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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:52 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:42 pm
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Hi to you all! My family is considering a new Bengal Kitten for our daughter mainly who is autistic but for all of us as well. This is a major purchase for us and don't want to proceed if it's not going to be a good fit. Do they do well in large families? There are 4 children in our home ranging in age from 11 to 2. We have no other cats. I've read good things and bad things so far and am really not sure how to proceed. Thank you in advance.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:12 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Hello there. I think it totally depends on what you are looking for in a cat for your daughter and family. Bengals are full on, energetic and can be high maintenance, demanding a lot of your time. If you are looking for a calm, cuddly lap cat, then 99% of the time, a Bengal won't fit your requirements. It sounds as if your home is full on with 4 children! A Bengal would be like a fifth child! With the hustle and bustle of a large family, it may be an idea to look at the calmer, more chilled breeds who would love to snuggle with your daughter. I'm not up to speed with many pedigree cat breed temperaments but think it's either Maine coons or rag dolls that are meant to be super chilled and loving. Other members would know! Good luck and hope the right cat finds you! X

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Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:43 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I second what's been said above if you want an easy cat a Bengal isn't really what you are looking for, bengals are more like having a cross between a permanent two year old and a puppy they don't grow up. They need a lot of time and attention and are very high maintenance and vocal. They aren't a breed known for being cuddly and even when they are often it's on their own terms, a lot prefer sit beside you rather than on your lap. They are more at home jumping around playing with toys or climbing on top of the tallest furniture you have in your house. They are extremely intelligent and will often work out how to open doors, get into things and generally cause a lot of mischief.

Bengals are also very large muscular cats and they can be extremely strong when you are playing with dangle toys(da bird) with them etc, at times even when they are kittens it's like fighting with a mini body builder. I think a lot the decision comes down to where your daughter is on the autistic spectrum and how well she can handle a cat that can be very in your face and mess with her routines. Bengals are an amazing breed but they work well with people who can work around them and be accommodating of how they are, they aren't the type of cat to adapt to your lifestyle if you want a quiet cat. They aren't a breed that just grows out of their boisterous nature my 16 year old was still bounding around like a kitten climbing on everything, wanting attention and to play. The issue with a Bengal is much like puppy they can be very destructive if left to get bored, they need a lot of mental stimulation.

They aren't an easy cat and I definitely don't recommend them for someone as a first cat unless you are prepared to really research the breed and understand they are very unique. They aren't like a moggy that you can just ignore once they get over 9 months and just remember to feed at meal times and have them to cuddle while you watch tv, bengals don't entertain themselves for long without it resulting in things getting broken.

If you are determined to get one know they are an amazing breed but make sure you enter into getting one with your eyes open as too many end up in shelters because people think they are just a moggie with a pretty coat.

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- Sarah
Arya 24/04/16 - Seal Lynx Point Rosetted Bengal
Griffith 16/04/16 - Silver Seal Lynx Point Rosetted Bengal
Mina (in my avatar)- 1999-2016 - Seal Mink Spotted Bengal (Snow) - run free at rainbow bridge


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:14 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Again I totally agree with what the others are saying, I am on my 3 rd bengal and it still surprises me how much energy they have and very high maintanance.

I did so much research before I got my first bengal, I wanted an energetic acrobatic talkative cat.

None of mine have been lap cats, I know that rag doll cats, siamese and Persians are all cuddly lap cats if that is what you are looking for.

I think that if your daughter may try to carry a bengal around or pick it up, they often are not too keen and being a strong cat may hurt her, I have personally been bitten by a bengal and their bite is much stronger than an ordinary cat, i ended up in hospital.

I would maybe do a bit more research depending what you want from a cat.

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Clare
Magic (brown spotted boy born 31 March 2012)
Pearl (seal Lynx Point girl born 1 October 2015)
Bristol, UK


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:33 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Affection is totally on their terms. My two will dip down to avoid a pet if they are not in the mood. Picking them up is totally out of the question. After about 3 seconds they go totally berserk. When they are sleepy and want to cuddle they can be very loving, but always when they want to connect.

My sister's oriental short hair is the most affectionate cat i have run across. He leaps into my arms from the floor. He loves attention, sleeping on laps and even purrs when she cuts his nails!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:46 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Omg Clare that sounds painful where you ok after? I'm lucky I've never had a bite but I did have a very bad scratch off my old girl when she jumped out of my arms and managed to scratch down my wrist and it wouldn't stop bleeding. I still have a scar there.

