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Help Please

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi out there,
Firstly what a great site! Very helpful. But I just wanted to know if someone could help me. I Have a nearly 5 month old male (nutered) marbled bengal X, and he's out of control. I really want to help him with his problems and try to get along with him but I'm at a loss. Having had previously grown up with two female tabbys - I can't decide if the behavior is a result of him being;

a) male,
b) a part bred bengal,
c) feline puberty/delinquency?
d) none of the above, he's just a weirdo.

Firstly is his aggression, I got him young - I think 11 weeks (just after being fixed) and he was an extremely well behaved youngster (took to litter training outstandingly, no calling/screaming, clawing etc. But I noticed that after about 3 months old be became very aggressive and trying to dominate me. Now it's full blown and while he will come up to me and show a small amount of affection towards me he generally wants me out of the house. My fiance has very little to do with him but I have witnessed him hitting the cat on a couple of occasions, it might be more but I work 9-5. The strange thing is that when my fiance pats him the cat never bats an eyelid but when I come along he grabs my arm/hand so hard most of the time it leaves a punture would. He follows me everywhere I go around the house and lays beside me for hours on end yet he attacks me very viciously. I am the one who feeds him morn/night and cleans his litter etc, so why doesn't he like me? He also has a problem with licking - that continuously ends with gentle nibbling then a bone crunching vice like grip.

Also I'm worried about his weight. I am yet to see a vet about it but he weighs 4kgs already and is EXTREMELY solid - Not fat. A month ago I stopped feeding him on the kitten wet food because I was told that it is very very high in saturated fats and very fatty off cuts. He's now on the regular adult sachets (whiskers) and get's just one a night. He gets 50-60g of kitten dryfood (Advance - though I just swapped off iaams), and according to the feeding guide on the packet he should be getting nearly 3 times that!. He's a very tall /long cat but I still don't think he should weigh 4kgs yet. He's only allowed inside but we have about 15 stairs and is constantly running around the house.

Any help will be appreciated!
post #2 of 18
What generation bengal is he? From what I understand if they are too close to the wild cat they sometimes can be more aggressive. Since he's neutered, he shouldn't be acting this aggressive.

Where did you get him from?

I know some of the bengal breeders on here can help you more then me
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
From what I understand his father was pure bengal. There is an outbreak of illigitimate bengal breeders in Australia trying to make money off half-breds. They usually have one begal parent (generally the male) and they breed to an ordinary domestic tabby - they are very young when solid off and because majority of young pure bengals start off with the clear fluffy coats the crosses can be sold young without questions ask. By the time the kitten has developed enough to tell, it's too late and the sellers have moved on long ago. Bengal crosses are virtually banished from the showrings down here so it's a very serious issue. They are shutting down these kinds of operations down all over Australia. I got one of 2 kittens that turned up at the RSPCA.
post #4 of 18
From what I have read about Bengals.To not be aggresive and be good house pets. They should be a F4 which means they have been bred 4 X (genarations) with a non bengal. Im no expert just have done alot of reading as I thought I might want one. Yours is a F 1 if the dad is a full blooded Bengal. So that would explain his disposition.. I'm sure a Bengal expert will chime in with some more info.
post #5 of 18
I dont know the breed that well, but the reason he might not accept you as well as your fiance, is because you arent that much around. From what I gather, you work and he stays home? To the cat, its a normal thing to have him around, but not you, you re sort of invading his space? I also wouldnt allow the nibbling. With average cats they instruct you to let out a loud yelp when they hurt you, so they can learn what is acceptable. I would also let him get rid of his energy some way, by playing with him. Try a fishing pole, so he cannot hurt you and he can go all out.
He also seems to be quite dominant with you. Stand up to him. Make an unpleasant noise if he dares to challenge you or hurt you. He is in that stage where he is looking to see who he is in the hierarchy of the house. Since you are not that much around, and you are female(?), your voice does not carry that much weight, literally. Put him in his place, literally.

