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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:29 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Hi guys,

So I have had my little snow Bengal boy for 2 weeks now.

I know many of you will say this is not much time to ‘bond’ but let me just tell you the story and hear your opinions.

From the very start, he has LOVED my beautiful moggie girl. He loves her so much and is always rubbing against her, licking her, etc.

Currently he is only ever nice/purry/wants pats either when he is sleepy and has just woken up, or is hungry.

When I get home from work, both cats are asleep. My moggie runs up to me, purrs, meows, rubs against me, and is happy to see me. Zuki, however, crawls out of bed, walks over my way, but then completely ignores me and rubs against Lilo (moggie) instead, giving her all the attention, as if she’s the one who just got home!

In the mornings, as soon as Lilo sees me wake up, she crawls up to my face on the bed and sits beside me, purring. She did it this morning. I thought Zuki was going to say hello, too, when he jumped on the bed and walked over, but he only wanted to say hello to Lilo.

I know Lilo has probably taken the role of a surrogate mother to Zuki and he feels comfortable with her.

Do you guys think it will be harder for me to bond with Zuki when he already seems to have such a strong relationship/liking towards Lilo? Or will he become more loving/affectionate with time as he grows older?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:55 am 
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lalune93 wrote:
Do you guys think it will be harder for me to bond with Zuki when he already seems to have such a strong relationship/liking towards Lilo? Or will he become more loving/affectionate with time as he grows older?


My thoughts:

1. I think being a pet parent requires you to look at the bigger picture and mainly focus on the happiness of the pets under your charge. Because even if you don't initially think so, their happiness is your happiness. So they are both getting along, they are both happy, things are good. There may come a day when things are not so good, and many pet parents are in this state now. The cats may become disenchanted with each other, one starts beating up on the other, and your affection may actually become a bone of contention, and a source of jealousy and territorial friction between them, and that is a much worse state to be in. So count your blessings. Things are really good overall!

2. Long-term, your actions will largely determine what sort of relationship you will have with both cats, and seeing as you provide good things like food, treats, play, and affection (when they want it), plus warmth and comfort, especially in the cold months, the odds are heavily stacked in your favor! So if you don't blow it, and stay the course, things should work out really well. Just remember that every interaction with them is making an impression on them, good or bad or indifferent. So make most of the interactions be as positive as you can for them!

3. Not all cats are cuddly, and it seems like a good percentage of bengals fall into that category. One doesn't choose a bengal when they want a cat that sits on their lap and purrs! What I found with my initially-not-cuddly-bengals, was that play was often a way to their hearts. Once a very active, action-oriented cat learns that the absolute funnest, exciting, hunting-simulation play experiences come from you, your popularity with them can skyrocket! Because as fun as the other cat is to play with, he can't make a fluffy mouse slide across the floor and dart behind objects, or a "bird" dive bomb him and then attempt to fly away! :lol:... But you can!

4. Want to make a non-cuddly bengal temporarily more cuddily? Play with them until they are sucking wind, and collapse in a heap on their side after chasing a toy bird at break-neck speed. They get way more cuddley when in that state.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:04 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Just as no two children are alike, it's the same with kitties. It's only been TWO weeks! Give Zuki a chance. Bengals are bonding cats and we've had posts on here where the new kitten has bonded with another cat. I think Zuki is still getting his bearings around your home. I think you're expecting too much too soon! Relax a little bit. Zuki will take a lot of pointers from Loki. Spend time playing with both of your kitties. I know you show your love for both cats. But .... update us in another month and let's see if there's any difference. Most bengals are not snuggle bugs. You have to accept them for who they are. Zuki hasn't been away from his mom and siblings for very long and Loki is probably a great surrogate for Zuki. Be patient and hang in there. I think things will get better.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:43 pm 
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My cats constantly change their "touchability." One will be cuddly and the other will hang back and observe, then the rolls switch. I am not sure why but they seem to have some sort of system worked out. Grace was particularly untouchable, but I won her over with the brush. She comes to me now and meows for a brush or a pat.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:15 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:30 am
Posts: 147
brianj12 wrote:
lalune93 wrote:
Do you guys think it will be harder for me to bond with Zuki when he already seems to have such a strong relationship/liking towards Lilo? Or will he become more loving/affectionate with time as he grows older?


My thoughts:

1. I think being a pet parent requires you to look at the bigger picture and mainly focus on the happiness of the pets under your charge. Because even if you don't initially think so, their happiness is your happiness. So they are both getting along, they are both happy, things are good. There may come a day when things are not so good, and many pet parents are in this state now. The cats may become disenchanted with each other, one starts beating up on the other, and your affection may actually become a bone of contention, and a source of jealousy and territorial friction between them, and that is a much worse state to be in. So count your blessings. Things are really good overall!

