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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:52 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:49 pm
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I own a bengal kitten who is around 18 weeks old. He didn't get any socialization as a youngster and he is growing more and more confident from the shy kitty to the kitty who likes to sit next to me and lean his head and be stroked. How do I get him used to being picked up? I understand some cats do not like this however I believe he's young and its best to try and get him used it now. I can get my hands under him but as soon as he is lifted (even with legs supported) he squirms and kicks into you. Is it best to scruff or wrap him in a towel to get him used to being off the ground? As soon as he even slightly gets lifted he dashes and digs his claws into you so its hard to even practise a small amount of time off the floor?

What is everyones experience? Can you 'train' a cat whilst its still this young to enjoy being picked up? He has come along way so far with how friendly he is towards me. As I said I understand it is down to individual personality but I do believe nurture can also play a big part in the cats personality.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:25 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

Bengals are pretty notorious for not enjoying being picked up - unless they ask to be picked up! As kittens my two didn't want any of it. Much more interesting things to be doing and getting into!! Now Hendrix likes being picked up and cuddled in the mornings (purely because he likes my dressing gown and likes to snuggle into it) and will follow me around harassing me until I meet his demands. Other than that, not interested. Jagger doesn't like being picked up at all unless he's in the mood. And then you're not allowed to put him down until he's ready either. And he's a big, heavy lad!

So yes, keep handling him as there are occasions they need to be picked up whether they like it or not, but don't be downhearted if he continues with the squirming and wriggling away! It's a Bengal trait unfortunately!!

Good luck with your new addition!

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Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:24 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Mine don't like to be picked up. Depending on what they're doing at the moment it ranges from absolutely hating it to a quiet "let's wait it out" resignation. I pick them up from time to time so they're used to it in case a necessity arises, but I'm fine with them not liking it.

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Lily & Noha - Oct 7th 2015

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:40 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
reckneps wrote:
What is everyones experience? Can you 'train' a cat whilst its still this young to enjoy being picked up?


I'm not sure really, I've never had much success with that. Here's the thing... it's all about associating good things with different actions from the cat's point of view. So everytime you pick him up, and he squirms, and gets unhappy etc., you've just made it worse, because it was an unpleasant situation for him. So it's tough. Over time you learn, and they learn, how they like to be stroked for example, and once you learn that, there is sometimes limited opportunity to do that while you pick him up, and for it to be a pleasurable experience, and then put him down before it becomes unpleasant for him. In those cases, you can make some small inroads into you cat to like being picked up, just a bit more. But it's slow going. That's all I got...

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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You always want to associate GOOD things with the kitty. Maybe a treat after he's allowed you to hold him for 2 seconds! LOL. Mine can be picked up but fights to be let down within a millisecond! It's just the bengal's nature. You may get him to stay on your lap for a little while. Don't force the issue, however, because them the cat will associate bad things that he doesn't like with the picking up. Bengals are quite independent creatures -- they aren't like your regular domestic cat that loves to be held and lugged around or sleeps peacefully on your lap! You have a bengal! They are different!

That being said, socialization is actually getting the cat to enjoy being around you, being petted, and not so much being held. It takes time to come out of a shell -- and patience. You need to engage him in play, sit close to him and talk with him. Pet him when he allows. It's a bonding process that can take some time.

Hopefully, you have a tall cat tree that will allow your bengal to be up off the ground as they do love high places. This will allow you to access him while he's more eye level. Please do not forcefully pick him up. If he doesn't like it, he doesn't like it. If you force the issue, you will NEVER be able to pick him up. Be thankful that he is friendlier to you and he's only 18 weeks old! You have many, many years left with this baby .... you will continue to see a difference in him over time. Be patient.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:47 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:40 pm
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My boy is a cuddle muffin. He loves his cuddles when I get home though he does have time limits. I try not to ruin a good thing by holding him when he obviously wants down. So Ill let him down, let him come back to rub my legs and hold him until he wants down again.

That said, I think the same rule would apply as when you are training them to get their nails trimmed. Wear him out good with play or so that he's sleepy. When he's tuckered out off he'll be much more receptive to sitting in a warm, comfy lap.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:53 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:49 pm
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He has definitely shown alot of improvement in the two weeks I have had him. After going mental playing with feathers, shiny things or fetch he loves to come and sit on the sofa and lean into me and sleep for hours. He definitely avoids my lap, if he has to get over me, his feet stay on my leg for a fraction of a second. I think he finds it uncomfortable but he loves snuggling next to me.

He has squirmed slightly less when being picked up and at the vets the lady had him in her arms and he was pretty calm, I was very impressed with him. We will have to see how he turns out.

Another thing I have noticed is he is actually pretty quiet cat 90 percent of the day. But the second he wants attention or more food he incessantly meows every 2 seconds over and over. But he seems to be settling in very well and he is getting confident.

One last random point. He loves sticking his head in any glass or mug he can find lol.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:44 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:47 pm
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This partially worked for me: After picking my kitties up I would try to put them down someplace higher, especially places they couldn't reach yet. Places such as on top of my dresser, chest of drawers or the top shelf of a closet.

At 3 years old they let me do this with a hug in between...however, if I take one step while hugging them they start to squirm!
reckneps wrote:
One last random point. He loves sticking his head in any glass or mug he can find lol.
Mine did this so I gave them their own cup of water in the bath tub to drink from and play with. I fill it to the very top for each drinking.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:44 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Happy he is settling in just fine and loves to snuggle up by you! That's a great start. He may never be a lap cat, but he will be a very social kitty! I picked up Raiden a couple of times today to give him some love and kisses and he tolerates it for a second and wants back down! I accept that and live with that, but at least I can pick him up!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:02 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:49 pm
Posts: 25
Leo has been sitting my my lap all weekend! He started by climbing on us when he was trying to get to his toys and he obviously got more and more comfortable. Now he just wanted to sit on my lap constantly! He seems to be getting more and more comfortable each day!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:53 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:47 pm
Posts: 20
reckneps wrote:
Leo has been sitting my my lap all weekend! He started by climbing on us when he was trying to get to his toys and he obviously got more and more comfortable. Now he just wanted to sit on my lap constantly! He seems to be getting more and more comfortable each day!
Excellent news! I'm jealous, lol. Of course you may find later that adult Leo won't fit on your lap! hahah.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:12 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
It's good news, although really one thing often doesn't have anything to do with the other (i.e., a cat being willing to be picked up vs a cat deciding on their terms to sit in your lap).

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:19 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Cats, and bengals, always insist on doing things their way. You can't woo them except with treats. When they want to sit on your lap, they will come. When you pick them up, it's on your terms and not theirs.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:51 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:51 pm
Posts: 183
Spider has always been okay with me picking him up. He will sit there and lap up the attention. Purring away and rubbing into me. Maasai, on the other hand, never really seemed like he enjoyed it, so I pretty much stopped forcing the issue and stopped picking him up. After a couple of months of this I started to feel that I was giving Spider more attention, even though in hindsight I don't think I was really....Anyway, I eventually persevered with Maasai, and even though he still lays there like a sack of potatoes and doesn't really engage with me (he actively puts his paw in my face to stop me kissing him!), he seems to like it now.....as long as it is no more than 30 seconds and I dont try and kiss him too much!

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