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How long to wait it out when introducing new cat?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We got our cat about a year ago from a local shelter, he was an adult when we got him, and he is now 4 years old. When we got him, I really wanted to get a buddy for him, but at the time we were in a one bedroom apt and there wasn't enough room for two. Now we have a townhouse and room for another kitty.

Long story short, I got a second adult male cat this week. We have 2 weeks to see if it will work out with the two, I was hesitant to take on another adult and male and worried that they would fight.

We picked up Felix (New Cat) Friday night and kept them in separate bedrooms last night. We let Carl (our cat) come in and sniff him while Felix was in his crate. There was some mutual hissing and then Carl just seemed bored and wandered off. This morning we let them in the room together, with my husband holding Felix and me holding Carl. They were pretty aggressive, no direct attack attempts, but lots of hissing and some swiping at each other. Felix spent the day in his room, and tonight we let him out on the porch where there is a sliding glass door so they can see each other. Again, some hissing when they were right up against the glass staring at each other, and lots of tail whipping. Carl was much more concerned than Felix--he just kind of laid around the porch.

We are trying to take it slow, let them get used to having each other in the same house, etc before we let them together without both being held.

So, finally, my question...am I doing this wrong? Eventually we will have to let them hang out together and see what happens, how long should I wait before I do that? If they don't get along right away, how long should I wait before I give up? I really like Felix alot, he is a cutie and really laid back, but I can't bring him in and have Carl turn into a different cat.
post #2 of 7
In our multicat family, I always take a lot longer before I let a new cat into the general population. A week or so would be minimum, with short periods each day to let them see one another. I would also rub old towels or tshirts or whatever on each cat and then let the other cat sniff them daily. This will get them more used to one another by scent. I've heard that rubbing a cloth sprayed with cologne (which has dried -- never put wet cologne on a cat!) on each cat before intro sessions can be helpful as well, because it masks each one's scent. I would just give it a lot more time, and be patient, increasing the intro sessions each day. And there is no need at all to even think about returning Felix! An adoption should be a lifelong commitment for better or worse; and done right, it will definitely be for better for everyone involved. Expect to see these guys playing and curling up together in the near future, as winter is often a great equalizer in a positive way. GOOD LUCK, and keep us updated, won't you? Some of the other TCS members may have more good information for you as well - guess it's a slow evening on here, but hang in there!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, I have never introduced cats, only dogs, which is usually pretty easy. I will give it lots of time and try your suggestions.

Felix is an adoption, but not from a rescue. His owner has to get rid of him b/c her dogs are driving him crazy and I guess she picked the dogs over the cat (no judgment, it had to be one of the other). Anyway, all the no-kill shelters down here are abandoned cats only--no donations. So the only shelter she could get him into was a kill shelter, and since he is an adult, she was very worried he would not be adopted. I would NOT let him go to a kill shelter, even if he and Carl hate eachother, but she is giving me 2 weeks to see if it works, and if not she will try to find someone else to take him. He is just the cutest guy, I am really hoping things will work out!

We are in South FL so our winters are not the least bit cold and there are no fireplaces, but I do really want the four of us (me, hubby, Carl and Felix) the be able to cuddle under the a/c!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
No other advise?
post #5 of 7
No advice (I only have one cat). But I want to say good luck and I hope it works out.
post #6 of 7
You just have to take it slow. When my parents got a new cat as a buddy to their 8 year old, it took about three months before they could leave the two female cats alone together. The girls couldn't even eat near each other for a while even when they could be in the same room otherwise.

I think you're doing everything right. It just depends on the kitties involved. I personally introduced a new female to my two boys after about two days and haven't really had any problems since -- four years ago. The female and one of the males aren't best buds but the fighting is not out of the ordinary (a few swipes here and there with some hissing and running around). She usually starts it even though he's about twice her size.
post #7 of 7
At this point, I think I would let the two of them loose together and you and your husband each have a blanket ready to toss on them should they fight.

First mingle their scents (info on this in the Introductions thread), and clip their claws.

Gauge their reactions from the first unrestrained meeting and go from there.
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