I also would look up what weight is acceptable for this breed. He might be hungry because he is supposed to eat more for his kind. For instance, Main coones and Norwegian forest cats are allowed to way up to 5.5 and 6 kilos if i remember correctly.
post #6 of 18
I'm not sure 'standing up to him' would be a great idea. Bengal cats in the wild (not the domestic hybrids of the same name) are... wild, as any wild animal would be, and while breeding with domestics generally knocks a lot of the wildness out of them (especially if they're 'F4'), one whose father is a pure bengal is not something to challenge at home. The cat may not be suitable for indoor, or domestic life and there may not be a completely happy ending here if they can't work out the problem. Normally playing more with a young male cat does help their 'energy' overdose, but doing it with a more-wild-than-tame cat could be dangerous!
post #7 of 18
Keep in mind that the bengal is a cross of domestic cats and the asian leopard cats. If they are using a leopard cat ast the father and not a purebred bengal (big difference) then you would have the problems.

If you don't know the generation you have, I would guess its closer to the wild. If he gets worse you might have to consider putting him down. You don't want anyone to get seriously hurt.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
He's not a wild animal - thou at times he acts like one! I agree with the point about not being around but I think it evens out, here are the stats;

My partner is home between; 11:00am - 1:00pm and 6:00pm - 3:00am.
I am at home between; 6:00pm - 8:00am the following day.

So he spends; 11hrs at home
And I am; 14hrs.

Why does the cat like him when he's always mean to him. Most of the time the cat stays upstairs with me when Im home rather than downstairs with him.
Ever since he was little he's been quite confrontational. My mums cat who I grew up with will run to you to be patted when you look at her, but this one becomes agitated and If you look for too long will run and try to attack you. ? He has some bizarre behaviour - He also stares at the celing and meows, and he sways when he breathes! I am very stern with him but he's not scared of loud noises or "NO!"'s the only way to get him to realise me is to pry his actually pry his jaw open, The more I yell and scream the harder he bites and his ears are right back. He leaves puncture marks. I should note that while he will bat at my legs as I innocently walk past he won't attack me if I dont go near him (unless I look at him), What gets me though is that he will come over and sit on me or near me - as if to cuddle up and I won't touch him or look at him (usually watching tv), and after maybe 30minutes or and 1hr later he will just grab me by the arm (I HAVENT'T EVEN MOVED!!??). He's not a danger to guests or other people (he runs upstairs and stays under the bed the entire time) and If I ignore him completely he won't seriously hurt me. So I won't be putting him down as I think he's young enough to try to correct it. I just want to give him a chance.

You wouldn't believe what he's truly like from these pics.
Butter wouldnt melt.......

post #9 of 18
He is quite adorable.

You mentioned that he gets agitated when you stare at him. Gues What?... so do nearly all cats!

First of all, I think you would benefit from reading about how to get on with feral cats in this forum. There are many pointers that would be helpful there.

A big point, (IMO), I don't think it's that he "likes" yhour fiance more than you. I think it's that he is more submissive with him than you. There is a big difference. Kind of like being in a marriage and loving the other person or fearing the other person.

As with so many things, I usually end up recommending getting a cage. Sarge or smaller doesn't matter too much, (although I like what I have where I can have food and litter in the cage too).

When your misbehavin' little boy starts trying to dominate then put his misbehavin' littlle behind in the cage for a short time. Do this whenever he repeats this behavior and he will get the idea to stop doing what he was doing when he lost his freedom.

I'd like to comment on your partner hitting the cat.
Cats are not punching bags and if he feels he needs violence to deal with the scary little kitty then maybe he should take some classes in cat management.

Sorry to be so very pointed, but if you think about it, strongarming a cat will only stimulate more aggression. The cat very well may be directing at you what he has received. He is learning from your fiance that aggression is ok as long as he doesn't direct it toward him.

I suppose I have gone on too long and I hear someone meowing at me so I'll shut up now.

Good luck with your little guy. I think there is hope that the two of you can form a wonderful bond over time.
post #10 of 18
"The more I yell and scream, the harder he bites"... have you considered not yelling and screaming? He doesn't get it, and it doesn't work - he thinks you're another cat giving him the call to war! Either ignore him (but really DO it), completely change the scene by finding a toy he likes and throwing it for him (to work off his aggression - not to encourage bad behaviour!), or somehow get him out of the room using a pillow like a shield or something. You can't win the physical fights - he's a master, but you can sidetrack him.
post #11 of 18
We went through this about 4 years ago when we took in Copper and I whole heartedly agree with the advice Tru gave you above.

