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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:08 pm 
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Thank you everyone for being so helpful during my initial foray into bengal adoption! Thanks to your advice I avoided making a rash decision and can proceed more informed. Although Monty was genuine and the kittens healthy, I think we will be shopping around. I have contacted a few other local (Southern California) breeders with promising results. Now the question is, how to choose? When you were adopting, did you pick one breeder or visit a few? We are not selective about gender or coat color, although I do have my favorites. One of the draws of owning a bengal is clearly its unique "look," and I do appreciate an unusual-looking cat. Here are the breeders who have kittens available and the pros and cons. Let's assume cost is not a factor at this point. Also, all of these catteries are TICA registered and all kittens are purebred with pedigrees.

Mayaville / Lucia Viti

Kittens: One brown marble male, one silver marble female
Location: Carlsbad, CA, which is just a few minutes from us
Pros:
  • Raised in-home, underfoot, socialized with dogs, cats, children
  • All queens are HCM certified
  • Willing to supply list of satisfied customers and vet as references

Cons:
  • Kittens are not vaccinated or altered prior to adoption (not a dealbreaker, just a note)
  • Kittens are priced by coat color, which isn't a huge deal except it seems a little unnecessary to do so if they are all sold as pets

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San Diego Bengals / Gary Colby

Kittens: "Stunning" brown charcoal male with moustache, "very nice" brown spotted, blue spotted, all male.
Location: San Diego, CA, which is just a few minutes from us
Pros:
  • Breeders HCM tested and kitten contract includes generous HCM guarantee
  • Stands by the health of the kitten and will replace/refund should anything unfortunate occur
  • Noted that the blue spotted male is exceptionally affectionate and a "lap cat," although I am not sure how I feel about the blue coat

Cons:
  • Kittens are not altered prior to adoption (not a dealbreaker, just a note)

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Amantra Bengals / Janice Tyler

Kittens: Black rosetted male, black rosetted female, black marbled female and "very rosetted" female (not pictured)
Location: Bakersfield, which is about a two and a half hour drive
Pros:
  • Breeders HCM tested
  • Kittens come micro-chipped, vaccinated, de-wormed and with a two-year guarantee
  • Amantra is pretty highly recommended, has won many breeder awards and known for excellent kittens

Cons:
  • Pretty much the only con is the distance! I would probably make just one trip and have to decide right then to take home a kitten or not. Do not want to make more than one 2.5 hour trip when there are other, closer breeders, but I would do it if it makes sense and for the quality / experience / assurance.

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So there you have it. How should I best proceed? I'm figuring to visit the local catteries, meet the breeders, interact with the kittens and just hope to click with one. I will be calling later today to discuss temperaments of the kittens, pricing, etc. Should I rule out Amantra because if the distance, or do you think it's worth looking into because of her excellent reputation? And how do I compare kittens I'm able to meet and interact with to kittens I won't have the same time with? Do any of these kittens strike you as being super-extra-awesome specimens that I should be particularly interested in? Any input is great. Sorry for the second, information and image-heavy post (but I hear you guys like images, so hopefully you can forgive me).


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:49 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:19 pm
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Location: Wiltshire, England
Amantra

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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i agree..the last set of pics seem to be the prettiest kittens :D :D love the little marble :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:57 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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I definitely appreciated the photos! They're all so cute!

I'm in the wrong country so can't offer much advice on any of them. However, I don't know if things are different where you are but I don't think there are THAT many breeders over here who neuter the animals before they leave. Some breeders will hold back the paperwork until they have proof that the cat has been 'done'. Certainly all the breeders I had dealings with didn't neuter the cats themselves. So personally, that wouldn't be a con... or a note as you put it, for me. :)

I don't really have anything useful to add. Did you have a good vibe or a better vibe off one breeder over another when you were doing your research? Sometimes your gut instinct is a good place to start!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Leicestershire, UK
When do they rehome?

