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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:18 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:11 am
Posts: 2
Hello everyone!

I’m looking for advice for myself and my 1.5 year old boy. Though I’ve had cat’s all my life, I’ve never had a bengal. I have always wanted one, but never had an appropriate time in my life to devote the amount of attention they needed until now. I got him from a breeder when he was 4 months old and love him so much.

I’m having an issue with him “attacking” me and my husband. He will attack our legs, or if we are sitting and he can reach, he has resently started leaping at my neck and face.
There are two reasons/times he is doing it, one is when we are actually playing with him and his toys, I’m not sure if he’s getting too excited or why, but he suddenly want’s to attack us. When I see he’s about to do it, I try playing with another another toy, or distracting him with something else, but I can’t seem to distract him with anything. When/if he does attack I’ve been saying “No” and walking away from him/play time, but he keeps attacking me until I reach a water spray bottle to make him stop. Half the time I just have to pick up the bottle and once he notices it he stops, other times I actually have to spray him.
The second reason is the bad one and my reason for reaching out, it’s when he wants attention and I can’t at the moment (ie. if I’m on the phone with a client, or working) we are about to have a baby in 5 months and we really can’t have him attacking us when we are with/around a newborn.

Most days, I’m home all day with him and he does get a lot of playtime & attention as it’s just me and him until I leave for work at 5 and my husband gets home around 6. At first I thought the attacks were a sign that he needed more play time, but it’s actually seems to have made it a bit worse, especially for the second reason/wanting even more attention.
He has a million and one toys, a sitter I had come over when we were gone one night she made a comment of “where did you get all these toys? you have more than a pet store does” and I also do make a point of swapping them out every once in a while so he’s not getting board with the same ones.

Thanks for reading this and in advance for any advice you can give me! :biggrin:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
My guess is that the methods you are using to play with him, are confusing him, like you say, making it worse because the way you are playing with him, he can't distinguish "good play" from "bad play". It sounds like he's learned, in playing with you, that your body is "part of the hunting game".

Perhaps if you posted a short video of what one of your play sessions looks like, we might be able to identify what is going wrong. I think he needs to be taught that all the play that happens, doesn't come anywhere close to your body. Ever. And that the game ends the moment it does. Probably the biggest no-nos for you guys would be letting the toy go across your body, or making your hands and arms mimic prey. That really confuses cats. But usually that leads to cats hunting your arms and hands, not legs and face, so that's unusual.

They make pretty long wand toys (I have some that are, maybe 4 feet long), and then with long strings, so that the prey can literally be across the room from you, and fleeing from your cat. You might consider having a behaviorist come in and analyze what's going on and helping you out, but that's my best guess. That he needs to be worked with so that you re-define what "play" is for him.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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I agree with Brian. There are different forms of "play" and different toys promote different play. Your bengal is still young and very playful. Some bengals come with almost unlimited energy and I take attacks on hands and feet as more of "I want more contact with you." Bengals do require a lot more time than any other breed besides a Savannah. You might try to reward your kitty with a treat when he comes toward you and doesn't attack. Hopefully, the behavior will subside as he gets older.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:36 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:11 am
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Thanks guys for your responses! Yes, we have a bunch of "Wand toys, such as Da Bird that we play with him daily. I've never dragged any toys across my body when playing with him, however when he was younger I did have toys such as mice and stuff in my hands that we would play with, but as soon as the "attacks" started and I started researching, I quickly put a stop to that sort of play.

The majority of our play during the day is spontaneous, such as if I'm folding laundry he starts attacking the clothes and we start playing with a towel (him attacking the bottom and me shaking it at the top). If I'm doing dishes, I have a pile of the little plastic "springs" that I throw and he fetches back, until they get lost under the couch and then he comes back for a new one! And of course he gets play with my undivided attention with the toys such as Da Bird (min 1-2 hours a day usually once in the morning and once at night before bed). He's usually up with me all day from 10am-4pm and when I get home from work around 8 he's up again. My husband gets home around 6-7 and says that Bowser is up with him from that time too however more in the "cuddling mood" until I get home and it's back to play time.

I think he sees me more as his buddy/play mate as he doesn't really cuddle with me. He does snuggle up with me some early mornings for about 1/2 an hour purring, until he gets board and goes to find a toy to play with!! Durning the day he usually only wants to be patted once or twice before he's had enough, any suggestions on how I should give him more contact? I usually pet him while giving him treats and stuff like that, but I think he sees my husband more as the one for the cuddles and pets. I will for sure start giving him treats when he comes to me and doesn't attack, and I will try to film a play session and post it for you guys to see, that's a really good idea. As I'm positive it's something that I'm somehow encouraging but I have no idea how.

Also I'm totally down for getting a behaviourist in, but any suggestions on how to find a good one or what to look for in one?


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