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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:04 pm 
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Bengal Cat
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Hi, new member here.

Had my two 6month old males not even a week yet, so know from this forum not to expect too much too soon. By the breeders own admission they're not as well people integrated as ideal, and a bit older than their kittens usually go to re-home. We have been chatting all the while even though they were hiding, using established eye contact and body language techniques etc. I know cats. Btw the litter / food regime is already well sorted.

Playing is now occasionally getting them out from under the sofa and we're allowed to watch them eat, from a few paces away. I thought they were just starting to settle. For number 1 (oh, yeah we've not named them yet cos would like to get fitting names for their character) it's going really well - my wife has even been able to reach into him in his bed and stroke / tickle tummy with gentle purring coming - whoopee!!!

But number 2 is our problem- very skittish. He'll play, comes out to chase string flicking type games. But he is not at all showing inclination to allow us to approach him / stroke him. There's worse: took him to the vet this morning...OMG it was a major incident! He managed nearly theee circuits of the 'wall of death' around the treatment room. He flipped - the vet commented this was a concern "even for a bengal" I got a towel around him and with his head partly covered got him calmed on the table and he did his vet checks etc.

He left me with his comment that "with such an almost wild cat reaction will this boy ever make a good pet?"

I'm slightly shocked and troubled- starting to fall in love with my lads already so even thinking of returning them shocks me, I'm not even sure what that may cost me either. Our family principal is not to give up at an early hurdle - we're not quitters.

So my worry is how much time and effort will pay off for male 2?
Will male 1 help to fix him by his example?
Male 2 hasn't spit or screamed, so I don't want to over react
Or is it actually possible male 2 will never soften, knowing what I have read on here about the breed

Sorry long posting, thanks in advance

Rob

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Don't give up! You'll probably end up with such a rewarding relationship with that little guy once he knows he can trust you!

Those extra few months and not properly socialised are the issues, and these can be worked on. I imagine that being taken away from everything he's ever known, and then a trip to the vet within a week, before he really knows you (although I appreciate its something that needed to be done) was too much for a nervous and skittish kitten.

Jagger is a nightmare with the vet even now, we dread taking him as it stresses him so badly. If it's a routine apt for his boosters I tend to have him on zylkene for a good week or so before the apt to help him remain calm.

Are they in a safe room at the moment? You probably will find that number 2 kitten will follow the lead of number 2 kitten. Hendrix was the confident one out of our two and did everything first, with jagger watching closely and following his lead.

It sounds like they are both eating and using their litter trays so that's excellent. What treats do you have to help you out? You need them to associate you with good things!

Just go at their pace, number 2 kitten is clearly going to take longer but be patient. Jagger took much longer to win round but he is amazingly affectionate now, although he is still skittish and jumps at any sound he wasn't expecting.

I know there will be plenty of other members who will be able to offer you amazing advice.

Looking forward to pictures and hearing how it all goes.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:46 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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I'm guessing these two are siblings?? Have faith and don't give up. Every bengal has its own personality. The stress of flying (I never recommend flying a bengal unless they are in the cabin with you) may have traumatized one more than the other. You know through this forum that we recommend they be put in a smaller area (safe room) so they can acclimate to the new sound and smells of a new home. They are probably terrified a lot of the time. Bengals are super curious, so know that in time, they will want to come around and investigate everything. Talking in a soft voice (reading to them) but not grabbing at them is what needs to be done until the kitties approach you. Have you tried getting them to accept treats?

As for the vet visit .... these little ones have obviously already visited a vet as they are already neutered. However, the vet's office has strange smells which can affect each cat differently. I'm sure your bengals are not early generation bengals, so they should be domesticated. That being said ... obviously one baby doesn't enjoy being handled right now. The vet visit is over, so just concentrate on allowing the cats to acclimate. This can take weeks -- or months. But don't give up! Each of your babies has its own personality that will come through and I do recommend that you now decide on their names so they can get used to them.

Most of all, we members are here for you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:17 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Number one and number two :rolleyes: Such undignified names for cats, that really can't help the bonding process! Seriously! It's like they have no identities to you yet. How can you expect to bond with a cat who shares a name with poo poo?

Also, as Sherry said, why are they under a couch in a busy room if they are so afraid? You are not doing them any favors by doing that, and that will likely prolong the time it takes for your scare-dy cat to feel comfortable. Also, be careful with the whole eye-contact thing. Holding eye contact with a cat is actually a hostile act. It's seen as a challenge. It's what a cat does to another cat right before he launches a vicious attack.

My one other comment is: what does it really matter how much time it takes your timid kitty? Is there a deadline? Lets say it takes a month, two months? three months? six months? I mean you could potentially have him for 15-20 years. Whatever time it takes him, it's kind of small potatoes in the bigger scheme of things, so I wouldn't be so concerned over that.

One more: I think the visit to your vet probably told you more about the vet than the cat (you already knew your cat was not yet well acclimated to people, and a vet office is arguably the most stressful situation possible for a cat). If a vet doesn't have a good rapport with both myself and my cats, that's a good signal to look for another vet. It sounds to me like not only was he insensitive, but also handled the visit poorly. I'd dump him.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:54 pm 
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Bengal Cat
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Thanks all for your supportive comments

They're temporary names...really! We have a family vote any day now, can't decide. My previous moggy cat recently passed away having lived over 19years, but we really didn't pick a very unique name, so this time we're hoping to be more creative, and also match names to personalities

Jet lagged was just a figure of speech for their mood having been moved to the new home, not actually flying!

