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 Post subject: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:46 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:36 pm
Posts: 7
Hello!

Bengal mix(Percephone or Priss) Siamese tabby (Blue)
(I know both kittens were a little young when we had taken them but the original owners needed them gone ASAP, both kittens have been vet checked, dewormed multiple times and had first round of vaccines).

My fiancé and I recently adopted a half bengal/calico mix female about a month ago who was born March 20, 2018. Her father was a purebred Bengal and the mother was a calico. We switched her diet over to organic food slowly when she came home and she was queen of the condo within 3 days. She has the signature bengal spots on her belly and stripes all down her top, she does have a lot of white around her head and paws but she has a lot Black in her coat. You can see the calico markings come through near and on her tail. She is the most cuddly kitten in the world when she’s tired and will snuggle right into my neck for “cuddle time” mid-day. We live 12 stories up in an outdoor style condo with sky streets. She LOVES to be outside so we take her for daily walks at night when it’s quiet. She adjusted very well to her harness(we’re too scared to let her near the edge without one). She does have quite the attitude though, ever since day one. Extremely vocal is an understatement, she literally just likes to hear herself. She makes the most adorable noises when eating her wet food (1/2 dry 1/2 wet diet until we get them switched to strict raw food diet). She has no issues yelling at us for attention or colder water, we get little nips if we don’t listen. She is extremely intelligent, shes a pro stalker and can manipulate us no problem. She has Never hurt either of us, she never bites hard or scratches us(unless she’s playing). She’s daddy’s little girl, I’m home home all day with them so once he gets home, she’s all over him to play some more! He even has her trained. Once it gets dark, he opens the front door and she comes running, ready for her walk. We still seem to be unable to keep up with her constant energy despite all the toys, walks and playtime.

A bit of story on Blue; he was born April 20, 2018. His dad was a Siamese and the mother unknown but with tabby markings. He is a long hair I’m assuming as his fur makes him look 2 months older then he is lol. His fur is mostly black but with small white lines in areas and he has white around his eyes that look like eyeliner. From the moment I held him, he’s been mamas boy(he loves my fiancé, but only comes to me when scared/hungry/needs to poop) yes, I had to retrain him how to use the litter because we use all organic pine instead of normal litter...that was not a fun couple of messy days but he’s a pro now! Whenever I come into the room, he will wait until I sit down(meowing at my feet) and crawl right onto me purring and meowing. He’ll rub his head into my neck and head for about 5 minutes just showing me all the love before he goes off and starts playing, continuously checking that I’m watching him of course. Keeping him anywhere except a closed room is impossible as he can literally climb almost everything. He plays a little rough with us but nothing compared to Priss.

So 4 days ago, we brought home Blue, we were naive and assumed Priss would be a little skittish but would want to play after sniffing him out...Oh how wrong we were. She sniffed his bum for about 15 seconds before her whole body tensed, fur raised head to tail and she pounced, going for the throat. We of course separated them after letting them duke it out for bit with us holding on.
She has has free range of the entire downstairs and upstairs except our 2nd bedroom(its a spare and stays closed). So we put Blue in the spare room, set him up with a make shift kitty house, a bunch of toys, his own litter, food and water dish and we closed the door. Broke my heart hearing him cry so we take turns spending time with the kittens separated. Both of them are Extremely happy when someone’s near them so they don’t bother looking for each other. We have been trying to introduce them now multiple times a day.
Everytime they’re physically together, they get lots of attention and treats to keep them occupied and to reward good behavior. When it gets too rough, we separate and again, give treats to try and associate each other with good things. They are currently separated by a screen kinda door we set up between his room and the hallway and they sometimes paw at each other underneath. Every morning she gets up when we do and instantly goes to his room to say hi through the screen. They eat side by side no problem until one finishes and attacks the other. If I’m holding both, they happily stay in my arms and paw at each other. We are scent swapping everything whenever we can. We even let her go into his room(swap places) for a while and they both go wild. They love being in each other’s areas. She even sleeps in the blankets we swap from him instantly. Yesterday, was our best day. She started off by licking his face and they both started pawing for a few minutes until it turned nasty.
We actually bought a Felaway collar and the calming spray(with pheromone) for the condo, we read a lot of reviews before purchasing and tried it last night for the first time. It has seemed to have calmed them down a little, but not nearly enough for play time together.

So my questions are; how far should I let them take the fights before I’m separating?(we only separate now once he cries out in pain or we hear 3 hisses.
Is she actually trying to kill him? It seems that when they fight, she goes for the vital organs and neck and he kicks the crap outta her with his back paws.
Do I let them continue if he comes back after running away to hide? He usually freaks out, runs away for a few minutes, then comes back to try and get her.

I would appreciate ANY advice or answers at this point! I was my kittens to both be able to run free without fear of one killing the other :(.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:30 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9050
Whew, that was one long post to get through. Welcome to the forum and congratulations on ALL your kitties. Let me mention a few things first.

The litter box(es) is/are for your kitties convenience, not for your convenience. If they do not like the pellets and don't like using the litter box, then try something else. Now that you have three cats, you need at least four litter boxes, especially if you have multi levels in your home. But, please ... use litter that suits your kitties, not the other way around.

