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If you’ve reached a stage whereby you wish to purchase a Bengal cat – then you’re better to considers Bengals kittens over an adult. Bengal kittens are intelligent, quick to train and will soon become a favourite with the whole family.
And the Bengals' journey through kittenhood is extremely delightful and entertaining ... and not to be missed!
Bengal Cat Links
- Bengal Cat - Breed History
The history of the Bengal Cat. How did it come into being? Read this article to find out the origins of this beautiful animal.
- Bengal Cats. What To Consider Before Buying.
The Bengal Cat is still considered a relatively new breed of domestic cat. Many have heard of the breed and are curious regarding the Bengal cats’ characteristics and breeding. Added to that is the fact...
A young adult or mature Bengal will already have ‘settled’, in as much as its personality traits and/or any bad habits it may have adopted will already be set in stone.
Better you start with a kitten and instil some form of training into it – that way; both you and your Bengal will adapt to each other and will enjoy a more positive relationship.
Once you’ve decided on a Bengal kitten you need to source Bengal breeders. They are not hard to locate, check out your local press, the internet and pet stores for advertisements. All the Bengals that I’ve owned have come by way of advertising on the internet.
But – do look for more than one. There are many Bengals breeders out there and, between April and October, there will be a lot of kittens about. This relates to the general breeding cycle of the queens.
Most breeders mate their breeding pairs early spring and through the summer months. Bengal kittens tend to be thinner on the ground during winter.
Once you’ve selected a few breeders that seem to have what you’re looking for, contact them. They are a business after all and obviously want their kittens to sell – so they’ll be happy to take your call or answer any queries you have. If you find the response is different – cross them from your list.
After you’ve located some potential new addition/s (I once bought two from the same litter) then arrange to visit the breeders. Now you need to know what to look for – assuming that you’ve already chosen the sex. Personally, I recommend the male Bengals as they tend to be very bold and I prefer a cat with attitude. The females are very beautiful (both in character and looks) but they’ve always been a little too girly for my liking.
Your chosen breeder should, in my opinion, breed from home. If – when you arrive – the breeders’ premises resemble something more akin to a puppy farm, walk away. I am not an advocate of such establishments and they do not breed quality animals. If, on the other hand, you arrive at a residential dwelling, you’re probably in the right place.
All kittens need the correct handling from birth and I would only advise an individual to buy a kitten that’s been reared indoors, within a family environment. Having come across many Bengal kittens that have lacked close human contact, I can vouch that they are wilder and more difficult to tame than most other cat breeds.
Once you are inside – without being too obvious, check out the surroundings. Ask to see the breeding pens/runs (they will resemble cages); they should be clean, free of debris and roomy. Let the breeder talk to you, explain their premises’ – and question anything that arises as you look around.
Look at the behaviour of their other cats - whether they’re in pens or inside the house. Are they confident, full of character, alert and look in good health? Cats that lack any/all of these qualities are not well cared for, so do bear that in mind. If possible, ask to handle one. Feel the pelt – is it silky soft. Does the cat enjoy being handled (Bengals are notoriously soppy) and/or is eager to play? All good signs. A male should feel considerably heavy; the females tend to be lighter but should feel lithe, supple.
Choosing A Bengal Kitten
If your breeder has passed your subtle inspection then it’s time to view the kittens. Bengal kittens are sold (usually) according to the following two categories: pet and show/breeding quality. Pet is the lowest price – increasing for show/breed quality.
Pet quality means:
- It lacks great markings
- It won’t have met full breed standards e.g. the ears are out of proportion
Show/breed quality means:
- The Bengal markings meet standards
- The pelt should be soft and silky
- The overall look/build of the kitten is considered worthy of potential future showing
- Potential for breeding – though not recommended. Leave this to the experts.
Half Grown Bengal - Playing ...
So, armed with the above – choose your kitten. As with the adults you should have checked out, you need your kitten of choice to be alert, inquisitive, bold and extremely easy to handle. Do expect a Bengal kitten to squirm or claw you – that’s a natural part of play for any kitten. He/she should be energetic (if awake), curious and literally bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Of course – don’t make a snap decision, especially if you have several other breeders to visit. But if you feel your heart is set then of course the decision is yours. At the point you decide on a kitten, you will be required to pay a deposit. You should have already ascertained the prices of the kittens prior to visiting and the deposit fee.
Once you’ve paid a deposit, all you now need to do is wait. No breeder should part with a Bengal kitten prior to its 13th week. At that stage it should be fully socialised, wormed, free of fleas, and have 6 weeks free insurance. Further, you should take possession of the pedigree papers, which should include:
- Signed Pedigree certificate
- Registration document
- Vaccination certificate from a Vet
If, at any stage prior to purchase you are informed that the kitten has ‘no papers’ – do not buy it. Any Bengal that does not come with papers is not a pedigree. Don’t give your money away for something you could have got far cheaper. If you truly want a Bengal cat, keep this in mind.
Kitten PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
And so, in conclusion:
- Locate several different breeders
- Visit the premises of each
- If anything doesn’t ‘feel’ right, walk away
- Any doubts about the breeders adult Bengals, walk away
- Check the parents’ pedigree papers
- Make sure that your kitten of choice is sparky, curious and in overall good health
- On collection, make sure you have all the relevant paperwork.
And then it’s time to go home – and unleash your new addition onto his/her new family. Have fun … and welcome to the world of Bengal kittens and cats!