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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:04 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:31 pm
Posts: 11
Hi Everyone!
I am desperately seeking some help with my big boy Riku. I will try to give as much background information as possible up front and then get into what has happened.
Riku is a silver Bengal, approx. 15 pounds. Neutered and 3-4 years old. We originally rescued him from a family due to 'allergies' , but it didnt take my boyfriend and I long to determine that he was almost completely blind (Due to a detaching retina). He also started showing signs of aggression to me fairly early, jumping at me out of nowhere. I would try to catch him or grab him after and hold him in place, sort of show him who is boss sort of thing., but it only got worse and i only because more terrified of him. Then I went away for 4 months for work and was excited to return and rebuild our relationship from a fresh start and try to gain his trust. We played and cuddled and things were great (for about 3 months there was not one incident)...until this morning. Out of nowhere, and with almost no warning signs, he leaped at me sinking two fangs into my thigh and sending me to the ER with very deep puncture wounds. I'm heartbroken, defeated and once again scared of him.
These attacked are unpredictable and done with the intention of causing damage the first time. There are no warning growls, scratches, ect. he just leaps and bites hard.
He gets played with often and has a brother and sister Bengal friends. We have a large place with three litter boxes. We have tried feliway with no success in the past.
I hope I got most of the details in here. Any help is greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:20 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1178
Hi there

Do you have any more information about how your interactions with Riku had gone before the 'attack'? I only ask as its not clear whether you had already interacted with him, and everything was fine, or whether this was your first interaction with him? I imagine he feels vulnerable if almost blind as you have mentioned and if you had startled him that may have caused the reaction.

I just think more information would be helpful to allow us to give any constructive feedback. Also, how long has he been with you all, and how is his relationship with your other bengals and your boyfriend?

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:37 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:31 pm
Posts: 11
Of coarse! I was standing at a mirror doing my makeup completely focused on it. I wasn't interacting with him before


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:31 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8152
We are not cat behaviorists and we can't observe the interaction, so what we write are opinions of what may or may not be happening. Commenting on the blindness -- the cat's other senses take over for the lack of sight, so the slightest sound or smell can set the cat off. First things -- take him to the vet and have him checked out for everything, especially if he has not seen a vet in a while. It's important to rule out anything medical. There could be something neurological going on. Secondly -- do not show fear against him. This shows him that you are weak prey. He only attacks YOU, right? Then there is something about YOU. Who engages him in play? Who is the primary care giver? Is Riku wanting attention? Bengals are a challenging breed -- and you have no idea of the type of life Riku lived with his previous family. He may have been aggressive there and the re-homing due to allergies just an excuse. You just don't know. Will he take treats from you? Will he allow you to pet him gently? Do you talk softly to him and not yell if he attacks you? The bites are one thing -- serious and usually become infected. And just like dogs can be aggressive and bite owners, your Riku has something going on.

Have you googled dealing with an aggressive bengal? There are some topics in this forum dealing with other aggressive bengals, but the majority of us here do not have problems with our bengals.

I hope I've given you some things to ponder -- and feel free to ask more questions. We are here to help.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:51 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:31 pm
Posts: 11
I know that my fear of him isn't helpful, and it makes everything worse, but that's why I am looking for help. How can we work past it ? Does anyone have any thoughts about how I can interact with him in a positive way and to take baby steps towards repairing our relationship? Right now I can hardly walk by him without having a panic attack. I wish it was as simple as snapping my fingers and being less fearful of him, but it's not that simple.

