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Bengal kitten help

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Musicclaire, Jul 23, 2019.


  1. Musicclaire

    Musicclaire PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, I have always had Persians and after my last boy died aged 18 we wanted another cat. Fell for the pretty face of our new kitten, long haired bengal cross. Found out she had been hand reared which tugged at my heart strings but is perhaps now part of her problems. Now 3 months old and we still cannot stroke her without being bitten. My children are getting scared of her so have tried being the mum cat and hissing, putting her down when she bites and ignoring her but she just won’t stop. She has tons of toys and we play with her regularly but I’m at a loss what to do. At times she seems just wild. Any ideas or is she simply not the right cat for my family? Wish I had done some Bengal research first. Thanks
     
  2. BarneyBobCat

    BarneyBobCat Slave to an AcroCat

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    Welcome to PF!

    On one hand you could say she has missed out on the training she would get from her mum and litter mates up to 12-14weeks. Ive read on here many times they need to learn socialisation skills. But given she was hand reared you would expect her to be very relaxed around humans. When kittens bite you are meant to make a high pitched squeal to make them know it hurts and learn boundaries.

    Im sure someone clever will be along soon to help out.. :)
     
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  3. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    When I am teaching kittens bite inhibition as part of their early socialization, I never, ever pull my hand away when they bite. Instead, I play into how nature decides what is predator and what is prey. I can't be mum cat as I just can't smack the kittens for doing anything, so instead, I choose the gentler, but very effective option of pushing the bitten part against their mouths, then holding there until they pull away. This way, the kitten has full free will and choice all the way through, and can choose to leave off the biting rather than me making the choice for them. Every time they bite something mildly unpleasant happens, so they learn that it's not a cool thing to do, in a force free situation that works swiftly. In my own experience, squealing at them scares them which I don't like very much as I don't want my kittens to fear me at all. Standing up and ignoring them turns me into a handy climbing frame for claws as well as teeth, and the fun continues. Different strokes for different folks, but out of all my litters, the consistent feedback is that I am socializing cats to a point where biting or scratching just isn't a thing that they ever think about.
     
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  4. Ottery

    Ottery Cat Lady

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    I am surprised that a hand-reared kitten would be aggressive. I've had a couple of hand-reared kittens and they were very well socialised and good around humans. I've also had a pedigree who stayed with his siblings and mother to 13 weeks who was a bit of a nightmare and sank his teeth into my arms and legs every day.

    So, from my experience of the biter, I realised that he seemed really confident but actually was quite scared. So I'd say all contact with the kitten needs to be very gentle and slow. Speak in quiet tones, no loud voices. Stroke and handle her very gently - I am sure you are gentle anyway, but be extra super gentle. Make sure the children do the same, no loud voices or sudden movements. If the kitten bites, place her gently on the floor and walk away, or put her the other side of a door for a couple of minutes.

    Never play with the kitten at close range with hands, or hands will be seen as a toy, so play with a distance toy (like one of the wand toys). Make sure the wand toy is put away after games so the kitten does not end up tangled in the string.

    I found within a week of doing this, the biting completely stopped and he became a lot more confident around me and other humans - and a lot more sociable and chilled out.

    I don't think it's due to her being part Bengal. I had a Bengal-cross, we got her when she was 9 weeks. She was very strong-minded, athletic and active, but she was very affectionate and never aggressive towards us. But you are right they are a totally different kettle of fish to Persians. I wouldn't want a Bengal as an only cat - mine had a Burmese the same age to play with.
     
    #4 Ottery, Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  5. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    Some very good advice here already, but just wondered, what is she eating and is she eating enough? Perhaps the biting is due to her being hand fed, she is asking and expecting you to give her food by hand. Kittens can eat loads of food whilst they're growing, and wet food is better for them. They should be fed as much as they will eat at this age.
    I don't think the Bengal part will have much to do with it, if she is long haired then she surely can't be any more than 25% Bengal.
     
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  6. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    Could be as much as 50% if you trace it back.

    2 pairings of SH Bengla to LH cat of any description, results in in 2 offspring which are SH but carry LH.

