Hazel’s first week encompassed Christmas, which can be quite busy, but for obvious reasons wasn’t so.
It actually worked out quite well, as it meant we could give her more consistency which was better with regards to her settling in.
And settle in she did.
In fact, by day 3, she was more or less roaming at leisure albeit within the rooms we allowed her into.
Yes, she needed some coaxing out of ‘her’ room initially via the use of a wand toy- a tactic we still employ today to get her out of unwanted areas.
She even made it up to the loft via the folding stairs, although I carried her down to be on the safe side (and still do).
Running around, exploring and sniffing literally every square inch, even gaps you wouldn’t expect her to be interested in or get into. Some I didn’t even know existed (I did, I just didn’t really pay much attention to them…)
I was initially concerned the cat tree may prove too testing for her to escalate.
How wrong I was.
Hauling herself up using a combination of claws and pressing up against a wall proved a successful means of accessing one of her two main sleeping and grooming spots.
It also has kind of a watchtower feeling to it.
It’s also strangely satisfying seeing her use something you’ve invested in.
We decided to feed her twice a day (in the morning and evening- as advised by the breeder)- a combination of raw food and tinned kitten food, essentially continuing what the breeder had been feeding her. This was supplemented with biscuits and occasional snacks/treats during the day.
She took to using the litter trays straight away although there was the one ‘accident’ in this period- and that was probably our fault as the route to the litter tray was (partially) blocked.
The intention was to clean the litter trays every day, but this didn’t materialise, and actually, wasn’t that necessary. She appeared to be using both- which was good.
Her routine was loosely: Active- eat- active- sleep- active- eat- active- sleep (but who knows what she got up to at night?)
Cats. Christmas Trees.
Cats and Christmas trees don’t mix particularly well.
Initially, Hazel didn’t show much interest in ours, but gradually the lure of the dangling, shiny items became too much, and so most of these began a migration up the tree and out of pawing range.
Lower branches were impossible to keep out of her clutches, but fortunately all made it intact and the tree remained vertical throughout the festive period.
No, we didn’t’ get her any presents, but a donated portion of turkey meat helped fill her up on Christmas Day.
It was apparent even at this stage that Hazel, like many Bengal kittens, is a high energy cat. Even after play, she’d dart around the living room forming her own running circuits with a sort of ‘crazy’ look in her eye.
Spontaneous games of fetch with her favourite toy- a spring, also occurred during this first week or so but her teeth’s affinity for our house plants meant we had to move most to a safe haven (some plants can be harmful to your cat. See How Long Do Bengal Cats Live? 12 Excellent Ways To Boost Life Expectancy).
One thing we’d noticed is that despite her settling in so quickly, we found Hazel (so far) not to be particularly affectionate, although she did want to be where the action was- and by that I mean where we were and paying attention to what we were doing.
I suppose we were asking for a bit much too soon.
She was also becoming a little vocal with small meows and chirps and seemed to begin to recognise her name.
With this in mind, we wanted to try training her as we’d read that it’s best to do so from a young age.
Plus we’d bought a couple of clickers so wanted to give them a whirl….