Cats

Cat Integration: Breaking Boundaries

We were hoping to share some exciting before and after pics this week, but the yard is undergoing some delays, so here’s another update on cat interactions instead! We’ve made progress more quickly than we expected and the cats that we anticipated being the most challenging are turning out to be the most rapidly adapting.

There have been a few more cracked open door stare downs since our last post, some of which included a downright relaxed Chaos. He rolled on the floor and made eyes at Mika for a long while and then some alternate cat personality took over his relaxed self, he randomly let out a hiss, and ran downstairs.

The overall casualness with which our cats have been eying each other led me to brave an attempt at a true face to face encounter this past Friday.

I cautiously opened the door all the way between Mochi and Calamity. Mochi slowly crept to within a few feet of Calamity, stopping when Cali let out a soft growl. They stayed in position with Cali relaxed on the blanket and Mochi loafing by the dresser for quite awhile with no negative interaction between them. Eventually Mochi lost her nerve and slinked out of the room.

Mika came into the room after Mochi left and had a much shorter face to face time before retreating out the door and down the hall to another room. She wasn’t expecting Calamity to be in the room and didn’t notice her until she was halfway past the dresser.

We had a few more goes at open access encounters between Cali and the Bengals and it continued to go well (though we failed to photograph it). Mochi mostly kept her distance, but Mika is a bit of a boundary pusher by nature. There were a few warning growls between cats now and then if someone got too close, but we reached the point where Calamity was eating while Mika and Mochi were in the open with her. At one point she and Mika even touched noses briefly. Huge progress!

Despite his apparent comfort with the cracked door arrangement, Chaos wouldn’t come in the house with the Bengal girls loose. He’s not quite as far along in the acceptance process as Cali is. We really thought we might have the most integration issues with Cali and Mika, both of whom are assertive and headstrong girls. Their assertiveness is proving to be catalyst to progress instead of a hindrance, which is a lovely surprise.

Hopefully our shyer kitties come around soon! We’d like to get a few comfortable same room encounters that include Chaos before we let them free roam together unsupervised. Even so, the progress we’ve made is encouraging, especially since the girls and I are moving in for real this upcoming weekend!

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