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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Bengal Cat

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Hi

We both work full time and have recently successfully homed 2 young adult Bengals with us (one just under 2 one just over). They keep each other company during the day and have access to an outdoor enclosure throughout the day as well as full run of a three storey house. We suspect they spend most of the day dozing and are certainly very pleased to see me when I come back! If I do work at home they like to hang around and sleep in which ever room I am in so clearly like the company but do seem content with each other's company. That said they are older cats not kittens and that may be a difference as has already been suggested by other posters. I've had several (non Bengal) kittens over the years but have always had a multi cat household so they've always had company so can't comment about how a single kitten would be. Hope all goes well for you and that you enjoy your new addition!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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halfpinay515 wrote:
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...

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!


Can I ask whereabouts you are please?

There may well be cat daycare available, but you just haven't found it yet! My local small pet shop owners do it.

When you say she is new to breeding, is this her first litter?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:52 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

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Tigertail wrote:
Can I ask whereabouts you are please?

There may well be cat daycare available, but you just haven't found it yet! My local small pet shop owners do it.

When you say she is new to breeding, is this her first litter?

Hi Heather! We live in central New Jersey. Nothing I've found online offers cat daycare services (plenty of overnight stay places though). It's possible there's a smaller shop out there with little to no web presence offering cat daycare. We'd have to ask around :) Also, it's her second litter by herself, but she's essentially taking over breeding duty from her close friend, who is a very seasoned breeder.

tannyf wrote:
We both work full time and have recently successfully homed 2 young adult Bengals with us (one just under 2 one just over). They keep each other company during the day and have access to an outdoor enclosure throughout the day as well as full run of a three storey house.

A few of you out there have suggested adopting an older cat (read: not a kitten) to ensure she's well-adjusted, happy, and independent. It seems like it's worked quite well for you! I think it's a great idea and worth looking into. My boyfriend insists on raising a baby because, well, who can resist those little faces? We will discuss it together though... it might be our best option :)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:02 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Have a think about an ex-breeding stud or queen ... sometimes a cat can have problems fitting into a breed program (health or other issues) and be retired young,,, I think a cat like that would be ideal for you.
Often times queens and studs, while very much loved, can go without close attention and constant human closeness so when they find their forever home they can just melt and LOVE being owned as a pet.
(on occasion they can struggle in a non-enclosure enviroment but the breeder is always aware and ready to take back if required)

I have read several stories on here of people buying (they are cheaper also) ex-queen/stud cats and getting perfect fur babies that love them totally and really enjoy being a pet - perhaps they appreciate close ownership more after being a breed cat with less attention ect.

An ex-breed cat would also cope alot better being alone as they are mostly used to it already.
Maybe one of the ex-breed cat owners will chime in here to share their story.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:13 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: West Sussex
halfpinay515 wrote:
Hi Heather! We live in central New Jersey. Nothing I've found online offers cat daycare services (plenty of overnight stay places though). It's possible there's a smaller shop out there with little to no web presence offering cat daycare. We'd have to ask around :) Also, it's her second litter by herself, but she's essentially taking over breeding duty from her close friend, who is a very seasoned breeder.



That explains things! Cat daycare may be more of a UK thing then!


halfpinay515 wrote:
A few of you out there have suggested adopting an older cat (read: not a kitten) to ensure she's well-adjusted, happy, and independent. It seems like it's worked quite well for you! I think it's a great idea and worth looking into. My boyfriend insists on raising a baby because, well, who can resist those little faces? We will discuss it together though... it might be our best option :)


......unfortunately, I think, for your boyfriend, it will be very difficult to raise a baby with your work schedules, as babies need people around a lot more! A young adult rather than an older cat may appeal to him more perhaps?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:20 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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BengalDaddy wrote:
queens and studs, while very much loved, can go without close attention.
Hopefully this wont be wrongly perceived as a slur against any unnamed breeder and will avoid being chopped to pieces by big brother.

Also, I understand the desire to raise your own cat from a baby because I was the same when then time came (right circumstances) for me to get my own bengal... can you and boyf raise a kitten to be as you want him/her to be with limited time to commit to the task is the question.
A young adult will be alot less needy and once bonded will love you the same :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Bristol, UK
Hi there,

Myself and my boyfriend are probably in the exact same position as you in terms of work as we are both out of the house on average about 10 hours a day. Up until about a month ago we only had a single bengal who we have raised from a kitten without any trouble whatsoever.

We did choose to bring in a new kitten recently but in all honesty this was done because we adore bengals and decided we would like to have another as my boyfriend grew up in a multi-cat household, not because we felt that Diego needed company to be happy.

