New Kitten/Cat info
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I have created this page with the answers to lots of questions I get asked in my kitten enquirys, lots of answers if you take the time to read, and lots of invaluable advice on the bengal breed too :-)
Life with a Bengal is Crazy, full of Fun and Laughter, lots of antics and naughtiness, smashed ornaments, spilled drinks, and Love so much Love, Unconditional Love quote by Myself Julie Sharron Cleaver, Summerspride Bengals who has been owned by these amazing felines for just over 10 years :-) (But remember Bengals are not for all they are a highly demanding breed)
Is a Bengal for me????
Before you decide to get a pedigree kitten you should really research all the breeds before you purchase the right bred for yourself and family for the next 15 plus years. The internet is a good place to start or pop along to cat show to talk with breeders who can steer you in the right direction of the breed that will suit you best. Dont make the mistake so many make and purchase a single bengal kitten just because of their wild leopard looks!!!
Is a Bengal Kitten/Cat the right breed for us as a family?
The Bengal is a relatively new hybrid breed of cat, formed by the cross of a domestic feline and an Asian Leopard Cat ("ALC"). Bengal cats have "wild-looking" markings, such as large spots, rosettes, and a light/white belly, and a body structure reminiscent of the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis bengalensis).
A Bengal is a hybrid cat from the Asian Leopard Cat, very stunning to look at and very very addictive. Bengals are very dog like, they are nothing like a moggie at all, Bengals are very intelligent, athletic, active cats demanding your attention for a lot of the time, they are very loyal and loving and affectionate, can be naughty and a little destructive too, demanding at times also, but so funny to watch and play with, they play fetch like a dog, love water whether drinking from the kitchen tap or joining you in the shower, they open doors, cupboards, draws they will get into all sorts of mischief given half the chance :-) there really is nothing quite like a bengal. You really have to own one to know quite what they are like but the above gives you a little insight into life with a bengal or two.....................
Choosing the right breeder
Its very important to purchase your kitten/kittens from the right breeder, ensure they are registered, ask to see proof ask about health testing, ask if you may chat on the phone and maybe pop along to meet them and their cats and kittens before deciding to go ahead and purchase your chosen kitten/kittens, research their website or FB page this will give you a good feel to what they are like as a breeder. If in doubt do not place a deposit always be 100% sure.
Is it best to have one kitten or two? What if we want more?
One for sorrow, two for joy? A kitten/cat will get lonely on its own, a bengal kitten needs company most of the time so if you are out at work or out shopping or family days out, really think about getting two kittens for company for eachother, they still bond with you the same but always have eachother when you are out of the house. Two kittens together are so much fun to watch grow, play and cuddle together. A single kitten left on its own for long periods will get lonely and bored are start to display unwanted behavioural problems, many people who purchase just one kitten then go on to get another very quick after to resolve the issues but remember it takes time to integrate two unrelated kittens together far easier to get two together at the same time. The cost of keeping two kittens is only slightly more than keeping one after the initial outlay of purchasing two kittens, but so worth it and very highly recommended by Summerspride Bengals thats why we do give you a large discount hen purchasing two together.
What food is best for your new kitten/kittens?
Always Always use the same food your breeder is feeding your new kitten for the first few weeks then if you wish to change it do it very slowly, never change your new kittens food from day one, your kitten may well get an upset tummy go off their food and they go downhill very fast. Your breeder will know the best food for your kitten so always take their advice. At Summerspride bengals we feed a varied diet, but not all our kittens will eat a varied diet, we feed a selection of dry fod mainly Royal Canin and a secton of good quality tinned food and Purrform raw food is their main diet.When we started breeder we researched food and nutrition very extensively and continue to do so feeding our cats and kittens the very best food available.As Bengals are a high energy breed they need feeding more often than some other breeds.Summerspride Bengals believe raw food from Purrform is the best food you can feed your kittens and cats on for life and all of ours kittens and adults are fed raw from Purrform.
Raw Food Diet www.purrform.co.uk
As owners of cats, I believe we have the responsibility to give them an appropriate diet, as close as possible to what they would eat in the wild.I am a strong advocate of the raw food diet not because it is a trend but because this is how a cat should be fed. It is their natural diet and doesn’t contain grains, soya, additives or preservatives.
