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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:37 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:55 pm
Posts: 8
Hello everyone!

This my first time posting, as I am about to be a first time Bengal owner! This is really exciting for me as a lifetime cat lover, and as someone who has done much research on the Bengal breed. I feel fortunate that I have the opportunity to own and bond with such an intelligent and amazing creature...however the circumstances are not ideal.

"Tiger" was owned by my former coworkers elderly parents. She and her parents are estranged, but unfortunately being an only child left her responsible for the home they lived in (and whoever was living in it!)after they were placed in nursing homes 2 months ago. Since then, the only social interaction this poor guy is having is when my coworker comes to feed him daily. She has many cats and cannot take on tiger in her Household.

My boyfriend and I planned on taking him home yesterday. We drove out to her parents house and what we found was pretty horrifying. Poor tiger is in really awful circumstances- the house looks like it's straight out of the tv show hoarders. It smelled of urine. He was so skittish and terrified when approached by my coworker or me and my boyfriend. Eventually he hid amongst the piles of belongings and we were unable to find him.

The plan right now is to try again next weekend. I've left my carrier with my coworker, as we live about an hour away. I'm aware that we have a long road ahead of us once we are able to take tiger home. As I've said, I've done tons of research into the breed and I'm prepared to deal with behavioral issues related to the environmental changes, but the situation has me kind of shook up. I have no idea what the relationship was like with his previous owners, and I don't know how the lack of social interaction for two months will/has affected him. I wish we could have brought him home. He looked terrified and I haven't been able to stop thinking of him since.

Sorry for the novel...any advice/tips for when I actually do bring him home? I want this rescue to be successful and I need all the help I can get at this point.

Thank you so much for your time in reading this.

-Nichole


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:42 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:42 pm
Posts: 640
Welcome to the forum and thank you for taking on a bengal cat in somewhat challenging circumstances.

2 months with little contact with humans and an unknown but by the sounds of it far from ideal homelife before that mean that the poor fella is going to be pretty shaken up by the changes that are to come.


As a practical first step, I would get your co-worker to buy and fit some feliway plug-in diffusers for the house- these should reduce the anxiety for the cat and you can bring them with you when you go and collect him.

Good luck and please keep us informed/updated - there are plenty of people on here who love cats and will be very happy to help you bring some love into this cat's life.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:29 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
Posts: 720
Hi there Nichole. How wonderful that you are going to have Tiger! Yes, the circumstances sound awful but love, time and LOTS of patience should do the trick. First you actually have to get tiger from the house which could be easier said than done if there is that much rubbish for him to hide amongst. You may have to get your co-worker to get him and if she can't then shelters usually will lend you a cat trap cage that they use to trap ferals. I would find a safe room in your home, the perfect room would be a spare bedroom or study etc. You need to set up all he needs (bed, cat tree, litter trays) as he will probably be in this room for a while. Forgive me if you know all this but as I found out with my rescue boy Oscar, bengals are slightly more challenging than your normal moggie! :eek: Tiger has not had a great life by the sounds of it so you almost have to go back to basics with him. Small safe room and get him slowly used to you giving him food and treats and playing with him. He may be very nervous and hide from you so just sit in the safe room with him and talk, sing, read to him to get him used to your voice and presence. As Cranberry said, Feliway is great stuff and seems to calm them in stressful circumstances. I guess you won't really know what you are dealing with until you get him home. A vet check would probably be my first port of call to check his health. When he has been in his safe room for a while then you can introduce the rest of the house but I would go really, really slowly with Tiger. It may be two steps forward and one step back but who knows? I would get a couple of large litter trays for the safe room - maybe one covered and one open to see what he prefers etc as what are his toileting options where he is at the moment??? I really wish you lots and lots of luck with Tiger. The members on here are amazingly knowledgable and there will always be someone that can help. Good luck and keep us informed of your and Tiger's progress.

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UK
Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:08 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8012
Welcome Nichole! How wonderful of you to agree to take this lovely boy. As others have stated, this is one stressed out and terrified kitty and unless your co-worker is able to easily get him into a carrier, you may have to trap him, which means someone has to continually check the trap. One would not want to leave the cat in the trap for more than a couple of hours.

It's extremely important that you get him out of there as soon as possible. Bengals are social cats and he is losing that. I'm sure he is going to hiss, growl, and hide away -- but he is terrified. Once you do get him, he needs to be taken to the vet to be checked out. Since it may take weeks for him to come around to behaving halfway normal, I would take him to the vet in the trap or carrier once you get him caught! Get it over with and then you can bring him home and start working with him.

Patience and time is all that is needed. He needs time to acclimate, so a smaller room for him will help de-stress him. We call it a "safe" room, with food, water, litter box, toys, bed, etc. Bathroom/spare bedroom will work. You can go in there and sit on the floor and talk softly to him. He probably will not approach you and may want to hide. Do not force yourself on him. Understand the circumstances he came from and let him de-stress at his own pace. Eventually, he will seek out the companionship that bengals crave. Just hang in there and know that it may take months.

This is such a sad story, but it can have a wonderful, happy ending. We are here for you.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:42 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
That's really great that you are taking him out of that situation and into your home. I think the key will be to try to avoid any per-conceived ideas of how long it will take him to feel comfortable with you and in his new home. He will go at his pace, and eventually he will love you and his new home, but how long that will take is anyone's guess, and he just needs a new pet guardian who will commit to going on that journey with him, and reaping the huge rewards that will be at the other end of that journey.

