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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my first cat, Bruce (about seven years old, male, kind of curmudgeonly), for about two years. About a week and a half ago, I just got another cat, Delilah (one year old, female, playful but fairly meek). For the first week, I had Delilah in her own room so she could get acclimated to the sounds and smells of our house, and she and Bruce didn't have any interaction with each other, with the exception of an accidental meeting on Day Two (Bruce slipped through the door when I opened it to feed her - there was a LOT of hissing and jumping about, but no physical contact).

Three days ago I started switching things around a bit, so now Bruce is in the safe room for a few hours a day while Delilah gets to hang out in the rest of the house. That seemed to be going well (neither seemed overly interested in the other one's scent), so today I tried introducing them with Delilah in the carrier and Bruce out. Didn't go well at all. There was tons of hissing, and Bruce kind of went nuts jumping all over and scratching at the crate trying to get at her.

Is this a sign that this is just not meant to be, or am I just pushing too fast? My husband thinks we should just put them in a room and let them fight it out (no chance of that, fear not - sounds like an awful idea to me), but I don't have anything else to tell him other than that we need to take it slower. Any advice?
 

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It's not a case of fast or slow. It's a case of what you're doing in the interim (although you might be doing more than your post indicates). You need to introduce the cats "one sense at a time"...so first smell/sound, then sight, then physical presence. In addition, you need to give Bruce and Delilah a reason to like each other. You do that by ensuring that good things happen whenever they're "together". When I say "together", I don't mean in the same room out in the open...that will come in time. In the early stages, "together" means they can at least smell each other.

So, for example, start feeding them on either side of the door to Delilah's safe room. That way, they start to associate each other's scent with food. If Bruce has a few favorite toys, give them to Delilah for a day or so...then give them back to Bruce, so that when he's playing with his favorite toys, he again smells Delilah. If he has a favorite sleeping spot, put something (blanket, etc.) with Delilah's smell close by, so he smells her when he's sleeping. If possible, everything that Bruce likes (food, play, grooming, cat grass, etc.) should happen on the other side of the door to Delilah's safe room. That way, he will learn to associate Delilah with all of the good things in life. In time, you can start to open the door a crack, so they can not only smell each other, but also see each other. When you're at that point, continue the feedings/play/etc. on either side of the slightly-open door, and then gradually move to opening the door and actually putting them together.

How long all of this will take depends on the cats. Since Bruce is 7, it might take a while for him to accept a new cat, especially if he didn't live with other cats in his first 5 years (before you adopted him).
 

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Too soon. I'm on day 12 and last night was the first really encouraging meeting.

Hisses turned to yawns. One of my two resident kittes fell asleep on my lap 5 feet from the newcomer. My second resident cat was looking nasty, hissing at the newcomer. He eventually laid down and took a nap. Resident kitty eventually yawned, relaxed and collapsed to her side.

It hasn't been easy. See my recent posts with a title like "Tell me your successful cat introduction stories" .
 

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oops, wrong thread
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all! I think I've been doing pretty well at trying to acclimate them to each other's presence with the various senses, but it looks like I'm missing the giving-them-a-reason-to-like-each-other part. I'll start giving them food and treats on either side of the door tonight.
 
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