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    Stories about cats: Felix the Bengal

    Stories About Cats A Fearful Story That Surprisingly Doesn't Fit the Breed

    Stories about cats are not always predictable. For example, we’ve all heard cat stories that portray Bengal cats to be great adventure cats. But if this was the story that convinced you to adopt a Bengal Cat — why is your new Bengal Kitten hiding under the dresser?

    Here’s my cat story at Buckaroo Bengals. It will remind you that cats of a certain breed may be geared toward certain personalities. But they are all still individuals — with their special traits.

    Our actions have a huge impact on their personalities and their quality of life. So finding the right cat breeder is critical to starting on the right track.

    Beginner to Expert in 60 Seconds: Stories About Cats And My Lack of Research

    I first got a Bengal cat in 2018 almost by accident. I had never heard of Bengal cats. I didn’t even know that there was a whole pedigree cat world of different breeds. I knew that there were big cats and small cats. I knew some cats had extra toes, and that some had short tails. Some were orange, black, grey, white, etc.

    Imagine my surprise when a friend told me that there was a breed called Bengal. And that they weren’t talking about a tiger. Who knew, right? This would eventually lead to my involvement in the pedigree cat world as a breeder. But we’re not there yet.

    I had recently, tragically, and unexpectedly lost my precious little furry companion. And the shelters and pet stores around me happened to be empty of kittens. But I’m a cat person, and at the time I was working an extremely stressful job.

    So with my anxiety bursting through the roof, I immediately got on the interweb and found a cat breeder. She also had a little male Bengal kitten ready to go right away.

    So what’s a cat person going to do but take him home?

    The Part Where This Cat Story Gets Even More Ridiculous and Frustrating

    And take him home I did. In desperation, I drove to my bank to grab the adoption fee. Drove to the breeder’s house, and picked up my new cat — you would know him by the name of Felix. There are photos of him sprinkled around my website, he is a very handsome green-eyed fellow. And in the meantime, I ignored all of the warning signs, that in hindsight were blatantly obvious.

    Like the fact that I had to drive to her house twice because she wasn’t home when I got there. Despite me speaking to her 30 minutes before pick up. I have a deep love for Felix and am super happy with my little buddy, but this should have been a definite red flag that it wasn’t meant to be.

    However, I was distraught over the loss of my previous cat. I was not in the mood to use my brain or trust the instincts that had led me to this point in my life. So back I went to the breeder’s house. And Felix and I headed to my home together.

    Most stories about cats that get retold end up well. So how did Felix and I get along after my hasty adoption decision?

    Cat Stories
    Felix as a Kitten

    The Bengal Cat Breed — a Different Kind of Story About Cats

    If you’ve never heard a cat caterwaul — let me tell you, it is NOT pleasant. Even if you have been around cats your entire life, there is a good chance that you have missed out on this experience. However, once you have, you will never forget it.

    How you might ask, do I know what it is? That, my friends, is because Felix spent 2 straight weeks hidden under my dresser. And every night, he decided that he should howl. At the top of his lungs. All night.

    For the first two days, I swear he didn’t come out even to use the litter box. Mind you, this was in my tiny one-room apartment. There were no other animals and not a lot of traffic in and out. It was just him and I, uncomfortably coexisting.

    Felix was so loud for those first two weeks, that the apartment I shared a wall with, could also hear his dulcet tones. In fact, in my grief over my previous cat, and my stress at not sleeping for two weeks. I almost decided to forgo my adoption fee, and my new cat, and return him to the breeder.

    But instead, I found hidden patience within myself and resolved to make both our lives better.

    Working With Felix to Create a Better Cat Story for Both of Us

    Having pets is a commitment. It takes trial and error. There is no one size fits all or one solution for successful cohabitation. This was what I learned with Felix. I also learned that what works for one animal doesn’t always work for another.

    With my background mostly being in horses and very well-adjusted cats, I went through a huge learning curve with Felix. Several things helped him and I grow together.

    Things like:

    • Committing to learning cat body language.
    • Taking small steps to change his environment, that led to big changes in his behavior.
    • Being mindful of changes I made and reactions he had.
    • Making sure that he had his territory where he felt comfortable.
    • Patience. Bengals are a vocal cat breed. You have to be willing to listen.
    • Playing with a cat can be a powerful tool to destroy their fear.

    I worked very hard to make sure Felix trusted me. I took the time to make sure he felt very comfortable around me. and then I started slowly introducing him to other people. I also got him used to my apartment before I expanded his territory to my work office.

    After he began to feel comfortable in my office, I started having coworkers come in to interact with and play with him. This got him even more socialization and he slowly learned to be comfortable around other people. He even learned to like some of them.

    But how do you know that the changes you make for your cat are having a positive effect?

    Bengal Cat Socialization
    Felix and the dog

    Some Great Signs That a Bengal Cat Is Comfortable in Their Environment

    Making all of these changes was not an easy or fast process. It took years before Felix was a more confident cat. I say more confident because he will never be fearless.

    There are some key things to look for to determine whether your cat feels safe and happy:

    1. Often a happy cat will hold their tail straight in the air with a curl at the end.
    2. Happy cats tend to be fairly vocal. Bengals are vocal anyway, but you can often tell by the tone.
    3. Some happy cats purr a lot.
    4. A happy cat will have a healthy appetite.
    5. Happy cats play.
    6. They may want to cuddle with you (this is very cat dependent).
    7. Good litter box habits continue to remain strong.
    8. Blinking slowly at you is also a sign of affection.
    9. They are grooming themselves regularly.
    10. Possibly they will rub themselves against your legs.
    11. They make kitty biscuits before curling up to sleep.

    Countless signs show a cat is happy. And your cat probably won’t display all of them. But if they display a few of these signs then you are on the right track.

    Felix slowly started displaying a lot of these signs for me. This is not to say that he thinks his life is perfect. He was mad (and scared) when I got a dog. Not happy when I got a husband. Not happy about the countless moves I’ve made to other states with him. Not happy when I got another cat. And DEFINITELY not happy when I had a baby (that’s a story for another post).

    Each change, though accompanied by uncertainty and a bit of fear from him, has pushed him to be a more confident cat. And with a lot of support from humom (me). He has overcome and readjusted positively to the new environment.

    Happy Bengal Cat

    Making More Great Cat Stories in Your Own Life With Your Own Furry Friends

    All of this is great. But how does it apply to you? Cats are all different. Their instincts and their experiences define their personality. When you adopt your Bengal cat or kitten, be mindful of the experiences they’ve had before adoption. And also be aware of the experiences you are going to give them.

    At Buckaroo Bengals, all of our kittens get as many positive socialization experiences as possible. We look for the perfect homes to adopt to so that their experiences continue to be positive. Reach out today to ask about our exclusive waiting list. Let’s get you your own stories about cats to share.

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