2. Long-term, your actions will largely determine what sort of relationship you will have with both cats, and seeing as you provide good things like food, treats, play, and affection (when they want it), plus warmth and comfort, especially in the cold months, the odds are heavily stacked in your favor! So if you don't blow it, and stay the course, things should work out really well. Just remember that every interaction with them is making an impression on them, good or bad or indifferent. So make most of the interactions be as positive as you can for them!

3. Not all cats are cuddly, and it seems like a good percentage of bengals fall into that category. One doesn't choose a bengal when they want a cat that sits on their lap and purrs! What I found with my initially-not-cuddly-bengals, was that play was often a way to their hearts. Once a very active, action-oriented cat learns that the absolute funnest, exciting, hunting-simulation play experiences come from you, your popularity with them can skyrocket! Because as fun as the other cat is to play with, he can't make a fluffy mouse slide across the floor and dart behind objects, or a "bird" dive bomb him and then attempt to fly away! :lol:... But you can!

4. Want to make a non-cuddly bengal temporarily more cuddily? Play with them until they are sucking wind, and collapse in a heap on their side after chasing a toy bird at break-neck speed. They get way more cuddley when in that state.


Sherry wrote:
Just as no two children are alike, it's the same with kitties. It's only been TWO weeks! Give Zuki a chance. Bengals are bonding cats and we've had posts on here where the new kitten has bonded with another cat. I think Zuki is still getting his bearings around your home. I think you're expecting too much too soon! Relax a little bit. Zuki will take a lot of pointers from Loki. Spend time playing with both of your kitties. I know you show your love for both cats. But .... update us in another month and let's see if there's any difference. Most bengals are not snuggle bugs. You have to accept them for who they are. Zuki hasn't been away from his mom and siblings for very long and Loki is probably a great surrogate for Zuki. Be patient and hang in there. I think things will get better.


I didn't expect an affectionate cat. I read on bengals and was told they are not cuddly lap cats, but still
Show affection for their owners and are very loyal.

Obviously 2 weeks isn't that long, but I have never in my life owned or been around a cat or kitten who still, after two weeks of kind treatment, bolts in the other direction when I walk past and dodges my hand when I try to pay him.

I don't expect cuddles or him to sit on my lap. But I'm just really confused as to why he won't even let me touch him and runs the other way.

Not only this, but I have a wonderful relationship with my noggin Lilo. Every afternoon she runs to the door to greet me, every morning when she sees me awake she jumps to me and says good morning and licks me. This is only after 2 months of owning her.

Zuki, has been interfering with this. Every single time he sees her willingly coming to me, he runs between us and pushes her away from me.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:53 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Have you been around a bengal kitten before? They are so different from your regular cat that you wouldn't even think they are a cat! A b/w cat who hangs around our yard is super friendly, loves to be petted, head butts all over, gives kitty kisses, and will even jump up on you to get you to pet it. Super affectionate. Not my bengal. Whether Zuki will grow out of this, I don't know. So much depends on how the breeder socializes the cats and even the mother. If you got Zuki at 12 weeks from the breeder, that was the proper time. You have another cat -- and Zuki relates to that cat more than you. I know you want more from your relationship with Zuki, but he's obviously not prepared to give it -- at least not now. I'm sure Loki is quite affectionate towards you -- all moggies seem to be. Continue to be patient. Nothing is going to change overnight. Hopefully, Zuki enjoys interacting with you at play time.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:26 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:30 am
Posts: 147
Sherry wrote:
Have you been around a bengal kitten before? They are so different from your regular cat that you wouldn't even think they are a cat! A b/w cat who hangs around our yard is super friendly, loves to be petted, head butts all over, gives kitty kisses, and will even jump up on you to get you to pet it. Super affectionate. Not my bengal. Whether Zuki will grow out of this, I don't know. So much depends on how the breeder socializes the cats and even the mother. If you got Zuki at 12 weeks from the breeder, that was the proper time. You have another cat -- and Zuki relates to that cat more than you. I know you want more from your relationship with Zuki, but he's obviously not prepared to give it -- at least not now. I'm sure Loki is quite affectionate towards you -- all moggies seem to be. Continue to be patient. Nothing is going to change overnight. Hopefully, Zuki enjoys interacting with you at play time.


I am really starting to think that the breeder didn’t socialise her kittens well at all.

No wonder he prefers my moggie. She probably kept the cats and kittens separate and didn’t cuddle and hold them from day 1.

He wants nothing to do with us. He is a little friendly when we have food for him. After that, as soon as I come near, he runs off.

I try to pat him and he either violently swats at me and draws blood, or he backs away and bolts in the opposite direction.

Other than this, he is having no other issues. Looks happy and healthy – just doesn’t want interaction with us at all.

It’s been 3 weeks since we have had him.

I think that it is the breeder’s responsibility, if they are registered and reputable, to make sure all their kittens are well socialised before going to their new home.

