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 Post subject: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:44 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:33 pm
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Hi all, I was hoping some of you other wonderful Bengal owners could give me some hope and advice!

I have recently adopted a 6 month old kitten into my multi-cat household. One of my existing cats is a 4 year old male Bengal (neutered) and I'm very concerned about his ability to accept this kitten.
Kitten has been kept in a separate room for almost a week, I've been doing regular pheromone exchanges and have today allowed the kitten into a new room to explore.

My Bengal had shown no negative reaction to the sound and smell of the new kitten, so we allowed them to briefly see each other through a slightly opened door. Bengal flew into attack mode, he was hissing and snarling and made a lunge for the kitten - this was clearly aggression as opposed to fear or trepidation regarding the new baby. He had to be restrained and removed from the situation immediately. Now I was expecting some animosity between them, but the level of his aggression has me concerned.

Should we continue taking things slowly and giving them quick glimpses of each other? Does anyone have a success story that started out with similar levels of aggression? Have we done the wrong thing taking on a new one?

All help appreciated!!


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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:37 pm
Posts: 161
Hi! Sounds like it's way too early to start getting them together. When we reintroduced our kitties it took weeks... And lots of Feliway friends, and positive association, extra attention to both separately, etc. I am sure you've had a look at books such as Cat Vs Cat which deal with intros between cats and conflict.
... I can only say it's doable but it will take time
Good luck!!


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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:48 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
That's really odd. I think most of the time the resident cat would be pretty demonstrative about how they felt about the situation prior to a face-to-face (hissing, growling, spitting). Of course, what really gets a cat to attack is when the other cat acts like prey. What was the kitten's demeanor prior to the attack? How has the Bengal been acting after the separation? How about the kitten?

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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:57 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:33 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the replies! I've had cats all my life, but never a Bengal until this one.

Kitten was happily wandering around and playing, then when they spotted each other he stood his ground and puffed himself up - didn't run or try to hide. Both are completely chilled while separated, I've done another pheromone exchange and once again, neither have shown any reaction to the others smell.

I was expecting to take things very slowly, just caught off guard by the Bengal's aggression after his complete non-reaction to smelling the newbie.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:06 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
It sounds as if your kitten is not a bengal, Your male bengal is simply territorial. Another cat has walked into his territory. In many instances, what you experienced when introducing them is quite common. But ... don't give up. These things can take time. Your kitten may be scared and stressed by your other cat. When it comes to bengal kittens, breeders usually socialize them, get them used to other animals and children. If the kitten is just a regular cat, it was probably left to the mom kitty to do everything. You are doing the right thing in a slow introduction. You should be swapping scents with each of the cats. To start an introduction, you could be feeding them in the same general area with plenty of distance between them. That puts the attention on the food and not the other cat. You can also engage both in play at the same time, and the toy becomes the distraction. When introducing a kitten, you should never put the kitten on the ground to be face to face with the other cat. Hold the kitten in your lap and allow the other curious cat to come up and sniff. Always have someone else with you in case things don't go quite as planned.

Know that patience is your best friend. Keep at it, keep trying. Eventually, they should learn to co-exist with each other. And never leave them alone together until you are sure they are buddies.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:39 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
Hmm, no reaction to smell but violent reaction to face to face. The times I’ve seen this from my bengals is when the other cat is showing fear, or when there is something very specific territorially going on. Example: if I’m petting Serafina and she’s really into it, and Gaga or Neytiri walk up and settle down next to us, she will often go ballistic. Similarly if she spreads out sleeping on a heated blanket, and another cat is unfortunate enough to “invade her space”... lord help them. The other day Neytiri decided to sleep in Gaga’s high perch. Gaga saw her up there, climbed up and started throwing “heymakers” to Neytiri’s head. I had to sprint over there, yelling at Gaga to stop before Neytiri either fell or was forced to plunge 8’ or so to the ground. Always drama with bengals.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:23 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:33 pm
Posts: 5
New kitten is just your average moggy from a rescue centre, forgot to clarify that! He has lived with other cats in his previous home.

Thank you everyone for your replies, it's reassuring that we're on the right path - we fed them near each other but with a door as a barrier this evening, there was one small hiss from the kitten but no aggressive reaction from my Bengal, he was edgy but they both ate for a while before we decided to completely separate them again and end on a high. My Bengal is a complete softy usually, all bark and no bite but certainly a healthy flair for the dramatic! He continues not to react to the smell of kitten but I'm carrying on with pheromone exchange regardless. I'm very grateful that my other feline residents are completely chilled out about the new arrival!