I took a week off when we first brought him home to help him settle in which i think was quite a good way to start off his time with us! We made an effort to think of different self interactive toys and little challenges to keep him amused during the day such as hiding food etc which seems to have worked just fine :) and of course we gave him lots of playtime in the morning while we were getting ready for work and in the evenings once we were home. He has never been destructive while we've been out in any serious way, the worst has been a ripped up toilet roll which isn't exactly bad behaviour in my books! Diego has been absolutely fine growing up with us being at work during the day, he is a very happy, loving and well behaved baby :)

So i really would urge you to not be put off by thinking that you cant have a bengal kitten if you work full time. As long as you are willing to put effort in to thinking of ways they can amuse themselves while you are out and will give them plenty of attention when you are home, it is perfectly workable. We've never had a sitter and i don't really think there is any need. Whenever i have come home during the day, he was generally always asleep as he has adjusted to our schedule, and to be honest now that we have two of them, the same is still true.


By all means, do consider taking in an older bengal but i would consider them as equal options really!

If you would like to contact me to discuss bringing up a bengal kitten while also working full time - i.e. tips on keeping them busy! - please don't hesitate :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:20 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:03 pm
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I have adopted two retired girls and my experience has been great. The retired queens and studs are chosen to breed for their appearance and personality. Both times I went looking for a kitten and ended up with a retired queen. In my experience they fall right into the pet life and both seemed to love the quiet and calm of a pet home right off the bat. They are still energetic, smart, and playful, you just won't have to deal with the kitten crazies!

As you are in the U.S., search for Bengal rescue groups or purebred rescue groups in your area, as well as with breeders, if you decide to consider the adult route.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:00 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
BengalDaddy wrote:
An ex-breed cat would also cope alot better being alone as they are mostly used to it already.
Maybe one of the ex-breed cat owners will chime in here to share their story.


I own an ex stud and once he got over the move he turned into the most gorgeous loveable cat. I've had no issues with him at all, no inappropriate urinating or behavioural issues. Honestly he's such a joy to be around, he makes me laugh every single day. So yes, adopting an older ex breeder can work out really well. Alex was 3 when I got him :cool:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:56 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Fenstar wrote:
BengalDaddy wrote:
An ex-breed cat would also cope alot better being alone as they are mostly used to it already.
Maybe one of the ex-breed cat owners will chime in here to share their story.


I own an ex stud and once he got over the move he turned into the most gorgeous loveable cat. I've had no issues with him at all, no inappropriate urinating or behavioural issues. Honestly he's such a joy to be around, he makes me laugh every single day. So yes, adopting an older ex breeder can work out really well. Alex was 3 when I got him :cool:



I agree with Fenstar, and others who have suggested an older Bengal. In your particular situation, it sounds like a cat with an adult demeanor may work well for you. Bengals will always be Bengals, they love to play and bond with you but you'd also have a cat that may find comfort in the peace and quiet of your home instead of somewhere temporary waiting to find a forever home. There's many perks to adopting an adult. - They have had a year or a couple of years at acing their litter box skills ;), They have calmed down, and have usually learned to have nice play behaviors with human skin (when I got Basil my hands and feet were a bloody mess everyday for the first year). If you're worried about the time limit you'll have to spend with your new kitty, imagine all the time you'll need to also train him/her.
The best part about adopting is you know what you're getting into before you adopt. What kind of behavior the kitty will have, the personality, his/her likes and dislikes and you'll know the health problems -if any- before hand.

I definitely think you should give it some thought. You may be surprised what an older cat may already know and offer (and in a sense how grateful they may be) from their past experiences when you choose to offer your heart and home up to them. :biggrin:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:42 am 
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Bengal Kitten

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Thank you all for your thoughtful, thorough replies. This forum is pretty great! :D

You have given us quite a bit to think about. I see our situation going one of two ways now:

1) We adopt a well-trained older cat with a calmer demeanor (as many of you have thoughtfully suggested!) Though we will try to find people to visit her during the day, we will be much more comfortable leaving her alone knowing that she is content to "do her thing" until we get home. We will make sure to reserve plenty of time for play and exercise, and we will likely spoil her rotten with the best toys on the market. She will be our dependable companion, and her presence will add so much joy to this house. There is not too much risk going this route, so it seems a very attractive option!

2) We take in a kitten that's at least 12-13 weeks old and well-socialized, I take off for a week to be with her and help her adjust, and we enlist an army of friends/family to assist on a regular basis during the day while we are away at work. We will likely need to walk her at least once a day and play with her vigorously every morning and night to help mitigate her energy level. It will require a heck of a lot of time, effort, and general responsibility to go this route, not to mention the risk that our bond with her may not grow strong and/or she may not get the attention she needs to truly be happy and healthy. But if we succeed in raising a loving, well-behaved, well-adjusted cat together, the satisfaction and joy would be overwhelming.