If his behaviour doesn’t change in a month, I will contact the breeder and let her know what I think.

I researched bengals – I know they are not cuddly lap cats. But SO many people have claimed they received well socialised, friendly, sweet natured kittens. Zuki doesn’t have any of those qualities and I didn’t expect him to RUN from my hand as I slowly try to pat him.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:22 am 
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I really don't think there is anything to be gained by dwelling on your kitten's perceived shortcomings. Making up deadlines, and planning threats and all that nonsense. Honestly, your attitude towards him is like a feedback loop. He fails to react the way you want towards you, so you resent that of him, so he notices your resentment and reacts even more negatively and on it goes. If you can't deal with having him, then talk to the breeder now, and see if you can return him. Let him go to a home that actually wants him. Otherwise embrace him for that cat he is, and let go of all the disappointment. I'm sure he can become an excellent friend if you'll let him, even if he isn't what you originally envisioned.
.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:31 am 
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brianj12 wrote:
I really don't think there is anything to be gained by dwelling on your kitten's perceived shortcomings. Making up deadlines, and planning threats and all that nonsense. Honestly, your attitude towards him is like a feedback loop. He fails to react the way you want towards you, so you resent that of him, so he notices your resentment and reacts even more negatively and on it goes. If you can't deal with having him, then talk to the breeder now, and see if you can return him. Let him go to a home that actually wants him. Otherwise embrace him for that cat he is, and let go of all the disappointment. I'm sure he can become an excellent friend if you'll let him, even if he isn't what you originally envisioned.
.


To be completely fair and honest, I have no once shown any negativity towards him. Not once. Not once have I expressed my rage to him, never have I hurt him or yelled at him… so I don’t know why you assume he is feeling my disappointment in him, when all I have ever been so far to him is patient, kind and gentle… always speaking to him about anything and everything if he is around, giving him treats, playing with him… what makes you think I have been doing otherwise??

I am only expressing my feedback on here. This is a forum afterall, isn’t it? Is this not what it is for? This is the only place I have expressed my disappointment. I haven’t directed any of that to Zuki.

What makes you think I don’t want him? I do want him, but not if he attacks and scratches me at every opportunity and runs away from me when I am only coming over for a pat.

Furthermore, I am not dwelling on his shortcomings. Every day I am hoping to make progress, but have not seen any.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:13 am 
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lalune93 wrote:
brianj12 wrote:
I really don't think there is anything to be gained by dwelling on your kitten's perceived shortcomings. Making up deadlines, and planning threats and all that nonsense. Honestly, your attitude towards him is like a feedback loop. He fails to react the way you want towards you, so you resent that of him, so he notices your resentment and reacts even more negatively and on it goes. If you can't deal with having him, then talk to the breeder now, and see if you can return him. Let him go to a home that actually wants him. Otherwise embrace him for that cat he is, and let go of all the disappointment. I'm sure he can become an excellent friend if you'll let him, even if he isn't what you originally envisioned.
.


To be completely fair and honest, I have no once shown any negativity towards him. Not once. Not once have I expressed my rage to him, never have I hurt him or yelled at him… so I don’t know why you assume he is feeling my disappointment in him, when all I have ever been so far to him is patient, kind and gentle… always speaking to him about anything and everything if he is around, giving him treats, playing with him… what makes you think I have been doing otherwise??

I am only expressing my feedback on here. This is a forum afterall, isn’t it? Is this not what it is for? This is the only place I have expressed my disappointment. I haven’t directed any of that to Zuki.

What makes you think I don’t want him? I do want him, but not if he attacks and scratches me at every opportunity and runs away from me when I am only coming over for a pat.

Furthermore, I am not dwelling on his shortcomings. Every day I am hoping to make progress, but have not seen any.


I think maybe Brian just meant that even if you aren't intentionally directing your feelings toward him, cats are very intuitive creatures and can sense how you feel, and if Zuki is already feeling insecure, any sort of resentment about how he is even if not openly expressed to him will be sensed by him and further complicate matters.

It sounds to me like maybe Zuki is just a little skittish, could be the breeder's fault for not socializing him properly, but could just also be his personality. With skittish cats, it takes MUCH longer to gain their trust! Our 3-yr old rescue Apollo was a feral kitten for the first 4 weeks of his life, and as a result is SUPER skittish. I've never had a skittish cat before, all 5 of the kitties I had before him were very confident and social - so it was a totally new thing for me and very frustrating at first! I got him when he was 8-weeks and he was terrified of me and basically everything! It took him a really long time to warm up to me, and then later to my fiance and two girlfriends. In fact, I'll never forget the moment that little kitten actually came to me WANTING to be petted and snuggled! The relationship we have now is amazingly rewarding, FULL of trust and love, and he is extremely affectionate and loving and loves being touched and snuggled. He is still that skittish cat around strangers, and at times we wish he wasn't that way...but we absolutely adore him and wouldn't trade him for anything!

