“Start off with short sessions and gradually increase the amount of time they are together,” Lee recommends. However, if either of the cats seems stressed or displays aggressive behavior (hissing, growling, swatting), take a step back in the process. Under no circumstance should the owner let the cats “fight it out,” Lee says. “Keep in mind that the introduction can take anywhere from a few days to many months so go at your cats’ pace!”
Fleck has found this particularly helpful with her kitten, Limoncello, and cat, Portabella. “If the two cats are having positive experiences while within close proximity to one another, they’re learning to coexist and — hopefully — see the other cat as less of a threat,” Fleck says.
Of course, positive reinforcements of good behavior always help. “After a few minutes of the two spending time near one another like this, I’ll be sure to give them a treat to reward the good behavior!” Fleck says. “I also make sure Portabella always has a place to escape to — like a shelf that’s too high for the kitten to get to, so she can observe what’s going on in peace.”