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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:09 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:44 pm
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Hi everyone,

Brand new to the forum here. :) After many months of consideration, my boyfriend and I are finally in the market for a furry friend. Before we consider a bengal, we need your expert advice!!

Both of us have long commutes. Monday through Friday, we are away from home for 10.5 hours straight. I have done extensive research on bengal forums and other breeders' websites, and the overwhelming consensus is "DON'T get a bengal if you can't be home most of the time!!!"

However, we visited a bengal breeder yesterday who did not seem fazed by our work/life balance. She said that the litter's mother, Chloe, is very sweet but happy to be on her own (and NOT destructive). She said that the baby girls of the litter seem low-energy like their mother and would probably be fine in our home.

Should I be skeptical? Have you ever heard of a "calm bengal" that could be left alone during the day? Because I sure haven't!

We are both experienced pet owners (me with dogs, him with cats), and we would give our pet as much love, playtime, and attention as possible when we are not at work (we are both serious homebodies.) But we can't be sure if that is enough for the high-energy, intelligent, demanding bengal! What do you think? Is the breeder off her rocker?

-Danielle


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:02 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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halfpinay515 wrote:
Should I be skeptical?
</>
Have you ever heard of a "calm bengal"
</>
Is the breeder off her rocker?

Yeah, I would be.
nope, certainly not in their youngest years
Not off her rocker ... but shes telling you what you want to hear... sounds a little money motivated.

10 hours working/commute plus avg 8 hours to wash and sleep leaves only 5/6 hours per day that you have to give any pet.... IMO thats not enough for an intelligent breed like a bengal.
They dont all get destructive when bored so it isnt for sure that a bengal would damage your home left alone for that long ... but in honesty they might get lonely and a bit sad maybe.
This may or may not affect the bond they have with you.

Ive known breeders claim their breeding animals are ''social'' and well behaved and even ''cuddly'' when in truth they only visited them in their pen/enclosure a few times a day to feed and clean up and IMO that is not ''living'' with a pet and cannot be compared.
Ive heard breeders say alot of things actually.... I dont want to cast aspersions on your chosen breeder but I would suggest you satisfy your own mind that you are being told the truth and not just what is required to make a sale.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:13 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

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Hi BengalDaddy,

Thanks for the quick and honest reply. She seems like a genuine person who loves her cats and knows them well (and they all seem very friendly and well-socialized), but there are many children in her home and she only works part-time. I'm afraid that her now-sweet-and-social-ball-of-happy will become a sad, neglected baby in our quiet house.

We will only take a pet into our home if we can be responsible, good parents. Our next-door neighbor is home frequently, plus we have relatives five minutes away that might be able to keep the kitty company every once in a while... but it would be unfair to depend on them so heavily.

Our home is spacious (3-bedroom) and we'd have the means to spoil her with wonderful toys and trees and shelves galore, but we understand nothing can replace human interaction. What are your thoughts on adopting siblings to help keep each other company?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Im not sure how this breeder can claim her kitten she's selling will be totally fine living mostly alone when she has no frame of reference... how can she know that?
I'd be troubled about the breeder making such claims based on assumption only.
halfpinay515 wrote:
What are your thoughts on adopting siblings to help keep each other company?
Im usually the last to reccomend this (many others do) because ive seen it throw up problems as well as solutions... not to mention all costs x2 is alot with bengals.

However in your case this might be the solution... lets see what another multiple cat owning member adds here for you.
If you can arrange a sitter to pop in and play a little every other day (with 2 sitters thats really only twice a week) for a few hours that would help alot... and spoiling them rotten on the weekends would strengthen your own bond.

Generally bengals dont tolerate change well... so if you decide to go ahead try to have a plan (inc sitters if thats what you decide) set in stone and avoid disruptions to the daily routeen once he/she/they have settled and got used to your home ect.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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my other concern about your work hours is also what if a problem crops up later that needs your attention.. like agression on you or a sitter or inappropriate toileting... sometimes putting that sort of issue right can take long periods of attention and re/training to overcome.

