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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:12 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:37 am
Posts: 3
Hi all,

I've been a long time Bengal owner. After our first Bengal unfortunately deceased from cancer, we wanted a new Bengal. Our first bengal was everything you could ever ask for. He was obedient, lovable, extremely well behaved and smart. He slept with us at night and followed us around everywhere we went.

Our second Bengal is now about 16 months old, and she is the complete opposite of our first. She was spayed about 6 months ago.
First off I want to say she has her moments. And she's definitively paying attention and behaving well if there's any food or snack in the picture. She greets us at the door coming home, and she's trusting to us. Loving to have her stomach petted. Unfortunately otherwise she's been tough to deal with.

- She constantly pushes everything off shelves, tables and desks. Especially at night time, she will make a lot of noise and push off everything that is in reach. Unfortunately the only solution we have for this is to cat safe one room, and leave her there with her bed and toys.

- She chews on any cable she can find. Although getting a little better after we had to put cayenne pepper on everything, she stills every now and then finds spots that are chewable.

- She is really aggressive to any guests. Clawing, hissing and biting anyone getting close. But she's though, she will not move from her spot.

- Although play-fighting, she attacks our legs, she bites and claws us. She can turn in a second. Getting pets, suddenly attacking and biting, then going back to lick the arm realizing we are (trying to) not give her reactions. She is constantly testing our limits.

She has a huge cat tree, countless toys and we play with her. Still we're just not able to make her behave. We've covered desks with tinfoil (which she now ignores), used water bottles (which she also now ignores), and put her away to calm down when misbehaving. Nothing is helping.

We're just running out of ideas.. I feel we've tried and followed all the regular behavior tricks. If anyone have any good pointers to give, please let us know. We are at the point where we're debating to call the breeder to have her take her back.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1195
Hi and welcome,

Sounds like you had a Hendrix and now you have a Jagger from where I am. Hendrix and Jagger are my two Bengals litter buddies and like chalk and cheese. You were never going to be able to replace your Bengal with another and effectively have the same cat. You seem disappointed with your new Bengal and I do wonder if she is picking up on this!

I have learnt to put anything breakable away or out of reach in a cabinet. Jagger is a horror for pushing things off sides to see if they bounce and/or get our attention. So I remove temptation.

You could try sour apple spray for the cables - my two grew out of this and hopefully she will too. I had taped up as many as possible out of sight and I believe you can get cable covers to protect them as well if you haven't already tried this.

What exactly are your guests doing to provoke such an aggressive response?! I've not had this issue, so it may be worth speaking to a behaviourist if no-one else on here can help you. You do need someone who specialises in Bengals though as like you've already found out, normal methods don't always work.

Play - do you have a flying frenzy/da bird? Sounds like her prey/hunting needs aren't being met properly. But I would indicate she is hurting you rather than avoid reacting. If my two hurt me, I yelp and it startles them and they run off and get upset. But also have a large cuddly toy to hand and redirect her to that. Always have toys to redirect her to if she starts that and stop play. And of course never, ever play with her with your hands or feet - I'm not saying you do, but just in case! It will just confuse her that hands aren't just for petting.

Watch her eyes closely when playing - I always know with Jagger when he's going to get feisty now, his pupils become very dilated! It is probably play aggression and you need to learn her triggers etc.

I'm sure there will be others here who can offer help. Good luck!

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


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8735
I'm not sure why some owners think a second cat will behave exactly like the first cat. Nobody has children who are exactly the same -- and the "perfect" cat does not exist.

It is common for cats to knock things over for attention. My bengal does this during the night -- over and over. Nightstand, dresser, make up table. I keep as little on them as possible, but still, I have to have some things there -- but I find them on the floor all the time. Cats in my childhood were the same as they slept on my bedroom. Up on the desk, knocking papers off. You are not going to prevent or stop this unless everything is cleared off.

Wires are another issue. They are dangerous. You should be able to purchase something so that the wires are not exposed. They can be dangerous to cats and many cats are fascinated by them.

Agressive toward guests sounds like she wants all the attention and not have you talking or entertaining company. When we have company, I just let Raiden do his thing. He is generally scared of new people, but will eventually come out to see who they are. He may not get close enough for them to pet him, but he has to inspect them.

