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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:02 pm
Posts: 8
I recently adopted a 9 month old f1 bengal.

She is amazing, and despite considering rehoming, we are stuck together. She has been living with me for a little over a month, and is well adjusted to my home, my boy friend, and my boyfriends cat (male kitten 7 months). She has settled down and has adjusted to being in a one cat home from a 3 cat home. She taught herself how to play fetch, and use the toilet 100% of the time by the 3ed week. But im am still concerned that she is not happy, because she is not comfortable being affectionate with me.

I know that we will both live happier healthier lives if we can care for one another, rather than her just living life like she is "tolerating me" but with no personal enjoyment. She will sleep in the bed when my partner is over, other wise will still sleep hidden 3 out of 8 times. The other times she will sleep on top on my dresser, near my bed, but always sleeps in the bedroom with me. She will also not come near me unless it feeding time. She is almost repelled by me, and tries to keep her distance when moving about our home.

Id like to say this is just how she is, she's a cat, and that's how it goes. But I have seen her be EXTREMELY affectionate towards others and know that she is clearly uncomfortable with me.


I wish she could love me too so that she would feel better in our home, I give her dedicated play time with feather toys and fetch for at leaste 2 hrs a day, feeding wet food and raw diet treats, flush the toilet for her, lots of space for her to play. She has even taken to my partners cat and will get play dates every couple week's with her friend sasha showing affection, chasing, and playing nice. She has adjusted to change well, and will always come out and be social with guests. She even took to the introduction of the new cat in her space in less than 24 hrs, licking the smaller kitten in a box. (so cute)


We have come along way, from her jumping away and running into the other room or under the bed when id enter, or when she would smell me. It used to be that I could only pet her while my partner was petting her, and only for 3 seconds, with out getting kitty scratched. Now i can come up to her and pet her back and rub her head 8 of 10 times, and for a good 10 seconds. (yay, i can pet my kitty now!)


But there is still something wrong, I can tell, even though I dont know what It is that is bothering her so, or how to help. She never purs when i pet her. Last night she pured for 5 seconds, for the first time with just us together.

I wouldn't be as worried something was not right if I didn't know how loving she can be. When my boyfriend is in the house, she will follow him around, non stop rubbing her face on his head, and pur pur purrrrring all over the house, petting or no petting.

She also will RUN up to him when called to show him affection .


There will be no running, or rubbing, or purring of sadie running to me =[


If its a personality thing, where she either had a negative past iteration with females in the past, or just dosent like females. I can understand as best I can and live with it. She is still fearful of me, even though she knows now that I am mommy. That i give water and food, and I will always play fetch. Always.

But if there is something i can do, I would like to make everyone happier.


Desperate for help with socializing me to my kitty and my kitty to me. It's my responsibility to aim for us to have the happiest next 15 years that we possibly can.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:28 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:55 pm
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You mentioned that you'd like to say that she is a cat and that's just how it goes. Well, I have some bad news for you. She is an F1 (very distinct and important difference) and yes, that may be JUST how it goes.

Much of the time people take in earlier generations with high expectations and they end up being disappointed with the results. You have a wild animal and your only expectations initially should have been to simply become a non threatening part of her environment. It is important that you understand this, and that you also understand that sometimes these animals only bond to certain individuals in their new home or none at all. She may never bond to you in a way that you prefer.

I know you mentioned that you previously considered rehoming, but to tell you the truth this may not have even solved the issue with her even if you did. In general, F1s are NOT fond of change at all. They do not thrive in the midst of it and it can be detrimental to their socialization and development to be tossed into big changes.

A number of things could have lead her to be this way. It could even be that she was just not socialized well enough at her first home. We did such a hefty amount of research before taking our F1 boy home but I gotta tell you I heard so many horror stories regarding F1s not meeting their owners "pet" expectations.

All you can really do is continue the way that you are and hope things change over time (and this may be a lengthy amount of time), but unfortunately, when these EGs choose to bond they usually do it right off the bat and sometimes things will never change after that point. Our Dexter can be lovey dovey sometimes while at other times, yes, it does seem like he has bonded to our SBT Bengal and is just "tolerating" us and our presence. Sometimes it's very different and he is all love and cuddles, but regardless he will never sit in our laps contently or snuggle with us; he will only do this with Bauer.

You are doing the right things in rewarding her with treats and this will (hopefully) associate your presence with good things. You could also try using one of your t shirts that smells like you (and i do mean a standard t shirt because this will not be pretty) as a food mat under her bowls so that she can smell you while she's eating and that might also help with that association.

Also, Our boys love freeze dried chicken treats. Boil some plain unseasoned chicken breast for 45 minutes. Lay it out on a cooling rack and when it's cool shred it into bite sized pieces. Put the pieces back on the cooling rack, stick the whole thing in the freezer, and let it dry out in your freezer for about 7 days. You can then toss the dried out pieces into a large freezer bag and store them in the freezer. If they feel moist or are greasy at all to the touch, leave them in longer. Also, try doing some clicker training with her. This positive reinforcement is great for bonding and the cats really do have a lot of fun with it. Try including your partner if she becomes difficult with you and see if she will take to both of you. You can get a clicker for cheap on amazon or at petsmart. If you google clicker training videos you will get some really great in depth information.

It looks like it might be a rough road for you, but that is sometimes (often really) how it is from what I gather. Female cats in general can tend to have a "tude" and I have heard plenty of times that this can mainly be directed at other female cats and humans alike. EGs in particular, are a tremendous amount of work and things do not always pan out the way you hope because at the end of the day they are still wild animals - not domestic. Every cat is different and has a different unique personality - let alone the EGs.

