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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:12 am 
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Senior Bengal

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Bella, my Bengal who came to live with me on June 1 at a year old, has always been what I'd call "not conventionally affectionate." She doesn't cuddle, doesn't like petting very much, tolerates being picked up but that's about it. However, it was clear to me that she loved me. She was often near me - at my left arm at breakfast, at the foot of the foot of our bed at night. I got Jamie, a little gray and white rescue cat, the same day as Bella. I kept them separated for a week, then put up bars so they could sniff each other and get acquainted face to face. Then I released them in each other's company. They have become playmates, Jamie equaling if not surpassing Bella in athletic feats. But they as often swat each other. No more hissing or growling. Jamie has been quite attached to me, coming in to sleep on the foot of the bed (she started off skittish and un-cuddly but is growing much more relaxed now, actually cuddling into my husband's side while he watches TV.) Meanwhile, Bella has grown almost completely distant. She doesn't come to greet me at the door as she used to. She no longer sleeps at the foot of the bed (I have photographs of her nestling between my calves; that was when our bedroom was Bella's safe room, there was no Jamie, and that was four months ago. Does she feel Jamie's intrusion into what used to he her territory, and my acceptance of it, is a betrayal? A robbery of her territory?) She doesn't lie much beside my arm while I read the paper at the kitchen table. I play with her some, but Jamie's the one she chases and plays with during the day. -- What's up? Is Bella bonded with Jamie? Jealous of her? Both? Or what?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:09 am 
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Bengal Kitten
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No two cats are the same. Some will demand your affection and attention all the time, others will go their own way. I don't think anything is wrong with Bella in that sense, she might be perfectly ok living this way, having a playmate when she wants to play, having you around as company. She might not show it that much and I can see how that can come across as being distant.

What you could try is having more special times with her to create another type of bonding. You might try to teach her some simple things like 'sit' and 'fetch'. There are a lot of You Tube video's around that show you how to go about basic trainig of your cat. You could also have special playtimes with her at the same times every day. If you do this at fixed times she will look forward to it and seek you out at those times of the day. She might like to be brushed every day, this could also be a regular thing. What I'm trying to say is: create some rituals for her (and you). You should never force her to do what she really doesn't like, but some things could take a bit of time for her to get used to and can be very rewarding after a while.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:03 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
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There is only one game she doesn't tire of - the "cat dancer." I am trying to re-train her to walk on a lead. Her former owner did that, but now she is un-habituated to the halter. I have gotten a pet stroller - it has yet to arrive - that I can walk her in along the river. I will also get more silver vine. I can try training her to do what you're suggesting. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:39 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Ellen, it is very possible Bella has bonded very closely to Jamie. It happens when you have multiple cats and then the human feels a little left out. Bella is who Bella is. You cannot change her. She is the one who has to change and adapt and become more affectionate. My bengal is not affectionate in the least unless he wants treats or go for his walk. It's different when you get a cat of any kind and you are the second or later owner. You did not get to raise that cat from a kitten, you were not the one socializing or raising the cat. When one rescues an adult cat, they have to accept that cat for the cat it is. I know Raiden's owner never played with him. My moggie goes crazy over toys and will occupy himself for 20 minutes just tossing a catnip carrot up in the air and chasing it around the house. Raiden could care less. But, I accept Raiden for who he is. I can't change him. I know you want more from Bella -- but she is giving you all she can right now.

And here we go again on the walking on a leash. NYC is a bustling town. I doubt you can ever find a spot without someone there. You have no idea how Bella will react. My bengal would go ballistic and find a way out of the harness and run. You don't want anything to happen to Bella. I'm not sure it's a good idea. Her previous owner did not live in NYC and her walks with him were completely different. I don't know if you are thinking of yourself or Bella, but she is probably not going to enjoy these walks, even if you ever get her used to a harness.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Senior Bengal

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What about the cat stroller I just ordered?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:11 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Ellen, the cat stroller is the perfect solution which I had mentioned in previous posts. As long as it is a pet stroller and completely closed in with netting for a viewing area. Also make sure you put in there a blanket that she has slept on or toy -- something with her scent. You may want to spray some Feliway in there, too. But, as I just stated your other post -- push her around in the stroller in your apartment first and get her used to it. The motion itself will be a new experience for her. She may howl and cry, but just like trying to train her to wear a harness, this may take some time ... so be patient end not in a rush to get her outdoors. If she can get used to the stroller first, it will be so much easier when you take her down in the elevator, out on the street and meet the people in NYC rushing to get somewhere fast. And I cannot emphasize enough that you must make sure everything is fastened securely so she cannot escape no matter what. You are no match for a running cat.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:47 pm 
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Senior Bengal

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Thanks, Sherry. I'll do that (get her used to it inside the apartment.) Yes, it's entirely closed. I ordered it from Chewy, which has been fantastic whenever I've let them know my cats don't like a particular product - they've refunded my money and just asked me to donate to a shelter. Did you get the message that after getting some extra loving yesterday Bella came "back to herself" and is now frequenting the bedroom?

Gosh, she's SUCH a smart cat! It's almost as if she knows I was apologizing.

As I write, she's busy shredding pieces of paper on one of our tables. She is just inexhaustible. And so easily bored. the only game she doesn't seem to get tired of easily is the cat dancer. Fortunately, she and Jamie still chase each other around the apartment.

I'd get a cat wheel if I knew Bella would use it. But at $200 a pop failure is not possible, so I'm holding off.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:33 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Ahh, the infamous cat wheel. Bengals aren't the only cats that use one. Jamie might like it as well. We have one for Raiden and he hops up on it a couple times a day. Doesn't stay on it long, but at least he uses it (mainly at 2 a.m.). Took some treats and a laser light in the beginning. It does take up some room and it is a large expense for the use that it might get. Jamie is Bella's best exercise! And the Cat Dancer is fantastic.

I did comment on your other post about Bella finally coming around again. You can't take any of her stand-offish personally. She loves you!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:05 pm 
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Senior Bengal

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Thanks, Sherry. I know she loves me. So jealous of Jamie who is inching her way towards being a true snuggle kitty. Jack thinks Bella will be one in years to come. I’m just accepting her for who she is.?


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