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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:12 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:57 pm
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Location: Texas... Yee Haw, and such.
My wife and I are getting a Bengal kitten in about a month, and my mother-in-law seemed convinced that we have to get it declawed because our current cat is declawed. She thinks that if something were to happen between the two cats, that our current cat, Pixie, would not be able to defend herself properly and end up getting hurt.

Now for the record, we absolutely refuse to have the kitten declawed, but does anyone think there is merit to the idea that Pixie will be in some level of increased danger due to the arms imbalance between them?

I'm personally not very worried about Pixie. First of all, she's a pretty meaty 12lb. DSH "Manx", and is likely have a good weight and size advantage over a little wiry Bengal female. More importantly, Pixie spent a couple of years practically abandoned in my mother-in-law's back yard with a young black lab and a hyperactive rat terrier and she survived that relativlely unscathed (at least physically). Also, the Bengal kitten that we are getting seems incredibly well socialized, is sweet as can be and loves to give "kisses". Pixie is also super-sweet and perhaps the least aggressive cat I have ever spent much time around, and I find it highly unlikely that she would instigate anything herself. Moreover, I have done a good amount of web research on intorducing cats to each other, and have some books on order for further reading, so I think I have a pretty good idea of how to introduce them with as few problems as possible.

Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:30 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:57 pm
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Location: Texas... Yee Haw, and such.
Here is the best picture of Pixie I have available at the moment. She looks kinda annoyed here, but I think she was just not enjoying all the camera flashes. ;)

Image

And if you look, you can actually see the difference in size and shape between her front and back paws.

Elective mutilation indeed.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:03 pm 
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The Real Boss
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Location: North West, UK
Pixie looks more than capable of handling her self to me :lol: If anything I'd be worried about the kitten ;)

There may be a couple of weeks of growling and boxing but I doubt that there will be any real aggression shown. Our cats play fight and spend hours wrestling and showing their teeth to each other but they?ve NEVER drawn blood. If anything, when fighting, our cats would sink their teeth in before using their claws so no, I really don't think its going to be a problem at all!

Like you, We did loads of research when we got our second cats and yes, it's good to be aware of the problems that can occur and how to deal with them but to be honest, any plans we had went out of the window and within 24hrs both cats where grooming each other!

Good luck...and post some picks of them both once the kitty has arrived :)
Heidi

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:33 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:57 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Texas... Yee Haw, and such.
Thanks for your comments. I'll definitely post some pictures of the kitten and her with Pixie when we get her. We just bought a new digital camera for taking cat pictures. :D

And despite the tough pose in that picture, Pixie is really most likely to run and hide if hostilities break out. :rolleyes:

Another related question that I have: Do you think that there will be added difficulty training the kitten not to claw furniture and other non-scratching post surfaces since Pixie "scratches" where ever she wants? We never bothered to train Pixie not to claw certain things because she was declawed when we got her, and I worry about the kitten picking up on the places Pixie likes to "scratch" and mimicking, only with more destructive results. Do you think it will be necessary to retrain Pixie in order to train the kitten, or will the bengal kitten be okay with a double standard?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 12:39 am 
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Senior Bengal

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I personally would not worry about it too much. I would hope they'd end up being good friends before too long, and not have to be defending themselves. We have two cats that are declawed, and 2 new Bengals that are not declawed. The claws and lack of claws don't seem to be an issue.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 12:31 pm 
I wouldn't think there will be any problem at all - I'm glad you're not going to get the kitten declawed, I think that is an awful practice and in fact is actually illegal here in the UK. Certainly with our two, if there's any fighting going on, there's no claws involved anyway, just some friendly biting and some "batting" each other with paws ;)

I would definitely get a scratching post of some kind for the kitten though, as it will need to scratch on something - not sure if it will follow the other cat's lead and scratch on other things, but you should be able to train it that not to do so, despite what the other cat is doing.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 7:12 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:38 pm
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Location: Kailua, Hawaii
In regards to the scratching question.........there could be a problem for you, not so much in that the kitten will mimic Pixie's scratching habits, but rather it being a territory thing. Cats have scent glands in their paws as well as their cheeks. Pixie is declawed but still has her scent glands intact and everytime she scratches she leaves behind a scent that signals her and other cats that this item belongs to her. Your kitten may decide to leave some scent markers of her/his own in the same spot. But in addition to the scent also some damaging claw marks. Hopefully you can train your new kitty to only scratch where you want him to, but you should be prepared to have to re-train Pixie and use something to remove the scent where she's been "pawing" your furniture.
Cats like to scratch near their favorite sleeping spots too. It may help you to place appropriate scratching posts near where the new kitten spends most of it's time snoozing.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:56 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:57 pm
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Location: Texas... Yee Haw, and such.
Thanks, I hadn't even considered the territory marking issue. I may have to start discouraging Pixie from "clawing" certain things.

In fact, I actually had to start discouraging Pixie yesterday, since I accidentally "trained" her to claw at one of my posters. You see, Pixie is one of those cats that has been free fed dry food all her life and we're trying to slowly transition her to wet food. Right now we've recently introduced the concept of "meal times". I feed her twice a day with only 30 minutes to eat her fill, once when I get up and again shortly after getting home from work. This has left her in a chronic state of "Oh my God, I'm going to starve to death right now if I don't get food immediately!!"

I have this big (1x1.5m) Joy Division poster right above the headboard of our bed that Pixie has occasionally liked to paw at, and I always just let her since she can't do any real harm to it. So one morning last week Pixie decides she needs to mark the poster while I'm sleeping. The loud "POP POP POP" that this generated woke me up, and since it was only a few minutes before the alarm would have gone off I went ahead and got up and fed her like I normally do. It happened again the next morning, and I didn't think much of it since it was only a few minutes before I would have been getting up anyway. However, the next morning she started even earlier. And when I didn't get up to feed her right away, she'd do it again only for longer and then repeat it every 5 minutes or so. Eventually, I got up and fed her and went back to sleep.

That continued for another morning. I'm not exactly a morning person, so I couldn't very well let this contiue.

Not wanting to punish her for being clever, and not wanting to keep losing sleep, last night I decided to give the poster itself a defense mechanism. I took out the masking tape and taped down several rows, sticky side out across the poster, with a vertical strip anchored above the poster for added durability.

This morning, I vaguely recall some rustling above my head as I slept, but it wasn't until I awoke that I discovered that one of the long pieces of tape had been ripped in half and the rest of the tape was filled with bite marks.

Apparently, Pixie didn't care much for my little addition. ;)

Fortunately, it more or less worked as intended, and with some minor repairs it will be ready to go again tonight. Pixie also appears to have miraculously survived the extra few minutes without dying. :D

Pixie should just consider herself lucky that I love this kind of "creative destruction", and find it incredibly adorable. Which also explains why I'm getting a Bengal. :lol:


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