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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:56 am 
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Senior Bengal

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Hello!
I got Mika (my first bengal cat) a few days ago, and we have kept her in a little room with all her necessities since she came.
She's warming up really nicely, and is already super playful.
We tried taking her to the second floor today, and she didn't really seem scared (her tail was up and her ears pointed forwad)... She was really lost though, wandering back and forth, and when she started pawing at the group, we figured she needed to go and whisked her back to her room so she could relieve herself.
Now, my question is... How long should I keep her in the safe room? My house is pretty big (4 1/2 stories, ~15 rooms) I want to introduce her to the rest of the house, but I don't want her to get lost! What should I do?
Any input would be appreciated! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Shes is a cat, don't keep her in a safe room, let her roam. Is there any specific reason you are keeping her in a single room?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:07 pm 
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Make sure you have a litter tray per floor if you are letting her roam around an area she's not familiar with yet. But other than that, if she's inquisitive, let her explore at her own pace.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Your cat will tell you the pace. Since you have such a big house it might take a little while. I don't know how easy it is to close off areas of your house, but you could let her out for short periods of time on the floor her safe room is on, and then eventually give her free roam of that floor/area before introducing further new areas of the house.

Just for a slightly extreme reference, my two needed to stay in their safe room (they also had the hallway) for two months! One of them got stressed very easily and peed on the furniture if he had run of the house, so we had to take it reallllllly slow. It just depends on the cat!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:54 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Ella didn't need a safe room at all really, although she spent a little while in it. But she was completely fearless and was allowed to explore the house (accompanied) from evening of day one.

Oscar only needed safe rooming to keep him apart from Ella. He dug up the carpet around the door and scrathed the frame badly trying to escape.... of course when he was let out they didn't get on.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Thanks so much for the replies!
I think I'll let her explore at her own pace, one floor at a time. I'll let her roam the first floor today when I get back and see how it goes! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:39 pm 
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rawr wrote:
Thanks so much for the replies!
I think I'll let her explore at her own pace, one floor at a time. I'll let her roam the first floor today when I get back and see how it goes! :)


If you have many floors then she could lose herself and get scared, so take your time, you will have years hopefully with her so no need to rush things. She is after all just a baby, she needs reassurance and time to adjust. Even if she looks super confident, she probably isn't. A safe room is a way for you to get to know her and for her to get to know you in a place that she knows is safe, so don't be in too much of a hurry to get her out of it, as initial bonding is important. Chasing a kitten about from room to room or losing her, is not going to foster trust and happiness.
Put plenty of litterboxes out on each floor, because if she gets lost and can't find a litter box when she needs it, she could end up peeing/pooping just anywhere and once started that is difficult to curb.
Disappearing up the stairs to pee under the bed or beside the wardrobe is not something you want, so make sure you know what she is doing and she knows what she is doing, before giving her the full run of the house.

In bigger houses, it can be impossible for a person to monitor and to stop inappropriate littering, so you need to make doubly sure she is well trained in that department, before you let her run free.

Also although cats are pretty good re heights, she is still small and her decision making and co-ordination will not be fully developed, so make sure the stairs are safe for a small kitten. Falling from a height will kill her and so will getting inadvertently stepped on, by yourself or family members on the stairs, so that is something to think about too.

Edit: I just saw her, she is very small, I would be very careful with her on the stairs and around the home.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:42 pm 
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junglerose wrote:
rawr wrote:
Thanks so much for the replies!
I think I'll let her explore at her own pace, one floor at a time. I'll let her roam the first floor today when I get back and see how it goes! :)


If you have many floors then she could lose herself and get scared, so take your time, you will have years hopefully with her so no need to rush things. She is after all just a baby, she needs reassurance and time to adjust. Even if she looks super confident, she probably isn't. A safe room is a way for you to get to know her and for her to get to know you in a place that she knows is safe, so don't be in too much of a hurry to get her out of it, as initial bonding is important. Chasing a kitten about from room to room or losing her, is not going to foster trust and happiness.
Put plenty of litterboxes out on each floor, because if she gets lost and can't find a litter box when she needs it, she could end up peeing/pooping just anywhere and once started that is difficult to curb.
Disappearing up the stairs to pee under the bed or beside the wardrobe is not something you want, so make sure you know what she is doing and she knows what she is doing, before giving her the full run of the house.

In bigger houses, it can be impossible for a person to monitor and to stop inappropriate littering, so you need to make doubly sure she is well trained in that department, before you let her run free.