I hope that you guys can find some middle ground and that things improve. This could be a very SLOW and even grueling process but if she does come around I can promise you (though i'm sure you already have an inkling) that it will be well worth it.

Do post pics as well ;)



EDIT***** Missed her age as well when I first read your post. Most early gens are rehomed at around 8-9 weeks specifically so that they can form a bond with their new owners early on. Not sure why yours was rehomed so late. That sounds to me like plenty of time to either A) form a permanent bond with the previous owner or B) form a permanent dislike toward females that she may have already had. I would say bring around a female friend of yours and see if she acts the same way, but I don't think that overcrowding her with new people is necessarily the best idea either.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:12 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:42 pm
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Location: Berkshire, UK
F1's tend to bond with a main person, so it seems like that as she is settling in, she has hooked onto your BF.

Who does all the kitty chores i.e changes the litter, feeds etc?

As said above, just not any cat, an F1 is basically 'wild', so you need to approach at a different angle.

As she is into your BF, why not try wearing a jumper or a t-shirt of your BF's that he has worn, in the hopes that you smelling a bit like him will help her transfer her bond onto you too.

But tephiestephie has posted some very good first hand info.

Are you in the UK or the US?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:28 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:02 pm
Posts: 8
I wanted to thank you so so much for your thoughtful reply!

It has been about 5 months now and things with the cat and I are moving forward we seem to have moments of great progression and then others of her pulling back. Although I do all the feeding and cleaning, I am also usually responsible for cleaning and giving meds (for case of mites from other cat ) as well as keeping her from jumping all through the cabinet.

She is extremely close with my boyfriend, and I have managed to turn my jealousy into happiness, knowing how much joy he gets from the extraordinary amount of affection sadie is able to give. It is very interesting how much of a personality she has. She will still run away if he tries to clean or groom her, even from him.

It is also amazing to watch her interactions develop. Although she is much more interested in males, we have our time and she has finally started to show her affection towards me. She knows me as mommy for sure, and is not afraid to come up to me any longer and will even let me pick her up and carry her about my home. She sleeps above my boyfriends head at night and by my feet when im alone but all big improvements.


I think when I initially started posting I was concerned we wouldnt even make it this far. This is more than I could have asked for in my sassy bengal kitty, and although it may be a long process I think over time our relationship will only grow stronger. I am also glad I did my homework and although I am a new pet owner and first time cat owner, I was pretty well prepared for what I was getting into and have not at all been disappointed in my beautiful cat or decision.

Also, this bengal has been re-re homed. I re adopted her at 7 months and she will not be getting re homed again ! She is very neurotic and skiddish and has recently been showing signs of some separation anxiety when my boyfriend does not come home with me. She is also very picky about letting people get to close to her, pet her, or even look at her to long. But is always curious and careful to new people, and comfortable when were home alone together.

She is not declawed. And can sometime scratch pretty hard. Luckily its only playful or if she's provoked. And even when shes non too happy, like during bath time, I cant see her getting overly aggressive or biting.



Wondering if with age she may start biting ? ? She nibbles kind of hard in the morning but never breaks the skin. I think she just wants breakfast or play time.


Thank you again for all your guidance. Having a eg bengal has been the greatest decision for my life, and this kitty has now found her forever home.

Picture will come soon!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:45 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:02 pm
Posts: 8
I posted an update in my other post. I just wanted to say thank you with some photos and and update that Sadie has turned into the most amazing addition to our family and is an absolute joy to share time with.

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/cvcYEcwX2gs
PHOTOS: https://www.instagram.com/p/BMIV3LfDv42 ... =lizzil621
https://www.instagram.com/p/q8JNUtjhXF/ ... =lizzil621
https://www.instagram.com/p/cS5miMjhaf/ ... =lizzil621

Best Always,

Lizzie


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:42 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8888
Thanks for the update. She is beautiful! Happy things have worked out. F1 bengals are a challenge but can be wonderful, loving cats.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:36 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:31 am
Posts: 113
Your story reinforces my observation that Bengals feel things more strongly than other cats, and take longer to recover from feelings of abandonment. My guy was adopted from a shelter by some friends, at which point he was neutered and had a tooth pulled. He lived with them for 4 months when they moved to Hawaii and could not take him with them. I put him in a cloth carrier and drove him an hour to his new home, and had to stuff my purse in his face because he had destroyed (chewed and clawed) the carrier before we made it to his new home. Locked him in the upstairs bathroom and found that he could open all the lever door handles in the house. He ransacked all my kitchen cabinets. He busted his way into the garage and even managed to press the button to the outside garage door trying to get back into the house.

In hindsight he was traumatized by all the events and changes and was emotionally very stressed. He became decidedly calmer and trusting after 4-5 months. It is now a year later, and he is a delight. I think he prefers my male friends to me, don't really know why. He snuggles and even tolerates being picked up for some forced loving. He loves to be thumped or spanked and will ask for it. When I pick him up. I reward him by thumping and he relaxes a bit. I am able to hold him to trim nails, and find it is helpful to repeat my mantra "I am the momma" and reassure him that I love him.

I use Sargeant's Calming Collars and Feliway diffusers with pheromones to improve his mood. He now gets along with the other cats, but still pees on the tile by the front door.

It has been a long journey.

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