An opinionated feline in Edmonton, Canada who lived with a retired cat behaviourist, Greyce provided behavioral advice to cats in need until her death in July 2014. Because her entries are useful even today, the blog remains posted.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Update on Nina and Asjas: Kitten to Cat Introduction Process

Dearest Precious Greyce,

You will recall that I summoned your assistance to deal with the relationship between my companion, Asjas, and myself, went from bad to worse. (See Introducing Kitten to Scared Cat: Nina & Asjas - June 17, 2012)

Things are improving between Asjas and myself. We have reached a point where one of us is able to explore the rest of the house while the other is kept busy in another room behind a closed door.

Thankfully, Asjas is kept from approaching me directly now. Instead Themselves use that fishing-pole feather toy or the laser pointer to keep her attention elsewhere.

And Themselves did the homework you assigned them and read up about cat signalling. Now they pay close attention to my body language. As soon  as I start to look in the least bit uncomfortable, they lure Asjas away and keep us separate for at least an hour, before re-attempting to have us near one another again.

We have short periods of supervised time in each others' company (from a few to up to 20 minutes, depending). Themselves have learned not to allow these encounters to take place when Asjas is highly excited and in a play mood because it is really hard to turn her head when she decide that I'm the target of her pouncing play.

Even more importantly, Themselves have learned how to relax, as per your instructions. And this has made a world of difference. Now, should Asjas or I start to approach one another, they handle the situation with much more grace and ease - instead of either freezing or scampering after us to keep us apart.

This has led to one or two hisses, but also to wonderful encounters. For example, once Asjas jumped the barrier to her room when Herself was presenting our food. (You will recall that we sometimes eat on each side of the barrier.) Instead of a bad reaction from me, I surprised everyone by sniffing Asjas from head to toe before she jumped back over the barrier to enjoy her food.

Once, Asjas entered the kitchen while I was eating my kibble. I just look up, made sure I knew where she was, and continued eating! Of course, Themselves make sure that Asjas and I do not surprise one another and that we are made aware of each other's presence.

We no longer need the ramp to bridge the barrier between Asjas' space and mine. Asjas makes small work of jumping over the fence when the upper part is open. And I have jumped over to inspect her room when she was being entertained elsewhere. Yes, I admit to being a bit of a snoop!

Thanks to your advice Themselves have reached a new understanding about what it will take to restore our happy household. Themselves thought that just giving us pure, adoring love would be enough. And they learned from you that while love is indeed wonderful, it needs to be enhanced by a knowledge of feline behaviour to improve the relationship and interaction between the species.
Your advice on taking time, taking small steps, relaxing, and making humans learn about cat signalling and communication, has made a huge impact. We still have a long way to go before we can be allowed to be together without supervision. But now we all believe we will reach a point where this will happen. We may never be able to re-establish out close, loving relationship but frankly, peaceful co-existence is a goal we believe we can reach - given patience and time.

A very thankful
Queen Nina

Your Majesty,
I am purring with contentment at the progress in your household. You have done an admirable job of ensuring that your humans get the requisite training to restore the peaceable kingdom. Congratulations to Asjas and you, both!
Best wishes,