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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:03 am 
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Bengal Cat

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If you can't tell from the title this post will have multiple questions. As I read through the site I come up with questions then forget them so bear with me please as I will probably have multiple posts :biggrin:

My breeder has offered to have her vet spay my baby before I bring her home. I had never heard of spaying this early before. I am going to do my own research but wanted to get some opinions from those with experience with the breed.

Outside time. I am definitely planning on training her to go for walks but my biggest worry is her trying to get out when it is not time for a walk. I have three kids so this would be a very real possibility. I have read up on this and know I should have a strict routine IE putting on the harness, using the same door each time etc. I plan on using the carrier to help with this. Basically I will put her harness on an put her in the carrier and take that outside then start the walk/outdoor time from the carrier (does this make sense? I am hoping with using the carrier she will not associate the door directly with outside time and try to dart and she will associate the carrier with good things for vet visits and car trips. Thoughts??

Feeding. Growing up we always had cats and we always fed them dry food with occasional wet food. Brands partly depended on the cat. I see the benefit of grain free feeding and plan on getting a good quality food (brand to researched later) but do I feed dry or wet of this quality food? Do I leave a dry food bowl out all the time (this is what we always did) or just put it out at certain times?

Finally, what was the one necessity you would suggest for a new kitten owner. Besides the obvious food, water, litter, you know basic life necessities that are obvious.

Thank you in advance and stay tuned for many more questions! :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:27 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:00 am
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Early neuter is a pretty commonplace thing now although, when we got Quasar almost 3 years ago, I had never heard of this. Our breeder had him neutered at about 10 weeks of age. By the time I picked him up at 13 weeks, he was well recovered. I enjoyed the fact that I did not have to put him through the stress (or me through the bother) of having him neutered later on. I'd recommend early neuter in a heartbeat.

Outside time - We had Quasar in a harness on the way home from the breeder, a 5 1/2 hour drive. He has never been bothered by the harness. He knows it means he is going outside. He does try to escape out the door, at times with success. We take him out in the backyard regularly on his harness, so he has become familiar with where "home" is. Last week, hubby left the door open when he went to work and Quasar got out. He was probably outside 3 or 4 hours before I came home from work. He was tearing around our backyard like a maniac but stopped and ran up to me on the back deck when I shook a plastic box of dry dog food, something he considers a treat. When we go outside, we make sure we know where he is and that he knows that we know. Most of the time, he won't try to run out if he knows we are watching him. Keeping your cat inside or outside but in your control is the safest option for her. Good choice!

The most natural and healthiest diet for your cat is raw. If feeding a non-raw diet, then wet food is best to ensure adequate hydration. Even a grain free dry food has some filler and unnecessary nutrients. Cats are obligate carnivores. They require nothing more than a pure meat diet. Other ingredients in foods can cause tummy troubles requiring trial and error, by times, to find the food that your cat likes and that won't upset her tums.

The one necessity my kitty has is a climbing tower. When we first got him, and he was sleeping in his safe room, we had a 3+ foot tall platform scratcher that he liked to sleep on top of. Now we have that scratcher as well as two, much larger and multi-level climbers.

The other thing that I really enjoy, as chief poop scooper, is the Litter Genie. We have 3 boxes, one on each level of our home and each level has a Litter Genie.

Your kitten is adorable. You will have her home, tearing up the joint, before you know it.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:41 am 
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Bengal Cat

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Thank you kyenta! I have been researching the raw diet since I started looking into bengals. I am soooo confused by it all though. Can you buy store meat? If so what kind? Meat grinder? Do I add vitamins? It just sends my head spinning. If I get a good hang on it (or a good mentor) it might be a possibility but for now with my confusion, I think it safer to stick with a high quality cat food.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:47 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Kyenta1 wrote:
Cats are obligate carnivores. They require nothing more than a pure meat diet.


katieleon wrote:
Can you buy store meat? If so what kind?


Well, kind of. I think to most people, "meat" means muscle meat, but feeding a cat a steady diet of only that will be disastrous to the cat because they need the other vitamins and minerals that they'd be getting from organs, bone etc. So a proper raw diet either consists of "whole animals" or "meat" plus a bunch of additives in the correct proportions. It's not really "just meat".

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:26 pm 
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Bengal Cat

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Thanks brian! That is exactly my hesitation with raw feeding. I don't want to do something wrong and cause more harm than good.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:26 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Many breeders spay and neuter prior to the kitty leaving them. Raiden was neutered at 10 weeks as well. He still marks -- on our walks. I would think it is better for the spay to be done prior to your getting the cat. One less thing to worry about and easier healing for the kitty.

I take Raiden out on two walks daily. Morning and late afternoon. He loves them. Of course, it's no exercise for me since he stops every five seconds and looks around to see if he can spot another cat. It's easy to train bengals to walk on a harness and leash and it's great outdoor exercise for the cat.