We are not in a rush to make a decision, so we're happy to hear more of you weigh in. We'll be speaking with neighbors and family about our options in the meantime. :) Thanks again for all your help!

-Danielle & Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:22 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:47 pm
Posts: 3809
Location: UK
halfpinay515 wrote:
We take in a kitten that's at least 12-13 weeks old and well-socialized, I take off for a week to be with her and help her adjust, and we enlist an army of friends/family to assist on a regular basis during the day while we are away at work. We will likely need to walk her at least once a day and play with her vigorously every morning and night to help mitigate her energy level. It will require a heck of a lot of time, effort, and general responsibility to go this route, not to mention the risk that our bond with her may not grow strong and/or she may not get the attention she needs to truly be happy and healthy. But if we succeed in raising a loving, well-behaved, well-adjusted cat together, the satisfaction and joy would be overwhelming.


The other thing is you are not used to Bengal cats, they are not IMO easy cats in general. Some are just domestics, they act like domestics and have little trouble, some could not be described as domestic and can be extremely challenging, some who are little trouble are owned by people who either instinctively know what to do or by experience have learned what to do to sort the Bengal out, to make it calm, happy and stable.
Other owners fly by the seat of their pants and after a while I think the cat itself decides how to behave or not to behave, the owner had little input, and then there are those who with the best intentions have little clue, do all the wrong things and end up with a nightmare, or the cat is fundamentally a nightmare to begin with and nothing or no-one could do much anyway.
Whilst it all sounds great to have a "piece of the jungle", remember that the Asian leopard cat is a real wild cat, it is timid, it displays fear aggression, it is highly territorial and is way out of its depth in a domestic situation. I believe whilst some of the behavioural issues seen in Bengals are just "cat" issues, I do think that the wild cat in some of them takes their behaviour to new and different levels, some of which are beyond your average pet owner, living a normal working life in the average house.

Bengals are often highly strung, and athletic, so your idea of tiring it out morning and evening, may not suffice, as it grows up.
Because one it learns that you are there for play and being a bit obsessive Bengals then will demand play all the time as soon as they see you, so as soon as you are out the door they are bored and frustrated. Two, the more you play the fitter the cat becomes, so vigorous play to tire it out, will be come longer and longer. Play also ups the adrenaline so you then have a bored, frustrated cat, who is high on adrenaline with no outlet for that, as you have gone to work.
That is where the destruction and noise and inappropriate toileting comes in, as the cat is stressed out in its "cage", or "home" as you would like to think of it... I know the obvious fix there that will be suggested by a lot of people is to get two, but Bengals can be very territorial as they grow up and whilst they are kittens/young adults, all is hunky dory, the true test of that is what happens when they grow up and for many they find their two litter-mates or loving kittens become the abused and the abuser, or they have two king pins who fight all the time to establish territory. Often the home is just not big enough for each to have an adequate territory.

A person who is at home a lot can gauge moods, so can play, bring it all down into calmness and potter about with the cat (Bengals like to be in the centre of things), they then have natural sleeps and it all works out well as the cat is happy and does its own thing, but kittens need to learn to do that, especially in a challenging cat like the Bengal, and if you are not there to teach it, you can end up with a cat with a lot of behaviours that are not what you want. I also think that Bengals like bonding with one or two people, so I don't really think a relay of carers for a kitten is practical, it may work for some kittens, but for others it may just add a lot of unnecessary stress to the equation.

As I said before, in your situation, a lone adult is what you need. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I think perhaps the best thing in this situation might be to get in touch with a few good breeders and ask whether you could spend some time with their kittens / breeding cats.

That way not only can you sit down and have a discussion with experts of the breed but also can experience first hand the energy levels of both a kitten and an adult to better judge what you could handle. I think it is massively dependant on how YOU feel you could cope, what your tolerance is like and what your experiences are.

With both of my kittens, i never really felt overwhelmed by their energy levels and found them perfectly easy to deal with despite working full time. But others may well have found them too much.

I can already see a distinct difference between my first bengal and the second. The second is most certainly of the more challenging variety, takes longer to learn appropriate behaviour as he is incredibly stubborn...plus you can literally sit and watch him working things out (he has already figured out how to turn off the bathroom light...he's 16 weeks old...) as he seems very intelligent...we say he reminds us of the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park....for some this would drive them up the wall, but i am more than happy to work with him.

