Introducing new cat

Oscar22

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I apologize for the lengthy post. I have an established female spayed cat. Last week a very friendly and loving stray came into our yard and I have decided to keep him. I have him in a room in our lower level and the door is closed. I took him to the vet and he checked out okay but he needs to be neutered and I cannot get him in for that until 8/25. He is doing good in our lower level. He is not aggressive at all, he is not spraying and he is using the kitty litter and the scratching post. I work during the day so when I come home my husband is upstairs with our female cat and I sit downstairs with the new cat for a few hours. The vet suggested I wait another week before we do the visual part of the introductions. My question is should I wait until he is neutered before I even start that? If I do start the visualization then it would only happen for a few hours each night since I am gone during the day. I am debating when to start this process. Since he is not neutered yet maybe I should wait until he is before I do the visual introduction? On one had I thought 24 days of visual might be good before I put them in the same room but I don't want to stress them out and I don't want the male to start spraying. I feel bad because he is isolated from us which is why I sit downstairs with him every night but I don't want my female to get hurt. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
 

CactusWithWings

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Hello! I can only speak from experience about this topic, but I also had an established (unfortunately not yet spayed) female who didn't/doesn't have an easy time accepting new cats. Our situation was different in that we were introducing kittens (which is usually easier because takes less time for the established cat(s) to recognize that they are not a threat) but from what I understand, it may help to start out by having you and your husband on either side of the door (with it closed) and guiding both cats to the space under the door so they can start to get accustomed to each other's scents. If you can, without forcing them, keep them by the door jam for at least 15-30 minutes and keep an eye on they're response to each other. If it is a positive response than you should only have to do this for a few days. Make sure you let them choose the pace of they're introductions! And after that, my advice for the visual meet (I apologize if your vet has already suggested this) is to close all of the doors in the home while making sure she is in a larger area like a living room and bring him out in a cat carrier, this way there is no way for them to hurt each other and the doors being closed keeps her from avoiding him while simultaneously keeping the situation from escalating. I would suggest doing this at least 30-60 minutes a day for a few days.
Don't worry if they start growling and hissing at each other, in fact, I would expect it. If she is used to being in a one cat household than she may take some convincing before they can free roam around each other. And it may be the same for him, due to him being a stray. He might be friendly with humans, but that may not necessarily translate over to other cats. It took my cat weeks before she stopped growling and hissing at the kittens we brought it, so it really is up to temperament and you know these cats better than any of us. As long as you make sure they don't get into cat fights and you let them decide the pace, than you shouldn't have any issues.
 

ArtNJ

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25 days is potentially more than long enough for a nice introduction process, but I guess it depends where you end up. If they are friends and freely interacting for a bit before the procedure, great! If there is still a lot of tension though, then yes, you might get a roll back and the difficulty and stress of the intro process could turn out to have been mostly wasted. Without knowing the cats ages, hard to make a recommendation, but its a good sign that neither is seeming stressed. That said, I'd probably try it unless your cat is getting up there in years (which makes it harder) -- you can always pull back if things seem like they are going to be slow and stressful. So worst case is that the time is wasted.

I'm not sure your envisioning the visual step the way we usually recommend it. Here is our guide: How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
 
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