As for the kitties getting along ... introduction of a new kitten is vital. The new kitten should always be in a safe room with food, water, litter box and toys. A safe room is where a cat can also decompress from going to a new environment with new smells and new people. This is not to say you leave the cat in there with no human contact. This is where you start the bonding process. You are doing the right thing with swapping scents, but that is usually done before the cats are even introduced physically to each other. And you are feeding them together making the food the distraction. Please know that this can take some time.

The kitten needs to be confident before you place them together. Engaging them all in play together might help, but you need extra hands. Note that hissing and growling are fine. Physical aggression need to be halted. The last thing you want is for your new baby to feel bullies and threatened. If your kitten is crying out, you separate them immediately. Note, I have a bengal and a DSH and they continue to spat with each other until one cries out in pain. they have been together now for a couple of years. So ... just as siblings continue to spat on occasion, your kitties may continue this behavior long after you feel they are getting along swimmingly.

Note that proper introduction can take weeks for some cats. Other cats can get along immediately and an adult cat will take the kitten under its wing. Cats have different personalities, just like children, so patience is the real key here. I really think you are doing the right things in the right order -- thus, it will just take some time. Working with these kitties daily, multiple times during the day, will help. But, this is like having two older children and you bring a new baby home.

Make sure you have several tall cat trees. When you have multiple cats, your home needs to be completely catified. People need to know immediately upon entering your home that you have cats! LOL.

Also, you need to make sure that your kitties do not attempt to jump 12 stories as they will not survive a fall of that magnitude without some serious injuries. If you want your kitties to enjoy any outdoor space you have, they do make portable enclosures that you can set up outside which keep your kitties safe an they can enjoy the fresh air. Walking your kitty is great, but it has to be done on your schedule and most cats, especially my bengal, want to walk on their schedule.

Hopefully other members will weigh in on your situation. Just be patient at this point. Things will get better between them.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:11 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:36 pm
Posts: 7
Apologies on the length of the first post, wanted to get it all out first thing. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and give me some great words of encouragement.
Just to clarify, I do only have the two kittens lol, not a third, and no adult unfortunately to look after them. It’s just us two humans and those two tiny kittens.
As for the litter, I completely agree with you on buying for the cats need and not our own. When we first brought Priss home a month ago, she was using regular non clumping litter, non scented. She couldn’t stop thinking the box was a place to play and would believe it or not, roll in the litter after she had done her business, thinking it was a game. So we slowly switched her to the organic pine kitty litter, did my research first, better then the crystals and there’s absolutely zero chemicals. (I’m huge on organic and all natural) She loves her pine litter and he’s great with it too now!
We do only have the 2 floors of our condo, so we ensure they know where both boxes are on each level. Also multiple food dishes and bowls of water all over the place because some reason they loveee drinking in every room of the place. Lol.

My condo looks like the kittens own us! Haha they have toys and every possible thing they like to play with just all over the place. We have a couple high perches but have a giant 5f8” cat tree coming this week.
We still have them separated at night time, when we have to go out and during times when we cannot supervise fully. Blue is in my spare room with the door open but blocked off with a screen and Prissy can still roam free. He mostly gets to roam the condo while she hangs outside on the balcony with me in her bed. They’re both happy when this happens.

The 12 story height scares the living crap out of me still!! We trust our girl not to jump now but I REFUSE to have her out there without a harness and tethered to me and for Blue, he’s a spazz outside so he doesn’t get to come out often.

For the walks..we actually use it as a treat for Prissy after playtime at night. It’s hilarious, once the sun sets, they get wet food together, clean themselves, and play (started out 1 minute, now at about 15!!). Then when she gets a little too much for Blue, we take her out of the room, open the storm door, and she waits in our vestibule meowing until her harness is put on and she gets out. Like a dog!! I couldn’t believe it!

I’m glad to hear that hissing and growling are okay because she’s very vocal during playtime and I get really worried that she’s now being hurt (which I doubt because he’s half the weight of her lol).

Still surprises me how much of a bengal this little mix is. Haha.
Again, thank you!! Having others opinions definitely helps us figure out if we’re doing the right thing or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:17 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:31 am
Posts: 135
My Bengal likes to play rough. There are 3 cats in our household. He leaps on the the petite female domestic shorthair (DSH) like a World Wrestling Federation star. She is outmatched but the play fighting between them is clearly consensual. She gives him a run for his money, but is able to walk away when he get too intense. He doesn't chase her.

There is a ginger DSH in our household too, with whom he has had a bit of a rivalry. I recently have seen him try to initiate play fighting with him too, but the other cat isn't sure what it is all about and runs away.

I think it depends on how outmatched your new kitten is and whether or not he has a safe place to run. And whether your Bengal will allow him to leave the scene without pursuing him.

Bengal growls and enthusiastic pouncing can be scary, but does not necessarily mean they are being aggressive. They are often just obnoxiously enthusiastic.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:25 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:36 pm
Posts: 7
Im Realizing now it’s just her way of playing. She now goes up to him, bonks him on the head and runs around like crazy so he’ll chase her then she attacks once he’s tired out. Brilliant I swear. Sometimes she lets him walk away but most of the time she’s just relentless.

