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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:57 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
Posts: 90
I have the same problem another member of this forum had or still has. After the last of a beloved trio of Siamese cats, who lived with us between 16 and 19.75 years, died this past January, I decided I needed to get two new cats. I saw an ad on Craig's list (don't know if you have it in the UK though I think it's an international listing) for a Bengal cat whose owner had to give her up since he was going overseas for work. I had already adopted a little rescue cat. And I bought the Bengal, whose name is Bella, from the guy who advertised her. I never thought to ask him if she was affectionate. My mistake. Because she is not. She doesn't like to cuddle. She certainly wouldn't sit in my lap. She does sleep at the foot of my and my husband's bed at night - the little rescue cat sleeps opposite her. And when I pet her, which she permits in sparing amounts, she sometimes licks my nose. But beyond that? Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

My husband doesn't want a third cat. We had three cats the last time we had a feline family, and we are in our 70s and he doesn't want the responsibility. Left to myself I would get an affectionate rescue cat and just have done with the dilemma.

I've spoken to a couple of experts who say there is little I can do but love Bella for what she is. Given that Jamie, my little rescue cat, is also not a lap cat, I'm missing something I most loved about having cats. These are the last cats I will ever have. What a disappointment!

Woratnac


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:11 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8008
First of all, welcome to our forum. Secondly, I am sorry about the loss of your Siamese babies. Bengals are not known for being lap cats or overly affectionate. That is just the breed. Mine refuses to be held, refuses to sit on my lap, but he shows love in other ways, by head butting me, sleeping right next to me at night. A bengal is not your ordinary cat, as you have found out. However, you can't take this out on Bella. This is not HER fault. She is the cat she is. Yes, some bengals LOVE laps. Some bengals LOVE cuddles. But not all of them. It is wonderful you've given Bella home, but I'm sorry you did not research the breed extensively before taking her.

Bella is showing you the affection she can. The bond between a bengal and owner can be enormous. I'm sure Bella may sense your apprehension over her and that would never help the situation. I also love having affection from a cat and I do have a regular kitty and he jumps up on my lap and washes my hands. But, Raiden and Long Legs are like night and day. Just love Bella for the cat she is and she may surprise you one day by hopping up on your lap. You may also try to entice her with treats. Or put a blanket or pillow on your lap.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:44 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4109
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Ok, several things here:

1. You can't lose a cat you've loved for a long long time, then get another and immediately (I'm assuming younger cat?) and expect her to be a replacement for the cat that you loved. That is not fair. You shouldn't have gotten a cat at all if that was your expectation.

2. How long have you had her? If the answer isn't "many years" then the cat she is today, and the relationship you have with her today, isn't what it will be after some years with. But that's not to say that it's a slam dunk that your relationship will get a lot better with her. It's mostly dependent on how you treat her now, and a cat can definitely tell if you are frustrated with them and upset with them.

Right this moment I'm cuddled up with my bengal, Serafina, who was definitely the most un-cuddily of cats for the first few years. Now? I can count on her to frequently walk up to me, press herself against me, look up at me, and start loudly purring. There is nothing like a senior cat who has completely adapted in every way to your life, and you to theirs, but younger cats are different and they have great qualities too. Bengals can entertain you and brighten your day, and make you laugh, but you have to be willing to make the effort, and to engage them on their terms, which is usually play.

3. I've been there. Your story is my story in many respects. I lost my two 16+ year old cats within a span of 2 months 7 years ago. Painful beyond belief, and I still miss them. So I got 2 bengals. Wonderful cats, love them dearly. I did my homework, and got what I expected: two playful, fun, crazy cats. What I didn't necessarily expect was how much I was missing having a cat that wanted to cuddle. So I made the tough decision to add a third cat, Neytiri, who was an Oriental Shorthair kitten. Bingo, she's the most ridiculously cuddily kitty in existance. In hindsight, that was somewhat fortunate, it certainly could have turned out differently, but again I did my homework and I think got the odds in favor of the result that I wanted. But even if it didn't go as I hoped, she'd still be loved and cherished.

