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 Post subject: Bella
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:46 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
Posts: 117
I know everyone loves their Bengals and thinks they're the only cats in the world as playful, funny, intelligent, etc. I started off with Bella being disappointed that she wouldn't cuddle. I now see her for what she is. A true Bengal, a mischievous two-year-old child too smart for her own good, and sometimes for mine! I wonder if anyone has any advice for the following. Bella has a way of making me feed her and her little buddy, Jamie. She comes to my study, climbs on the desk, and begins knocking things off one of the upper shelves. I've cleaned that shelf so there's almost nothing she can get at, so she proceeds to the row of pencils at the right-hand side of my computer. She starts -- yes, knocking them down. If I take them away, she proceeds to another desk opposite and does the same. After each knock, she trains her gorgeous, golden, amazed eyes - they're very big and when they widen they give her an astonished look - on me. She knows EXACTLY what she's doing. I then bestir myself, go to the kitchen with both cats in tow, and feed them. There are times in the very wee hours of the morning - 4, say - when I lock them out of the bedroom. It doesn't seem to have incurred any psychological damage. I figure the knocking-things-off-other-things is just Bengal essence, as does my husband, and we are both vastly amused by Bella's antics -- and her smarts. I have not tried training her to do anything at all. I'd really like to harness-train her, though she really loathes the harness, because her first owner used to take her for walks, and I'd like to. Anyone want to weigh in on that one? A PS for Sherry, if you're still moderating: Bella finally purrs when I scratch her cheeks. And she has been known to lick both my hand and my nose.


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 Post subject: Re: Bella
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:55 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:54 pm
Posts: 181
Having four boys all harness trained, all I can tell you is how we went about it.

It's usually a good idea with anything new that you expect your cats to interact with, to simply put it down somewhere near them, let them investigate it at their leisure and on their own terms. If they move it, roll on it or pick it up, let them. They are learning its new but non-threatening. When they are accustomed to it is when they wear it for the first time. This is usually the first mistake owners make with so many things, not just harnesses. You can't rush a cat to do anything, but you can give them the opportunity to get acquainted on their own terms.

We started with the skinny H style harnesses, so as to not restrict their movement too much, and just clipped them on. Instantly each cat walks in a funny exaggerated way. This is when you disarm them with play/treat tactics, get them playing, eating, jumping, everything they normally do.

After 2 weeks of 1 hour harness sessions every other day or so, once they realised they weren't really restricted and could do everything normally, we then swapped harnesses for slightly more robust ones. More coverage = more uncomfortable, but persist and do as before, and they'll come around, just have patience.

As for the original mischief, try throwing a cat tree mouse (or similar toy) when they are asking for food, and you may start a game of fetch. Or try a ping pong ball if you have rooms with hard floors. Usually distraction and diversion onto new behaviour that you DO want is the better solution, otherwise you'll just be making a rod for your own back later on.

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 Post subject: Re: Bella
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8853
Ellen, the knocking things off is a CAT thing ... not necessarily a bengal thing. I've had domestic short haired cats throughout my life who did the same thing when they wanted something -- food, attention, play, wanted outside, etc. I have food out at all times for my two. Dry food especially. And If they haven't finished the wet food, it can stay out for a while longer. My bengal is a grazer and eats constantly throughout the day. Long Legs is a domestic and he eats about four times a day. Maybe Bella (if she in indeed asking for food) needs more meals per day. Every cat's needs is different.


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