If your three can get along with your bengals intense play, I have a bit more hope that my girl will get better with my little guy in time.

Good to know that others experience the same behavior!


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:43 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4439
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
The really important thing is to understand the difference between rough play, and fighting. Fighting is when one cat is trying to get rid of another. It's a territorial thing, where one cat's goal is to simply not have the other cat around. It's typically filled with loud hissing and growling, rabbit kicking with hind legs, removing fur off of the other cat, blood, scratches to the head, and missing fur.

Rough play is when cats are going through all the motions of either a "cat fight" type of scenario, or a hunter/prey type of scenario, without actually doing any damage to the other. It involves things like chasing, batting with paws (nails not extended), biting of the neck (always falling short of actually puncturing skin), ambushing, pouncing, rolling around on the floor, etc. One cat (the one getting the worst of it) might be screaming etc. Tell-tale signs that it's rough play and not a cat fight is that the "victim" always comes back for more (i.e., they are never actually hurt and is actually getting something out of the play) and there are no scratches and especially no rabbit-kicking or fur lost. Also the aggressor isn't doing any hissing or growling, because they are not actually trying to get rid of the other cat, they just want a good play session. If the "victim" comes out of this scared of the other cat, and they are then actively trying to avoid the other cat for prolonged periods of time, then that is a really bad thing.

Fights have to be avoided at all cost. If it's happening, and it's really a fight, then that will more than negate any gains made through positive association with food and such. You need to keep them separated, and not just for a few hours. If it's just rough play, then for the most part you should just let them go at it, although supervised, and break-it-up when the victim starts screaming and is too unhappy.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:36 pm
Posts: 7
That was an extremely helpful read! I think for the most part then, they are playing because after Priss attacks, he’ll run but come Right back to her and pounce. They ALWAY go for the neck and stomach but have never drawn blood, I check him over extremely carefully since his long fur can easily conceal a mark.

The only thing they are doing that concerns me is the rabbit kicking. They both go insane with their back legs on the other all the time! Though, they are not drawing claws when they do so. Only kicking, and no one cries or hisses. Is this still okay?

Thank you for the advice so far! Much appreciated :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:31 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4439
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
ginarussell88 wrote:
That was an extremely helpful read! I think for the most part then, they are playing because after Priss attacks, he’ll run but come Right back to her and pounce. They ALWAY go for the neck and stomach but have never drawn blood, I check him over extremely carefully since his long fur can easily conceal a mark.

The only thing they are doing that concerns me is the rabbit kicking. They both go insane with their back legs on the other all the time! Though, they are not drawing claws when they do so. Only kicking, and no one cries or hisses. Is this still okay?

Thank you for the advice so far! Much appreciated :)


It probably is ok, based on what you've said, but it's something to watch closely and objectively access. Hind legs are potentially, a cat's most devastating "last resort" weapon. An adult cat can dig their extremely powerful hind legs, claws extended, into the belly of another cat, open up their stomach, and cause tremendous damage. One the one hand, a cat playing is a cat trying to hone all their hunting and fighting skills, going through all the different moves, attacks, postures, and defenses, and that includes learning to use hind legs effectively. On the other hand though, cats that have been brought up with siblings should have learned when "too much is too much" and when to back down without hurting the other cat, because otherwise the play will end and they don't want that. So if it's "just" kicking, with no extended, raking claws, just thumping feet against the other cat, that is probably ok. You'd have to watch that really carefully and try to assess what damage is being done, if any. But the fact that the victim bounces right back, and the fact that the aggressor isn't hissing or growling or trying to banish the other cat, are pretty good clues that their goal is just to get some exercise, and practice being cats.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:45 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:36 pm
Posts: 7
I just let them go at it again for almost an hour, put a stop to it because Priss was starting to get more aggressive with the little guy. During this play time though, they both were able to walk away and have their own time for a few seconds or minutes without the other attacking.
I’ll definitely continue to closely observe them until they can sleep in the same room peacefully. I still don’t know when the best time is to let them loose at each other full time but definitely thinking it won’t be for at least another week or so.

Thank you !! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9050
I find it odd that two kittens would aggressively fight. They prefer to play rough and tumble. I do think you are on the right path here -- and things will get better once everyone adjusts. Happy others weighed in on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:36 pm
Posts: 7
I want to say a special thank you to everyone who took the time to read my post and give me amazing advice!! I used almost all of it...and......
Update! My little Priss finally accepted Blue yesterday and both of them slept in our bed with us last night!! Today they are EXTREMELY playful and a little rough but both have seemed to learn the others limits and have been backing off.
Priss has actually taken onto batting Blue on the head when she wants to play then running around like a spazz letting him chase her. It’s adorable.

My fiancé and I are such happy fur parents!! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Hello and help!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:55 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:31 am
Posts: 135
That is truly heart warming that they slept together. :smile:

I remember how tickled I was when I first found Oberon and Luna curled up together on my bed. They now fight fiercely one minute and then get all nurturing, licking each other's faces so much so that I turn away and tell them that they should "Get a room!". :redface:

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