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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:05 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:46 pm
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So we've had our to cats for 3 months now (and got them at 3 months), boy and a girl ... and to be honest think we have made a mistake.

On the plus side: they love playing and are always up for a game of chase (ball, wand toy, springy thingys); they get on well with each other; and after putting them on grain free food their coats are stunning. Also we love their athleticism.

However, on the negative side: while they use the litter tray most of the time, we are still having occasions where they go elsewhere (bed quilts are favourite - but also under my daughter bunk bed); we have had a spraying incident (both been 'fixed' by vet); scratching too much (my daughter's legs are covered); and perhaps most ... er annoying ... they don't really want to be around us. They come for food and play, but otherwise pretty much want to be ... elsewhere. Sleeping under beds, in draws or just in the other room. Now, I wasn't expecting a cuddle fest (see my previous posts and I read the poll) but I thought they would be around and even occasionally on our laps.

I think we have done things by the book: multiple litter trays, lots of play, cat trees, reward good behaviour etc. But they are not the family pets we had hoped for. (my wife is even googling Burmese / Birman and Havana Brown!)

I write this partly for any hints and tips (because we would love this to work!!!), and partly as our true experience for prospective owners.

Jeb


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:18 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Jeb, I'm sorry you expected a lot more from your bengals. Bengal cats are a different breed from your regular kitties. You bought two of them and they have bonded. Single bengals will bond with their owner. Bengals are usually very social and want to be in the same room as their humans. They demand attention. I do not know how well your breeder socialized them. If they were separated from the home and kept with the mother, then it wasn't much. Many breeders integrate the queen and kittens in with their family, which is why I always recommend you visit the breeder prior to even picking out a kitty.

The breeder should have litter trained the kitties. The reason cats refuse to use a litter box are: medical -- urinary tract infections, crystals in the urine that cause painful urination can be a cause. Healthy kitties, it's usually stress related. I'm going out on a limb here and saying it's stress -- from the home. Environment is everything to a cat -- territory is crucial -- and they can pick up on stress from the owners. If you're unhappy with them, they are aware of that. Other factors can be the cats do not like the type of litter box or the type of cat litter you are using -- and even the location of the litter box can prove to be a problem. It's always odd when a cat will use a litter box most of the time and go outside of the box every now and then.

Cats mark for territory. They are claiming that area as their own. Another cat marks over that claiming the territory, then the first cat goes back and marks. You have cat trees, you play with the kitties, but something is amiss. Are neighborhood cats coming around?

Your kitties apparently need something more. Since it's difficult to "walk" two cats (people do it, but the cats tend to head off in different directions), I'd suggest that you find a way to incorporate an outdoor enclosure so that your kitties can be safe outside. There are portable enclosures or you can create a permanent one.

You're not happy with your decision to own bengals. This is usually because you've expected them to behave like other kitties -- cuddly, lap, snuggle bunnies. Some bengals are like that -- many are not. Contact your breeder and see if the kitties can be returned. If you aren't happy now, you won't be any happier in the future. Your kitties are what they are -- so you live with it or you return them and find a breed that will behave the way you want your kitties to behave. Bengals are definitely not for everyone. They have their quirks, but they do make great pets for many of us.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:24 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Sherry wrote:
If you aren't happy now, you won't be any happier in the future. Your kitties are what they are -- so you live with it or you return them and find a breed that will behave the way you want your kitties to behave.


That is very true. I'm very sure that they are aware of your displeasure with them, so it's probably not fair to them to keep them. They'll find a more appropriate home if you return them. Best of luck with kittens part deaux.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:53 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:46 pm
Posts: 10
Thanks ... Not ready to give up and still want this to work. Some reflections:

1. Yup, think they probably have bonded with each other. We try and bring them in with us (just moving them in the cat basket once they've fallen asleep) but they still get up and mooch off. Don't want to disturb them by trying this repeatedly. We're trying to do some one on one playing but they both just join in.

2. Again I would look back and think not socialised enough by breeder. In home yes, but not really part of the family more kept in some areas house not allowed kitchen lounge etc.

3. Indoor cats. No neighbourhood issues. And we thought environment was stress free - perhaps we're wrong. Will do some more research and see what else we can do.

4. Peeing is main concern. Expensive in money and time. Perplexed as to why only sometimes. Nothing for a while then 2-3 times on the bed or bean bag in a week. Again will research more.

Thanks for replies, guess we'll see how it goes a while longer, but you're right, if neither side is happy then we will have to sadly part ways.

Jeb


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:59 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
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They're still babies, mine were exactly the same and would sleep in the hall in their cat carrier at that age. Mainly because it was next to a radiator and the front room has the settee in front of it. Once I put a cat tree in the front room though they came in more and will sleep on there or the footstool with us. It doesn't mean they don't love you, they just have their own way of showing affection. Besides which you want them to keep that bond, you don't want them to grow apart and start being territorial and fighting.

It's very rare one of ours will sleep on our laps, but jagger regular sleeps next to our legs/feet on the footstool. Hendrix will occasionally get on my lap in the morning, but only because he loves my dressing gown!

I was covered in scratches for at least six months and still get the odd one or two. Does your daughter spend the most time with them?

I would definitely get them checked out at the vet re the peeing. Are the litter boxes kept clean regularly? We've only had this once when the boxes were used more than usual while we were at work and they weren't considered clean enough.

