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Adopted Bengal Cat is not what I've read about Bengals!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am new to this board, but a life-long cat lover. I have four cats, Leila, Spirit and Ming were all either strays or adopted from rescue groups. Bennie is a 3 1/2 year old Bengal who I adopted three weeks ago. His previous owner is getting married and his fiance is allergic. I have been interested in Bengals for a long time and have read quite a bit about them. When I saw that ad in the paper for a "Bengal free to good home", I responded immediately. So, now Bennie is with us for three weeks. He does not seem friendly, affectionate or like a "people" cat. He is struggling with the other cats. He basically spends his days isolated in the basement of our large house. He growls at us quite a bit, but seeks affection occasionally on his terms. He does not seem to fit the profile of a Bengal. Am I jumping the gun here--is this behavior because he is in a new and strange home, or did I miss something about the Bengal breed? Help! I really want to incorporate him into our cat-loving family. Thanks, Liz K.
post #2 of 4
Hi and welcome.

Bennie sounds like he is going through what most kitties go through in a new and strange home. Was he a sole cat in his other home? Contrary to popular belief, you would know from being a cat owner that cats do develop deep and affectionate bonds with their owners. You say that he was only given up because of this woman's fiance's allergies - I would guess that he was a much-loved part of her life and he misses her. Think from his perspective - everything is new, there are three other cats to contend with whom he doesn't know, his owner is nowhere to be found, her smell is on nothing - in fact nothing he smells is familiar, he doesn't know where he is and he's probably lonely! And you are not the person that he is used to - so I'm not surprised he growls at you! If, as you say, he does give you some affection on his terms then I would think that all is not lost. But I believe he is probably going through some very real grieving, and needs time to adjust.

You will have to take this slowly and make him welcome without letting the other kitties intimidate him. Perhaps some alone time with him for a while every day - are there things that you do from day to day that you could do in the basement with him there? You may not need to pay attention to him at first, but let him get used to you and your routine, and start to feel a part of your family.

I think your kitty is probably lost, confused and sad. I also think that these feelings will pass and that he is fortunate to have been adopted into a loving home. Be persistent with him but don't force things - but by all means spoil him a little. He needs love but he also needs space to move into this new world.

I'm sure everything will be okay and that time is really the answer to this problem.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great encouragement and perspective. Yes, you are right, he is grieving. I did not think of that. He was the only cat in his household and from what I've been told, very loved. I am giving him both space and attention. Every day, I take time to through foil "balls" to him and to play "mouse" with him with his familiar toys brought from his previous home. When he growls I back off. Things have already improved. He has warmed up to one cat and to me (a little). He has started to walk past me and rub himself on my legs. You're right; he needs time. I guess I just needed to hear it from someone else, so thanks a lot. Liz K.
post #4 of 4
neutering helps calm cats down sometimes. So if that is not done, I would do that. Well I would do it anyways which an attitude problem or not...

Keep the bengal in a small room with food and litter but either shut the door and put his food on one side and your other cats food directly on the opposite side of the door, or get some sort of screen door or baby gates stacked up so he can get used to being around you and the other cats, but in case any of them want to fight, there is a barrier holding them back.
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