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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:20 pm 
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Hi all,

I've had this brought up to me a handful of times in discussions with friends I've had since we decided to welcome a bengal into our home (although she's still to young to be home with us at the moment). I've seen it other places too - people push back at the idea of buying an animal from a breeder when so many are in shelters needing homes. I have a fairly "acceptable" answer that satisfies most people - my husband is allergic to cats, but doesn't seem to react to bengals for whatever reason. But the reality is, even if he were not an allergy sufferer, I'd still be interested in having one. I've had rescue cats before (three over my life) and loved them dearly, but I am still drawn to this particular breed.

So I was wondering: what do you say to these questions? How do you rationalize the decision to buy from a breeder rather than adopting? (I know some of you have adopted bengals from rescues - your opinions are also welcome)

Please note I am hoping this will in no way be a topic of judgement. I'm just curious what others here have to say about the idea. And this obviously doesn't apply to just bengals - any purebred cat/dog owner is met with this question at some point, I think. Thanks for your time, everyone.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:08 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Adopting a pet from either a shelter or a breeder is a personal choice. I don't think either needs defending.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:23 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I dunno, it's just one of those things. We all make compromises between what is best for the "greater good" and what works for us. It's kind of the same thing when vegans come up to me and smugly point out that I can't possibly care about animals and also eat meat. Or how can I claim to care about the environment and use clumping cat litter, or drive in a car that consumes gas, or have a house that doesn't operate on solar power and so forth. My standard answer to that stuff is to acknowledge that adopting from shelters is a great thing, I've done it before and will do it again, and that I donate to shelters, but also wanted to experience some more exotic breeds of cats with breed-specific characteristics.

That usually shuts them up :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:42 am 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:21 pm
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It's a choice...If You want just a cat, shelter is the best options, but if You have "special needs" like allergies or You're looking for something particular, then You need to go to a breeder.
I've fallen in love with Bengal's coat and immediately I decided to have one.
What I've done it was to adopt a retired queen.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:25 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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I was lucky enough to home a rescue bengal. I never thought I would have one as I did not want one badly enough to part with £1000! I have had loads of rescue moggies and I agree that rescue or pedigree, no one should judge. The people who cause the problem and we should judge are the irresponsible owners who allow cats to roam that are not neutered or spayed. There will obviously always be feral cats who will increase the homeless kitty population but I just cannot forgive the people who just don't care if their cat has litter after litter and just pass them on to the rescue centres :mad:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:34 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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It is indeed a "choice" and there is no right or wrong decision. You could have chosen a bengal through a bengal rescue group. The thing is, you are still "rescuing" a cat. Someone has to take the kittens from a breeder! All you need to say it, "It's my choice. It's going to be my cat and that's the kitty I want." Or, I would probably say, "why are you even asking me that question? It's really none of your business." And, it's not! Or, you can go into an in-depth discussion as to the allergies, you fell in love with the breed, etc. I'm sure you're super excited about the kitty and want to share the news with others. They should not judge you -- you wouldn't judge them. They should be happy for you and leave it at that. Yes, unfortunately, there are thousands of kitties at the shelters who need homes. If your friends are so concerned, they could be going to the shelter and giving the kitties homes. Perhaps your next kitty will be a shelter kitty. You never know!

Congratulations on the new kitty!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:53 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:00 am
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Location: Ogden, UT
Salt Lake County, Utah, just passed an ordinance whereby pet stores cannot sell cats/dogs/rabbits as pets, unless they are affiliated with a pet rescue. The only way to purchase a pet is now from either a shelter or certified breeder. Theory is that pet stores that sell pets are selling those bred at puppy or kitten mills.

I can see how this might be effective at reducing the shelter population through reducing demand at pet mills for dogs and cats but not so sure there are many "certified" rabbit breeders.

Also, not sure how enforceable this will be but it has led to some interesting discussions in my household. :neutral:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:49 am 
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Senior Bengal

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Kyenta1 wrote:
Salt Lake County, Utah, just passed an ordinance whereby pet stores cannot sell cats/dogs/rabbits as pets, unless they are affiliated with a pet rescue. The only way to purchase a pet is now from either a shelter or certified breeder. Theory is that pet stores that sell pets are selling those bred at puppy or kitten mills.

I can see how this might be effective at reducing the shelter population through reducing demand at pet mills for dogs and cats but not so sure there are many "certified" rabbit breeders.

Also, not sure how enforceable this will be but it has led to some interesting discussions in my household. :neutral:


Hm, that is actually very interesting. I would like it if they tracked numbers to see if it actually makes a measurable difference. If so, it might be worth implementing on a wider scale.

Thank you all for your comments and insight, I've enjoyed reading through everyone's responses and points of view. I do agree that either way, it's a personal choice that shouldn't have to be defended.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:49 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:30 am
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I got my first ever cat 4 months ago. She was from a shelter. I wanted to rescue, nothing else crossed my mind. I got my girl, and she was the most precious, sweet, gentle little angel. She was the best cat I could ask for. A few weeks ago she became very sick. After many tests and x rays, we were told she had cancer and was in a lot of pain. The vet told us it was best to put her to sleep as she was suffering. I lost my baby.

