Introducing a fourth cat

annietevvv

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Hello!
I have three cats at home, all male and all adult. While at college, I adopted another adult male cat, and now that I’m home for the summer, I need to introduce him to the other three so that they can all coexist peacefully for the next three months. I’ve been home for about 5 or 6 days now, and during this time he has stayed in my room with me, so that he can get used to this new environment and smell and talk to the other cats under the door before they meet. After about 4 days home, I started taking the new kitty and one of the older three into a different bedroom for about a half an hour at a time, just to see how they all react to each other, and to make sure I can easily intervene if needed. At this point, new kitty has met all three of the older ones, and it went like this:
1. first older cat hissed whenever new cat came near, hid under a desk and just watched the new cat walk around the whole time, not moving and just hissing when the new cat came close to the desk.
2. second older cat lay on the bed and watched new cat walk around, hissed about 3 times the whole half hour only when newer cat walked right up to him, but they did sniff each other for a couple seconds with no hissing, and for about 5 minutes both laid on the bed about two feet apart with no hissing.
3. third older cat hissed whenever new cat got within 5 feet of him, hid under a chair in the closet and was absolutely not having it.

However, through all this none of the older cats have shown any signs of aggression besides hissing, and the younger cat hasn’t hissed or shown a sign of aggression once. So now my question is, what is the next step? They’ve now all met but I still definitely do not feel comfortable just letting the new cat free in the house. I would love any advice or suggestions!! Thank you in advance :)
 

ArtNJ

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There is a visual step in our guide, where the new cat is in a room blocked off by a gate. Pics of homemade gates in the guide. Can also use a baby gate, but many cats will jump over unless double stacked. Sometimes people without the ability to do this will use a playpen, dog crate of if need be, even a carrier, to provide visual access in stretches. How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles

None of what you described sounds too bad, especially if the new cat was calm in light of the hissing. I'd go so far as to say the tests were encouraging! But with adult cats, you do need to be careful, as fighting is possible and makes things much harder. So I'd make some sort of effort to do a visual access step for, if possible, another week, and then evaluate from there. Basically, your instinct that you should do more is correct. Even if there is no fighting, its very possible that 1 and 3 will have significant stress for a good while even after the intro. You might end up there anyway, but you don't want to be in a lingering stressful situation and wonder if you should have done something different.
 
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annietevvv

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Ok, update:
I tried to do a baby gate in my doorway that they could all see through, but it didn’t seem to have much effect because the new cat would sit in front of it crying all day, trying to get out and the older cats would just avoid going close to it at all. Two days ago i let the new cat out to just walk around the house for a little bit just to see how he would do, but this was completely supervised (i followed him everywhere he went) in case he ran into another cat and it went poorly. Side note, my house has four floors and lots of rooms so i knew if the older cats wanted to stay away from the new one, they still could and wouldn’t feel like they were being forced together with him. Anyway, it went pretty well and he seemed to really enjoy it, so yesterday and today I’ve been letting him just walk around the main floor and staying nearby in case anything goes wrong. At this point, he’s been just walking around with all the other cats for 3 days so he’s obviously come into contact with all of them multiple times. One of them has completely stopped hissing, no matter how close the new cat gets, and pretty much just completely ignores him, even going to sleep with him in the room, which i think is progress. The other two still kind of track him with their eyes when he’s in the same room as them, and hiss when he gets too close, but they don’t bother him as long as he doesn’t come too close to them. I still put him in my room at night or when nobody’s home, but it seems to be progressing quite well! What do you guys think?
 
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