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 Post subject: New to The Bengal Breed!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:46 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:37 am
Posts: 2
Hi all!

I just put my deposit down on a very healthy looking Bengal male who will be coming home the first of May. Although I am excited as can be, I am also very apprehensive about how he will adjust to his new surroundings. Is there anything I can do or buy to make his transition go as smooth as possible? What is normal behavior during this process and what could go wrong? Also, I would very much appreciate food and litter recommendations! Thank you in advance! :biggrin:

Courtney


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:13 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
Hi Courtney. Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your upcoming arrival. You are in for a great adventure. Now to your questions.

Always continue your kitty on the same food, type of litter box and type of litter that the breeder has been using. Your little one will be separated from his mom and siblings and placed into a new environment with new people (YOU), new smells (YOUR HOME) and it is quite scary for them.

You will need to prepare a "safe room" for your kitty. This can be a spare bedroom or unused bathroom. You don't say whether you have other pets or children. Your kitty needs a spot where he will feel safe and start to acclimate to you and your home. You will place the food, water, litter box and toys (and maybe a kitty bed) in there. That's not to say you can't go and play with him or bring him out into the other areas of your house, but I would not let him roam around.

Know, too, that many times they like to hide. They are fearful and scared and like to find a cozy, small, dark space where they can feel safe. This is very common, but should only last a short period of time.

If you have other pets, there is a proper way to introduce them -- which a topic all on its own.

For your kitty, you will need a tall cat tree or climbing shelves on the wall. Your boy will want to be HIGH up in the air and look down on you. Scratching posts are necessary. Have plenty of toys as bengals love interaction and playing -- it's fun to have a human on the other end swishing the toy around. Bengals are very sociable. Don't be surprised if he wants to sleep with you at night. They are demanding of attention and highly vocal. Get used to the zoomies (bengal cat racing around the room).

It is exciting to bring a new little kitty home, but do not handle him too much and let him settle in first. Time and patience is what is needed. Do not be discouraged in the beginning as it can take some -- each cat is different. Some kitties settle in right away.

A bengal is not like your ordinary cat. But they are unbelievably sweet creatures. The members here own one or have owned one (or more). Read up on bengals on the internet and be as prepared as you can be. For kitties, that means bengal-proofing your home. They are perpetual 2 year olds who will find the smallest thing on the floor to play with, so get down on the floor and look around. They tend to like cables and wires so get them out of the way. Just try to make things as safe for your boy as possible. I will leave opening cabinets and doors for later.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:54 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:37 am
Posts: 2
Sherry,

Thank you much for your quick response and insightful information! I have been doing my fair share of research via the web, but I thought I could gain more knowledge hearing from a Bengal owner firsthand as well! This form seems like a great lace to connect and learn more about my new Bengal coming home very soon!

I have a room in mind that I can make a "safe room" for my new kitten, and I think that is a great idea to help with the adjustment process. I have been recently looking into cat trees as well and I will make sure I find one high off the ground!

Because I live alone, I thought a Bengal would make the perfect companion, seeing as they are affectionate and very active. I will enjoy the company for sure! Thank you very much again and I will keep you updated on how things go later on.

Courtney


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:53 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Welcome Courtney.

Sherry gave some good advice. A cat tree is definitely a bengal's best friend. A wand toy like da'bird, neko flies, or flying frenzy will probably be a favorite activity when you play with him, and is a really good bonding activity.

Normal behavior initially is often fear and home sickness, but kittens usually adapt pretty quickly (a matter of days). Initial gotchas? Make sure to take things at the pace he's comfortable with. Don't force yourself on him, you're not a comfort to him until he decides differently :) Kitten colds are pretty common, and you have to take those seriously. A runny nose or runny eyes, or sneezes requires a trip to the vet. It's also pretty common for a kitten to have some parasites, which sometimes take weeks or months to manifest themselves as runny, smelly poo. So if you run into that, there's lots of reading here on the forum, and people who have gone through that.

Food and litter? With all the other changes in his life, it's best to keep those consistent for awhile, using what he was using at the breeder's place if possible. Then you can switch to what you want to use once he's settled. For nutrition, your kitten will need to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day for the first couple of months, and you should let him eat "as much as he wants" for the first 6-12 months or so. There's a lot of really good resources for nutrition. My favorites are:

http://www.littlebigcat.com/ and the book "what cats should eat" by the same author
http://www.bengalsillustrated.com/ a really good print magazine about bengals with all kinds of great info (including nutrition)
http://www.catwatchnewsletter.com/ - this is also really awesome general info about cats, from Cornell University

When it comes to food though, one thing to always remember is that when you are figuring out what his diet is going to be, he gets a vote! (or maybe more accurately a veto). It really doesn't pay to get stubborn and try to insist on him eating something he doesn't have a lot of enthusiasm for. So it often ends up being a compromise between something you think is nutritious and something he thinks tastes great.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:11 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Courtney, if you're going to have to leave your little one home alone during the day, you're going to have to spend your spare time playing with him and wearing the little guy out. He should spend quite a bit of time sleeping if you're gone during the day, but a bored bengal can find trouble. Make sure anything you value that can be knocked off and broken is put away. Make sure nothing is left on countertops that could injure a cat -- they can get into a box of food easily! Seriously ... this is just like having a baby, except your baby can jump and climb up high.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:11 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Courtneyshaffer wrote:
Because I live alone, I thought a Bengal would make the perfect companion, seeing as they are affectionate and very active.


Oh, and I forgot to comment on that.... active? definitely! Affectionate? Not always.