The only thing I wanted to add is that it really helps if everyone in the house is on the same page as to how to manage this problem and handle the cat in general. I worked so hard to break Copper’s bad habits, and all it would take is my husband play wrestling with Copper to let him think it was ok to be rough again. He would never bite my husband either, but it got Copper back to where he was bullying or harassing anyone that came into our home that he felt he could dominate. I honestly don’t think he would have improved much if my husband had continued because he would have been receiving mixed messages on what is ok from us. I hope you and your partner can agree on ways to work together and manage this issue.
post #12 of 18

I'm not a bengal expert by any means. Heck, my marble bengal boy won't be home until Christmas. And I'm sure the bengal breeders will come in and correct me on what I have wrong... But... I have read A LOT about bengals and I have asked numerous questions on bengal forums and e-mail lists about the breed. A big misconception a lot of people tend to have about them is the idea of 'wild' blood. Wild blood does NOT equal 'aggressive'. In fact, with the asian leopard cat, its the exact opposite. If a leopard cat or any of the first three generations after (F1-F3) are agitated of frightened, they will AVOID humans, not attack them. They are very shy animals and not aggressive by nature.

Also, if your breeder is using the appropriate terminology, a 'pure bengal' is an F-4 or later generation. Anything before that is a hybrid and not considered an actual bengal. Bengal cats are fully domesticated house cats. I think what a lot of people are calling 'pure bengal' is really the asian leopard cat. The only 'wild' bengal is the bengal tiger, and this domestic breed has nothing to do with that huge (beautiful) cat. Also, bengal cats are NOT hybrids in the sense that a lot of people are using the term. The hybrids are the F1-F3 generations. After that, F-4 and beyond, they are all domestic cats and no more 'wild' than a siamese or persian.

As to the aggressive behavior, I have a five month old siamese cat that sometimes bites too hard and plays too rough. My husband works from home and I (like you) work a 9-5. I do the feeding and litter box cleaning as well. Our kitten is much more aggressive when playing with my husband than he is with me (in fact, my husband is a little jealous 'cause he likes me more;^). Why? Because as a kitten my husband played more aggressively with him than I did. Ignoring him really does help. And I know how hard it is to come home to that adorable little kitty and have to ignore him. But its not like it has to be all night. Five to ten minutes should be sufficient. When Duke (my siamese kitty) starts to bite, I put him down and do something else. When he calms down, I play again (not with my hands!). Bengals and Siamese are very intelligent breeds. Try playing fetch with him (my Duke loves this). Also, try to schedule some time for just you and kitty to play every day. Maybe just a half hour or so at around the same time each day. He'll come to expect it and look forward to your time with him.

Good luck and I hope things work out for you all (and tell your fiance that hitting a kitten solves nothing and only exacerbates the problem)

post #13 of 18
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Keep in mind that the bengal is a cross of domestic cats and the asian leopard cats. If they are using a leopard cat ast the father and not a purebred bengal (big difference) then you would have the problems.

If you don't know the generation you have, I would guess its closer to the wild. If he gets worse you might have to consider putting him down. You don't want anyone to get seriously hurt.
I may be wrong here, and I hope any breeders will correct me, but I don't think any of the 'filial' generations (F1-F3) come in the marble pattern. From the pics, this kitty doesn't look like any of the filials that I've seen. Again, I could be way off here.

A bengal cat is a cross between a begal cat and a bengal cat (or an F3 hybrid and a bengal cat). They are still fully domesticated.

Also, I think its a little harsh to recommend having this kitten "put down" because you suspect that 'wild blood' is causing him to be aggressive. I'm pretty sure that 'wild blood' has nothing to do with this kittens aggressiveness. I know you are trying to help and don't mean any harm, but the bengal breed gets a really bad rap because people don't understand them. If we start telling people its OK to have a cat put down because it has wild blood, rather than helping them curb their OWN behaivor towards the cat, we set a bad precedent. And its really not fair to the cats.

Sorry, I don't say much here, and I think I've filled my "rant quota" for the month, so I'll sink back into lurking now!

post #14 of 18
Tiffany - thank you so much for educating me! I HAVE heard (way back :-) that hybrids are shyer, etc., but forgot, and it's so easy to think 'wild' (but that kitten looks so tame, doesn't he!). I guess it's a bit like wolves, who are very shy of people - and it's domestic dogs that band together and kill! Though of course wolves will do it to other animals, and a full grown wolf is NOT a pet!
post #15 of 18
You're welcome Larke! Again, though, let me stress that I am NO expert! I've had bad experiences with so called breeders before and now I try to do all my homework before making a decision.

