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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:47 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:59 am
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Hi all!

So, after what seemed like an eternity(!) I finally picked up my new bengal girl, Babou, at 13 weeks old :)

The breeder was lovely - the kittens all had free roam of their house - they were constantly interacting with the family, including the dogs - so I had no concerns at all from that perspective. I expected a bit of a settling in period (although my friend had just picked up a Maine Coon and within an hour of been home she pretty much ruled the place - so probably set the bar to high!) but should have known better after researching for so long on this forum! I created a 'safe room' for her - with everything she could need - but as it's just me in my house, the breeder said I could leave my bedroom door open and she'd probably just come and sleep on my bed. As soon as I started driving her home - the craziest sounds started to leave her mouth - I now get the 'talkative bengal' comments! I got her home and left her in the room I'd set up for her - and she was just calling out for her brothers/sisters immediately...felt so bad! :( I opened the door for her and she immediately found my room (only other door open) and decided that my big motocross bag under my bed would make a great house....some progress already I thought (how wrong I was!) - she's been eating, drinking and no issues with litter tray whatsoever - but she is literally petrified of the sight of me. I've spent part of each day just sat in the same room - tried to get her to play, which she will only do if she stays under my bed.....and have just made sure I'm constantly in the same area as her, hoping she'll get used to me. It's the fifth day I've had her - and reading other posts it appears it can take a while for them to settle - but other posts seem to indicate that their kitten can at least be tempted out to play - which has got to help in settling them in - but Babou literally skulks around if she sees me - or, if she's exploring and sees see, she bolts right away.

So - I've now decided to keep her in the safe room - is this a good idea....or is it going to upset her more as she's been allowed to explore already? I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do - sitting near her scares her....she won't play unless under the bed - and even then not very often...and she's still calling out...not as much....but last night it was constant :(

Some people have suggested trying 'Feliway' - but I'm not sure if I just need to be patient and leave her to do her own thing...but I'm worried that I should interact with her as much as possible, but that it could actually be counter productive as she's just so scared.....!

Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:35 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:29 am
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Awww what a cute picture!!

I strongly believe in the safe room for a number of reasons.
It gives the cat time to adjust to new surroundings
It protects them from other animals, until they can sniff each other under the door
Most important- it gives you time to bond!

I had met my kitten when he was born and was able to spend time with him before bringing him home, but I still chose to do the safe room since I had other animals. This way he is out of his normal surroundings and focuses just on me. Otherwise he would adapt to the other cats and be more interested in them then myself.

But I would definitely suggest taking her in there and just sit and spend time with her. Give her treats, or play with a toy. Talk to her, so she is familiarized with your voice. Archer won't sit in my lap or let me hold him, but he is at my feet 24/7! She may not be affectionate, as some are and some aren't. But if you take the time with her, you can still bond :)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:44 pm
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I cannot really give advice as I was very lucky when I brought Pearl home, I already have Magic my 4 year old boy and was worried about them meeting.
She was later leaving the breeder, already 16 weeks as she was supposed to go to be a breeding cat but breeder couldn't have her in the end so she was left on her own, I think they must have handled her alot because she was on her own, so when I went to see her she ran straight up to me.
When she came home I planned to keep them separate but I didn't do a very good job and they met on the stairs, she was fine but Magic hissed a bit then it was all over and she slept with me that night, the rest is history.
I think I was one of the lucky ones.

She's probably feeling insecure without her litter mates, give it time and she will soon come round.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:52 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
You need to observe your kitty and let her set the pace.

Simple question: How interested is she in hiding vs exploring right now?
If she wants to hide most of the time, and is terrified when she comes out of her hiding place to do some "business" (eating or using litterbox) then that is a good indication that a very quiet saferoom, with hiding places, and with a closed door between her and the scary outside world is what she needs. That is the sort of environment she needs to gain confidence in her surroundings and in you, a little at a time. At some point she will feel like a confident kitty that "owns" that room, and will become far more interested in what is behind that door. Then you'll know it's time for her to slowly venture out and see more of the house.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:20 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:37 pm
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We used a Feliway plug - also, they were two, so easier... They did spend some days scared however
My bf and me played with the toys ignoring them a bit until they got curious, then they approached us in their own terms as they could not resist the curiosity. We alsot tried to work in that room so that they got accustomed to our presence - again, not really aiming at interacting with them unless they approached.
They also had lots of stuff that smelt of their mother: blankets and toys from the breeder.
I'm sure it will get better
... You are the one bringing food so she'll learn to love you :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:33 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:30 am
Posts: 147
Hi there!

Awww she is so cute!!