As for your cat wanting to go outside at other times -- it may or may not happen. My bengal was a free-roaming bengal for 6 years until I took him. So, he still runs to the door when we are going outside and he has escaped several times. Make sure your kitty is microchipped. Collars can be great, but breakaway collars tend to get lost easily. With children running in and out, it can be dangerous. "Where is the cat???" Know that your kitten will soon discover every exterior door in your home. The best situation would be if you had a "mud room" that leads to the outside and make that as a vestibule for going outside. Having that space to make sure the cat is on the other side of the mud room door and the kids an safely come in and out with the exterior door being closed before the interior door is open. That's not the case in many homes. And kids will be kids and they will not be careful to make sure the cat is not going through the door.

I will say this ..... walking your cat will familiarize her with the neighborhood and the trail back home. Many indoor cats who get out have no idea where they are and are basically lost! I know that if Raiden gets out, he will return home (hopefully).

As for a diet. I don't know that I would feed a kitten raw only because they are growing and need the proper nutrition -- supplements would be required. a high quality grain-free is fine. Kittens also need to eat throughout the day (just like an infant would).

I personally love the Litter Genie. There is absolutely no odor in my home! And it's easy to change the bags (which holds about two weeks' worth of waste). A cat tree is a must for the little gal can climb and be high up. Multiple beds are nice, too, because she will determine where she prefers to sleep and it may never be in the same spot two naps in a row. If you catify your home, your little gal may not be as interested in going outside on her own. Naturally, there are a multitude of outdoor cat enclosures -- big, small, cheap, expensive. Raiden has a large one out on our deck, but he still cries to go outside.

Your little gal is just adorable.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:49 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Definitely take your breeder up on the offer to have her spayed. Omg yes, that's really huge imo. Neytiri's breeder did that to her before she came, and it worked out great, and I had to take care of it with my two bengal girls, and you definitely want to spare yourself that ordeal if you can. It could potentially delay you getting her though, as the vet may want to wait a week or two (or whatever) if they feel she isn't quite ready, but you have no idea how big an ordeal that could potentially be, so better to spare yourself that!

As far as things you need. Aside from the really obvious stuff, I'd add:

a. Fishing rod toys (dabird, neko flies, and/or flying frenzy). You have no idea how huge those are to a bengal (and to you because it will help with bonding, and help tire your bengal out which corrects all kinds of potentially negative behaviors).

b. Climbing opportunities. Tall cat trees, climbing poles, shelving etc. Bengals love that stuff. It might be a little early for a kitten to have high shelving, but definitely cat trees. You'll be amazed that she will want to climb to the top almost immediately :lol: And if the tree has dangling toys on it, that is surprisingly huge to them.

c. Some good cat beds. I've had good luck with the hooded ones.

http://smile.amazon.com/Armarkat-Sage-G ... ed+cat+bed

But all three of my cats like pretty much any plush type of cat bed. Two things though:

a. Location, Location, Location. Put the beds "up" on something, off the floor. When the cat gets older, you can move them up really high (like on top of cat tree or up on a bookshelf) but to begin with someplace like on top of a dresser, or up on a bed is fine.

b. Don't ever physically place your cat in a cat bed though. Doing so immediately biases them against it. It becomes some sort of "punishment". If they discover it themselves, they will love it. Especially if they think it's not really necessarily meant for them :lol: - I'm not kidding though, that's important.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:08 pm 
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katieleon wrote:
Thanks brian! That is exactly my hesitation with raw feeding. I don't want to do something wrong and cause more harm than good.


Mine too, to be honest, although I do admire people that go to the trouble of raw feeding properly and prepare their own catfood. I too am convinced that it is the very best thing for a cat, it's just not always practical for me. What I do is occasionally go to the smaller "premium" pet stores around here and buy prepared, frozen (or freeze dried) raw meals for them, making sure that the ones I buy are "complete" (not all are, and they will generally say so on the label if they are not). But my staple for them is really high quality canned food, which is almost as good, but obviously much more convenient (and gives them more variety because of all the different formulations that are available).

BTW, don't concentrate so much on the "grain free-ness" of a food. That's somewhat of a marketing gimmick. A cat food made up or largely potato for example isn't thought to be any better than one made with, say, corn. What you want to find is foods that:

a) your cat loves (don't under value this!)
b) has a high amount of meat (relative to "filler" like grain, vegetables, fruits)
c) has higher quality meat (on the label: named meat like "chicken" or "turkey" or whatever is better than "chicken meal" or "meat meal" or whatever, is better than "by-products").

So a really crappy food will have the first three ingredients like: corn (or could even be something like potato or yams), meat meal, meat by-products. And a much better food will have the first few ingredients like: deboned chicken, turkey, chicken meal. Also if you get canned food, honestly you can often get a pretty good idea about the quality just by opening up the can and looking/smelling. Open something like tiki cat or weruva and compare it to something like Iams, and there is no way you would choose the Iams, :lol: You can just use your eyes, without even looking at the label.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:30 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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She looks lovely - what age is she now ?

