Regaining Trust

Calicat13

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Hi all, needing advice on how to regain my cat’s trust. THere’s been a few incidents now - one I was trying to play with her and she started hissing, another time I was tossing a blanket over a bed in the dark and didn’t see her and she thought I was attacking her. Now she hisses at me easily and when that happens I say “No” and leave the room immediately, but she runs after follows and hisses then stares. One time she started growling and I had to go on the patio for awhile until she calmed down. When I feed her she stands in the doorway and starts hissing. At night she will lay with me, but then it starts all over again in the morning. At this point I am afraid to do anything near her thinking she will hiss and trying to ignore her, but she just stares at me with a threatening look and must be picking up on my fear. I have tried the usual things that have helped her in the past - rescue remedy, feliway, slow eye blinking, tolking softly etc, but it’s not working this time. I know she’s not in pain since I know that I triggered her. She’s a 14yr old bengal so she’s always been feisty, but usually gets over an incident after a day. Do I need to be more dominant? Any advice appreciated! Thank you.
 

danteshuman

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No don’t be more dominant! Instead try to ignore her. Avoid staring at her. If you act aggressive a scared cat may lash out at you! Stay calm. Keep your distance & talk to her in low soothing tones. I would also stop telling her no for hissing at you. Instead just tell her something like”don’t be a scaredy cat honey I won’t hurt you.”

Have you tried slow blinks? Just sitting in the room & reading outloud for 15-30 minutes every day? Tossing her treats 10 feet away from you. I would not free feed her for a couple of months. Instead have 3-4 meals a day, at the same time every day when you feed her. It will help develop routines, give her security & give you a way to monitor that she is eating.

If before now she never hissed at you before in her life I can’t help but wonder if she is ill or injured & needs a vet. Something could have spooked her outside & she redirected her aggression towards you.

My twerp growls at me when on his walk and in the front area he thinks of as a neighbor’s turf. I just scoop him up & gently scold him not to talk to his mommy like that (but my guy is super docile, a lap cat & is very comfortable being held.) His aggression is towards the enemy cat and he just sometimes redirects it at me by being extra defensive. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Sometimes cats growl or hiss at the wrong person or cat.
 

Mamanyt1953

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OK, since we're talking Bengal with issues, I'm going to try to get Silver Crazy Silver Crazy in here. He has been spending much of his time slowly gaining the trust of an abused Bengal, with wonderful results. He may have insights here (although you did NOT deliberately "abuse" your cat, she's feeling the trauma) that are specific to Bengals.
 

danteshuman

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I missed the part about her being a Bengal, Im sorry. I think that means you need to be even more gentle with her (because she had more wild in her.) I have never owned a Bengal so hopefully people with wild cats can give you advice. 🤞🏼

If she gets more anxious or nervous from you sleeping in your bed or doing anything I would back away & stop. Give her more space.
 

ArtNJ

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I'd focus on danteshuman danteshuman 's third paragraph, as this seems an extreme reaction if she doesn't have a health issue. And 14 year olds often do. It could be a very treatable thing, vision, arthritis, things like that can make cats seem more crotchety with other cats or people.

As I understand bengals, which is solely from reading rather than personal exp, third generation bengals (where the wild bengal genes have been dilluted by 3 breedings with a domestic cat) are not very different from domestic cats. And its just about all third (or fourth) generation bengals now, although with your cat being 14 years old, I guess this is a good question to ask you.
 

Silver Crazy

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I am wondering if its a health problem too because at the age of 14 which is a very good age for a Bengal they tend to be a lot more placid and layabouts. I would getting her checked for arthritis which they are prone to first off because if you have made her move quick and suddenly and it hurts, she will blame you thinking you some how caused the pain. Sounds very similar to friends cat who is now 18 and turned very short tempered and nasty until diagnosed and given treatment.
 
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