Yesterday was a big day for split-cage introductions. It was two weeks since we started swapping Hallie & Cassie around again. (They had been living in a permanent split, because we’d had trouble introducing them when they were younger.) It was also two weeks since we’d split-caged Smurf and Bach.
At first, I thought Hallie and Cassie’s intro would be a success. Within the first five seconds, Cassie had her nose down on the ground, and Hallie was grooming her thoroughly. Neither one was fluffed up or seemed remotely threatened. The grooming lasted a good three or four minutes. A very good sign!
About fifteen minutes in, though, I moved my arm, they got spooked, and the next thing I knew, they were in the air, squabbling. I had my gloves on and separated them. No one got so much as a scratch, thank goodness. I gave them a break and tried again in a bit, but they were still wound up.
I’m very encouraged by how great things started. And how I’ve seen them grooming through the divider after splitting them back up again. So I do plan to try this pairing again.
In other news, we had to abandon plans to pair up Smurf and Bach. They never did settle down. Bach was still attacking the divider, and they’d both gotten so high-strung that I couldn’t even handle them anymore. Then during the week, Smurf got a scratch across his nose. So I split them up.
Since splitting them up, they’ve both gotten calmer and easier to handle. Yesterday, I put Smurf in a split-cage with Toby. This is going much better than the attempt to pair Smurf and Bach. No aggression at all. Smurf is scent-marking things, but that’s to be expected this early on. They’re both calm and easy to handle, and they hang out next to the divider, snacking on food.
My only concern is that Toby is quite old (3 years, 8 months this week), and I don’t want Smurf to be alone again soon. However, Toby’s in excellent health as far as I can tell, so hopefully he’ll continue to do well. :)
Wish us luck. The boys have two weeks of split-caging ahead!