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Unread 07-26-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default I'm giving this one last shot - many problems

Hello!

I'm new here to the boards, but I've had cats for a pretty big chunk of my life. My husband decided he wanted to start breeding Bengal cats, and so he went to a cattery in Southern California and purchased a young male. All of the cats from this cattery came directly from Millwood lines, so the male we have is of very high quality. This cattery had all of their cats in small cages stacked on top of each other, and probably had 40 cats of producing age. My husband ended up adopting 2 other cats because the cattery said they would take them to be destroyed otherwise. One was a hermaphrodite and the other was a non breeding quality male. We had numerous problems with both of the cats before we could even find them new homes, and neither one of them ever became good indoor cats.

We still have our male, and with the economy and some problems with one of our females (fiber cystic uterus) and another being infertile, we decided to just keep them as pets and maybe try this breeding thing later down the road. Our females, who came from other catteries, are GREAT pets, and we love them dearly. Our male however, is not. He has many of the same problems the other cats from this cattery had, and I really want to keep him, which is why I'm asking for help.

-He is fearful and aggressive. He hides most of the day, and will usually run from us if we walk towards him. If for some reason we "intrude" upon his territory, or have to handle him for vet visits or the like, he WILL bite and claw as much as possible to get away.

- He pees on everything. He doesn't spray, and has never sprayed. He will go to his favorite pee spots, squat, and pee. We remove all traces of scent (we've used vinegar mixture, anti icky poo, natures miracle, wee wee out, and every other type of enzyme remover) but he continues to pee in inappropriate places. There is nothing physically wrong with him, and when kept in his cage he usually will pee in his box. We hung a towel on the side of the cage recently, and he completely stopped going in the litter box and now only pees on the towel. He does not have this problem with poop, and will go in the box every time. If left in the house unsupervised, we will find huge wet spots on the couch, as that is his favorite place to leave a huge puddle. We've tried feliway, litter attractant, and reward based training, but he doesn't respond to any of it.

We have had Seacrest for 2 years, and no amount of patience, petting, or training has made any difference in his behavior at all. No one hits him or gives him any reason to be the way he is. When Seacrest is in his big stud cage in the back yard, he perfect. You can walk up to him, pet him, even pick him up although he doesn't like it. He uses the litter box most of the time and behaves socially towards others. The vet thinks it has something to do with him being raised in a small cage, and that it has altered his brain chemistry and he may need some sort of hormone therapy in order to make him into a good pet. If this really is the case, I would rather give him away to someone who can give him the time and more importantly, the money he deserves to be a good house cat. I'm tired of looking at him suffer out in the cage.

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
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Unread 07-27-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome to the forum. Thank goodness you have stopped the idea of breeding. One thing this world does not need is more unwanted cats.

I am glad you love Seacrest and want to help him be a well adjusted happy cat.

Have you had Seacrest neutered? If not, that is the first thing to do.

Secondly, if he is content to live in his cage, perhaps you just ought to resign yourself to that. It's all he knows. He is probably deeply inbred and as the vet said, has brain dysfunction. Rehoming him would be sending him to a life dumped on the street, or on deathrow in a shelter.

Normally I would never ever recommend someone let a cat live out his life in a cage, but Seacrest's comfort is my biggest concern, and if that is where he is happy and comfortable, then so be it.

You can customize a safe comfortable living area for him. If his outdoor cage is small, build or buy him something larger. Build him an outdoor enclosure with a big tree branch for jumping and climbing and scratching, a patch of grass for "hunting" and a sheltered area for his bed, and a sheltered area for his litter boxes. Since he is happy and loving when you visit him in his cage, that is clearly where he wants to be.

Please keep us posted on him. He sounds like he's been through heck and back, just being who he is, and without going up on a soap box this is just one of the reasons I am deeply against breeders and breeding. There may be a few good ones with the ethics to not do what has been done to create Seacrest (and the other animals your husband rescued from that place) but most are not.
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Unread 07-27-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acerlt View Post
Have you had Seacrest neutered? If not, that is the first thing to do.

