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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:49 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:42 am
Posts: 6
Hello to all fellow Bengal lovers & caters!

I do hope one of you lovely people can help me? My 2 girls, 2.5 years old and litter mates started fighting 2 weeks ago. I have consulted with Debbie Connolly the behaviourist and although she is not able to visit my property due to the distance she has been helpful. I have placed Rubie the aggressor in a spare room on her own during the day whilst I am at work and then place her in the dog crate in my living room in the eve when I am home. Elsa is allowed free roam of the house and this enables her to leave her scent everywhere. We seemed to make some progress last weekend but last night Rubie was still in pounch mode every time Elsa went near the cage and Elsa continues to hiss.

Has anyone else faced and successfully overcome the same issue? I am trying to avoid the heart wrenching decision to permanently separate them. I am using calmex and pet remedy as a way to help calm them.

If anyone has some tried and tested advice then I welcome their feedback.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
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Hi there

Definitely stick with whatever Debbie has advised you. I also consulted her when my two boys started fighting at pretty much the same age. Don't expect any overnight solution though, you have to persevere. My two went on Zylkene and I was told to face the aggressor (in this case Jagger) and chase him off every time he bullied Hendrix which would end in all sorts of hissing and growling and general nastiness. I didn't separate my two during the day, mainly as they are allowed outside during the day and have different schedules so I think they pretty much avoided each other. I still have feliway plugins - in particular I now have the new 'Friends' one and that did seem to make a difference. Debbie also told me to spritz my hands with the feliway spray and rub both of them straight away to get their scents the same etc.

When there was unpleasantness between them I would step in very quickly and separate them both into different rooms for 10-15 minutes, no fuss or attention to either, just separated them so they could calm down and when the tails stopped lashing I would open the door and if they didn't start again, they'd get treats. Right now, I can't remember when I last had to do that.

I'm sure Debbie gives her advice very much tailored to the problem so definitely keep doing what she's told you if it is different to what she told me.

It has taken a year, and gradually we started to have more and more good times than bad, and then at the start of this year, a full truce seems to have been made and they get on really well again. Obviously there is the occasional disagreement but they get over it quickly and are soon firm friends again and are now get up to mischief together again - its lovely!! I love watching them chase each other round the house again now and not have to worry about it ending in a fight!

I swear they reach their stroppy teenage years and all hell breaks loose, and then finally they get past it and learn to co-exist again!

Good luck!

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:01 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:42 am
Posts: 6
Thank you Clare for such encouraging news. My cats under normal circumstances are allowed into my garden which has cat proof fencing, it's not a big garden by any means but I think the falling out is all about dominance. As I am out for such a large part of the day I cannot leave them together and the purpose is to reduce Rubies scent and de-rank her almost. I feel so bad about leaving her in a small room all day and then caged in the evening but Debbie has told me not to feel guilty or act on my emotions, it's very hard.

Thank you for taking the time to respond and giving me some sense of hope that things can improve.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1178
No problem at all, I know exactly how you feel as I honestly thought I would have to rehome one or both - after all, how do you choose which should stay? You have acted very quickly and you need to be strong and like Debbie said, don't feel guilty. You are their pack leader and have to be confident and consistent with them.

In our case, Hendrix had been beaten up by a neighbourhood cat and had lost confidence, whereas Jagger got way too big for his boots! I actually thought it was Hendrix having a go at Jagger as he would constantly hiss and growl at him. Then I spoke to Debbie and once I realised what was going on I could see all the subtle little things happening. Jagger would block Hendrix's access to rooms, even try to get at Hendrix if I carried him through the blockade etc and sometimes just a glance from Jagger would make Hendrix react. Debbie told me I had to believe Hendrix and let him know he had my support - initially we thought he was being grumpy but in reality was telling Jagger to back off as Jagger was being aggressive to him. It got worse before it got better, once Jagger was rumbled he was pretty blatant about it!

Debbie offered a month of support I think so don't be shy about going back to her if you need to - it will all be worth it in the end!

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:07 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
2.5 years seems to be about the time that adult cat relationships seem to change often times. My bengals (biological sisters) have had periodic problems ever since as well. I'm very glad you contacted a behaviorist for help, but thoughts of rehoming after only 2 weeks? This is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to stop thinking about failures and contingencies and double down on yourself and your cats. If I would have rehomed a cat after every bad 2 week stint, I would have rehomed each of my cats 10 times over right now. But it honestly hasn't really crossed my mind. And things get a lot better with some work, love, experimentation, research, and iron clad determination.

One thing that I really think has a huge impact is catification. Specifically offering your cats a number of opportunities to climb and snooze in elevated perches, away from each other if they choose.

Good luck, feel free to post more info (there really is almost no specifics in your post) if you want more help. Videos are very helpful too.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:19 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8152
Thank you, "Tabitha", because you've gone through this!!! Brian, you always add the best advice. I've only got one bengal -- so there is no sibling rivalry with him.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:43 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:37 pm
Posts: 162
Hi! We are going through that too: siblings not getting on. We had them separate during the day as work full time - not great, but hey ho. Cat behaviourist after three weeks. She recommended pretty much the same, slow reintroduction, positive reinforcement of being together, lots of attention and even more catification of the house. We are two or maybe three weeks into 'treatment' and at least they can be in the same room now when we are around, with the usual posturing, blocking, bits of growling and the more than occasional slap... However, as said above, it is slow work, don't give up!
It will take patience but small advances will soon take place.
We have all kinds of Feliway and toys and whatnot also on... Every little helps! Ours still need to be separated during the day but we open doors as soon as we get home, interchange their spaces and hope for the best :-)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:32 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:42 am
Posts: 6
Hi Brian thank you for your message, the girls up until a couple of weeks ago were pretty happy with each other, however looking back I think Rubie has been coveting my attention more and more. She sleeps with me and has been gradually pushing Elsa out of the equation. The house has stimulation toys and a tall multi layered cat tower for their use, they also have the garden. I realise that maybe more perches are required and I am working on that. At the moment I cannot let Rubie out of the cage and near Elsa because she just wants to fly at her and this is scaring Elsa. When Elsa approaches the cage and not in a confrontational way Rubie immediately adopts a stance as if she is about to catch prey, despite my reprimands she is persistent. Elsa then hisses and runs off. I plugged in the Feliway pheromones but Debbie tells me that this generally doesn't work with Bengals but I can see that Elsa is actually more relaxed this evening. For the first time in 2 weeks she felt comfortable jumping on my lap and going to sleep.

