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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:05 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:34 pm
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Hello! I just signed up today because I'm having a bit of a hard time introducing a new bengal kitten to our current bengal cat, and am hoping for some advice and support. By ways of introduction, as I haven't done one yet, here is our bengal cat, Moose. She's three, a total sweetie, super playful and very affectionate:

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We've been thinking about getting her a friend for a while, and finally decided to bite the bullet. Moose, like all bengals, loves her some attention. We play with her often when we're at home, but we thought it would be good for her to have a friend to pounce on, stalk, and snuggle during the day. So, this weekend, we brought home Pepper! 3 months old, female, super confident and playful, and a total lovebug.

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We knew that this wouldn't be easy at first and were prepared for there. We put the kitten in her own room. For the first few days, we didn't let the cats see each other, but swapped out bedding and toys. Moose would hiss and growl a bit at the kitten's bedding, but eventually quieted down. I rubbed a towel on the kitten's face and then on Moose. When we pet the kitten, we then pet Moose. After several days—last night—we put up a baby gate for a little while just outside of the kitten's door, so that Moose could see the kitten.

Moose was furious. She growled and hissed. The kitten got super puffy and kept her head low, but made no noises back, then eventually forgot to be scared and started playing. We've put the baby gate back up on and off throughout yesterday and today. Moose has gotten progressively closer (she seemed scared of the little one) but is still growling quite a lot. When the kitten gets really excited in play, Moose looks intrigued, but then starts growling if the kitten looks at her funny. I'm a bit worried that she's going to lunge, but then some of the time she just tucks her paws underneath her in her usual "hen" position and looks totally harmless.

Any advice on the next best steps? Is the baby gate a step too far if there's still growling? Should we scale it back to scent swapping? Is some amount of growling and hissing to be expected in a face-to-face introduction? Any advice on how to make this go more smoothly?

I know this part is tricky, I just don't want to do irreparable damage to their relationship, and am trying to convince my husband that it will all be okay, while not being so certain myself. Hoping for some help from you kind strangers on the internet!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:36 am 
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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
It sounds to me like you are doing the right things, and that things are going relatively well. It's basically all about your adult cat at this point. The kitten is a willing playmate and friend if she's able to be, but you have to manage your adult cat to get to that point.

I think you need to try to chip away at her notion that the kitten is a bad presence in the home. Treats or meals at the baby get may help. And if you are able to end the encounter before any growling or other hostilities happen, that is probably best. When Jackson Galaxy handles such things, he likes to do the "challenge line" thing, where he finds the closest point they can be in proximity with one another with no hostilities, then tries to go closer the next time.

When I was introducing my bengal Serafina to Neytiri, I basically just instituted a "zero tolerance" policy. If Serafina growled or hissed, that was it, end of the encounter. We would try again later. Both cats would get affection and play, but not together. It took Serafina a week or two to decide that having Neytiri around wasn't a terrible thing, but then again she was only 6 months old or so, and the older they are the tougher they often are to accept a new cat.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:57 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8008
I totally agree with Brian. You are doing all the right things. You just need time and patience. You can't expect them to face each other and everything be hunky dory. It happens sometimes, but many times it does not. A new kitten has entered Moose's territory and Moose isn't happy and wants to show who is boss. Know, too that your little one may still be a tad stressed out from moving to a totally new environment. The baby gate is doing its job. You need to feed them on each side of the gate. Slowly, you can raise the gate and still feed them in that area. Food is the distraction. Same with treats and playtime with toys. Engage both of them in play at the same time and let the toy be the distraction. Know that things should not get worse, they should actually get better with time. However, you never leave them together unsupervised until you know they get along with each other. Hang in there. Hopefully, soon you can post a picture of them snuggling and sleeping together.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:35 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:44 pm
Posts: 673
I cannot really advise on this as when I introduced Pearl to Magic when he was 3 years old it was very different.

I brought Pearl home and put her in the lounge and Magic came down before i had chance to do anything, he growled and hissed and ran upstairs so I planned to keep him upstairs and Pearl downstairs but on the second day they somehow met on the stairs, Pearl was super friendly and Magic growled and hissed again, by the end of the day they were in the same room and Magic was getting better so i just left them to it and the rest is history.

2 years on and they get along OK they have their moments as Pearl is so hyperactive and wants to play all the time and Magic doesn't always want to so he does growl at her but they never fight or hurt each other.

I'm sure it won't be long before yours are getting along fine.

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Magic (brown spotted boy born 31 March 2012)
Pearl (seal Lynx Point girl born 1 October 2015)
Bristol, UK


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