Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
There is no set timeline by which this will proceed, since it will differ from cat to cat. The "norm" is often a few weeks, and you've already been at it for about that length of time. However, it could well take longer in your case, since your female is around 7 and is not used to having other cats around (at least not for the last few years). BTW, are they both spayed/neutered?
In addition to keeping them separated by the gate, try to have as many good things happen by the gate as possible. You're already feeding them there, which is good...other "good things" include play, treats, catnip, etc. That way, they will slowly learn to associate each other with good things. Also, if you aren't already, I would do a daily room exchange, by putting the female in the safe room for a hour or so and letting the male run around the house. In that way, they will each be depositing their scent in the other's area, creating a sort of communal or family scent, which is important to the cats' feeling like they both belong.