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 Post subject: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:09 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:40 am
Posts: 4
Hello everyone.
Long time lurker, first time poster here. Been reading these forums for a while as I was searching for a bengal kitten.
About 6 weeks ago we welcomed a baby boy to our home. He's not our first cat (our first bengal though) but it has been a couple of years since our previous cat passed away. Everything has been going on well with baby Leo, many thanks to the advice found on this forum.
We have followed every peice of advice we found on here, as well tips from the breeder, and from our experience with our previous cat.
Up to 2 weeks ago he was very peaceful and loving. While he's still acting this way for most of the day, he's has this habbit now of acting up just before bedtime.
I am self employed (work from noon till 10pm), and my wife is currently unemployed. We have this routine where I play with him as soon as I wake up, then I feed him, then I go shower (Leo will observe of course) then I have a mini play session just before I leave for work.
My wife says that Leo will go back to sleep soon after I'm gone. He'll wake up around 3pm, finds my wife, and she feeds him his second meal of the day. He'll then sleep, wake up around sunset, wife will play with him for about an hour or so till he's tired. He'll then rest at the main door to greet me when I come home. I play with him for about half an hour or so. At this point he looks all tired, becomes very affectionate, and generally wants to chill out. At around midnight we give him his final meal and we get ready for bed.
Leo recently started enjoying sleeping on bed, used to sleep on the ground next to our bed.
It's at this time where he flips out. For some reason he keeps attacking my hands and actually bites and scratches, not play bites. He's drawing blood every single night. Both of my hands are filled with scratches.
Now I do understand that he's just a young kitten (approaching 5 months of age, will be neutered in 2 weeks) and I am very patient with him.
I tried playing with him for about 20 mins after his meal, where he'll calm down a bit, but as soon as I am in bed again he'll flip. Mind you, he doesn't do this to my wife, he hasn't scratched her once (she actually says he likes me more than her!). I also tried giving him 5-10 minute timeouts in the ensuite bathroom, where he'll come out calm and all, and as soon he jumps up on the bed, he'll attack my hands.
I'm not displaying any anger torwads him or anything, I just want to address this issue before he gets used to this and it becomes part of his routine. Should we move his last meal of the day to an earlier time? From my past experience with cats, they usually chill down after meal time, but not with Leo, he becomes much more active.

He has a cat tree in our bedroom, tons of toys. A scratching post in the living room, 2 litter boxes. He's otherwise very well behaved.

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:01 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8144
First of all, welcome to the forum. The joys of owning a bengal -- and a bengal kitten at that! As you've read on here, bengals are highly active, kittens even more so! The nature of a kitten is to play until they are tuckered out, sleep, eat, play some more, etc. It appears you're giving him a lot of play time and it appears your kitty wants more. It's interesting because many articles talk about cats being nocturnal and I've had cats who were up all night and slept all day. I don't know that changing the time you feed him is going to make a difference. Heavy play before bedtime might. I have to do that with my Raiden. He prefers to play in the evenings. He is 8 years old. He will get so riled up at times, zooming through the house, up on his cat tree, down the cat tree, over the furniture. Then ... he'll climb up on his bed and go to sleep! It's in an instant. With a bengal, it's like having a 2-year old who will never grow up.

If this play biting is only happening after you've tried going to bed for the night, sometimes movement under the covers can spur this behavior. Raiden has been known to play with my feet as I'm trying to stretch out. My recommendation is to play with him right before bed time. I'm guessing he doesn't like to sleep on the cat tree. Then purchase a cat bed and place it off the floor (most bengals do not sleep on the floor -- they like to be off the ground).

As you've discovered, bengals are not like your ordinary, domestic cat. They have their own set of needs. And once you satisfy those needs, they usually are okay. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:56 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:40 am
Posts: 4
Sherry wrote:
First of all, welcome to the forum. The joys of owning a bengal -- and a bengal kitten at that! As you've read on here, bengals are highly active, kittens even more so! The nature of a kitten is to play until they are tuckered out, sleep, eat, play some more, etc. It appears you're giving him a lot of play time and it appears your kitty wants more. It's interesting because many articles talk about cats being nocturnal and I've had cats who were up all night and slept all day. I don't know that changing the time you feed him is going to make a difference. Heavy play before bedtime might. I have to do that with my Raiden. He prefers to play in the evenings. He is 8 years old. He will get so riled up at times, zooming through the house, up on his cat tree, down the cat tree, over the furniture. Then ... he'll climb up on his bed and go to sleep! It's in an instant. With a bengal, it's like having a 2-year old who will never grow up.

If this play biting is only happening after you've tried going to bed for the night, sometimes movement under the covers can spur this behavior. Raiden has been known to play with my feet as I'm trying to stretch out. My recommendation is to play with him right before bed time. I'm guessing he doesn't like to sleep on the cat tree. Then purchase a cat bed and place it off the floor (most bengals do not sleep on the floor -- they like to be off the ground).

As you've discovered, bengals are not like your ordinary, domestic cat. They have their own set of needs. And once you satisfy those needs, they usually are okay. Good luck.


Thanks for the reply Sherry.
I'm surprised to hear that your Raiden is still that active even at 8 years old! The oldest bengals I have encountered have ranged between 2 and 6 years of age, and to me it seemed that they calm down a bit.