For eg Ive read (and offered advice) before on this forum, owner/s having toileting problems that were fixable with supervision and reward/reinforcment over a period of time.. however they didnt have the time needed to watch and wait for kitty to go correctly to say ''well done'' and wanted the problem to fix itself without their involvment... obviously they didnt have a good outcome and due to vanishing from this forum since we can only guess if the cat/s in question went to a shelter :(

Do either you or hubby have option to take time off as needed?
After spay neutering for eg.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:40 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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If you're looking to get a kitten, then maybe that's too long to leave them alone (unless you get two of them). My Bengal is 6-1/2 years old and he's left alone for about 9 hours during the day. He spends the day going in and out of his outside enclosure, sleeping on his blanket on our bed. When I'm home on the weekends, he is anxious for attention, wanting to outside. I take him for a walk every day. I also play with him when I home. He gets far too much of my attention and other chores simply do not get done. This Bengal found me. I've got only a couple of years until retirement and hopefully, he'll survive them (I hope I do, too). But, I have no qualms about leaving him alone during the day. He's not destructive and he sleeps quite a bit of it away.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:49 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

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BengalDaddy wrote:
Do either you or hubby have option to take time off as needed?
After spay neutering for eg.

I do have the option to work from home every once in a while. It is discouraged since I'm the office manager for a 16-person team, but my boss is understanding and trusts me to the moon and back. I am certain in an emergency or in the event that our baby needs extra attention to curb bad behavior, I could be there for her.

BengalDaddy wrote:
Generally bengals dont tolerate change well... so if you decide to go ahead try to have a plan (inc sitters if thats what you decide) set in stone and avoid disruptions to the daily routeen once he/she/they have settled and got used to your home ect.

All the research I've done on bengals has suggested this, and my bf and I agree that we'd have to "rally the troops" and come up with a game plan before we take the bengal plunge. We will need to have a lot of discussions with a lot of people, not to mention find other local cat sitters to call on in case of an emergency. Isn't it strange that cat daycare doesn't exist? So many doggie daycares in the area, but nobody seems to think cats need constant attention too...

BengalDaddy wrote:
I'd be troubled about the breeder making such claims based on assumption only.

To be fair to her, she is new to breeding but not to owning bengals. You are right though-- there is no way for her to know for sure! We want to do the right thing. Thanks again for all your input!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:53 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:00 am
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I work full time and, until this past month, so did my husband. The days when I work, I am gone from 4 am to at least 6 pm. We have been able to manage our bengal quite nicely between the two of us. When we first got him, I was off work for about a week and a half. Being home so much allowed us to develop a strong bond. I am definitely "mother cat".

Quasar is highly energetic but, when we are not home, I think he probably sleeps a lot. We have yet to come home to anything truly destroyed. The closest ever was a chewed up toilet paper roll.

On the other hand, we make sure (now) that all the bathroom doors are closed and anything in which he might show interest that is breakable and valuable to us is out of his reach.

When I come home from work, I play actively with him for as long as he likes to wear out some of his energy.

I only work 3 days/week so am able to spend more time with him on my days off. We go for walks, camping, and sometimes just loll about the house together (if hubby's not home). :lol:

I would not discourage someone from getting a bengal cat simply because they are at work. Perhaps, as some have suggested on this board, two kittens would be a good alternative but we have done very nicely with one.

We have a dog. Quasar and Kyenta are best buddies but K-dog is outside when we are not home so Q-cat is certainly not amusing himself with her. He is always happy and excited to see both me and the dog when I get home though. I wouldn't say Quasar is in any way deprived.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:55 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

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Sherry wrote:
If you're looking to get a kitten, then maybe that's too long to leave them alone (unless you get two of them). My Bengal is 6-1/2 years old and he's left alone for about 9 hours during the day. He spends the day going in and out of his outside enclosure, sleeping on his blanket on our bed. When I'm home on the weekends, he is anxious for attention, wanting to outside. I take him for a walk every day. I also play with him when I home. He gets far too much of my attention and other chores simply do not get done. This Bengal found me. I've got only a couple of years until retirement and hopefully, he'll survive them (I hope I do, too). But, I have no qualms about leaving him alone during the day. He's not destructive and he sleeps quite a bit of it away.