    They breed, resulting in 1 LH offspring who is still 50% Bengal.
     
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  7. Musicclaire

    Musicclaire PetForums Newbie

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    So much great advice on here, thank you. The calmer approach, more playtime and offering more food all seems to be working a treat. Thanks again
     
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  8. Ottery

    Ottery Cat Lady

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    That's brilliant - Bengals are gorgeous, enjoy her :)
     
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  9. Veronica Chapman

    Veronica Chapman PetForums Member

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    Hi musicclaire, glad things are settling with your Bengal. This is Benji, our Bengal that we are missing everyday since his passing this early June.
    Bengals are very intelligent active cats that needed lots of stimulating plays. He has never bitten anyone. IMG_20190413_181816.jpg
     

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  10. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    Plenty of Bengals carry longhair too.

    And of course rescues & moggy bybs often name any tabby a Bengal mix so the cat may not be Bengal at all.
     
  11. Ottery

    Ottery Cat Lady

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    I would have thought Bengal-crosses are fairly unusual, in that you're not going to get much cash for one. We got ours from a Burmese breeder who had just got a couple of Bengals to breed (this was about 20 years ago, when Bengals were a 'new thing'). The male mated with one of her Burmese queens - can't remember if it was accident or experiment. The kittens were absolutely gorgeous, but of course the breeder could only charge a token amount for them as they weren't pedigrees. She was the prettiest cat we've ever had.

    IMG_2251.JPG
     
  12. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    I've just googled long-haired Bengals, I stand corrected; it seems they do exist! They are called Cashmeres, and they are absolutely gorgeous! :Kiss
     
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  13. Veronica Chapman

    Veronica Chapman PetForums Member

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    Yes, Cashmere Bengals are long haired. They were as old since the 'new breed' of early 1980s. Occasionally a litter of long haired Bengals appeared but were not classified as Bengals in the US at that era. It is only very recently that the US TICA finally accepted them in championship and register. These long haired Bengals are specifically matched, exactly typed genes to create the new breed of Cashmere Bengals.
    Dear Musicclaire, your kitten will settle with good food and lots of love and attention, whatever the breed, part Bengal or not, enjoy her. She could have badly been spooked. Perhaps a chat with the Vet and Breeder if things flare up again.
    You will find, Bengals are extra curious and vocal. Teach her to say Hello. Our Benji always yelled Hello as soon as he gets in through the cat flap. Good luck. IMG_20180212_204504.jpg
     
  14. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    Benji was such a beauty! My little moggy Poppy often makes a Hello sound as well, I'm sure she is trying to say it! :)

    I love the look of long-haired Bengals as they have long fur but slightly pointy faces. They remind me of my long haired moggy Tabby. He had a slightly pointy face too as his mother was part Siamese.
     
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  15. Psygon

    Psygon Yoshi Tonks! :-)

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    Slightly intrigued to if you remember which breeder you got your Bengal cross from?
     
  16. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Veronica Chapman - I love your Benji! He is really gorgeous, wonderful colouring and fabulous texture of his coat! :)
     
  17. Ottery

    Ottery Cat Lady

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    So long ago, I can't remember. She lived in Sussex.
     
  18. Musicclaire

    Musicclaire PetForums Newbie

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    This is Mollie, long haired Bengal cross (we think). Still biting us but hopefully she’ll grow out of it! Such a pretty kitten, think we all forgive her!
     

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  19. Psygon

    Psygon Yoshi Tonks! :-)

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    Just interested as my mum knew a couple of breeders who moved from Burmese to bengals (my mum was a burmese cat breeder).
     
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  20. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Hand reared doesn't necessarily mean properly socialized. It usually means the kitten was an orphan. So unless the people took the trouble to teach the kitten all the things she needs to learn, the kitten will have the same problems as any kitten who leaves the mum and litter mates too young.

    @Musicclaire In addition to the other advice, give your kitten things she can bite and kick. Kittens learn by re-direction. So always have that stuffed toy in your hand and place it in her paws for her to grab before doing anything else. She will in time learn that this is what she uses for biting and kicking..
     
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