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Advice on Bengal

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Helen1990, Dec 20, 2018.


  1. Helen1990

    Helen1990 PetForums Junior

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    Hi there

    I’m looking for some suggestions to help my Bengal.

    He’s 3 years old, castrated. He has tended to stay indoors, but at the weekends (and in the evenings during the summer) he’s allowed out on our raised patio where he can sit and watch the birds etc.

    He’s a typical Bengal in a lot of ways. High energy and intelligent. Doesn’t mind water, likes to be involved in what you’re doing etc

    The problem is he’s been a difficult cat to keep for a while now. From when we got him we had problems with him peeing in his key places. This issue comes and then goes for a while. He has plenty of litter trays which are kept clean. I’m quite sure the reason he pees is to express his dissatisfaction, not that he has nowhere clean to go but something else. For example, today he wanted to go through a door into our cellar but I didn’t let him. He then went and peed at the bottom of the stairs!

    He’s also showing signs of aggression. This used to be more playful, now it doesn’t seem that way. He will sit contently on my lap, only to then turn on me and try to bite me. If I’m sat down looking at my phone, he will sneak up and attack my leg (including biting). Recently he attacked my mother in law and has also tried it on with another visitor. He only ever seems to go for women. It’s one thing him going for me, but when guests are at risk then it’s time to act!

    I think part of the problem is he was taken from his mother too soon. Irresponsible on the part of the breeder but I can’t change that now. He was around 11 weeks when we got him, but his mother wasn’t there - she had been sent across the road to live out her retirement after having her final litter. I’m not sure at what age he was separated from her.

    The other part of the problem I think is that he’s bored and frustrated. We have another cat as well as a dog and they all get on. The two cats in particular are very good together and will play, but for bengals I think they need the human contact too. A difficulty I have is that it’s hard to get him to play! He won’t chase balls, mice, feathers. He doesn’t really engage in ‘normal’ cat games. All he seems to want to do is get my attention by doing things he knows I don’t like and then run off - that’s his game.

    I don’t think letting him outside is the answer. Not only do we live on a busy road but I imagine he’d destroy all the wildlife.

    I’ve had him checked over by the vet and there doesn’t seem to be a physical cause for his behaviour.

    There have been times when it’s got so bad I’ve considered rehoming him, but I don’t want to give up on him. I’d rather deal with whatever is causing him to behave like this. Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
    #1 Helen1990, Dec 20, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Helen1990

    Hi Helen, as you've said Bengals are high energy, very intelligent cats and they need a lot of mental stimulus and physical activity to keep them from becoming bored, frustrated and even destructive or aggressive in the home.

    I'm sure you are right - the soiling/scent marking with urine is done in protest when he feels frustrated and annoyed. One of my cats is the same, though he has become more laid back in the last year (he is now aged 9), and rarely sprays indoors any longer. But certainly he will become huffy and spray a door etc if he is refused something he wants.

    For a high energy cat like yours the answer is plenty of daily physical activity including climbing challenges, as well as lots of interaction with you. You could either turn your home into a cat gymnasium for him, utilising the overhead space as well as the floor, or you could cat-proof your garden with special fencing, giving him access during the daytime through a cat flap in the back door. Even a small garden can be 'catified' (e.g. with shrubs, trees and/or an outdoor cat gym), to be fun for a cat to spend time in.

    Allowing him the freedom to come and go as he pleases into the garden will help him to become more independent, (a good thing for him), and he will be less demanding of your attention. Keeping him restricted to the garden will keep him safe, and will protect the wildlife too. (The birds will soon learn not to land in your garden).

    Here's a link to our pinned thread on cat proofing gardens :

    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/cat-runs-cat-proofed-gardens.211361/


    If you like the idea of turning your home into a cat gym, here are some great ideas you could adapt for overhead walkways and high places to sit.

    https://www.pinterest.co.uk/coolkittycondos/cat-wall-shelves/

    https://www.pinterest.co.uk/hauspanther/cat-shelves-condos-trees-perches/
     
    Helen1990, Puddy2shoes and moggie14 like this.
  3. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    Exercise wheels are very successful in helping a high spirited Bengal burn off a lot of energy. I've heard Cazami is good
     
    Helen1990 and Puddy2shoes like this.
  4. Helen1990

    Helen1990 PetForums Junior

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    Hi chillminx

    Thank you for your helpful reply. I think I’d like to go for an outdoor cat run as well as some upgrades indoors. Will invest in this and let you know how it goes!

    Helen
     
  5. Helen1990

    Helen1990 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you, I’ll take a look as that sounds like it could be a quick win :)

    Helen
     
    Rhea mother of Zeus likes this.
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