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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:14 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:49 am
Posts: 12
Hi All,

I've seen so many members and many other owners online seem to manage well with two bengals, so I'm hoping some of you have experienced what we're going through and overcome it.

The problem:

We have a 5yr old female marbled Bengal - sweet natured, playful, vocal and affectionate and more on the calm side but with a tendency for being anxious. She's small - only 3.4kg (7.5lbs) and has a small frame with not much muscle.

Last year we bought a 6 month yr old male snow rosette kitten. Confident, dominant, highly intelligent, needs a lot attention and play, not as vocal but makes himself known. He's a big guy - at one years old he's already 6kg (13lbs) and very muscular.

The boy cat is trying to push the girl out - he's attacking her (pouncing) and has caused scratch injuries. Both are spraying/peeing all over the house, and the girl cat is petrified. We have tried several things (see below) and been advised behaviour modification would not work and our only option is rehoming our boy which is frankly devastating- but as one last attempt I'm putting a call out to you guys. Can anyone help? If not or if you of have also had to rehome that would also be good to know.

For info we live in a three story house in a residential area in a large city. We have a garden and a roof terrace but the outdoor space is shared between 4 or so neighbours cats from time to time. The girl cat seems to get on well with the neighbours cats, the boy cat seems timid and scared. Before we got the new boy, our girl had a brother who sadly died from a rare heart condition. Whilst they used to fight/pee occasionally they seemed to be able to share space and responded well to a behaviour modification programme with a cat behaviour specialist. After he died we left it 9 months until we bought the kitten.

In addition we both work full time so often we're only in the house 2-3 days per week, most evenings (7pm onwards) and all mornings (6am to 9am)

The 'symptoms':

For the boy cat he sprays all over the house, he gets a crazy expression and jumps and grabs our legs from time to time (which is pretty painful), he stalks and attacks her when he sees her and when he can pounces and gets her in a 'body lock' and resorts to kicking and biting her.

For the girl - she pees in certain places, she's displays timid body language, she has been over grooming constantly to the point of creating bald patches on her belly and back of legs (some of which on rare occasions have turned to sores and we've had to have treatment from the vets), she spends all day outside in hiding and when she sees him hisses, crouches, and always screeches when he's attacking her.

What we've tried so far:

- both are neutered/spayed
- Feliway plugs and spray (these don't work for us and are always the first to be suggested!)
- Zyclene tablets for her
- 'Calm' cat food by royal canin for both
- Creating separate territories (he has a downstairs room plus full access to the house except bedrooms and she has exclusive access to our bedroom all night and spends all day outside)
- Playing and feeding together
- Properly cleaning all pee/spray with biological washing powder solution and 'Urine off' spray for cats
- Having four large litter trays in the house which are cleaned regularly
- Playing with both
- Keeping them apart as much as possible
- Attempting to 'train' him to sit and fetch to keep him stimulated
- Cat trees (just used by him)
- Trying to stay calm and not shout but you'll appreciate this is a horrible situation
- Feeding her first

I think that's it....

Thanks so much for reading if you've made it this far... any advice of things you've tried or if you've been faced with the same situation I'd love to know. The cats health and happiness is the most important so if we're at the end of road that's fine but as I said - just making one last attempt!

Yours gratefully, L.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:13 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:37 pm
Posts: 161
Dear Lorlor

So sorry to hear about that, she sounds sooo stressed poor soul. I assume you have brought in a behaviourist? On top of what you have done, even more cat trees and safe zones may be required for her if he's the only one using them. It sounds like he wants your attention too and needs even more interaction. Those are the only things I can think of and bringing a professional to check the situation in person would definitely be key.
We had issues with our two and they were eventually sorted but to be fair they were sisters, used to each other, and the situation was not as far down the line as what it seems in your kitty's case... It took months of work.
If you eventually have to re-home, and that's heartbreaking, the breeder sometimes takes the cats back.

Best of luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8148
What you are experiencing is not uncommon. Yes, most times, two bengals can get along. And, why people think two bengals are better than one -- I don't know -- because this situation can happen and it tries your patience.

First of all, check out Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences and see if something will work in your situation. http://www.spiritessences.com

Second of all, you need to calm down and stay calm. The issue here is your dominant male. There is always an alpha cat in the household and he has made sure your little gal knows it. Thirdly, the bullying that is going on has caused your little lady to lose confidence. She is completely stressed out. That would make her spray or pee outside the litter box.

As for a solution -- you have a very large home. There should be enough space for both cats. Do they both have their own areas with cat trees? Do you engage both cats in play time at the same time? The key here is to slow down the aggression of your male and built up the confidence in your female. This means redirecting any aggression by your male by using toys. Jackson Galaxy has used this technique in his My Cat From Hell series. Know that YOU will have to do your part in helping these two. Re-homing is an easy word -- you have no idea how many thousands of bengals are currently looking for new homes due to behavioral issues with their owners. Giving up on a cat is never easy as you made the choice to take on another bengal. This is on you and not the kitties.

Your little lady needs reassurance that she is safe. Your big boy need to know that he cannot get away with hurting your little girl. Bengal cats can learn to play together, sleep together, groom each other. And a lot of it stems from how they were introduced early on. These two need to be separated when you are not home and you need to play with them and observe them together when you are home. Work with the two of them -- they can learn the word "NO" or "STOP." Asking them to work this out themselves is not going to work. You would not allow two toddlers to duke it out without interfering, would you? You literally have 2 TWO year old toddlers .... and if you are willing to put the time in now, it will pay off later, although this could take months.

