Originally Posted by Imperialfelines
why did you need baby gates?
Because it turned out that Snowball, at age 1, had never been socialized with other cats. I got Hershey the Havana, age 1-1/2 and Blizzy the DSH white, age 7 months, within the same month, and she absolutely "hated" them both. I mean, went into hysterics, defensive crouches, serious hissing, hiding in the closet, paralyzed with fear but lashing out, whenever they came near. It was getting worse, not better, the first month, and she started not eating, so I finally resorted to restricting her to the bedroom with baby gates and started an intensive desensitization/counter-conditioning program.
The program resulted in slow, two steps forward, one or two steps back, gradual progress. I am elated, relieved, etc. to report that 45 days later she learned to accept Hershey, last week she accepted Little Hersh, the newest arrival (after only two weeks), and she and Blizzy are now tolerating each other to the point she has been out and about the past two days and the gates are being dismantled. And it's obvious, though in her own awkward way, she is so happy to be out and about, except a few times a day she and Blizzy have to remind each other that they are not friends. Not entirely out of the woods yet.