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 Post subject: HCM DISCUSSION
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:52 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Well my take on crosses has gone a full 180..

I think it may actually be better to buy a cross. I think a breeder producing a bengal/ moggy cross may actually be doing you a big favour.

HCM is now so badly engrained in bengal lines and so little is being done to limit the damage by the MAJORITY of breeders then I think crosses are likely to be a safer bet than a purebred bengal, at least one of the parents will be a low HCM risk which although does not eliminate HCM risk it must reduce it.

The more I look into breeding activity and the lengths that some bengal breeders are willing to go to to "Make it appear" they are ethical the more I am becoming aware that the distinction between Breeder and Back yard breeder is not the clear cut line it first appears to be.

6 months ago I would never have advised anyone buy a cross, now to be honest if someone asked my advise I would have to say if you can get a bengal moggy cross then go for that over a full bengal, and even better go for a different breed altogether until the dross is weeded out of the breeding game and we are left with breeders who care enough about the breed to do something about these genetic faults.

Sooner or later these things are going to become public knowledge, a shock wave is beginning to ripple through the bengal ownership and when/ if it gathers momentum the **** is going to hit the fan in a spectacular mess ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:58 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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I feel like I should say something on this thread since I own two bengal cross cats. They are actually 3/4 bengal as the queen was a half bengal, half white cat (I think I remember the breeder saying she was an accident), and the stud was a former show bengal of very high quality. The breeder primarily bred purebred bengals and I saw lots of her queens, studs and beautiful kittens when I visited. She explained our two boys as an "experiment". She said something about trying to get the spotted body and white belly trait which is favorable in bengals.

As for the cost of my cats... they were $200 each. The same breeder was charging between $500-800 for a purebred bengal. So while they were significantly cheaper, they weren't as cheap as a usual moggie. Here moggies through the SPCA sell for about $100.

I'm not sure where I stand on the whole ethical debate. All I know is that I love Tau and Azizi very much and don't really care what they are.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:15 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Leicestershire, UK
Louise-paisley wrote:
Well my take on crosses has gone a full 180..

I think it may actually be better to buy a cross. I think a breeder producing a bengal/ moggy cross may actually be doing you a big favour.

HCM is now so badly engrained in bengal lines and so little is being done to limit the damage by the MAJORITY of breeders then I think crosses are likely to be a safer bet than a purebred bengal, at least one of the parents will be a low HCM risk which although does not eliminate HCM risk it must reduce it.

The more I look into breeding activity and the lengths that some bengal breeders are willing to go to to "Make it appear" they are ethical the more I am becoming aware that the distinction between Breeder and Back yard breeder is not the clear cut line it first appears to be.

6 months ago I would never have advised anyone buy a cross, now to be honest if someone asked my advise I would have to say if you can get a bengal moggy cross then go for that over a full bengal, and even better go for a different breed altogether until the dross is weeded out of the breeding game and we are left with breeders who care enough about the breed to do something about these genetic faults.



I can't say i agree with you there. Some crosses are bred a little more responsibly but the majority are farmed out for quick and easy money. They are fed on very inferior wet food at times, let go too early, not vaccinated, not wormed (with appropriate wormers at appropriate times). They are usually bred from people who buy a pure breed pedigree as a pet and then break contract by using it to breed. They don't health test the cats before mating so you don't know what either of them carry like FIV for example.

I am only talking about some crosses out there although, i believe it to be the majority. I do realise that some are more responsible.

I would advise someone looks around and finds a more responsible Bengal breeder (there are a few) who do scan and do test. I would advise that there may be a wait for a kitten.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:22 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Lovely wrote:
I feel like I should say something on this thread since I own two bengal cross cats. They are actually 3/4 bengal as the queen was a half bengal, half white cat (I think I remember the breeder saying she was an accident), and the stud was a former show bengal of very high quality. The breeder primarily bred purebred bengals and I saw lots of her queens, studs and beautiful kittens when I visited. She explained our two boys as an "experiment". She said something about trying to get the spotted body and white belly trait which is favorable in bengals.



Your cats are very beautiful.

I just wanted to say something about what what you breeder told you about getting a whited tummy. She will never get the desired look by this method. The tummy of a white tummied bengal still has a few spots (i believe) it's just that the base is white instead of being beige or brown or another shade... What she needs is a bengal with a whited tummy to use as a queen or stud. You then mate it with another that may have it or carry for it. There is probably more to it that this but i do know that she will not get it the way she is trying. Not sure if she just doesn't understand genetics or how it happens or whether she was out to make a bit of money from a pretty kitten that was an accident.

Never the less. Your cats are lovely so you did okay by it all.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:05 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:56 pm
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Location: Oxon
Louise-paisley wrote:
Well my take on crosses has gone a full 180..

I think it may actually be better to buy a cross. I think a breeder producing a bengal/ moggy cross may actually be doing you a big favour.

HCM is now so badly engrained in bengal lines and so little is being done to limit the damage by the MAJORITY of breeders then I think crosses are likely to be a safer bet than a purebred bengal, at least one of the parents will be a low HCM risk which although does not eliminate HCM risk it must reduce it.