There is a lot of education needed for pet owners, regarding raw food diets, to promote all the benefits associated with feeding this type of diet.Cats are obligate carnivores and require a diet rich in protein to sustain a healthy life style.
PurrForm is trying to remain as close to nature as possible by producing pouches with no additives, preservatives or any palatant enhancements.
All recipes are grain-free with high protein made from human grade meat. www.purrform.co.uk
Water Bowl or Water Fountain?
Research shows one way to improve your pet's health is to get him to drink more water. Water is essential for supporting your pet's vital organ function. On average, your pet should drink one ounce of water per pound of weight daily. Automatic Pet Water Fountain Dispensers provides convenience for you while giving your pet plenty of water to stay hydrated, and are highly recommended by Summerspride Bengals
What cat litter should I use? A litter tray or a litter Box with cover?
There are so many cat litters now on the market its hard to know where to start, you can purchase cat litter thats flushable, that clumps, that has a nice smell the list is endless, but at the end of the day you have to use the one your kitten/cats like the best and they will soon let you know if they dont like it by not using it. To start when you purchase your new kitten always purchase the same litter as your breeder is using as your new kitten/kittens will be use to this litter then if you wish slowly try other ones I suggest you go to Pets at Homes where they have all the different brands in smaller packs. Whether to get a litter tray or a hooded box again your new kitten will let you know which they prefer. At Summerspride our kittens use both.
What items should I purchase for my new kitten/kittens before collection?
cat carrier, cat litter (same as breeder uses) shallow litter tray as your breeder how many you will need to start, shallow food bowl x 2 shallow water bowl x 2 kitten food ask your breeder what to purchase, kitten bed and blanket, scratching post, toys, to start.
Scratching post/Cat Tress the importance
Scratching is an instinctive habit that provides many benefits to your cat's health. Not only does it remove dead layers from claws to ensure they stay sharp, it helps to keep cats agile, releases pent up energy and even reduces stress. Providing a scratching post for your cat can solve problems with inappropriate scratching and give them a healthy outlet for an activity they find deeply satisfying!
Settling your new kitten/kittens in to their new home
Being taken to a new home can be a very daunting experience for your new kitten/kittens because all they have ever know is their breeder, mum and siblings, also they have not yet had time to form a bond with you. Cats are notorious for disliking change and need plenty of time to adjust to their new environment. For some kittens this could be a few hours, but for others it could be a week or so, sometimes even a little longer if you have a few cats to integrate with your new kitten, So be prepared to be patient and you will get there.
Following the advice below will help to ensure your new kitten/kittens becomes used to their new surroundings
- Set aside a smallish room dedicated to your new kitten/kittens with all he will need eg. litter tray, food, water, toys and a cosy bed
- Once home, place your kitten/kittens in this room in their carrier allow to come out of carrier in their own time
- Spend as much time with your new kitten/kittens as possible so they bond with you and you with them.
- make sure you give your kitten some alone time to sleep too
- Use reassuring tones
- Give them plenty of time to adjust. As long as he/she is eating and using his litter tray there is no concern.
- Once settled and after a good 48 hours open door to safe room so your new kiten/kittens can slowly explore their new surrondings but always have the safety of their safe room to go back to. Slowly does it.
Integrating your new kitten/kittens to your other pets
This has to be done very slowly and at your pets pace we are here to help you through this period and I will update this section in due course but it can take from a few days to a few months depending on your pets
A Bengal that is bored, unhappy or insecure can soon become a real handful, potentially becoming destructive or exhibiting behavioural problems that can be hard to resolve, this may well be urinating in undesired places, or simply being very destructive. First point of call is to contact your breeder for advice, then I would suggest pop to the vets to check all is ok as some behavioual issues can be because of health issues like cystitis a very painful bladder infection, always best to get checked at the vets. Behavioural issues can be resolved but takes time and dedication.
Giving your new kitten/kittens lots of time to settle in their new home
Is it safe to let your new Bengal go out? Indoors or Outdoors?
Are you thinking about allowing your bengal to go outside without restriction? To make the right decision, you need to know the facts.