Also although cats are pretty good re heights, she is still small and her decision making and co-ordination will not be fully developed, so make sure the stairs are safe for a small kitten. Falling from a height will kill her and so will getting inadvertently stepped on, by yourself or family members on the stairs, so that is something to think about too.

Edit: I just saw her, she is very small, I would be very careful with her on the stairs and around the home.


Thanks for the suggestions. I think her breeder/mommy cat did a good job litter training her... Even on the first day, she's never had an accident yet. I think you're right about the bonding thing too... She's opening up a bit more every day, and now whenever I walk into her room and sit down, she bounds over and crawls into my arms (often scratching me in the process :'D), asking for petting. I'd definitely want to establish an strong relationship with her before I completely let her loose. :) I'll try letting her out on the first floor today for a little bit and see how she reacts. I'll update you on how that turns out. ^^
P.S I agree... She's so tiny I'm afraid I'll step on her :eek: I hope she grows bigger soon, ahaha. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:24 am 
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Update: ...Alright. So I let her out of the room, and she had fun exploring the first floor. When I was just about to pick her back up and put her back in her saferoom, she jumped away and ran up the stairs. :eek: Now, this kind of came as a surprise to me... my basement stairs have no doors, but I kind of figured, 'hey, each of these stairs are taller than her- no way she'd be brave enough to scale all of them at once'. Except, well, she did. :shok: ;;; And when she got on the second floor, she kind of behaved weirdly... she would compress herself against the floor and slink away whenever I pet her, and when i'd walk out from a door she'd act really spooked. When I called her name, she didn't reply either (usually when I call 'Mika!' she'd mew back, even when she was hiding). I didn't want to pick her up because I knew that would scare her even more and she'd probably escape anyways, so in the end, I finally lured her back to her room with her toy. :confused:
I guess Mika's not exactly ready to go up to the second floor yet... I'll probably let her explore the first floor again tomorrow, but I'll block the basement stairs when I let her do that. I'll probably try the second floor with her in a few days, but for now, i'm keeping it off limits. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:44 pm 
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rawr wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions. I think her breeder/mommy cat did a good job litter training her... Even on the first day, she's never had an accident yet. I think you're right about the bonding thing too... She's opening up a bit more every day, and now whenever I walk into her room and sit down, she bounds over and crawls into my arms (often scratching me in the process :'D), asking for petting. I'd definitely want to establish an strong relationship with her before I completely let her loose. :) I'll try letting her out on the first floor today for a little bit and see how she reacts. I'll update you on how that turns out. ^^
P.S I agree... She's so tiny I'm afraid I'll step on her :eek: I hope she grows bigger soon, ahaha. :wink:


Kittens rarely have accidents in their safe room but start as soon as they have access to a large house with no other litter trays. It would be irresponsible and a little mean to not have any more litter trays for her on the other levels of your house. She is a tiny baby and is scared. She will not always remember where her litter tray is or have time to get back to it.

If you want her to feel comfortable and confident in your house you will have to make some changes in the short term to help her. Placing more litter trays on the floors where you want to introduce her will make her feel more confident and happy. It will feel more secure for her. I have a relatively small house in comparison and I have several litter trays so the kittens I breed are never more than a few meters from a tray. As she gets older and more confident you can reduce the number of trays around the house.

I may also give her some food on each floor as you socialise her to the area. She should have some water available as well.

Do you have any idea of her weight? I would be quite concerned about her being as small as she is at her age. Is she gaining weight with you? I am fairly astounded that breeders seem quite happy to home small and underweight kittens. Lately there have been a few people with kittens under 1kg.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:50 pm 
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rawr wrote:
my basement stairs have no doors, but I kind of figured, 'hey, each of these stairs are taller than her- no way she'd be brave enough to scale all of them at once'. Except, well, she did. :shok: ;;;


Sounds like your kitten is doing well. I was kind of surprised at all three of my cats reaction to the stairs as well. I kind of thought it would be a pain in the behind to them, but they all love the stairs. They roar up and down it, just for the fun of it sometimes. It's also the centerpiece for a lot of games (they seem to get especially worked up when they see a "bird" or "mouse" fleeing up the stairs). When they chase each other, it usually involves the stairs too. Even at 12 or 13 weeks they were thoroughly enjoying the stairs. Neytiri even sometimes slides down the stairs on her back, like she was sledding. You can just kind of picture her going "weeeeee". :lol: The carpeting must feel nice on her back.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:15 pm 
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lollo2304 wrote:
rawr wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions. I think her breeder/mommy cat did a good job litter training her... Even on the first day, she's never had an accident yet. I think you're right about the bonding thing too... She's opening up a bit more every day, and now whenever I walk into her room and sit down, she bounds over and crawls into my arms (often scratching me in the process :'D), asking for petting. I'd definitely want to establish an strong relationship with her before I completely let her loose. :) I'll try letting her out on the first floor today for a little bit and see how she reacts. I'll update you on how that turns out. ^^
P.S I agree... She's so tiny I'm afraid I'll step on her :eek: I hope she grows bigger soon, ahaha. :wink:


Kittens rarely have accidents in their safe room but start as soon as they have access to a large house with no other litter trays. It would be irresponsible and a little mean to not have any more litter trays for her on the other levels of your house. She is a tiny baby and is scared. She will not always remember where her litter tray is or have time to get back to it.

