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Bengal Cat Forums • View topic - 6 month old - Coco
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 Post subject: 6 month old - Coco
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:09 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:54 pm
Posts: 2
Hi All

Wow , Bengal eh.

Well our daughter adopted a 5 month old Bangel "Cococ" from a family that did not want her any longer. We have had cats in our home for years. Coco lives with our daughter in her apartment, but regularly brings coco to our house to socialize with our cats and to give the apt. neighbor's a break from coco's voice.

She gets along fairly well with our 2 male cats, Our 15 year old orange tabby, "Ozzie" who we refer to as Buddha because he is so calm and cool, who has raised many kittens keeps her in line most of the time, but she tends to harass our female, who is a nervous cat to begin with. But our real problem with this little bundle of beast is she will slash our hands open in a second, picking her up is not an option, petting her other than a quick pet down her back and getting your hand out of reach as quickly as possible is the only option. Trimming her claws which needs to be done, is going to be a big problem.
But she will come up and bunt us, take food from us, roll around and play with us, play chase, but the hands on part is not happening. she will come to bed at night and cuddle into our legs and sleep all night.

So she is in her way a sweet cat, but the slashing and biting is a problem, when it time for her to go home getting her in the carrier is like wrestling an alligator.
So are we missing something here, is there a chance that the slashing will go away, if we interrupt her attack on our female she will then jump at our hands.

So just looking for advice on how to deal with the slashing.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 month old - Coco
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9217
Welcome to the forum. All kittens are prone to attacking and slashing -- if you let them. the key is to distract them with toys. Bengals are highly energetic and they need the stimulation. You have regular cats and a bengal is nothing like your regular cat. As for the nail trim -- the vet can take care of that. Sounds like she doesn't like going into a carrier, so that could be an issue, but call and schedule a trim with your vet. Many owners trim their bengal's nails, but it's not easy. And they usually start the process quite young so they get used to it.

Bengals are highly vocal as your daughter and her neighbors have discovered. There is nothing that can be done about that. They are just loud. That's the breed.

It is essential that this bengal have a lot of play time. Wand toys are great -- they will save your hands. Trying to discourage a cat from attacking with a firm "NO." She may eventually understand you. A bengal must have a tall cat tree and lots of sleeping places.

Many bengals are re-homed because the owners are not prepared to handle a hybrid cat. They are challenging and require patience. And a lot has to do with how the breeder socialized the kittens. Most bengals do not like being picked up or held for any length of time. .I hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 month old - Coco
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:41 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4490
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Several thoughts here...

1. It doesn't sound like we know her full story with the prior family. There is definitely a possibility that she was mistreated there and now has trust issues with humans and what they can do to her with their hands.

2. I really doubt that there is any benefit to Coco to "socialize with the other cats" in a strange house, with other strange people, and unfamiliar smells. Why put her through that? I would say that most cats are not going to be too thrilled to be taken from their home and to a house with other adult cats in it. That's a tough thing, and doubly tough when it's a cat the sounds like she may need to be in a nice, safe, quiet home with people that she trusts for awhile.

3. You have cats, and it sounds like they are pretty mellow, and social, and older, and have acclimated to your home. She has not. I think reading her body language is paramount, and respecting her space and wishes. Don't try to treat her like you would your own cats. If she has had reason to be fearful of people's hands, then probably the worst thing you can do is "go in for a pet" in a fearful way, and targeting her back. Forehead, cheeks, and nose are far less stimulating and more "safe". Also, if you go in fearful, expecting an attack, an attack is probably what you're going to get (self-fulfilling prophecy) because cats are predators and they read fear, and when they see it, they'll happily treat you like prey. The "prey" dynamic with cats is actually a really weird and non-intuitive thing.

4. If you find that you have to "muscle" a cat into doing something, like you were saying "wrestle" her into a carrier, then you can be sure that the next time you have to do it she'll fight harder and resent it more, same with the next, and the next, and pretty soon you have a completely out of control cat who will fight viciously when confronted with that situation. If your response is violence, and overpowering the cat, and a show of strength, then that's what you are going to get coming back at you. So don't keep putting yourself, and her, into that situation! Next time try a toy, or a treat, of her dinner to get her to choose to go into the carrier. And if none of those are working, just stop putting her into that situation until you've built up WAY more trust capital with her. One hint: one of the best ways to build trust capital is to play with a bengal. But building trust can take a long time, especially for a cat like her.