The more I look into breeding activity and the lengths that some bengal breeders are willing to go to to "Make it appear" they are ethical the more I am becoming aware that the distinction between Breeder and Back yard breeder is not the clear cut line it first appears to be.

6 months ago I would never have advised anyone buy a cross, now to be honest if someone asked my advise I would have to say if you can get a bengal moggy cross then go for that over a full bengal, and even better go for a different breed altogether until the dross is weeded out of the breeding game and we are left with breeders who care enough about the breed to do something about these genetic faults.

Sooner or later these things are going to become public knowledge, a shock wave is beginning to ripple through the bengal ownership and when/ if it gathers momentum the **** is going to hit the fan in a spectacular mess ;)


I used to really get annoyed with the whole bengal mix thing, thinking that it wasn't good to cross breed etc. Now I must admit I wonder if it would be better to buy a cross? They would probably have a lesser chance of having HCM. I know several pet owners who's cats are high risk or actually have HCM.

I don't see much discussion on here about HCM. I get the feeling many pet owners don't have a clue about it....

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:37 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:12 pm
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Location: South Yorkshire UK
Moggys can have HCM too, getting a cross breed cat is not going to guarantee you a healthy kitten. The only way to try to ensure you get a healthy cat is to buy from breeders who regularly screen their cats, whatever breed they are. If a breeder wanted to breed bengal mix cats and they were screening all the cats used in their breeding annually then fair enough but personnaly I don't think many breeders would be screening non bengal cats considering how few breeders actually screen their pure breed cats. Also the majority of bengal mix kittens available are being bred from pet only kittens. Pet only doesn't just mean not quite good enough to breed or show, it can be due to health problems like a litter mate having a heart murmer for example and then these health problems get passed on into the cross breed kittens. The only way to get HCM out of the bengal breed is for breeders to screen all their cats annually and for pet owners to inform their breeder if their cat is diagnosed with HCM so that the breeder can remove any possitive cats from their breeding program that may still be screening negative. Until a genetic test is developed for HCM in bengals there is no deffinite test to confirm a cats HCM status, all we can do is screen each cat every year. All breeders and bengal owners need to work together to get this horrible disease out of the breed by being more open and honest, buyers need to do their research and insist that kittens come from screened parents and breeders need to work together not shy away from the issue.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:38 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:18 am
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Sigh ever since joining BCF I've become more and more paranoid... HCM, PK deficiency, FIP, etc... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:02 pm 
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But say they cross a bengal to a ... ragdoll? (HCM) maine coon (HCM?) norwegian (think hcm to??)

I see alot of (well dunno if its true) bengal cross raggies maine coon / persians?!?! all just look like mogs really.

each breed has its own thing, my moggie has been ill since he was 5 weeks old, I wont say how much its cost us in 14years his been alive as Ill be certififed insane :oops:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:28 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:52 am
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Location: Dunfermline, Fife, UK
trudint wrote:
Louise-paisley wrote:
Well my take on crosses has gone a full 180..

I think it may actually be better to buy a cross. I think a breeder producing a bengal/ moggy cross may actually be doing you a big favour.

HCM is now so badly engrained in bengal lines and so little is being done to limit the damage by the MAJORITY of breeders then I think crosses are likely to be a safer bet than a purebred bengal, at least one of the parents will be a low HCM risk which although does not eliminate HCM risk it must reduce it.

The more I look into breeding activity and the lengths that some bengal breeders are willing to go to to "Make it appear" they are ethical the more I am becoming aware that the distinction between Breeder and Back yard breeder is not the clear cut line it first appears to be.

6 months ago I would never have advised anyone buy a cross, now to be honest if someone asked my advise I would have to say if you can get a bengal moggy cross then go for that over a full bengal, and even better go for a different breed altogether until the dross is weeded out of the breeding game and we are left with breeders who care enough about the breed to do something about these genetic faults.

Sooner or later these things are going to become public knowledge, a shock wave is beginning to ripple through the bengal ownership and when/ if it gathers momentum the **** is going to hit the fan in a spectacular mess ;)


I used to really get annoyed with the whole bengal mix thing, thinking that it wasn't good to cross breed etc. Now I must admit I wonder if it would be better to buy a cross? They would probably have a lesser chance of having HCM. I know several pet owners who's cats are high risk or actually have HCM.

I don't see much discussion on here about HCM. I get the feeling many pet owners don't have a clue about it....


Very true, my Kai has just been diagnosed with HCM and I am devastated! Possibly i had done more research and discovered this site before getting a Bengal I may have chose not to get one at all. I think people are right to be paranoid about the health problems within the breed!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:00 pm 
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Out of interest, who knew bengals were a high risk HCM breed and whether their breeder screened when they bought their kitten?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:09 pm 
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If people start to actually look at the lengths some "Ethical" breeders, and some of the BIG BIG players in the bengal breed go to to disguise the fact that they are knowingly using extremely high risk HCM cats in thier breeding program they would be absolutely horrified.

