Frequently Asked Questions
1. I have children and
other pets. Would a Bengal fit into our household without causing complete
Bengals are active and enjoy human interaction. (Some, actually enjoy hours of "playing fetch" just like a dog!) They enjoy children and other household pets. We have even placed a kitten in a household that breeds New Foundlands, and the kitten "ruled" from day 1! Most animals require a period of adjustment to new sights, sounds and smells in their new home. If you have other animals, we recommend getting the animal used to your home one room at a time, usually starting with a bathroom. This way, the animals can get used to each others' smells under the door before they meet face to face.
2. I have heard that
Bengals don't shed, and I am allergic to cat hair. Are Bengals hypo-allergenic?
Bengals have a short coat that is more like a pelt than cat hair. The coat is generally very silky and low-lying. They tend to shed less than other cats, so some people who are allergic to cats do not show signs of allergies with this breed. Please don't get me wrong... all animals with hair shed, even Devon and Cornish Rex's, but Bengals tend to shed to a lesser degree than most. Contrary to popular belief though, no animals have ever been proven hypo-allergenic. As a matter of fact, most cat allergies are caused by cat saliva and dander. I am one of the fortunate ones who is allergic to most cats, but not Bengals.
3. What are some
characteristics of the Bengal breed?
Bengals love being in high places, so a tall cat tree is in order. If you have 2 Bengals, they will enjoy hours of competing with each other for that top shelf honor! Bengals also love water, so they might join you in the bath tub. Toilets are not off-limits either, so you will need to train all of the men in the house to keep the lid down!!! :-) They can be trained to fetch, and will enjoy hours of human interaction.
4. Do Bengals meow a
Bengals are middle-of-the-road talkers, with some being fairly quiet and others talking as much as do Siamese. When they meow, it tends to be a garbled, wild sound as opposed to a simple "meow." They also "chirp" a lot, which is the short sound that is something between a meow and a purr, and is very enchanting.
5. Will my Bengal grow to be a huge, unmanageable cat? Of course not. Bengals are a breed originating with the crossing of the Asian Leopard Cat and the domestic shorthair. Myth has it that this breed will grow to huge proportions, but that is simply not true. Most female Bengals range from 8-15 pounds, and most males top off at 12-20 pounds. Granted, the top end of this scale makes for a big cat, nonetheless!
Which is better... a male or a female?
Male or female is a tough choice. Some say that males are sweeter, and some say the opposite. You also have to take into account how large of a cat you are looking for. Females will generally grow to 8-15#, while males can top off in the 12-20# plus range. It is purely a matter of taste.
We have a cat that tends to hide from company. Will my Bengal do this?
You will have a hard time getting your Bengal to ignore company, much less hide from it. They are very curious, social and playful. If anything, your guests might ask you to put him/her away, because they are tired of playing!!! I do feel that he might help other shy cats come out of their shell a little, but that is a hard thing to predict. Every cat that we have placed so far has adjusted very well to their new situations, and are fitting in just fine. Bengals do adapt to their environment so if you very rarely have anyone over, he/she may hide at first.
8. What is this "glitter" that everyone is telling me I should look for in a Bengal?
I am going to let the experts speak for themselves to answer this one! According to The International Bengal Cat Society (TIBCS), "...the high shine (usually on a clear, nonticked coat) that has been discovered and developed in the Bengal, is a welcome addition to the breed but is not mentioned in the breed Standard and thus is not required in a Bengal." An article written for TIBCS by Libbie Kerr goes on the state the following: "Under the microscope, glitter appears as "hollow air space" surrounding the color of the hair. It is sometimes described as bubbles of air, almost crystal like . The effect glitter gives to rufoused coats is that of gold sparkles. The effect on the coat of the seal lynx, seal sepia, and seal mink is that of crystals. Like ice on a tree limb, glitter refracts the light and enhances the color. So far, the Bengal is the only domestic breed of cat to actually be noted for its glitter, even though no mention is made of glitter in the TICA Standard." Glitter is especially spectacular in sunlight!