Edited to add - the point about territory is a good one. I'm very much 'his human' and looking back at their first introduction, I think my Bengal was reacting more to the kittens invasion of 'me' (if that makes sense) than his invasion of the house. During the feed today I sat nearby the Bengal while my boyfriend was on the other side of the door with the kitten - Bengal would routinely look at the door to the kitten's room, then at me (at which point I'd provide some sort of positive reinforcement) and would then continue eating. I think I've learnt that I need to continue being 'his human' whenever the kitten is around! I've never had a cat that's been so attached to me as he is, so this is all a learning curve!


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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:08 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4145
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
RobynKK wrote:
Edited to add - the point about territory is a good one. I'm very much 'his human' and looking back at their first introduction, I think my Bengal was reacting more to the kittens invasion of 'me' (if that makes sense) than his invasion of the house. During the feed today I sat nearby the Bengal while my boyfriend was on the other side of the door with the kitten - Bengal would routinely look at the door to the kitten's room, then at me (at which point I'd provide some sort of positive reinforcement) and would then continue eating. I think I've learnt that I need to continue being 'his human' whenever the kitten is around! I've never had a cat that's been so attached to me as he is, so this is all a learning curve!


Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking. Either the space the kitten occupied had special meaning, or proximity to the bengals human. Sweet, I'm glad that this seems to be going in the right direction now. The "attention musical chairs" often doesn't end after introductions are successful and complete either. With my three, I find that I often have to "play favorites" with whichever one seems to need it the most on a particular day, often to the dismay of the other two. With the initial introductions though, it's definitely the resident cat(s) that need the most affection/attention.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Your bengal boy will just have to learn to "share" you. LOL As long as you are willing to give this time. Change is never easy for bengals or any cat, so just getting the kits used to each other will help. You are feeding them the proper way. I know this takes time out of your day, but pets are like children and need to be worked with. Hang in there ...... I'm sure there is enough attention to go around for all of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:39 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:33 pm
Posts: 5
Certainly prepared to give them time, as long as it takes :)

That being said, they had an accidental face to face today when my boyfriend (who is currently still in the doghouse) let the kitten slip through the door and run straight into the Bengal. There was a lot of hissing and shouting but my Bengal actually backed down pretty fast and seemed more scared than anything based on his body language. Kitten then strutted off like he owned the place - he's completely fearless!! Taking it all as a good sign, despite the prematurity of their meeting haha.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:51 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Hissing and growling are okay. As long as there are no attacks! These kitties are showing who is and who isn't boss. They should eventually get a long fine. Please bring your boyfriend out of the dog house. They usually aren't not large enough for humans. LOL. Hey .... things happen! I'm sure he didn't mean to allow them to get face to face. And at least you got to see the cats' reaction.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:22 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:33 pm
Posts: 5
He was eventually forgiven but I had to be bribed with chocolate... :p

No but in all seriousness I'm actually sort of glad it happened because it's given me some hope that things will settle without anyone needing a trip to the vet :)


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 Post subject: Re: Advice Needed
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Long story ... my Raiden is highly territorial. Even on our daily walks, he was looking for a male cat to tangle with (and found him many times). I took in a neighbor's cat who was run off by his brother and not allowed to eat or seek shelter. One day the cat was eating out on the deck and Raiden flew through the back door and viciously attacked him. Now, the other cat was not going to leave and Raiden would try to attack him while he was on the leash and we were out walking. Fast forward to 2-1/2 years later .... the other cat is now allowed in the house. They sleep in separate areas, they sniff each other's faces, Raiden no longer attacks him, although he will slap his face if he continues with the sniffing. I won't say they are best friends, but they co-exist. It actually did not take the full 2-12 years, but everything has been fine since we've been letting the other kitty in our home. In fact, Long Legs follows us on our walks most days.

I do believe you need to actually allow them time together -- if only for a few minutes. Just monitor them and be prepared to scoot one away if one goes into attack mode. Thing is ... they won't learn to get along until you actually try to allow them to get along. So frequent face-to-face meeting are really in order at this point.


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