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 Post subject: Kitten help
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:57 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:47 pm
Posts: 2
Hi everyone. New to the forum and Bengals. Wanted to see if u guys can’t give me some insight.

I have a 12 week old female kitten. She has been with me for a week so far. Still have her in the bathroom. She eats, drinks and uses the litter box. I have a few toys and scratching post for her in there. Been playing with her, slept with her a few times in the beginning when I first got her cuz she kept crying at night and doesn’t like being alone.

My question is I’ve had her for a week we play and spend a lot of time together, but she still doesn’t let me get near her or touch her. Gonna take her to the vet on Wednesday. Wanted to know how long will it take for her to get comfortable with me and trust me. Also I am going to need to put her in a carrier to take her to the vet, how should I go about that if she doesn’t let me touch her. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Kitten help
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:22 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:31 am
Posts: 137
I have not had experience with Bengal kittens, but will offer insight based on my experience with a Bengal that was given to me at age 9.

My impression is that Bengals are not like other cats. They seem to feel things more intensely than other cats and take a long time to adjust. When I brought my Bengal boy home, he would not let me touch him and would scream bloody murder if I tried to pick him up. This was after a month or two.

I resigned myself to needing a cat grooming bag to trim his nails. And to having one of those aloof cats that would mostly just show up for food and play with a fishing toy. A very loud aloof cat.

After 5 or 6 months, he became more comfortable with me and his new surroundings. He seems happy now, and is very closely bonded with me. He will sit right next to me on the couch or in bed. He still doesn't like to be picked up, but tolerates it if I thump him and scratch his ears. I was surprised at how long it took compared to other cats I have known.

Other cat parents here talk about their Bengals not liking to be picked up also.

You seem to do be doing the right things. Maybe allow the kitten to sleep with you more. And be very patient.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitten help
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:47 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4476
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Clckwrksev wrote:
Hi everyone. New to the forum and Bengals. Wanted to see if u guys can’t give me some insight.

I have a 12 week old female kitten. She has been with me for a week so far. Still have her in the bathroom. She eats, drinks and uses the litter box. I have a few toys and scratching post for her in there. Been playing with her, slept with her a few times in the beginning when I first got her cuz she kept crying at night and doesn’t like being alone.

My question is I’ve had her for a week we play and spend a lot of time together, but she still doesn’t let me get near her or touch her. Gonna take her to the vet on Wednesday. Wanted to know how long will it take for her to get comfortable with me and trust me. Also I am going to need to put her in a carrier to take her to the vet, how should I go about that if she doesn’t let me touch her. Thanks


1. I think the bathroom is a lousy "safe room" for cats, but understand that in some situations there are no better alternatives. But if it were me, and she had a bathroom as her safe room, I'd probably be in a hurry to acclimate her to the rest of the house.

2. How long it takes for her to trust you, has two elements: Her personality (which you can't change) and how you handle her acclimation (which you can). How does one build trust with a cat?
a. demonstrate that you are not a threat. That means no grabbing, holding, petting until she is ready. Minimize the perceived size difference between you and her whenever possible (e.g., sitting is better than standing, sitting on the floor is better than setting on a chair, etc).
b. demonstrate that when you are around, good things happen to her. Treats, food, and play are your best currencies for that. But all on her terms.
c. limit the things that undermine trust (loud noises, being picked up/touched before she's ready, sudden movements, looming over her at your full-height).

Some stuff that undermines trust is unavoidable (taking her to the vet for example) but think of it in terms of having to build up positive trust capital so that when you do something like taking her to the vet, you won't go too far into the "negative" in terms of trust.

I don't think that her mistrust of you is a reason to keep her cooped up in the bathroom, and I suspect that she will start getting more confident when she has some space that is more interesting than a toilet and a faucet. Also, using something like Feliway can help with confidence, as does having some objects that are "special" to her around (things that have her scent on them). For example, cat beds or blankets.

All of the above is just general cat stuff, not really having anything to do with bengals specifically. For bengals specifically, becoming her playmate is probably the quickest way to pay dirt as far as trust capital is concerned. Fishing-wand style toys are great because they let you simulate the hunt and most bengals go wild over them. Also getting her a really good cat tree is also very important. It really is amazing how much more confident a cat can be when they are sitting up high looking down on their domain as opposed to looking up at everything.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitten help
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:16 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9154
Welcome to the forum. Our members give excellent advice. You did get your kitten about a week earlier than usual. And know that a cat being separated from its mom and siblings and put in a new environment with new smells and a new human can be traumatic for the kitten and it just takes time for them to acclimate to their new surroundings. You must have patience and give the kitty time.

Once you have bengal proofed your entire home, it is probably time for you to let her out of the bathroom and allow her to inspect and acclimate to her new surroundings. Depending on how well the breeder socialized her -- which may not have happened at all -- it can take some time for you to be able to gain her trust. Most bengals do not like being held. They are not lap cats. Some are -- most are pretty aloof. You simply need to work on bonding with the kitty.

It should not be difficult to grab her and put her in a carrier. No cat enjoys being in one or be taken to the vet, however, it is always good to have her be seen by a vet to start a medical history on her. Many breeders stipulate in their contracts that the kitten must be seen within 72 hours or so.

It's great that you interact with her. Keep playing with her. You can also just simply sit and read to her or talk with her. She will approach you when she's ready, especially if you add cat treats to the mix. Do not be discouraged because she will come out of her shell. Just be patient and please give us updates.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitten help
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:04 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:47 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for responding and the great advice.
I ended up taking her to the vet the other day, she was not happy with that at all. She was calm at the vets but very nervous, she also got vaccinated. Which made her a little drowsy that day. I’m gonna be opening up the hallway and my bedroom for her today. I have a six foot cat tree which I’ll move in to my room also, I’ll play with her in there and read to her. Also added diffusers in the rooms.

Should I add another littler box to my bedroom, and also should I keep the food and water in the same place for now?

Thanks again for all the input and advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitten help
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:37 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9154
Glad you were able to get her to the vet. Very few cats enjoy that adventure, so it seems she behaved normally. Vaccinations can also affect a cat for 24 to 48 hours, so that seems normal.

Ahh, litter box locations and how many. It depends on the size of your home. If you have multiple levels, a box on each would be good. If you think the walk to the litter box is too far for your kitty, by all means add another one. It never hurts. But ... do not keep moving them around as that just confuses the cat.

Food and water should be in one spot. I should talk -- I have a bowl of dry food in the living room and a bowl of water in my bathroom -- and there is food and a water fountain in the kitchen. I guess extra food and water source locations are okay as long as they stay where they are -- I just figure the hubby and I eat in the living room on a tray -- the cats might as well. LOL.

Your baby will love and enjoy the cat tree. It sounds as if you are doing all the right things. Your little one will come around and you will share many adventures together.


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