Each bengal is different of course, and there are certainly very cuddly and affectionate bengals, and bengals do tend to love their people either way, but as a whole, bengals can often be kind of aloof in terms of their displays of affection.

My Gaga will come to me and cuddle up beside me, maybe once every two or three months. And Serafina has only recently (at age 5) decided to invent a new meow and approach me once or twice a day with a request to be lavished with pettings, nose and chin rubs, and occasionally sleeps pressed up next to me (as I type this she is pressed up against me purring after having gotten her morning petting). But like I said, it took her over 5 years to get to this point! A lot of people are somewhat disappointed and dismayed that their bengal kitten "only wants to play" with them, and will immediately squirm away when they are picked up. And although they are always following you around, and don't want to let you out of their sights, that doesn't necessarily translate to them sitting on your lap purring like maybe a persian or ragdoll or siamese would. So that's just a heads-up to set your expectations on that front.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:42 pm
Posts: 640
Congratulations on deciding to get a bengal. They are beautiful and amazing and a little bit high maintenance.

Quote:
this is just like having a baby, except your baby can jump and climb up high


Think of a toddler that can run at 30 miles/hour, jump 5 times its own height, has built-in grappling hooks and has just had a bowl of sugar - that's what a bengal kitten can be like. It is mostly wonderful ;-)

Before you get your little bundle of cuteness home you'll no doubt cat-proof your home. You will then be shown how this is different to Bengal-proofing your home over a period of several months as they show you how clever and determined they are.

If, like me, you live alone and are out at work during the day, consider getting two kittens rather than one - I appreciate that isn't an option for everyone, but they do look after and entertain each other whilst you are out. If you go down this route talk to the breeder and ask them to help pick out a 2nd kitten that gets on well with the one you have already selected/has a complimentary personality.

Tidy away all things that you treasure. It is part of the nature of bengals to want to get into and try out everything in your house, they'll open cupboard doors and bins and anything that they can get their paws on. It is quite common for them to enjoy pushing things off of high places to watch them bounce on the floor- mine can't resist doing this with *anything* that is on the desk. Get some Grannicks Bitter Apple Spray - it is invaluble for protecting things that shouldn't be bitten because they are expensive and far more importantly - those things that could cause your kitten harm ( power cables, etc ).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:12 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:47 pm
Posts: 20
cranberry wrote:
If, like me, you live alone and are out at work during the day, consider getting two kittens rather than one - I appreciate that isn't an option for everyone, but they do look after and entertain each other whilst you are out.
I couldn't agree with this more. I live alone and do find two easier on me since they tend to chase each other. The cost is a problem though. Double the food, litter and vet bills.

I'd also like to add that two kittens from the same litter help the adjustment of a new place. It was only 10 hours, at 4 am, when my boys decided the safe room was too boring and wanted out! My bedroom became the new safe room lol. I had no other pets at the time.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:52 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:13 pm
Posts: 118
They are incredibly different.

Pixel was an absolutely mess when we brought her home. It has taken MONTHS for her to warm up to us. Digit, on the other hand, left the safe room immediately to play with us, had zero reservations and was not fearful what-so-ever. Not even of the other cats who are 6 months older than him and like twice his size.

It really is the luck of the draw. When we met Pixel, she seemed fine, we brought her home and EVERYTHING changed. At least that has been our experience.

Also, I will echo the 2 cat thing. We have 4, but at a minimum I would have 2, unless it was an older cat who doesn't get along well with other cats.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:26 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:42 pm
Posts: 640
Looking at coming to your home from a kitten's point of view - it is said to be the worst day of their little lives.

They lose their mother, siblings, the human(s), smells, environment that they are used to - everything gone! They come into a new home, however filled with love it might be and EVERYTHING is strange and different. Weird sounds and unknown scents, the entire landscape changed.

For us as humans it is a day filled with great expectation - the cute little bundles of fur 77777777juuyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyiokl,.

(OK a little break in writing there as Babbage, big, brave hunter that he is, forced himself between me and the keyboard, turned on his back with all 4 paws in the air and got the tummy rubs that he needed ).

.. so... the cute little bundles of fur, after all the wanting, choosing, waiting and planning - finally arrive. For us humans it is a great day and we want the kitten(s) to fit right in and have a great time - it is asking a lot.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:49 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
I love it when the "kids" decide they need to add their two cents worth to the posts. I usually delete what Raiden types because it only makes sense to him!!! LOL

Two kittens would be great, but it's a lot of money considering the cost of the cat and then everything else doubles. But, they would occupy themselves and you might get a cuddly, affection lap kitty out of one of them.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:19 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:30 am
Posts: 147
Welcome to the forum Courtney!

Like the others have said before me, safe rooms, cat trees and LOTS of toys are a must. I would also recommend a water fountain.

As for what litter to use – you should speak to the breeder and find out what products they are using, to make the transition easy. Buy whatever litter the breeder has, feed whatever food the breeder is feeding him, at least for the first couple of weeks if you intend on changing it.

And yes, Bengals are very active and affectionate. I know some people has described them as ‘aloof’, and they can be, but my two are so affectionate. My boy will beg for pats, chasing me and hovering around me until I pat him. I will pick him up like a baby and he will happily sit in my arms for a little while and I’ll give him kisses. He’s very sweet. My girl is a total lap cat and will find any excuse to jump onto our laps, and while we watch tv, she is always either sleeping right up next to us, or on top of our chests. She’s a sweetheart.

All bengals are different, however. Have you had a change to visit the breeder and meet your new baby? That way you can tell a lot about their personality. I would encourage it, and most reputable breeders will encourage you to visit for ‘play dates’ so that you and your new baby can get to know each other.


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