In light of our decision to keep Hazel, we knew we had to make some changes.
We had to accept that as a kitten (and house kitten) she was still exploring and learning about her world.
This meant accepting some damage and breakages- but also meant trying to avoid as many of these events as possible.
So we made the following changes…
To The House
We employed some measures we hoped would be Bengal cat proof.
Hazel had acquired the bad habit of scratching at patches of carpet at the foot of doors, no doubt in the hope they would magically open .
Unfortunately, this meant carpet edges and corners had been pulled up in places and were badly frayed (see Female Bengal Kitten For Sale).
To remedy this, I initially created a corrugated cardboard ‘mat’ that covered areas Hazel had been trying to burrow under.
Although this worked well, it was quite unsightly, and so was removed.
In its place, we used double-sided clear sticky tape – something that proved effective at keeping her off certain shelves and surfaces.
This was stuck along the carpet perimeter just beneath the doors and also along the bottom and part way up the sides of the doors themselves to stop her from pushing against them and trying to force her way in.
We installed some simple latches on the inside of the bedroom and outside of the bathroom door plus a small bolt on the inside of the latter- just in case.
To The Way We Do (some) Things
Obviously we would have to be more careful with items that could break or be spilt onto items that could break.
Equally, this had to be balanced with a sense of trust.
With this in mind, despite the measures we’d taken to secure rooms, we intended to slowly increase her territory (as it were) by allowing her entry into new parts of the house.
Initially, this would only be if we were at home, then if things went well, if we were out also.
To The Idea of Her Being a 100% House Cat
Hazel was already comfortable exploring the garden whilst wearing a harness and leash.
To extend her freedom, we started to attach the leash to the washing line and various parts of the garden in order to allow us to get on with other tasks whilst she was out.
I suppose this meant she could no longer be considered a true house cat.
So with the changes made, it was now just a case of not whether a leopard can change its spots, but can a Bengal change its… no that analogy doesn’t apply …