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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:30 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:24 pm
Posts: 147
I had my 11 weeks old Snickers for a week now. And I have to admit, she's an angel in every sense and well behaved. Our relationship can't be better, but...

Anything new to her, is a nightmare. And she screams like I'm truly beating her to death. Then once it's over, she'll curl up to me as if nothing happened. But the experience of the new things is hell to her and to me. Please advise me how to address her listed scares:

BATH
Every day I take a shower she's there with me (she follows me) but few meters away. Curious, but not scared. And doesn't get close. Today I decided to give her a bath for the first time, and hell broke loose. The scream, the scratching... After drying her up, she came to me as if nothing happened. But the scandal of her screams must have annoyed all my neighbors. I thought Bengal love water and showers. How do I get her used to it?

CARRIER
She has four different carriers in the house. Different shapes and sizes. She's used to them and walks in and out of them frequently. She rests, plays and sleeps in the large ones at times. But once I attempted to lock her in to carry her out, hell broke loose with her screams non-stop till I got her out. If we are to travel by plane in the future I may be kicked out of every flight, not like United Airline by the security, but by the passengers themselves. How do you get your cat used to carriers?

OUT THE DOOR
She allows me to carry her in the house. But once I carry her down the stairs down to the car, or up the stairs from the car to the house, every neighbor would hear her screams thinking I'm beating her! What should I do?

LEASH
Yesterday I harnessed her with the well known leash for Bengals. It wasn't a pleasant experience as I put it on. But afterwards she forgot all about it as she started eating. Will she scream in the future every time I put the leash on? If so, how do I avoid that?

DRIVE
I brought her from the breeder on a 900 km long drive. She got used to the car and me during the trip. Ever since I took her for a drive twice. And she has to scream for the first 10 minutes of the drive and try to reach me (she's leashed to a backseat seatbelt socket) before sitting back and relax. How do I solve this 10 minutes paranoia?

Please advise... and thank you for your feedback in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:47 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8144
My advice to you is to STOP overthinking everything. A week has not been long enough. She is terrified! So you need to STOP and let her decompress at her own pace. You are carrying her to places she is not comfortable being in just yet. She will get there. Please do not rush her if you want to have a very happy and socialized cat.

She is screaming for a reason! She doesn't like whatever is happening to her at that moment. This is why you do a safe room. The kitty needs to de-stress and learn to feel safe again. You need to be spending as much time with her as you can in that room.

1. CATS DO NOT LIKE BEING GIVEN BATHS and they groom themselves. When they say bengals love water it means, drinking from faucets and they may wade through puddles or hop in and out of the shower with you, but it does NOT mean you give them a bath! The cat needs to have the oils on their skin. So stop bathing her unless she truly gets caught up in something that needs to be washed out.

2. Carriers - no cat enjoys being contained in a carrier. Most our members will admit their cats will scream and howl while being in the carrier -- mine does it as well. Traveling with a cat can be a nightmare. Recently one owner actually had the cat sleeping in the empty seat next to her on a plane. Yes, cats are supposed to be in carriers. Your vet can prescribe a tranquilizer (specifically for your cat's weight) that can help calm the cat down. However, delays can be an issue and it can wear off. I moved 900 miles with a cat and once we got on the road, she settled down and slept and was fine. Airline passengers do not like crying babies and even more a yowling bengal. I would never fly with my bengal. He would go ballistic on me. So, I'd drive 5,000 miles just to avoid a plane. The fact that she will go in and out of the carriers is good, so keep them available and open and hope that maybe by the time you HAVE to fly ... she will be used to it. But, I'm sure the drone of the plane engines would drive a cat crazy.

3. Out The Door - bengals are vocal and cry and yowl. My neighbors think I am killing mine as well. Why are you carrying her down stairs or up the stairs to and from the garage? That confined stairwell could be scary to her. You've got to let her settle in before you start this type of behavior with her. Just like some kids are shy and scared and others are outgoing and confident, it is the same with cats. You've got a scared kitty with no confidence. She needs time to get that. Be patient with her.