I do work a long day and have had to cancel all eve appointments in order to spend the time with them to help resolve the current disharmony.

Any suggestions, ideas will be gratefully received so please feel free to send them along.

Thank you to anyone who has responded to my post, it is reassuring for me to have people to share this with. Sadly my breeder just did not want to know!

All the best x


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:45 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4147
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Rubieselsa wrote:
The house has stimulation toys and a tall multi layered cat tower for their use


See... this is a big problem, Imo. When your cats are being territorial, that equates to *one* of your cats has a multi-layered cat tower, and the other one is just hosed. It's almost worse than not having one.

https://smile.amazon.com/Catify-Satisfy ... laxy+books

https://smile.amazon.com/Catification-D ... laxy+books

https://smile.amazon.com/Cat-vs-Keeping ... cat+vs+cat

http://www.catsplay.com/cat-wall-climbing-systems

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:13 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8152
I hate to hear that your breeder isn't interested in this. Usually your breeder is there for you for the rest of your cats' lives. That being said -- I do think Feliway helps bengals. It has helped mine stop spraying in the bedroom. Each bengal needs its own territory -- so even an extra cat tree might help the situation. Human siblings fight. Cat siblings fight. It's just nature!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:23 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:42 am
Posts: 6
Hi Brian & Clare

So 3 weeks in and I feel so guilty about having Rubie contained in a spare bedroom all day only to be put into a cage in the evening. Elsa does approach the cage and when Rubie comes forward Elsa just hisses! Debbie has recommended target scent work but I'm still struggling to get them to smell the same? The pet rescue remedy is used on both but Elsa dislikes the smell and it still doesn't manage to get them to smell the same?

I have bought Pam Bennett's book cat vs cat and have tried using a sock for each animal to wipe their faces and then place the sock in the other cats bed or as close as possible, I have done this with tea towels also and am busy exchanging these every 24 hours but still no joy so far.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions that they have used perhaps in this situation?

Thank you as always


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:18 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1178
Yes that must be hard. Could you not swap them around when you get home for a bit, so Elsa goes in the spare room and Rubie gets the rest of the house for a bit? I know you are trying to 'de-rank' her but I would think they need to properly share spaces for their scents to mingle and be the same. Swap their actual beds around etc.

I never separated my two like this so can only imagine how tough it is for all of you. How long is Debbie saying you need to do this for? Won't Rubie feel jealous and resentful by being contained like this if she can see Elsa strolling around the house without a care in the world?

Do you have the Friend Feliway plug in? I still have that plugged in just in case! I did notice things would get unpleasant again if it ran out and I hadn't realised.

Debbie does know what she's talking about as her advice to me worked, but it took time to fully rectify the issue.

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:20 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8152
It is always sad when one has to separate or segregate their cats. You would do that to children only temporarily -- I wish it could be the same for cats. To cage a cat overnight is just not fair in my opinion. This is why my bengal is an only child. I take care of an outdoor cat and they have learned to tolerate each other, although this morning on our walk, Raiden wanted to attack him. Thankfully, they only see each other when we do our two walks a day. Which is why one cat is inside and one cat is outside (he's always been an outside cat). I hope you can get things worked out. I can see you're trying really hard.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:02 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:42 am
Posts: 6
Thank you for getting back to me fellow Bengal cat lovers!

Debbie thinks that secluding Rubie to a room by day and the cage in the evening will help in reinforcing who is boss and it is not Rubie! I need to make as much fuss of Elsa in front of Rubie has possible to give her greater confidence and to again reinforce the fact that I am in charge and Rubie isn't. Rubie is the smallest of the 2 cats but Elsa is the gentler of the 2, over these past weeks I have witnessed Rubies more wild Bengal streak and this is why it's so hard to get the balance. It doesn't help
That I work in the city 4 days a week and live alone so have no additional support. It's getting to the point where it is affecting me physically and mentally, I have a lot of demands on my time at work and now when I get home I have no reprieve, so it's hard and heartbreaking. Debbie has suggested a harness and lead for Rubie and I have got her used to being on the lead but even for the short time she is out of the cage on her lead she is staring down Elsa and the fur is on end because she wants to chase Elsa! At least on the lead I can prevent her from carrying out her instincts but I am conscious that these encounters are undermining Elsa's confidence.

Thank you for your support and comments I really do appreciate it.

Annie


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:15 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8152
Annie .... I know you're frustrated. This is just something that an owner has to spend a lot of time on. Personally, I would try to treat your babies equally. Favoring one over the other isn't right for pets -- just like it isn't right for parents. I've never been in your situation, so I'm not much help with advise. I just hope things get better for you and your kitties because, at this point, nobody is really happy.


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