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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 7:46 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 7:37 am
Posts: 2
Hi Guys.

I joined this forum just because I seriously need some advice on what to do with my sisters Bengal. I don't actually own a Bengal myself.

Here's the story.
My sister bought her cat (Neytiri) because she fell in love with Bengals. But ever since Neytiri got big my sister has completely neglected her and left her in the care of whoever was home at the time.
Neytiri was fine as long as my sister came home every few days to check up on her. Since then my sister has moved interstate and there is no view in the near future of her retrieving her cat.
Everytime I try to talk about it she just yells and tells me to work it out.

Ever since my sister left, Neytiri has become extremely moody, cries a lot in that heartbreaking deep cry and isn't nearly as active or hungry as she used to be. She seems very depressed.
I've tried to love her but I recently moved my own cat in (Bobby) and she doesn't like him. Which is just making her more moody.
I really want to give Neytiri what she needs, but she won't let me near her as long as Bobby is around. And nobody else in the house will put in the time that Neytiri needs.

It is doing my head in. I honestly have no idea how to care for a Bengal or what to do for her if she won't even let me near her. I've been advised to take her to the pound and let them find her a good home, but my sister will flip out if I do that. Which I think is extremely unfair to the cat. It should be about what the cat needs and not what my sister thinks she wants.

So anyway - I need some major help on what to do about this situation? Because I do care about Neytiri, she is just too much to handle :(


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 10:25 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 728
Wow. :eek:

Sorry to hear about your situation but kudos to you for wanting to persevere where others may just give up and rehome the cat.

I don't have a lot of advice as I don't feel I'm experienced enough to provide much. But I'm sure other members will pop in and help more than I can.

My initial thought would be to try and keep the two cats separated, if possible. Can you let them have different parts of the house to themselves? I should imagine the introduction to a new cat isn't helping your already stressed bengal kitty.

Maybe ptting some feliway plugins round the house would help calm the bengal down? I had to use this stuff recently to calm my two bengals down- Widget had to stay at the vets for a few days and when he returned, Pixel acted like he was a brand new cat and hated him.

It sounds like (as you've identified) that your bengal is very stressed. Will she not go near you at all? What about toys/treats? Does she have a favourite food? How does she react if you just sit in the same room with her and go about your own business? Does she like toys? Do you have any wand toys (e.g toys on a stick and string) that you could try using with her? This might help her bond with you/get used to you.

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:39 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:49 pm
Posts: 690
Location: UK
IMO this poor abandoned cat needs her own forever home and family that can give her dedicated time.

Do you have her papers proving she is pure bred Bengal ?

In your shoes I would act soon and advertise her for sale in your local area (dont go near a pound unless its to get advice about how to rehome kitty yourself) and set a very low asking price for her with the addition that she only goes to a home that you can visit yourself a few times before and after she moves in to be satisfied she is in a good home.
In your shoes I wouldnt give a second thought to the sister's opinion or reaction... Id scream back at her for being neglectful and cruelly distant (gone now?) to her highly strung and intelligent pet.

I do hope you can do something for Neytiri to have her settled and feeling welcome and loved in a home she owns and feel secure in.
Dont feel bad if you lack the free time to do more than you are ... you didnt create this situation.... it must be upsetting for you :(

Going the route of integrating her into your own kitty family will depend on time, efforts, patience, and of course Bobby warming up to her and Neytiri warming up to him...
without wishing to sound all doom and gloom its possible they may never get along.

You can get good introduction advice here and if you have money for one I recommend getting a behaviourist in to give you some practical tips and advice based on observation of the cats and your home layout ect.

Good luck Jesskah911


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8149
Oh, this poor bengal. All cats deserve a wonderful, loving home and this kitty has been sorely neglected, which is so unfair to this kitty. She's obviously VERY stressed out! You pretty much have two options: You find her a new home or you keep her and try to de-stress her life to the point where she becomes a important part of your household and family.

Option 1 is a quick solve! Unfortunately, you will be giving this cat (already stressed out and confused) to a new family who will have to deal with the cat's behavior -- and if they aren't prepared to deal with it, the cat won't be with this family for very long -- and the cycle will continue until the cat goes to the pound and may eventually be put to sleep or finds a family who is willing to take this cat and work with her.

Option 2 means a lot of time and effort on your part -- and lots of patience! Not an easy fix. You've got to concentrate on Neytiri and getting her to the point where she's calm. Getting Feliway can help -- but it's not cheap and it's just a masking cover up. You've got to remove the stress in this kitty's life. As much as she doesn't seem to want to do anything around you, you've got a couple of options. Hand feed her treats. She may not take them in the beginning. But if you sit on the floor, talk softly to her and offer her treats, when she eats them out of your hand, you've won round 1.