The average lifespan of an indoor cat is 15-18 years. For a cat allowed outdoors, the average life is only 2-5 years. There are many dangers that can harm or kill an outdoor cat. (However, there are safe alternatives to simply opening the door; see our section below on Cat Enclosures for more info.)
If your cat roams outside, or you’re considering allowing it, please read this entire list. Then be honest with yourself, and answer this one question truthfully: can you absolutely, 100% prevent every one of these things from happening to your cat?
- Injury from a fight with another cat (or other animal). A bite-wound abscess can cost a couple of hundred pounds at least to treat, not to mention that it’s very painful to the cat.
- Diseases from other cats, such as Feline Leukemia, FIV (feline AIDS),
- Injury or death by car, truck, motorcycle or other moving vehicle.
- Stationary cars—yes, even a stopped car can be dangerous. Fanbelts cause the most hideous injuries you can imagine, ripping the fur and skin right off the cat’s body and slashing through the muscle. It’s not pretty.
- Poisonious Flowers and Plants
- Dog/Fox attacks.
- Stolen to be sold on simply because of how Beautiful Bengals look
- Stolen to be used as “live bait” for training fighting dogs (Yes this really does happen)
- Abuse by juvenile delinquents (of any age)—beaten, shot, stabbed, sexually abused, dissected alive, etc. All of these are common and well documented in towns, and rural area too
- Diseases from other animals and from the environment
- Parasites—fleas, ticks, heartworms, roundworms, tapeworms
- Skin cancer— from exposure to sunlight.
- Hanging/choking from a non-safety collar, or a malfunctioning safety collar.
- Exposure to weather (heatstroke, snow, ice, severe storms) and unable to find adequate shelter.
- Being accidentally trapped in a garage/shed while owners are on holiday so unable to get out
- The list is endless when you think about it...Sadly
- I must also add bengals have very little road sense they have no fear and so social to other people too.
Maybe a Cat Enclosure??
For those who really want to give their cats the outdoor experience, it can be done without the risk. If your cat is amenable, you can teach him/her to walk with a harness and leash (not completely risk-free, but a good alternative).we recomend Mynwood walking jackets link on my links page
Or consider cat-proof fencing, or building an outdoor cat enclosure It doesn’t have to be big. But it will keep your kitten/cat in, and danger out. There are lots of good companies on the internet that will custom build you a cat enclosure that is attached to your house so your bengal can come and go through a cat flap when he or she wants and most importantly be safe We at Summerspride do recommend cat enclosures if you feel your kitten/cat need a little air time. Or cat proof your garden is another option and depending on the size of your garden really doesnt cost that much.
It’s a tough world out there–protect your kitties!
What about Pet Insurance?
Summerspride cant advise you enough about the importance of Pet Insurance
Yes I realise its alot of money per month well starts at about £8 pcm for a kitten and goes up to almost £30 pcm for an aging cat like Kiwi and Muffin who are plus 12 and 15 years, Pet insurance is there so if there is a health issue they will provide the fees for the amount you have insured your cat for. I understand you may not wish to take pet insurance out for your own personal reasons if this is the case then please set aside an amount per month for any vet bills that may or maynot happen for your bengal. If you dont take out pet insurance because you can not afford it then please dont purchase a kitten/cat as you cant afford them either, Vet bills can be expensive and clause 3 and 5 in our contracts protect our kittens/cats against this. Remember we are always here to help you and your kittens and cats should you need us we trust each and everyone of you to give the best vetaninary care love and attention to kittens we have bred from so much love and dedication. Just because they leave us at 13 weeks old dosent mean we stop caring.
Plants and spme foods Which May Be Harmful to My Bengal Cat or Kitten
There are a number of household plants that are dangerous to kittens and cats, and in some cases, your kitten/cat need only ingest a very small part of the plant to become very ill or die. Maintaining silk or artificial plants is certainly safer for your kitten and additional pros include that they are low maintenance for you! There are also some foods that are harmful too to all cats.
the list is endless maybe Google harmful plants/flowers to cats
Foods, Onions, Garlic, Mushroom, Milk, and dairy produce. to name just a few
Below is an excellent website by a vet and Jackson Galaxy take a peak :-)
The questions are endless I shall be updating this page often with lots of usefull advice :-)