Well - I had two very different experiences with both my bengals.

My girl - I opened the carrier she was in, she immediately jumped on me, started purring, wanting pats, playing and jumping all over the place, following me, sleeping right on my neck from the very first night. She was a dream. To this day (She's been with us for almost a year now) she remains the most calm, relaxed, confident girl.

My boy was a very different story. He was terrified in his carrier. Did not want to come out. He hid alot and was very scared of us - would run if we approached him or would try to touch him. Would scratch and bite us if our hands came near him. If we tried to pick him up, from the moment we lifted him off the ground, he would yell and wriggle in all directions. At the time he was 4 months old. He is now 1 and a half. I'm not going to lie - it took a while. But he is now just the most loving, sweet boy ever. Loves to be picked up for (short) cuddles and purrs in your arms and gladly accepts kisses and nose rubs. Loves belly rubs, rubs up against you, sleeps with you, etc.

Each Bengal is different. Don't think about it too much, just go with the flow!! Try enticing her with some toys - most cats can't resist a Da Bird. This is a must. Also try giving her treats or feeding her from your hand.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
Welcome to our forum and congratulations on your baby! Each kitty is different. Many are scared and stressed when leaving mommy and siblings and going to a new home. New smells, new people. It can be traumatizing, so it's not unusual for a kitten to seek out a spot they consider "safe." What you need is patience!!! She will gain confidence each day and venture further out and become more comfortable and bond with you.

The safe room is to give the kitty more of a closed-in environment. Even though she was used to the run of the house with the breeder, your home is strange to her. A safe room allows them to get confidence and feel more protected. The fact that she is eating and drinking and using the litter box shows she is healthy.

What you need to do is to sit on the floor and just talk with her. Have a wand toy and see if she is interested. She will eventually venture out for the attention. Five days is usually a long-enough period of time, but each baby is different. She may need a couple of weeks and then she will be zooming over your head.

If your home is not large, leave the door to the safe room open and just let her venture out and explore. She will be curious and want to inspect every inch of your home. Don't over-impose yourself on her. She will understand that you feed her. The bond that you will eventually create will be eternal. Just give her some more time.

Know that we are here for support!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:52 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
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Just try being in the same room with her. Sit on the floor and read aloud to her from a book. Just your presence and the sound of your voice will help her. Let her come to you, not the other way. Have yummy treats near you that she can smell. Time will work it's magic and you will soon be fast friends!

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Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:56 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Awe it is such a major change for them and it is upsetting to see them so scared those first several days. I was used to adopting adult cats that were confident and curious about their new home when they arrived. It is different for baby kittens. They do get scared and it takes time for them to associate you with love, food and friendship. Soon enough your kitten will realize good things come from you: food, playtime, petting and cuddling. Then she will be stuck to you like glue. Just be patient and let her come to you. You will be surprised how quickly she gets over her fear and curiosity takes over. Have a play toy ready to tempt her and take it slow.

My adult cats run and hide when someone comes to the door. They remember people that visit repeatedly and if they are calm people with relaxed energy they will come right out and rub against them and go about their usual play in front of them. I love that because someone other than me gets to see what amazing animals they are. Unfortunately most of my friends talk loud, laugh very loudly and make quick movements so my cats hide when they visit.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:07 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:59 am
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Hi!

Thanks for the replies - and sorry for not replying sooner!

Well...I thought I'd made some progress after keeping her in just the one room...she had decided her cat tree was actually a pretty cool place to explore, so she had been sitting on the second level. She was good all evening - didn't mind if I went close to her etc - and even came out to play a little and jump from the windowsills onto the sofa!

Soo - next morning she was in the tree again and I decided I'd try and stroke her...awesome...she was really happy...there was purring and she even rolled over and stretched out....so I thought we were on the home stretch and she was finally settling :) I had to quickly pop into work - so was expecting her to be nice and happy when I got home.....oh was I wrong!

I got back and panicked as I couldn't find her - luckily she'd managed to find the smallest hole to hide away in and was happily sleeping - as I got close to her she woke a little, so I stroked her again - the meowing started....ahhhh nooooo! She bolted back under the sofa and just hid.

