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Bengal Cat Jealousy? Is it going to get better? :argh:

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

My bengal kitten is going crazy. 4.5 month old female, not neutered yet (but soon). She lives with me and my husband in one bedroom appartment, she is free to run around our large living room and the kitchen, so there is plenty of space for her. When she was a kitten, she was myawing constantly for attention, was cuddling to myself and my husband (even more so to myself), and was just really affectionate kitten ( she was 9 weeks old when we picked her up). In the past month, progressively, her attitude towards me is changing for the worst. She is getting more and more violent to the point where I AM AFRAID to come out of the bedroom in the evening when i come home from work because she is literally hunting me from every corner of the appartment. She is contantly trying to go for my face, hair and legs and trying to bite and scratch. I am mostly the one who is feeding her/ cleaning after her, and trying to pet her and show her affection any way i can, but she won't respond to playing with me or even being picked up by me....my husband, on the other hand, can do pretty much anything with her, she is literally kissing him every time she sees him.

I am wondering what i should/shouldn' be doing, as this is becoming a really big problem. This little kitten is little right now, but when she grows up, the scratches and bites are going to become more obvious, and i m on the verge or giving her back to her breeder ( although i really really don't want to since i love that little terrorist despite her hatered for me) if this doesn't change

Thank you
post #2 of 11
First of all I have been breeding bengal cats for 12 years.

Now, that you know that.....return the kitten to your breeder. You should never have gotten this kitten at 9 weeks of age. She has not learned her social skills, nor will she likely learn them without lots of help at this point.

Bengal kittens need to stay with their siblings and breeder until they are 12 to 16 weeks of age, so they can be properly socialized and learn what is acceptable and most importantly what is not.

In reality no kitten, bengal or not should be re-homed at 9 weeks. It is far too young and they have not learned yet how to behave appropriately.

To be honest, I could re-hab this kitten easily. But it takes some skill and consistant tactics. I would suggest you return the kitten, get your money back and buy from a reputable breeder who keeps their kittens until they are older than 12 weeks.
post #3 of 11
Nial (Kai Bengals) really knows his stuff when it comes to Bengals, and I second his statements. She's not well socialized and truly, I don't see that it can get any better for you as she gets older.

Please get in touch with that breeder and return her. I'm sure Nial can point you in the right direction for contacting breeders that only adopt out kittens that are old enough and therefore better prepared for joining a household.

Please keep us posted!
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have contacted the breeder and she is insisting that if we neuter her, the behavior will change...she is also saying be firm with the kitten in saying "no", but it is easier said then done.

Do you think neutering her will help? We were thinking of doing it in a month or so, but if necessary, i will get her to the vet immediately, although our vet told us that the sexual drive will die but not the behaviour.

i really don't want to return her, just looking for alternatives...
post #5 of 11
Spaying her may help some. Bengal girls can sometimes mature early and I have had kittens as young as 4 months go into heat.
If you intend to keep her and work towards correcting her behavior, then by all means spay her asap.

If it is within your means, you may really want to consider getting her a playmate kitten of the same age, give or take a month. (Does not have to be a bengal. Any energetic kitten would be fine. Shelter kittens need homes too!) This will certainly take some of the heat off of you being her target. The kittens will teach each other what is acceptable behavior and you will only need to re-inforce that when your bengal gets out of hand.
post #6 of 11
I second and third all the advice in this thread. They both are Bengal people and very experienced with cats.
post #7 of 11
If you are going to keep her, then again, I second what Nial has suggested, spay her ASAP, and I also recommend that you get yourself a couple (or five) feather wands to keep very handy for yourself.

When you need to come out of your room, and you expect her to be stalking you to pounce on you (which is VERY natural behavior, by the way) then you can wiggle a wand toy at her to redirect her energies and aggressions so that she attacks the wand toy instead of you.

This redirection may help a GREAT deal, and can even become a good bonding experience for you both.

Also, please try to stop reacting to her attempts at attacking you. (Easier said than done, I know.) A non-reaction will discourage her from continuing the behavior, as she is playing, literally, cat and mouse with you. The mouse reacts and runs, the Bengal has more fun and the chase is on.

Also, stop trying to pet her, don't try to pick her up and hold her (my two bengals don't like to be held for more than 10 seconds, LOL) - turn your back on her and be aloof. Pretend you don't care so much...this reverse psychology works really well with cats.

I hope some of this helps, and again, please do keep us posted.
post #8 of 11
Most animals can "sense" fear and will react to it. I agree with Nial on the age. Most all reputable breeders will not rehome kittens till 12-16 weeks old. And Bengals tend to need more work with socialization then other breeds.

There are too many backyard breeders who are breeding Bengals with temperment problems and that's something the good breeders strive for and want in their cats.

The fact that you contacted the breeder and he/she doesn't want the kitten back is cause for concern! Reputable breeders would take back the kitten if you were that unhappy with the kitten.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
As an update:
I don't believe i have a case of "backyard" breeder as a lot of people have been saying. After breeder suggested that we neuter the kitten, we have asked a couple of vets to do it, but they are very reluctant to do anything before 6 months. So the breeder actually suggested taking the kitten back, neutering her with her veterinarian who has been taking care of all her animals for a long time, and then monitoring her behaviour for a couple of weeks after that. She is saying she won't return it to us until she is sure the kitten is behaving normally, otherwise, she is saying she can give us another cat/kitten or credit since the kitten we have now might potentially become dangerous when she grows up. She said no kitten should be hunting their owners like prey and jumping on their faces.
It's said but i might need to give her up for good

The breeder doesn't return the money, but she is more than happy to give us another kitten any time we want if this one doesnt work out....i am not sure i will be able to take another one, i got attached to this one so badly, it's just too emotional for me..don't even care about the money.
post #10 of 11
Well it does sound like the breeder is now willing to work with you. I know you are attached, but in this case, I'd do what the breeder suggests - return the cat and see what happens.
post #11 of 11
Very glad to hear the breeder is willing to work with you. I have had male & females cats spayed/neutered at 4 months old, and have had zero problems as a result. Some cats can and do go into heat early, so why take chances.

I hope you are able to get this one back once she's spayed and calms down a bit.
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