About the Bengal Cat
A Bengal is a fun, energetic, curious, playful, talkative, loving cat. To me, they are much like a two year old child. They can be your own private shadow, waiting for you to notice them. They like to play in water. They like to find nice high places to rest in. I have had mine drink from my glass and play with the ice cubes. I give my kittens ice cubes to play with in the tub. They enjoy it until it has melted away, at which time they come back asking for more. I do advise that a new owner of a kitten, kitten proof their home until the kitten can learn the house rules and then the owners prized possessions can be added back into the household.
We find the Bengal to be a wonderful unique addition to any home. They are very intelligent cats. If I take something of mine away from them and let them see where I put it, they find a way to get my possessions and make it theirs. I have one cat that loves to open doors and flush toilets. Another, loves to get into my closet and play hide and seek. Our oldest cat loves to play a hide and seek/tag kind of game. If people could see us I know they would think we were crazy. Our Bengals love to help me with my household chores and at times I have to make them up in the bed in order to finish the room. They have been known to help me sweep and are always up for a broom ride. Sometimes if I lay down my duster, I turn around and find one of the cats dragging it off to call it their own.
Bengals are an active cat. They can be a lap cat at times, but they also love to be on the move. They choose the time and place to be a lap cat. Our Bengals come and sit in our laps just when we are about to get up. Bengals love to nuzzle. I have one that will nuzzle and chew on my hair, every chance she gets. Another one loves to jump. He can jump across a room with the greatest of ease, but let it be known that they can cause damage that way too (homes need to be cat proofed at first). Sometimes our male Bengal, when I am sleeping will come up and pat my face to say “here I am”. My female Tiny loves to give me head butts and kisses every morning. She makes a cup of coffee hard to drink. They love to walk around with a toy in their mouths. People who own our kittens from previous litters call us back and tell us how their cats take a toy to their water bowl and give it a dunking, or share a meal with their toy.
A bug that comes into your house can also be a prime target for a Bengal. The Bengal can lose its mind going for a flying object. They will hunt any intruders down and usually eat it. That is when you have to have your prize possessions put safely away. I love having our Bengals in our home, but I am realistic and have things that I hold dear, safely locked away in a curio cabinet. Kumari (one of my female Bengals) can steal the key to my curio cabinets if she decides to do so. Sometimes you need to install those child proof locks on doors to keep your Bengal from getting behind closed doors to get your possessions. Bengals are smart. You can NOT under estimate them. They love to have your full attention and are willing to do things to in order to get your full attention. I find them a wonderful addition to our home, but realistically they are not for everyone. Having a kitten in your home is like having a two year old child running around in your home. You have to have patience, allow them their freedom to roam and most importantly give them time to grow up. The first year can be rough at times and yet a treat too!
Bringing a new kitten home is easily accomplished. You just start things off slowly. Bengals can adapt to new situations readily and soon feel at home. We try to make sure our kittens are well socialized, so they adjust to changes well. Bengals live for human interaction and thrive on attention. You have to be patient and reassuring with any new addition to your home. Things work out with time.
You should at first isolate the kitten to one room of your home. Let it get use to that room before you give it more space. You should confine the kitten to a small room like the bathroom with it’s litter box and food, bedding and some toys. That way the kitten can familiarize itself with that room and learn to find its litter box. The kitten should be allowed to eat and use its litter box undisturbed. Then take the kitten on visits to the other parts of the house until it gradually learns how to find its way around its new home. If you have other pets you need to introduce the new kitten to the others gradually. The best way is too let them smell each other through a door. They can reach under the door and play with the other house mates and learn to adjust to the fact that there are other animals living in the new home. They can get use to each other’s smells with out confrontations. That way no one is hurt. Another way to introduce a kitten to other pets is to put the kitten in a pet carrier and place the kitten in a room where everyone can safely sniff and smell one another. There will be hissing and spitting for a while until everyone gets acquainted. You have to remember that when you bring in a new pet you are invading the existing pet’s territory. Sometimes a kitten can be intimidated, but usually not a Bengal kitten. Bengals usually adapt well. It is best to caution a child about not chasing, yelling or screaming at a new kitten. They need to be shown the proper way to treat a kitten. A child also needs to be shown how to hold a kitten and when to not hold a kitten. If the kitten is given it’s own space and respect it should adapt to the younger members of the family quickly.
Our kittens start to visit the Vet at six weeks. That is when they start their shots and get their first full exam and tests. Our kittens come with a health contract that guarantees their health for the first year. Our kittens should have their immunizations before they leave us. We recommend you take your new kitten immediately for a vet-check with your Veterinarian. That is for the protection of the kitten, you and us. The Vet check, if possible should be made within the first 72 hours. We also recommend that you keep the kitten indoors, this is for the protection of your cat.
Our kittens are litter boxed trained by the time they leave our cattery. However keep in mind that a new environment can throw off any cat and lead to accidents. That is why we recommend the kitten be restricted to a small area until the kitten is adjusted to its new home. The type of litter box doesn’t matter. We use covered litter boxes in our cattery so that each cat has its own private space. Plus if the cat likes to sling and dig in its litter, the cover will help to keep the litter where it belongs. We use the pellet type of litter in our cattery. I like the brand Yesterday’s News which is recycled paper and can be disposed of easily. I also like Feline Pine and the pellets made of wheat grain. Our cats don’t seem to mind what we use since the litter is changed every day.
Bengals eat the same cat food as any other breed of cat. We like to feed our Bengals a good high quality brand of cat food. We feed our Bengals a grain free diet. We make sure the food never has grain, gluten, or soy. Any cat food that doesn’t have these items listed in the ingredients is good for your cat. I also feed boiled chicken to the cats. Bengals love to eat meat, I am careful to cook the meat in order to kill any germs it might have. We try not to feed our cats table scraps. Table scraps can cause a cat to get an upset stomach. Dry food is good for any cat. It helps to keep their teeth clean and it also helps in the litter box area.
Attention & Discipline
We try our very best to socialize each and every kitten in our cattery. Kittens are so much like children. They need love, attention and discipline. Each cat has to learn the house rules. This is doing the cat and you a big favor, however the discipline has to be done with love and kindness. Bengal kittens need toys and most of all a scratching post. Our kittens love to play with a paper ball and a open paper bag on the floor. Most cats love the furry cat nip mice. They are easy for them to carry around and to bat around too. We use a spray bottle to administer discipline. When we have a cat doing something we don’t want them to do we give a command and give the cat time to react. If the cat doesn’t pay us any mind, then they get a squirt from the water bottle. That always gets their attention, but we have had some kittens that loved water so much that we had to squirt them several times before they obeyed our commands.