Hi all! My SO and I decided that we wanted a second cat, so we brought one home from foster care yesterday. I have never introduced cats before, so please allow me to tell you a little about our two kitties and ask whether we are handling the introductions correctly! Thanks in advance for your feedback.
Our resident cat is Quinn, a 4 yo neutered male orange tabby who just adores people and is very easy-going. Quinn grew up in foster care living with other kitties and dogs, and has always done well with other animals. When I first adopted him, I lived with a roommate who had a Cairn terrier -- the terrier constantly chased Quinn and never learned to respect his space, but Quinn tolerated it rather well. They never got to be friends, exactly, but I think they did keep each other company. But I moved in with my SO about a year ago, and since then Quinn has been the only pet, the King around here. Quinn did go through a brief urine-marking phase a few months ago in response to feral intact cats marking outside our home, but we seem to have that spraying stuff under control now, thanks in part to Feliway.
New kitty, Minerva, is a 3 yo Russian Blue female and is fixed as well. Until yesterday, she had always lived with her sister, but welcomed other cats coming in and out in her foster home. Very laid-back girl, and like Quinn she's a real people-cat.
We closed Quinn in our bedroom just long enough to bring Minerva into the study, her "safe room," and close the door without him noticing. (She is set up with food, litter box, scratching post, toys, bed, etc.) It took Quinn about an hour to stumble across the closed door and learn that there was someone behind it, but he didn't express much interest... until they accidentally caught a glimpse of one another through the door as I was coming out! (oops) Min hissed a few times and then settled down, but Quinn had a lot of growling and hissing to do. He didn't try to approach the door or swipe at Minerva, but he was very vocal, which I expected from the King of the Castle. He spent the evening camped out snoozing in front of the door, occasionally waking up to growl if Min got too close to the door. But at night, he came and slept on our bed like he always does, so it doesn't seem like he was too shaken up, just a little confused. As I type from Min's safe room, she is sleeping on my foot, purring
So, how am I doing so far? The face-to-face interaction was an accident, but we gave both cats lots of cuddles and treats afterwards and no one seemed too upset. Over the next few days I plan to do some scent-swapping, and then allow them to trade places in the house for a few hours at a time. But I don't really have a sense of the timing for these introductions; how will I know when the cats are ready to switch spaces for a day, or meet face-to-face again? Should I be worried about instigating another round of Quinn's urine-marking, and if so, what can I do to minimize the chances? Any other suggestions to help the kitties become good roommates, and possibly even friends?
Thanks in advance from all 4 of us here!