Although we are actually further down the line, many of you will perhaps be wondering what life is like, for both a Bengal kitten and its owners, after a month.
It’s important to note we can only talk of our experiences and not all Bengals will be the same or live in an environment similar to the one we provide.
Activity Levels- Loving Laps (but not ours)
I’d read beforehand that Bengal kittens in particular have lots of expendable energy to burn- but perhaps underestimated how that would manifest itself.
She was too young to let outside and with it being winter in Britain anyway- I’m not sure she’d have wanted to go out.
So her chosen activity to let of steam was to run laps of the living room, sometimes spontaneously during the day, but more commonly, late in the evening.
It took a bit of getting used to- we were settling down for the evening, whilst Hazel thinks it’s gym time.
This was especially irritating if objects started to tumble- or if she persistently ran across the coffee table.
We mainly played with her in the evening, but due to homeworking, she got some attention and play during the day too. Whilst working, obviously…
But she still loved doing those laps…
As mentioned in the post ‘Teaching A Bengal Cat Its Name (click, click)‘, she picked up basic training easily enough, and we went back to it now and again.
She did respond to her name being called with a ‘miaow,’ but in reality, wouldn’t come to us very often unless a treat was involved.
There was not much else training to be had at this stage.
Eating Habits- Cleaning the Bowl, Eventually
Hazel’s diet slowly evolved, which you can read about here, although after a month she was still eating the same food given to us by the breeder.
We stuck to feeding her in the morning and evening, with occasional dry food and treats.
She wouldn’t always eat everything we gave her all at once, but would usually finish her bowl over a period of hours.
Behaviour- A Bit Aloof
After a month she had fully settled in, was comfortable with us and being handled.
As I mentioned in the blog post recounting of her first week, Hazel wasn’t particularly affectionate which now, looking back,, seems quite a naïve thing to expect.
After a month, this had improved a little.
She liked being around us- that was, seeing what were up to and simply being there, but that was generally the limit.
There was the odd moment where it felt like this may change- for example sleeping on sofa next to one of us, but those occasions were rare.
Bengals are said to like company but from a distance. Hazel fitted that trait.
We also noticed she wasn’t particularly interested in what we were eating, which was somewhat surprising.
In fact, she was more likely to (try and) place her face in a glass to lap up some water. Always water, nothing stronger…
It was to be expected.
Hazel pulled over a few plants (many of which had to be relocated for the safety of both parties), knocked over a few glasses and other household objects.
With is in mind, we felt we couldn’t trust her with full access to the house whilst we were out, and certainly didn’t want her clambering over kitchen surfaces.
We ended up using clear double-sided tape on shelves and surfaces in the living room- those that we didn’t want her climbing onto. The hope was it would train her to leave these areas alone.
At this stage though, she wasn’t being left alone for very long.
Accidents… But No Emergencies
Hazel was very good with her litter trays.
There were two ‘accidents’ of note, which were explainable due to our own activities.
The first- she passed faeces onto the card board tray just outside her litter box. Our fault as the box had been moved and the entrance was blocked.
The second- urinating onto the floor where the litter tray stood. Our fault (but not really) as this happened to coincide with us cleaning it. If only she could have held on for 5 more minutes, but when you’ve got to go…
Our Feelings After A Month
I think we were pleased with how quickly she’d adapted and become comfortable with no dietary issues or real problems with using litter trays.
She loved her cat tree and would readily play, even instigating the odd game of fetch.
She was more inquisitive and energetic than both of us expected, which as mentioned, lead to things being broken and therefore us having to remove potentially damageable items.
This affected our behaviour in that we felt we had to keep track of where she was throughout the day and meant making sure things like doors were closed when leaving rooms, which wasn’t always successful.
This also applied to windows, but was less of an issue with it being winter.
We hoped in time she would settle down as the house became more familiar, as she got older, and after she’d been neutered…