To answer a few more questions:
He has been to a vet and it perfect health (Aside from his eyes), My boyfriend mainly feeds him but since the incident I have started to feed him. We both play with him, he doesnt like any treats from anyone (Have tried many many many different types to no avail). He loves pets and cuddles for everyone, including me. I dont yell at him, i yelped w loudly when he bit me but after that I ignored him and dealt with my wounds. NOrmally I would tell him no stearnly.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:10 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:51 pm
Posts: 1
Bengals are genetically 18% wild animal, and their behavior reflects that fact. Their teeth and claws are much longer than most other dosmestic breeds, and the males tend to be very strong. That's the starting point. We have two Bengal Cats, siblings, male and female both neutered, now 8 years old. The male weighs almost 30 pounds and is crazy strong, and he gets a wild hare up his nose several times per day and does something bad - often roughing up the female or our third cat, a neutered female Abyssinian 1/3 his size and weight. The solution is a topical gel (rubbed inside the ear) of an antidepressant called amitriptyline PLO, 100 MG/mL. A veterinarian must write a prescription, and a compounding pharmacy will make up a 3-6 month supply in small syringes (no needles). You put 0.1 mL (cc) on your finger tip, run it on the inner surface of his ear near the base, and he will hate it. But within an hour he will calm down, and we find that one treatment keeps our bad boy happy and less rough with the other cats for 2-3 days.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:30 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
Posts: 724
Just reading through your post and the responses. What struck me, as Tabitha said, was the blindness issue. Riku may be having such trouble with his sight that he is reacting to certain situations with pure instinct. By the sounds of it he is very affectionate and cuddly but has intermittent aggressive episodes? I have had a bengal I was scared of and i TOTALLY understand your fear, even though Oscar never did me any serious damage. If Riku has sight issues, I would work with increasing his other senses. I would say if he attacks when startled etc then maybe always make sure you talk to him if you know he is around so he is never surprised. Announce your presence before he is startled by you coming round a corner etc. Say "Hi Riku" before you go into rooms, just in case he is in there. I was bitten by a dog and it was redirected aggression. Something startled the rescue German Shepherd and he bit the thing nearest to him, which happened to be my thigh. The dog was not aggressive, just nervous. Keep up the play and maybe close the bathroom door when you do your make up! Do the attacks happen in certain areas? Are there areas that he likes to ambush? Oscar loves to chase me up the stairs and rugby tackle my ankles! When he does this I know he needs more play with toys he can 'kill'. Also, before putting on any strong meds, I would try Zylkene, a natural milk protein that chills them out and calms them. Good luck

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Melissa

UK
Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:15 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8152
You need to place his toys along your path and redirect his attention to them. It is great you are starting to feed him so he associates you with good things. Once you have a fear of a cat, it is hard to overcome that. I know there was an episode of My Cat From Hell where the female owner was terrified of her cat as he attacked her constantly. This was several seasons ago. There are many great learning tools in these shows. You might want to check out Animal Planet's website and view a couple of shows that may pertain to your situation.

The other thing is the eyesight. A cat who has been blind from birth may act differently than a cat who became blind later. Since he has cuddled and bonded with you in the past, you would think there would be no problem. But something has triggered these attacks in him. I suggest ALWAYS using a soft voice when talking to him. Carry a cat toy around with you to distract him. When he is calm, spend time petting him and talking to him. Spend MORE time WITH him rather than away from him. Do not show any fear. Things won't change overnight, but over time, you may see some improvement.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:55 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:31 pm
Posts: 11
Hey everyone!

I really appreciate all of the help and responses. I just wanted to give an update about Mr. Riku.
I have been trying to feed him (which isn't going well because I'm not the am person in the house and obviously they need to be fed like asap in the morning or you'd think the world is ending #catlife) but I've been playing with him a lot when he's calm. He's also back in the bedroom at night and he typically sleeps at my feet or in my legs. I play with him and we found out he just LOVES to be brushed . Whenever I notice he is looking spooked or on edge I give him a brush and she flops onto his back so I can brush his belly and calms right down. It wasn't easy, it took a long time before I felt comfortable enough to be around him. I would get panic attacks if he came to close. I knew I was being unreasonable and unfair to him but I couldn't help it.
What I think helped the most was that if I needed to walk past him and I was unsure of his mood I was talk softly to him and then pick him up (he can't leap at me if he's in my arms and he likes being held and scratched) I think that this helped up bond again quickly and makes me feel comfortable without avoiding him and I can stay confident and not appear afraid. When I have to walk upstairs in the narrow hallway and I talk to him while I pass and carry a towel or something upfront of me as a bit of a buffer . It's a bit ridiculous but... it works. No incidents since the last time (knock on wood!)

Sorry for the long post! And thanks again for all the help! Now I just need to get the other boy to stop spraying me in the face while I sleep :redface: :sad:


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