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 Post subject: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:53 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:10 am
Posts: 12
Hey guys!

So my little Zara is just about 5 months old now. She is feisty and has a very dominant personality. She still hasn't quite learned that my arm and hands aren't toys yet and she gets pretty rough sometimes :)

My wife and I are both in school full time, so she is at home most of the day. When we get home we try and wear her out the best we can, but she still has plenty of energy.

I recently found a good breeder with a male kitten that we can afford. Should I do it? I just have a few concerns.

1. Will Zara feel like she is being replaced.
2. Are cats perfectly content being home alone during the day ? I feel guilty every time I leave and hate the thought of her going insane from being so bored.
3. With her super dominant personality, is it even likely that she would get along with a kitten even after adjustment?

Let me know what you guys think! Any help is greatly appreciated.

I think my underlying concern is Zara's happiness and well being. Here is a picture of her for you to enjoy :)

My wife has an instagram with a few photos of her Here

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:04 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
The question of whether or not to add another cat to the household .... things can go great or things can go horribly wrong. It seems to be easier with kittens than adult cats. So if you're going to add a new addition, this is the time to do it. A lot of owners worry about their bengal getting bored while they are gone. Truth be known ... most of the time they sleep! As long as you're spending quality time with them and you've got lots of playtime with them, they are usually fine.

Naturally, two kittens would occupy each other (and probably get into double the trouble). You don't honestly know which cat would be the dominant factor in the household. For now, it's the female because that's all you have. Just know that there's a proper way to introduce the two of them which takes time -- a lot of time -- and a lot of patience! You'll be spending all of your time at home dealing with this. That's not to say you shouldn't do this. Having two can be a great experience once everyone gets along.

I have one bengal and there's no way I'd ever have two of them. But so many members here have multiple kitties and love it. Hopefully, some will post on here and give you the extra encouragement you need to do the deal.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:29 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4141
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I'm a big proponent of having two bengals, partly because they are potentially the best playmates for each other, and partly because as an owner there are many behaviors you will only see when cats interact with each other. So there are potentially some big plusses.

But as far as the likelihood that Zara will accept another cat, it's really all about her personality, so actually you are going to have more insight into that than anyone else. Perhaps you got to witness her as a kitten? Or her reaction when a neighbor cat comes near the house? At 5 months she's still pretty young and likely much more accommodating than she will be 6 months or a year from now. But yea... always a risk. If you decide to do it, make sure you read up on how to introduce cats to one another, and some strategies for handling difficulties should they occur.

One other aspect of it, is that some people report that if the introduction goes well, and the cats get along well, it could come somewhat at the cost of Zara's relationship with you (at least in the short run). They become each other's best friends, and are less interested in sitting in your lap etc.... something to consider.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
There are so many topics dealing with situations -- like "My two cats hate each other," or the cat is not bonding with the human (and loves the other cat instead). There will be issues with a second cat -- but none that time can't heal. You just have to be willing to put up with it. We've had frantic owners post on here that their existing cat wants to kill the new kitty. We say "separate them and give it time". Weeks later, they are grooming each other, sleeping together and best friends. So just know what you can be in for. If you expect the worst, you may get the best! And their antics together will entertain you for hours. I watched a video recently of two kitties playing hockey with something at 2:30 a.m. You always have to expect the unexpected! I know you have enough love for two kitties, but really, if you're going to do it -- NOW is the time.

Brian has three kitties and loves it!


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:02 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:38 pm
Posts: 1836
Every household and pair of cats will have different interactions. I adopted 2 SLP kittens at 4 months, and I can't imagine only having one. They are together, but have separate interests/likes/dislikes. Yes they sleep during the day mostly when I am at work, but the cuddle and hold each other when they nap and when awake they are always aware of the each other. They play together in the morning and evening. They have the occasional dispute, but they always work it out. This is my first pair of cats and I love watching them interact and play.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:06 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
Jill, those pictures of Gracie and Blondie are to die for!!!! They are super precious.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:35 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:42 pm
Posts: 640
I have 2 siblings. I really wasn't certain that getting 2 was the right thing to do ( and sometimes I do still wonder ;-) ) but I am very thankful that I have got 2. They entertain each other, snuggle up together and keep each other company.

