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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm exploring outside the "introduce yourself" forum :p.

Here is my original topic http://www.catforum.com/forum/70-introduce-yourself/140605-duke.html

The short summary is this - I have a 4 year old male (fixed) cat at home, I adopted him in August of last year and I love him to death (see picture in link above).. However, this Thursday I'm going to the Humane Society to pick up a newly adopted female 1 1/2 year old black cat and some advice is needed. While the introduction thread provided amazing advice, I wanna reach out some more and ask some questions I didn't in the previous thread..

1) Everyone I've heard from in real life and on forums say there is hissing involved when they meet - is this always true? Is there something I can do to prevent a first time meeting ending up in a hissing match? They're both really laid back cats.

2) This cat I'll be bringing home Thursday DOES have a kitty cold, so my question is - Is it safe for me to keep the underside of the door clear? As in, my male cat I have right now, what if he reaches under the door and the new cat touches him with her paw and then he later on goes to lick his paw.. I take it he'll get sick via germ transfer.. I'm guessing a all out isolation is involved? (no toy sharing will be involved!).... which leads to my next question.

3) When she gets over her cold, what do I do with the things she's played with (toys..etc)? Or do I give her no toys till she's over her cold? Because I'm sure my male cat would be interested in those toys or at least come in contact with them if I have them switch rooms to get a proper scent of each other.

4) What's your view point on a proper introduction of a new cat to one that's been in your house? (Previous advice was excellent, but hopefully I can get some more advice)

Thank you!
 

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Our situation might have been a bit different because we introduced a young kitten (16 weeks) to an older male neutered cat (2 years old or thereabouts) but we did as recommended, set up a separate space for Atlas with litter, food, etc. and a closing door. When we brought Atlas up into the house in the carrier we put him in the carrier on the kitchen floor and let them get a sniff at eachother while we put away some things, cleaned, etc.--basically ignored the two of them completely and let them smell eachother through the bars. Atlas had been fostered with multiple other cats since birth so he was really friendly, it hardly fazed him at all to see a new cat. Wicket initially walked right up to the bars of the carrier and sniffed, then sat there and looked at Atlas for a bit. If there had been a huge hissing fit or freakout at that point we would have taken Atlas into his room sooner but as it was we had them studying eachother for 20 or 30 minutes before we took Atlas into his room and closed the door.

Now I have to admit that we were really bad and let them out to sniff eachother in person that same night after they had both showed interest at the door--only because Wicket had come to us with a history of not being the dominant male--whenever other strays had showed up at "his" porch he had always let them eat first, never been aggressive or territorial the entire time he was living there, so we figured if he was like that as an un-neutered feral his chances of being laid back here were pretty good too--and for those first few hours that night there was quiiiiite a bit of hissing as Atlas followed him around the house and Wicket tried to hide from him anywhere he could get to, and alternately followed Atlas around if he went out of sight. They played the sniff-hiss-run game a bit as well, but most of the hissing was from Wicket if the kitten got too friendly with him.

We separated them overnight that first night and we could hear them playing under the door with eachother off and on overnight. The next morning we fed them separately and then let the kitten out again, and there was less hissing. By the end of that night they were play fighting alternating with getting a bit rough with one another to figure out who was going to be boss. I really think Wicket was being paternal with him even then because his claws definitely stayed in, as did the kitten's. Separated them again that night for feeding and overnight. By day 2 they were having naps on the chair together with only the occasional growling match when playing. By day 3 you would think they had known eachother from birth and now they really don't like being separated at all--we've had them together for three weeks and they are now eating side by side.

I think a lot of it has to do with the personality of your cat at home and the personality of the new kitty, and of course two adult cats will be a different mix than an older male and a kitten (apparently one of the easiest transitions?). But she does sound young enough that maybe she's still kitten-ish? I always found with my kitties that females tended to rule the roost no matter what age they were. As long as the new kitty has a safe place to be put into if things get a little hostile (and your current kitty gets lots of snuggles and love and reassurance!) I don't think there is a "right" way to introduce other than doing it in stages and as the cats are comfortable with eachother. I'm a big fan of letting them work it out themselves with minimal interference unless someone is getting hurt--I always found that the more I interfered, the worse it was, because I interrupted a natural establishing of a pecking order.
 

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Okay....
1) Not always true, I used to breed and after an isolation period for a new cat, I have had females make an excellent adjustment without much hissing at all and no fights. The same thing when I brought in a new stud cat. These cats came from breeders, so they were well socialized to other cats, so that might have made the difference, whereas a cat who has not had a good socialization with litter mates or older adults may have a more difficult adjustment. So it depends on the cat.

2, 3) Keep kitty with cold isolated from your other cat until it's cleared up. Put something near the door (boxes, whatever) to keep them from playing footsies under the door. Use simple disposable toys: toilet paper rolls (also can be cut up into rings), foil balls, cardboard boxes, or a small stuffed toy you can discard later if you want.

4) After kitty is over the cold, you can use a baby gate across the doorway of the isolation room, exchange bedding so that their scents are intermingled, feed treats on either side of the gate or even their meals. Play with them with an interactive toy like "Da Bird" (or make your own---fishing rod/stick with a string and some feathers or strips of cloth attached) and flick it from one to the other. Or use a laser point to get them to play near each other near the gate. When they seem comfortable interested in the game and there's no hissing or growling you can let them together. If you're not sure of your 4y.o. male whether he will attack or not, you could put a harness on him with a leash. When the two are behaving well together, always praise them and make a fuss over them both at the same time.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
 
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