My SO and I have been talking about the possibilities of future cohabitation - perhaps not so far in the future, thanks to an increasingly sketchy job situation on my end. I think the largest problem will be our cats.
He lives in a decently-sized house with an older (13?) cat and a young dog (2-3). When he was married there was another cat & dog that the ex took when she left. Oscar (the remaining cat) became much happier and more content when everyone left and he became an only cat. He and the other cat used to fight a lot, and the other cat was so mean (to everyone) she had to be declawed (I know) which resulted in Oscar having to be declawed as well, due to the fighting. My dog and I spend time over there regularly, and Oscar has relaxed about us being there and - dare I say it - likes me now.
I live in a small rental with two cats (5-6) captured from a feral colony (TNRs - that didn’t get released) and my dog (11-12). My cats are well-bonded and fully-armed. They terrorized my elderly cat when I got them to the point that I had to send her away to live with a friend. Not the boys’ fault - she was a drama queen and they quickly learned it was very easy to provoke her. They never attacked her, just did things like run at her and stop while she screamed. Or try to touch her when she walked by. They really like my SO and are much more affectionate and “needy” than his cat Oscar.
I would be moving into his house, and I’m extremely resistant to declawing. I don’t want Oscar to feel like he’s being overrun, and I don’t want him to get hurt. I worry that because there are two of mine that are bonded they may gang up on him and push him around. That’s not acceptable to me.
We’ve decided we need to start the introductions ASAP since my job situation is so volatile, and so far we’ve come up with cleaning out a spare room and bringing mine over for a couple of days and just leaving them in the room with the door closed, then taking them home with me for a few days. Eventually I figure we can have them in the room with the door open but a pet gate separating them. But then what? And what if there is obvious distress displayed by any of them? What kind of introductory time frame are we looking at?
Tips? Tricks? Plan of attack? What’s the best way to approach this in order to ensure the best outcome?