The more toys you have for her, the better. And I advise people to always have toys with them to redirect the cat's attention. Arms and legs re never play things. Sometimes this is what the cat was used to. I do know a breeder who actively works with her kittens to not do this. Most breeders do not. It's a conditioning that takes time to change -- if ever. Wand toys are great as they keep the cat away from you.

Know that water bottles do not work -- oh, I guess you found that out. You can get these small motion-activated air canisters specifically for pets. Pet stores sell them and you can get them online. You may need several to put in areas you do not want her.

To me, it sounds as if this bengal is perfectly normal and your first bengal was unusual!

My Raiden tries my patience every single day. Nothing I do for him is good enough. The amount of time I spend being with him and playing with him is never enough! He consumes most of my day and night -- as I am up and down with him the entire night. He naps for an hour and then is up and at it again. I hope you have the youth and stamina to keep up with your girl. She's just a typical bengal.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:37 am
Posts: 3
Thanks for your reply! I appreciate the feedback and let me try to clarify a few issues.

We're not expecting to have the same cat, for sure. Well aware that it's a new pet and new personality and that Bengals are both active, fun and a challenge. But we did hope for another well-behaved Bengal. Our first Bengal would also be on counters, explore and in general be an active Bengal. Well aware that they accidentally knock things over as they wander around. But he would also stop if we told him, and he didn't purposely push things off. Besides the Bengals, I've had cats my whole life, but this one is the first one with what I think are some major behavioral issues that I'm not able to correct. All my cats has knocked things over as the explore, but not literally, with force, push absolutely everything off. A laptop doesn't crash on to the floor by accident.

I am wondering if it could come from the parents though? The breeder never let us meet the parents. They were locked away in a separate part of the house, and there were definitively some issues that I should've reacted to. I.e. we also specifically asked for a male but were accidentally given a female. When I brought it up some weeks later, they assured me that she would be no different from a male. I also had to litter train her myself at 15-16 weeks old. Maybe I am overthinking it, and as mentioned she might be a normal bengal..

I do see her behavior as mostly attention seeking though. She starts "cleaning every surface" either when we go to bed, or if we close a door between us and her. We have a combined bedroom and office, so having her with us at night doesn't help though. She'll start cleaning our office desk a minute after we lay down. The only thing she'll leave are the monitors as they are too heavy for her to nudge. We would be okay with the rest of her behavior if she would stop this. It's impossible to hide and glue everything. And she knows how to open cabinets.

As for the guests, I don't know why she's aggressive. She usually rests on the backrest of the couch and she will lash out and hiss if they try to pet her. She also has a cat house in an isolated room, that she sometimes goes to if she wants to be left alone. She's definitely not interested or curious to meet new people.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:16 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:37 pm
Posts: 178
We have glued everything movable to the surfaces because Echo likes to tidy... Added sticky paws to some other surfaces. Seems your cat is needy and wanting attention. We have provided extra cat spaces and toys and scratchers throughout the house so that the cats destroy that; catify and catify some more as otherwise the space is not welcoming and she will focus on your stuff. Other than the above... Not sure what else can work. Have you plugged Feliway around the house?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:03 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4325
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Two things that make me cringe when I hear them...

1. The description of a Bengal’s behavior as being “good” or “bad”. Those are dog labels, not cat labels. The idea of a docile, unassuming creature desperately trying to win the favor of their owner just isn’t what cats do, much less bengals.

2. When people talk about how many toys their cat has, in the context of “bad behavior”. In general cats are not going to be impressed by the size of the pile of toys on the floor. They just don’t. If a cat spends 5min a day playing with a toy you got them, that toy is a big success... that’s 5 min down, 1,435 min left in the day to worry about, it doesn’t even make a dent in fulfilling their needs.

In a recent “My Cat From Hell” episode, a family was complaining bitterly about how their cat was knocking things off their kitchen counter. Jackson feigned thoughtfulness for a second, walked over to the counter then violently flung his arm along the counter, sending everything flying. “Hey! Look at me!!!” as the horrified family cringed in shock. But he got his point across crystal clear... your cat is bored.

You mention that you play with your cat, but you obviously don’t do it enough :)

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The little monsters 3
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:56 am 
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Senior Bengal
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:47 am
Posts: 69
It sounds like your cat is very bored. Bengals can get really bored as an only cat. When they have a playmate they won't look at you so much for entertainment.

You can't 'make' a cat behave. If a cat is bored you should look at a solution to the boredom instead of restricting even more by enforcing rules your cat won't even understand.

