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 Post subject: My 1yr Bengal Bellina
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:30 pm 
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Bengal Kitten
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I'm Karl. I'm new here. I live in Calgary, Alberta. I Adopted Bellina from The Humane Society about 6 months ago. She was surrendered by her last family for aggression issues and it shows. Now shes been pretty great, wont just randomly attack or anything, but if she gets too worked up or doesn't like what you are doing she will definitely let you know. Shes the only cat in the house of 3 males. I know one of our roommates likes to punish her for the most ridiculous things, but until we move there is nothing i can do about him. I've had cats pretty much all my life. She has some behavior habits that are quite odd, don't know if its just the breed or just a young age or even just a cat thing. She spends a lot of time scratching the walls of her litter box. At first i thought it was cause it was to dirty, now i keep it clean and same thing. Then i figured it was too small, went and got a huge tote bin and still no dice. She seems to bury fine but just loves scratching the walls. She also likes to sit by the door and meow. Its gotten a lot better but now she loves trying to dart outside when people come in. She completely shredded the gasket on the backdoor trying to claw her way out. I don't know if i should let her out on her own. I'm worried she will find another food source, or someone will steal my beautiful kitten. She gets out regularly but i always go out and get her, she never goes farther then the house on either side and just loves to eat grass. I'm going to start leash training. I've also heard about clicker training? Don't know where to start on that. Does anyone normally cut nails? Hers can be viscous but i don't think she'll let me cut them. She has a chair i let her destroy now cause well she started it and there was no saving it. She likes going behind blinds and that's been damaging them and now shes biting them too. How can i slow her down? Should i stick to using toys and wands while playing so she doesn't get the chance to bite or scratch my hands? She seems to hate hands. Quick movement seems to spook her, but shes fine in a party environment. Any clarification and any tips or anything anyone has for a new Bengal owner would be excellent!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:43 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Hi Karl. You can take her to your vet's office and have the groomer trim her nails. My vet office only charges $10 per cat and they do a really nice job. Please don't let your roommate punish her for following her instincts and never allow anyone to strike her for any reason (if that is how he is punishing her). Make sure she has places to climb and lots of scratching posts or loungers. I had a cat that used to scratch the sides of his litter box for very long periods of time. It was annoying but I just ignored him. Just keep it clean and let your cat do it. The scratching must fulfill some need and as long as she is using the box it shouldn't be a real problem. Try to be patient with her. Who knows what experiences she has had in her previous home to make her aggressive. If she hates hands, someone may have hit her. Just show her love and make sure all her needs are being met. If she is acting out, she is trying to tell you something. My cats started ruining my blinds when they were kittens. Now I always keep them open because the play behind them when they are closed. A cat cannot adapt to human ways, we have to adapt to them. Oh and my cats love to play with those cat springs. They chase them for hours. Good luck with Bellina (nice name).

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:48 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Hi Karl,

welcome to the forum.


For the trying to run outside of the door issue - give her somewhere ( a cat tree ) right next to the door - you can all but guarantee that she'll go up high and have a good look out of the door rather than try and run out each time the door is opened.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:52 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Hi Karl. So happy to have you join us on the forum. Congratulations on your baby. Your post asks a lot of questions and, hopefully, they will get answered. First of all, you have every right to ask your roommate not to punish your kitty. First of all, cats do not understand punishment. Second of all, it can be cruel. The other thing ... Bellina needs a tall cat tree. They are not that expensive and you can find some that don't take up a lot of room. Most come with sisal rope for scratching and it can save furniture and blinds.

My cat scratches the wall around his litter box as well. It's just his thing and I would not worry about your baby doing it. Trimming nails? I don't and have never trimmed Raiden's nails. The vet has done it a couple of times when I've taken him in -- but I love having his claws razor sharp as he never uses them on me. :biggrin:

It is quite easy to train a bengal to walk on a harness and leash. HOWEVER .... know that once you start the walks, Bellina is gong to want to go out ALL the time. My bengal was an outdoor cat for six years. When I took possession of him three years ago, he was not happy being locked up behind closed doors. We built him a large 12'x12' enclosure on our deck that he can access 24/7 through a cat door in the dining room window. That still wasn't good enough. So I purchased a harness and leash and he took to it right away. We do two one-hour walks a day -- still not enough for him. He still wants to escape. Every time we go grocery shopping, I have to close him away in our bedroom until we get everything inside the house. You definitely do not want to simply let your cat outdoors. So many dangers out there and most indoor cats get terrified of the big, open world around them. And if she is easy to befriend, someone may take her in.

Know that bengals are challenging and are not like your regular cat. They have their quirks. Most are not aggressive unless they are being mishandled by the owner. You have no idea what Bellina's life was with her previous owners and you definitely do not want to make the same mistakes they did. She needs to be treated with patience and love.

Wand toys work the best with bengals. Keep your hands away!!! And know that many bengals do not like to be picked up and held and are not lap cats. They show their affection with head butting and staying close t you. Bengals are very vocal, especially social -- love their humans. As Jill mentioned, you have to adapt to the cat, not the other way around, so maybe training your roommates is the solution.

I hope we have helped you a little. We are here if you have any other questions. Good luck with Bellina.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:04 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

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Congratulations on your new bengal! I very suddenly got a 1 year old female bengal about 2 months ago and she scratches the wall around her open litter box. She also scratched the floor around her food dish. Rosie (my bengal) came from a home with multiple cats so I feel as though she may be doing it to just scent the area as hers? Either way I think it's just normal bengal behaviour. Also I've only had her nails trimmed once since I've gotten her. She has multiple scratching posts around the home which keeps her from scratching the furniture. I also found that once we bought her a cat tree she really began to be comfortable around us, bengals love to climb! Hope some of this is useful to you!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:52 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Very common for bengals to scratch around their food bowl as if they are trying to bury their food.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:44 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Hi Karl,

Let's start with a hearty hello and that I'm really glad that you adopted Bellina from the Humane Society, that's just great!

People have said this already but to reiterate - it's really important that your roommate stop punishing her. It's cruel, it doesn't work well and it builds trust issues. Please do what you can about it.

Behaviours like scratching the litter box isn't really that odd a behaviour. I know it seems odd to us; but cats do it. We have a Bengal who likes to chew on cardboard boxes - it's just something he likes to do.

Sitting by the door and meowing isn't odd behaviour; but does speak to a cat that has been outdoors before and wants to go outdoors again. I would definitely be heavily concerned about letting her go outside on her own. Stealing Bengals is not uncommon and an outdoor cat is subject to a host of additional diseases and threats (not to mention getting run over).

Leashes are a fine way to get her outside and she should adapt to walking on a leash - most Bengals do. Just be patient with her and introduce the leash / harness first before trying anything else.

Cutting her claws - it can be easy or a challenge - entirely depends on her comfort of someone touching her paws / claws. First - get a great clipper - you want something like this: Clipper - it's much harder to do with a human nail clipper. I would initially try when she's tired / sleeping and be very gentle. Cut less rather than risk hurting her. This has to be an experience that isn't negative or it'll become one for you.

Chair she destroyed - you should stop her from using that too. If you let her go now it'll be the next chair and the next. Ideally just move her to a scratching post whenever she starts clawing something she shouldn't. For her favorite places, have a post near by to easily move her to.

Slowing her down - the only way to do that is to play with her until she's too tired!

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