Kittens should not be rehomed until 12 weeks when fully vaccinated... for many reasons.

TICA recommends this also:
http://www.tica.org/members/forms/catte ... ethics.pdf
http://www.tica.org/members/publication ... kitten.pdf


I love the second breeder's blue. I love blue bengals....

I would go with the best whole package myself.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:29 pm 
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Posts: 78
Thanks, guys - I agree Amantra's babies are beautiful! I just wish she were closer. But I know a lot of folks pick their kittens out based on photos and trust the breeder to socialize them. And I know she wouldn't come so highly recommended if her kittens weren't stellar. All of these breeders release their kittens at 12 weeks - some photos are from the kittens when they were younger and some are not ready to leave home yet.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:45 pm 
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Oh geez... I don't know how anyone can not get the spotted blue :D Very rare, very awesome.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:37 am 
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brianj12 wrote:
Oh geez... I don't know how anyone can not get the spotted blue :D Very rare, very awesome.



But you're biased, aren't you? ;)

I'm partial to the charcoal myself, but from the picture and his age I can't get a good idea of what his coat's like. I think I'll go see these guys - my OH slipped that he would prefer a little boy, and Gary Colby sure comes highly recommended. And he's close!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:44 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I agree the blue rosetted Bengal is pretty, but it's a very personal choice. Though I think the blues are very nice looking I wouldn't want one myself - when it comes to Bengals I much prefer the boldly contrasted colors like brown or silver spotted/rosetted. But that's just me!

It seems like you've been doing a great job seeking out reputable breeders, good on you for doing your research. :D I love the fact that all three options do HCM testing to some degree. Also it's great that all three wait to rehome kittens till at least 12 weeks, and that they're all TICA registered (I assume this means all the kittens come with papers too).

I would stay away from the first breeder who doesn't vaccinate prior to the kittens going home, though. That's not something the new owner should have to take care of. The whole point of kitten vaccines is that they are done at the proper ages (about 8-9wks and 11-12wks), so it makes even less sense that they would keep the kittens till 12 weeks but not even vaccinate them. :? Also this way if the kittens by chance have a bad reaction to the vaccine, the new owner won't be the one that has to deal with it. Kittens really should stay with the breeder till they've gotten vaccines out of the way.

Now do I remember correctly that you were wanting to get two kittens together? Did you decide if you want two boys, two girls, or a boy and a girl? Personally I would recommend two boys as the ultimate pairing, but I know there are some people that do have two girls or boy/girl with success. Just in my experience nothing beats boy/boy. :) Usually they are the most cuddly and affectionate with their human, and with each other as well (especially if they are siblings or have been raised together). If you're wanting to get two, then of course gender is also something you'll have to consider. And whether or not the two kittens you're interested in are siblings or if they've at least grown up together (I know some breeders keep different litters separate and what not).

Personally, I think I'd probably visit the second breeder (San Diego Bengals) first since they are so close to you anyway, just to get a feel for what their kittens are like and to have a look around their cattery - but not make any final decisions yet and just let them know you have one other cattery to visit before you make your decision. Then I would just suck it up and make the trip to Amantra last. :P I've heard many great things about them so I'd definitely have to check them out for myself. And if you really like what you see and you click with the kittens they have, then you can just leave with your kitten(s) that day. But if for some reason you aren't happy with Amantra, you can always go back to the other breeder closer to you. I know 2 1/2 hours is a far drive but we had to drive almost 5 hours to get Loki, and it was SO worth it. We had other breeders closer to home too (even some with less expensive kittens) but I really wanted Loki. :lol: It's just a one-time trip for a new family member that you'll have for hopefully the next 15-20 years!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:29 am 
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BTW, I've been meaning to tell you that Loki is a GORGEOUS cat!

