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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:33 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:45 am
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Hello all.

My husband and I picked up our little girl Zhazha exactly one week ago today. We got her (rescued in my opinion) from a breeder who was getting rid of all of her cats because she was getting down in health and she simply couldn't keep up with it all since her husband passed away several months ago.

A little background about her -- she was born 6/28 has had ZERO shots, never been dewormed, and was eating crap food. She does appear to be litter trained (I'll get into detail about that later). She is VERY shy and skiddish. I know it's not uncommon for them to be skiddish when they come to a new home (any cat), so we are working with her daily and feel she has made some amazing improvement.

Saturday through Tuesday we kept her locked in the bathroom with food, water, and her crate she traveled home in. She wouldn't come out of the crate much and seemed to use is at a 'safe' place. My husband and I would spend time in the bathroom with her alone daily trying to get her to come around. She has never hissed or bit us, but she does take off really quick when you get near her. Well, over the past week my husband is to the point with her that he can get near her and slowly put his hand down and she will sniff it and then let him stroke her. She is playing with the fishing pole like toy, eating GREAT, and going in her litter box. We have taken the crate away and replaced it with a bed/hide type thing and she does go in there sometimes, but for the most part is staying out and getting familiar with her surroundings. Since Tuesday she has had free roam of the master bathroom and bedroom and seems much happier.

We took her to the vet and she weighed only 4lbs, but I am pretty sure she is 5lb+ now --- she is eating everything we give her. We are basically giving her all she can eat (within reason). She got her first set of kitten shots as well as her first booster. She was also dewormed after the fecal test showed she had worms (nothing harmful). Her litter mate that I brought back for a good friend was found to have ringworm so we have got some shampoo from the vet and need to bath her this weekend. She will go back in three weeks for her next set of shots.

Now that I have given you some information about her I have a few questions.

When she came home I had just picked up a cheap $3.00 litter box and a bag of World's Best Cat Litter because I wasn't sure how big she would be and such. She was getting the litter EVERYWHERE so last night my husband and I picked up a new litter box (looks like a rubbermaid box with a snap on lid and has a hole in the top of the lid for her to climb down into the actual litter box) and got everything set up. I filled it with the cat litter and left the lid off until she has gone in a few times as directed. Well, Thursday she discovered our bed and how it is a much better place for her to be. I don't have a problem with her being on our bed (more so how am I going to keep her off of it anyways) but she has started urinating on the comforter. She is still going #2 in the litter box, but is urinating on the bed --- what can be the cause of this? Keep in mind the first time she did this I hadn't changed her litter box yet, so I don't think that is the reason. After coming home tonight from doing some shopping I discovered she had once again urinated on the comforter (twice now).

While I'm on the subject of litter --- what is recommended? It seems like the World's Best Cat Litter does a poor job of covering the odor and such.

My next question is what can I do to get her to start bonding with me as she is my husband. She is far more comfortable with my husband than she is me, she will not let me get near her unless I can catch her in the hide and slowly put my hand in there and start stroking her. She will then stretch out and start purring like crazy. She always seems to stretch out and purr when either one of us start stroking her and scratching her ears/chin. She is a very sweet cat overall. Is this something that will just come with time? He is the one that typically feeds her, so should I start feeding her and see if that will help the process along?

My last question is --- She was being feed some type of cheap cat food I have never heard of or seen, so when I got her home I started her on Innova regular. My two dachshunds eat Innova so I know it's a good food and they have done great, so I figured it would be a good food for her as well. Our vet is concerned about the fat content in it and the high protein as she really needs a balanced diet right now because she is so skinny and underweight. My vet has also had a case of a cat on Innova that developed urine crystals. So, after talking to a few cat owners (not bengal) and doing some research I have read that Innova is known for GI problems. This little girl has enough problems (low weight, no shots, etc) that I don't want to create more. I have had Nature's Variety and Eagle Pack Holistic given as some other good choices. What is your opinion? Right now she is eating canned and dry cat food. Once she gets to her ideal weight (10-12lbs?) does she need to continue getting canned food, or can she simply eat dry with a treat of canned on occasion?

Last but not least. We need to give her a bath with the shampoo so that if she does have ringworm (my vet didn't see anything -- but we opted to treat her with the shampoo to be on the safe side for us, her and our dogs) is there a good way to go about doing this? I know Bengals like water, but is this going to set us back to square one since she doesn't fully trust us yet? Also, since she is more trusting of my husband should I let him bathe her?

Any advice/imput would be GREATLY appreciated as my husband and I want to give Zhazha the best home possible. We have no children so she is like our third child (we have two dachshunds) and want only the best for her.

After all that --- here are a few pics of Zhazha!

Thanks again!

-Ashley


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:34 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:45 am
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:37 am
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My guess is that she just doesn't feel comfortable using the WB or she doesn't like the hooded litter trays. I'm guessing that the breeder didn't use WB and although she 'has' used the litter since she's been home, she was in an enclosed area (i.e. the bathroom) and she did have a basic 'pan' style tray.

