Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rescuing Bengal Mix Cat

Louie the abandoned Bengal Mix
Every day a cat is abandoned in my neighborhood, these cats are not feral, they are domesticated house cats, and many of them have no claws or skills to survive in the forest.   

We do our best to rescue all of the cats that are left behind and to rehabilitate them so that they can trust and love a human again. 

Last month a Bengal mix cat was viewed being chased by a queen feral cat.  The Bengal cat was approximately 2 years old and showed up at the cat colony feeding station.   

The cat was hungry and did not know how to hunt or where to go for food so it tried to eat from while one of the feral was eating and the cats rude eating habits did not sit well with the feral cats. The feral cat chased the domesticated Bengal from the colony.

This Bengal mix ran for the next three weeks, he was scared, hungry and did not know where to go for shelter.  He was viewed by one of my cat helpers sitting in a meadow in a heavy rain down poor.  The cat was soaked to the bone.

All of the cat caregivers tried to lure him to a safer area, and we all tried to trap him. The traps terrified the cat and only made him run deeper into the forest.  

In my neighborhood cars are viewed stopping at the nature center gate and putting out their cats.  We have reported this to the city and they are aware of the going on.  We  assumed that this is how the Bengal mix came to our neighborhood.  But since we were not 100% sure we posted cat flyers and placed a classified in the newspaper.  Nobody contacted us about the Bengal mix cat.

It took my husband and I one week to teach the Bengal mix cat his name; Louie.  Now I can call him when it is time to eat and he will come and stay in my yard most of the day but that does not mean that we can get close to him.  

Louie came to us very thin, however he had been neutered and then I wormed him with a chicken flavor tapeworm powder that was mixed into his food.  After he was wormed Louie began to put on weight.

My one neighbor made me an outdoor insulated cat house for Louie and we set it up on our patio.   

Louie is afraid of the house he hisses at it and runs out of my yard.  I sprayed the house with feliway behavior modifier to calm Louie.  But it has not helped.  I decided that it was in the best interest to try to coax the terrified abandoned cat to come indoors. 

Bengal Mixed cat lying by Bamboo
Bonding with a cat that has been abandoned by their master is difficult because the cat is frightened and is afraid of humans.  Louie may not be ready to bond with me but soon it will be cold and this cat will not know what to do.  

 He does not hunt, and he does not go into his cat house when it rains.  Instead he tries to lie under the bamboo as if this shrub will provide him with shelter or he will lie in leaves under my neighbors shrubs.

I now call Louie when it is time for him to eat.  Normally he will come to my side door and wait patiently for me to put out his food but today when he arrived he found the door open.  

I set his food in my mud room and Louie did not hesitate, he walked into the room.  He sat quietly and ate the food and when he was done he looked around the corner and saw me sitting at the desk.  Louie immediately ran out of the door across my backyard and leaped over our retaining wall before fleeing to the forest.

About Louie:

Bengal mix cat by woods entrance
Louie does not meow like normal cats, instead he makes a chirping sound.  He is starting to relax as he greeting me with a chirp rather than a hiss today.  

It is going to take time but I am determined to rescue Louie from the hard life in the forest and to rehabilitate him.  When all that is done I will put Louie up for adoption.

Update 10/07/12
A cold front came to our area and temperatures dipped into the lower 30's.  We were busy filling the outdoor shelters with straw and Louie sat 20 feet away from me in the back side of our yard.  He watched me all day and when I went inside he slowly approached the outdoor shelter and went inside to lay on the straw. I ran out to the shelter and shut the kitty door. 

We will all sleep tonight knowing that Louie is safe inside the shelter. 


Learn more about Bengal cats by viewing this YouTube video:

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