4. Leash. STOP with the harness for the time being. Get her calmed down first. Let her have some time to work on bonding with her. It's been a week for gosh sakes. You are trying too much too soon, so back off. Once she has the run of your home and is happy and confident, you can try the harness again. Just put it on her and see how she reacts. If she starts fighting it, try giving her a treat, if that doesn't work, distract with a toy, and if that doesn't work, remove the harness. If she fall down as if she is paralyzed, try the treat and toy. Once cats realize they can actually walk wearing a harness, they are fine. You NEVER take a cat outside on a leash until they are completely used to the harness. This can take weeks as well. And know that your cat may be terrified the first time seeing the big outdoor world, so you only go out as long as she wants to and if she heads back to the door, bring her in and try again the next day. She will do better each time.

5. Drive. It's probably good that you are getting her used to the car but once again, you're pushing her too fast and too soon. Gads, if I were a kitten, I'd be going nuts myself. Calm down and step back! The other thing I do not approve is driving and letting the cat be out of a carrier! It's not enough to be leashed. My gosh, what if you were in a car accident. It has happened several times just in my city. A contained pet will be much safer -- even for a 10 minute drive. My vet is 2 miles down the street and I would NEVER EVER IN A MILLION YEARS have Raiden out of a carrier.

I hope you don't think I've been too hard on you, but just reading your post got my head spinning. Imagine a cat that is actually going through that. Your baby is only 11 weeks old for gosh sakes. She has not gotten used not being with her mommy. She had a very long drive to a new home. There is just way too much going on for her right now when she needs very little to deal with. Petting, talking to her, playing with toys is plenty for her right now. There is plenty of time for these other things to happen (except the baths - stop the baths).

Enjoy her. She needs to form her bond and love for you and it is not going to happen overnight and certainly not happen if she is terrified of the things you are putting her through!!! Hang in there ....


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:25 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:24 pm
Posts: 147
Thank you Sherry for the advice... yes a bit harsh, but I understand your good intention.

I'll take it slow-er from now on.

We are bonding very well, don't worry about that. I just posted a new thread about having her sleep on my lap. And I'll post another update about how we are bonding together.

Thank you again for the feedback.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:56 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8144
I so enjoy reading posts on the progress being made with a new kitten. I know how anxious new bengal owners are. Those little cuties are hard to resist and you just want to have them on you, beside you, instantly. It depends on the cat. You'll learn as you go. Snickers has been letting you know when she is unhappy and doesn't like something. Eventually, you will appreciate when she is sleeping and giving you time to get other things accomplished. Right now, you are the ONLY thing in her life, so the bonding will be extremely strong. We owners always have the best intentions toward our kitties.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:33 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:24 pm
Posts: 147
UPDATES :)

BATH
Anytime she eats seafood, she stinks badly therefore a bath becomes a must. Yesterday, was her second bath and it went well. She wasn't happy with it, but she wasn't terrified like the first time.

LEASH
It's a breeze, how easy it has become for her to wear a leash from the second time I started putting it on. She didn't mind, resist or meow.

CARRIER / OUT THE DOOR / DRIVE
This is the funny part, now every time I put the leash she goes to the Carrier by herself knowing it's time to go out. Really!!! How great is that!!! I take her in the Carrier just from the house to the car. Then in the car she's fastened with her leash to the seatbelt socket in the back seat. She enjoys the drives now very much. Not once she meows or objects at all.

MORE NEWS =>

VET VISIT
I took her two days ago to the vet for a microchip and checkup. She was on leash all the time. She was the star attraction for all clinic guests and staff. She didn't mind any human, cat or dog in the clinic. She was very self confident and curious to explore the surroundings. The only time she felt insecured was when she met a brown Doberman dog (beautiful one). After sniffing him, she just backed off 50 cm and puffed her body up (fear sign). I went on touching her head to calm her down and boost her confidence. She relaxed and moved on.

