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Old February 8th, 2015, 11:16 AM
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SunnysMum SunnysMum is offline
Feline Lunch Lady
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 62
Introducing new cat to existing timid cat

Hi everyone,

It's been a while! I'm hoping you guys can help me. (warning - long post - sorry!)

First off - I lost my Sunny Boy in October to cancer - it was heartbreaking. He was about 15 years old. We got him when he was two. He was my first cat. He wasn't actually a cat - he was a criminal genius mastermind in a cat body. He was wonderful!

About 9 years ago, our vet asked us if we wanted a kitten that was in his care - had been found at approx. 6 weeks, soaking wet, bald and freezing by a kind soul and had been at the vets for approx. 5 months receiving care paid for by the kind soul who could not bring the kitten home. We did. You guys helped me with the introduction process and Bossy/Evil/Wonderful Sunny accepted the new guy - Salem. Sunny was a very social cat and Salem was a very timid cat. Some of our friends have never seen Salem - he hides when people come over (under my bed is his safety spot).

Salem LOVED Sunny. Sunny tolerated Salem. But they often slept together, often played together, always ate together and often groomed each other. Anyway - Sunny went to the bridge in early October and both Salem and I were heartbroken. It took me to December to even think about getting a new cat.

We looked and looked - and last weekend found a rescue cat - 2 years old - super friendly with cats at our local PetSmart (they only have rescue cats). We named him Dorian Gray (he is a gray cat). They told us he was moved from another PetSmart because they had a super shy male and wanted a friendly cat to help him out. The shy male had been adopted since then. This little guy stole our hearts. It was adorable, when we were signing all the adoption papers - he was almost saying "bye" to the others (paw touching, etc.) So exciting.

Anyway - we set up my daughter's room for Dorian's area. (same place we used when Salem was the new kid). Salem hid under our bed - which was to be expected. We did let Dorian out for a supervised explore of our house, and he did run into our room and Salem was not pleased. So, that was our first mistake.

The rest of the week - we did the usual. Dorian in his room, and Salem mostly hiding under our bed - but Salem would come out to eat, use the litter box and cuddle with me. Salem sleeps with me at my head (Sunny's old sleeping spot - LOL). Dorian would get his supervised explore in the evenings (he really wants out and cries a lot if alone). But we kept them apart. I put a Dorian scented item under our bed and a Salem scented item in Dorian's room. Salem started investigating the closed door with the crying cat behind it. Even touched Dorian's paws yesterday morning.

Yesterday afternoon - Dorian had a supervised explore and he proceeded to park on the couch beside me and go to sleep. OK. So then Salem came out and sat on the floor beside my feet (under Dorian) and the two of them stayed like that for 30 minutes until the sound of my husband coming home scared Salem back under his bed.

Wow! We thought this was a great step. This AM, My husband got up and I asked him to feed Salem (Dorian was in his room). We have done this since Dorian arrived. If Salem didn't finish his food, we would put it in our room later (rare - Salem is a chub-a-dub!). Salem finished and went back under our bed. I was still asleep. Then my husband opened the door and fed Dorian in the kitchen (in the spot where he will eat once all is well). Salem came out and went to his kitchen eating spot and was finishing up his food while Dorian was eating his. My husband thought this was very brave of Salem and gave him a treat. (but didn't give one to Dorian unfortunately - and Dorian wanted one too).

I got up, went to the bathroom and Salem came to "help" me as he usually does. Dorian showed up at the bathroom door with body language that wasn't good - Salem, feeling cornered tried to escape and Dorian pounced on Salem's back. Oh no! Dorian is back in his room and Salem is under our bed. Salem has come out to see me once.

I realize it has been only a week. It took me 4 weeks to introduce Salem to Sunny. I thought things were moving along too quickly but attributed it to the fact that Dorian seemed so good natured. But I guess not.

Have we ruined it? Is there still a chance that Dorian and Salem will be buddies?

Sorry this post is so long - but I wanted to share the whole story.
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