I would firstly take the hood of the tray and see if that makes a difference. You can buy 'tracking' mats from the larger pet stores to put down around the litter tray so that it doesn't 'track' everywhere. Personally, I'd invest in a little hand held vacuum cleaner...every type of litter we've tried tracks to some degree :(

Secondly, if that doesn't stop, change your litter, preferably to the one the breeder was using but if you don't know what that was then just try one of the more popular brands in the shops.

As for the comforter you need to give it a good clean with an enzyme cleaning product. Your local pet shop should sell something. We have one here in the UK called Simple Solution which is very effective. It destroys the enzymes in the urine and thus stops it from smelling. If you can eradicate the smell this should help prevent her from toileting there in the future.

Apart from that, it sounds like your doing a wonderful job bringing her out of her shell. I do hope the breeder is genuinely giving up breeding and not just using that as a 'tool' to get you to buy this poor kittens.

No reputable breeder should let a kitten go without it receiving both sets of initial vaccinations and without it being de-worming :x

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 11:02 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:45 am
Posts: 6
Thank you for the reply.

I'm going to wash the comforter again and use some simple solution in with it so that I am sure the smell is gone.

We love Simple Solution in this house (I have two dachshunds too!)

I was thinking of trying to Swheat Scoop or Yesterday's News and seeing if that made a difference.

I was concerned with using the regular clay type of cat litter as I've read that it can be bad for them. Is there any truth to this?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:04 am 
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Hi Ashley

I know a lot of breeders don't use clay litters as kittens tend to go through a stage early on (about 5 weeks) were they will eat the litter. WB is pretty safe as it's made out of corn but some of the other litters (clay included) can be quite dangerous and cause choking if swallowed. Saying that though, I doubt it would be an issue with a 6 month old kitten.

We tried using WB for a while. At first all went well but then after about a week the adult cats simply refused to use it. We would be greeted in the morning to a puddle at the bottom of the stairs :evil: We tried a few others but eventually switched back to Sophisticat Antibacterial.

You could try getting 3 small bags of alternative litter and leave out 3 small trays each with a different variety of litter (all next to each other). That way, she will tell you which litter she prefers :wink:

Love the pictures BTW. She looks lovely!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:29 am 
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ZhaZha wrote:
My next question is what can I do to get her to start bonding with me as she is my husband. She is far more comfortable with my husband than she is me, she will not let me get near her unless I can catch her in the hide and slowly put my hand in there and start stroking her. She will then stretch out and start purring like crazy. She always seems to stretch out and purr when either one of us start stroking her and scratching her ears/chin. She is a very sweet cat overall. Is this something that will just come with time? He is the one that typically feeds her, so should I start feeding her and see if that will help the process along?

Start to play with her…she'll soon start to associate you with having fun. Talk to her too whilst she's playing so that she learns the sounds of your voice. Give her treats (not to many though) and eventually she will start to trust you. Don't rush the 'petting' side of things until she's ready to trust you. Take it one step at a time. All animals trust the hand the feeds so yes, perhaps taking it in turns to feed her may help. It sounds like she's just a very nervous cat but once she knows she can trust you I'm sure she'll be very loving in return.

ZhaZha Also wrote:
I have had Nature's Variety and Eagle Pack Holistic given as some other good choices. What is your opinion? Right now she is eating canned and dry cat food. Once she gets to her ideal weight (10-12lbs?) does she need to continue getting canned food, or can she simply eat dry with a treat of canned on occasion?

We feed ours Royal Canin biscuits (which are left out all day). They also have a sachet of whiskers meat in the morning and one at tea time. You can feed her a completely dry diet if you prefer, just make sure it's a quality biscuit and don't just suddenly remove the meat. Do it gradually by reducing the daily amount until eventually she's eating no meat. What ever you feed her do make sure it’s suitable for her age. Right now she should be on a kitten food, then, at 12 months she needs to be eating adult food.

ZhaZha Also wrote:
Last but not least. We need to give her a bath with the shampoo so that if she does have ringworm (my vet didn't see anything -- but we opted to treat her with the shampoo to be on the safe side for us, her and our dogs) is there a good way to go about doing this? I know Bengals like water, but is this going to set us back to square one since she doesn't fully trust us yet? Also, since she is more trusting of my husband should I let him bathe her?

There’s no easy way to bath a cat. Just remember to keep the water warm (not hot) and don't fill the bath to deep. It only needs to be about 2 inches deep. I find that if the water level is around their legs they aren't so bad...but if it's touching their belly they seam to feel a bit more threatened by it. I'd suggest you both bath her. One to hold and one to wash. Talk to her in a calm voice to reassure her everything is OK. That way, the whole experience will be over quickly and it will be less stressful for her. Give her a rub down with a towel and then sit her in front of a nice warm fire. If she runs off...make sure she doesn't sit in any drafty areas.

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