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 Post subject: Is this normal behaviour
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:32 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:22 am
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My husband and I were given this 3 yr old Bengal from a family that had 2 boys, and the one is 2 yrs old and apparently he chases the cat however the cat didn't like it and hide alot. They gave her to us due to her best interest because we don't have any kids, or other pets, because they also have a puppy. I was wondering if this is normal behaviour for Bengals, she is still new to us, however she hides through the day time, and in the night, she like to be pet, but we have to go to her tree house then she will come out and visit us more, and now from what I read they are not lap cats which is fine, however I wish I could hold her, it would be a nice bond. She is a wonderful low maintenance cat, doesn't scratch our furniture, she doesn't pee or poo anywhere else except for her litter box, doesn't hardly meow, jump on the counter tops and go in the kitchen, however we can't get close to her in the day time she will bolt, and hide until the night. Is there anything we can do to help her build confidence so that she is not scared of us even in the day time? And to be able to hold her even if its a short time, when I do try to pick her up she will meow and get upset to be put down. I know that Bengals have a wild side to them and don't like to be picked up, but it would be nice even if she liked it a little bit.

I hope anyone out there can help me, she is a beautiful kitty, and I would like to be able to bond with her more, any suggestions would love to hear thank you.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:45 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:04 am
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Location: Colorado, USA
How long have you had her?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:23 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:41 am
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Location: London
Be patient. If her routine was to hide from the kids and come out at night to enjoy quiet times, she may just be set in a routine. Maybe engage her in play or buy some treats or catnip toys to coax her out in the daytime so she builds other patters and realises there is no danger.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:24 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
You acquired a traumatized cat who learned that humans chase and scare, and grab, and abuse her. It's going to take time to un-learn that. So you have to measure progress in baby steps.

Don't try to pick her up for now. That's just going to set you back and traumatize her more. The first lesson that she should learn is that you won't harm her when she comes out, and that you provide good things. So some restraint is needed. Simply being there, providing food and treats, and not trying to grab or lift her. Getting her to approach and sniff your hands is a nice step, or eating a treat from your hand, etc. Play is also huge. Definitely the fastest way to a Bengal's heart. A good game of da-bird chasing is a tremendous help in greasing the wheels. If you want her to come out into other rooms and spend time there, catify the room. Shelves and/or cat trees help. If she's looking down on you, she'll have a lot more confidence. Not to mention it's great exercise and makes her feel like she has "her own stuff".

Don't give up on her eventually becoming an affectionate lap-kitty. If you handle this correctly, I think it'll happen. It just probably won't happen soon.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:40 am 
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Senior Bengal
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All cats I ever had, not just the bengals, didn't like to be picked up so that might never change. Winning her trust is something you can work on though.

Like Brian said, she is traumatized and hides because of that. Give her time to learn you are not a threat and don't force her to come out of hiding right now. She will become more relaxed and trusting in time but it might take a while. Give her the space she needs and she will come to you eventually.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:59 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Time and patience will be your friend. Any time a cat goes to a new environment, it becomes stressed out and wants to hide where it believes it is safe. If there was a lot of stress in the previous household, that will carry over until the kitty feels safe enough. Give her time. Many bengals love being on laps and held. Many do not. It will totally depend on her personality. My bengal is 10 years old and still hates to be picked up and is definitely not a lap cat or a snuggle bunny! It's in the breed.

Entice her with wand toys and treats and she will associate you with all good/fun things. You will have her for many, many years, so allow her to de-stress for several weeks. Bengals bond very closely to their humans and highly social cats. Once she feels safe, she will be your best friend.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:11 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:07 am
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Don't pick her up.. She is scared and picking her up (something she doesn't like right now) will only encourage her to hide.

Buy some cat toys.. The feather or da bird types to play with her so you are interacting with her. Also try treats or boiled chicken. She needs a lot of patience right now.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:48 pm
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Most of the cats in my life have trauma in their past, either intentional or unintentional. The key, as mentioned before, is to be patient. Cats can be amazingly resilient, but they have to work through the emotional processes first.

My bengal mix Thomas was such a mess that he didn't purr for six months. One night, as we lay in bed, he started a very rusty sound that I soon realized was a purr. Just burst out crying to hear it, it's worth the wait.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:05 pm 
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Senior Bengal
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The amount of discussions I've had with people in my house to stop picking up the cat is enough to drive me mad. I know she doesn't like it, she has a free will and doesn't care much for having that taken away. Relocating her from the table to the floor is one thing, but picking her up from her floor just annoys her.

As others have mentioned, stay calm and relaxed. Talk to her when she comes out in a calm voice, play with her or even give her some nice pets or some scratches on her cheeks. In time she will adjust her schedule once she feels safe and wants to spend more time with you.

Unfortunately cats don't usually warm up to people immediately, but if she gets to do it on her own terms then she will adapt. The fact that she comes out on her old schedule is a very good sign, it means she has adjusted to you and your home quickly.

One thing I never do is offer treats to a cat that is new to the home or uncomfortable with her family. Even once they are bonding I still don't give her the treats as much as placing them where she can/will find them ( unless they are a reward ). I don't want to build a bond that revolves around me being the bearer of treats.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Regarding the treats -- this is exactly what Jackson Galaxy does when he meets a new cat on his show My Cat From Hell. In order to gain trust with the cat, he offers treats. Oh and the "slow blink." That works great as long as the cat slow blinks back.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:04 pm 
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Senior Bengal
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I think the bigger difference there is that he is a guest as opposed to creating a long term relationship with the cat.

To put this thought into another context, lets say you are adopted by a family at a fairly young age. For the first week or 2 while you get settled in they give you candy all the time. Now, once you are settled in and comfortable in the home with them, they stop giving you candy or make you earn it. How do you feel? grateful for all the candy they gave you or upset/confused that they stopped? Depending on personality you may actually be worried you've done something wrong.

Just my thoughts on the matter anyway, I always try to make sure the kitty has no reason to not trust me, the rest comes in time.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:44 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I think that objection to treats is a bit silly Imo. I mean, if you really break it down and look at it, we do the same with humans. We may like to think we don't... but we do. What do we do when we want to make a favorable impression on another human? We figure out what they enjoy, and we do more of THAT. Whatever "that" is. Positive re-inforcement. Sometimes it is food, sometimes it is activities, or anything else. Is that really different with cats? Except that cats are a bit less complicated, and predictable, and many are more food motivated.

My cats get a small treat of deli turkey each morning. *shrug* they enjoy it, and it's a nice start-of-the-day ritual. And occasionally I get them freeze-dried treats, unpredictably, just 'cause. But if I were trying to make inroads with a new cat? Yea, treats would definitely be a tool that I would use, absolutely.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:47 am 
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Senior Bengal
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Don’t get me wrong, I give mine treats as well, but I didn’t use them to try to make her more comfortable when she first got here. In fact with any cat that’s been in my house they normally don’t get treats until they are comfortable and let them get used to the environment. Like I said tho, it’s just my thoughts on the matter, I’ve yet to have a cat that didn’t adjust on their own with some patience and giving them space to adjust.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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I wasn't implying that you continually give the kitty treats -- ONE treat to entice the cat to come over to you. Well, everybody does things differently -- the main thing is patience and time. Wand toys can help entice a cat. The key is to help make the cat forget its fears of its surroundings by implementing some good things.


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