When You Start Looking for Your Perfect Kitten …
(For More information – click on the Bengals Illustrated issues)
Bengal kittens are full of energy, entertainment and like any other pet, they require a commitment! As most Bengal enthusiasts will tell you, these kittens are no couch potatoes.
Full of energy, playful antics and a desire to have strong interaction, the Bengal makes an excellent addition to most families! The Bengal is an intelligent cat that is easily trained. Many Bengals enjoy outings on a leash and harness. They generally integrate well with other pets and children tend to be good playmates for this energetic breed!
When the Bengal is not busy supervising household activities or seeking attention they will often be found exploring or getting into something due to their curious nature. Many Bengals enjoy water to the delight of new owners and will often join in bath or shower activities! Sometimes this love for water doesn’t make the fish in the aquarium too happy though (see Bengals Illustrated back issue The Kitten Edition July/Aug/Sept 2007, An Unusual Love of Water!).
Loving and playful, occasionally mischievous and often comical the Bengal cat will quickly endear most to the breed. Although cost varies from breeder to breeder, cost shouldn’t be the reason to base which kitten you will choose. Choices should be based on how comfortable you are with the breeder and their reputability, the socialization of the kitten and the kitten’s overall health. Never purchase a kitten because you feel sorry for it due to the environment it may be living in. This only enables a bad breeder to continue breeding.
Most Bengals that meet the breed standard for type and conformation make terrific show cats and are recognized in most domestic cat registries for championship titles. The typical, easily adaptable and personable Bengal cat loves the attention of the show hall, but not all Bengals are meant to show or like to, and not all owners want to show, or like to. A cat …or an owner… that doesn’t want to show should never be made to! But know, Showing can be a great amount of fun and a fantastic way to meet others who are as crazy about their cats as you are about yours! It’s rewarding to see your kitten or cat compete for titles, ribbons and awards, too! (To learn more about showing your Bengal cat, check out the Bengals Illustrated back issue, The Bell Ringer Nov/Dec 2008)
A kitten will be with you for a very long time. On the average Bengal cats live to be fifteen years of age, some older and some younger, depending upon the quality of care provided and or health issues that might arise. Keeping your Bengal cat indoors and not allowing it to roam unsupervised helps insure a longer life. Bengals are perfectly happyto live indoors (see Bengals Illustrated back issue The Kitten Edition, July/Aug/Sept 2007, In or Out and Discouraging Your Cat from Wanting to go Outdoors).
The breed is a healthy breed, which may be due in part to hybrid vigor and the infusion of genetics from the Asian Leopard Cat, a small 11-14 pound wild cat (not to be confused with the Asian Leopard which is a BIG cat). The Bengal cat is susceptible, just like any other breed of cat, to ailments that are considered cat ailments like, feline lukemia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), patellar luxation, etc.. Bengal cats should be vaccinated properly to protect them from disease and illness and they should receive regular veterinary care.
As a shorthaired breed (There are long coated Bengals, see Bengals Illustrated back issue Tigers and Toygers and Longhairs, Oh My!, Jan/Feb/Mar 2007), and due to their very unique coat type the Bengal kitten requires very little grooming. The kitten and the owner both may benefit from brushing though as an opportunity to increase bonding. As part of general feline grooming, nails should also be kept trimmed. When nails are clipped regularly the cat is less likely to exhibit destructive scratching on furniture. Providing alternatives to furniture as appropriate areas to scratch and climb are essential in successful kitten raising and it is highly recommended that a cat tree be provided for Bengal kittens and adults. (See Bengals Illustrated back issue A Kitten is a Leopard in a Jungle of Small Bushes, Vol.4 No.3 for more information on easy grooming)
Although the Bengal breed is not hypoallergenic, many Bengal owners with allergies find that their allergies are less affected by the Bengal cat and sometimes they are even nonexistent (See Bengals Illustrated back issue A Kitten is a Leopard in a Jungle of Small Bushes, Vol.4 No.3).
It may be important for parents and grandparents to note that children who are raised with two or more dogs or cats in the home are less likely to develop allergic diseases (see Bengals Illustrated back issue Jan/Feb/Mar 2008, Tigers and Toygers and Longhairs, Oh My! Kats and Kids may mean no Katchoo).
Even though they look wild, Bengals are domestic cats and eat regular cat food just like all other domestic cats. They should be fed a high quality diet. Some owners prefer to feed raw food, but most Bengal kittens will do just fine on a balanced wet and dry diet. As a strong bodied and muscular cat the Bengal may eat more than cats you are used to! These Bengals burn a lot of calories with their everyday activities. That’s not to say that Bengals are never overweight, alas that seems to be an ailment that all mammals who are “domesticated” suffer from.
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Know Before You Buy!