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New cat vs. resident cat--what next?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I got Tora last week. He's in my closet.

When Mi-ke first realized he was there, hearing or smelling him in the carrier, she disappeared under the bed for hours. There was then a gradual reduction in the amount of time she spent under the bed, and she was clearly apprehensive about him.

A couple of times when I went to visit Tora, he escaped. Both times, he ran straight for Mi-ke's canned food. I grabbed him and put him back. In both of these instances, Mi-ke saw him and just watched. The most reaction was her back fur raising a little, but he really charged by, so that's no surprise. After that, though, she was even more nervous, sometimes hiding in the cabinet above the fridge when I went to see him. And she'll just stare at the door from the next room.

In the midst of all this, Tora has developed a cold. I haven't taken him to a vet, I admit. But he's managing with it. He eats and drinks. And like in humans, it seems to be mostly one-sided, with his left eye watering and left nostril snotty. He sneezes quite a bit. This is clearly a bit of a setback as far as introductions go, although Mi-ke's current on her vaccinations as of a week ago.

She's never minded his smell much. She's curious but doesn't get mad.

Tonight, I decided to bring him out (even though I knew I shouldn't), carrying him into the living room. When I'd done that once before, Mi-ke stared but didn't comment on it. This time, she stared, but when I got a little closer, she hissed and growled. And later on, she crept towards the closet a bit, but at one point, she hissed at the door (he hadn't made any noise to provoke it).

So...what's the next step? I feel awful about keeping him in my closet. I know he's lonely and bored in there, and it's inconvenient for me. But as Mi-ke hasn't really sniffed under the door or played pawsies with him, I don't suppose they're ready to meet. Giving her his blanket won't help much as she knows his smell already and doesn't raise a fuss about it. There's no treat in the world that would convince her to go up to that door so they could have a "through the door" experience. I'm just not sure what to do. I don't want her to think that this is all there is to it--scary kitty in the closet = avoid the closet forever.
post #2 of 5
1) You must take him to the vet, if only to protect Mi-Ke from whatever he has (and the closed door won't necessarily do that). 2) You must take him right away because while you didn't give his age, young cats with respiratory trouble can have serious problems that progress very fast and you can't just wait for it to go away. 3) You must work out some other way to take care of him - a closet is much too confining (his 'cold' might be due to having picked up some dust or microbe in there. 4) How much is he getting to eat (how often) and what's he doing for a litterbox and water in the closet?
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
He's a 1-year-old, by the shelter's estimation (and I don't doubt it).

The closet is the best I can do. I don't have a spare bedroom or anything. He has his Science Diet dry that the shelter was feeding him, a bowl of water, and a litterbox. Most days, he gets canned food, too. And he has a blanket and toys, of course.
post #4 of 5
Can you put him in your bathroom? At least it won't be so dark and confining. I have no real advice because I'm also new at this and trying to introduce two cats, with on in the bathroom. But I agree with the post before mine about taking him to the vet. Our new kitty almost died from a respiratory infection and had symptoms like yours. Plus, your resident kitty could get it when you try to introduce them. If your new cat isn't feeling well, that could also affect the introductions I would think.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well, he has a light on in the closet, so it's not dark. My bathroom is only a little bigger than the closet, frankly, and I need to be able to leave the door open to air it out after a shower.
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