So anyway... love Bella for who she is. She can give you a lot of things your others couldn't. She can go on walks, she can entertain. She cat run incredibly fast chasing things, climb things with amazing dexterity, do backflips and somersaults chasing bird toys, and lots more. And yea, you might also consider adding a Siamese/Oriental kitten from a breeder that you carefully select, and a kitten that you carefully select.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:37 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
Posts: 90
Thanks, friends, for these replies. Well, I DID research different breeds of cats before I got Bella. I had determined not to get a Bengal. A deal with a Singapura breeder fell through and I recalled an ad advertising a Bengal who needed a home because her owner was going overseas for work. I didn't ask him the right questions: my bad. I DID know that Bengals are known for their athletic prowess and for not being lap cats. That's why I'd originally opted against them. But this was a semi-rescue situation. Bella DOES show her feeling about me by couching herself right next to me on the table while I read the paper in the morning, and sleeping on the end of the bed at night. I'll just love her for what she is, and then see.

BTW: her previous owner trained her to use a human toilet, which we no longer have her do since our little rescue cat uses litter (yes, I do know about the two litter boxes and I do have two of them; I did say I've had cats for 50 years, didn't I? ) And no, I did not expect she'd fill the place of my beloved Trooch and her brother Miso, and their half-sister, Zoe. Maybe I subconsciously did. Who knows. He also trained her to walk on a leash. But she doesn't tolerate having a halter put on her. I'd have to sort of retrain her. There's lots of space in our building and outside, where it's safe to walk with her. But again, would sort of have to retrain her. Should I do that? I'm just not sure at the moment. We have 1700 square feet of space and she loves romping around with her little playmate - who is even more agile and athletic than she is. I'll try and send a photo of her. She is a beautiful cat. Sort of a gray or semi-charcoal Bengal, not the "real leopard" kind.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:41 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
Posts: 90
By the way: I would NEVER - repeat: NEVER - re-home Bella. I do love her, and I believe she loves me back. In her way. She'll occasionally lick my nose when I pet her. She likes to be near me much of the time. The first few times I left the apartment my husband said she cried and cried. (BTW: unlike what is said of Bengal voices, Bella is almost soundless. She almost never miaows; when she does, it's a touching, almost pathetic little squeak. She DOES growl. And she is impossible to handle - at the vet's, first time around, one of the vets couldn't handle her and another had to wrap her in a kind of swaddling to examine her. I can't clip her claws, no way. I will have to get a vet tech friend in to do it. I mean, all the "wild" that is supposed to be in Bengals seems to crystallize in my Bella. I have to say she's incredibly smart. She knows exactly how to get me up in the morning (or at night when I've tucked into bed). She scratches the sides of the mattress, which is an annoying sound and of course I worry what she's doing to the fabric. Immediately when I get up she leads her little companion towards the kitchen. And I feed them. I've tried ignoring her, locking her out of our bedroom quarters, but then she shakes and rattles the locked door with the strength of a weight-lifter. She knocks things off the kitchen counter to get my attention (always works, of course). She is completely Bengal in this. She does NOT jump as high as Bengals are reputed to do. I do enjoy her antics, and once more, she is a beautiful and very appealing cat. I give her tons of affection which she tolerates as best she can. I try not to overdo it. When she first arrived - and it was the same day as the rescue cat - I placed her in our bedroom quarters while the rescue cat was in our TV room. I have photos of Bella from that time, nestling/burrowing under the covers beside my legs. I have the sense that she may be jealous of Jamie. Also that she may have bonded with Jamie as much as she did with me. I'll just bear with it and get on with caring and accepting her for what she is.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:00 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8008
It sounds as if Bella loves being with you and in your home. Make sure you have a nice, tall cat tree for her and lots of scratching posts and maybe she will forego your mattress. Every cat has a different personality. I literally had no idea what a bengal was 4-1/2 years ago. One just popped up in my back yard and I found out he lived five doors down from me and was allowed to roam free. Later, the owner gave him to me. I've had cats for over 55 years -- but never a bengal. It took some getting used to as he wanted to run outside again. We built a nice enclosure on our deck with a cat door in the dining room window and he goes for 2 walks a day (or will, once his injury heals). We have had him for 4-1/2 years now. Every day is a new experience, but that's just the way it is when you have a bengal. Bella licking your nose is letting you know she loves you. Hang in there.

