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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:17 pm 
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I don't know what to do. I love my new kittens and we've only had them a little over a month and I'm already sensing trouble. They are good cats.. They've only had two litterbox problems but nothing since then and are becoming friendlier and livelier each day.. but of course, they are cats so a certain level of cat damage is to be expected. My BF is bitching about every little thing.. They smell, they are destroying the furniture. Their poop stinks, they are too energetic.. They are climbing on things.. It's like he was happy for me to get them but not happy for them to live here. I'm completely depressed and honestly don't know what to do. I actually think this might cause issues for our relationship.. But if it did and I had to move out I wouldn't be able to take them with me as there is nowhere I could rent that would accept two bengals..

I'm in a real shitty place because I love them and I'm happy for them to just be cats.. But it's my mistake for getting them because I should have known he would react like this.. Has anyone else got a partner who has made things difficult., what did you do?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:51 pm 
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Ellie1987 wrote:
But if it did and I had to move out I wouldn't be able to take them with me as there is nowhere I could rent that would accept two bengals..


I won't try to offer any advice about your relationship, but as far as the possibility of moving into an apartment that would accept two bengals... why do you say that? I lived in several different apartments where I had two cats, and there have been many people on this forum who rent apartments and had bengals. So I'm not understanding why that would be out of the question.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:04 pm 
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I'm thinking of budget. I live in London and at my budget alone I'd not be able to get my own apartment.. Also there seems to be great difficulties in renting with pets as per plenty of my friends experiences. If it came down to it I'd just have to find a way.. But id really rather not go there.. I love my BF to bits and I simply do not want to get rid of him or the cats.

I'm just venting frustrations I guess.. It's just so irritating when someone keeps picking at every little thing and won't even give it a chance. They really aren't bad at all, they are just being kittens and are very curious but he seems to think they are badly behaved and doing it on purpose..


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:09 pm 
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Question - will they one day understand a loud "no" if they jump up on things? Or even their own names?

I think the biggest issue right now is the fact they are climbing on everything.. Even with the trees etc but the counter tops are a no no (boyfriend is a hygiene freak) they go into the litter and then try and walk on surfaces we don't want them to. Has anyone managed to deter their cats from places they don't want them to go?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:55 pm 
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To an extent - we have managed to prevent them from walking on countertops by sweeping our hands on their legs also they fall on the floor, with a strict "no". They certainly know what that means now and have never seemed to resent us for it. Some rare moments they will indeed go up there, mostly when there's leftovers or we just cooked. (They're moggies and one is super intelligent while the other is not too bright)
But what you have are just kittens - they're like children. You can try to teach them the basics, and over time they will remember if you're consistent. But they're also going to try your boundaries a lot, especially as they go through their early life stages. Gnawing through wires as they need to loose their teeth, jumping on everything within reach as they develop their hunting abilities.
I have grown up with a father who, to this day, still blames the cats if they have an accident (like puking or peeing) he simply cannot grasp that they're not doing it as a personal attack on him.

What you could do is try to minimize the "forbidden" areas - Cats are easier to train with positive reinforcement such as petting, or food (lots are motivated by food) even at such a young age you can train them. Give them things to climb on - take the drapes down if they climb in them.

I sense that even if you'd gotten a pair of moggies, it would probably be the same complaints - they're kittens, just doing their natural thing whether they be bengals or Maine Coons.
If they smell you clean more often. If they play in areas they shouldn't, draw them to areas that they should.
Maybe have your boyfriend bond with them through more acceptable play - for example a wand toy on a cat tree.
I would suggest you ask him what the real problems is - is he afraid of them?
Because most of the time when people complain it's usually to hide what they're actually feeling or thinking. They might not even realize it until you ask.

And yes, you can teach them their names.
You simply say the word and if the cat reacts you reward it. Then you try until you're confident it reacts, then you put some distance between you and reward the cat when it comes to you. Consistency is the key here, since the problem is they're smart enough to realize pretty quick if you do it and there's no reward. They'll just simply ignore you then, or come if they feel like the chances of getting a reward is great enough.

I can't stress enough that you stay away from water pistols/sprays - nothing good will come of it. You can't actually prevent them from going on the countertops, but you can some of that double sticky paper - most of them really hate to walk on that stuff. If your boyfriend is a hygiene freak, like my mother, then the only solution is to always wipe the surfaces before you use them - something that should pretty much be done anyway, whether you have a cat or not.
You could also try to distract them with play. Though I have zero experience with that myself, so it might be worth looking into.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:21 am 
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brianj12 wrote:
Ellie1987 wrote:
But if it did and I had to move out I wouldn't be able to take them with me as there is nowhere I could rent that would accept two bengals..