I think you should just give it some time with Zuki, and be happy that Lilo took him in so quickly and he had someone he could bond with so easily, even if it isn't a human. The more he gets to know you, and relaxes and realizes you are only good and love him, he will come around more and more and start looking to you for attention... and having Lilo to show the way and influence him will only help things! Put it this way, it sounds like had Lilo not been in the picture and Zuki was an only cat, he would likely be struggling even more. At least for now he has the comfort of Lilo to help him adapt to his new home! Please keep us updated :)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:08 pm 
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Progress is extremely slow. The majority of the kitties I've owned over 50+ years have been loving and affectionate and lap cats (as I child, I even dressed our cat up in my doll's clothes. The doll was a girl, the cat was a boy.) My last moggie was so affectionate and had to be all over me all the time. I loved it! Raiden is a different story! But, Raiden is not the same cat and I just accept him for the kitty he is. His previous owner didn't fawn all over him like some men I've seen. Raiden was put outdoors and could roam the neighborhood! It's a little late at this stage of the game to change him. But Zuki is young and I'm sure you will see some improvement over time. It's still been just a few weeks. You're giving him a wonderful home and a terrific friend in Loki.

The same could hold true if you had two children -- they could be totally different -- but you would still love them both the same.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:15 pm 
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I think you need to relax and stop worrying. If you look back at Zuki's journey to you, how terrified he was when he arrived, things have definitely moved forward. In addition, Lilo gate crashed pretty early on, which all turned out very well in one respect but unfortunately you lost your one on one bonding time with Zuki, and that you had with Lilo. Which unfortunately means it will now take longer for you to bond with him.

Everything Brian, sherry and socalprincess have said is true. You are extreme lucky they get on so well and Zuki will pick up on your stress and frustration and that will make things so much more difficult.

Neither of my two want to be picked up or petted unless they are in the mood. There is nothing unusual in that. Focus on providing him good things and fun play times so he has positive associations with you. Let him approach you for petting (which he will eventually) and then it is all the more rewarding for both of you.

If you relax and take things at his speed all will be well eventually. I used to get frustrated too, my two had each other and would lay in the hall in their bed next to the radiator and I couldn't understand why they didn't want to be with us. Now they fight over who gets the best spot with us, and jagger who was the most standoffish is now the sweetest and most affectionate of the two.

Work on the play times with him. How is he interacting with you during play etc? What games do you play with him? Do you try to pet him immediately after play as his reaction could be some play aggression?

Keep at it and just relax and he will sense that and relax in your company as well. Keep us informed, you are just on the start of a very fun journey!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:34 pm 
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lalune93 wrote:
Furthermore, I am not dwelling on his shortcomings. Every day I am hoping to make progress, but have not seen any.


:lol: I rest my case.

No seriously, if you think that with all that pent up disappointment and frustration and anger and resentment that you express here, that NONE of that gets fed back to your cat... no way. You don't know cats then. They are emotional sponges.

Here's what I think is important for you to realize:

1. You could have picked any cat, from any breeder, and you chose him. The fact that he is like he is, is nobody's fault, but the fact that he isn't what you wanted is only one person's fault... YOURS.

2. Many bengal owners have the same experience as you have, mine was pretty similar to that as well (fast forward four years and this morning I woke up to Serafina greeting me back to conciousness, and rubbing up against me and jabbering and purring, letting me know that it would be acceptable to be lavished with petting this morning). The big difference is how they deal with it. Read through the forum and you'll see what I mean. Most people would be dwelling on how they can improve things, looking at all the positive things (your cat is healthy and gets along with other animals, that is also a form of socialization and is huge!) and at the same time bristling at any suggestions that their new baby is anything but perfect. Very very few people come to a cat forum to diss their own cat (unless he is pooing on their bed :lol: )

3. If you are determined to, you can blame your breeder for how your kitten is right now, but ten years from now, the way your cat is will be almost entirely determined by how you treat him and raise him. So it's time to start focusing on that.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:39 am 
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It took 6 months for Oscar to become cuddly. Yours is a tiny kitten who has lost his litter mates and is looking for a replacement..... Your moggie! He is still so young and two weeks is a drop in the ocean. Just hang back on the worry and chill out. He will most likely come to you but it may take a while. Just relax and become a fixture in the kittens life, but on his terms. I'm sure in six months time it will be totally different and you will wonder what you were ever worrying about!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:26 pm 
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Our Brian tells it like it is, but his advice is always spot on! You have the opportunity to change Zuki's behavior and he should come around if you just give him all your love. He's still learning -- and I bet within 6 months, there has been a huge difference in his personality. With some kittens, the adjustment period takes much longer.


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