Member Introduction, Trying to Introduce 2 Cats to Each Other As Well
I currently have two cats. Zulu is 13 years old, my husband adopted her 12 years ago and I met her 11 years ago. I've only lived with her the past 3-4 years, though. Zulu always lived with her dear cat friend Quaid, who recently passed away due to cancer complications. Quaid was bottlefed and never seemed to really leave kitten hood, he was always exceedingly playful, outgoing, and affectionate. Zullu on the other hand is shy, timid, submissive, not very bright, but super cute. She's a gorgeous tortoiseshell and is incredibly gentle and sweet once she decides she is safe around you.
Zulu stopped eating and playing much when Quaid passed. We rode that out with her until she would play and eat alright again, but she never seems to feel completely satisfied with all the attention and play time we give her - she hates when we go to sleep, for example. She is also becoming more shy again without another cat running around showing her everything is okay. We figured she was used to having a kitty companion in addition to her people and, while she likely wouldn't be as incredibly close to a new one, she would probably be happier with another cat overall.
So we spent a couple of weeks looking at the local shelter before choosing a male kitten companion for her that is friendly with humans, very cuddly and gentle with other cats, and only moderately playful as far as kittens go. He is just under three months old and we named him Piko (Pee-koe).
We are currently in the process of trying to introduce them, this is day 3. I've never introduced two cats before. Right now Pico is in his own sanctuary room with his own litter, food and water, toys, etc. and Zulu has the range of the rest of the house. My husband and I are constantly with one of the cats, switching out on which one we're with occasionally but in a way that leaves no cat alone, they both have someone on hand 24/7. My husband has even been sleeping out with Zulu at night, since he's her favorite. At the moment I'm here with Zulu and my husband is in the other room with Piko. We are trying to exchange scents by rubbing socks all over each cat, especially along the scent glands in cheeks and paws, and putting that sock in the other's room so that they can be introduced to each other's scents.
The plan was 1) get them used to the idea that another cat was in the sanctuary room, where they can smell and hear each other but nothing else. 2) Give them treats when they responded to the scent/sound of the other without aggression, and also so they have a positive association with the other cat's scent 3) Transfer scent socks from one to the other's territories 4) get some new toys scented and then switch them with an identical toy that the other cat has been playing with, then let them play and enjoy an object that has the other's scent on it so they have good associations with it 5) Switch them out between rooms so they can explore a room filled with the other cat's scent 6) Allow them to see each other across the house from each other, far away, with excellent canned food to distract/reward them, and to separate them again before they are done eating 7) Once they respond neutrally to the sight of each other, gradually move them closer together until they are able to meet. We are currently keeping them separate, but are starting to distribute some scent socks around.
I got that set of introduction steps from several books that I got from the library. However, since I've never done this before I'm still not quite sure what to do. When Zulu realized another cat was in the house, she hid in the futon. I was able to soothe her and coax her out. She knows where the cat is, but she is just ignoring that door, not going too near it. If she does get anywhere near it as soon as I walk by to try and give her treats for not hissing or behaving aggressively or if I try to soothe her she just walks away from the door, real casual like. I know she knows he's there, but I'm not sure what her actions mean. Any advice on the introduction process would be great. I also am getting more than a little stir crazy because my husband wants each cat to have access to a person all the time day and night for the past three days. I went on an errand once, and that ended up with both cats at the door to the sanctuary room yowling that they wanted to be the one with my husband in with them.