I won't try to offer any advice about your relationship, but as far as the possibility of moving into an apartment that would accept two bengals... why do you say that? I lived in several different apartments where I had two cats, and there have been many people on this forum who rent apartments and had bengals. So I'm not understanding why that would be out of the question.


That can be an issue in the uk, especially apartments. Generally there is a no pets clause in the lease.

I think with your issue, you need to try to stay calm. The first few months can be trying, just like with children. You need to adapt and change to avoid things you care about being damaged. We lost some blinds, the hall carpet is pretty worse for wear and we took curtains down. I was really gutted about a crystal wine glass from a set I'd had for years and jagger swiped it off the table to see if it bounced. It didn't... Jon had forgotten that little trick of his when he came home on leave. We only use cheap glasses now. When they are fully grown, the curtains won't support their weight anyway. Kitchen counters can be an issue. You need somewhere they can go when you tell them no to somewhere else. I've never been able to stop mine though on that one! Bengals are very determined when they want to be.

Try buying some cheap place mats and putting sticky paws on them, leave them on the counter tops and make it undesirable for them. We also learnt to wash things down before doing things and bought some Joseph Joseph cutting boards in a stand if in a hurry, so we always had a clean surface available if need be.

Yes, they will understand no and learn their names. I have a special 'no' voice and they know when that is used, I mean business. When I am cooking in the kitchen and they are wanting to jump up on the counters, I hold my hand palm down over them and tell them no. They understand although they may still keep trying, especially if they know you have something tasty up there.

They do grow out of some of it, but be aware they learn REALLY quickly what pushes your buttons and gets a reaction. Jagger will play with the blinds and knock things (usually the table lamp) off the side table. Gets me up every time.

In our situation, it was Jon who wanted bengals and yet it is him who hates the clutter that come with them, the cat trees, litter trays, toys everywhere etc. He also is a bit jealous of them as they demand my attention so much. Their bond with me is very strong as Jon is in the Royal Navy and often away, as he is at the moment.

It will be ok. Just hold your nerve and try to adapt your home to try to avoid the boyfriend getting too antsy with them. You are in an adjustment period. Also work on getting them to bond with him and vice versa. Bengals don't really grow up. I read a description of them once that they are toddlers with adhd and have eaten all the blue smarties. Soooo true! They will always be up to something and looking for mischief. It will get worse before it gets better, but it will get better, I promise. They will learn the house rules and calm down a little bit as adults... But only a little!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:57 pm 
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Ellie, I am really sorry you're going through this, but you're not the first one to face this. Like Clare said, calm down! The key is communication with the BF. Sometimes a partner can get a little jealous of having less time for him as the cats are getting all the time, love and affection!!!

Obviously, getting two kittens was a mutual decision and something agreed upon by both of you. Just as some men don't understand the change that comes with having a new infant in the house, it can be the same when new pets enter the home.

You have KITTENS. They are going to be rambunctious, energized, zooming all over the place, jumping on things. Litterboxes need to be cleaned as they use them and I find a Litter Genie certainly helps in holding the waste and containing any odor!

Cats do understand the word "no," but bengals especially press the boundaries. Raiden looks at us and says, "I don't care, I'm doing this anyway." Consider getting a mat for under the litter box to catch the litter off the paws before they jump on anything. Counters are especially interesting to kittens, more so when you are fixing their food.

Obviously, your relationship with the BF is important to you. You can all co-exist peacefully if you communicate. The BF should be helping out -- feeding, playing with the kitties, etc. Get him involved so you can be a family! Just know your bengals are acting NORMAL and the BF needs to know this as well. They are CATS! Unfortunately, bengals aren't exactly the most loving, lap sleeping creatures, however, in the winter time, Raiden loves to lay on my husband's lap and my hubby loves having him there. Our bengal is a handful at times and we get aggravated, but we've been married for almost 47 years!!! And we've had a slew of cats come through our house during that time. You can make it work. You HAVE to make it work.

Hang in there.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:34 pm 
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Omg thank you all so much for your advice. You're right.. I also think it's a little bit of jealousy as he keeps saying that I love these cats more than him (as a joke but I'm starting to think hes being serious). Great idea on the placemats. I've already got some stick paws to stop them climbing on the stereo.. and it works so will see about dping the same for the counters. I've already caved on one very big issue and that's whether or not to let them be outdoor cats. I wanted to keep them as indoor cays or car proof our garden and that's just not going to happen. I hate the thought of letting them roam free bit unfortunately bumped into some random woman at the pet store who happened to also have 2 bengals and said that she was the same but then let them out and is been fine.. I was giving her daggers.. but now my BF is convinced it's cruel and unnatural to keep them in.. grrrrrr.. One day at a time.. I know they are kittens and we all need to adjust. My boyfriend is normally very reasonable so hopefully he will relax a biT over time. Will certainly use a lot of the advice everyone has offered up today. Thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:41 pm 
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One thing about sticky paws - I used it on the top of our TV as apparently the cats thought it was a balance beam... its an absolute pig to get off that sort of surface and leaves a sticky residue... we did get it off in the end, but it was hard work.