Sherry, thanks so much for your input. Your bengal sounds like exactly what we need ;) But of course every animal has its own personality! It sounds like exercise helps keep him calm. We would be more than happy to walk our cat in the morning and at night-- we live in a sleepy, safe, residential neighborhood, plus we could probably use the exercise too. If we do end up adopting from this particular breeder, the cat will be between 10 and 12 weeks old. Maybe too young to be alone...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:58 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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halfpinay515 wrote:
Sherry, thanks so much for your input. Your bengal sounds like exactly what we need ;) But of course every animal has its own personality! It sounds like exercise helps keep him calm. We would be more than happy to walk our cat in the morning and at night-- we live in a sleepy, safe, residential neighborhood, plus we could probably use the exercise too. If we do end up adopting from this particular breeder, the cat will be between 10 and 12 weeks old. Maybe too young to be alone...


Quasar was 13 weeks old when we got him. He was, unarguably, the best-socialised kitten I have ever homed. Please do not take a kitten from its mom until it is at least 12 weeks old.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:03 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

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Kyenta1 wrote:
I would not discourage someone from getting a bengal cat simply because they are at work. Perhaps, as some have suggested on this board, two kittens would be a good alternative but we have done very nicely with one.

We have a dog. Quasar and Kyenta are best buddies but K-dog is outside when we are not home so Q-cat is certainly not amusing himself with her. He is always happy and excited to see both me and the dog when I get home though. I wouldn't say Quasar is in any way deprived.

Hi Kyenta1, this is very encouraging! You seem like loving owners to K & Q :) I like that you were able to take time off to help get your baby bengal adjusted. I have a week of vacation time left unused, so this is a great suggestion!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:15 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

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Kyenta1 wrote:
Quasar was 13 weeks old when we got him. He was, unarguably, the best-socialised kitten I have ever homed. Please do not take a kitten from its mom until it is at least 12 weeks old.


The breeder would likely be happy to hang on to her until she hits that age, as long as we put our deposit down! :D Thanks for the advice.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Have you considered an older cat rather than a kitten?

Maybe a retiring queen or stud?


Heather

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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As you are not going to be at home to train and socialise a new kitten due to work commitments, have you thought of getting an adult Bengal who will probably sleep all day and be happy to greet you when you come home for play, snuggles and cuddles and will probably not really want a companion anyway.
Kittens are a lottery, you have to consider that leaving a kitten or kittens home alone may mean they will develop in ways you do not want them to. You will have no idea of their adult personality and unfortunately they can grow up eventually hating each other too.
With an adult cat you can choose the personality that will suit you and your situation best.

Snap Tigertail :)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:33 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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The more I read the more obvious is it that you have indeed put alot of thought and research into this already... which is very encouraging.

Try to have a sitter or two to pop in ... its a long week (5 days, full time) for them with only having you for (awake) 4/5 hours in the evenings and only another owner with the same amount of time away from home can give personal advice on what to expect or prepare for in that regard.

I would reccomend a morning walk everyday with a little play then feeding before you goto work (is that a very early morning for you?) and perhaps an evening walk too (or just on weekends if thats too much) this plus playing will serve to drain pent up energy.

You can spend spend spend for kitties these days... on tonnes of cheap toys and trees upto really expensive trees and even excercise wheels for cats (notoriously over priced but very cool). Cold cash and pre-planning can be used to good effect giving your bengal/s oppertunity to play and excercise.


/edit.
lol - removing my suggestion of an older cat/young adult.


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