Like many above, my 2 were neutered before they came to me at 13 weeks. They were pretty much healed when they got to me and I guess it was probably a little less stressful for them not to have it done later on.

Mine get fed Orijen biscuits - I tried various other "good" brands, but Babbage always had poop problems with them. From what I can understand you can get pre-made raw food frozen from pet stores, so you don't need to make up your own.

The most important thing for cats - a good, STURDY, cat tree with a spot where they can sleep high up.

And feather toys

And Chasing toys

And Kicker toys

And another good, high cat tree.

And a fountain

( and quite possibly a play tunnel or two )

Edit - the other most important thing is to cat-proof your house to a degree that you didn't think you needed to. She will later spend the next couple of months pointing out all the things that you couldn't imaging a bengal would want to play with, but they REALLY do. :biggrin:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:01 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Location: Ogden, UT
Re: raw feeding

I didn't know about raw diets before finding our breeder. Quasar was weaned on raw and has really not known anything else, except for the dry dog food from which he occasionally snags a piece.

There is a Facebook group called Cat CRAP (completely raw and proud) where you can get plenty of useful information and formulations for making your own raw diet.

There are commercially prepared, balanced raw diets you can get. They are convenient but expensive.

I feed store-bought ground gizzards & hearts mixed with other trimmings from meats I am preparing for our own consumption. I also mix in some chicken livers for organ content. Quasar doesn't get enough bone content in my mix so I give an additional bit of pulverized eggshell for calcium.

I also keep a certain amount of Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Duck formula (his fave) on hand for when I don't have time to prepare the other diet or when I (rarely) have someone else feeding him. It is easier to instruct someone on feeding quantity with the store bought stuff than with the mush I make.

Quasar is the healthiest cat I have ever had by far. I would feed raw again, without a doubt. An enormous side benefit is the odourless poops, especially nice when the litterbox is contained in our tent when camping. :smile:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:19 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Welcome.

Just a quick word about raw.

It's easy, seriously. There are tons of myths and stuff, and there's a lot to read up on, but once you've done the reading it's really quite simple.

We will be making a big batch of raw tomorrow or Sunday which will generally consist of :
Poultry fillets
Lean beef
Ox heart
Chicken carcass
Chicken necks
Liver
Kidney or lamb testicles
Pilchards

Plus all the blood that comes along with, and loads of added water.

You'll find a whole ton of great info, files, resources (spreadsheets) etc via yhe fb group cats crap, if you want to learn more.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:09 pm 
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Bengal Cat

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WOW!!! You all are AWESOME! I will look up and join Cat CRAP on facebook and continue my 'studies' on raw diet. I am going to check if my local pet stores sell any decent brands. A very healthy cat with odorless poo are both very good incentives. I swear my husband has hyperosmia (overactive sense of smell) so I know he will appreciate that.

As for early spay, I a pretty sure I will have my breeder spay and microchip her before coming home. As others have said it is easier and then I don't have to be the meany. This is not included in the price though. It will be an extra ~$190 which looks to be a good price.

I have a couple cat trees saved on my amazon wish list. Currently this:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000M3YBNM/ref ... 10JO&psc=1
is the top contender. I also really like some of the Trixie ones but can't find any reviews for them.

I am thinking of making my own wand toys but need to do some more research to see if this is viable or not. Anyone heard of people doing this before?

I am currently reading up on catification to ensure I am covering everything needed.

Oh and she is currently 4 weeks old. She is a big girl though!

Hopefully I am not leaving anything out!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:22 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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That tree looks like a really good one. Although very tall with narrow base probably means that you'll have to put one side (if not two) of it against a wall. But your kitten will love that, for sure.

$190 to me is a bargain. I paid over $500 for each of my bengals to be spayed when I had to arrange for it myself. So to me that's a no-brainer.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:00 am 
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I am in the market for another cat tree...these look good and the price is right, plus free shipping with Amazon Prime!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:35 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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There are so many cat trees out there. I have three for Raiden. The Molly and Friends one was the most expensive and is the sturdiest of the bunch. I purchased a North American cat tree which toppled over every time Raiden jumped up or down from it! My husband put a larger base on it and it's fine now. Armakat makes quality trees as well. I needed a smaller footprint for my house, which has very short (widthwise) walls. Raiden can come full speed and jump up to a platform and it barely wobbles. Please read up on all the reviews for the product before you finally decide. Some cats may not want all the bells and whistles and you will be surprised how much room a tree an take up. If you just have one cat, something simple will do.

It's really very easy to make your own cat toys! And some of the best toys are made from things you have sitting around the house. Just Google and you'll find all types of toys you can make.


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