Bottom line: I don't think she's a cat that you can take around to other people's homes with other cats there. You're setting her up to see her at her absolute worst in that situation. It would be a really special cat that would thrive in that sort of situation. She's not that cat.

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 Post subject: Re: 6 month old - Coco
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:36 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:41 am
Posts: 334
Location: London
I watched a BBC programme about cats and dogs. Cats look to their environment for safety so taking them out of that environment will stress them out, especially if there are other cats there whose environment it is (maybe neutral territory is better, like outside). It is probably stressful for your cats too. Some cats are more sociable and will tolerate being moved, being in a car, going somewhere else and some can even go out on a lead and be OK. But not all. Generally cats defend their territory. Dogs need to be socialised. Cats don't really do that very well on sporadic bases.

Brian is right - who knows what happened to her previously. People take on kittens and puppies and then find that their furniture is ruined and they get rid of them. maybe the people worked long hours and she was alone. Bengals are very social and really she might just be frustrated and lonely and full of energy when she gets to interact with someone because she is alone a lot. I know that my two act up if I have been out all day and have come home and am not paying attention to them and they were even worse as kittens. Think of it in these terms; a small lazy dog will be easier to handle for most people than high energy dog such as a husky. They will have different needs so thinking about breed is something everyone should do before getting a pet.
Hope you sort out the issues soon.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 month old - Coco
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:32 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9217
I did not comment on the taking of Coco to other homes. But Brian comes to the rescue every single time. Brian, your response is concise and very well thought out. Great advice. Tinny, you, too.

No cat enjoys being put in a carrier. But there are now soft-sided carriers that seem to be less stressful for the cat. I use a hard carrier with a top loading door and it is easy to place the cats through that. I also agree that Coco needs to stay at home and not be subjected to changing environments. It's probably stressing her out more. Bengals definitely require patience. If one can't deal with a 6-month old bengal, wait until they turn 5 or 10.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 month old - Coco
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:53 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:54 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the suggestions

All good info, Thank you, As a matter for fact Coco likes to come to our home and play with the other cats, and look out the windows at the birds and other creatures, so I don't think that is stressing her out. Great info on Bangel's not liking to be held and I guess we will have to play with her more, tire her out.
As far as stressing our cat's only one does not play with her and Pippin, has her special spots that she watches from.

I see by reading here that Bangels are different, and though Coco is a special cat, she is wonderful, smart, bad, cute ( sometimes).

Heading back to reading more.

Thanks Again


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 Post subject: Re: 6 month old - Coco
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:06 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9217
Well, I believe the stress of getting Coco in the carrier is an issue. Unless she can get used to it and like it (which many never do), it is going to be a huge issue when it comes to going to the vet. Unfortunately, if you are going to travel with her, she needs to be in a carrier. Try a different type and maybe that will help. I'd recommend putting her on a leash, but they can squirm out of many harnesses and be out on the run. I've known bengal owners who literally take their cats everywhere with them. One even posted pictures of his kitty when the stewardesses on an airplane. Thing is ... the kitty needs to enjoy these things. It's not like, "I want my cat with me 24/7." It's "does my cat want to follow me 24/7?" Coco is still young, but I don't know you're able to change her ways. The one thing that needs to happen when one gets a bengal of any age is to get that kitty accustomed to the new home and humans before you attempt to change her life in other ways.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 month old - Coco
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:31 am
Posts: 157
The thing I learned from my Bengal is that they feel things more intensely and take longer to adjust to new situations.

I acquired my Bengal from some friends who had gotten him from a shelter 5 months earlier. I resigned myself to having a cool looking aloof cat. I could not pick him up. I bought a cat grooming bag because I thought I would never be able to trim his claws without it. He raced around trying to open every door and cupboard in the house.

I also used Feliway diffusers and Sargeant's Calming collars (pheromones) to try to get him to chill and not make noises like the soundtrack to the Exorcist.

After around 5 months, he mellowed into a calmer cat. He is now very affectionate, wants to be around me constantly, even tolerates being held (I call it forced loving). I can even trim his front claws without being scratched excessively and I don't even use a towel. He doesn't make those scary devil noises anymore. Now I welcome his sweet trills and demanding yowls. He just seems happy these days.

It is unreasonable to expect a Bengal to adjust to anything new as quickly as an ordinary cat.

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