I have grown up with cats but we always had rescues so always took in adult cats so my first bengal was actually also my first experience of a kitten as well! Now i suspect many people might be horrified at that thought but i knew how to develop a scared and damaged rescue into a beautifully confident and happy cat so i felt pretty confident that i would be able to handle this too. I was nervous don't get me wrong, but due to that i made a point of literally reading EVERYTHING i could possibly find on the breed which i think was a huge benefit. I'll also add that the majority of cats we had growing up were of the oriental variety so were fairly demanding breeds so that also helped.

And so far all is well with mine, i feel i have done really quite well for a working bengal parent :wink:

So although you might not have had experience with bengals before, do you have experience with other cats that will help you as i think this is the main point really? Bengals can be an extreme which require determination from the owner at times to remain in charge, but i think if you know the teaching techniques / are wiling to learn and you will stick by them then you know how to apply them to any breed at the end of the day, bengals included.

In addition, do you think you could still take the time to teach your kitten any required behaviour adjustments each and every time you came home from work, even if you have had a bad day? Think fully about this as i think that is the biggest commitment if you work as well. It is perfectly doable IF you have the commitment.

[/quote]
I also think that Bengals like bonding with one or two people, so I don't really think a relay of carers for a kitten is practical, it may work for some kittens, but for others it may just add a lot of unnecessary stress to the equation.[/quote]

I do agree with this, i think lots of people checking in on them could heighten stress rather than resolve it. But as i said earlier, i don't really think it's required.

Hope this helps :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:12 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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if it reassures you and is managed carefully and gradually you can bring in sitters. There is no need to rush the process, just have your people come round as visitors until kitties are used to them (as long as that takes) and then start leaving the house for increasing periods of time.
Sitting I have done myself I have always provided the food on arrival (it makes them sleepy not long after) and Ive found kittys ignore the sitter and dont really interact, they sleep mostly and do what they normally do when you are out, especially if ignored and not excited and only played with if they initiate play themselves.
You can also go without sitters and kitty/s will adapt to survive so to say and be ok.
(we can debate if that means more or less happy/stressed/bored ect)
But you have to go extreme in the kitten proofing if you want to make your house into a big ''safe room''.

Meeting some litters and adults (several breeders, not just one) is very good advice and will help you to make your minds up on deciding kitten or cat. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:32 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

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piggle13 wrote:
So although you might not have had experience with bengals before, do you have experience with other cats that will help you as i think this is the main point really? Bengals can be an extreme which require determination from the owner at times to remain in charge, but i think if you know the teaching techniques / are wiling to learn and you will stick by them then you know how to apply them to any breed at the end of the day, bengals included.

@piggle13, my boyfriend is an experienced cat owner, but I can't speak for his past involvement as far as training goes. I grew up with dogs that were all very high-maintenance, high-energy, and sometimes unpredictable. Some of the dogs I've had to help train had very serious behavioral issues. It took time to get them to channel their energy in a less destructive way, and to trust us (the owners) to guide them. I think as the owners it took far more discipline for us to train the dogs than for the dogs to be trained!

To answer your question, yes, we are willing to put in the work, regardless if we go with a young adult or a kitten. We understand that a cat has its own mind and its own way of viewing the environment, and it's not so much about controlling her as helping her satisfy her instincts and needs, given the limitations of the indoors.

junglerose wrote:
The other thing is you are not used to Bengal cats, they are not IMO easy cats in general. Some are just domestics, they act like domestics and have little trouble, some could not be described as domestic and can be extremely challenging, some who are little trouble are owned by people who either instinctively know what to do or by experience have learned what to do to sort the Bengal out, to make it calm, happy and stable.

@junglerose, yes you are 100% right! We have no experience with the breed, so we are relying heavily on the advice given here, as well as other breeders we have reached out to (I've emailed 4 or 5 more local breeders since starting this thread.) I am in the process of setting up meetings with some breeders and seeking out retired queens that are up for adoption. It's probably going to take another month or so of questions, talks, meeting cats, meeting breeders, etc etc before we can really make our decision. That's not to say we will be totally prepared when the time comes! But we do intend to get dirty and do our research before we commit to anything.

Update: my best high school friend lives 15 minutes away and spends many hours alone working from home during the day. She has volunteered to come over and work from our house and spend time with our cat on a regular basis (perhaps a few days a week). The other key player for us is my boyfriend's mother (who is a cat whisperer of sorts), who lives nearby and whom we will rely on if we ever go away for an extended period of time. Judging from some comments regarding the bengal's adverse reaction to sudden environmental changes (including people), we would be careful about introducing them to the cat and make sure it's a gradual process.

Thank you all again for your insightful comments... not enough time to respond to all of them but I want you to know they were all read very carefully (multiple times!) and taken into careful consideration. Please, keep them coming! :) :)


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