The Bengal is a relatively new breed of large shorthaired cat with a striking ‘wild’ appearance, which originated in the USA.It was originally a cross between a wild Asian Leopard Cat (similar in size to the domestic cat) and a domestic shorthair, the domestic breeds including Abyssinians, Egyptian Maus, Ocicats, and even an Indian street cat.The name derives not from the very distant relation, the Bengal Tiger, but from the Latin name of the Asian Leopard Cat Felis Bengalensis, and the idea was to produce a domestic cat that would strongly resemble its beautiful wild ancestor. The modern breeding programme, which is now four to five generations removed from the original Asian Leopard Cats, is intended to produce cats that will become companionable pets.
Nothing quite compares to a Bengal.
I often get emails from people asking for a Beautiful Bengal kitten for £200. they have seen them advertised on the internet for that amount, ummm haven't we all!!! I will try and explain why our kittens cost more than £200. We are a registered cattery, with Tica and Gccf all our cats are registered with Tica and some with Gccf too we abide by Tica and Gccf code of conduct and we abide by the Pet Plan Kitten Charter. All our breeding cats are bought for that purpose, to breed from and are registered with Tica or Gccf, they are from good healthy blood lines, fully vaccinated and health checked regularly to ensure they are in excellent health at all times our cats are tested for Felv/Fiv and are negative.A pedigree Bengal has at least four generations of registered ancestors of the same breed. A registered Bengal kitten will cost more thanan unregistered kitten because, as a breeder I have had to pay for the Dam & Stud both registered breeding cats on the active list (So you are able to breed from them legally) Kittens are vaccinated, wormed, frontlined, micro-chipped, vet checked at least twice, fully weaned & Registered, this all costs money more than the £200. for an unregistered Bengal you see on the internet. As a breeder I have the expense of running my cattery, heating and lighting costs the cost of Safe 4 disinfectant, the extra laundry a stud boy provides us with :-) vet bills, vaccinating all our cats, scanning our pregnant girls, litter, food is very expensive as we only feed the very best here at Summerspride, then there is the cost of advertising kittens, belonging to cat clubs, that's a yearly subscription, if we want to show each cat is £50. that's without traveling costs, the upkeep of our website, The list is endless and goes on and on!!
Apart from the above there is the emotional side of breeding, we here at Summerspride Bengals put our hearts and souls into all of our cats andkittens We have not had a holiday for three years as unable to leave our Beautiful Bengals, not even had a week end away, holidays are a thing of the past when you become a dedicated breeder, nights out are all gone even shopping trips are now cut short! As soon as one of our girls gets pregnant she is under our constant care, at about 8 weeks into her pregnancy she will move into our kittening room,where she will give birth, I move into the kittening room too a couple of days before babies are due,once babies are born, their every little movement, breath is monitored by myself, if as some times happens you need to top up a kitten with milk or give it extra care, breeding then takes on a whole new meaning for us at Summerspride, the emotional side of it is sooo hard to explain unless you have been there yourself, In our first litter we had Dinky he was very small needed help with feeding etc his story is in my blog, you get so attached to these tiny babies the pain is unreal as you watch them slip away, with Dinky I cried every day non-stop for the first three weeks of his life :-( then by some miracle and alot of love and care from us he pulled through :-) we then couldn't sell him as had bonded with him just way too much, that's what happens when you put your heart and soul into your breeding. In our third litter we had Paris who needed extra care when she was almost 6 weeks old, well I spent 6-7 weeks hand rearing her, nearly lost her 3 times the vets gave up on her, we would not!! Every penny I earned payed her vet bills, against all odds she pulled through :-) and I added to her name Juliet as her dad is Romeo and Im Julie so a tribute to me for all the hard work the dedication the love I put into one little baby girl, she just needed a little extra love and care (her little problem was due to an error at the out of hours vet) still to this day I have been unable to put into words my feelings my thought of the 6-7 weeks I cared for Paris round the clock, feeding her every 2 hours injecting herwith saline water to hydrate her syringe feeding her special food, this is all part of being a dedicated passionate loving breeder. Paris Juliet is now 8 months old living a full and happy life with her sister Bella :-) The pain of a still birth is unreal, hurts like hell!! We have only had two still births, it wasn't any easier the second time :-( its normal to lose a baby in each litter :-((
My advice when you are looking for a Bengal kitten is go and see some from different breeders, ask loads of questions, have a look around the cattery, ask to see all paper work, you are allowed don't be scared :-) Ask to see both mum and dad, only if you are 100% happy then put a deposit down.