I have no experience in getting 2 bengals who are strangers to share a house together, but I will echo what is said above - you'll have to be careful doing it. That said, personalities of the 2 kittens aside, I understand that it will be much easier at 5 months when Zara is likely to think "ooh, another kitten, let's play" than in 6 months when the 2nd kitten might seem to be more of a rival for territory and attention from you.

If you do get the 2nd kitten then you'll be super busy, you'll need to look after the new kitten whilst maintaining the amount of attention that Zara has become used to.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:51 pm 
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Senior Bengal
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:17 pm
Posts: 89
You've been given a lot of good advice here!

I can add that I was recently contemplating exactly what you are, although my back story is a bit different. My older cat Apollo (now 3 1/2), was adopted as a kitten to be a companion to a much older cat we had who was mourning the death of her companion. She accepted him relatively easily and they were buddies until she passed away last December. Apollo mourned a bit, but seemed to be fine, up until about 3-4 months ago when we started noticing he seemed bored. Not having another kitty to rough-house and chase around the house definitely zapped some of his energy. We also felt bad about leaving him over long weekends by himself when we travel, as he is a bit skittish and would not enjoy the time when a pet-sitter came over. That was why we decided to bring baby bengal Orion in to be his companion, almost a month ago. And now Apollo really seems to appreciate having this crazy guy around.

If you are thinking that Zara will benefit from having another kitty around to keep her company, and play, you know her and are probably right. As others have said above, the good thing is that she is still young enough to appreciate the fun in having some little rugrat chasing her around and constantly attacking her tail! In all my 16 years of "adult" cat owner experience, I can tell you what has and hasn't worked for me in attempting to introduce 4 new cats into pre-existing clans:

For the best chance of ultimate success:
  • The newcomer should be a kitten. Even in their begrudgingness and hestitation to accept someone new into the clan, existing cats seem to understand that it's a baby, and are possibly more accepting because of this. Every kitten (3) I've ever tried to integrate was ultimately accepted by the existing clan within a week or so. (The one senior adult cat I tried to integrate was never accepted.)
  • If the existing cat is a boy, either boy or girl newcomer is fine. But if the original cat is a girl, newcomer should be a boy. Something about girls and new girls, they seem to be the most hardheaded. (When starting out with 2 boys, our new girl kitten was accepted fine. Then that same girl did NOT accept the new adult girl 5 years later. But she did accept a boy kitten 5 years after that. And that same boy has now accepted a new boy kitten.)
  • Proper transitional integration is necessary for the quickest acceptance. Very important to secure new kitten in his own room where he can adapt in his own time, safely, bond with you without competition, and both kitties can sniff eachother under the door. Scent swapping is also important. After a few days, swap the animals for a period of time (an hour or two) and allow them to walk around eachother's space, spreading their scents. This will help create the "clan" scent that they will accept as their own once they are fully integrated. There's much more to this that you can research on these boards or elsewhere online.

Once again, this is just my experience, and this is not to say that our scenarios above that failed can't possibly succeed in other situations or circumstances, I know they can and have...just that from my experience, the odds are MOST in your favor if you set up your new integration as such. And that's also not a guarantee that it will work if all these things are present. But you have a great chance!

Good luck!

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~*~Holly~*~

Orion ~ Light Gold Black Rosetted Bengal, born 5/19/15
Apollo ~ Tuxedo Marbled Tabby, born 1/7/12


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:14 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:34 am
Posts: 347
Our Bengal was 8 months old when we decided to add another as hopefully a playmate - worked perfectly - they are lots of fun to watch and play all of the time! Every cat is different, but I think it's worth the small risk to get another. At your kitten's young age the chances are very high that adding another will work out very well.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:33 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:30 am
Posts: 147
Quote:
1. Will Zara feel like she is being replaced.
2. Are cats perfectly content being home alone during the day ? I feel guilty every time I leave and hate the thought of her going insane from being so bored.
3. With her super dominant personality, is it even likely that she would get along with a kitten even after adjustment?


1. No, I don’t think Zara will feel like she is being replaced. The only way she would feel that, is if you were to spend all your time with the new kitten. If you give both kitties equal love and attention, and engage both of them during playtime, she will not feel replaced. She might feel a little jealous at first as you will probably be spending a little more time with the newbie as you welcome him/her home and spend one on one time with him/her while they are separated from Zara. Zara will most likely either welcome the new kitten to her home with both paws, or she will not like her. But with the right introduction process, and of course time, they will learn to love each other, or at least co-exist in the same household.

