Hello, I currently have two cats I am trying to introduce to one another, and I could really use some advice. Chilli is a 4-5yr female I've had for about 8 months. Chai, 2-3yr female, is the newcomer. Chilli is my first cat so these will be my first introductions and I REALLY want to do my best to introduce them well so they can live as friends, or at least harmoniously. Personalities: Both are certified scaredy-cats. Chilli is a bit less so. She extremely sociable and talkative with me, and very comfortable in "her" house, but with strangers or a new situation in the house she does get skittish and hide. Chai was picked up off the streets about a year ago and spent all that time in the shelter not being socialized so she is extremely shy of humans. She is non-aggressive, but veryyyy timid and mellow and rarely comes out of her hiding box. She also is missing a front leg and currently is being medicated for gum disease so she probably feels even more vulnerable. THE GOOD NEWS is both cats have lived happily with other cats before. Chilli's previous owners had another cat and a kitten; according to them she adored the adult cat and tolerated the kitten. And Chai was very peaceful and cuddly with other cats in her room at the shelter. So I am HOPING they can be introduced peacefully... Setup: I live in an open, loft-style studio apartment. Chai is in the bathroom (the only spare room) currently as her safe room--with a cardboard box to hide under, food/water/litterbox/toys/soft blankets/etc. When I first brought her home Chilli stayed up in the loft and refused to come down for days. She eventually wandered back downstairs and seems mostly back to her normal self but still acts a bit skittish whenever she hears Chai moving around behind the door. But overall she's adjusted well to the stranger living in the bathroom. So Far: I have done some scent-swapping. Chai doesn't seem to care or react at all, even when Chilli is meowing annoyingly outside the door ("Hey Mom! Mom! Mom!"). But Chai may just be too scared of me and the overall situation right now to focus on another cat. Chilli sniffs everything with great interest--no hissing or tail-lashing, which I think is good?--and will eat yummy things next to the bathroom door or with it cracked open. Chai, on the other hand, barely comes out of her hiding place for treats so I haven't really been able to practice that with her. They did see each other once through the barrier, as well. Chai barely glanced up and was too interested in her food. Chilli stared for a while with giant eyes and then ran back upstairs. Anyway, from what I've been reading about introductions, the next step would be to switch their places for short periods--e.g. Chilli gets to hang out in the bathroom, Chai gets to explore the house--to make sure both of their scents get blended around the house. But that seems impossible right now... because Chai is SO shy. I know if I pulled her out of her hiding spot and set her loose in the house, she would immediately find another spot and stay there indefinitely. Meanwhile, locking Chilli in the bathroom for even a short time means a LOT of unhappy meowing. The alternate next step as I understand is to allow more visual contact through a baby gate. But... again, Chai rarely comes out of her hiding place as it is. So I can't even guarantee they would see each other, unless I took away her hiding box which seems cruel. And I don't want her to feel that she can't be safe in her own safe room. So... what do you recommend?? In an ideal world, I would have a better spare room and I would wait until Chai is happy, socialized, and comfortable in that room and then work further on introductions. Or I would be able to keep working with Chai while she had the run of the apartment and the companionship of Chilli. But as it is, Chai is here on only a month-long adoption trial to see if things work out... I have to know if the two cats will get along. If they can't coexist, if they are totally incompatible and fighting, I can't keep Chai. Please let me know what you would do in this situation, or share any experiences you've had of introducing two shy cats to one another. Thank you in advance!