I would just play it by ear. If he is afraid, let him hide. Help him hide. Give him a nice quiet secluded room where he has all he needs met and he can hide. Once he has at least reached the stage where he sees you as potentially a friend rather than foe, treats and interactive play are definitely the way to a bengal's heart (plus the usual cat stuff... having the privaledge of sharing a bed or sofa with his humans, having tall cat trees or cat shelving in the most socially important rooms to give him that birds eye view and make him feel "safe" from those who might harm him etc).

Good luck, let us know if you have specific question. A trip to the vet of course should be the first course of action.

P.S. Next time you go, bring some strong smelling snacks. Maybe tuna? If you are unable to catch him, perhaps contacting a local shelter and explaining the situation with them would be helpful. Perhaps getting their help to set up a humane trap would be warranted in this case.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:10 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Nichole, I hope you will keep us updated on the progress you're making with him.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:44 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:55 pm
Posts: 8
Wow! :eek: :biggrin: Thanks so much for your replies! I appreciate you all so much. This has definitely helped me to feel a little more prepared for what's to come.

I will hopefully be bringing tiger home on Saturday, after a trip to the vet of course. In the meantime I'm setting up our spare room for him this week, complete with two litter trays, a bed, and a huge cat tree. I also plan on getting the feliway diffusers (I had never heard of these- so thank you!!).

Again, thank you so so much for your replies. I feel comfortable and confident knowing that I have these resources.

I'll post again on Saturday once we get him home and settled, or before then if I have any questions/concerns.

-Nichole


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:15 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8012
I truly hope you can get him with you on Saturday. It is important for him to have human companionship and bond with someone. You sound as prepared as you possibly can, but again, know that he is terrified, stressed and he is going to have to decompress at his own rate, so giving him as much space as he needs is the key, but you need to be in the safe room with him, talking softly to him. Entice him with treats. May not take them for a few days, but they seem to be irresistible to a kitty!

Can't wait to hear how things go.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:43 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:42 pm
Posts: 640
Nichole - any news ?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:21 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:55 pm
Posts: 8
Hi there! I'm very happy to announce that Tiger is home!!! :smile:

We got the name of his vet and went to see her before we went home- he has a clean bill of health! He was very upset until we brought him in the house; he never hissed or growled at us, but he was very vocal as I had expected. He didn't leave his carrier for a couple of hours, but he wasn't crying so we let him have his space.

He's a funny and curious guy already! His safe room is a spare room of our off of the kitchen. My boyfriend had left the door open a crack (I had not told him to do this) and Tiger found himself a new hiding spot in the bottom kitchen cabinet!!! :lol: When we discovered him and said hi, he gave us a very soft meow and I'm pretty sure we melted right there. He really is so adorable. The cabinet is relatively empty as we just moved in a few months ago so it is completely safe for him to be there. He's resting on some extra dish towels that were hanging around.

We left him there overnight and we put some food and water out for him. We just woke up about a half hour ago to check on him, and we were pleased to find that he drank some water and used the litter box! All good signs as far as I can tell. I'm going to spend some time in the kitchen today putting some treats out and talking to him (we've been talking to him constantly though). I know it'll take a while to earn trust from him so I'm very content with this progress on day 2!

Also, just a quick note. Do you think it would be awful of me to change his name? To be quite honest, I don't like it and I don't think it suits him...

I'll update this thread as we continue on this journey :smile:

-Nichole


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:41 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
Posts: 720
That is wonderful news! I am so excited for Tiger's future now. Thank goodness you found each other. I would take things very slowly no matter how desperate you are to just let him have the whole house. That was my mistake when I got Oscar. He was so confident that after two days of him being extremely cross and yowling his head off, I let him out of his safe room. I honestly think if I had done it slower, his peeing and spraying might not have been as bad. I think he just thought 'Oh my goodness, I have to claim this whole house now' and got down to the business of marking it! It sounds as though Tiger is more hesitant and unsure so hopefully it will be fine. It's great that he has used the litter tray and is eating and drinking! I really don't think it matters if you change his name. Maybe a fresh start will be good for you and Tiger! Keep the updates coming :biggrin:

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UK
Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:41 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8012
So very happy to hear that you have him safe and sound. By all means, change his name to something you prefer. He will get used to it, especially after not having any social contact in with humans in a while. It sounds as if he is settling in just fine. You've done a wonderful job here -- and I'm sure he will repay you with lots of love and fun adventures. Keep us posted on things.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:27 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:42 pm
Posts: 640
It is early days, but I don't think that any of us could have hoped for a better progress report. It sounds like he is making himself comfy in your cupboard and, as they do, worming his way into your hearts. :-)

In the coming days talking and treats should help get him settled in.

As for names, cat names are for humans, so he isn't going to care if you pick another one, at least my 2 - Stink Weasel and Buggerlugs don't really seem to care what they are called.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:21 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
Yay! All that sounds really good. And by all means change his (boring) name. I think a name absolutely matters... it is a reflection of what his owner thinks of him if nothing else and it's going to color how others see him as well. So give him a good one!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:42 pm
Posts: 640
Quote:
it is a reflection of what his owner thinks of him


:redface:

She gets called Inky day-to-day, or Cat-Beast.

"Why do you wait until I have come home from work and made a cup of tea before having a poo when you had all day ?" in this case along with her habit when she first came to me of slinking down when I tried to stroke her - making her look like a weasel.

My reply was some what delayed by her padding me like she was tenderising a steak and then insisting on cleaning my ear, so I think that she forgives me.


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