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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 1:16 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 1:02 pm
Posts: 2
Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of getting two girl kittens - they are about 5 weeks at the moment and I'll probably get them at 12 weeks> I've been researching about Bengals for some time but would still like to get answers to some questions from people who actually live with them. Any answers to the following questions would be much appreciated:

1) I live in a flat that is open plan with a mezzanine level. The stairs for the mezzanine aren't enclosed so there are gaps all the way up (the mezzanine is about 8ft up) and there is a glass wall also with gaps at each end to stop you falling down when you stumble out of bed! The best way to picture it is as a balcony with a 5ft wall to stop you from falling. There is though a gap above the glass wall that I would imagine a bengal could easily clear. The drop, therefore is about 13ft in all. I have had a kitten before but not a bengal and she was fine and didn't attempt any superman impressions! Do you think the bengals will be ok with this or should I work out a way of stopping them from getting up to this level?

2) On the same note - as the flat is open plan, should I initially make some sort of enclosure for the kittens for when I'm at work so that they are not tempted to explore?

3) Will two kittens use one litter tray?

4) In everyones experience, do the kittens calm slightly as they become adult cats? I mentioned I had a kitten previously and she was a very fun/naughty thing but calmed and played/caused less mischief as she got older - is this the same for Bengals?

5) How old before I can start to walk them on a harness?

6) How old before I should put collars on them? - I would hate to think that becuase they are growing so quickly the collars get tight.

7) I will be out during the week for about 12 hours/day at work - this is the reason I am getting 2 - are there any special precautions I should take?

8) What height cat tree shall I get for them initially?

9) Does anybody feed their cats "Natures Menu" food? This is what I'm planning to use. Have you noticed any difference between this and the big brand foods?

10) What are the chances my furniture is going to stay in-tact if I provide scratching posts/toys/cardboard boxes, etc....?

I think that's all for now - I'm sure I'll think of loads more. thanks in advance for any replies


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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 2:20 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:54 pm
Posts: 10875
Location: Cumbria, UK
Hi and welcome to the forum. Some of your questions are difficult to answer because, although Bengals share some traits, they are still different personalities and will behave differently. You're definitely right to be getting 2 as they'll be company for each other which should (!!) reduce some of their wildness.

Generally speaking cats will be reasonably careful about climbing up somewhere that isn't safe, although Bengals are more adventurous than most. I think you'll have to see how they behave with the mezzanine level but I'd tend to say they'll probably be OK.

Rule with litter trays is usually one per cat, plus a spare. Mine like to turn toileting into a social event so do actually use the same tray but I still have two down (they now go outside most of the time).

Harnesses I can't advise on as mine have free access to outdoors. I put collars on them as soon as they were going out and I check them for tightness pretty much every time I stroke them - it's easy enough to check that you can get two fingers comfortably under the collar. Also make sure that they're the quick-release type of collar - a good website if you're in the UK is www.kittycollars.co.uk.

I also work all day and it hasn't been a problem with my two, although they do go outside (which brings it's own problems as you'll see from a thread in the discussion forum!). So long as you remember that Bengals are very active and need lots of stimulation and exercise, then you'll be fine.

Get the biggest cat tree you're happy to live with! They love climbing and it'll hopefully protect the rest of your house. Let them play in the cardboard boxes too - mine love those so I have a couple lying around all the time. They're also good to chew on so have saved my furniture!

Nature's Menu is a good quality food. Mine had the kitten food but were less keen on the adult food so are now on Hi-Life 60% meat foods. It can be a matter of trial and error but initially it's best to keep them on whatever the breeder is giving them and only change over very slowly.

You'll get differing views about furniture - mine have never shown any sign of damaging any of my furniture but they have scratched the doors (I've never particularly tried to stop them though). The more places they have to safely use up their energy, the less likely they are to attack your furniture so the tree, cardboard boxes etc are a good idea. Also take plenty of time to play with them - wand toys with attachments to chase are great. DaBird is one of the most popular toys for Bengals - you can get them off Ebay.

Finally - enjoy your fur babies and post lots of pictures!!

Ginny

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 4:30 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:42 pm
Posts: 713
Location: Adelaide, Australia
I'd be getting the harnesses onto them from as soon as you possibly can. If you can get them used to it from small you are less likely to have problems.

Introduce the harness wearing before you try to walk them on a lead. Once they are happy to do most things in a harness, then introduce the lead. Maybe take them just outside for a few minutes on the lead and check thet they don't panic and escape the harness (they can be VERY slippery if they want, and most harnesses can be escaped from by moving backwards fast/hard enough with sufficient pull from the front - ie, with a lead!)

Also get them used to claw clipping from very young. It will save your skin and your furniture!

We have three cats and a few litter trays around the house. They all share all of the litter trays and just go to whichever one is convenient or clean!

I think they'll love the mezz area - cats love being up high and watching the plebs down below them. If there's glass to look down from they will probably work it out that a drop from that height looks pretty scary, and not try to get over the glass. I think you'll be ok - just watch them a bit when they get home and decide for yourself if you should worry about it.

All the best - hope you have a wonderful time with your girls =)


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:23 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:43 pm
Posts: 2445
Location: France (Dijon)
Hi and welcome :D

1) I think the mezzanine should be ok ;). As for open stairs, my in laws have some and even Chaos (ataxic) doesn't fall through :lol: (Onyx once fell through at my parents' but he was rolling over on a step :lol: ).

2) It doesn't seem necessary for the enclosure...

3) Mine use one litter tray (I have 2 cats) but if you have room enough, 2 will be better ;).

4) My Bengal is one year old and still pretty full of mischief :lol:

5) For the harness, start as soon as you can. Onyx started at 2 months old, Chaos at 4.

6) Will they get out ? Because if they don't, a collar isn't necessary...
I don't like collars personally.

7) No precautions ;)

8) I got a 1,6m cat tree at first for Onyx when he was 2 months old and it was ok ;) (sadly, they broke the upper part last week :roll: )

9) I don't know this brand of food so can't say. But at first you should begin with what the breeder gave them alse you'll have some tummies upset... ;)

10) As for furniture, it depends on your cats... mine don't scratch the couch but the wallpapers (of the "soft" sort) are to be redone :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 4:54 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 1:02 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for all your help so far. I've posted links to a couple of photos. Do you think her head will stay such a bright orange colour?!?!?

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm16 ... itten1.jpg

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm16 ... itten2.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:45 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:43 pm
Posts: 2445
Location: France (Dijon)
She's very cute :D.

As for colour... this was baby Chaos :

Image

Image

And here he is now, one year old ;)

Image

Image

I guess she'll stay quite "red" ;) (this is what is called rufus and she seems to have quite a lot, like Chaos), but the colour will be the same on body and head...

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