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 Post subject: Bengal rescue cat
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:08 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:55 pm
Posts: 2
Hi, I've recently taken on a rescue Bengal and this seemed a good place to get some advice!
I already have a small black female rescue cat - before being taken into a centre, she had been locked in a house with no food and very little human contact. Have had her 2 years, now in great condition, loves being outdoors, affectionate and playful but not a lap cat. She is still wary of humans she doesn't know and has always been a bit of a wimp around other cats.
I now have the Bengal male rescue cat - the story from the rescue centre was that he was found, adopted by multi-cat household, got bullied, escaped, lived as stray, lost half bodyweight, eventually caught by rescue centre. He should have gone to a home on his own but I was allowed him because my other cat is very timid and he had been bullied. He was terrified of people when he arrived, now very affectionate and wants cuddles all the time. He is scared of strangers and nervous of us when we stand up, though this is getting better. Have had him for 3 months.
Initially, I swapped smells, Feliway friends was plugged in and then I moved on to letting them see each other either side of a wire mesh. He was friendly, she was nervous but stayed to look at him. As he got more access to the house, I kept them separated by mesh so she could come and go. He got to a point where he looked like he wanted to chase her so I decided to separate them until he had access to outdoors and could get rid of energy.
In hindsight, this was a bad plan - he now thinks that one end of the house is his territory and a few weeks ago when she ventured through his open cat flap, he attacked her. Fur flew but there were no injuries. When outside, he initially seemed friendly to her but she ran from him and he chased her (though not with huge intent), and since then I've seen him chase her (again, fairly half-heartedly) outside. From what I can tell, he is more playful than aggressive outside but definitely aggressive inside. He has never (to my knowledge) actually caught up with her outside.
At the moment, he is shut in a room at night and she has the run of the house - she spends the night on our bed. In the day, he can access half the house and outdoors - he doesn't know how cat flaps work yet, so she has the other half of the house that is safe from him, and access to the outdoors. I am getting her used to a microchip cat flap so I can give her an even safer area.
I would love to find a way to help them get on with each other. I really don't want to rehome either of them - they've both had horrible experiences and even though the female is nervous of the male, she is pretty chilled and happy most of the time. She does seem to have reduced her time spent outdoors but I hope they might evolve some sort of time-share agreement. It's more in the house that is the problem - I have to keep the two ends separate at the moment which isn't great for any of us.
I wondered if anyone has experience of this type of situation and could make suggestions about how to improve it? A few people have already said that 'Begals are notoriously aggressive' but reading this site that doesn't seem to be true, and with me he is the softest cat I've had yet. I've just ordered the 'Cat vs Cat' book mentioned in another post.
Thanks for getting this far!


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 Post subject: Re: Bengal rescue cat
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:03 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8016
Welcome to our forum! It's always wonderful when one wants to add another cat to their household. However .... as you know, it is just more than having two cats and hoping they get along. It seems you are doing all the right things. It's the personalities of the cats that are the issue. A bengal is not like your ordinary cat. They have more energy, they are more territorial. And when you've taken in cats that have been abused in some way, it complicates things even more.

The sad thing is that these two cats don't not occupy the same space. They need to learn to "share," just like toddlers. Do you have at least one tall cat tree? Possibly two? Your home needs to be catified to allow these two to co-exist. Do you play with them together?

I have had my bengal for four years (he is 10 now). A neighbor's cat (regular domestic cat) ran away to my house. My bengal wanted to attack him constantly while we were on our walks. At this moment, the domestic cat is sleeping in his bed in the dining room and my bengal is sleeping in a bedroom. Quiet time. However, there are moments where my bengal will antagonize the heck out of this other cat. This morning, they were playing -- the bengal was behind the bedroom door and Legs was on the other side and they were batting their paws underneath. They do not fight -- it's an interaction, but we still do not leave them alone together.

I do believe these two need more interaction with each other and not be separated all the time. You need to watch them and work with them. It's difficult to stop an instinct in a cat -- and you might want to Google the situation and read what has worked for some other people. I know the two cats I have will never sleep and snuggle next to each other, but they do currently co-exist for the most part.

Note, I am sure there are episodes of My Cat From Hell that you can view on the Animal Planet website that deal with this -- see how Jackson Galaxy dealt with the situation.

Bless you for saving these two kitties.


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 Post subject: Re: Bengal rescue cat
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:05 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 14
Bless you for rescuing cats. My boy is from a rescue and it took him years to trust us but he is now so affectionate and loving. He still has some fear at almost random things/times, almost like PTSD but nothing too bad.