Make sure you've got some vertical space for her. Bengals love to be up high. A cat tree or shelves on the wall, or maybe stacking cubes that will allow her to elevate her self and look down. There's something that empowers a cat when they are higher up in the world.

Try to engage her in play with toys. It may take a while, but bengals are natural hunters and you can eventually get her chasing after toys.

Most importantly ... has she been to the vet recently? You want to make sure there is nothing medically wrong with her that is contributing to the situation.

Finally, trying to get Neytiri and Bobby to get along. If you can work on some of the things above, then it will facilitate trying to get the two cats to be friends. Cats are territorial and some just don't like another one in their space.

Also, understand that Bengals are very vocal. They cry all the time. They behave like a two-year-old child. They are extremely active. Totally opposite of your Bobby. Once you understand the typical bengal behavior, then you can try to understand the quirks that some bengals have.

Just know that there is no fast, easy fix unless you get rid of her. The sad thing is many people see the beauty of the bengal and don't understand that a bengal is not like a normal domestic cat. Thus, many of them have to be rehomed (I took in a 6-year old bengal a year ago).

As for your sister. She's behaving like a child. If she cared about her kitty, she would have provided a super, loving home for her. She didn't do that. She walked away from the kitty, so the kitty is now yours. Only you can decide what will be best for Neytiri and you and Bobby! It's always a sad situation because all cats deserve to be happy and content, and this one is far from it. If you're willing to put in the time and make baby-step progress, then I'm sure you can all be happy in the end.


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 4:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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i agree with the others. This situation is grossly unfair to Neytiri (great name :cool: ) and she deserves a MUCH better situation than she has now. I'd rehome her. I don't think you will have much trouble re-homing a young bengal. Your sister is too irresponsible and shouldn't be owning pets.

That's my $0.02.

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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 1:26 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:42 am
Posts: 143
You really are in a difficult position, so sorry to hear that. Well done to you for wanting to do the best for Neytiri. There's good advice here about how to engage with her and then help her get along with Bobby. I agree your sister has been irresponsible, but rehoming the cat might also cause a significant rift within your family.

You could tell your sister you have taken her advice - and "worked it out" :wink: You will put in the great deal of time in to help destress her, get her integrated with Bobby and happy again. She will therefore be your cat, not your sister's. She can't have it both ways - leave you to do the hard yards, then ever expect to have her back.

Just another suggestion for you to mull over. All the best


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 4:09 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 7:37 am
Posts: 2
Hey guys, thanks all for your tips/advice!

I would much prefer for Neytiri to stay here and feel happy and loved again. I am prepared to put in the hard yards for her, but.. I know this probably sounds horribly selfish, but my kitty is my number one priority at the moment. He is a rescue kitty and can be a flight risk when he is feeling too stressed. I at least know that Neytiri doesn't have this problem (yet, anyway)

In answer to some of the questions - I do have her papers, my sister left them behind (which was probably silly on her part if she wants to continue being so selfish) and rehoming Neytiri will def put a rift in the family. My grandmother (whom I live with) wants to keep the cat around but doesn't do anything with her -_-
We did try keeping them apart for a while but that didn't last long

There has been a little bit of progress on the Neytiri vs Bobby front though, a few hours ago she actually let Bobby sit near her while she ate. Which was a good thing and the closest she's ever been to him without getting upset, but I'm not sure if that's because she knew she was eating out of his bowl or not. I think if they can get along then it would be much happier times, because I'm more than happy to give them both all the love they need.. it's just hard when she is so stubborn!
She also let me pat her for a while today, which is also good. So I'm feeling like there might be a bit of hope for her.... well, not to say that she's a lost cause, but yeah.

I care about this cat a lot and believe that the situation my sister has put her in is horrible. She really shouldn't be allowed to own pets (the dog at this house is also another neglected pet of my sisters, along with the cat that was here before he passed away -_-)
It is a highly stressful situation, I have enough on my plate without having to calm and effectively own another cat, but she deserves it. She is extremely lovely.

I'll read through the forum and get as many tips as possible on taking care of Bengals. I've never in my life had a pure bred to deal with, I've always had strays or rescue kitties. But wish me luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:37 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:49 pm
Posts: 690
Location: UK
Hoping things are going well Jesskah911.... :mrgreen:


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