I think if you persevere and give them lots of love, you will get it reciprocated tenfold. But you need to invest emotionally and if your wife is already looking at other breeds, I'm concerned she has already disengaged from them. They have more chance with another family if they are rehomed whilst still young enough to adapt.

Wishing you all the best.

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


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:17 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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My two cats are constantly changing as they develop and grow. I have learned to go with the flow and appreciate them for who they are. I find that the more time I spend with them, the more affectionate they are towards me. I clean their litter box often and as soon as I do, they jump in and use it. I found that the more I do for my cats, feed them what they want, on time, change all their water bowls daily, let them out to play in the screened in patio twice a day, provide multiple cat towers and shelves for them to play on, etc., the more they reward me by following me from room to room, taking a rare nap on me, playing what ever game I offer up. They are not the lap cats I was used to, but they are beautiful energetic animals that are so enjoyable to watch play with each other.

Your cat's litter box issue is upsetting. Once you get to the bottom of that hopefully the rest will work itself out if you are satisfying their needs. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:36 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Peeing problems are a bit soul destroying, I know. I had issues with one of mine when he first came home. And I'm now trying to house train a puppy so am reminded of that time!

What are you doing to manage the peeing problem? I ask because you say the latest accidents were on bean bags and beds - these are common culprits, why are you giving the cats access to them? I had bean bags, they went straight into the attic before the cats came home, it was asking for trouble to leave them out. My cat with toileting issues would go on my bed, or sometimes on other soft furnishings. So I took away access to these things until good litter box habits were established and then gradually gave him the house back. I also learned feather duvets were too tempting for him to pee on, so we stopped using them full stop (a few years on we are using feather duvets again and all is well).

As for the rest of it, they sound fine. Cats like to curl up and sleep in quiet places, and they sleep a large portion of the day. Your kittens will change as they get older, and I bet will settle more into your family. It's very early days, and perhaps your view of them is tainted by the weeing issues.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:08 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Jeb, if you're willing to try and change things, you've got the change your attitude about the cats. They aren't easy to manipulate. It's up to you to socialize them -- and that means simply petting them, talking with them, integrating them into the area you're in, playing with them. Giving up is a last resort. It's really going to be up to you and your family to change the situation. Know that change takes time, so patience is necessary. You may not even notice small changes, but over time, things can be different.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:53 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
Posts: 724
I have just read this post and I totally agree with all the replies you have got. Having kittens is like having babies really. The first few years you are dealing with eating, sleeping, pooing, peeing as this little creature relies on you totally. With kittens, it's a few months and not years, thank goodness. Being a parent to kids or kittens requires you to lose any selfish feelings and embrace them as individuals as they grow and change. The kittens can change but it's up to you how much work, time, love and patience you put into them. Any animal, as it matures will go through changes. My rescue bengal was not at all cuddly. Six months down the line he is the cuddliest thing around!

Give it time, love and patience and I'm sure they will be more as you wished for. Don't give up on them, they are only babies. Good luck

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Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:37 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Jeb, these replies you are getting are spot on!!!! Members here give the best advice you could ever ask for. I am hoping for the best for you and your kitties.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:57 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:46 pm
Posts: 10
An update ... and unfortunately not good news.

While our female continues to view the litterbox as anitoccasional place to pee along with the bed and beanbags, overall the kittens were getting more affectionate especially the boy who was routinely cuddling up to my wife on the sofa.

But he also started getting more lethargic and so we rang the vet ... who said don't worry as long as he is eating and drinking. However, it has got worse and his tummy got bigger (noted by cat sitter who is looking after them while we are on hols) so they took him to the emergency vet today (we are still abroad) and have been told 'most likely wet FIP.' More tests to follow tomorrow with own vet.

Gutted. Absolutely gutted. And no idea how to tell my daughter who has fallen in love with the cats that had started sleeping on her bed.

Presumably we should also inform breeder once tests come back? Although todays research suggests there are no definitive tests and little she could have or can do?

Thought we were getting there with the kittens .... and he was the more affectionate of the two. Damn.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:26 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Jeb, I am so very, very sorry! There isn't anything you could have done differently. Thankfully, your pet sitter rushed your boy to the vet for a diagnosis. I hate that your experience has been less than great! Absolutely inform the breeder once the diagnosis of FIP is confirmed! There are definitive tests, but unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure. Let us know how things are going once you've returned home.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:55 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I'm so sorry. FIP is the worst, there's nothing you can do and it makes you feel so helpless. I would definitely let the breeder know once it's confirmed.

*hugs* to you and your family.

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Dallas, TX USA
Diesel - snow Bengal born 09/01/2013 adopted Feb 2014
Tuck, Chloe, Buddy, Lewis & Tia - rescue kitties
Clyde, Bleu & Coal - Great Danes


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:18 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:46 pm
Posts: 10
So, in with own vet today and more samples taken. As well as local vet lab we have asked for them to be sent to a specialist FIP lab in Edinburgh (at the instance of my wife who was not to taken with them last time I posted!). This is due to a Dr Dianne Addie from Glasgow who stated much FIP was actually misdiagnosis. We'll see - it seems like a long shot.

Not back till weekend but thinking of cutting hols short to be with him - we'll see.

Thx for support.


Last edited by Jeb on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:22 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8152
I'm sure it's difficult to enjoy a vacation worrying about your kitty! I hope this is a misdiagnosis and they find that it's something that can be taken care of. Please keep us informed!


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