Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
LOL…that brings back memories. When I first adopted Muffs, I thought about re-naming her “Underneath”, because that’s where I’d always find her… underneath the bed, or the coffee table, or my ottoman, or something else! She’d come out of hiding to play, eat and the like, but then she was back to hiding. It took her a few weeks before she started appearing out in the open on a regular basis, but the slightest little noise or anything new would send her back into hiding. She still has those tendencies today, although she's a lot better and more trusting than she once was.
I wouldn’t start the room exchanges until the new kitten is confidently walking around in his own safe room. Your friend should try to spend as much time as possible in the safe room (hopefully it’s not a bathroom!), playing with him or just working on her computer, talking on the phone, reading or whatever. To exchange scents in the meantime, perhaps try switching toys and other articles that have the scent of each respective cat on them. Also, feed each cat on either side of the safe room door (which your friend is probably already doing).
As I said in my first post, the introduction of a skittish cat (both to a new home and to a new cat) will likely go more slowly than most. Although that can be frustrating at times, just remember “this too will pass”, and the few extra weeks or months are a drop in the bucket relative to the next 15 or more years that your friend will have the cats.