Owning a bengal is a joy, they are fun to watch. I had two cats in my life before, but I wasn't really expecting bengals to be THAT much different.

Leo has a cat bed next to our bed, he used to sleep on it all the time, but its now his afternoon bed. We realized early on that he freaks out a bit from our movement under the sheets, but since he started sleeping on the bed, he seems to have gotten used to that movement.

Yesterday I got him this motion activated mouse toy that'll move around if he touches it, and guess what no bites!


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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:23 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Ok, so several things. Yea, I've frequently seen that some types of foods give bengals "the zooms" shortly after eating, so moving the meal earlier is definitely worth a try.

I'm a little concerned about the "hands" thing. Do you ever mimic "prey" with your hands when you play with him? It's real important that he's trained that all the *funnest* games from his perspective involve hunting "apporpriate" prey. Appropriate meaning things like dabird, neko flies, bouncing balls, kicker toys, fluffy mice toys etc. And that when he tries to play with something else that's inappropriate (your hands or feet) that it isn't so fun, and the game ends. You'll know that you've got him trained, when he starts to bring you the toys that he wants you to help him play with :)

That said, yea, I think it's pretty much universal that bengal pet parents have various scratches and wounds up and down their bodies for the first 6 months or so.

I think that perhaps the easiest remedy is to move his meal time earlier, and add a 15 min play time before bed. Get him going with a dabird or similar and wear him out, that usually will result in a very content and purry kitty.

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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:02 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:40 am
Posts: 4
Brian, thanks for the reply and concerns.

I don't use my hands for play, and I do have da bird and various other toys. I would give him a little rub with my hands, that's basically the extent of me actually handling him, other than the occasional lifting him up from somewhere and that is happening less and less often these days.


Concerning the food, I feed him raw, the breeder introduced it to me. Could that be the reason? I know there are a lot of opions on raw feeding, but I do believe that it's the right diet, if done correctly.

Will take your advice of an extra play session before bed, make sure that's he's panting and worn out.

Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:43 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
ScratchedUpPapa wrote:
Brian, thanks for the reply and concerns.

I don't use my hands for play, and I do have da bird and various other toys. I would give him a little rub with my hands, that's basically the extent of me actually handling him, other than the occasional lifting him up from somewhere and that is happening less and less often these days.


Concerning the food, I feed him raw, the breeder introduced it to me. Could that be the reason? I know there are a lot of opions on raw feeding, but I do believe that it's the right diet, if done correctly.

Will take your advice of an extra play session before bed, make sure that's he's panting and worn out.

Thanks again


Heh, yep, that's what I was guessing, raw does often give the "Zooms". Mine only get raw occasionally, but I've seen that correlation many times, especially when they were a little younger. It's a great diet (if done correctly), so I wouldn't do anything different if he's liking it and doing well on it. You probably just don't want to do a meal within a couple hours of bedtime. Either that or just plan a big playtime afterwards so he's "wasted" by the time your bedtime comes around.

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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:46 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:03 pm
Posts: 535
I have a cat whose favorite bedtime game was to attack my husbands feet from under the bed when he walked by. We went through so many band-aids during those months. He did calm a bit after he was fixed.

I would keep him out of the bedroom until he calms or simply put him out when he starts. I would also get him some toys that he can play with by himself so he is busier during the day.

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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:54 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
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Both mine went through this, they didn't sleep as much as they got older and every evening after a nap would come looking for me and trouble! I had to give them 1/2 hour to an hour of play that involved them charging around - ie da'bird/flying frenzy or a laser pointer (great for getting them to charge up and down the hall and jumping up the walls) - with two they were like a tag team one would be after it and then would have a rest while the other took over. When they were suitably exhausted I would give them a small supper and they would be content to settle down for the night.

But yes, get yourself a good supply of plasters as I was covered in scratches for a few months, I think they are a breed that can get a bit over excited or over stimulated but you will recognise the triggers after a while! I would always stop play if I started to become prey to them and they are very quick to learn. Replace your hands or feet with a kicker toy and let him have a go at that instead lol

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:57 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8144
Hopefully, you're getting the situation better -- stimulating cat toys are great. I got Raiden when he was 6 years old and he's far more active than any cat I've ever had. I figured he would be slowing down, but he isn't! So expect yours to be zooming around for a long while yet. I'm not familiar with a raw diet since I don't feed Raiden a raw diet. Brian always offers super advice here, and I bow down to anything he says.

Definitely an extra play session before bed will help. Tucker the little guy out.


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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:03 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 12:29 pm
Posts: 24
Clipping the sharp ends off his claws will help. Just be sure to clip the clear part and not to hit the white part. I try to catch mine when he is in a quiet moment (very rare) and he lies there whilst I clip his claws. He is quite comfortable with it and now I don't get bleeding scratches so often anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Bedtime madness
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:59 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:35 am
Posts: 14
Oberon loves to play and his fav game is to bite through the covers at whatever part seems likely to move the most.

Though if you think this isn't play it could be territorial aggression? Does he maybe think your wife is his and resents you being there? They talk about this a bit in "My Cat from Hell"

Oberon is only ever aggressive with me, very calm and semi affectionate with my husband. I am his primary caregiver though as my husband has a much more strenuous work schedule, but he doesn't seem to have the bond with me. I think perhaps cause I am there for when he misbehaves and has to get kennel time.


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