The outdoor world is truly not where your little gal needs to be! She's already timid and a prime target for some predator. Also, in a three level home, you need a litter box on each level and at least one extra one on the level the cats use the most -- you say you have four, but .... since they are peeing everywhere, you can add more. One can never have too many litter boxes.

I hope you do not re-home either kitty. I see pathetic pleas from rescues trying to find homes for bengals. Many end up in shelters and are prime for euthanasia. And there is no guarantee that a new owner will be able to handle an alpha male either. Please, please, give these kitties a chance. I know you are at your wits end and you work full time, but please put in the time required.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:50 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1178
You are not alone! Lots of us have issues with two bengals and keeping a harmonious household! I was shouting at mine last night as jagger is being a right little tinker just lately :redface:

Where are you based? If you are in the UK I can let you know who helped me when jagger was bullying Hendrix at every opportunity. It took months of perseverance but we got there eventually. We still have the odd bump in the road (like now!) but overall things are fairly calm.

When things get boisterous here, I turn on my friends Feliway plug-in which does actually help, believe it or not! If things are very bad I give them time-outs in separate rooms to calm down and when I open the doors I give them treats together for a positive association.

Back to your issues.... Did they ever get on?
How long did you use zylkene for and did you also put your boy on it to calm him down a bit? Obviously he would need 2per day with his weight, your girl only needs one though as under 5kg.

I had both mine on zylkene and for a good couple of months while I tried to get a handle on things.

I was told to face the aggressor (Jagger) and chase and push him away from Hendrix. That way Hendrix knew I had his back and jagger would eventually understand I wouldn't tolerate this behaviour. I was also told to spritz my hands with feliway spray and rub them both down to help with their 'social' scent. Jagger hated that though so I had to stop, he'd also walk to the feliway plug-ins and physically smack it.

I was told to keep them busy - easier said than done! Your male is very young and could be getting bored and then using your female as entertainment, especially as she has lost confidence and acting like 'prey'. Have you tried puzzle feeders or looked at interactive toys he might like? But also look at how many trees and places they have as adding more facilities can help too.

The other thing I would suggest is a book called 'cat v cat' by pam Johnson-Bennett. This will also help you if you feel a complete reintroduction is needed.

Your best bet is a behaviourist who specialises in bengals as every scenario is different. You sound like you've tried a lot of the things I was told to do but nothing is overnight and you have to persevere and be totally consistent. Took months to get things back on track here!

We're here to support you if you need us!

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


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:53 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:49 am
Posts: 12
Hi All,

I really can't thank you guys enough - thank you for understanding, for the straight talking and helpful advice.

I absolutely do not want to re-home my boy, the thought is beyond devastating - I just kept being told that was our only remaining option. It stems from being so worried about our girl but your replies and shared experiences have given us faith to keep going (with perseverance and patience) so thank you.

We've also received a bit of other advice about re-introductions and rescue remedy!?

We're going to put in place a new plan of
*adding more cat trays (we have two on the ground and one on each other floor, but we'll get more)
*playing way more games with both
*getting more trees (we have two)
*being at home more
*building our little girls confidence and reducing our boys dominance (watching jackson galary and reading cat v cat)
*getting our boy on zyclene
*building some cat shelves

We already have three types of interactive cat feeders so good for those (and I can recommend which ones work)

I will let you know how we're getting on

Thank you everyone x

P.s Clare I'll PM you re:behaviourist we've worked with one well known one for our previous boy and that helped but this time she felt the situation was a little too extreme.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:43 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:05 am
Posts: 156
I am so stoked to read your latest post Lorlor. So many times people just give up. Please keep us updated on your progress. You've restored my faith in humanity.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:27 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1178
Not sure if this will work but here is the link to the chaos we had when my two kicked off - its in the behaviour section (Two Bengal brothers not getting on):

www.bengalcatforums.com/forums/viewtopi ... =4&t=22878

Re the rescue remedy, the behaviourist told me about two Bach remedies to add a couple of drops to their water. They were willow and cherry plum for when I started to take them off Zylkene - I'll dig out the information for you tonight.

Which interactive feeders do you have - always looking for something to keep mine busy and they're not too interested in the puzzle feeders we have at the moment.

Also, do you have a flying frenzy to wear the boy out with?

Good luck xx

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


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:08 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8148
This forum is here to HELP members. We don't always have the right answers, but we own bengals and/or other cats -- and many have experienced what you are going through. I'm happy to read you are going to give it a go and perservere through this. I do believe the more your little gal gains confidence, she will be able to hold her own if you can tone your boy's aggression down a little bit. Let's see how things are progressing in two weeks, a month, two months. Good luck! We are here if you need us.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:54 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:49 am
Posts: 12
Thanks Clare for the extra info! And thanks Sherry and Traceychops for the encouragement x

I'll post an update next week with a progress report xx


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:04 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:49 am
Posts: 12
Opps meant to share these as well - all three have kept them interested!

PetSafe SlimCat Feed Ball - Blue https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0018CG40O/ ... EzbW9PQ4YV

Catit Senses Food Maze https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004G9L1H2/ ... EzbTWXCZSQ

Trixie Cat Activity Turn Around, 22 × 33 × 18 cm https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003TOO5PA/ ... EzbDGV5PM2


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:00 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1178
I have the first two but will also try the third. I'm pretty rubbish at putting them out for them to be honest, plus I know Hendrix will have had all the treats before jagger gets a look in unless I'm home to monitor them! I use them most in winter when they both spend more time indoors. Hendrix has a tendency to put weight on in the winter so I get the feed balls out to get him moving.

Really hope everything works out and look forward to an update!

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


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8148
My bengal can't figure out anything like that. Seriously! I picked up a treat feeder and he had no idea what to do with it. Even though I worked it for him. He just sat and looked at it!


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