One of my best friends used to have a rescue Persian and she was one of the softest cats I'd ever met, all she wanted was cuddles to be groomed and cuddled some more and she as left in an alley in a cardboard box in the snow for 3 days before she was rescued. I'm not sure if a Bengal would be as trusting of people again if one went through that but she was a complete sweetheart. They can be high maintaince with the coat but maybe an exotic shorthair is similar with less fur.

Otherwise my aunt used to have a cuddly Siamese that she would carry around on her shoulders everywhere even when she went out to markets on weekends. He would just lay there like a scarf lol.

I also agree with ragdolls I know several people with them and they are lovely very soft and cuddly cats. Also the fact that when you pick them up they flop would be good for a special needs child as less likely to cause harm or struggle and scratch them.

I've only had my 2 latest Bengal kittens 3 weeks and my boy has left me covered in scratches and that's from him wanting to play and not realising his own strength. He went bonkers for his breakfast this morning jumped up hit my hand holding it and also managed to take the skin off my thumb as well as throw the food all over the floor. Griffith sure is a joker :lol:

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- Sarah
Arya 24/04/16 - Seal Lynx Point Rosetted Bengal
Griffith 16/04/16 - Silver Seal Lynx Point Rosetted Bengal
Mina (in my avatar)- 1999-2016 - Seal Mink Spotted Bengal (Snow) - run free at rainbow bridge


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:29 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Yea, like the others said (or implied), you'd probably be better off with more of a "cuddle kitty" imo than a bengal. Bengals are really challenging and quirky cats. They are so much fun, but can be pretty stubborn and uncompromising too.

I would second the recommendation for an Oriental Shorthair. Omg, mine is just the ultimate cuddle kitty, but still active, playful and also very mischievous. There's pretty much a 100% chance that I'll have a certain white kitty in my lap within 10 min of sitting down on the couch, recliner or bed. One thing about Orientals is that they have a reputation for being "one person cats", meaning they pick one "special" person and being very clingy to that person. I haven't witnessed it, since I live alone, but I've read and heard about that. That might work well if this cat is, as you say, "for your daughter". You can certainly encourage the cat to bond with her, but you know what they say about the best laid plans...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:00 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Location: Northeast Florida
I had a professor that was training Norwegian forest cats for therapy cats and said they do spectacularly in large families and for kids with any special needs. Most Bengals I know have a hard time with all of the activity if bigger families. Not sure about others though.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:22 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Yes Sarah I was OK luckily.

What happened was, I was out walking my first bengal Frosty when a dog ran at us not on a lead, my instinct was to pick the cat up, not such a good idea as he panicked and started biting me and when a large male bengal clamps down on you it's really strong and he would let go.

We eventually got him off but he had bitten through a small vein in my finger, there was blood everywhere, we made it home and cleaned up, by the early hours both hands were swollen so I had to go to hospital.

The bites were infected I needed a month of penicillin had to be xrayed, the doctors said if I had left it i would have lost a thumb and finger, he counted 28 bites in total.

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Magic (brown spotted boy born 31 March 2012)
Pearl (seal Lynx Point girl born 1 October 2015)
Bristol, UK


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:31 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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My bengal has never bitten me, thankfully! I agree with all the other advice you have been given. A bengal will be a 5th 2-year old toddler for you, except bengals always remain a toddler. A Norwegian Forest cat requires combing -- they are gorgeous long-haired kitties. I think a Ragdoll or Maine Coon would be a great fit, however, you can get a regular kitty that can also be a great fit. Cats are very intuitive and can understand what your daughter needs. Bustling households can be too much for some cats. Hopefully, you have the space for a kitty to head off on its own and have some alone time.

I don't know if I would start with a kitten as they can be extremely "rough" on a child who has never interacted with an animal before. I have a video of my 18-month old niece hitting a dog with a toy iron. Regardless, you supervise any cat when it is around children.

There are many great articles on the internet you might want to read including this one:

https://www.purina.com/better-with-pets ... c-children

Owning a cat can teach your older children responsibility in feeding and taking care of the kitty. Unfortunately, it may decide to bond more with the one who is feeding and taking care of it. I'm sure there is a cat rescue or even a shelter near you that may have the ideal cat for your situation.

Bengals are gorgeous kitties, however, they are demanding, energetic, highly vocal, super intelligent, quite social -- and while one may fit in perfectly with a busy family, I don't believe it will be a cuddly, lap cat for more than a few minutes and then off the kitty goes.

Dogs are also great options and many are trained to help special needs children. Cats can't easily be trained. Good luck in your search and let us know what you decide.


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