A breeder or someone with much more experience with the breed can clarify.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,
Thanks again for the great advice. Firstly I just want to add that my fiance doesn't beat the cat or torture him etc, it's just that he's always been around dogs and tends to play rough with him. I don't condone it all - infact has been the start of some great arguments in the house . It may be that he's alot bigger that a normal 4 month old too and he just doesn't accept the fact he's still just a baby.

As far as his breeding goes I can only go by what they told me after I got him and was that they rescued him and another kitten as well some domestic queens - They said it was more than likely they had uncovered an illegal bengal breeder in the "sting" after being tipped off. But unfortunetly they had taken at least the 1 bengal male and moved on. They also told us these types of people try to use a male inside 6th (at very worst) so the kitten (even at 8 weeks) looks remotely like it carries strong bengal blood, when In fact it's only half at best.

Shadow (I don't think i've been calling him his name on this forum - How rude of me ) anyways he's been tonnes better over the past 3 days with me just ignoring him and giving him a pat once or twice a day. Maybe he just hates being touched? I read on the Bengals australia site that some do not like being held or fussed over too much - or only on their terms. Because I have only ever been around very affentionate family cats - It's all new to me.

But really he's 100% better (could be the heat thou? It's been 30+ the last 2 days. lol) he's been very clingy towards me without actually touching me. He spends every moment that i'm at home at my feet .

Today being so hot I filled the bath up with cold water till it was only 2cms high at the deep end and when I got home he'd repeatedly rolled in it and covered the entire house - there was water in places I thought he couldn't reach. It looked like a fish tank exploded!

When I walked in the bathroom, I caught him red - handed, standing in the tub batting it around making mini tidal waves and jumping at them . I've never seen anything like it!
post #17 of 18
You've gotten some good advice from tru and tiffanyjbt already, so I won't advise you on how to go about curbing your kittens aggressiveness, other than to re-itterate that he is being over stimulated and you need to set his limits.
Your kitten is not behaving this way because he's a bengal cross. Kittens of all breeds and moggies can have this problem from time to time.

Your kitten is also not a filial, also known as an EG Bengal. He's very cute and he does look like a bengal cross but since the sire is not known positively to be a bengal, you may have a very nice classic tabby, and I'm sure you're going to enjoy him for many years to come. You just need to be firm with him and very consistant in the limits you impose on him. He will figure out that causing pain to his humans ends all fun for him. He hasn't learned that yet, but he can and he will, if you'll train him.

Thank-you for stepping up and explaining the bengal breed. It's important for people to understand that the EG Bengals (filials, F1-F3) are not aggressive.
What they tend to be is shy, often bonding so closely to one person that they flee from everyone else. Even this is often not the case though, I have seen many EG Bengals that are so social, they are like velcro on everyone.

This is all predicated on how they were raised as kittens of course, which is the case with all breeds of cats. Everyone knows ferals can be aggressive, reacting out of fear.

Bengal breeders have worked hard and diligently to ensure that SBT Bengals (F4 and above), are gregarious, social cats that enjoy being with people.
In the case of Bengal cats, any wild blood they have does not equate to aggressiveness. Quite the opposite would be true.
post #18 of 18
Originally Posted by satan View Post
Maybe he just hates being touched? I read on the Bengals australia site that some do not like being held or fussed over too much - or only on their terms.
LOL! Thats my Duke all over... and he's siamese! In fact, thats every cat I've ever known!

Whatever Shadows lineage is, he's utterly adorable!

I love the water play too. I have a video of Duke splashing around in the toilet bowl! We make sure we keep the lids down now Dukes litterbox came with an extra tray that we don't use. Sometimes I put it in the tub and fill it half way with water and put floating toys in it. He LOVES it! He'll even go in the tub and call me in the bathroom to put his toys in the tray for him (I know thats what he wants, 'cause he bats at the tray until I pick it up, then he runs around the tub all crazed until I put it down) Maybe something you could try to keep Shadow entertained? Supervised of course.

Glad to hear he's doing better. Good luck!

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