The best thing would be to get her a playmate. If that isn't possible you should look at how to entertain her yourself. She is cooped up in a house and obviously doesn't know what to do with herself and her energy. Just realize this is not the cat's fault, she just is who she is. This is not about bad or good behaviour but about understanding your cat and looking at what makes her happy.

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Linus & Rascal

Instagram: @snow_bengal_brothers #snow_bengal_brothers


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:43 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8735
The other thing is your baby's life at the breeder and with the mother. Kittens learn social skills at that early age. The fact that you were not able to view the parents is alarming as most breeders are happy to show you the parents. You also have no idea of the F generation of this kitty. How much wild blood is in this cat? An F5 would have a lot more than an F11.

I've found that trying to change cat behavior is not easy -- and next to impossible! The best thing is just to accept the kitty for the kitty she is. She doesn't understand bad behavior. She won't understand punishment either.

Bengals are easily bored as they do not sleep for 20 hours a day. You baby is also still a young kitty. Mine is turning 11 in March and he is still exasperating most of the time. But I still love him. :biggrin:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:10 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:37 am
Posts: 3
Thanks all!
Yes, she's still young. My first Bengal was definitely a wild one too but started calming down after being neutered. I'm guessing females do not quite react the same way. Was the reason we asked for a male to begin with. We still hope she will calm down somewhat but hoping we'd start to see results by now.
I actually asked the breeder what F the parents and litter is, and the person didn't know. Still, I assumed it was a reputable breeder both on ratings and price range. Might be able to find that information through TICA and the registration papers though..?

We find it a bit strange that she's more or less fine during the daytime with us. It's that we can't go to bed that is the main concern. But yes, she is probably bored and gets a lot of energy at night. We did own a bigger place when the first Bengal grew up as well, so that's the other side of it. We, of course, care a lot for her. As mentioned in the beginning she has good moments, just mainly wish she could stay with us at night and stop breaking so many things. It's getting quite expensive :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:52 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:41 am
Posts: 330
Location: London
I have 2 bengals and they are completely different

One is not that bright, gets over stuff easily, does a lot of winging (vocal) and is jealous (when I stroke the other, when my husband kisses me etc.). She is territorial, easily scared and highly strung.

The other is incredibly smart (opens any door), remembers, is more adventurous, more adaptable. But she is also a better manipulator. If she wants attention she goes for hanging off the TV or the curtains (while looking you in the eye). I also have to lock my cats away at night, mostly because one fights for territory on the bed and the other wakes us up when bored.

Some suggestions
1. She/he could be bored if an only cat. Our first cat developed a fetish for chewing any rubbery stuff (including iPhone headphones) when she was an only cat, as they are very sociable. So we got her a playmate. If you work, it could be that your cat sleeps all day and saves all the energy for the evenings and is then frustrated when you wanna chill instead of play with her. Try intense game (like da bird).

2. Does your place have sufficient space for the cat to run and maybe watch through the window? When we moved and were in temporary accommodation with only one window with nothing much to see, I noticed my cats would sleep all day and misbehave all night. Buy a tall cat scratching tree and position next to a window.

3. Breaking stuff may be a way of getting attention - do you play with your cat? My two cats often chase each other and tire themselves out but I need to start the game. I pretend to chase them and after a while they just continue. Sounds like your cat might be mored and is therefore destructive. Think toddlers. When they are unhappy, you know and everyone around you does too.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:50 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 102
Male vs female doesn't really matter... It's just personality. Plenty of males can be little fluffy terrors too.

Cats knocking stuff off is pretty normal and there are a lot of funny images and videos on the Internet of them doing so. My Bengal broke the coffee pot this morning... Shoved it right off and looked at me because i was slow with the food. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and you never know what you will get with a kitten or puppy. Be happy she isn't peeing on your bed because some people would be happy with a cat that just knocks stuff down.

My first Bengal broke some monitors and she loved to jump on the flat screen and somehow walk across the top in a balancing act as it wobbled. I thought for sure she was going to topple it someday but somehow it managed to stay put.

My plants are all velcroed down or they would be on the floor every day. Sometimes they are bored but sometimes they think it's fun to watch the item fall too.

I would just give up any nick nacks.. Velcro some stuff down if it doesn't move much and put away the laptop (ours goes in a drawr). Getting a pet often means changes in our lives too.

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