What are Rosettes?
Rosettes, according to TIBCS, are "the dark outlining of coat markings (both spotted and marble) around a third rich color found in many Asian Leopard Cats and other wild cat species." Rosettes can resemble doughnuts, arrowheads, pawprints, or be primordial (no distinct shape; random). Rosettes are difficult to describe, but are beautiful when achieved!
10. I know that Bengals have wild blood from the Asian Leopard Cat. Will a Bengal be too wild for my home or attack people?
Bengals do have wild blood, and the first 3 generations of crosses do tend to be a little more wild than SBT's (4 generations and beyond). However, ALC's are timid, NOT aggressive, so the wild characteristics, if passed to your Bengal, will be more of a "flee" reaction, not aggression. A lot of how kittens turn out depends on the breeder, and a lot of breeders raise their cats in cages or pens (our kittens have run of the house) with little human interaction. This could, and does, even make other breeds too "wild!" We hold our kittens from the day they are born, and that makes for very people-friendly cats!
11. Will a male "spray" if they are neutered?
I have never known a male to spray as long as they are neutered by the time they are 6 or 7 months old. Males will start to "spray" at different ages but the average is 10-12 months old. If they start to spray before they are neutered, it may take awhile for them to stop.
12. Can you tell me if bengals are prone to getting HCM?
HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) is a heart disease that results in heart failure. Any cat can get it, not just bengals. Reputable Bengal breeders are testing for HCM. It is believed to be genetic and we do not use any lines that have had known HCM in the lines and we test our cats.
13. What is a microchip?
Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice. They consist of a miniaturized coil and a memory circuit. The microchip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades, and the whole procedure takes only a minute or so. The chip's memory circuit contains a unique number registered to your cat which can be read by special scanners found in most veterinary offices and shelters. The chip cannot be dislodged, once implanted, and has a lifetime of 25 years. Once implanted, a small layer of connective tissue forms around the microchip, preventing movement or migration of the chip. The cat is not bothered by it once implanted. The number registered to your cat goes into a registry.
14. What is the benefit of having a microchip?
It is possible that your Bengal could accidentally get out outside. And when he does, a microchip may be your best bet for getting him back. If he ends up in a shelter or is recovered by law enforcement, the microchip makes it likely that your cat can be positively identified and returned to you instead of put to sleep or given away to strangers. Animal shelters and animal control officers have been educated and informed about microchip identification and how it works.....I had someone tell me that they were hit by a tornado and it blew out windows and their cat got out. He was microchipped and they received a call within hours from a local shelter that had found their cat.
15. What is the benefit of buying from a breeder that takes their cats to cat shows?
Taking cats to cat shows is VERY important as a responsible breeder. As breeders we are striving to improve the Bengal breed and going to shows will show breeders the direction that the breed is going in and where the standard is headed. Bengals have been changing (improving) very fast. Most of the judges travel internationally and they teach us what we should be striving for in the breed. There are some breeders that are actually selling show quality kittens that do not even go to shows. I feel that is my obligation as a breeder to go to shows to keep informed.
16. What is your kitten price?
I have it posted on the waiting list page but the pet price average in the $1500 range.
16. Do the kittens keep their blue eyes?
No, they do not. They are blue when they are young and change to green or gold as they get older. However, the seal lynx does have blue eyes but we do not breed for the seal lynx.
17. What is PK Deficiency?
PK - Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Deficiency) is an inherited hemolytic anemia (common in bengals). We only breed cats that are negative (n/n) for PK. There is more information at this link https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/pkdeficiency.php
18. What is PRA?
PRA - Progressive Retinal Atrophy causes blindness in bengals. We only breed cats that are negative (n/n) for PRA. There is more information at this link https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/cat/BengalPRA.php
Please feel free to contact me if you have more questions, and I will respond to you personally. Then your question may be added to this page to help other potential Bengal owners!