I am 100% for rescuing and saving lives, but not knowing the history of my girl or what she went through, not knowing how sick she was and I didn’t even know… it made me very upset.

While I still had her, I got my Bengal boy. I have been obsessed and fascinated with the Bengal breed ever since I saw them and I knew I wanted one. Now that my girl is gone, he is lonely again and in need of a friend. I am getting another Bengal, simply because they are of the same breed and will have the same energy level and will keep each other entertained. Also, because I have Bengal fever and am in love with this amazing breed.

I, too, am asked why I am purchasing from breeders and not from shelters. Well, it is my personal decision. Any animal from any breeder can end up in a shelter if not properly cared for by their owner. So long as I provide my cats, no matter where they came from, with a safe and loving home, I don’t see any reason for any criticism.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:56 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Several years ago I purchased a pure bread Siamese from a breeder. He was beautiful but became very ill and died at an early age. I guess I chalked it up genetics or coming from a breeder environment. After that I went back to rescue kitties. I hoped they would be heartier. My last rescue lived to a ripe old age and the two I have now seem healthy enough, but they are mixed breed SLP. Would I invest in a pure bengal from a breeder? Possibly if I could afford it, but since my track record has been better with rescue cats, I would probably go that route again. I feel like I hit the jackpot with my two rescue babies. They have great personalities, are beautiful and healthy so far.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:17 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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The sad statistics for our Metro Animal Services is that they euthanize 84% of the animals that come through there. The no-kill shelters are at full capacity at all times (we have two) and the fosters are full as well. Nashville Cat Rescue is a great organization but they basically take in kittens and very few adult kitties. They tend to go for the adult cats who are injured or sick and get them fixed up for adoption. They will pull cats from Metro Animal Services when they can afford to. I wish I had 20 acres of land, several barns and could house a bunch of kitties! They are my weakness.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:22 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
CMYKjill wrote:
Several years ago I purchased a pure bread Siamese from a breeder. He was beautiful but became very ill and died at an early age. I guess I chalked it up genetics or coming from a breeder environment. After that I went back to rescue kitties. I hoped they would be heartier. My last rescue lived to a ripe old age and the two I have now seem healthy enough, but they are mixed breed SLP. Would I invest in a pure bengal from a breeder? Possibly if I could afford it, but since my track record has been better with rescue cats, I would probably go that route again. I feel like I hit the jackpot with my two rescue babies. They have great personalities, are beautiful and healthy so far.


Yea, that is pretty awesome, best of both worlds getting a couple of purebred cat rescues. Of course if they are purebred cats than the potential health advantage of a wider gene pool is lost anyway, but still you obviously made off real well. I can't recall at what age you got them, so I will say that getting to experience the kitten year, from week 12, was pretty special with bengals though, as trying as it sometimes was (and as many scratches as I got...ow!). That may have been worth the price of admission alone...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:18 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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brianj12 wrote:
CMYKjill wrote:
Several years ago I purchased a pure bread Siamese from a breeder. He was beautiful but became very ill and died at an early age. I guess I chalked it up genetics or coming from a breeder environment. After that I went back to rescue kitties. I hoped they would be heartier. My last rescue lived to a ripe old age and the two I have now seem healthy enough, but they are mixed breed SLP. Would I invest in a pure bengal from a breeder? Possibly if I could afford it, but since my track record has been better with rescue cats, I would probably go that route again. I feel like I hit the jackpot with my two rescue babies. They have great personalities, are beautiful and healthy so far.


Yea, that is pretty awesome, best of both worlds getting a couple of purebred cat rescues. Of course if they are purebred cats than the potential health advantage of a wider gene pool is lost anyway, but still you obviously made off real well. I can't recall at what age you got them, so I will say that getting to experience the kitten year, from week 12, was pretty special with bengals though, as trying as it sometimes was (and as many scratches as I got...ow!). That may have been worth the price of admission alone...


They came to me at 4 month, spayed and with all shots out of the way. I think I paid the rescue center $150 per kitten which is a bargain since one spay alone runs about $500 where I live. I could hold both of them in my hands and cary them around. Having them as kittens was a memorable experience and I think helped to cement our bond. I had one of them genetically tested and they are a mixed breed SLP, not pure but that doesn't matter. I was more curious than anything because of how they looked and behaved, I could tell they were not actual siamese. They are such a big presence in my home and everything revolves around them. They were exactly what I needed.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:41 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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I'm toying with the idea of getting a shelter kitten next time.

We have our elderly Burmese, Muskey who I hope will still have many more years left in him first though.

I absolutely adore the Burmese breed and it's very tempting to get another. I also LOVE Oriental cats (the ones with the big ears lol) so it's going to be a tough decision when the time comes.

Although there are more exotic breeds in shelters it still is quite rare and I'd say pretty much impossible to get a pedigree kitten.

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RIP my sweet baby Dexter, Snow Bengal 19/5/14 to 5/3/15 and my lovely dear old friend Muskey, Brown Burmese put to rest aged 15 on 14/11/15.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:25 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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The breeder is going to breed kittens regardless. So just like any shelter animal needs a home, breeder cats need homes too, just to a lesser degree.

That's my reasoning. Though we have one of each.


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