And you're right about the trip. I have zero problem driving all over the place to find the perfect kitten, but I want my OH to be involved in the choice and he is not on the bengal bandwagon just yet. Letting me spend on a purebred kitten is a reward for me - not something he would ever do on his own and not something he has researched or knows anything about, so I want to make it as painless as possible. It's hard enough for him to get behind spending $$$ for a kitten: he still doesn't understand why we didn't just get the kittens from Monty. Sigh! Plus, just a few months ago we drove the same distance to adopt the dog that didn't work out. So I might have to take him to San Diego Bengals and then make the trip up there alone.

echoplexia wrote:
Now do I remember correctly that you were wanting to get two kittens together? Did you decide if you want two boys, two girls, or a boy and a girl?!


You're right, we were, but in light of the sudden-onset allergies Sid has requested that we pump the brakes a bit, so to speak, and start with one. I still have faith his allergies will not be a problem but, like I said, painless. He also works from home, which makes me feel better about the kitten having a playmate and not being alone. Plus, the upside to getting one now is when we get another down the road! That way we can spread the kitten joy out over a few years. I don't have one and I already want more! ;)

Edit: I should note that this post makes Sid seem like sort of a downer, but he has been incredibly supportive. It's just hard for anyone else to match my level of enthusiasm once I really get going! I've been literally dreaming of kittens since six months ago. He loved his last cat, Iris, and when we went to see the kittens he was beside himself. I know we're going to make great parents. Now how do I tell him I want to teach our cat to use the toilet? :O


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:30 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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brianj12 wrote:
Oh geez... I don't know how anyone can not get the spotted blue :D Very rare, very awesome.


Yep, I so instantly fell in love with that pic :mrgreen:
And I'm not biased :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:40 am 
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Janice Tyler has an excellent reputation as a breeder. High standards. Gary Colby is first class as well. Echoplexia's suggestion of visiting Gary first then Janice is the way to proceed I would say.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:25 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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echoplexia wrote:
I would stay away from the first breeder who doesn't vaccinate prior to the kittens going home, though. That's not something the new owner should have to take care of. The whole point of kitten vaccines is that they are done at the proper ages (about 8-9wks and 11-12wks), so it makes even less sense that they would keep the kittens till 12 weeks but not even vaccinate them. :? Also this way if the kittens by chance have a bad reaction to the vaccine, the new owner won't be the one that has to deal with it. Kittens really should stay with the breeder till they've gotten vaccines out of the way.



I am puzzled as to why someone would go to the effort to keep the kittens until 12 weeks but not vaccinate :? Kittens are protected from the vaccinated stuff by mom's antibodies which they get in the first 24-36 hours in mom's colostrum. This immunity from her antibodies starts to diminish around 8-9 weeks which is why it's important to vaccinate then so as to protect from the beginning with no break in 'cover'. Echoplexia is correct about the reaction scenario. In my opinion, this is as bad as rehoming at 9 weeks after 1 vaccination shot :(

I have a vague memory of a breeder who did not vaccinate any of her cats including all breeding cats as she had too many nasty reactions so the kittens came with no immunity at all :shock: Cannot remember where this was but it was the US.

Fenstar wrote:
brianj12 wrote:
Oh geez... I don't know how anyone can not get the spotted blue :D Very rare, very awesome.


Yep, I so instantly fell in love with that pic :mrgreen:
And I'm not biased :lol:


I agree.... if i was to get another Bengal, it will be a blue. I love them! They have the softest fur....

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:36 am 
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I would instantly eliminate the first first breeder (Mayaville) because the kittens are not vaccinated before homing. It is a bit bizarre that they don't, considering you say they HCM screen and everything. Why cut corners on this???

I personally would go and visit San Diego Bengals first - their cats look very cute and all the right things are checked on your list, and they are certainly not out of your way! If you don't click with any of the kittens, you can visit more breeders.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:33 pm 
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I'd scrap any breeder who doesn't vaccinate their kittens. It could me a hefty vet bill and a poorly cat, later on in life.

They are all sooooo gorgeous!

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