There are no words to truly thank you for your wealth of knowledge, expertise, guidance and support as I integrated my new kitty, Harry, to my resident cats, Jasmine and Snow. Even though the males fought in the beginning, they are now able to be on the same couch together without issues! I am still hopeful that with more time they will be friends and I’ll keep working towards that.
Your specific instructions for each step of the integration were invaluable. I had never heard of the roman shade idea (with the baby gates). It provided them both with limited sight and increased distance and as their interest in one another decreased, the shade got raised a little and their food bowls got a little closer to the door. The other suggestions from you, e.g., give treats and play when they see each other, swap toys and scratching posts and swap them into different rooms all gave me detailed actions to take. Short, positive sessions worked well as they built their tolerance to one another. Clicker training was also helpful. Without you, I would not have been able to have them all out in the house together like they are today.
One important point I learned from you was to be positive and patient. Once I bought into being on “cat time”, there was no time frame and that took off the pressure to rush them.
I am so happy we have people like you to work with cats and their guardians to help them live a safe, healthy, and enriched life.
Kristy Kennedy Graham