It's quite warm in my front lounge (big windows - sunny during the day...even in the UK!) - so thought maybe she was quite hot in there - so opened the door to see if she wanted to wander around again....she went straight back to my motocross bag and has been there for the last couple of hours :(

It's strange - if I'm with her she seems quite quiet - as soon as I leave the room she will start meowing....now, I don't know if that's her just saying 'AND STAY OUT!' (I'm hoping not!!Lol!) - or if she doesn't want to be alone....either way she still seems unsettled despite her earlier behaviour!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:57 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Sometimes when you come home there has to be a little reintroduction period, you can't jump in where you left off earlier when you left. You smell different and although you seem like the same person, it takes a few minutes for them to reacquaint themselves to you and allow you to touch them. Almost like you have to build that trust back up each time you reenter the home. I usually greet mine with a hello and mindless chatter asking them how their day was. They rub against the furniture and twirl in front of me, but I wait until later to reach out and pet them, usually when I put their food down. Just one or two pats lightly. They always allow it and it gets them used to associating petting with something good like food.

I used to have a siamese that would sleep on me all the time. Whenever she woke up she would look startled and jump off me as if to say "who are you!!" Then she would go to her food dish and nibble and come back to my lap and start the cycle all over again. I used to wonder if during her sleep she forgot who I was, and it took a few minutes to remember.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:59 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
MotoRob wrote:
I got back and panicked as I couldn't find her - luckily she'd managed to find the smallest hole to hide away in and was happily sleeping - as I got close to her she woke a little, so I stroked her again - the meowing started....ahhhh nooooo! She bolted back under the sofa and just hid.


So several things...

1. Meowing is not necessarily bad (and you'd better get used to it... many bengals love to "talk"). She's communicating with you. In one sense, meowing at the very least means that she has the confidence to reveal her location. If she had no confidence in you at all, she'd be silent. Over time you will learn what each meow means specifically, you just need to put each sound she makes in context and observe, observe, observe.

2. It sounds like you are "stroking" her quite a lot, thinking that it will calm her, or be a really pleasurable thing for her. At this point, it probably won't/isn't, and it's probably working against you. I would do less of it (for now). More play, more treats, more sitting quietly in a non-threatening manner, less stroking. She will tell you when she wants to be petted/held/picked up. For now, what you want is for her to think of you as "harmless, and potentially beneficial".

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:06 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:29 am
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And definitely talk back with her! Sounds silly, but they love it!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:09 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:59 am
Posts: 5
Well - I'm just leaving her to do her own thing again....like I said, as long as she's happy - I'm happy :)

I've actually only got to stroke her on 2 occasions - she seemed to be very happy with being fussed yesterday - but point taken :) she shows zero interest in treats - so will just keep trying to play with her!

I love all her meowing - never heard anything like it...it's like a little roar - very cute :)

Thanks again - awesome forum :D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:11 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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The main thing with kittens as everyone said is patience they do all work at their own pace. I think I was lucky having the two this time around because if I just had my boy on his own I don't think he would have come out from under the bed for weeks, my little girl is extremely confident and I think she encouraged him but he's only now coming up on his one for cuddles and spending time with me without her over the past week or so and I've had them for 7 weeks now.

If your girl isn't interested in most treats try getting down thrive chicken treats (it's just freeze dried chicken)

https://thrivepetfoods.com/thriver-100- ... cat-treats

they seem to work with even the fussiest cats, Arya won't take any other treats but she really likes thrive and goes crazy when she smells them. I think some supermarkets stock them now.

For toys to try and get her to interact as said above wand toys tend to be the best usually I've found anything with feathers is a winner, you can buy a da bird over here from Amazon.co.uk also the store linked below is great for these types of toys in the uk at decent prices.

http://www.purrsinourhearts.co.uk/shop/best-cat-toys

I would go with getting either a Feliway plugin or just one of the travel sprays and spray some areas of the room where she hides so she feels safe, really all Feliway does is help with the transition and keep them a lot calmer and helps with her separation anxiety from mum and her siblings. The other thing that can be useful is a catnip spray and just spray some toys as that can help encourage her to play. The best thing you can do is sit in the middle of the room and let her come out to you and let her sniff you for now refrain from stroking too much or picking her up etc. What you need to be is on her level so try and stay low to the ground with her so you seem less threatening.

It can take time with my girl Mina it took months for her to adjust and stop being frightened all the time, all you can do is take it slow but definitely get some Feliway and some thrive treats and they should help encourage her and I have noticed with kittens on their own they take longer to adjust sometimes because they miss their siblings so much.

If she's still crying for her siblings get her a Petstages Kitty Cuddle Pal, if you can't find the kitty one the puppy one is fine also. Or you could get a kitten heated cushion the one I got below for my two although I haven't needed to use it much as they have each other

http://www.specially4cats.co.uk/cat-acc ... shion.html

It's a toy you heat up and give to her to cuddle while she sleeps just to help her settle more.

Good luck and I'm sure she will be fine in no time

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Arya 24/04/16 - Seal Lynx Point Rosetted Bengal
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