Maybe now when you read the above you will think I now know why registered Bengal kittens cost more than unregistered kittens you see on the internet for £200. registered breeders make very little money on a litter some times none if you have vet bills, any money made just goes straight back into our cats :-)
Page updated August 2017 below
We have now been breeding nine years Im pleased to say Paris is a big happy healthy 7 year old now :-) living with her mummy and daddy :-)
We are still enjoying breeding these wondefull felines, it has totally taken over our world almost, we enjoy producing beautiful, healthy, stunning well socialized bengal babies that are born and raised with so muchh love and dedication :-) WE have come along way in nine years, inproving our lines and cats and quality of our kittens, we participate in health screening all our cats, so we know for sure they are well and healthy, producing healthy happy kittens that go on to live long and full lives. Scroll down to read about health screening in Begals.
Health Screening in Bengals
Pedigree cats and mixed breed cats have varying health problems that may or maynot be genetic, Bengals are generally healthy, but have three hereditary health issues that should be screened for by responsible breeders: PK-Def and PRA-b.and HCM
Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-b) - The disease causes the destruction of the cells that register light (photoreceptors) in the back of the eye (the retina). The loss of the cells begins around 7 weeks of age and slowly progresses until the cat has very compromised vision by approximately 2 years of age. Again, this can be detected by a simple swab from the inside of the cat’s mouth and laboratory analysis. All our cats have been tested and are negative for this disease. Therefore, their kittens will be also negative. Certificates are available to view.
Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Def) – PK Def is a genetic condition known in the Bengal breed (as well as some others) which causes anaemia in affected cats, which sometimes can be life threatening. The good news is that it is easy to detect, with a simple mouth swab and sending it off to a laboratory for DNA analysis. All our cats are negative for this disease therefore their kittens will also be negative. Certificates are available to view.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) – This is the most common form of heart disease in all cats (pedigree and mixed breed). Researchers are working to identify which gene or genes are involved in the development of HCM in Bengals. It is advised Bengal breeders should have their breeding cats health tested annually by echo cardiogram by a qualified veterinary cardiologist. Bengal cats identified as having HCM should be removed from breeding programmes. No one can guarantee that their cats will never develop HCM which is why testing is recommended, We at Summerspride Bengals do check our lines on the HCM register often to ensure we are not breeding from known HCM lines. The test is very expensive and only valid for the day its taken so alot of bengal breeders do not HCM test, we are pleased to say this is some thing we are now participating in with our cats. We will still be checking the HCM register very regulary for updates to ensure we are not breeding from known HCM lines.
Breeding Bengal is my passion, visit us and our kittens and cats and you will soon see. We breed for Health, Temperament, Stunning Looks and Amazing Bengal Type and Im so proud to say that is what we achive to do here at Summerspride Bengals Julie & Andy Summerspride Bengals
I Love this poem :-) the words are so very true.
I love my little kitty, she makes my house a home.
She always is my best friend, I never feel alone.
She makes me smile, she makes me laugh,
She fills my heart with love ...
Did some breeder breed her, or did she fall down from above?
I've never been a breeder, seen life through their eyes,
I hold my little kitty and just sit and criticize.
I've never known their anguish, I've never felt their pain,
The caring of their charges, through snow or wind and rain.
I've never sat the whole night through, waiting for babies to be born,
The stress and trepidation when they're still not there by dawn.
I've never felt the heartache, of a little life in my hands,
This darling little baby, who weighs but 60 grams.
Should you do that instead of this ....or this instead of that,
Alone you fight, and hope one day, he'll grow to be a cat,
and bring joy to another being, and make a house a home,
You know it's all just up to you, you'll fight this fight alone.
Formula, bottles, heating pads, you've got to get this right,
Two hourly feeds for this tiny guy, throughout the day and night.
In your heart you know, you're almost sure to lose the fight,
to save this little baby, but God willing ... you just MIGHT.
Day one he's in there fighting, you say a silent prayer,
Day two & three, he's doing well, with lots of love and care.
Day four & five ... he's still alive, your hopes soar to the heavens,
Day six he slips away again, dies in your hands day seven.
You take this little angel, and bury him alone,
With aching heart and burning tears, and an exhausted groan,
You ask yourself "Why do this? ... why suffer all this pain?"
But see the joy your kittens bring... it really self explains.
So, when you think of breeders and label them with "greed",
Think about what they endure to fill another's need.
When you buy a kitten and with your precious dollars part,
You only pay with money ... we pay with our heart.