Oh -- and bengals can eventually learn how to open doors -- in or out!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:30 am 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
Posts: 90
I want to tell Asian Leopard Cat that this forum has completely changed my thoughts about Bella and made my resentment of her vanish. It's a wonderful forum. Wish there were such for just cats in general, but I can go on a bit even here about my adorable little rescue cat, Jamie, who is mostly white with gray splashes and a little gray cap with a widow's peak over two eyes that look exactly like Sophia Loren's (those under 50 probably won't remember who she was but never mind.)

I have been very affectionate with Bella and, as usual, she has rewarded me with a couple of licks on my nose. She also sits, as usual, on my left at the kitchen table. Tonight she did a most amazing thing. We go to bed quite late in my house -- it's nearly 2 AM East Coast US time as I write this. The two girls know when bedtime is. Jamie always precedes Bella to the bedroom; she's quite a smart little cat, and knows exactly what "Let's go to bed" means. But tonight, I called both Jamie and Bella - I went out to see where Bella was and found her in the kitchen (our apartment is almost house-size). I said, "Bella, you want to come in with me [to the bedroom]?" She looked at me with her amazed round intelligent eyes. Then she got up. I said, "Jamie, are you coming?" Upon which, Bella looked over her shoulder at Jamie (!!!) I said, "Bella, let's go." Bella started to follow me. I said, "Jamie?" Whereupon, again, Bella looked over her shoulder at Jamie. Just astounding. I never had a cat - even among my late Siamese darlings - who did that. Maybe they recognized each other's names but they never gave as visible a testimony to that as Bella just did. Like a person! I would like to post photos of her because I think she's beautiful, but also want your opinions about how typically Bengal she is (definitely not "show quality," I know, but she's lovely all the same). I'll have my husband help me figure out how to use the upload vehicles you suggest.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:54 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Posts: 141
What a great story. Sounds like Bella and Jamie are great buddy's and will always look out for each other.
I read on some of your other posts that you felt a little "taken to task" about your disappointment in Bella not being affectionate, but it now sounds like you realise it wasn't meant that way at all.
I'm so glad. This forum is wonderful and there's some really great advice and tips coming from some great people who absolutely adore all cats.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8008
I do think, most of the time, Raiden understands every word I say! Bengals are highly intelligent! Note, there are many other cat forums out there. And we at the bengal cat forum love hearing about and seeing photos of other cats. Since owning a bengal has its own challenges, it's great to have this forum specifically for bengal owners.

I am happy to hear that you've lowered your expectations of Bella. She sounds like an incredible little lady. Getting along with your other baby, Jamie, certainly helps the situation and know that bengals do bond with other cats -- sometimes more than they bond with their owners.

Hopefully, you can post a few pictures.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:14 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1165
Hi and welcome to the forum!

I've been reading your posts and my thoughts are that it is possible she has closely bonded with your rescue cat but also, in other posts you've mentioned she's been with you only 4 months... So I think she's still unsure and adjusting. Her previous owner rehomed her as they were moving abroad. I imagine if you'd asked, you would have been told she is very affectionate. Bengals bond very closely with their owner and she may still be dismayed her special human has gone from her life. Time will tell, be patient, she needs time to decide you can be trusted. To me it sounds like things are going well.

Bengals are very affectionate but in their own way and on their terms. Hendrix will occasionally sleep on my lap, but jagger will only drape himself over my feet on the footstool. Doesn't stop him being affectionate, but it took time with him, he's very much his own cat. But it's so rewarding when he is!

Hang in there. It's very early days.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:39 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:38 am
Posts: 31
I have Koneko, my first Bengal and he is becoming much more bonded as time progresses, he always likes pets. Lately he has discovered the joys of the belly rub. I've made it a point to rub his belly now everytime I pass. Now he simply sees me across the room and flips over on his back to entice me. I always oblige. He will also come up to me while I'm on the couch and in his attempts to get more belly rubs, splays out on my lap and apparently decided this isn't so bad at all. He still won't be held. Maybe try clicker training. I'm learning myself, but so far clicks are associated w treats and I click at every behavior I like. All my cats respond to it. Give it a shot. Best wishes!


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