2. Some cats are, some cats aren’t. People have this belief that cats are not like dogs and are fine on their own, which is often not the case. Bengals, for one, are definitely not fine home alone all day unless you want to come home to see your house destroyed. They crave attention, they need company, and constant stimulation. This is why a friend for Zara would be perfect. You can play with her in the morning before you leave and at night when you get home – but that’s still 6-9 hours in between that she is alone. If you got her a friend, she would be able to burn off a lot of her kitten energy by playing. I know I felt horrible for leaving my cat home alone so that’s why I got her a friend and they get along brilliantly.

3. I do find that bengals are rather dominant. But, having said this, if you introduce a Bengal to a Bengal – that dominance might cancel out. My Bengal boy tries to be dominant towards my moggie girl, but she puts him in his place. I was worried at first that getting a Bengal might result in my girl being bullied – and she is a little. My boy plays too rough for her and often tackles her and steals her food. But two bengals might be easier as they both have that dominant trait.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:23 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:00 am
Posts: 707
Location: Ogden, UT
lalune93 wrote:
Bengals, for one, are definitely not fine home alone all day unless you want to come home to see your house destroyed. They crave attention, they need company, and constant stimulation.

I disagree with this generalization of the bengal breed.

I am a nurse. I work 13 hour shifts with a 20 minute commute each way. The math is easy. On my work days I am away from home for 14 hours, sometimes more.

Quasar is an only cat. I have yet to come home to a destroyed house. Sometimes I find items moved around a bit but nothing is ruined.

We spend active time each evening, after work. This time, along with lots of play and interaction on my days off ensures a happy, well-adjusted cat.

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~ Kyenta


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:42 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:30 am
Posts: 147
Kyenta1 wrote:
lalune93 wrote:
Bengals, for one, are definitely not fine home alone all day unless you want to come home to see your house destroyed. They crave attention, they need company, and constant stimulation.

I disagree with this generalization of the bengal breed.

I am a nurse. I work 13 hour shifts with a 20 minute commute each way. The math is easy. On my work days I am away from home for 14 hours, sometimes more.

Quasar is an only cat. I have yet to come home to a destroyed house. Sometimes I find items moved around a bit but nothing is ruined.

We spend active time each evening, after work. This time, along with lots of play and interaction on my days off ensures a happy, well-adjusted cat.


Hi Kyenta,

I’m glad to hear that you have a well behaved and well adjusted Bengal.

I don’t know his age, so I can’t say much on this, but I was mainly speaking about Bengal kittens – my Bengal is almost 6 months and he needs constant stimulation. I play with him in the mornings before I leave and at night when I get home. He also has my moggie during the day to keep him company. However, I do still come home to toilet paper torn to shreds, things knocked off the table and things moved around.

I imagine an adult cat would show less of this behaviour, but speaking for young kittens, they do tend to get into mischief, especially when left alone. Mine gets bored of his toys very quickly and seeks other ways to entertain himself.

Having said that, all bengals are different and I really don’t believe that all bengals are well settled. Some are more well behaved than others. Some just like to cause mischief.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:00 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:00 am
Posts: 707
Location: Ogden, UT
I guess I'm just lucky then. We have had Quasar since he was 13 weeks old. He's been remarkably undestructive.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitty Question!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:16 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
For almost two years, I left Raiden alone 9 hours a day Monday through Friday. He slept the day away -- usually in his enclosure which I could see via a surveillance camera. My first day I left Raiden inside the house (before the owner actually gave him to us and Raiden was just a visiting kitty), my husband texted me, "are we going to have a house left?" He had viewed a YouTube video of two bengals destroying a house -- well, everything was fine when I arrived home and assured my husband Raiden was not a destroyer.

Kittens sleep a lot -- just like babies do. They have their hyper moments, but if you can spare some time in the morning to play with the kitty and you do the same when you get home from work, the kitty will probably sleep all day long. Security cameras are cheap and you can always invest in one and few the footage and see just what your kitty does all day and you may be surprised!


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