Frazier, who is almost 14, is a lovely, big-sized indoor tabby. He has moved with me to various apartments, graduate school, jobs…and along the way, has lived with other cats and the occasional dog. For the past 5 years, it has been just “him & Me.”
Recently (two weeks ago today), I adopted a nine-month-old neutered male. I followed all the “steps” I knew to follow in introducing the two. Silas (the new guy) was kept in a downstairs living room for the first few days. They were able to “see” each other once, and had their first “face-to-face” on the fourth day for a few minutes. Days five-to-seven they spent ten to twenty minutes together. By day ten they were at 40 minutes! (there was hissing, mind you, but overall Silas would lie down and ignore Frazier).
This weekend (days 13 & 14)has been horrible, however. Silas has run up to Frazier & they have exchanged “blows” with their paws. I am not sure what may have caused this change (I have a houseguest who has taken Silas to her room to sleep for the past few days…Silas’ room has the computer in it, so I have spent more time in there to work on a project)…But I am so sad to see this difference! They are such sweet boys separately, but together they are a mess!
So—here’s my question…Do I go back to the ‘drawing board’ and start over at step one? Because of Frazier’s age, I do not want to create excessive stress for him, and am especially concerned that he may have difficulty adjusting. I know this will take time, and I am not considering a return to a one-cat household at this point, but wonder what are the ‘deal-breakers’ when you are introducing cats? (I should also mention that Frazier does not have front claws, and Silas has all of his).