If you want her to feel comfortable and confident in your house you will have to make some changes in the short term to help her. Placing more litter trays on the floors where you want to introduce her will make her feel more confident and happy. It will feel more secure for her. I have a relatively small house in comparison and I have several litter trays so the kittens I breed are never more than a few meters from a tray. As she gets older and more confident you can reduce the number of trays around the house.

I may also give her some food on each floor as you socialise her to the area. She should have some water available as well.

Do you have any idea of her weight? I would be quite concerned about her being as small as she is at her age. Is she gaining weight with you? I am fairly astounded that breeders seem quite happy to home small and underweight kittens. Lately there have been a few people with kittens under 1kg.


Thanks! I'll make sure to put litterboxes/food on the other floors too, though I'll probably just let her explore the bottom floor for now. :)
As for her weight... I think she should be around 3 pounds or so, give or take. I haven't really gotten to weigh her yet, but Mika feels about the same in my arm as a small textbook. And for gaining weight... Well, I sure hope so. In ratio to her size, I don't think she can be considered skinny, but she's not really fat either. But judging from the amount she consumes per day, I think she should be gaining some weight... I mean, I feed her wet food, and leave dry food out for the time I'm not home. She's eating more than the suggested amount on the labels for kittens her size too, so I think she should be growing. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:27 pm 
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brianj12 wrote:
rawr wrote:
my basement stairs have no doors, but I kind of figured, 'hey, each of these stairs are taller than her- no way she'd be brave enough to scale all of them at once'. Except, well, she did. :shok: ;;;


Sounds like your kitten is doing well. I was kind of surprised at all three of my cats reaction to the stairs as well. I kind of thought it would be a pain in the behind to them, but they all love the stairs. They roar up and down it, just for the fun of it sometimes. It's also the centerpiece for a lot of games (they seem to get especially worked up when they see a "bird" or "mouse" fleeing up the stairs). When they chase each other, it usually involves the stairs too. Even at 12 or 13 weeks they were thoroughly enjoying the stairs. Neytiri even sometimes slides down the stairs on her back, like she was sledding. You can just kind of picture her going "weeeeee". :lol: The carpeting must feel nice on her back.


Haha I can totally imagine that! That's so cute! :lol:
In her room, Mika loves it when I toss a toy onto the top level of her cat tree. She kind of slowly crawls up the different levels without a sound, and then wiggles her behind and pounds on the toy! :mrgreen: I guess bengals just really like climbing up and down things. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:45 pm 
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rawr wrote:

As for her weight... I think she should be around 3 pounds or so, give or take. I haven't really gotten to weigh her yet, but Mika feels about the same in my arm as a small textbook. And for gaining weight... Well, I sure hope so. In ratio to her size, I don't think she can be considered skinny, but she's not really fat either. But judging from the amount she consumes per day, I think she should be gaining some weight... I mean, I feed her wet food, and leave dry food out for the time I'm not home. She's eating more than the suggested amount on the labels for kittens her size too, so I think she should be growing. :wink:


3lbs would be the lower end of a fairly normal weight for a 12 week old kitten and she looks smaller than 3lbs in the pictures you posted. Plus you mentioned that the breeder said she was small for her age.

Have you got kitchen scales? That is what I use to weigh my cats and kittens. I weigh them now still, to monitor their growth/stability. My adult non breeding cats less often though now. Guess I'm a little obsessed with weight! :rolleyes: but it is important when they are young kittens as problems and health issues can show up in 'failure to thrive' cases.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:33 am 
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I haven't really gotten round to weighing her yet, but she'll be going to the vet for her rabies shot in a few weeks, and I'll have them give her a full checkup. I do hope she gains weight, but somehow i feel like she's eating a looooot :eek: . She goes through about 1/3-1/2 of a can of evo wet food plus about 1/2 cup of evo dry mixed with earthborn dry. That's nearly twice the amount on the suggested amount chart. Is it ok for her to be eating so much? O.o

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