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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:15 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:13 pm
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Hi any advice/tips will be most welcome! I recently acquired a Bengal Cat. I was told that She was 18 months old when I transferred her registration I found through her microchip ID that she is nearly 5 years old. She has been in our family for 6 months now and at the start we were all a bit scared of her as she scratched and bit us. Now she doesn't scratch or bite (I hope to say anymore but can't tell for sure). She follows me around the house where I go. Sits near me when I watch TV or am in the study (basically where ever I am in the house). I can pick her up now, but not for long periods (30 seconds tops) and then I put her down gently. She is not extending her claws when being picked up. I really want to know how I can win her confidence so that she will sit on my lap etc. Another thing is she likes to be petted as when I am near she will rub her chin on basically anything and when I try to do it more often that not she will run away! I think she is carrying a bit of history (I am the 3rd or 4th owner) so how can I win her over or will this be it for the next 15 years?! I should also add that she is a completely indoor cat. I have set up her room with a lot of shelves mounted high that she climbs up and sprawls in.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:46 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4109
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Suresh wrote:
I really want to know how I can win her confidence so that she will sit on my lap etc.


Well, two things. Firstly, I think you should set your expectations to a realistic level. I've had my two bengals for 3 years now, and many of the behaviors that you mention (being picked up for 30s only, following you around but not necessarily wanting to sleep on your lap etc) are the case with mine today. And I don't think you should equate those things with how much your cat necessarily likes you or trusts you or any failing on your part.

That said, yea, I can kind of "chip away" at the trust and cuddliness thing. Two specific recommendations:

1. Lots of play. I really think the key to a bengal's heart is interactive play. Lots of games with d'birt/da'mouse, and fetch are my bengals favorites.

2. Some strategic treats. Make it a routine. You sit down in your chair, you have a couple of treats with you, and your bengal gets some if she jumps up into your lap. Everytime, like clockwork. Don't try to force her down into your lap or a sleeping position, just feed the treat and let her do her thing.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:24 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8008
Every cat is different. Mine is not a lap cat at all, but if you cover your lap with a blanket, he will come over and lay on it. When I'm sitting on a extra large chair at my computer, he will come and lay beside me. But he does not do that when I'm in the living room watching TV on the loveseat. I can pick him up for about 30 seconds as well. Mine has the sweetest disposition and has never scratched or bitten me. He definitely got his sweetness from his mom. Bengals are like no other cat. Mine is overly affectionate when I walk through the door after work, but that's the only time. I wouldn't trade Raiden for the world. He's got a very unique personality and lots of quirks that I've never seen in a cat before, but he's so special to me and I love him to bits.

If you are, indeed, the 3rd or 4th owner of this cat, I think the cat may not want to get attached as it may think the home situation will change again. Do I think cats are smart? Absolutely!!!! The one thing you need is patience. Don't get stressed out over this as the cat will sense the stress and become stressed as well. Sometimes we tend to become overbearing because we want the cat to like us and be all over us -- and it just takes time. Spend some time each day interacting with her with toys.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:18 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:03 pm
Posts: 535
It takes each cat a different amount of time to be comfortable and willing to have that kind of contact with you. It sounds like you made some great progress if she was biting a lot when you first got her. One of mine was very aggressive for nearly a year when we got him, he was about 5. Touching him resulted in blood being drawn. Slowly but surely, after probably another year, he inched his way into my husbands lap and really hasn't left. He loves his pets and cuddles now.

If she was passed around that much, who knows what she really went through. You have already taken a cat who scratches and bites and made her a cat that doesn't. That is huge progress! If she is following you she is obviously interested in you and that can only lead to lap-sitting. I would say lots of praise, play, and love and she will come around.

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