We received a call yesterday from Sonny’s family from Bukit Panjang regarding their neighbour’s cat. Their neighbour, a French expatriate, was leaving Singapore for good, and leaving his 7 month old Bengal cat behind, effectively abandoning his cat.

Not only was Pedro unhappy with being abandoned, he knew it intuitively and started showing signs of stress. He developed cat acne under his chin, and a raw bald patch on his tail from over grooming. Bengals, like dogs, know when they are being abandoned. He also hates other cats and would need some socialisation and training before he would make a good house cat again.

Sonny brought Pedro to us and we have placed Pedro in The Suite. We have showered and deflea-ed him, and he also has started eating again – for the days Sonny’s brother-in-law fostered Pedro, he had been too stressed to eat. We have also cleaned his skin problem areas with peroxide and applied Bactroban to them to prevent inflammation. He also has a bald patch on his back, around his scruff, but we can’t apply meds there since we have to hold him by the scruff to apply the meds on him – Pedro is quite feral, hates physical contact, and other cats.

But Pedro loves to play, and he loves children. My student brought her friends over to visit and he had a ball of a time playing with them.

We spend a lot of time talking to Pedro, getting him used to us, letting him feel safe around other cats by giving him a pen with a second level to hide under, and slowly get him used to being handled. We also added Rescue Remedy to his water and diffuse some lavender essential oil for him so he can calm down and de-stress. He succumbs when held by the scruff for grooming and applying of medication, but doesn’t like to be carried. He occasionally allows himself to be stroked, and likes to talk as most Bengals do. He is likely an F3 Bengal, which means he can be litter-trained.

We are glad he has responded so far by eating some, playing, and sometimes being stroked. His socialisation and training will take some time, as will his skin problem areas to heal. When he is ready, he will be available for adoption.

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