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Old October 24th, 2012, 08:53 PM
Lala Lala is offline
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kitten is scared....after a month

Hi there, I think I really need help and advice from people who have good Bengal experience and general kitten development knowledge. This is going to be a bit of a sad post, as my heart is literally breaking at the decision I have to make, and it is a very, very hard one. I need to decide if I should keep the kitten I adopted about a month ago or give it back to the breeder.
The kitten is adorable – very cute, sweet and kind. The problem is that he is not adjusting well in the household. When we brought him home he hid under the bed for about a week, then started to come out slowly. We (me and my husband) never ran after him, scared him or made him uncomfy. We play with him every day, each about 30 min and he loves it and purrs. He eats well and uses litterbox.
He is about 4.5 months now, and literally scared of everything. He would not let us pick him up, or approach him – he runs under the bed immediately. The only time I can touch him is when he is in his cat house – then he purrs and seems to love petting and attention. He never goes out of his safe room, even thought it has been a month we had him. If he does, then only for a few min and runs back under the bed – and we live in a 3 room apartment, so the place is small and not intimidating at all, there are no other cats/animals around. He sleeps most of the day and will come out only if attracted with the toy – he never comes to us unless to play or eat. He hissed at me for 3 wks when I was giving him food, but stopped this week. In general, he never jumps anywhere and prefers to be on the floor so that he can run away if he needs to. I am patient, but my husband is starting to get irritated, because it is stressful for him to feel that all he does scares the cat. He never jumps on bed or comes to sleep near us, even though we play with him in bed…. I called the breeder and asked for her advice, she told me that she suggests we don’t talk in front of him, address him only with the toy and walk without slippers. She told me that if this continues and we are not comfortable, she will take the kitten back and will provide me with the refund. She also told me that she is sure he will outgrow this and by 1.5 year he will be with us all the time – that he is a kitten and this is a normal development. I had 3 cats before, even a feral one, and based on my experience with regular domestic cats, this is not a normal development at 4.5 months, and a month in a safe and loving environment.
I am not sure how to proceed. I am attached to this kitten, obviously and want to keep him, but I am also honest with myself as of why I purchased a Bengal. A friend of mine has one, and he is very active, engaged with people, not a lap cat but a family pet. And I was very opened to the breeder about the personality of the kitten that I want. Many of Bengal loves could be very upset at me, for not wanting to work with the cat and not accepting him for who he is. I am working with him – all the time, but I see very, very little progress and I am afraid that I will end up with anti-social cat that does not like people – which is totally opposite of what I wanted when I was getting a cat.
If possible, I would like to hear feedback or opinions on his development and is it possible for him to turn out more friendly as the time goes? May be someone had a similar situation? Anything that can be done to make him less scared?
Thanks!
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Old October 25th, 2012, 08:23 AM
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marko marko is offline
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Personally....I'd give the cat more time to adjust. Some cats just like some people take more time to get comfortable. In terms of the personality you were expecting, with respect I feel that that is a bit unrealistic. Breeders cannot guarantee personality any more than a mother of a human child can. A human mother may want an extroverted child - but way too many factors are outside a mother's control to guarantee this in any way shape or form. Personality as far as i know is always a mix of genetics and environment. Sure, certain breeds have a tendency toward a certain personality but that's all it is - a tendency.

I would wonder if there are any loud noises around perhaps from the street or somewhere else that you are used to but not the cat. I would also 100% have this conversation with a vet as there might be a medical issue at play.

But to me, this cat does sound like it is making progress just not as fast as you want. (It's not hissing anymore right? comes out slightly more often right?) If I were a gambler I'd bet hard that the cat will get friendlier over time.

I hope other members with more cat knowledge than I have will also chime in here.

Good luck!
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Old October 25th, 2012, 01:16 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Sounds like this sweet kitten really lacks confidence, which may partly be the fault of the breeder not sufficiently socializing him to a wide variety of situations, but like Marko said, could also just be the personality of this particular cat. There is a great chance that with the right care in your loving home, he will come out of his shell. Any chance you could adopt another cat his age, or perhaps buy one of his litter-mates? I think he'd probably benefit from some feline companionship to help him feel more comfortable.

Something else I would recommend is picking up a couple of Feliway diffusers. They simulate the facial pheromones that cats rub on stuff with their cheeks and can help imbue the atmosphere with a sense of calm.

Cats also pick up on our emotions so he may be sensing that you're stressed, and particularly that your husband is getting perturbed. If you can both manage to exude only happy calmness around him, he might start to reflect that back.