Yes they're siblings.

I do understand the eye thing with cats very well, what I was saying is that we have been successfully using the technique to squint, half look away etc. to good effect.

We went to a busy vet practice with a number of vets on duty...I may ask for specific vet in future following more discussion with a senior partner there?

I'll keep you posted on progress

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:32 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Hi! I agree with brianj's comment on the vet; our vet is a 'cat Care aware' or something like that; they have separate rooms for cats and dogs, separated waiting area, offer blankets for cat carriers to be covered so that they dont stress out... That said, one of the chaps in their practice got freaked out when he saw one of our cats only because it was a Bengal :rolleyes: however, good vets should know better how to approach the situation.
Good luck!!! And looking forward to the naming!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I dont have many tips but good luck settling "Stinkyhead" (Number 2) in :P

I was told by Brian (i think lol) that playtime is the currency that bengals deal in. And I think even if Boy 2 isn't cuddling or letting you touch him, at least he is playing with the toys when you bring them out, and I think thats a good start. They are so it might just take a little longer until he's comfortable around you, but I think the more you play with him, the better the bond will become- and the more tolerant and trusting he will be to you touching him.

Somehow, this is bengal logic lol.

Great to hear food/litter is going well, those are definitely the basics and its great he's doing those two things well already.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:59 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Sorry about misinterpreting your "jet lagged" comment. Many breeders do indeed FLY their cats over the oceans. Slow blinking is the key to getting a cat's love. It's how Jackson Galaxy first interacts with a new cat.

I'm sure you may feel your life is upside down right now because you really want more for your kittens. A week just isn't long enough in many cases. And you need to do this right or issues will linger for years and years. Patience ... patience and patience. I know how much you want to grab and hold and nuzzle them, but they aren't ready yet. So give them time. Not sure how well they were socialized at the breeders or even by their mom. If they were taken away too early (before 12 weeks), that could be the issue. But, that does not mean they won't become socialized. You are their new home and they will get used to things at some point. We hope you will continue to update us on their progress. We truly do care and want happy kitties.

But know that many bengals are not lovey-dovey kitties. They won't sit on laps very long and do not enjoy being picked up and held. However, it is easier when they are kittens. I hope you reach that point.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Bengal Cat
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'Gus and Max' are progressing well, Max in particular

Play is definitely working, you're all dead right there.

They tore around like propper bengals should last night!

Gus is. it seems slowly catching up with his brother - maybe Max will influence him and bring him on?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:52 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Good to hear that play is helping you bring Max out of his shell, if he and Gus are playing they are not worrying about their surroundings much, as play requires letting your guard down.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:41 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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You will see progress every single day! Continue the playing. Spending time with them is the key. Max will be a key to Gus gaining confidence. Just hang in there. NEVER give up. This will work -- but it could take a couple more weeks, or it could take a couple more days. Don't have such high expectations. Every cat is different. We want updates from you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:06 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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That's fabulous news! Do you have a flying frenzy? Very important toy for bengals! You do have to lock it away when not in use, but I bet that would do the trick with Max! My two constantly go and sit by the cupboard I keep it in, begging me to get it out for a game lol

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Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:49 pm 
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Bengal Cat
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I've posted my first half decent photo in the introductions section - copied here:
http://s1339.photobucket.com/user/robbi ... eshow/Cats

I prefer a to use my camera rather than an iphone and hope to get some good shots of them together soon. Pity the indoor lighting doesn't catch the glitter - I need to have the camera to hand to catch those moments (It's like having kids all over again!!!)

When you said 'flying frenzy' I thought that was the term used when they have the devil in them! Max's preferred lunatic hour seems to be about 9pm (once dinner has gone down and litter tray visited) and his toy is a small plastic mouse wrapped is sisal rope that I have tied to a long pieces of string. I can whip it backwards and forwards through the air or along the floor between sofa and a bean bag (very satisfying landing noise and rustling movement sound from the bean bag) and it gets them going! I have a large post-it-note scrunched up and tied to the other end of the string, which Gus much prefers although shreds the paper like pulling feathers off a kill so it doesn't last long. Once suitably fired-up I retreat and leave the pair to play, Max has the mouse in the death-roll-kick attack whilst Gus is pulling on the other end of the string trying to make-off with the 'paper bird'. It's hilarious when they can't see each other, since when one pulls on the string it teases the other, and visa versa. I put it away when we're not there as slightly worried they could wrap the string around their neck :eek:

Anyway - flying frenzy...like 'Da Bird' I assume? We already have something similar but when its destroyed I'm considering the variant with the wire rather than the stick handle. Probably end up getting both! As hinted at above, I have always been creative with what's around to improvise toys: ping pong ball, rolls of crunchy paper or foil, pringles tube etc. anything other than my fingers or toes!

It seems my pair could have slightly different preferences for the type of toy, based on the best attack response thus far.

We're having pleasure seeing Max bring Gus out of his shell, feeling like Bengal parents now!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:19 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Sounds like things are going better for Max and Gus.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:27 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Great to hear things are on the improve.

Just a side note, if your vet has that reaction to a cat, you might want to shop around. Sounds like pretty normal behaviour from a stressed out animal, not a wild thing. :rolleyes:

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