a drowsy meatloaf posture and Dusty approached him. He reached up to sniff as she reached down to touch noses, all very amicable Then she batted him upside the head with her right paw! He flicked his ear, then turned his head away, and that was it! No retaliation! I ended the session there, on a positive note, by crinkling the treat bag again and doling out another snack.

I think that was a positive meeting, notwithstanding a little batting. Am I right, or am I missing something?
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Old September 6th, 2019, 01:11 PM
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It seems as if you have a handle on the issues Hazel. Weighing the ups and downs, and having patience and time it would appear as if it will pay off in the long run.
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Old September 6th, 2019, 05:19 PM
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I hope so! They were together about a half hour so far today--20 min out in the shed porch and another 10 min inside in the family room and there were no altercations! whoot whoot!! I worry about what will happen the first time they both want my lap, though!

Do cats not fight over food? Dusty hooked a treat out from under JD's nose with her paw and he never so much as grumbled!
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Old September 11th, 2019, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Do cats not fight over food?
I haven't had any experience of this nature..........where cats fought over food.

I did a bit of research into it and find out that it is rare..........and if it does happen, it's usually due to the fact of a newbie being introduced to the household, but even that's rare.

Our kitty cats have always been fed with anywhere from 4 or 5 or even 6 feet between them...........they like to have some elbow room.

The photo of Dusty with the mouse is really great.........she's very content looking.
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Old September 12th, 2019, 05:30 PM
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We should be able to manage 4 - 6 feet of elbow room between them during feeding time.

Intros are going well, altho Dusty has been sick for a while and is just getting better. Will update soon...
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Old September 14th, 2019, 05:32 PM
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Congrats on Dusty !! sorry I havent been on much...
Just wanted to say you could try the old true and tested solution....make them smell the same...You can use baby powder on both or even a drop of vanilla under their chins so they both smell the same and see if that helps the intros!!

Hoping for a great relationship between JD and Dusty

Your becoming a cat lady woo hoo!!

Cindy
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