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I went to a shelter today and there's 2 cats I'm interested in. Both are very affectionate and sweet with me, both were fine with cats through the cage bars. The black one is 3 and male, the grey one is 1 and male but not yet neutered. Both are 'strays' (so ages approximate).

The lady working there put them together for me to see how they interact, she brought the black one into the other room where the grey one is, I think because he's a little more gung-ho. She commented that they greeted well, but then some tension grew, she thinks the black one couldn't really read the grey one and the grey one didn't like the black one being a bit abrupt I think. At one point the grey one was sitting on a short cat tree, and the black one went over and kind of jumped up at him, to which he made a "meh" sound to and the other one backed off. She said that was good the black one listened. When they got physical she interrupted them so I guess it looked like they might be starting a scuffle.

In the end she thinks it's more the black one that was having issues and was a bit timid (though he was the one that kept going over to the other one), I'm guessing the fact that the grey one not being neutered is a big factor. She told me the black one gets along with another cat so she took him back to the other room and let out this 10 month old cat that was very playful and they played together. After awhile I think the black one was getting to be a bit too rough for the other one though, it looked like it was trying to get away and there was fur in his mouth.

Back home I grew up with 3 cats, none of which really care much for each other so I don't expect that. There was no real signs of aggression like hissing, arched backs, raised fur etc, mostly just batting at each other. Do you guys think they would at least get along? She didn't seem to advise against it, just said it might end up that they have their own territories, and that she was worried the black one might feel cornered if he was using the litter box when the other one came around. It's unfortunate that the grey one isn't neutered yet because I'm sure that makes a difference, I also didn't get to see him with a different cat. Although my cats at home like attention, I would only say one is actually affectionate (and these boys were more so than him), so that is what I am mainly looking for (part of the reason I want adult cats, their personality is truly visible)...so considering how they were with a stranger, I think they'd both be great to have.

Any opinons/advice appreciated :)
 

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Intros should be done very slowly! The fact that they didn't actually try to kill each other speaks well of the possibilities for a good intro IF done properly. Needless to say the unneutered one should be neutered before going home--then confine him to one room with LB and bed. I would confine the other cat to one room as well. After the neutered cat is all healed up (a week or so), put 3 babygates stacked in the doorway of his room and let the other cat out of his room. Keep the door opened but gates in place for however long it takes for them to become completely bored w/ each other. Swapping a towel back and forth between their beds helps, as does feeding them at the gate, throwing catnip parties at the gate, etc.

After a few days of this, swap them out--kitty who was confined to the room gets the whole house, whole house kitty gets the room.

Once they are BEYOND bored (several weeks usually), open the door and let them interact. If you go slowly enough and don't skip steps, this is usually a non-event. :)
 

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Thanks. Yes she said he would be neutered today, but that it could take 6 weeks for hormones to go away.
 

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I've really never had much of a problem introducing a new cat to the others and I have never taken it slow. I only have 2 cats right now. Well one is a kitten that I just got 4 weeks ago. My cat Mia had always been the only cat from the time I got her at 7 weeks old (others had passed). She's 14 months now. When I bought Mac home she sniffed and hissed at him and pawed him and the next day she held back in the morning but by afternoon loved him. They have been close palls sence.
 

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Kittens are a different matter. Still safer to go more slowly but adult cats will rarely really hurt a kitten (taboo thing). 2 adult cats CAN get into serious battles, and if that happens it is often impossible for them to recover from (i.e., they will never be friends). Slow and stead wins the race IMO!
 

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Hoofmaiden is of course right. I had a major league intro problem between two cats, did some things wrong at first, then took things v-e-r-y slowly, and I'm happy to say that a mere 18 months later, things were relatively placid. The point being, taking a few weeks to be extra careful at the beginning could spare you a lot of grief, if you happen to have a cat with issues. Some rescues don't, some rescues do. Better to be safe.
 

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Although I feel that the slow approach is the safest, I honestly believe that it varies from cat to cat and a lot comes down to your ability to read the cats involved.

I did everything by the book with the mother cat we found recently and it simply didn't work - she is now up fo re-homing a good with people and childen but not with other cats. In the shelter, she has made it very plain that he isn't wildly keen if people just smell of other cats.

Two days ago, we brought home two youngsters from the same shelter. After this short time, they are already fully mixing with the other cats (although they won't be allowed out into the garden for a good while) and the dog idolises them. At this moment, they are sleeping peacefully in the same room as three other cats (one cat is outside)and a dog (as well us two people!!).
 
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