Secondly, if he is content to live in his cage, perhaps you just ought to resign yourself to that. It's all he knows. He is probably deeply inbred and as the vet said, has brain dysfunction. Rehoming him would be sending him to a life dumped on the street, or on deathrow in a shelter.

Normally I would never ever recommend someone let a cat live out his life in a cage, but Seacrest's comfort is my biggest concern, and if that is where he is happy and comfortable, then so be it.

You can customize a safe comfortable living area for him. If his outdoor cage is small, build or buy him something larger. Build him an outdoor enclosure with a big tree branch for jumping and climbing and scratching, a patch of grass for "hunting" and a sheltered area for his bed, and a sheltered area for his litter boxes. Since he is happy and loving when you visit him in his cage, that is clearly where he wants to be.
Yep. I was thinking similar things as I was reading. I'm not against breeding per se, but there are many horror stories. I'm not tremendously fond of the hybrid idea for many reasons, but that's another story.

I'm sorry to hear that Seacrest has had such a rough time. I hope that your compassion for him will lift him up day by day.

I'm all for indoor kitties with outdoor enclosures so they get the best of both worlds, but in this case, maybe an outdoor enclosure is the order of the day, with a covered and hopefully climate controlled area added on as well. You can start small and build up to it.

Visit him often and play with him every day. He may make progress over the years, but it may be extremely slow.

The only alternatives I would suggest would be 1) try working with an animal behaviorist, or 2) seek out those who do Bengal cat rescue work in your area, and see if they have a sanctuary type location that they know of, where he could live in comfort and be taken care of. I'd be reluctant to do that without thoroughly checking them out first, but it's a possible option.

Good breeders will often have a policy where if a cat is to be rehomed, the cat goes back to them so they can take care of it. That way, the cat doesn't end up in a shelter or on the streets. In this case, however, I suggest you report that breeder to TICA and anybody else you can think of and make sure somebody nukes that place.

If you ever buy from a breeder, always make sure the cats are raised under foot, well socialized, vet inspected, all the good stuff. I wish you much luck with this and happiness for Seacrest.
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Unread 07-28-2010   #4 (permalink)
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If he's fine defecating in the litter box, but won't pee in it, get another litter box along with the one you've got. Some cats are finicky and need separate boxes for urination and defecation.

He may no be inbred, he may just have a lot of psychological issues due to his treatment before you received him.

Before you completely cage him, I would try containing him to one room of your house with his cage left open & the appropriate litter boxe(s). See how he does, then decrease the space he has to roam from there.

I'm really glad you've stuck with him for this long. You must have a hell of a lot of patients. If nothing works and you're at your absolute breaking point, please don't try to rehome him. He'll wind up either let go on his own, or he'll sit in a shelter until his euthanasia date.

Crazy as he is, all animals know who cares about them. He'd be happier put to rest with you than he would with people he doesn't know in a strange place.

Just something to think about...
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Unread 07-30-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Oh the poor kitty. It sounds likehe was traumatized and mistreated. Any so-called breeder who has stacks and stacks of small cages should be put in a cage themself!!! That's why I am against breeders. There are so many cats in shelters who just want to be loved and give ten times love back to their companion that there is no reason to have greedy people breeding MORE cats. Thank you for being so patient with Seacrest. I wonder if there may be some type of medcation for extreme anxiety for the kitty.
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Unread 07-30-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Aunt Kitty there are good medications available for cats, but I think they should be used as a last resort, and maybe Seacrest isn't quite there yet.

I've been thinking about this some.

If OP does want to try keeping him in the house: Start from the beginning, as if he is a brand new to you unsocialized cat.

Keep him in him in one room only, (the smaller the better) with a cat tree and a cardboard box fort for hiding, and even an open cage made comfy, if that's his comfort zone. Put in several litter boxes.

Install a feliway plug in diffuser and put rescue remedy in his water every day.

Not counting meal times and litter box scooping, visit him daily, but don't force contact.

Just sit in there on the floor and read a book out loud for a few minutes, stopping to talk softly to him and use his name a lot. Don't try to touch him and don't make much eye contact if any, at first.

This may be a long process, but if you go very very slow (and come back here for support) in a few years, or maybe even sooner, he may learn to trust, and maybe even love.

it's worth the work. I promise!
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