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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:04 am 
Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:50 pm
Posts: 2
We just introduced two new Bengal kittens (Aden and Violet) to our home and we couldn't be happier! My husband and I have no other animals or children and we both have the luxury of working from home. My day to day is really spent working around the kittens schedule as I have a lot of time to devote to them. We prepped a lot for their arrival and we both want to make sure we are doing everything correctly to ensure we have lovable, social, and active cats. After doing some research I have found that it is best to slowly introduce your home to your kittens so we have created a guest room with a bathroom as their room for now. In this room we set up two large cat trees with views to the outside, 3 beds for them to choose from, scratch post, two scratch boxes, electric rotating butterfly toy (which they have destroyed two butterflies already), and two exerciser ball toys. Today marks a week since we brought these two lovable kittens into our life and things are going great! They are cuddling with us and our bond is getting stronger day by day. We have them on a morning, afternoon, and evening play schedule, and we make sure they "hunt, catch, and kill" 'DaBird before bringing them their wet food. This seems to be going really well but I do have a couple questions for all the experienced Bengal owners, please see below:

  • We have them on the breeder's diet right now which consist of Chicken Soup for the Soul Kitten dry food which is out for them to graze when they would like and then we give them Friskies wet food which I am so unhappy about. The breeder didn't even have them on a kitten wet food and I want to transition them off this diet onto the best diet for them as soon as possible. I am not sure when the best time to transition them off this diet as Aden's poop isn't 100% percent solid. Do you guys have suggestions for wet and dry food and best time to transition them?

    We have not let them explore the outside of the room and bathroom. For the first 5 days they only had access to the bedroom when it was play time with us and then they would eat, sleep and use the litter box in the bathroom. For the last two days we have let them have 24/7 access to the room and bathroom and when we watch them through the camera sometimes they will sleep in their bed that is in the bathroom or on their cat trees in the room. The last two days they have shown curiosity in what is behind the bedroom door. We are not sure if we should introduce them room by room each day. We would do this while walking into our master bedroom (this is the room we want to show next) and showing them their other cat tree. Then we would be playing new sets of games in that room or we would just let them explore with us behind watching them. We do not want them to be overwhelmed with all the sudden changes and I am not sure that I want them to have free access yet. The main reason being because Violet has had a couple bathroom accidents, and I am not sure if that is due to her not remembering where her litter box is.

    We ordered the Litter-Robot Litter Box and I am wondering if I should wait to introduce that box as another option to them once Aden's poop is solid?

    Aden and Violet are 11 weeks old do you think this is too young to start harness training?

Both kittens are extremely content and happy in their environment. I am just really nervous about making a lot of sudden changes when they are just becoming so comfortable in our home and have trust with us. Thank you for your help and opinions!

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:30 pm 
Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4483
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Congrats on your new additions. Honestly it sounds like you guys have your act together and are doing all the right things. I don't think there's really any right or wrong answers about when is the perfect time to open up more of the house to them, or transition them to a new food etc. For me, my criteria for letting them out of the room was:

1. That they were confident in their room, and confident with me
2. They showed interest in what was behind the closed door.

Once those two things happened, I would take them both out into another room a couple times a day, close them in (with me) and we'd play in the new room. Then back to their safe-room. After a few days of that I could see they were ready for the rest of the house. It sounds like you guys have a pretty good sized house. One thing I'd caution is that when you do let them run free, and they're still really tiny, you can lose track of them in a hurry! They'll be running around, then go silent for awhile, and you'll have no clue where they are. I had break-away collars for them with little bells on them when they were in that young and running around the house phase, and I was grateful for that, many times.

Similarly, I don't think there's necessarily a right or wrong answer for when to transition their food. It sounds like you have to sort out a digestion issue for at least one of your kittens, it's hard to tell whether giving them different (and better) food will make that problem worse or better. It may be something you have to just try.

As far as food recommendations, personally, I wouldn't freak out over the "kitten vs adult food" thing. Especially when it comes to wet food. I've read a lot of different opinions from vets, magazines, and other "experts", and I don't think there is anything close to a consensus that says that kittens should eat "kitten food". So either way is fine. The only thing I think you might have to watch out for is if you decide to go with a high quality dry food that isn't "for kittens", make sure that the pieces aren't too big for your kitten's mouths.

For what it's worth, I transitioned my bengals pretty early (maybe 3 or 4 weeks in) and for Neytiri, I just fed her what the bengals were eating from the first day she got here.

For dry food, I honestly don't even know what to recommend anymore. I used to feed mine Wellness for awhile, but they honestly hated that (all of their flavors). Then they were on Evo for awhile, but that company was bought up and went to hell. My cats even got really sick over one of their post-merger bags. Orijen is pretty good, but might be the worst thing you could feed a cat who is having tummy issues because they use a ton of different proteins in that. Earthborn Hollistic is good, on paper, but my cats won't eat it. And then there is Blue Buffalo, which I am stuck feeding them now because it's what they were used to and insist on now. That company had a big debacle where they were lying about the ingredients that they were listing on their bags (in the middle of an ad campaign where they were comparing their ingredients to others), and now this year they too got bought by a conglomerate food company that knows nothing about cat food. So all I can say is... good luck! Don't buy big bags until you find something they love, try lots of stuff (some stores will give you free samples), and if they like 2 or 3 different things that meet your nutritional approval, that could pay big dividends later.

For wet food though, there's lots of good brands. Mine like: weruva, tiki cat, earthborn holistic, rad cat (which is a packaged raw food) and other similar frozen raw packaged food.

The little monsters 3

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:20 pm 
Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9193
Welcome to the forum and congratulations your babies. I think Brian pretty much covered everything. I'm sure you have bengal-proofed your entire house for when the little ones start exploring. I agree that you can start taking them into other rooms of your home. They need to get their scent in every room. Before long, they will be terrorizing each other everywhere in your house. :biggrin:

I would keep your kitties on the dry food for now until the digestion issues are sorted out. I'm guessing you took the kittens the vet after you got them for a checkup and to start a medical history on them. Unfortunately Friskies is the worst food you can feed a cat. It is basically made up of meat by-products which can include chicken feathers, feet, dead zoo animals, etc. Please find a food with no by products at all. I had my two on Weruva until the vet put one on a prescription diet and now they both are on that.

Truthfully, you are doing an exceptional job. These babies will be well socialized, confident kittens. And the fact that you can spend so much time with them is a real bonus. You may find they really love the guest room and went to spend most of their time in there, even with the door open. But, the vast majority of bengals want to be with their humans most of the time, so wherever you work ... make sure you have that area catified as well.

Great job!!

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