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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:38 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:32 am
Posts: 5
Hi there, this is my first post! In two weeks, I'm going to be taking home a beautiful 1.5-year-old bengal girl. I'm adopting her from a family who has cared very well for her, but unfortunately, their second bengal (from a different litter) is twice her size and has been a real brute with her. He bullies her and outcompetes her for food, affection, attention, and plays too rough for her liking. So the owners decided she'd be better off in a home where she is the only pet. As a result she's rather skittish and timid, and not especially cuddly, though she IS very friendly and wants to be around you at all times. I've paid her a few visits and she's very welcoming despite all this, so I have the feeling that she will flourish in a home where she isn't bullied and anxious due to another cat.

I'm currently trying to set up my home to best welcome her, and make the transition as good as it can be. One thing to note, is that she is toilet trained, and I hope she will immediately take to using my toilet...
I want to form an affectionate bond with her as soon as possible, but of course within reason of her comfort level. How can I best approach that? Engage in lots of play, sure, what what kind?
How can I encourage her to be close to me, and to teach her that cuddles are a good thing? Or even just getting her comfortable with sleeping on my bed?

Any tips on how to start off a great bond and getting he to be comfortable with me would be great. I've had cats before, but never a bengal, and they've all been kittens when introduced, so this is a bit new for me. Also, would using Feliway be a good idea when I introduce get to my home?

Thanks you so much for your time, and I can't wait to share the progress of my adventures with her when she joins me!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:45 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8798
Welcome, again! First, you want to make sure you have a tall cat tree for her. Lots of wand toys. Bonding takes time and your girl will already be stressed over the change in environment and humans. So, not overdoing to holding and loving. Know that bengals are not known for enjoying being held or picked up. You will need to let her investigate and snoop all over your home. Get her scent on things. Talk softly or just read to her. Sit near her. Try to engage her in play with wand toys. Give her treats. The bonding starts with feeding and letting her know you are her caregiver.

I'm guessing before too long she will be sleeping in bed with you. Bengals are highly social and love being with their humans. Just know the whole trusting issue could take a few weeks or months, depending on how traumatized she is from the bullying.

We're here to answer any questions and love reading updates.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:39 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I think that if you are getting a rehomed bengal who has been through a lot, and you are already defining your relationship by how much the cat cuddles with you, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Bengals are not known as cuddly cats. That is not a hallmark of the breed. So either I would re-think getting a bengal, or I would select one that is already the cuddily cat that you desire, or I would start changing your expectations about that drastically. I don't want to see a message a month from now that the rehoming has been a disaster because all she wants to do is play and interact with you on her terms.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:12 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:32 am
Posts: 5
Thanks for the warm welcome! Already this has been immensely helpful, thank you. I'm picking up a big cat tree this weekend and stocking up on toys...after visiting her a few times I know she goes absolutely ham for wand toys and heights! Glad to hear she's a fairly typical case. I'll take the rest of that advice to heart too, and update on her once I get her!


Sherry wrote:
Welcome, again! First, you want to make sure you have a tall cat tree for her. Lots of wand toys. Bonding takes time and your girl will already be stressed over the change in environment and humans. So, not overdoing to holding and loving. Know that bengals are not known for enjoying being held or picked up. You will need to let her investigate and snoop all over your home. Get her scent on things. Talk softly or just read to her. Sit near her. Try to engage her in play with wand toys. Give her treats. The bonding starts with feeding and letting her know you are her caregiver.

I'm guessing before too long she will be sleeping in bed with you. Bengals are highly social and love being with their humans. Just know the whole trusting issue could take a few weeks or months, depending on how traumatized she is from the bullying.

We're here to answer any questions and love reading updates.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:21 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:32 am
Posts: 5
Perhaps I misspoke, but cuddles aren't the prime thing I'm looking for in a cat. It's companionship. I've visited with her several times already and I know well that she isn't a lap cat and doesn't enjoy being picked up. She does want attention and rubs against me, which seems like a good start. She sounds like quite a typical bengal in most respects. What I DO hope for is closeness and a strong bond. She does seem to love being around people, chatting, and has a great drive to play, all so long as the big bully male in her home isn't around.
I was just looking for advice to make her feel comfortable with me to develop a bond the right way, and to hopefully be able to let her learn to enjoy being pet and touched on her own terms. I know she might never be a "cuddler" and that's okay. Affection comes in many forms. Visiting her again tonight. :)
brianj12 wrote:
I think that if you are getting a rehomed bengal who has been through a lot, and you are already defining your relationship by how much the cat cuddles with you, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Bengals are not known as cuddly cats. That is not a hallmark of the breed. So either I would re-think getting a bengal, or I would select one that is already the cuddily cat that you desire, or I would start changing your expectations about that drastically. I don't want to see a message a month from now that the rehoming has been a disaster because all she wants to do is play and interact with you on her terms.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:50 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8798
My 11-year old bengal is not a cuddler or a lap cat, but he follows me from room to room and while I am upstairs on the computer, he is almost always sleeping on the table by the window. Today is in a back bedroom napping, but HE is the one that selects where he wants to sleep. At night, he is sleeping at my feet. So, you will have a closeness with your baby. Head butts show love. Kitty kisses show love. Rubbing up against your leg, shows love. So, it appears you have a good start with these visits. I'm sure once you get her into your home, things will progress rapidly.

Please keep us posted.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4350
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Deerex wrote:
Perhaps I misspoke, but cuddles aren't the prime thing I'm looking for in a cat. It's companionship.


Nice, and I think that is a great goal, and should be 100% achievable. My best advice is first become her trusted provider, then become her favorite playmate, then she'll be your good friend. I hope it works out real well, let us know if you have any specific troubles or questions, or if you just want to give us updates on your fantastic progress :biggrin:

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