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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:47 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:32 pm
Posts: 2
Hi All

New to the forum and decided to join and ask for help, hopefully we will be able to get over this hump and share the experience with others in a similar situation in the future. We are recently married and little did we know this would be our first big challenge :mrgreen: , I often joke to my wife that getting these two lovely cats to live in peace will be my greates achievement!

Lady of the house
Maya is the resident cat 3 and a half years old female, she is a calm but very fun and active bengal and also super intelligent.

We debated and discussed long and hard about getting her a companion mainly because my wife and I both work full time so it always broke our hearts to see Maya on the window always watching the car pull of the drive and also getting back home and seeing her get up eagerly when she sees the car pulling in. Whilst she has always been calm to people we did notice she would get a bit aggressive to a one of the outcdoor cats in the neighbourhood if it came right up to the window - we assumed this to be typical behaviour rather than her being an agrressive cat. In a way she seemed to enjoy this and sho would sit on the window for long periods staring outside almost waiting for the neighbohood friend or foe - this (amongst other reasons and rational) broke our hearts so we decided to get another cat.

The young newcomer
3 weeks ago we got Cassius, a 7 month old male and followed all the steps in all the guides you can find and more, we did it patiently and slowly. Cassius had to be fixed the first week so natually he was not too active and we kept them apart however the moment he got better, settled in and got familiar with all his sorroundings thats when it go trickier. We tried a couple of face to face introductions but they hissed and fought, we would seperate them to leave it for another time however both do not want to be locked away in there own rooms - Cassius will literally meow all day long until the door is open (what our neighbours must think of us!) while Maya will pull down the door handle all day long, if she had a bit more power she would unly the door!! So now we are waking up all hours of the day manuovering and moving cat litter/food etc to the area of the room where one will be locked away from the other. Its a full on operation!!

The cage
A week ago we got a large dog cage and we put Cassius in and left Maya to roam however this didnt last long - as soon as Maya got close to the cage Cassisus let off the most piercing screem ive ever had, we then decieded to put Maya in the cage instead. This i guess has worked well -no more hissing, no more growling (they were doing all of this initially when the cage was introduced). They now even go face to face without aggression and smell each other albeit with a slight paw extension now and then from Maya. They see each other all the time with no evident aggression signs however without fail everytime Cassius runs up the stair Maya automatically goes into 'chase mode' trying to chase and catch Cassisus only the cage stops him, its a bit like cat and mouse! we also have two toys tied to a string one end in the cage and the other outside, both cats play with the toys happily with no aggression towards each other. We do find it a little worrying that sometime when Maya is in the cage just laying on her best with no hissing or growling, she still will have her eyes set on little Cassius obvserving his every movement like a stalker ready to pounce if he had the chance!

Just to clarify we only use the cage when we are there - the rest of the times we keep them seperated in different parts of the house - In fact they are actually asleep or just laying somewhere relaxing most times - unfortunately it can be a madhouse when both are active.

Face to Face
We have tried face to face meetings a couple of times but had to stop early, first time they went for each other, second time they seemed too tense so we knew trouble was brewing and cut it short. The progress made is astonishing since both cats always had a fat tail, hissied and growled whenever they caught a glimpse of each other but now with help of the cage there is peace, we just need to find a way to carry this on without the cage.

A bright future?
Besides Cassius meaowing which can be a bit much at times, both cats behave very well, its just that any time they are introduced they tense up and go for each other or Cassius runs away which triggers chase mode for Maya and a fight is on the cards. Straight after the fight everything calms down and if you put them near each other while one is the the cage they will rub noses and smell each other with zero aggression, no hissing and no growling so we are wondering what this means and how far we are or what we need to do.

  • Is this normal?
    Are we interveing too early? we have never really left them to fight and establish their heirachy
    How do you know if they will never get along?
    any other tips on how we can introduce them?

I have to apologise for the length of this post but thought to provide as much detail as possible, will post pictures of these lovely cats later in a few hours - thanks for your responses in advance


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:26 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:01 pm
Posts: 761
I have no experience so sorry I cannot offer any advice.

However, there are 6 videos I have seen on YouTube that a guy has done on introducing a new kitten to two cats Bengals and they may offer you some help. In the videos the guy makes a lot of observations regarding the cats' posturing - e.g. sometimes although there is hissing, the ears are not down and the cats' body language is very important. Try searching "introducing new kitten to bengal" or "Chatzi".

