|Purred: Mon Mar 21, '11 6:12pm PST |
|Hi, Penn & Teller...
(I used to post on Catster all the time several years ago. I think the forum has changed since then, though. I don't like the fact that I can't read the previous posts as I write my reply. I'm sure I'll forget to mention something that I wanted to respond to.)
First and foremost, thank you sooo much for your very informative post!!! Kind of made my day, actually. *Sigh.* I guess I was sort of just looking for someone to FINALLY say, "Hey, this isn't normal."
I actually found myself at my breaking point last night and said I was done. (My husband and I had a very unpleasant argument about it.) I even went to all the trouble of posting a Craigslist ad. Of course, that was before I came to my senses and also before I remembered that there are an awful lot of very knowledgable people on catster. Now my email is FULL of people wanting my cats. Which is awfully funny in and of itself because I've had our truck posted for sale on Craigslist for months with not one reply. Lol. (By the way, before any one gets upset, I'm not getting rid of them.)
I've actually thought about contacting the breeder several times, but kind of just put it off. I am going to do just that, though. I mean, seriously, something just isn't quite right with this situation.
I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, but I would consider myself pretty knowledgable about cats in general. My baby (Boogie) who is the cat in the picture, became very sick when he was three-years-old. I was EXTREMELY lucky to have a wonderful vet as he would have died without a correct diagnosis. He was diagnosed with AIHA (an auto-immune disease primarily found in dogs) and lived for more than five years following the initial diagnosis, which is rare -- especially for a cat. After he became sick, I learned everything I could about nutrition and health, which also gave me a good bit of knowledge about cat behavior as well. So, when I say I've done it all, I really have done it all. I'm just so exhausted at this point. And, my house stinks. Literally.
Nevertheless, I agree about the dry food issue. I do free feed, and it is dry, which I normally wouldn't recommend. However, I do make sure that there is plenty of fresh water at all times. Both cats are big water drinkers, which I initally found to be "odd." But, they both have a clean bill of health (no UTIs). Also, the Bengal breed tends to be more of a water drinker than other cats aside from the fact that they love water in general. (They both play in the bathtub with my little boy when he takes a bath at night, and the one actually gets in the water.) I'll give it a try, though. Anything is worth a shot at this point. Nothing cold turkey, so I'll wean them onto canned only over the next few weeks.
I'm also going to change their litter out over the next few weeks as well. I'm sooo not looking forward to clay litter. And, believe it or not, my aversion to clay litter actually has nothing to do with some of the alleged health risks. I actually just despise clay litter. No matter how often I scoop, no matter what brand I use, no matter the size of the rug or mat under the boxes, clay litter seems to end up all over my house. Not that the pine litter doesn't too, it's just a whole lot easier to clean up. I'm going to look up the brand that you recommended in your post and see if I can find it locally. And, I may go back to using the natural litter that is made by Arm & Hammer. I used it with Boogie and really liked it. It's just expensive in the long-run and sometimes hard to find, which is extremely bad if you're out of litter and have a finicky cat.
Bengal are very active cats. I did my research before we brought one into our home, which is actually why I "surprised" my husband with the second kitten. They do best with a playmate... and I can't imagine only having one. I cannot over-emphasize how active they are!!! Aside from each other, they have lots and lots of cat toys. They have scratching posts and a cat tree. Plus, of course, the entire house is a playground for them. I just can't imagine that it's under-stimulation, but if it is... gosh, just the thought of that is almost overwhelming. If my cats are under-stimulated, I have no idea how you'd keep one busy and happy. For the record, though, if you are considering the breed, you really should read up on them. I did my research and I'm still amazed at their energy, intelligence, and athletic ability almost every day.
At any rate, last but not least, I'm starting to wonder if you're right. The behavior really, really, really seems like marking behavior to me. (They aren't actually spraying, but I've read in several places that some cats literally just pee "normally" to mark territory.) Even though Bengals in general are not really known for poor litter box habits as some other "hybrid" breed are, I can't help but wonder. And then...
I've wondered about the neuter, too. As if maybe it wasn't done right? or at all? Although I feel awful saying that. The breeder was so wonderful, the cats were super healthy, the paper work (including neuter certificate) was in order, etc., etc.. But, there was this one particular time that my husband and I came home late one evening and I heard this "weird" noise as I was taking off my shoes. It sounded like it was coming from one of the litter boxes, and I could see that one of the cats was using it. When I realized what it was, I thought that the cat was peeing on something "hard," like the bottom of the litter box. But, then I realized something wasn't right and I took a look. He was in the box, and was squatting down, but he was missing the box. His butt was kind of half-way hanging over the edge. (By the way, I got bigger boxes with higher sides after this incident. No covered boxes, though. I've never liked them and know that many cats, especially in a multi-cat home will avoid an enclosed box.) Well, it seemed to me like he was peeing straight out of his rear, rather than what I would have considered normal. Do you think that's odd?
And, one more thing... one of the kittens had to be neutered twice because even though they thought both testicles were descended at the time of the neuter, they weren't. So, he was neutered a second time to retrieve the "leftover" a few weeks later when it finally dropped. Could this be part of the problem?
Thanks again! And, sorry about the long post again!
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