Kittens – the third week – socialising

5 August, 2006


All too soon my lazy time being at home ended. It was back to work time.

While I was at home, I could keep an eye on Maya, my Bengal neuter girl, to make sure she didn’t bully Ananda, my Maine Coon queen. Actually, I’d been pleasantly surprised – she was only a fraction as tyrannical as she normally was. She pounced Ananda twice, and each time it didn’t end up in a fur fight as on previous occasions.

So it meant that I wasn’t too worried when I had to go back to work.

Another thing that worried me was feeding. When I was on holiday, I wasn’t too concerned about getting up at 4am in the morning to feed Ananda. Also, Ananda was used to getting food every two hours. She would amble up to me and chirrrup and trill in the way Maine Coons do. It’s sometimes an oooh-oooh-ooh sound (delivered in an up-and-down register) and sometimes it’s like a rrr-rrr-rrr. Hard to describe unless you’ve heard it.

But what was I going to do when I went back to work?

Cue Hubby. If Hubby was working from home he was instructed to make sure that Ananda got enough food.

And strangely enough, Maya seemed to sense something had changed in the dynamics between her and Ananda because she left Ananda alone most of the time.

The interesting event of the second and third weeks was the gradual introduction of the other two adult cats to the kittens. Some breeders don’t allow kittens to mix with adult cats for health reasons, but I found it physically impossible to separate them unless I kept the bedroom door shut all the time. And during the heatwave with the door shut the room was like an oven.

I figured that it was better for the adult cats to get used to the cats in a natural way. If they met the kittens, I would be there to supervise, but I didn’t want them to stop them from seeing the kittens which could lead to awkward tension when then kittens started running all over the house.

Maya’s curiosity meant that she’d been in to investigate the source of the squeaking. Ananda had hissed at her and Maya walked out of the room, pretending she didn’t care, but her tail was twitching, a sign of agitation. So I was careful to make sure she was never left alone with the kittens.

Teddy, my ginger neuter boy who’s less than a year old also paid a visit. His eyes bulged as he looked at the kittens, little analogues of himself. He sniffed one of them, a little cream kitten and even though his paw was the size of its head, it turned right round and hissed at him! Is that courage or what? I mean, it would have been a little mouthful for Teddy if he’d fancied a snack!

Something else I had been doing to accustom the kittens to being socialised and handled was to put mum cat on the bed and let them suckle there. I do this so they get used to human smells and human sights, not just the walls of a pen or box. Mum cat loves it – the bed’s comfy and there’s humans around to watch her kittens. I box mum and kittens in with pillows and keep a close eye on them. Me and Hubby pick them up and stoke them and kiss their tummies to get them used to being handled.

I think the kittens enjoy being on the bed. They couldn’t get round much in the first two weeks, but in the third week they started climbing the pillows. Yesterday, the little tortie scrambled squealing after me, and started falling over the edge of the bed, but I stopped it in time.

I think they’re discovering the use of their claws as a tool for climbing and scaling obstacles like pillows. At present they’re in a box which is in a pen made of mesh which I’ve covered with a blanket so they don’t get their paws stuck in the mesh. They’ve started trying to climb up the blanket. So far they’ve not got far – they just don’t have the strength yet. But when they do, I’m going to have to put them somewhere safer.



  1. Cool text., guy

  2. Thanks! Do you have cats too?

  3. Hello there
    Loved reading your arcticle, stumbled across it accidentally whilst trying to find some self-help with my cats.
    Not sure if you can help. I have just acquiries x2 bengal kits, and after a week, not sure if the other cats are ever going to settle. x1 Male moggy (not a problem – surprisingly!), and x2 girl Maine Coons. Email me seperately if you prefer amandacox51@hotmail.com

  4. I know it is mean to mention it, but Bengals do cause a lot of trouble to other cat owners! We have one near where I live and ALL our cats in the road have been savagely attacked by the sweet looking Lola! Our local cats are scared to go out …no exaggeration. She lies in wait and will fight into the house even when being hozed. And she would attack me if I tried to get her out. This is NOT unusual. Bengals are famous for it. People should not buy Bengals without reading all about them and should definitely not keep them in dense urban environments. They are actually banned in Australia. I am sure they are lovely with their owners but they cause a great deal of trouble for others, both cats and people. Owners tend to blithely say ‘all cats fight’ …but believe me, not like this! My cat is twice her size and very scared of her. Try entering Bengals into Facebook! Also try that on a few cat forums! Or just Google!
    Sorry to be negative. But I actually feel a duty to warn people thinking about getting one. Get an Aby instead…they are intelligent and beautiful and no trouble at all.

    • Dear Julia,

      Thank you for your post – and for sharing your views about Bengals

      You are right – they are a dominant cat and must be boss. I hadn’t realised they are banned in Australia though. That’s extreme.

      But … I know Bengals that get on with other cats. And there are Bengals that don’t.

      And yes … Abys are wonderful.

      Best wishes for 2013, and hope to hear from you again!

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