Hope this helps

Lisa
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:22 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8016
It's going to take some time for these cats to get used to each other. The resident kitty is upset that her turf has been invaded by this tiny, crying monster. I don't know what behaviorists say about this, but it's just letting the cats get used to each other without killing each other. There's no easy fix. It's just patience and time. Slowly, they should get used to each other, however, the more you have them separated, the longer this is going to take.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:49 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:42 am
Posts: 143
Hi there. I agree with these replies - take a look on youtube for various introduction sessions so you are familiar with the postures etc they adopt. I suspect you might be intervening a little early. The hard fact of the matter is that they need to sort out dominance and agree ground rules with each other. There is generally more noise than actual full-on fighting. A lot of the fighting is testing the strength and determination of the other. If you never allow this to play out they still don't really know where they stand.

It's a good thing you have them interacting in the cage - and not always negatively. And good that they have both been with you long enough to probably know the other one isn't going away.

So, I suggest you leave them for longer to see if they can sort it out. They are unlikely to cause major injury - step in only if you think that is happening, rather than it just might happen because of all the growling and tumbling. If you can't watch, walk away for a bit. It looks and sounds worse than it is.

I know this is hard. I introduced a younger cat years ago, and the noise was shocking. Never an injury though. For several years these two cats seemed to loathe each other, often waiting hours to ambush the other. They never played games or slept together, BUT when the older one died, the younger one spent days walking around the house cyring for her. Turned out they had sorted out a relationship of studied indifference, peppered with occassional play fighting. And she missed her!

Good luck


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:07 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4111
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I like the video you guys are talking about. It's well-made and insightful and enjoyable to watch, but it really does paint a pretty rosy picture of perhaps a "best case scenario" of a bengal being introduced to two adult cats. If you think about it, all the guy does is sit back and watch the cats and make commentary on why he really doesn't need to do anything but sit on his behind and let the camera roll :lol: And we never really do see what he did, if anything, to get the kitten and his adult bengal to "play nice", or what the resolution is to that tension. So I'm really not sure how helpful that is to this situation here.

If it were me, I would not keep either cat in a cage. I'm not saying it wrong, just that I wouldn't be able to do it. I guess the one thing that I've read behaviorists say to do, that you haven't mentioned, is to try to create positive associations between the two cats with treats and favorite meals and such. Make it so that each time they meet, something good happens, and is expected to happen.

But it's not easy. I know. I think you just have to keep alternating between brief introduction attempts and cooldown periods until things improve, all the while re-assuring both cats and making sure neither is too upset.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:19 am 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:11 pm
Posts: 39
I'm in a similar position and I can say it that you are obviously doing what ever you can and have done the research, all cats are different and those videos might work for those cats but not my 2.

It's been 4 weeks now and my little boy (Bengal) 12 weeks has won the mind battle over my 2yo DLH, still cannot leave them together as there's lots of growling and snorting from 2yo
I do see a light at the end of the tunnel just will take time, how much is anyone's guess.
Good luck and keep us posted

Dave


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:55 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:32 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks all for the responses, will get a chance to watch watch the recommened videos tonight and will progress from there one step at a time!

will keep you updated :)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:47 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:30 pm
Posts: 306
Location: Essex, UK
It sounds like your intervening a little bit too early to me. Don't worry though, I was EXACTLY the same, you see something and you think x is going to happen, but unless you let it happen, you don't know if it'll be x or y. haha I really hope I'm making sense here?

My two girls, I ended up just letting them get on with it, sat down (very tensely) and I got up, if I thought it was getting too rough, but at the end of the day, they also pick up on the stress and worry.

Within days they where cuddled up on the sofa, not always how it will turn out, but I'm glad with how it did. Even now, they're pretty much inseparable, but they will still go mental, play fight and scream (I do intervene now and again) but it's normal, they still go for each others throats, but that's a dominance thing and unless i hear screaming, i leave them, they have to learn who's boss.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:55 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:03 pm
Posts: 535
Do they both have "safe" places? Have you let the kitten explore the house without the older cat in the nearby. Putting the older cat in the kitten room while the kitten explores will give the kitten a chance to suss out hiding places and give the older cat a chance to check out the "new kitten smell" all over everything.

If they will be in the same room together, let them be. The key is to work your way up from short periods of time and keep them busy with new toy, food, etc. The last cat I introduced to the crew below was a Bengal. I didn't trust her out in the house or with the other cats at night or whenI wasn't home for about six weeks after we got some medical issues cleared up. There will be some little scrapes but letting them truly fight (puffy tail, flat ears, yowling and spitting) will just lead to more aggression between the two, in my opinion.

I have never tried the cage thing but it must be frustrating for both to be confined like that and watch another cat mark up your house or be where you want to be?

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