And I doubt your boyfriend is joking as that's exactly what Jon used to say to me and now admits, that yes, he was jealous!!! So be careful to ensure he doesn't feel neglected!!!

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Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:54 pm 
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Ellie1987 wrote:
I've already caved on one very big issue and that's whether or not to let them be outdoor cats. I wanted to keep them as indoor cays or car proof our garden and that's just not going to happen. I hate the thought of letting them roam free bit unfortunately bumped into some random woman at the pet store who happened to also have 2 bengals and said that she was the same but then let them out and is been fine.. I was giving her daggers.. but now my BF is convinced it's cruel and unnatural to keep them in.. grrrrrr..


As far as the cruel and unnatural thing... to me it's kind of like letting your kid be an x-games athlete. Sure, they'll have some fun doing ski-jumps with all kinds of twists and turns and somersaults, but eventually they land on their heads. The average lifespan of an indoor cat is like triple to quadruple that of an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat, and many times that is misleading because after their first run-in with a car, the ones that survive live out the rest of their lives as a cripple. Don't do it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:58 pm 
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Yeah the outside thing is a hard one.. We do have a fairly large garden and if they roam out back we ate talking acres of large fields.. out front however, a road that at peak times can get very busy.. its definitely a higher risk but my BF has oit right vetoed putting up a cat proof fence.. I was considering doing the invisible fence but the thought of electrocuting the cats makes me uncomfortable too. The woman we bumped into was so convincing too.. she was all like "I was the same.. terrified to let them out but slowly I've been doing so and they come back when I call them bla bla".. I'm gonna have to make decisions when we cross that bridge but I can already see they want out because they are so curious.. I don't think we will be able to keep them in so it's a case of managing how we let them out safety. Tried putting harnesses on them the other day and it was pretty funny.. kira managed to wriggle out of it within 5 minutes and Nala sat there howling like I had betrayed her trust...

I'm sure I'll be on here asking many questions when the time comes :-) even our vet said that we should consider letting them out!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:40 am 
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Tell your boyfriend cat fencing is probably cheaper than vet bills! :sad: I totally understand the whole Uk/USA difference in the opinion of letting cats roam or not. If I were you and had a busy road near me I would not let the cats out. You can get cat fencing that is fixed to existing fences or free standing and kind of collapses in if the cat attempts to climb. I would bite the bullet, get your credit card out and go for the fencing. You would feel so much happier if you know your two babies are safe. Good luck and hope all goes well for you.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:33 pm 
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Many, many UK'ers allow their bengals to go outside. Are you prepared to lose that investment that you made when you spent money on them? Get two harnesses and two leashes and get the kittens used to them -- then hand one leash off to the BF and you take one and off you go walking! It's easy to just open the door and let the "problems" outside, but there is no guarantee that they will return home to you. Do you have cars in the street? Are there other cats who may be much larger and fight with your cats -- infect them with a fatal disease? Give them serious infections (costing hundreds of dollars in vet bills), or even fight them to the death! Yes, that is the worst scenario, but it sounds like your BF wouldn't care if something happened to them. Personally, I would rehome them before putting them outside. They are still way too young for that experience. And I would seriously question my BF. Relationships are give and take and most women put up with more from their men than vice versa. I think if it came down to Raiden or my long-time hubby, I'd consider getting rid of the hubby! I tolerate his golf habit, he can tolerate my cat habit! Sometimes cats just do not fit into a relationship and you have to decide which is more important. The kitties deserve a home without the stress of a BF wanting them gone. Someone's attitude needs to change and it won't be the cats'. That's just my opinion. I feel for you, Ellie!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:37 pm 
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If you have a busy road in front of your house then letting them out is a very bad idea.

An enclosed run in the back garden is far better for them than exposing them to the danger of being run over.

If your boyfriend is the handy/DIY type then encourage him to design/build a great cat enclosure as part of getting closer to the cats and, if it might help, buy him a nice shiny new tool or two to make the building easier ( plenty of us men are magpies when it comes to shiny new tools ).


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Is that all it takes, Cranberry? My hubby has a garage full of old tools that he continues to use and used to build the great cat enclosure Raiden enjoys throughout the day and night. :biggrin: :biggrin:

I feel for anyone who has to choose between a BF or cats! That should not be the case, but sometimes it is the only way to have peace on the home. It's not the fault of the kitties. They are being normal babies. Just when people have a baby, the whole balance in the household changes -- the parents have to adjust! Not sure why it has to be any different when they are kitties.

Hopefully, the breeder will take these two darlings back if Ellie can't get the BF on board.


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