Let me just give you a couple of examples, and by absolutely no means is this list exhaustive it is barely scratching the surface of the deception being used (In no particular order of severity)..

    Informing pet owners there is no need for them to scan because there is NO HCM in their lines - A lie, HCM is present in all current bengal lines.

    Scanning one cat to obtain a certificate and then using that to create forged certificates for other cats which are not scanned.

    Screening one or two cats and using that to advertise widely on websites etc that they scan when the majority of cats are not.

    Using lines they KNOW are extremely high HCM risk and screening cats at one year old when there is a near zero chance of a positive result (Most HCM shows after 2 or 3 years of age) then farming the breeders out to pet at 2 years old before they have a chance to screen positive - Often they will use the fact that cats go to pet early as a selling point "We care about our breeder cats so they go to pet homes at 2 years old so they can enjoy a good retirement" when in fact all they are doing is getting rid before the problem has chance to surface.


You try finding a breeder that scans all their cats, can provide certificates showing all their breeding cats have been screened within the last 12 months by a recognised cardiologist, where you are able to confirm the validity of those certificates, where the breeder will give you the pedigree information for you to have the genetic lines independently assessed for HCM risk, where the breeder DOES NOT dump breeding cats into pet homes at 2 years old - I would like to bet you will have an extremely hard time finding one, WHY IS THAT DO YOU THINK?

Let's get one thing clear here regarding HCM, it IS present in all breeds including humans, it is a naturally occurring genetic mutation which 'can' crop up from two perfectly healthy parents.

The difference is that in practically every other breeding program breeders do their best to eradicate it by screening/ testing and NOT USING LINES WHICH ARE KNOWN TO BE HIGH RISK.

In the bengal breed the majority (LARGE majority) of breeders are not doing anything to minimise the risk, not scanning, not studying pedigrees and selecting the low risk lines, not informing others of problems when they occur so that other cats from the lines being used for breeding can be taken out of breeding programs.

In fact the big players in the bengal breed are actually using lines they KNOW FULL WELL are extremely high risk simply because they have wow factor coats, they are selling breeding cats from these lines to less experienced breeders with promises of high sales and profits for extortionate amounts of money, and who do you think is the mug who will end up picking up the tab for this negligence?

Well let me tell you, it is you pet owners out there, you are the ones who are ultimately being screwed left right and centre, you are the one who will be left with a 2 or 3 year old bengal cat that you and your family have come to love dying a horrible painful death.

You can live in blissful ignorance if you wish, that is of course your right, but there is a rapidly increasing number of people who are now finding themselves with sick and dying cats simply because breeders are too greedy to spend £200 per year per breeding cat to screen and too damn lazy to research the genetic lines they are using/ buying into to select the lowest risk ones.

It can't happen to you though can it, you know your breeder, you know they are ethical, you know they wouldn't sell you a cat they know is facing a huge risk of such a terrible disease - Right up to the point when your vet diagnoses it that is, and trust me there are a lot of people finding themselves in this situation RIGHT NOW.

Princess Lolly is one such person, I am sorry for using you as an example Lolly and I really really wish poor Kai and yourself were not facing the terrible truth of this mess the breeders are creating, as always I will keep my fingers, toes and everything else crossed that the medication can give Kai a good life - I truly am absolutely heartbroken that you are yet another of my friends facing this terrible ordeal, I am sick to death of hearing my friends heartbreaking news I really am :( :(

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:13 pm 
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trudint wrote:
Out of interest, who knew bengals were a high risk HCM breed and whether their breeder screened when they bought their kitten?


I have to admit I had no idea, trust me I kick myself daily for being so bloody naive. I did not just dive in and buy a bengal, well at the time I thought I didn't but with hindsight I think actually I did!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Am so sorry to hear about Kai Laura....I hope that you get full support from your breeder and that you are able to manage Kai's condition xx

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:08 pm 
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thanks lacemoat, kai (and kami) mean the world to us and we will do the best we can for Kai. Like Louise, i did do research before getting a bengal, but clearly i did not look into the health issues closely enough. Forums like this can make people paranoid about all of the conditions out there, but i think it is a good thing to be aware of what you are getting yourself into.

Kai's breeder has been in touch and have said they will do what they can to help but basically - what can they do? It is myself and my partner who will have to deal with the fact that our baby is going to die and that this could happen at any moment.

It is also petplan who will be shelling out for his scans, treatment and medication which ultimately will put premiums up for everyone else. Kai is 18 months old and petplan have paid out 4k already!! (he was really ill at 11 months with suspected mysthenia gravis - resulting in biopsies being couriered to USA and a 7 night stay in hospital in glasgow).

I love both of my cats dearly they are my very spoilt babies however if i was ever to consider getting another bengal (or any other pedigree animal) i would be very cautious.

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Kai is the golden brown and Kami is the cooler brown x

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Sadly it does seems to be the case that awareness is simply not there, and your every day pet owner hasnt even heard of hcm.

Its important the information is put out there and both breeders and pet owners can work together in putting the word and the knowledge out there in a positive & productive way in the hope that in the future cats like Kai and families like yourselves dont have to suffer x :cry:

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