Good luck with him! Please hang in there. Often the cats that are the most challenging to "win over" end up being the most loving and loyal kitties you can imagine.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Didn't Jim spend hours on end sitting and reading to DU when she was so nervous? I think he said she would hide under the bed and he would sit beside it and just read a book out loud. After time the cat came to realize that this human was safe and not going to harm her and has since turned around to be a loving kitty. Won't happen overnight of course, but he never gave up. Good luck with your kitty, Bengals are beautiful.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Yep, DD, that's exactly what Jim did with DU. DU stands for Down Under, Lala, cuz that's where she'd go when humans came in the room--down under the bed. Eventually Jim won her over with patience and persistence and she's turned around almost completely. But it took a very long time, so be prepared for that. I hope she warms up to you soon!
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Old October 26th, 2012, 02:38 PM
Lala Lala is offline
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Thank you so much for support !

Yes, we got the Feliway deffuser on about day 4 - and I think it helped because the kitty started to purr and would let us pet her - and it was a big progress.

I was actually smiling about the DU story! Down under is a funny nickname for a cat! We are hanging in there, and will work further with the cat, but I have to admit it is very hard emotionally. Mostly because we understand that our kitty is unhappy in our home, and feels threatened. For the last days he started to go out of his safe room (our bedroom), so he is not DU anymore). However, he will be anywhere, as long as we are not around. Now he leaves bedroom at night, day and night because I am there. He will let me come to him and touch him, but he will stay away from me if he has an option. It is hard, and I am afraid that we are not bonding....

Do you guys think I should be persistent, approach him, touch him, pet him, or should I just ignore him?

Thank you so much again, support really helps...
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Old January 20th, 2013, 04:46 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lala View Post
Hi there, I think I really need help and advice from people who have good Bengal experience and general kitten development knowledge. This is going to be a bit of a sad post, as my heart is literally breaking at the decision I have to make, and it is a very, very hard one. I need to decide if I should keep the kitten I adopted about a month ago or give it back to the breeder.
The kitten is adorable – very cute, sweet and kind. The problem is that he is not adjusting well in the household. When we brought him home he hid under the bed for about a week, then started to come out slowly. We (me and my husband) never ran after him, scared him or made him uncomfy. We play with him every day, each about 30 min and he loves it and purrs. He eats well and uses litterbox.
He is about 4.5 months now, and literally scared of everything. He would not let us pick him up, or approach him – he runs under the bed immediately. The only time I can touch him is when he is in his cat house – then he purrs and seems to love petting and attention. He never goes out of his safe room, even thought it has been a month we had him. If he does, then only for a few min and runs back under the bed – and we live in a 3 room apartment, so the place is small and not intimidating at all, there are no other cats/animals around. He sleeps most of the day and will come out only if attracted with the toy – he never comes to us unless to play or eat. He hissed at me for 3 wks when I was giving him food, but stopped this week. In general, he never jumps anywhere and prefers to be on the floor so that he can run away if he needs to. I am patient, but my husband is starting to get irritated, because it is stressful for him to feel that all he does scares the cat. He never jumps on bed or comes to sleep near us, even though we play with him in bed…. I called the breeder and asked for her advice, she told me that she suggests we don’t talk in front of him, address him only with the toy and walk without slippers. She told me that if this continues and we are not comfortable, she will take the kitten back and will provide me with the refund. She also told me that she is sure he will outgrow this and by 1.5 year he will be with us all the time – that he is a kitten and this is a normal development. I had 3 cats before, even a feral one, and based on my experience with regular domestic cats, this is not a normal development at 4.5 months, and a month in a safe and loving environment.
I am not sure how to proceed. I am attached to this kitten, obviously and want to keep him, but I am also honest with myself as of why I purchased a Bengal. A friend of mine has one, and he is very active, engaged with people, not a lap cat but a family pet. And I was very opened to the breeder about the personality of the kitten that I want. Many of Bengal loves could be very upset at me, for not wanting to work with the cat and not accepting him for who he is. I am working with him – all the time, but I see very, very little progress and I am afraid that I will end up with anti-social cat that does not like people – which is totally opposite of what I wanted when I was getting a cat.
If possible, I would like to hear feedback or opinions on his development and is it possible for him to turn out more friendly as the time goes? May be someone had a similar situation? Anything that can be done to make him less scared?
Thanks!
Has the kitten been to vet for a checkup , maybe has the kiten is not able to jump up as it is hurting someplace. I would have a vet check out the kitten if he not trying jumping up . My dog Marty had to keep his lifting leg over and over to pee and wanted me to help get in the car. I took him to the vet and found out he has trick knees , he knees had to pop back into place.
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