My Bengals were/are not territorial at all, I didn't know they were until I started reading this forum. They both loved new cats and dogs, I guess they never got the memo that they shouldn't share. We brought in a few strays for vet care/spay and re-homed them and stayed with my parents a few times and my bengals were more like golden retrievers. lol

I have watched the cat from hell episodes and I see they feed the cats on opposite sides of a glass door or gate so the cats can see each other while they eat. They start far away and slowly move them closer over time as long as they are remaining calm. They also play with them in the same room on opposite sides of the room.

I believe this way they start to associate the other cat with positive/good things.

I don't think 3 weeks is very long even though it seems like it to us. I would keep working them through it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bengal rescue cat
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:25 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:24 pm
Posts: 147
soloequestrian wrote:
Hi, I've recently taken on a rescue Bengal and this seemed a good place to get some advice!
I already have a small black female rescue cat - before being taken into a centre, she had been locked in a house with no food and very little human contact. Have had her 2 years, now in great condition, loves being outdoors, affectionate and playful but not a lap cat. She is still wary of humans she doesn't know and has always been a bit of a wimp around other cats.
I now have the Bengal male rescue cat - the story from the rescue centre was that he was found, adopted by multi-cat household, got bullied, escaped, lived as stray, lost half bodyweight, eventually caught by rescue centre. He should have gone to a home on his own but I was allowed him because my other cat is very timid and he had been bullied. He was terrified of people when he arrived, now very affectionate and wants cuddles all the time. He is scared of strangers and nervous of us when we stand up, though this is getting better. Have had him for 3 months.
Initially, I swapped smells, Feliway friends was plugged in and then I moved on to letting them see each other either side of a wire mesh. He was friendly, she was nervous but stayed to look at him. As he got more access to the house, I kept them separated by mesh so she could come and go. He got to a point where he looked like he wanted to chase her so I decided to separate them until he had access to outdoors and could get rid of energy.
In hindsight, this was a bad plan - he now thinks that one end of the house is his territory and a few weeks ago when she ventured through his open cat flap, he attacked her. Fur flew but there were no injuries. When outside, he initially seemed friendly to her but she ran from him and he chased her (though not with huge intent), and since then I've seen him chase her (again, fairly half-heartedly) outside. From what I can tell, he is more playful than aggressive outside but definitely aggressive inside. He has never (to my knowledge) actually caught up with her outside.
At the moment, he is shut in a room at night and she has the run of the house - she spends the night on our bed. In the day, he can access half the house and outdoors - he doesn't know how cat flaps work yet, so she has the other half of the house that is safe from him, and access to the outdoors. I am getting her used to a microchip cat flap so I can give her an even safer area.
I would love to find a way to help them get on with each other. I really don't want to rehome either of them - they've both had horrible experiences and even though the female is nervous of the male, she is pretty chilled and happy most of the time. She does seem to have reduced her time spent outdoors but I hope they might evolve some sort of time-share agreement. It's more in the house that is the problem - I have to keep the two ends separate at the moment which isn't great for any of us.
I wondered if anyone has experience of this type of situation and could make suggestions about how to improve it? A few people have already said that 'Begals are notoriously aggressive' but reading this site that doesn't seem to be true, and with me he is the softest cat I've had yet. I've just ordered the 'Cat vs Cat' book mentioned in another post.
Thanks for getting this far!


First of all, God bless you for your spirit and having the heart and patience to rescue these cats.

Sherry, did cover everything above but allow me to stress on two things she mentioned:
1) cat mansions (cat trees). These are very important. Add cat shelves, boxes, tunnels, bridges... etc. don't underestimate what such setup can do.
2) My Cat From Hell. You'll find your issue addressed in every season. And the key is more Catification, sufficient attention and play time along with healthy diet.

I'm sure you'll succeed but it'll take time and patience.


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 Post subject: Re: Bengal rescue cat
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:54 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:55 pm
Posts: 2
Many thanks everyone. I've just watched the first 'Cat From Hell' and it was really interesting. I definitely need to find ways to stop my little female acting like a victim! I'll watch the rest of the series (as long as it's on YouTube as I'm in the UK and only have basic TV!).
For the moment I'm going to restrict the Bengal's access to the outdoors a bit so my female can get really confident there again. I also read an article about swapping territories, so I'll try that once her confidence is back up, then we can move to the feeding/playing at the same time things. They're not the easiest - because they're both rescue cats, they spook easily. She is better playing and not motivated by food, he is very food orientated but I can't play with him because sudden movements scare him. Hopefully there will be a way though - even if they can just be in the same room when we are around that would be just fine!


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 Post subject: Re: Bengal rescue cat
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:46 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8016
With kitties who have been traumatized in some way, patience and time is the ONLY solution. You already know not to make any sudden moves that would "scare" them. Playing some soothing music might help a little as well. Try to assure them both the best you can. Soft talking to them. Having you interact with them as much as possible will help. Good luck. I know it's a challenge.


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