PARK VISIT
Today I took her out to a nearby park, and it was like unleashing a monkey. She was so excited to climb trees, smell everything around her, chase birds and flies. And she became the attraction for guests at the park too. Some she'd jump towards them, some she'd ignore and move away from.

SUMMARY
All is going well. It seems I started this thread so quickly based on her 1st time experience for new things. But once she tries anything for the second time, she does it happily and with confidence.

SO WHAT'S NEXT?
Tricks... yep I plan to start teaching her do tricks like sit, jump, high five, roll, skate... etc. But that'll be in a new thread.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:14 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:48 pm
Posts: 212
11 weeks is also a bit young to be away from mama. (12 weeks is the usual) She needs a lot of reassurance and security at this age.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:38 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:38 pm
Posts: 1836
My cats are 3 years old now and I have never intentionally bathed them. When they were kittens they used to jump in the bath tub with me or stand inside the shower because they had to participate in everything I did. But these were things they wanted to do, I never put them into water. Also I have a pool in their screened in enclosure. Grace usually picks the coldest day of the year and jumps into the pool, then rushes into my arms so I can dry her off. Blondie also follows me around the pools edge when I go in so I can pet her with wet hands. It makes her purr! They both go outside in the rain and splash in puddles. The water seems to roll right off their fur and they dry very quickly. Basically cats are self cleaning. You don't need to bathe them intentionally.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:50 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:48 pm
Posts: 212
Baby wipes are very good for paws and face area and tushie if needed. Sometimes a cat needs help! But in my entire life the only time I've put a cat into water was to de-flea them.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:10 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8144
I would definitely recommend baby wipes for cats. They do not clean off the oils the cats need. Honestly, bathing a cat every time she eats seafood? Stop feeding the seafood. LOL. Before you know it, you'll be wanting to brush her teeth as well (which can be done with the proper toothpaste for pets and brush).

Happy to hear things are progressing well, but I still think it's too much too soon, but Snickers is your kitty. She's still very young. Getting her used to a harness is a good thing and she will enjoy and INSIST on walks, so get prepared for all the yowling that goes on. You do know that you do not train a cat. They train you!!

Tricks? Tricks are for your amusement only (or you post neat videos for us to see). Maybe Snickers can compete with Mystic to see who can learn the most tricks. :biggrin:

I know you are over the moon and the progress she has made. Things can vastly change in a week's time as you know.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 6:29 am 
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Bengal Kitten
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:54 am
Posts: 8
Love the good updates.

I agree with the others about giving her more time. Cats can take 6 weeks or longer to adjust completely to their new home environment. They get stressed out just liked us, and need time to adjust to a life change. Hemlock is still fairly new to me, I think this is her 8th or 9th week with me and I feel that she is still adjusting. I still haven't begun harness training.

I use cleansing wipes on my kitties only if needed. Burt's Bees brand has some wipes for cats that I really like. I can also sometimes manage to get away with the "no rinse" shampoo that you can spray on them, but I usually only ever use that in dire situations, because I'm not sure if I trust it completely. I used the spray shampoo on Hemlock because she peed in the carrier and subsequently on herself on the way home from the emergency vet a few weeks ago. Usually she doesn't pee in her carrier. I used the spray on shampoo and gently used paper towels to clean her tail and her rear legs until the pee was cleaned up. I didn't want to give her a bath and cause more trauma, and I adopted her as an adult cat so I have no idea how she'll react to a bath.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 4:46 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8144
Mine sprayed in his carrier today at the vet -- and I don't know if he got any on himself. If he did, they cleaned him off when they drew blood. Stress can cause these things. My outdoor cat pooped in the carrier when I took him for the vet . Ugh!!! Life with cats is NEVER boring.


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